DINER: A Look Inside The Highly Anticipated Fat Dragon Chinese BBQ Joint On The DTES

by Andrew Morrison | A weekend of dry runs with friends and family have owners Tom Doughty, Robert Belcham, and Ted Anderson all set to open their much anticipated Fat Dragon at 566 Powell St. on the DTES this week. The new restaurant will specialize in Chinese BBQ in a way that we haven’t seen before, as nearly all the items will enjoy a lick of southern spice with a proper bar lending a pairing hand with five original cocktails or 4×4 wines by the glass (plus a reserve list). I took a look yesterday afternoon and there was much to like, including a kaffir lime soft serve ice cream that’ll be making it onto their opening menu this Thursday (so good). Here’s the PR and all of our photos from yesterday afternoon:

Accomplished restaurateurs, Tom Doughty & Robert Belcham of Campagnolo and Campagnolo ROMA, are excited to partner with longtime employee and first time restaurant owner, Ted Anderson, to proudly announce the opening of Fat Dragon Bar-B-Q on Thursday April 5, 2012. Fat Dragon, where Far East Asian flavours collide with American Southern barbecue methods, is the most casual restaurant this team has so far created. Open seven days a week, from 11am – late, Fat Dragon offers both dine-in and take-out options with street parking available at 566 Powell Street. “We have always wanted to open a barbeque joint.” says Anderson, ”We want guests to be able to enjoy a few cocktails and snacks without getting fatigued on heavy barbeque, so we incorporated Asian flavours and techniques to lighten the load.”

The Fat Dragon kitchen team will be led by Chef de Cuisine Adam Johnson in serving delicious food, first seasoned with Asian spices and herbs, then slow smoked over local fruit woods. These techniques will be applied to the best local cuts of pork, beef, lamb, fresh seafood, vegetables, and tofu. “We have a great love for different types of food from all over Asia,” says Ted Anderson. “This is our homage to the many, great, late-night dinners of noodles, barbequed pork and stir fried crab that we have enjoyed in our travels.”

The team at Bricault Design has created a stripped down, open space reminiscent of a 1920’s opium den. Exposed brick and wooden beams are complemented by a silk entry way, resembling the interior of a Chinese lantern, and a dragon-skin inspired ceiling installation made of wooden scales. The focal point of the room is an 18 ft bar housing a variety of local craft brews and imported Asian beers, a small selection of wines by the glass, and an assortment of cocktails derived from classic recipes rejuvenated with smoke and Asian flavours.






DINER: Refuel Closing, Top Chef Competitor Trevor Bird To Open “Fable” In Its Place

As you may have heard, restaurateurs Tom Doughty and Robert Belcham have sold their first restaurant, Refuel (formerly Fuel). It had been on the market for quite some time, and we expect that the move will allow them to concentrate on the opening of Fat Dragon on the DTES, which could open as soon as April 1st (the duo also own the two Campagnolos). Current Top Chef Canada competitor Trevor Bird approached Belcham and Doughty three weeks ago, made an offer, and a deal was made. The 28 year old, a newcomer to Vancouver, announced last night that he will be opening a new joint in Refuel’s place called “Fable”. It will be his first time as a restaurant owner, and as far as we’re aware, his first crack at being an executive chef (he currently operates a catering company). We hope to bring you more details as they’re received, but right now we’re wondering which restaurant will have the best buttermilk fried chicken in town once Refuel shutters for good on March 24th…sniff. The good news is that all the staff there have already found places of employment at Belcham and Doughty’s other restaurants.

DINER: Campagnolo Crew To Open New “Fat Dragon”, A Chinese BBQ Joint On The DTES

by Andrew Morrison | Robert Belcham and Tom Doughty, the owner/sommelier duo behind the two Campagnolo restaurants, are opening a Chinese BBQ restaurant called Fat Dragon in the heart of the Downtown Eastside (566 Powell).

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Joining them as a first time owner is Ted Anderson, long the chef at Refuel and now at Campagnolo Roma out on East Hastings (always nice to see that happen). The concept is interesting – Chinese food with a Southern US “lick of smoke” – and I’m sure they’ll nail it (the menu reads fantastic, and we’ll get to that soon), but let’s be honest; the thing that will define The Fat Dragon won’t be its food, but rather its location, at least in its first couple of years.

