The Dishes is a repeating column that asks Islanders to walk us through a map of their ideal day and night on the town. We’re talking breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night cocktails. Tax and tip included.
For this edition of The Dishes, we tag along with Sam Harris, Executive Chef at Victoria’s Boom + Batten, for a whirlwind crawl of his favourite food and drink spots in and around the city. Buckle up and bring your appetite!
Good morning! What’s for breakfast/brunch?
On a workday I keep it simple with a B.L.T. on a bagel from Union Pacific. They have a serene little courtyard in Dragon Alley that’s a perfect place to start the day.
On a day off, Charlotte and the Quail, which looks out onto the Horticultural Center of The Pacific. The food is light and satisfying and it’s named after a cat that hangs out in the garden.
Where should we meet for coffee/tea?
Hey Happy for a Honey Latte and a little chill time in Market Square or Discovery for a Dry Cappuccino and an Apple Fritter.
Now we’re hungry again. What’s for lunch?
Uchida in Nootka Court is my favourite Monday to Friday lunch spot. I think Chef Yasu is the best cook in the city and they use farm-fresh produce from Umi Nami Farms in Metchosin. Go early, they sell out. The dons are amaming but don’t sleep on the pressed mackerel sushi, chicken chasu or daily veg sides. Also, salmon collars…
If I get a rare weekend off, Superbaba hits my shawarma fix and the turmeric cookies are so good.
What if we still have an appetite and a thirst around Happy Hour?
Bodega for some sherry and tapas. Tortilla Espanola is a must and all the sherries are on special during Happy Hour. I love to snack my way through the sherry list and the food menu. It also has a cool little patio in Trounce Alley.
What’s for dinner?
Nowhere* a Restaurant is always delicious and inventive. Order “Today’s Best Things” and that’s just what you’ll get. The first time I did the tasting menu, Chef Clark told me he was “Going to kill me with food”. I somehow survived to tell the tale but bring a healthy appetite. They bring it hard. It’s a bit hard to find so pop into their alter-ego sister restaurant Hank’s first for a drink and directions.
What’s for dessert?
Since we didn’t go to Olo for dinner, we’re going for dessert and a glass of natural wine. It’s an awesome farm to table restaurant with consistently great food, service and the most interesting wine list in the city.
Where are you taking us for late night drink / hangout?
Veneto for a daiquiri or glass of red and a bowl of rigatoni. After a rough service, Smith’s for a Fernet Branca and a beer or four. If it’s the right Monday night, Bar Venner — Victoria’s industry-centric guest chef and natty wine series that pops off some Monday nights. Buy a ticket and get ready to make some new friends. You’ll probably run into the cooks and servers of your favourite Victoria restaurant and you’ll definitely get some great food, weird wines and bangin’ hip hop.