Folke in Vancouver takes the number seven spot on the Top 10 list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2023.
When the “tartare” arrives, my friend Natasha, who has been a vegetarian since she was a kid, isn’t sure how to eat it. The beets, roasted, smoked and dehydrated with shiso and hazelnut, are served with golden gnocco fritto, so I show her how to use the fried dough as crunchy scoops. (All of this deliciousness and a teachable moment, too!)
In the hands of co–owner and chef Colin Uyeda, Folke’s vegan food is for anyone who enjoys gorgeous, inventive and extremely delicious food that happens to be plant–based. To that point, Uyeda, who has worked at former enRoute Top 10–listers Kissa Tanto and Pilgrimme, is not vegan himself.
Chunks of roasted yellow zucchini surround a curry with chili crunch, fresh Thai herbs and fig leaf powder, served with a warm rye flatbread stuffed with nine grains (are vegan porridge buns the new sourdough?). There are new potatoes with favas and yuzu, and kohlrabi with kimchi and chrysanthemum. Salty, sweet, umami, heat.
Our server is so enthusiastic when describing the desserts that we wonder if she made them. Turns out she did. Co–owner and pastry chef Pricilla Deo truly bakes a magnificent chocolate cake, layered with mousse, strawberry gelée, Earl Grey custard and fudge crunch using no heavy olive oils or coconut creams. I see a lot more cake and tartare in Tash’s future.