New eats – Kove Kitchen in Steveston

I love Steveston. Steveston has some great restaurants, lots of places with extensive craft beer menus, and is home to the best BBQ in BC at Hog Shack Cook House. Tucked in behind the Hog Shack, right on the water, is Kove Kitchen. Kove Kitchen has taken the place of Mandalay Lounge, a steakhouse that was popular with locals but was in need of a change. Kove is owned and run by the same people behind Mandalay and I decided to pay them a visit last weekend. For what it’s worth I never dined at Mandalay so I have nothing to compare Kove to.

View from the patio at Kove.
View from the patio at Kove.

One thing that hasn’t changed (that I can comment on) is the view. It’s pretty spectacular, especially at dusk. Kove is, by all accounts, a little more casual than Mandalay was with a menu focused around comfort food made in house using quality ingredients. The beer list is focused on Belgian style beers which is a welcome carry over from Mandalay.

Scotch eggs rule!
Scotch eggs rule!

The thing that drew me to Kove was their Scotch Egg. They had posted pictures of it on social media and I had to try it. There used to be a fish and chip joint in Ladner called Uncle Herbert’s that closed years ago, Their Scotch eggs are the benchmark in my mind. Kove’s Scotch egg is very good with a nice crisp breading and a decently thick layer of savoury sausage meat. The dijon aioli is different…but a nice touch. The yolk could’ve been a little softer, it’s best when it’s in that magical place where the yolk is still dark yellow and soft but isn’t liquid. All in all a very good Scotch Egg.

Crab cakes
Crab cakes

Next up were the house made crab cakes with fresh salsa and Thai chili sauce. This dish was kind of all over the place. All of the parts were great but they didn’t make much sense together. The crab cakes themselves are fantastic. Large, fresh, lots of crab, pretty close to perfection. It’s just one man’s opinion but I’d ditch the salsa and Thai chili and go with something like citrus aioli or just keep them naked with some lightly dressed greens on the side.

Bacon Cheeseburger
Bacon Cheeseburger

The burger was another dish I had seen on social media. There are a few options on the burger menu but I chose the classic bacon cheeseburger. The 7 ounce patty is Canadian AAA and is ground in house. Served on a pretzel bun with double smoked bacon, applewood smoked cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, and “Kove sauce”, this is a VERY good burger. The patty is thick, juicy, and well seasoned. The bacon and cheese are strong enough to be noticed but not overpowering. The pretzel bun is actually a good addition, I was worried it would suck. This burger will keep people coming back to Kove Kitchen. The hand cut fries are also very good. I paired it with a Dageraad Brewing Amber which was awesome.

 

So, is Kove better than Mandalay? I have no idea, but Kove Kitchen is a winner.

Twitter – @KoveKitchen

Facebook – thekovekitchen

Web – kovekitchen.com

Scott.

 

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MOA longtable dinner at The Pumphouse with Beerthirst

New Zealand craft beer is seriously popular right now and MOA beer is riding that wave right into BC courtesy of the fine folks at Beerthirst. Beerthirst has once again teamed up with the Pumphouse Pub is sunny Richmond for a 5 course beer pairing dinner. Leo and the gang at Beerthirst were kind enough to invite me to join them.

Thai scallop ceviche
Thai scallop ceviche

Course 1 was a delightfully fresh Thai Scallop Ceviche paired with MOA’s brilliant Methode pilsner. The ceviche was crisp and flavourful with hint of heat and citrus notes that paired perfectly with the champagne yeast and Pacifica and Motueka hops in the Methode. I liked this beer so much that I just bought 3 bottles and plan on adding it to my regular rotation.

Shrimp and corn fritters
Shrimp and corn fritters

Shrimp and corn fritters paired with MOA Pale Ale became what we referred to as course number 2… Actually that’s because it was course 2, whatever. The deep fried fritters were delicious, seasoned right and had lots of shrimpy goodness. The savoury flavours paired very well with MOA’s Pale Ale and its malty back end with subtle but fragrant and delicious Cascade and Nelson Sauvin hops. New Zealand hops are incredible.

Poutine
Poutine

Course 3 was the one we were all waiting for because POUTINE! Hand cut fries with caramelized onions, crisp bacon and Gorgonzola creama paired with MOA St. Joseph Belgian style tripel. The poutine, although non traditional, was outstanding. The salty bacon cut through the funky but awesome Gorgonzola while the caramelized onions added a little sweetness. The MOA St. Joseph is a nice example of a classic triple with the flair that New Zealand beers are known for. The pairing was sadly not there for me but on their own the poutine and beer were great. This dish was CRYING for a hoppy pale ale and MOA’s Five Hop would’ve been just the ticket.

Wok Duck
Wok Duck

The 4th course was “Wok duck”. Crispy fried duck with a sour cherry beer demi glaze paired with MOA Noir, a dark lager. This dish was sadly way off the mark. I’m hoping I just got a bad one because these longtable dinners are usually spot on. The duck wasn’t crispy and was difficult to remove from the bone. The sour cherry beer demi glaze was quite nice, I wish there was more of it on the duck. The MOA Noir is a solid example of a dark lager with strong coffee notes and an abv that’s a very sessionable 5%.

Dark chocolate mocha cup
Dark chocolate mocha cup

The fifth and final course was everything I hoped it would be and more. Hand made dark chocolate mocha cups filled with crunchy almond cream and topped with smoked sea salt. Wow, just… Wow. Super rich, intensely sweet but cut down by the smoked salt. Creamy, crunchy, melty, dreamy. It was paired with MOA’s stellar Imperial Stout which weighs in at a hefty 10.2% abv and tips the hop scales at over 100 IBU’s. This is a MASSIVE beer. The funny thing is that, as Chris from 16th Street Liquor Store put it, this is the only dish that could cause a huge imperial stout to act as a palate cleanser, the desert was that rich. Awesome pairing, awesome beer, awesome dish. Perfect ending to the night.

