I’m enjoying Vancouver’s lionized summer right now, as you can tell from my gluttonous twitter feed. Whenever I’m in town, I have endless catching up to do – both with friends and with restaurants.
Once I arrived, my quest to check off all the new establishments from my list immediately began. Actually, an infallible bowl of flat rice noodle soup with housemade squid balls first settled my stomach after 8 hours in transit. After that, it’s all fair game.
After a drive-by Pandan Fashioned and BC mussels in curry at The Union in Chinatown, my girl Teresa insisted that we head to a new little tapas bar nearby. A tapas bar across the street from Phnom Penh? (Which, to this date, I still can’t spell without googling.) It sounded uncannily appropriate for the evolving neighbourhood.
East of Main Café’s decor is charming and subtle. The tall ceilings and clean lines create an airy composition. A well stocked bar, watched over by a flock of white origami cranes, is the focal point and for good reason.
Expecting a wine list dotted with sherry and cava, I was more than pleasantly surprised to see a separate cocktail menu. It was much welcomed on the unusually balmy day. Shortly after skimming through it, my skepticism kicked in. Tapas + cocktails in Chinatown? It must be too good to be true.
The Adeline Cocktail arrived. When my lips slipped through the egg white foam and met with the minty green concoction, my doubts vaporized. This summery gin based cocktail hit the right herbaceous notes without being over the top. A touch each of green Chartreuse, elderflower syrup, and ginger liqueur melded in harmony. Egg white lifted the drink while bitters provided necessary savoriness.
This complex, yet easy going cocktail is lovely to sip on its own or to pair with food. Here’s what we shared:
A week has passed and The Adeline Cocktail would not peel away from my memory. I had to pilfer the recipe. Fortunately, Andrew Flynn is a sweetheart and sent it to me without hesitation. Cue in the “awws” because this drink was named after his grandmother.
When asked about his vision for East of Main’s cocktail program, here are his own words: The cocktail program, for me, is always derived from the food concept. With regards to this particular one I wanted to use ingredients that compliment the menu (e.g. The Gurkha, which uses Garam Masala Whiskey and rosewater among other things). I also go a little figurative such as the case with the Pompeii Cocktail which has a slight heat in its finish as a result of a habanero shrub.
Need a final nudge to visit? Proceeds from the restaurant go to support Project Limelight, a non-profit theatre arts program for East Vancouver kids. They also provide meals to the children at the rehearsal space, located next door. So go on and drink up… for the kids.
East of Main Cafe