Sometimes, there’s nowhere to go but up. For the Vancouver catering vets of Danz Gorumet, that notion brought them to their first restaurant project, and also its name. Taking a cue not only from their own culinary trajectory to expand their business, but also the street upon which its located, The Rise Eatery is a promising new spot for fun and affordable eats in posh South Granville.
“The Rise” is what the ascending section of Granville Street is affectionately called by some locals, including the owners, husband and wife Dan Leung and Wanda Lai, who have spent a lot of time in the neighbourhood learning the ins and outs of pro cooking and restaurant management. Chef Dan is in the spacious downstairs kitchen (which will now be their catering kitchen, too), and Wanda runs the front of house.
Though 3121 Granville Street was most recently a pho restaurant, it’s had a noteworthy past life as JC Poirier’s Chow (and was prior a clothes shop). The bright, modern lines of the interior work well with the warm wood tabletops, and the dishes were chosen thoughtfully with the Instagram-era in mind, offering the inventive food a rich textural background that beckons the eye.
The Rise is focused on a meld of classical techniques, familiar food tropes, and big bold flavours with a definitive Asian bent. The house Caesar, for example, is made with Walter Caesar mix, but the spice is given a hefty kick with the earthiness of a kimchi carrot, with lots of sriracha.
Their cocktails skew towards the playful (yes, the pink-est of the bunch is garnished with a Pocky stick spearing a lychee) but for those who prefer something unadorned, The Rise has a well-curated BC-centric wine and beer list, including some wines on tap.
With a menu separated thematically to match the theatre-going vibe of South Granville at the foot of “the rise,” guests will want to start off with a deep dive into the “Opening Acts.”
This is where you’ll find what may end up being their signature dish: The Routine. The “r” in this poutine comes from ramen, which acts as the french fries, and is in a crunchy cubed snack format, topped with cheese curds (with just the right elastic stretch), miso gravy, housemade kewpie mayo, and a bright pop of pickled ginger. PS, just gaze into it and watch the bonito flakes gently sway.
Other starters include a rich duck liver mousse done brulée-style, served with a tangy goji berry chutney, or a vibrant tuna tartare with lots of spice, a corn and avocado guacamole, and crispy lotus root chips.
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Over on the mains, one showstopper is the “Lo Hay” salad–a phonetic and Pacific Northwest spin on the Chinese New Year Yusheng “Prosperity Toss” raw fish salad. Served in large platters and piled with vibrant julinenned veggies and raw fish, the dish is traditionally energetically tossed up, and said to bring good fortune to those who wield the utensils.
If you feel like you need a douse of luck, try your hand at tossing this meld of daikon, cucumber, taro, carrot, smoked salmon, pea sprouts, crispy rice vermicelli, peanuts, in an apricot beet dressing–or have the servers take on the task.
This salad is as packed with ingredients as it is backstory, but they all serve the dish well, and it’s a fresh, memorable option, no matter what day of the year.
The Rise’s menu is also careful to consider the many dietary needs of locals, so while there may be peanuts on a dish like the Lo Hay salad, the chef will happily keep them off for those with allergies. Similarly, dishes that can be made vegetarian are marked on the menu, and vegans will find they have a solid option in a hearty udon noodle dish made with a sauce of creamy silken tofu with mushrooms and cashew parmesan.
Meat-eaters, fear not: The Rise makes a stunning skirt steak platter with the juicy beef tender enough to cut with a fork and served with an addictive creamy herb sauce, and a side of Kennebec fries tossed with shishito peppers, tomatoes, and Chinese donuts. That’s one side dish you’ll keep wanting to dig back into for more tastes of the curious (and tasty) combo.
If you manage to save room for dessert, the best bet is the matcha “molten lava cake” which oozes with intense matcha flavour and a satisfying stickiness that is somehow not overly sweet. They also have a milk-and-cereal themed panna cotta with actual corn flakes to complete that Saturday morning throwback vibe with a grown up twist.
With South Granville known for their top-notch higher-priced fare, The Rise Eatery gives locals a new option for an affordable haunt. Dishes are ideal for sharing, and apps range from $9 to 13, with mains running $15 to 23; a filling dish like the udon noodles is just $10, and works as a side or a main. The bar offers a great hang-space, though the restaurant will work nicely for anything from a work lunch (once they add the daytime hours), a Happy Hour snack and drink, or a night out with friends.
Officially opening for dinner on Monday, June 26, and they’ll be doing Happy Hour from 3 to 5 pm Tuesday through Sunday and dinner service, and will add brunch service soon, too, eventually expanding to include lunch. While the sun is out, you can check out The Rise’s hidden back patio for some warm weather eats.
Address: 3121 Granville Street, Vancouver