Rhys Amber Does ‘The Dishes’

We asked local chef Rhys Amber to take us on a tour of his favourite spots to dine and drink around Vancouver.
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Rhys Amber 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.

Today, we’re along for the ride with chef Rhys Amber, who has helped to bring about cool, restaurant industry-centric events like Big Day BBQ and the documentary film Off The Line. The self-proclaimed ‘pan jockey’ has worked the kitchens at several notable East Van establishments, toiling alongside some of the city’s finest. Buckle up and bring an appetite…

Good morning. What’s for breakfast/brunch?

These days I’ve got a little bit more time on my hands than usual (hah…). Normally on the precious days off the struggle for me is always getting up and out of the house before half my day is squandered. I like to cruise over to Crystal Mall to hit the food court for some killer Chinese BBQ and dumplings of all varieties. A heavy start but we’ve got ground to cover!

Crystal Mall Food Court 4500 Kingsway MAP

Where should we meet for coffee/tea?

If I’m in the mood for a little pick-me-up you can usually find me grabbing an espresso down at The Pie Shoppe (and maybe a slice if the French sisters need a guinea pig). I can’t get enough of the room and it’s always a little bit quieter/cozier than your typical cafe.

The Pie Shoppe 1875 Powell St. MAP

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

In the wake of the closure of our beloved East Van institution Merchants Workshop, it’s hard to keep in touch with those cheers-esque faces, so I’ll be at the DL Chicken Shack on The Drive to talk shop, catch up with the locals and smash whatever crazy concoction the mad fry-entist Doug Stephen is cooking up.

DownLow Chicken Shack 905 Commercial Dr. MAP

Who has you figured out at Happy Hour?

If I’m on the sauce early I’ll head over to What’s Up? Hotdog! for an adult PB & J (PBR and shot of Jameson).

What's Up? Hot Dog! 2481 East Hastings St. MAP

What’s for dinner?

More often than not I’ll head over to Santouka for a big bowl of shoyu ramen but if I’m in the mood for something a little bit nicer I’ll go pay my old partner in crime Lindsay Otto a visit at Savio Volpe . The food and hospitality are always on point and it’s a space I really enjoy being in.

Osteria Savio Volpe 615 Kingsway MAP
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka (Broadway) 558 West Broadway MAP

What’s for dessert?

2 ounces of fernet on one big ice cube at The Bayside Lounge. That’s wassup.

Bayside Lounge 1755 Davie St. MAP

Where are you taking us for late night cocktails?

Post-shift, day off, really anytime…Trans Am is the spot. No phones, no fussing. Eclectic vinyl on the stereo, a room that perpetually smells like Tomahawk steaks and delicious wagyu burgers. It’s everything you want in a hole in the wall cocktail bar just down the street, complete with a couple of my most favourite barmen in town, Gianmarco Colannino and Dave Back.

Trans Am 1879 Powell St. MAP

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