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Tangerine, the Green Room, and Raku



(604) 739 4677
1685 Yew St.
Review by Britt Permien

Pistachio/Green Apple Spring Roll with Thai basil ice-cream – an example of Tangerine’s cool synthesis.

Fusion restaurants are all the rage. This one has retro greens and blues on the walls, fluorescent lights, plastic chairs, and staff that are funky and fashionable. Tangerine’s design is understated and hip, with food to match. The staff is warm and welcoming—all around, quite human. Maybe it helps that most of the waiters are owners as well and they really love their jobs and restaurant.

As an appetizer we shared the Bamboo Steamed Dumplings with citrus soy. The dumplings were filled with noodles, fresh veggies and a load of garlic dip. They had a fresh, crisp taste. My vegetarian partner was in heaven reviewing the delectable choices on the menu. She picked the Wok Tossed Tofu with Asian greens, peanuts, chili, and lime as her main dish, and I have seldom seen her happier. The firm tofu was marinated to perfection and produced a refreshing kick on her palette. The peanut sauce felt light and didn’t overpower but enriched the crisp taste of the vegetables.

Being the unrepentant carnivore with a recently acquired conscience, I try to eat free-range eggs and chicken. Tangerine serves two main chicken dishes that satisfy my ethical demands. I ordered the Grilled Chicken Breast, which was covered in a tea-smoked shiitake glaze and served with vegetables and jasmine rice. Although I knew this was supposed to lead my taste experience in the Asian-fusion direction, I could have been fooled; the dish had a distinct hickory taste that reminded me of “down south” in the most pleasant way.

My partner stuck to a non-alcoholic cocktail. Her choice was a Flamingo. It combined cranberry juice, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and soda. The many cocktails were as colourfully designed as the decor.

The selection of wine is intimate but global and should satisfy any sophisticated cosmopolitan wine drinker. All are offered by the bottle or by the glass.

As a beer drinker, I was very comfortable with the domestic and import beers offered. Someone at Tangerine knows how to satisfy beer connoisseurs.

My partner went all out and ordered an explosive dessert that completely blew her away. You should know my partner is not the dessert type. As a matter of fact she hardly ever eats dessert. But the food had been so stimulating thus far, she decided to continue. She ordered the Pistachio/Greek Apple Spring Roll with Thai basil ice cream. It was not sweet, but tart and savory. After eating it, she wondered if she should reconsider being an anti-dessert person.

For a more in-depth look at the rest of the menu, why not visit Tangerine’s website?

The Green Room

(604) 688-5565
204-345 Robson St.
Review by Hemant Gohil

The Green Room’s presentation is as delectable as the cuisine.

The Green Room is one of Vancouver’s hidden treasures. Tucked away in the plaza of the Vancouver Public Library’s main branch, it is well worth the hunt. It began as an oxygen bar a few years ago when the library first opened, but has now changed its focus and is providing some of the best food I have had in a long time.

The only way to describe the cuisine is to call it fusion. Influences from all over the world are evident in the cuisine; however, Latin American and Eastern tastes seem to dominate most of the dishes. The menu looked delicious from beginning to end. I particularly enjoyed the miso soup that was served up. I have had a lot of miso soup before, but nothing like the miso at The Green Room. The bowl was huge, about as large as my head—a fair size. The soup had tofu, buckwheat noodles, shredded nori, and mandarin oranges. I couldn’t believe the taste. It was like there was a party in my mouth and everyone was invited. All of the flavours were well balanced and the subtlety was impressive.

I found the drink menu very impressive as well. The Green Room had every health drink you could imagine, which it blended into some of the most delicious juices and smoothies. No more Orange Julius for me!


The service and décor added to the experience. I ate there at lunchtime, and despite the usual midday bustle, I got my meal very quickly. My waiter was courteous and patiently answered every one of my questions regarding the menu—I tend to be quite picky. The interior was warm and lush. An interesting touch was the presence of the nozzles for the oxygen dispensers. Yes, they are still there. They give the place a laboratory feel—a food laboratory where they experimented with flavours.

I liked the Green Room. The food was delicious, and so was the atmosphere. The experience was a pleasure. I’m hungry again. What else can I try?


(604) 222-8188
4422 West 10th Ave.
Review by Sylvie Smirnjak



Raku is where you go to find Vancouver’s cool, hip, Japanese youth. Raku serves a fusion of French, Italian and Japanese cuisine in a bar-style restaurant that caters to people who want something other than miso soup and white rice. The atmosphere is trendy and young and the music ranges from Drum and Bass to the Gypsy Kings. When I walked in, the whole staff, including the cooks, yelled a greeting in Japanese. The experience was loud but cool.

The food served is much heartier than the standard Japanese-Canadian fare of light rice and raw fish. Miso Kushi Katsu, one dish I sampled, is deep-fried breaded pork on a stick, smothered in miso sauce. Also available is Okonomi Yaki, a traditional snack food which is eaten in Japan with as much fervour as pizza is eaten in Canada. Okonomi Yaki is deep-fried veggie based pancake coated with barbecue sauce and mustard— very tasty.


During my visit, a chef noticed me; he must have guessed that I had no more food, or that maybe I looked confused. He offered his expertise and recommended a sardine salad. Not being a big fan of fish, I hesitated to try it, but to my surprise it was quite good. The sardines are much larger than the canned variety. They are grilled on both sides, then served cold with hot peppers and a vinaigrette. The fish flavour was intense at first but the aftertaste was spectacular; not too fishy at all. There were two choices for dessert—green tea ice cream or sweet almond tofu with fruit.

Overall, the experience was fun. I would recommend it to anyone who wants Japanese food that is not quite Japanese.

2001 Pacific Rim Cover. "Veiled Propositions" Cover Story. Image of woman wearing wedding veil.

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Balance and Harmony

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