Whether you’re at a Four Seasons in Boston, Budapest, Beirut or Taipei, you know that you will be wading in a pool of luxury during your stay. Vancouver’s Four Seasons is no exception and is a popular hotel choice amongst discerning visitors. The Four Seasons is nestled right in the heart of downtown Vancouver, which makes its location ideal for those who would like to enjoy all of the vibrant city’s activities; dining out, shopping, dancing, sight-seeing and people watching are all within arm’s reach. If you’re looking for a little pampering while you’re in Vancouver, the Four Seasons is a solid choice.
Today’s Vancouver concierge picks come from Shingo, the Food & Beverage Assistant Manager over at the Four Seasons. Born in BC, Shingo has got his finger firmly on the pulse of what to do, where to go and what to eat in Vancouver. If you’re into eating, you will certainly appreciate Shingo’s recommendations; food and exceptional service are like air to this guy.
How would you describe Vancouver to someone that has not been here before?
It’s a mid-sized city with a very large park. It’s great in the summer for picnics on the beach, and just as lovely in the winter on the slopes of the North Shore Mountains and Whistler. The ethnic diversity plays out in interesting neighborhoods all over town.
Your guest is in town for the weekend, what are the top three things they should do to really get a good idea of what Vancouver is all about?
1) Rent bikes and ride the entire seawall, be sure to check out the Olympic Flame, on your way to Stanley Park.
2) Hike up Grouse Mountain, catch the view of the city and take the gondola ride down. But, make sure to wear proper shoes.
3) Restaurant hop in Gastown and take in all the history and modernization.
Apart from Yew, where else would you suggest your guests go for dinner?
Hands down Boneta! Chef Jeremie Bastien really makes a great carpaccio and calamari two ways. I can’t get enough of their cocktails; in fact I had their entire list in one sitting…
Favorite breakfast spot in the city?
It depends on my mood and the weather I suppose. Medina is always a sure choice even though there’s sometimes an hour wait, but the food is really worth it. Twisted Fork is an alternative; more rustic and their drinks sure pack a punch. Generally I love small, independent restaurants, but on a sunny summer’s day I can’t get enough of the Chicken Hash from Yaletown’s Milestones.
The night is closing in, but that’s just when your dancing shoes come out – where should those shoes go to get down?
My dancing shoes may be taking a little breather, but 560 Club on Seymour Street is worth putting them back on for! It’s got five bars and a mega restroom with speakers in each stall so you won’t skip a beat when nature calls.
What is your favorite thing (cocktail and food) on the menu at YEW? *YEW is the Four Seasons lounge and dining room*
My favorite cocktail is no longer on the menu, but you can still order it. It’s called the Feng-Shui and has flavours of lychee and grapefruit. The banana dessert is my favorite sweet on the menu; it’s a three-layer cake made of milk chocolate mousse for the bottom and top, while the middle layer is made up of caramelized bananas and roasted peanut gelato. Yum!
Are there any hidden gems that we should know about and check out?
Boulangerie Cho Pain which is a French bakery on Davie Street. They have the best chocolate almond croissants in the city, and they usually sell out by noon! The sugar buns from Giovane near the convention centre are filled with light vanilla cream and they are simply delightful! Just watch out for the burst of cream when you bite into it and have a napkin on hand!
What’s NEW with YEW?
We are just launching our brunch menu every Saturdays and Sundays that includes a three-course menu for $27; yes dessert is included! We are also continuing our Wine Down Sundays promotion, which is 50% off every bottle on the entire wine list. And yes, you may have 50% off champagne bottles with your brunch – how luxurious! Our breakfast buffet (the best in the city) is back for the summer, so come hungry! We are also continuing Diva Fridays, so all the divas (guys or girls) wearing pink gets a complimentary appetizer. We also added dessert tapas to our lunch menu and Industry Night every Tuesday.
What are some food items you cannot live without?
Canoe’s Lobster Clubhouse with cumbrae ham and tomato chutney on brioche; Toronto
Voya’s Wild Mushroom Mac n’ Cheese; Vancouver
Pane Bianco’s Housemade Mozzarella, Local Heirloom Tomato & Basil Sandwich; Phoenix
CommeCa’s Roasted Beef Marrow & Oxtail Jam; West Hollywood
Mother Dumpling’s Dumplings; Toronto
In-n-Out’s Double Double – Animal Style; USA
What do you like most about your job?
Making people, including coworkers and guests, feel the same excitement I do when dining. That could be through product knowledge, a different perspective on a situation, a compliment, whatever it is. There’s nothing better than having a guest walk-in, and you tell that the world doesn’t understand them and they have had the worst day, but just give them some attention or serving them the best food or drink to turn their day around, is the best job sanctification I could ever have.
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Twitter: @ FSVancouver