If you thought Salt Tasting Room in Blood Alley was daring back in the day, or really any location remotely worthy of the word in recent years, dinner at Fat Dragon will be – for some – like going to the moon. It’s this section of the DTES around Oppenheimer Park that has been (and still is) considered a bridge too far by restaurateurs, even hungry first-timers with very few funds. There is a community here, and a strong one at that, but it has to face a daily gnarliness that no other neighbourhood in the city has to contend with. I think for most Vancouverites, the idea of dining out hereabouts is repellent, and yet the restaurant, due in under two months, will probably do very well indeed. Read more

GOODS: “Refuel Restaurant & Bar” Hosting Next Whole Hog Dinner On November 30th

November 16, 2011 

Refuel Restaurant & Bar is located at 1944 West 4th Ave in Vancouver | 604-288-7905 | www.refuelrestaurant.com

The GOODS from Refuel

Vancouver BC | Refuel Restaurant & Bar is preparing to host their annual Whole Hog Dinner to be held Wednesday November 30. The Whole Hog Dinner is a highly anticipated annual event designed to connect diners to their food source. Guests will sit at communal tables and share in platters of nose to tail cuts of Sloping Hill Farm pork. This year’s dinner will feature Asian inspired dishes using unique cuts such as pig snouts, offal and slow roasted pork. Menu and details after the jump… Read more

Awesome Thing We Ate #840: Black Pepper Heavy Spaghetti Carbonara At Camp ROMA

Spaghetti Carbonara is a staple dish that a lot of restaurants and home cooks fuck up by going easy on the pepper, loading it with cream instead of egg and substituting bacon for guanciale. The new Campagnolo ROMA on East Hastings nails it.

“Campagnolo ROMA” On East Hastings Has Joined The Growing Scout Community

We’ve invited the new Campagnolo ROMA on East Hastings to join our GOODS section as a recommended local restaurant that is well worth checking out. They’re now proud members of Scout, and as such we’ll be publishing their news front and center and hosting a page for them on our list of independent goodnesses. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support of Scout, and hope you’ll take this chance to get to know them a little better…


DINER: “Campagnolo Roma” Nears End Of Construction With Aim To Open Next Week

by Andrew Morrison | I spent some of the morning taking a look at the almost-finished Campagnolo Roma restaurant. If all goes according to plan, they aim to be open at some point next week. We broke the news of its coming back in March:

Tom Doughty and chef Rob Belcham of Refuel and Campagnolo took possession of 2297 East Hastings this afternoon. The pair aim to open a new restaurant in its place called Campagnolo Roma. It will be based on the original Campagnolo concept and brand, only the fare will be more regionally specific to the Eternal City of Rome (expect a battery of flatbreads, real deal Amatricianas and Carbonaras, et cetera). The 35 seat space (plus another 8 on the patio) will replace the now defunct Caribbean Hot Pizza Express (no loss there) and is directly opposite Red Wagon. It will go under the reno knife immediately, and will open in May at the earliest. Ted Anderson (currently at Refuel) will be the opening chef.

Take a look at the menu here and here and the shots below. Lovely wooden paneling reminiscent of the original Campagnolo on Main, plus the green of Refuel. They also picked up the two cushy banquettes from DB Bistro and the sweet leather chairs from Lumiere. Looking good!


GOODS: Chefs Anderson & Belcham Ready For Industry P.I.G. Out At Kitsilano’s Refuel

February 14, 2011 

Refuel Restaurant is located at 1944 West 4th Ave in the heart of Kitsilano | 604-288-7905 | www.refuelrestaurant.com

The GOODS from Refuel

Vancouver, BC | Chef’s Ted Anderson & Robert Belcham are throwing another late night P.I.G. Out! P.I.G., which stands for Pig Industry Gathering, is a late night feast served family style at communal tables, often attended by cookers, servers, other members of the restaurant biz and pork fans in general. Details after the jump… Read more

Kitsilano’s “Refuel” Celebrates 1st Birthday With Cava & Deals

November 30, 2010 


Refuel Restaurant & Bar is located at 1944 West 4th Ave in Vancouver | 604-288-7905 | www.refuelrestaurant.com

News from Scout supporter Refuel

Vancouver BC | Refuel Restaurant & Bar turns one year old, Thursday December 2, 2010 and is spreading the love to diners and shoppers throughout the month of December with a little extra value. Refuel will be pouring Cava all day long for diners on December 2nd and encourages guests to stop in and raise a glass in honour of its first birthday. The festivities don’t stop there, Refuel is extending its famous burger and beer special, offering it all day long, throughout the month of December.

