Eight 1/2 Restaurant Lounge – FeastVan 2013
Many of you are probably familiar with Dine Out Vancouver that started back in 2002. However, a grassroots movement began back in 2012 when many of the East Vancouver restaurants realized that business was being pulled away from their community. Instead of just griping about it, they put together their own version of Dine Out and FeastVan was born. In addition to the familiar set menus that you see at Dine Out, FeastVan participants donate $1 from every prix fixe menu to the Strathcona Community Centre Backpack Food Program which provides meals for Raycam and Strathcona Community Centres. This bridges the weekend gap when school food programs are not running.
Located across from Nice Cafe on E 8th Avenue, Eight 1/2 Restaurant Lounge touts itself as sourcing their food from local producers, “clean cooking” (no microwaves or deep fryers here), green initiatives, and community involvement. For $30 during FeastVan, you get to choose from a selection of appies, mains, and desserts.
The Dungenous Crab Cake was fresh and served with a lemony yogurt sauce, avocado slices and arugula.
If you’re a fan of melted cheese, you’ll love the Baked Brie wrapped in filo. Served with candied apple slices, I thought the sweet and spicy mixture of Uncle Bill’s honey and sambal oelek went perfectly with the ooey gooey melted brie on top of the crostinis.
The Gulf Island Bouillaisse (containing Salt Spring Island mussels, Qualicum Bay scallops, jalepeño tequilz chorizo, BC prawns, fennel, red peppers, and a spiced saffron broth) was a bit underwhelming. While the mussels were better than the ones we had at The Old Spaghetti Factory earlier in the day, we still felt that most of the seafood was overcooked and the broth wasn’t too flavourful or spicy.
On the other hand, the Beef Wellington (filo wrapped flat iron steak with spinach and wild mushrooms) was pretty killer. The beautifully cooked steak was moist and tender and the dish was served on a mountain of mashed potatoes along with broccolini and a rich and slightly salty brown gravy.
The Crème Brûlée was a relatively large serving but there was something about it that was a bit off. While they described this as a “true vanilla bean crème brûlée infused with Grand Marnier,” it seemed to be lacking in vanilla flavour and the custard didn’t seem as rich as it should have been. I did like the hard layer of caramel on top as it wasn’t over-burnt which kept the dessert from being bitter.
The Banana Bread Pudding was topped with a warm caramel sauce and served alongside a homemade marshmallow and vanilla ice cream. The banana bread had a nice spongy feeling to the interior while the outside had a slighty crunchy texture to it. While I liked how the bananas gave it a hint of sweetness, I think it could have been even better if they added some chocolate chunks to the pudding. The marshmallow had a slighty firmer texture than the ones we recently had at C Restaurant.
The next time Dine Out comes around, take a look at some of the FeastVan options as there are plenty of good restaurant choices in East Van.
151 East 8th Avenue
Posted on February 3, 2013, in Lounge, Restaurant Review and tagged Baked Brie, Beef Wellington, FeastVan 2013, Food, Lounge, Mount Pleasant, restaurant review, Vancouver. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.