Last week I had the opportunity to attend the grand opening of Popina Canteen located on Granville Island.
Popina Canteen operates out of brightly coloured repurposed shipping containers and is the result of a collaboration between four of Vancouver’s best chefs: Angus An (Maenam), Rob Belcham (Campagnolo), Hamid Salimian and Joel Watanabe (Kissa Tanto).
Because this was a media event the plating is different from what you would receive if you were a regular diner. I’ve included the prices for reference, but the portion size will be different than what I sampled.
What we ate: Seafood Tray for Two – whole lobster or whole dungeness crab, pink scallops, shrimp ceviche, tuna crudo served with all four sauces (ponzu sauce, cocktail sauce, nahm jim seafood sauce, smoked paprika aioli) ($120.00)
Yes, a seafood platter for 2 will set you back $120 ($180 for 4). Price aside, the seafood was fresh and delicious. I ate the seafood as it was without the sauces, and in doing so I was able to fully appreciate the sweetness of the crab meat.
What we ate: House Made Falafel Sandwich ($12)
This was absolutely delicious. I didn’t have high hopes for this, but one bite and I was sold! The green-chickpea falafel with sumac and mint was an explosion of flavour. It went well with the soft bun and creamy dressing.
In addition to the Falafel sandwich I also got to sample the Grass Fed BC Beef Cheeseburger ($12.00), and it was so good I didn’t even have a chance to take a photo! This cheeseburger was very unassuming when it arrived, but all the components were done so well and worked perfectly together. It’s on the smaller side for a burger in my opinion, but the quality more than makes up for it.
What we ate: East Coast Lobster Roll ($26.00)
This was one good lobster roll and a definite crowd favourite! For me personally I prefer the one at Lobster Foods (as I’m not a fan of celery), but the bread was very soft and fluffy!
What we ate: Puffcream – soft serve ice cream served in a cream puff (Salted caramel)
Touted as the first of it’s kind “Puffcream” is specialty cream puffs filled with soft serve and topped with a variety of rotating toppings. As delicious as this was on a hot summer day, it was essentially vanilla soft-serve ice cream served in a stale cream puff. Of the two flavours offered, I preferred the salted caramel one because the sweetness of the caramel counterbalanced the relative heavy milky taste of the soft-serve.
What we ate: Puffcream – soft serve ice cream served in a cream puff (Freeze dried blueberry)
The blueberry offered an interesting textural contrast to the smooth soft-serve but didn’t offer much in terms of flavour.
Overall I really enjoyed my experience at Popina Canteen, and I’ll definitely be back to try with my friends!