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Kissa Tanto’s Alain Chow Does The Dishes

The Dishes is a new Scout column that asks Vancouverites to walk us through a map of their ideal day and night on the town. We’re talking breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night cocktails. Tax and tip included.

For this edition we quizzed Alain Chow – co-owner/co-chef of one of Vancouver’s most high-regarded restaurants, Kissa Tanto in Chinatown (see The Scout 25, enRoute, Canada’s 100 Best) – about his favourite eating and drinking spots around the city.

Good morning! What’s for breakfast/brunch?

Dim sum at Kirin at 12th and Cambie. The service is impeccable and I always get the salted duck egg yolk buns because I don’t have a sweet tooth and they just do everything so well there.

Kirin 201 City Square, 555 West 12th Ave. MAP

Where should we meet for coffee/tea?

Cafe au Lait at Marche St. George because it is just a lovely place to have a coffee and a pastry while sitting on the benches outside, possibly wrapped up in the blankets provided.

Le Marche St. George 4393 St. George St. MAP

Now we’re hungry again. What’s for lunch?

The special fish cake and fish ball pho at Bun Cha Ca Hoang Yen on Victoria Drive, because it is ridiculously more-ish and addictive, packed with dill and (to be added) lemon balm. I crave this dish all the time!

Bun Cha Ca Hoang Yen 5083 Victoria Dr. MAP

Who has you figured out at Happy Hour?

Those are prime working hours so it is not something I indulge in and I don’t drink, so I usually go for something sweet. Purebread on Hastings has a gorgeous display when you walk in and I dare anyone who eats flour to walk out without something. I love the chewy chocolate chip square.

Purebread 159 West Hastings St. MAP

What’s for dinner?

The foie gras stuffed quail in pastry at St. Lawrence is amazing. Everything they do there is amazing. I love the Terrine en Croute — it is always perfect!

St. Lawrence 269 Powell St. MAP

What’s for dessert?

Not having a massive sweet tooth, I always lean more towards cheese for my dessert. I love the selection at Grapes & Soda. Try some amazingly unique gin from Japan while you’re nibbling.

Grapes & Soda 1537 West 6th Ave. MAP

Where are you taking us for late night cocktails?

My favourite cocktail is the Vieux Carre. I was introduced to it at The Keefer Bar. You can’t go wrong with any cocktail there, I suppose. The Chinatown Sour is very, very good too.

Keefer Bar 135 Keefer St MAP

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