When visiting a new city, it is often tempting to ask Where do the locals eat? But we think a better way to find extraordinary dining may be Where do the adventurous locals eat? With this in mind, we turned to our fave Okanagan local, Dena Barabash of Details Design Inc and she not only recommended Krafty Kitchen + Bar, she led them to set-up the patio!
The casual farm-to-table bistro has been a mainstay in the city’s Downtown district since it opened in 2014. An energetic team is led by Head Chef and Owner Chris Shaften, who is best known his appearance as a contestant on Top Chef Canada Season 3.
The wine list is the work of Sommelier/General Manager Mia Papadopoulos, who features wines from Synchromesh, Mission Hill, and Mt. Boucherie. Shaften and Papadopoulos do not just work together in the restaurant; they have also started a gourmet cuisine and premium wine tour company Free Range Tours. Customers can expect an exclusive tasting experience through the Okanagan, which features gourmet dish pairings and off-list wines.
But before becoming too enamoured with visions of dining in the Okanagan Valley, it is worth mentioning what makes a meal at Krafty so special is the bright and airy industrial-chic dining room, the expansive 40-seat brick-lined patio a short walk from the Downtown promenade, and the plantbased food!
We began with an amuse-bouche of chickpeas, avocado, and a tart sesame marinade that abruptly woke up the palate. Followed by a series of cocktails, just because, cocktails. An Orange Creamsicle, Strawberry Daiquiri, Adult Lemonade, and a Wildflower Old Fashioned. All crafted with top-shelf spirits, freshly squeezed juices, and house-made syrups.
Our meal was an intense kaleidoscope of flavours. Eggplant Poke (avocado, cashew tahini, sesame and soy vinaigrette with lettuce cups) was served with the General Tso Tofu (crispy fried tofu, deep-fried broccoli, red peppers and seasonal veg, Szechaun glaze).
Having never experienced broccoli lightly dusted and seriously deep-fried, I was leery, but wow, crispy dry broccoli is insanely delicious! Next was the Beet Carpaccio (ginger vinaigrette, tempura crisp, pickled carrots, dill, walnuts), light and refreshing but the superstar of the evening was the Charred Vegan Caesar served with a mountain of paprika tofu. A simple charred wedge of Romaine lettuce smothered in their signature Caesar dressing created with silken tofu, a generous amount of smoke, lemon, and other ingredients create a heavenly sauce that is so drinkable people have tried to order litres for take-away!
Krafty Kitchen + Bar is the best setting for Shaften’s Canadian dishes honed with his hard-earned French techniques. With the region’s extra-long outdoor dining season and great location, Krafty makes a case for being the go-to destination for a night out with your bubble family or friends. And of course, their menu makes you want to return again and again if only to sneak in the kitchen to abscond with the Caesar dressing recipe!
- Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, PORTFOLIOY.YVR Business & Entrepreneurs Magazine, and digital women's lifestyle magazine EcoLuxLifestyle.co. She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at [email protected].
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