Taste of Yaletown – Cactus Club Cafe

What better way to start a Taste of Yaletown than at the Cactus Club Cafe. The Cactus Club is a restaurant chain founded by Richie and Scotty. Both were in their early 20’s and working for Earl’s at the time. They pitched their idea of opening the Cactus Club to Earl’s founder. For whatever reason, Mr. Earl saw something in the two young boys and decided to invest in them.

Today, Cactus Club has 17 restaurants in BC and three in Alberta with more openings planned. The Yaletown Cactus Club is the most expensive Cactus Club to date, built at a cost of $6.9 million. Cactus Club is the new home of Iron Chef America champ Rob Feenie. Chef Feenie joined the Club after he was ousted from his Lumiere fine dining restaurant. Since taking on the position of Food Concept Architect, Chef Feenie has revamped and tweaked the Cactus menu to the point where it won Vancouver magazine’s Best Casual Dining Restaurant award for the first time (it beat out Earl’s).

Sarah and I went to Cactus Club right after Ideas on Tap. We were joined by Tim Sykes and Adarsh. Sarah ordered the 3-course Taste of Yaletown menu while the rest of us went with some of Feenie’s signature items.

Seasonal Greens

Cactus Club Cafe

Tim started with the seasonal greens. Made with grape tomatoes, roasted almonds, feta, seasonal berries and lemon-thyme vinaigrette. It looked very fresh and Tim said it was really good starter.

Crispy Dry Ribs

Cactus Club Cafe

I ordered a plate of dry ribs to share among the table. The ribs are tossed with sea salt and cracked pepper to give it a nice kick.

Tuna Tataki

Cactus Club Cafe

This was Sarah’s first Taste of Yaletown dish and it was awesome! Seared albacore tuna, green papaya slaw, orange, avocado, pine nuts and yuzu vinaigrette. Honestly, it was amazing. Make sure you try this if you go to the Cactus Club.

The Burger

Cactus Club Cafe

The Burger was known as the Feenie Burger back when Feenie owned Lumiere. It’s made with sautéed mushrooms, aged cheddar cheese, cured bacon, red pepper relish and served with yam fries.

BBQ Duck Clubhouse

Cactus Club Cafe

Tim and I went with Feenie’s signature BBQ duck clubhouse. Made with BBQ duck, pan seared chicken and prosciutto on pecan fruit bread, the BBQ duck is a clubhouse to die for. I had mine with a salad while Tim had his with yam fries.

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Cactus Club Cafe

This is the main course for the Taste of Yaletown menu. It’s made from truffle beurre blanc, amaretti, pine nuts and crispy sage. Chef Feenie has tweaked the Ravioli since I sampled it at the Taste of Yaletown gala. It tasted even more amazing now.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch bar

Cactus Club Cafe

This was the dessert that drove everyone wild at the Taste of Yaletown opening gala. It also shows that Chef Feenie listens to input from tasters. When we first tried the dessert at the gala, Ed Lau commented that it would be perfect if it was served with some ice cream. I’m very happy to report that the peanut butter crunch bar now comes with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce.

Dinner for four came to $150 with tax, drinks and tip. That is extremely reasonable for a restaurant with a chef at the caliber of Feenie. Not all Cactus Club Cafe serve the Rob Feenie signature items yet. If you find one that does, make sure you order them. You won’t be disappointed.

Cactus Club Cafe on Urbanspoon


31 thoughts on “Taste of Yaletown – Cactus Club Cafe”

  1. Ed Lau says:

    The second best dessert I’ve ever had. Second only to that Thomas Haas slow baked apple confit with granny smith apple sorbet. I have haunting dreams about that sorbet…

    1. Ryan McLean says:

      It must be a pretty good dessert to say that…
      I like baoffee pie…mmm so good

      1. i liked the Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch bar..it would be a great dessert..dam, i am hungry..

        1. That peanut butter crunch bar looks AMAZING dude! Yum, Yum. Wish I could taste it, wanna send some over JC? 😉

  2. Jesse Grant says:

    The Feenie Burger and BBQ Duck clubhouse look extemely tasty , damn this post I am now craving duck

  3. James Wilcox says:

    That peanut butter crunch bar looks incredible…how do you eat like this all the time John?

  4. Ryan McLean says:

    How much food do you actually eat?
    There is so much food that you ahve shown us

  5. thatwashot says:

    wow, I can’t say anything. I’m hungry.

  6. Ben Pei says:

    Yet another John Chow fine dining post that just makes me hungry..

    1. Keral Patel says:

      Yes this is 3rd time I felt the same way in last week.

      Moreover the picture quality and the detail it covers makes me more hungry.

  7. mymoen says:

    make me hungry… 🙁

  8. Rama Mohan says:

    Great blog! I have to learn so much from you

  9. yanjiaren says:

    I am in love with that butter squash ravioli and am chuffed at John’s recommendations for fine dining!

  10. eGruve.com says:

    Great selections and looks delicious

  11. All food look “Really Great”, make me really hungry now

  12. jobucks.com says:

    it looks very delicious john,

  13. Mike Huang says:

    For $150, this may be the cheapest “fine dining” experience you’ve had, John. Especially when it’s 4 people.

    -Mike

  14. Downloadic says:

    All of them seems delicious and they made me hungry lol

  15. rukawaw says:

    4 persons for only 150…equivalent to 1 person is around 30++,thats really cheap for that kind of foods, if in Malaysia, it could be easily charge for RM200++ or more.

  16. revenue says:

    JC you’re sure love to eat, as i said before i love this category …)

  17. Ann says:

    Hey John!The article was just mouth watery !! Nice pictures and your comments just add to it ;). How I wish to dine in there …. & the price tag also mentioned which just keeps us away from the embarrassment of inquiring. Hope you enjoyed your meal and that’s the reason you have posted it here :D.

  18. I’d have to pass on the seared, or more like raw, tuna. No thanks…

  19. The squash Raviolli looks like there are leaches on them!!!

  20. Shanita says:

    Hey John!The article was just mouth watery !! Real-life pictures and your comments just add up to the experience ;). How I wish to dine in there …. & the price is not too high either. Hope you really freaked out and that made you post it in here :D.

  21. CoolProducts says:

    Those dry ribs look amazing. God, I wish it was lunch time already.

  22. Downloadic says:

    The third one, which contains hamburger is nice!

  23. LotusJump says:

    Everything looks so good – I used to hate seared tuna but now I can’t get enough of it.

  24. This has to be one of the tastiest looking meals that you’ve ever posted about.

  25. Dfunda says:

    mmmmmm yummy might have enjoyed the food a lot

Comments are closed.