Thanks to my uncle, I was on a plant-based eating spree in Vancouver during my recent trip this summer! The Acorn, an award-winning, vegetarian bar located at the heart of Vancouver’s Main St, was one of them. It is a destination for diners seeking creative meals made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The dishes are beautifully presented, and cater to vegans and gluten free diners while ensuring that even the staunchest meat eaters leave fully satisfied too.
A bar at the entrance certainly did not make me relate to the fact that this is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant! The decor is modern, trendy yet simple and earthy, which I think resembles their dishes.
We ordered 2 appetizers, 2 mains, an da dessert to share! One of the perks when dining with elders is that I get to order whatever I’m interested in!
The first starter we had was cucumber, which came with sumac lemon dressed snap peas, cucumber cashew crème fraiche, wild greens, pickled cucumber, and shaved hazelnut! It’s a gluten-free, raw, and vegan dish. When the name of the dishes on the menu are only named after one ingredient, but upon serving, we were presented with such a color plate, what a pleasant surprise! The amount of dressing was perfect. I hate it when the salad is drenched in sauces. I was happy that this wasn’t! The tartness from pickled cucumber definitely added a nice touch to flavor of the overall dish!
The other appetizer was the summer squash, which was shaved zucchini salad with yarrow vinaigrette, puff pastry, cured zucchini with walnut mousse, ash ripened goat cheese, preserved Pacific crab apple, and garlic scape relish. I’ve never had yarrow before, so it was quite interesting! It’s quite sweet, and a bit licorice-like. The goat cheese was surprisingly acceptable to my uncle and aunt! Most of the Asians,especially the elders, don’t like cheese in general, but this goat cheese was mild and didn’t throw them off!
For main, we had broccoli, which was a broccoli and cashew purée with raw hazelnut and almond tart. It’s a gluten-free, raw, and vegan dish. Asians don’t eat broccoli raw, and I’ve only learnt that broccoli can be consumed raw in Canada. The waitress was nice enough to give up a heads up that the broccoli is raw, and if we were okay with it. It didn’t have the peppery, raw taste, but very refreshing for the perfect hot summer day!
On the side, there was a spring greens with sprouted quinoa, pickled grapes and celery vinaigrette, which was too pretty to eat! The greens were so fresh and had a nice crunch! The sprouted quinoa added more texture to it.
After so many cold dishes, here comes a hot one! Before our’s was served, this was the most frequent dish that I’ve seen coming out of the kitchen! I was very curious what was the name of the dish, because pretty much every single table had ordered it! I couldn’t hold back my curiosity, and I asked the waitress, she said “halloumi“, the inner self screamed “YESSS!!”.
So glad that we’ve ordered it! The beer battered halloumi was served with zucchini + potato pancake, sitting steadily on the smashed peas with mint yogurt and Acorn garden lemon blame on the side. Halloumi was my cheese crush this summer, and I loved it! I didn’t really have other kind of halloumi other than pan-fried it. It was crisp outside and gooey-chewy inside!
For dessert, I was really interested to try the elderflower, which was an elderflower semifreddo with spruce shortbread crumb, decorated with seasonal berries and white chocolate spruce tip sauce. It’s a gluten-free dessert, and not surprised that the plating is so beautiful! I was intrigued by the elderflower, because I’ve seen it as one of the tasting note for coffee, and have always wondered what does it taste like! The flavor wasn’t very distinct. It was quite bland but with a subtle sweet-tart taste. It was a perfect palate cleanser/refresher after the meal!
Overall, I think it was a better experience than any of the vegan restaurants in Montreal (and fairly priced too)! We arrived around 6:10 pm, and the restaurant was already packed, so make sure you go early! The service was impeccable. Our waitress was very friendly and answered all our questions patiently! My uncle was very happy too that it was a whole new experience for him as a vegetarian!
3995 Main St, Vancouver, BC Canada
Tel: +1 (604) 566-9001