Big thanks to The Kooner Hospitality Group and Beerthirst for buying me yet another dinner, you guys rock. If you haven’t been to one of these dinners I highly recommend you check one out, they’re one of the best values in town.

Scott.

Steveston Photo Walk and lunch at Hogshack Cookhouse

Steveston, home of the worlds tamest Seagulls…

Steveston is a beautiful little corner of Richmond, tucked right along side the Pacific Ocean it is still an active fishing community as well as a popular tourist destination. Home to beautiful parks, a national historic site (The Gulf Of Georgia Cannery), a bustling fisherman’s wharf where you can buy fresh seafood right off the fishing boats and many shops and restaurants all within a very walkable old fashioned town centre.

Hog Shack Cook House

I had lunch at Hog Shack Cook House, a southern BBQ joint and one of my favourite restaurants in Greater Vancouver. Chef/Co-owner John and Co-owner Alan are great guys with a serious knack for making your restaurant visit a great one. I usually order the Smoke Lover’s Combo, So good. Hog Shack also has a terrific craft beer selection.

Smoke Lover;s Combo, Pulled Pork, Brisket coleslaw and fries, Mmmm!

After our tasty lunch Hayley an I went for a walk around this pretty ocean side village and snapped some photos, enjoy!

 

 

Pumphouse Pub Longtable dinner with Anderson Valley Brewing Co.

Longtable dinners have to be my favorite thing about my partnership with Beerthirst. Multiple courses of food paired with craft beer from one of our great partners, this time it was Anderson Valley Brewing Co. from Boonville, California. This dinner was at The Pumphouse Pub in Richmond and was a 5 course affair with Anderson Valley’s owner/president Trey White in attendance all the way from Boonville.

Course 1 was deep fried oysters in a remoulade paired with Anderson Valley Boont ESB (Extra Special Bitter). The oysters were quite large and cooked very nicely, not greasy or rubbery and the remoulade was well seasoned, The ESB was a nice pairing with it’s bitterness offsetting the salt and breading of the oysters. Chef Daniela Iaci did a great job on the food and the pairings, as she always does.

Course 2 was an iceberg wedge salad with crumbled blue cheese, bacon and toasted hazelnuts. The iceberg wedge might have been a little too big given the amount of other things on the plate being a little less than needed but if you took a little of everything in a single bite it was awesome. The salad was paired with Anderson Valley Horse Tongue Wheat which was a great pairing with the blue cheese of the salad given the beers strong Brett character.

Course 3 was honey and IPA marinated salmon with spiced vegetable cous cous paired with Anderson Valley Hop Ottin’ IPA. The salmon was cooked perfectly as was the cous cous and the flavors of this dish were well balanced. The Hop Ottin’ IPA probably wouldn’t have been my first choice to pair with this dish but what do I know, it worked! The Hop Ottin’ IPA is a very well done west coast style IPA with great balance, I’m going to pick up a few of these for the beer fridge very soon.

Course 4 was spicy tangerine beef and fried rice paird with Anderson Valley Imperial IPA. Spice + IPA = happy Scott. There are 2 beer pairings that can’t miss, spicy food with IPA and sweet desserts with stout. The beef had a nice citrus kick from the tangerine and a slight heat. The Imperial IPA is also a west coast style IPA but this one is a hop monster. So good.

The fifth and final course was beignets with espresso pudding and stout syrup paired with Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout. The beignets, which are deep fried dough sprinkled with confectioners sugar typical of New Orleans. were warm on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside. The pudding and stout syrup were very sweet on their own but dipping the beignets into them was great. The Oatmeal Stout was rich, chocolaty and dark, just the way I like my stouts. Unlike a lot of really great stouts this one checks in at a somewhat low 5.7abv which is good news for those who want to have more than one and carry on a normal conversation.

Check out Beerthirst.com to get in on the next longtable dinner, it’s a great time!

Scott.

The inaugural Beerthirst Tour De Richmond

The guys at Beerthirst were kind enough to invite me along as they loaded a bus full of craft beer enthusiasts and traveled around to some of Richmonds craft beer hot spots. Actually I invited myself…but they said yes so it’s pretty much the same, right? The tour made 6 stops, Fogg n’ Suds, The Kingswood Arms, Hogshack Cookhouse, Blue Canoe, O’Hares and The Pumphouse. For a full rundown of the days events check out this post at Vancouver Beer Blog, it gives a fantastic rundown of the day, blow by blow, and quite frankly my post would look almost identical if I went by the same format (nice job guys!). I’ll post some of my pics at the end of this post but what I really wanted to talk about is Beerthirst themselves.

Beerthirst is self described as an independent agent of fine crafted beer, a perfect description of what they do. They seek out great tasting beer and bring it to Canada. I can honestly say that I have yet to sample a beer that Beerthirst represents that I don’t like, seriously they have amazing taste in craft beer. They bring us beer from amazing beer producers like Elysian Brewing Company, Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, Green Flash Brewing Company and many others. Their lineup can be found all over the lower mainland in specialty beer retailers and forward thinking restaurants and pubs.

On the Tour De Richmond I got to spend some time getting to know most of the Beerthirst team and they are terrific people with a real passion for what they do. What else can you ask for in life? Check them out online and follow Beerthirst and BeerthirstTom on Twitter and make sure you sign up for their next event, it will be awesome, guaranteed.

Scott.