Dine Out Vancouver – Raincity Grill

The Wine Keeps Getting More Expensive!


I know many of you just had dinner so I figure this would be a great time to post my newest Dine Out Vancouver experience. It will make you either more hungry or more upset because your dinner may not be as good as the one I had. You can blame my evil side for posting the dinner right after dinnertime. πŸ˜€

Raincity Grill is a restaurant I have wanted to dine at for a long time. I had extremely high expectation for Raincity Grill because Harry Kambolis owns it. Mr. Kambolis is also the owner of the awarding winning C and Nu restaurant. Raincity Grill was one of the first restaurants in Vancouver to take advantage of local ingredients and produce and in doing so helped define Pacific Northwest cuisine. Open since 1992, Raincity Grill has become a fixture in the West End, capturing the essence of Vancouver in food, wine and atmosphere. The restaurant offers a great view of English Bay but as luck would have it, a fog had descended to block our view of the water.

Raincity offered two Dine Out menus, the normal three-course $35 menu and a special four-course $45 coastal seafood-tasting menu. As tempted as I was to try the four-course menu, we stuck with the normal three-course offering so we can better compare all the restaurants in our Dine Out list. Raincity had the most expensive wine pairing yet: $32.50 on top of the $35.00 Dine Out price. The price is justified because Raincity has one of the best Sommelier in the city.

Organic Mushroom Ravioli


This was Sarah’s starter, an organic mushroom “ravioli” with purple kale, garlic cream. Sarah absolutely loved this dish. We’re not exactly sure why the chef called it a ravioli (other than the pasta sheet) however. If you love mushrooms, you would have found heaven with this dish.

Smoked Skeena River Salmon


For my starter, I had smoked salmon with side striped shrimp and celery root salad. It was paired with a glass of Chenin Blanc from Inniskillin. This was one of the best smoked salmon I ever had and the wire matched perfectly with it. The presentation, with its all glass plate, was also nicely done.

Beef Striploin


My main course was the beef striploin, cooked medium rare, with sunroot bread pudding, roasted beets, and wild mushroom jus. The Sommelier paired it with a glass of Inniskillin, Cabernet Sauvignon. When you bite into this striploin, the first word out of your mouth will be, “Wow!” Then when you try it with the wine, you’ll get another wow out of your mouth. My only problem with the dish was the portion – just three small pieces of meat that can be consumed in 10 bites. The veggies on the side took up more space than the beef. The presentation was fantastic however. The chef made the striploin look bigger than it really is.

Wild Skeena River Salmon


Once again, Sarah stuck with the fish for her main course. The wild salmon was cooked with confit potato, cipollini onion caramel and green beans. This was as perfect a salmon dish as you’re ever going to get. Normally, I like my salmon smoked or raw, but the cooked version Raincity did was just exceptional.

Bittersweet Chocolate Terrine


My dessert had a misleading name – there was nothing bitter about it. The terrine was paired with a Jackson-Tiggs Riesling icewine that accounted for $14 of the $32.50 wine pairing cost. You see the picture of me at the top of this post? That is what $14 of icewine looks like. Luckily, the wine was a perfect match for the dessert. You can’t consume the wine by itself, it’s just way too sweet. Pair it with the terrine and it becomes just right.

Fraser Valley Honey Custard


Sarah’s custard was served with a hazelnut biscuits that was good for dipping. The custard tasted like a CrΓ¨me BrulΓ©e but without the sugar crust. Sarah found the sweetness just right for her taste.

Overall, we were extremely pleased with our Raincity Dine Out experience. It was every bit as good as the experience from The Observatory. The only thing that could have made it better would be to have no fog block our view of English Bay.

Dinner for Sarah and I came to $125.00 plus $7.00 for valet parking. That makes Raincity the current most expensive Dine Out restaurant for two people. Despite that, Sarah and I will definitely go to Raincity Grill again. I give it 4.5 out of five stars.