Kitsilano holiday shoppers can dig into one of Vancouver’s best burgers paired with one of Vancouver’s best local craft beers anytime of the day during the month of December at Refuel Restaurant & Bar. This tasty burger & beer special is available for just $15.50, throughout the day (11:30am – 10:30pm Sunday through Thursday and 11:30am – 12am Friday and Saturday) starting December 1, 2010 until December 24, 2010. A juicy hand-ground dry aged Alberta beef patty with the Cure’s bacon, cheddar cheese and mayonnaise served on a toasted house-baked bun. Triple cooked Kennebec french fries are served on the side, to be washed down with a draught beer from the award winning R&B Brewing Co. Available on tap, is R&B’s Raven Cream Ale and Bohemian Lager. Read more

Field Trip #583: How To Confit A Pig’s Head With Robert Belcham

by Andrew Morrison | Refuel’s annual Whole Hog supper is on the immediate horizon (this Wed, Oct 27th), so I  popped in to the upstairs kitchen of sister restaurant Campagnolo yesterday to witness chef/co-owner Robert Belcham do the most vital work in his preparations. The task at hand was the main course for the nose-to-tail dinner. It sees a pig’s head centerpiece, from which many distinct nibblies are sourced. To supply the supper’s three seatings, Belcham needs to ready/confit 15 “heritage breed” Berkshire pig heads from Vancouver Island’s Sloping Hill farm, arguably the best pork supplier in the country. Read more

Main St.’s Campagnolo Hosting “A Slow Taste of Italy” Lunch


Campagnolo Restaurant is located at 1020 Main St, Vancouver | 604-484-6018 | www.campagnolorestaurant.ca

News from Scout supporter Campagnolo

Vancouver, BC | On Saturday, October 16, 2010, Campagnolo Restaurant will host a family style luncheon in collaboration with Welcome Books and Slow Food Vancouver in participation of a “Slow Taste of Italy”; a week long North American event where restaurants from New York to Vancouver, host events celebrating slow, local, sustainable food and Jessica Theroux’s brilliant culinary pilgrimage documented in her book, “Cooking with Italian Grandmothers”.

Chef JC Poirier will prepare traditional Italian dishes inspired by recipes from the book, “Cooking with Italian Grandmother’s” along with select restaurant specialties, served on platters to be passed around and shared with fellow diners. Reservations are priced at $98 per person or $148* per couple and include one copy of Cooking with Italian Grandmothers, wine and gratuity. Partial proceeds from this event will assist Slow Food Vancouver delegates attend Terra Madre 2010. Details after the jump… Read more

Campagnolo’s “Nonna’s House” Dinners Resume On Main Street


1020 Main St | 604-484-6018 | campagnolorestaurant.ca | 1944 West 4th | 604-288-7905 | refuelrestaurant.com

News from Scout supporter Campagnolo

Vancouver, BC | Just like Dinner at Nonna’s House, a series of home-style Italian meals offered every Tuesday night at 6:00pm for $19 paired with a pint of R&B Brewing Company’s finest, returns to Campagnolo Restaurant, starting October 5 and ending November 9, 2010. Every Tuesday night Main Street diners can look forward to a hearty meal that is guaranteed to warm bellies and hearts, made from quality seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers and purveyors for an affordable price. Past favorites include marinated and roasted Polderside Farms chicken, braised Quebec veal breast and roasted leg of Fraser Valley lamb all served with seasonal accompaniments. Details after the jump… Read more

Kitsilano’s “Refuel” Readies For Their Annual Whole Hog Dinner

September 29, 2010 


Refuel Restaurant & Bar is located at 1944 West 4th Ave in Vancouver | 604-288-7905 | www.refuelrestaurant.com

News from Scout supporter Refuel

Vancouver BC | Just shy of it’s one year anniversary, Refuel Restaurant & Bar announces a Whole Hog Dinner to be held Wednesday October 27. The Whole Hog Dinner was a highly anticipated annual event at Fuel Restaurant and the tradition is carried on at the much more casual and affordable Refuel.

Chef’s Ted Anderson and Robert Belcham will prepare a whole hog feast, designed to please the palate and connect diners to their food source. Guests will sit at communal tables and share in platters of nose to tail cuts of Sloping Hill Farm pork. Unique cuts and favorites such as whole confit pigs head, offal and slow roasted shoulder are to be expected and enjoyed. Dinner is complete with dessert featuring the main ingredient, pork Read more

Paul Croteau Confections Now Available At Oakridge Mall…

IMG_1964 3A few years ago after enjoying a few courses at Fuel (now Refuel), I distinctly recall enjoying desserts made by a pastry chef I’d never heard of before. His name was Paul Croteau, and my wife and I fell in love with his creations straight away. He was also something of a character. “It’s funny,” I remember c0-owner Tom Doughty telling me that night, “when all the main courses are finished he sort of takes over, telling the kitchen to quiet down, saying ‘Shh…it’s my turn now’”.

A few months ago, after working for over a year with chef Jeremie Bastien at Gastown’s Boneta, Croteau returned to Refuel, where he is now in charge of desserts, as well as those at sister restaurant Campagnolo. Together with Doughty and chef Robert Belcham, he’s just opened Paul Croteau Confections, a retail kiosk in Oakridge Shopping Center, where you can find his assorted macaroons, cookies, candies and other assorted goodies. Read the official announcement after the jump… Read more

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