Alex ‘Rhek’ Usow Does The Dishes

True to form, the local artist and designer went freestyle on The Dishes, taking us on an exceptionally filling city-wide crawl...
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Alex ‘Rhek’ Usow Does The Dishes

The Dishes is a repeating 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 our latest culinary adventure, we asked Alex Rhek – the man behind Rhek Creative and local streetwear brand Cold World Frozen Goods – to map out his ideal day of eating and drinking around Vancouver. True to form, Rhek went freestyle on The Dishes, taking us on an exceptionally filling city-wide crawl……

Good morning! What’s for breakfast/brunch?

Hello! I sorta feel like breakfast is like the one meal everyone can make without fucking up and these days my favourite is marinating an egg yolk in soy sauce and a little ginger for 30 minutes and then eating it on white rice with Chinese Sausage from up the street (Sing Chong on Keefer). The yolk gets this really cool texture, the white rice is sinfully good and the local Chinese sausages (aka Lap Cheong) are my favourite.

Sing Chong Food Centre Ltd 253 Keefer St. MAP

Where should we meet for coffee/tea?

I actually gave up coffee forever ago cause it was negatively impacting my stomach and I’m already pretty excited without it. I do love tea though but paying $4 at a coffee shop always seems weird cause I can buy like, lots of loose tea with that and I don’t even get a milk foam heart or leaf drawing. That being said, I’d rather go for some delicious dim sum or salt and pepper squid at Jade Dynasty (they are so nice to me there!).

Jade Dynasty 137 E Pender St. MAP

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

If I’m home in Chinatown I’ll hit Ba Le for a perfect $4 cold cut Bahn Mi or maybe the dumpling poutine at Hey, Dumplings!… But my favourite spot for lunch is Carp cause Yuki worked for me at Sea Monstr. He’s awesome — he’s actually Japanese and his Mt. Pleasant Combo is delicious. Try the curry tuna pasta salad, too.

Hey, Dumplings! 208 Keefer St. MAP
Ba Le Deli & Bakery (Chinatown) 633 Main St. MAP
Carp Sushi 2516 Prince Edward St. MAP

Who has you figured out at Happy Hour?

I’ve personally figured out that Happy Hour for me equals day drinking equals I don’t drink in the day cause it’s a slippery slope and I’m too busy working to get drunk. Maybe we could go get a Curry Beef pastry or Steamed Bun at New Town Bakery instead?

New Town Bakery 148 E Pender St. MAP

What’s for dinner?

Phnom Penh is where I take all my out of town friends. Solange (the owner) and her family and her chicken wings are the best. I once did a cool Bang Bang where I had Butterfish Nigiri’s at Shiro on Cambie, then walked and had 1 taco at La Taqueria on Main, then the spring rolls up the street at Anh & Chi and then a pasta at Autostrada, which is an adventure I invite everyone to partake in. Just go get the one thing you like at four restaurants.

Phnom Penh 244 E Georgia St. MAP
Shiro Sushi 3096 Cambie St. MAP
La Taqueria (Main St.) 2521 Main St. MAP
Anh and Chi 3388 Main Street, Vancouver, BC MAP
Autostrada 4811 Main St. MAP

What’s for dessert?

I don’t really have a sweet tooth but I like treats so maybe I’ll go get Fried Chicken at Duffin’s Donuts. I do like the Lime Curd Vaso at Tacofino too, ’cause it’s just like a light sweet gentle citrus chill thing.

Duffin's Donuts 1391 E. 41st Ave MAP
Tacofino 2327 E Hastings St. MAP

Where are you taking us for late night cocktails?

Vancouver has a weird void of regular hole-in-the-wall normal bars and $14 vodka sodas aren’t really my scene. That being said, there’s some cool steps near a bridge in Olympic Village; the late night Happy Hour at Pidgin has the best prices in Gastown; and my go-to local is definitely The Boxcar, ’cause of the staff.

Pidgin 350 Carrall St. MAP
Boxcar 923 Main St. MAP

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