OpenRoad Driver Volume 13 Issue 1 - Page 26

26 » OpenRoad Driver P L AT E S Good Grub 5 BRITISH DISHES AND WHERE TO EAT THEM Words and photos by Mijune Pak » Some say British food doesn’t garner many fans, and the Brits have been saddled with a reputation for bad cooks and terrible food. When the British government introduced rationing during the Second World War, it stunted the growth for culinary culture. British cuisine was more or less based on what you had. It was simple, hearty and comforting. Of course over the years things evolved, thanks to immigration, globalization and, yes, “celebrity chef ” culture. Today Britain’s culinary scene is well-respected and international. It’s rare to crave traditional “British food” if you didn’t grow up with it. Its identity in Vancouver has waned, and the heartiness doesn’t particularly suit modern and local tastes. British restaurants are often synonymous with drinking holes and mediocre pubs, so there might not be as much knowledge either. If there are cheap pints, who cares about the food, right? Wrong. The challenge is to find a British restaurant or pub where the passion for food is equal to the selection of carefully chosen beer. Sure, it might be hard to make bangers and mash, steak and kidney pie, and mushy peas sexy without the help of Nigella Lawson, but it’s not impossible. Here is a list of restaurants in Vancouver that do justice to classic British dishes. Some of the recommendations are from general restaurants, which happen to serve some British specialties. SCOTCH EGGS P O U R H O U S E R E S TA U R A N T This is probably my favourite on the list, and there are actually a lot of good versions in Vancouver. I love them here, though. This Gastown gastropub isn’t British, but the Pourhouse menu is chef-driven. Given that the chef and part-owner is JC Poirier, also the man behind Pizzeria Farina and Ask for Luigi, it’s no surprise the food delivers beyond the basic “pub-ish” menu. The Scotch egg is a staple. The breading is thin and crisp, the egg is medium-boiled with a semi-runny yolk, and it’s wrapped with juicy house-made sausage. It’s hot, fresh, well-seasoned and served with spicy mayonnaise. The dish is most commonly served with HP sauce aka “brown sauce” in the UK, but other common dipping sauces are hot sauces, mustard and ketchup. 162 Water Street Vancouver, BC, V6B 1B2 (604) 568-7022