The Rise of ramen poutine
South Granville’s new Asian fusion restaurant The Rise Eatery serves up playful takes on traditional dishes.
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When I first walked into The Rise Eatery on South Granville I was immediately aware that I had perhaps underdressed.
The sleek restaurant at 3121 Granville St. with grey walls and blue accents, architectural chairs and natural wood tables says fine dining. I relaxed when I looked at the menu and saw playful dishes at more reasonable casual fine dining prices.
I hate the using the term ‘Asian fusion’, but that it is what The Rise Eatery serves up. Items like ramen noodle poutine, pan fried paneer with ratatouille and tuna with lotus chips and mole sauce, are distinctly fusion – I’m not complaining.
I tried a few dishes, starting with The Routine ($11), which is essentially ramen noodle poutine, served with miso gravy, cubes of dried noodle, cheese curds, ginger, bonito flakes and kewpie mayonnaise (Japanese mayonnaise).
The dry ramen noodles reminded me of cracking open a bag of Mr. Noodles when I was a kid, throwing on the seasoning and eating them uncooked. They perhaps could have used more gravy to soften, but that being said the combination of miso gravy, cheese curds and pickled ginger was immediately gratifying. The bonito flakes, which curl when heated, added a fishiness to the dish and an extra layer of texture.
Speaking of texture, the Lo Hay Salad ($18) was a study in mouth feel. This salad is traditionally served at Chinese New Year and it is customary for everyone to get in on the salad and toss it high together. The mountainous salad is layered with beet and apricot dressing soaking the bottom of the plate, then layered with crisp vermicelli noodle, pickled ginger, carrot, onion, tomato daikon and sesame. Salmon lox are laid on the salad.
I’d recommend tossing this salad and then leaving it for a moment to allow the dressing to soften the noodles. The flavours were fresh and balanced with that hint of ginger burning at the end. The salmon was creamy and smooth compared to the noodles and raw veg, and juxtaposed nicely with the beet and apricot dressing.
Last, because I love to eat, I tried the Steak Your Claim ($23). This is steak and fries with a twist. The steak was cooked medium rare and tender with chimichurri gobbed on top. The chimichurri was lime focused and I would have loved the other herbs in this classic Argentine sauce to come through. I enjoyed the freshness of the chimichurri contrasted with the steak. It made a heavy meat taste light.
The Kennebec potato fries were mixed with sauteed onions, peppers and tomatoes. The dish paid homage to fajitas, but the twist came in the form of chinese donuts chopped in and the whole dish coated in a soy glaze, giving it a distinctly asian flare.
If I was going to grade the meal I would give The Routine top marks for creativity, the Lo Hey second place as a great share plate and the Steak Your Claim props for being approachable yet interesting.