Located in Kitsilano, Fable Kitchen (@fablekitchen) is brought to you by Trevor Bird, a Top Chef season 2 contestant. He came up with the concept during the “Restaurant Wars” episode and named the restaurant “Fable” for its farm-to-table concept.
The restaurant has a casual and warm atmosphere with its exposed brick walls and wooden beams which matches its concept. The service is equally warm and friendly.
Even before arriving at the restaurant, I knew customer service was a top priority for them. I called in to make a reservation and talked to Kathy Schleyer, one of the owners of the restaurant. We chatted for a bit after she found out I was coming home to Vancouver for a short visit. The next day, she sent me an email saying that they had a party coming in after us and wondered if 2 hours was enough for my party. I said if it was possible, we’d like to stay a little longer. She was incredibly accommodating as she shuffled the tables around, told me not to worry and to “Please relax, enjoy & catch up with each other!” How nice!
Given the restaurant’s concept, it’s not surprising that their menu changes frequently with the seasons and whatever fresh and local ingredients are available. Price-wise, their appetizers are under $15 and mains range from $18 to $28.
The five us decided to share a number of appetizers and the first one that arrived was the Canned Tuna – “The best canned tuna” ($12). While the menu changes frequently, this signature dish has always been on the menu.
The “Canned Tuna” consisted of poached albacore tuna, lemon confit, olive oil and potato in a mason jar and a small spoonful of maldon salt on the side. Our server advised us to mix it all up before spreading it on the accompanying bread. I appreciated the cute presentation and interactiveness of the dish however, it was a touch too lemony for my liking. But I’d like to point out that the others at the table really enjoyed it – 2 people in my party said it was their favourite dish of the evening. To each, their own!
Another starter we shared was the Salmon Tartare which was one of the specials of the day. It came with a kimchi puree, spicy mayo, pea shoots and cilantro. I found my first bite to be a bit bland but soon realized that the kimchi puree wasn’t evenly distributed throughout the tartare. Trying it with the puree made a world of difference and gave the tartare a much needed flavour punch.
Another appetizer special we ordered was the Steak Tartare which was flavourful and well-seasoned. The tartare came with a side of house-made sour cream potato chips which were out of this world. I’d happily order a bowl of these on their own!
The last appetizer we ordered was the Pork Croquettes – with a gribiche caper sauce, yet another special of the day. These tasty little bites were well fried (not at all greasy) and the gribiche sauce was a nice addition to the croquettes.
For my entrée, I ordered the Duck Breast – with an apple puree, spatzle, summer veg and duck confit ($25) which was perfectly cooked. The meat was tender and the flavours of all the ingredients were spot on. Even the spatzle which sat underneath the duck was delicious – they had a nice bite to them and was perfectly seasoned. Despite how substantial the portion was, I had no problem licking my plate clean.
Mike’s eyes lit up when he saw that the Pemberton Pork Ribs – with Chilliwack corn and warba potatoes were one of the specials of the day. Needless to say, he’s a big rib fan. While the ribs weren’t fall-off-the-bone tender, they were still quite tasty with a delicious sauce which coated them.
My friend Dave ordered the Potato Crusted Chicken – with heirloom carrots, crispy onion and soubise sauce ($22). I rarely ever order chicken since I’m terrified of the meat being dry. The chicken at Fable Kitchen was cooked sous-vide which helped the meat retain its moisture. The meat was wonderfully juicy and the potato crust was nice and crispy. Dave commented that while the dish was a little boring, the meat was prepared perfectly.
My other 2 friends, Swin and Brad went with the Steak Frites – with triple cooked potatoes, mushroom and buttered spinach ($24) which was cooked to each person’s liking. I had a piece of steak and found it to be quite tender. I particularly loved the pepper cherry sauce that came with it. It had a nice sweetness which probably would’ve paired quite nicely with my duck as well.
The portions at Fable Kitchen are quite generous and by the time we finished our entrees, we were all pretty stuffed. I hate leaving a restaurant without dessert so the five of us shared the Lemon Meringue Parfait – with streusel and tarragon ice cream ($12).
No regrets! This was such a delicious dessert – a light meringue topping, crunch from the streusel, coolness from the ice cream and tartness from the lemon curd. Absolute perfection.
Delicious food, excellent service and wonderful company – a memorable evening at Fable Kitchen!
At a glance:
• Brought to you by Trevor Bird, a Top Chef season 2 contestant
• Located in Kitsilano on 4th ave
• Farm-to-table concept with a focus on local ingredients
• Casual, warm/friendly atmosphere; great service
• Appetizers are under $15; Entrees range from $18 to $28
• Open for dinner everyday from 5:30pm; lunch Mondays to Wednesdays from 11:30am; brunch on weekends
• Favourite dishes: duck breast and lemon meringue parfait
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 4.5 stars
• Atmosphere: 4 stars