The ever-evolving Restaurant Graveyard series looks back at the countless, long-shuttered establishments that helped to propel Vancouver’s food and drink forward. Full A-Z with maps and photos here. May they never be forgotten!
Oru Cuisine was the Pacific Rim-inspired fine dining restaurant that operated where Botanist currently excels in the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel. The bright and airy look and feel of the massive space (designed by architecture firm MGB) was dominated by a 5 foot-wide light sculpture created by local origamist Joseph Wu that hung from the ceiling, snaking some 180 feet long. Over the course of its operations from 2010 to 2017, Oru (from the Japanese: “to fold”) received several accolades, its gorgeous marble and stainless steel open concept kitchen being overseen by the very talented likes of chefs David Wong and Nathan Brown, with its opening shepherded by legendary local front man, Chad Clark (previously Feenie’s, later Hawksworth). It went under-appreciated for the effort it expended and is well remembered by its fans. Here are some of my notes from the time of its opening, as well as a video of it gearing up for launch:
It’s a big, voluminous space (8,000 sq feet altogether) that includes 2 chefs tables of 6 in front of the kitchen pass, a really cool cut-out, low-slung 12 seat communal table topped with grey marble (the place is weighed down with marble), a private room for 14, two patios (the lower floor outdoor space holds 50-75), and a flood of natural light enhancing the near-waterfront view. The dining room and adjacent Sky Bar lounge area seat 140. Upstairs, there are 3 banquet rooms (300, 200, and 150) and an open reception area with a capacity for 400+. The kitchens are massive and pristine with a tandoori oven, pizza oven, the biggest garde manger station I’ve ever seen, and every bit of equipment you’d expect in a top shelf operation.