Raincity Grill on Urbanspoon

32 thoughts on “Dine Out Vancouver – Raincity Grill”

  1. Alex Becker says:

    The beef and salmon looks delicious.
    Hey John just wondering, do people give you funny looks as you take pictures?

    1. John Chow says:

      No they didn’t. I think they were all looking at the guy with the Professional DSLR taking pics of his food. I just have a tiny Canon SD300. πŸ™‚

      1. Alex Becker says:

        save by the other guy. Nice

        1. Stephen says:

          I make my girlfriend take the pictures πŸ˜†

      2. Jane says:

        Has anyone ever hassled you for taking pictures of the food? I’ve been wondering that since I saw your first food post…

        1. John Chow says:

          Nope. Never. Not once. And even if it does happen, it wouldn’t stop me. πŸ˜€

    2. Michael Kwan says:

      I’ve always been a little hesitant to take pics at “classy” joints too, but I have since overcome that (at least a little). I’m still not brave enough to be using flash left and right, though. (but I am starting to bring my ultrazooming Canon S3 IS with me to take pics, not that the ultra zoom comes in all that handy at the dinner table)

  2. Gdog says:

    The smoked salmon looks awesome…very nice.

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      It looks like there is a LOT of salmon there… quite the contrast from the beef (if it is as deceiving as John says).

      And yes, John, you are evil. Now I want steak.

      1. Leftblank says:

        The best salmon is, you cold’ve guessed, a lot of salmon πŸ˜‰ Surely looks delicious, but so does the steak πŸ˜‰

        1. Nomar says:

          Salmon, hmm never had that before.

  3. Thomas Czaszynski says:

    Your blog has been giving me issues lately with the browser, first page the adsense tries to overlap and then no youtube video loads, all images have lines across. And im using a popular version of firefox (not the latest)

    hope it helps

    1. John Chow says:

      The problems should be fixed if you upgrade to the latest FireFox.

  4. Do you ever feel weird taking photos of your food? I tried to do it the other night when I went out to eat and I just couldnt do it.

    1. John Chow says:

      Why would I feel weird? Most high end restaurants may have a problem with you using your cell phone while dining, but I have never been in one that had a problem with camera.

      1. Stephen says:

        Even if he did, that’s what the wife is for!

  5. Joey (Remires) says:

    Do you eat out everyday?

    1. John Chow says:

      I used to. Now that I’m married, we do eat at home a bit more often.

  6. mmmm Beef Striploin looks sooooo good…im hungry

  7. Wes says:


    47 now in the agloco team for the John Chow upline who has good food, within past 5 days. Even though off topic, keep it going with the food!

  8. Marc says:

    Looks fabulous John. The presentation is very impressive.

  9. I’m going to stop reading your blog soon… you make me hungry every time I visit!

  10. Allen Young says:


    I’ve been following your blog for awhile, and enjoy the food updates. Vancouver is one of my favorite cities to visit, mainly because of the food. I will have to be in Vancouver for next year’s Dine out Vancouver. We have something similar in San francisco, but it looks like Vancouver is better.


  11. PixelHead says:

    Love the look of the look of the Ravioli, such detail. The deserts look scrumptious.

  12. Stephen says:

    What?? No Foie Gras! How dare they!

    1. Ali says:

      Hi John,

      Awesome site. I’m a firstimer and am looking to get a blog started soon… Will keep this site handy. BTW, good review. If they have a Mortons up there you should check it out. It will be the new most expensive resteraunt on your list.

      OC, California

  13. Nomar says:

    That looks delicious. What a meal, I am getting hungry right now !!

  14. Max says:

    Whether I’m full from a recent meal or not, your food posts ALWAYS make me hungry!

  15. Alex Becker says:

    Smoked salmon is delicious. To bad I haven’t had it in over a year. I should really eat some. NOW. Im hungry

  16. Jeff says:

    So this is the plan – I will make more money with y blog, so next year I can afford these dinners too. πŸ™‚

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