AnnaLena

SHAKE THAT THING MISS ANNALENA
VIBE

I had a feeling I was going to like this Kitsilano joint as soon as I walked in. Decorated with childhood memorabilia (items made of Lego, Gameboy replicas made of concrete and other awesome shit), it was like walking into a [cool] friend’s condo. There wasn’t an empty seat in the place, and you could just tell that everyone was there to have a good time. I guess you could describe it as a reverse-mullet — party in the front, business in the back — ’cause when your food comes out, girrrl, you KNOW they ain’t fuckin’ around!  Definitely one of my favourite restaurants of the year.

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TASTE

What I enjoyed most about the food here is that the flavours were so pronounced, you really did taste everything that was listed as being in the dish.   Any dressings or sauces used for any given dish served a purpose and were not just there to simply be there.  The oysters were refreshing with the apple, but perfectly contrasted with the richness of the shaved foie gras.  The chicken was fried beautifully and paired with a deliciously creamy sesame dashi mayo.  Both preparations of duck were moist and wonderfully finished.  The lamb neck was slowly cooked to tender perfection.  The chocolate covered chicken skins had me wondering why I hadn’t come up with the idea myself — the perfect combination of salty and sweet!

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oyster (compressed apple, jalapeno mignonette, shaved foie gras)
PRESENTATION

The plating was a combination of  traditional style and the more trendy ‘negative space’ aesthetic, both of which I found stunning.  The one thing that may not have looked attractive was the chocolate covered chicken skins, but I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to make that look pretty.  I think I even remember laughing when I took a picture because they looked like a dish of doodoo.

PORTION

We were told from the beginning that the menu was composed of sharing plates, and normally when that is the case, we end up ordering a lot more food than expected because the portions tend to be too small.  The portions here were generous and didn’t leave us wanting more (a.k.a. late-night McDonald’s).

PRICE

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually think this menu is underpriced!  I’ve paid a lot more money for a lot less [and not nearly as tasty] food in Toronto.   I would have been happy to pay more, but for your sake, let’s hope the restaurant doesn’t get wind of what I just said!

SERVICE

Our server was amazing!  She was very passionate about the menu and knew a lot about food.  She gave us a bit of history on the restaurant and gave us a rundown on the menu, pointing out that it was listed in order of price and size of dish.  She was also more than happy to provide us with suggestions, all with a smile.  And I’m sure Andrew developed a little crush on her (not that he actually said so, I just know how he thinks…plus I kinda did too).


WEBSITE

http://www.annalena.ca/

ADDRESS

1809 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6J 5B8

HOURS

Tuesday – Sunday:  5:00 PM – late

RESERVATIONS

Yes

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