The inviting way Farmer’s Apprentice greets you from the street as you’re strolling down West 6th is similar to the sight of a quaint country B&B after a long drive in No Man’s Land. With rustic picnic benches lining a sliver of patio and a narrow entrance into a snug 30-seat space, one would never guess this little warrior to be a champion of all the land. Recently dubbed Restaurant of the Year by Vancouver Magazine’s 25th Annual Restaurant Awards, this unassuming neighbourhood nook proved to be a formidable opponent amongst the myriad of new crop-ups to hit Vancouver in 2013.
The ever-evolving menu echoes a fine-tuned simplicity, perfectly pairing fresh, local ingredients with the skilled, inventive execution of Chef David Gunawan. Rooted in the name, Farmer’s Apprentice’s entire philosophy stems from the farmer himself. With only seasonal produce at the doorstep every week, selected from the farmers’ best crops, Chef Gunawan continues to reinvent the wheel.
The mid-May menu shined from first glance to first taste. We were enthralled by the textures on our tongues from a velvety poached egg leaking decadently over snappy green asparagus and young, crispy pea shoots. Sweet gem oysters swam in creamy hazelnut buttermilk sauce with hints of bright, zesty watercress. Angus beef rib eye was grilled to a perfect pink, surrounded by a garden of fresh fiddleheads and wild greens layered in smoky, charred kale vinaigrette and aromatic thyme jus.
Each bite was well balanced, with Chef Gunawan presenting flavours and textures that complimented each other with such ease and grace on the plate. We sipped on equally impressive, and colourful, custom-made cocktails (try their Kombucha concoctions). The entire experience was well orchestrated by the passionate staff behind this endearing establishment. Unpretentious, with a quiet confidence in its unique dishes that highlight the beauty of Vancouver’s local produce, Farmer’s Apprentice continues to lead the game undefeated.
Have you feasted at Farmer’s Apprentice yet? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.