The Rise Eatery
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Forks
]I must admit, I am a sucker for fusion food. Any place that promises a unique and interesting flavour profile always reels me in. So, I really was excited to try The Rise Eatery.
Founded by husband-and-wife team Dan Leung and Wanda Lai, The Rise Eatery is a sharing plates concept (which I like since I can try a variety of dishes without committing to just one or two). Their vision was to create a restaurant that “celebrates the ethnic diversity of Vancouver.” As their website proclaims, “We’re one of the few—if not only—places in town where Germany greets South Korea, China meets Peru, and Scotland welcomes Vietnam with open arms on a plate.” What’s not to love about that?
Finally, their prices are quite reasonable. I split 5 dishes with a friend and it was about $45 each. Not bad for a dinner in Vancouver. All of this, plus great service, has the makings for a fabulous dining experience, right?
Well, unfortunately not. While one dish was outstanding, the rest were just average. Here is a roundup of what we had:
- Uni-versal Pasta XO Edition (house xo sautéed prawns, squid ink pasta, sea urchin cream, egg yolk, tobiko, nori). A riff on my new fave food, Japanese mazesoba, this dish was the perfect balance of flavours: dense, chewy noodles coated in a rich, unctuous sauce with raw egg yolk and sparks of saltiness from the sea urchin cream (uni), tobiko (fish roe) and nori. Yum! Best dish of the night.
- Triple XO Prawn Star (sautéed prawns, house xo sauce, sea urchin cream, flying fish roe, nori). This dish wasn’t bad, and I did like their sea urchin cream, but the prawns were overcooked and a bit rubbery. Also, like many of the dishes, it arrived to the table lukewarm, which contributed to the muted flavours.
- Lo-Hay Salad (smoked salmon, julienne of cucumber, daikon, carrot, pickled ginger, onion, tomato, and taro potato, pea shoots, crisp rice vermicelli, toasted sesame, peanuts, apricot & beet vinaigrette). Another great concept, but this dish fell down on execution. There is a lot going on with this dish and the elements didn’t really come together. In particular, the salmon overpowered the other elements, including the tangy apricot & beet vinaigrette hiding in a small pool under all the other ingredients. The crispy noodles were hard and brittle, which was a bit jarring against the softer elements of the dish.
- Don’t Skip, Just Scallop (pan-seared scallops, ginger calvados apple coulis, beef bacon marmalade). I really liked the pairing of apples with scallops, but the flavours were just too muted for my liking. Dialing up the ginger would have greatly enhanced this dish.
- Buried Treasure (miso braised cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts & broccoli, house-made dukkah, lemon tahini, dried cranberries & mandarin orange). Again, great concept, but failed execution. The elements didn’t come together in this dish, with the interesting elements lost in the chaos (like the dukkah sprinkled on top, which is an Egyptian spice blend consisting of nuts, herbs, seeds and spices like cumin, fennel and paprika). While I am not a fan of soft veggies, the broccoli was very hard and difficult to chew. After a while, I just gave up.
So, now to the big question: Would I go back? As much as I would like to say yes, I would have to say no. However, other diners in our group enjoyed their experience and said they would go back. I’ve also heard some good things about their brunch menu, so I may go back for brunch if asked!
@flygyrll is a foodie who’s had the opportunity to travel to over 60 countries. Her passion for travel and food has afforded her a palate and appreciation for world cuisine. She now resides in Vancouver and is systematically working her way through the local food scene as an epicure and hobby blogger.