!Since the original posting of this article, Gastropod has closed and been replaced by Thai restaurant: Maenam under the same owner and chef.


The multiple award winning Gastropod is located on the trendy West 4th corridor. I’ve famously made a conscious effort to avoid reviews on trendy hotspots. This is primarily because the usual local rags have likely already fawned over them ad nauseum.

This weekend, however, was a special occasion, so I thought it only appropriate to take Case out to somewhere a little more special; somewhere with matching silverware, clean dishes and re-usable table napkins. I jest. Really.


With dozens of awards and rave reviews under its belt, we were looking for a night of pure… well, gastronomy. We expected nothing less from a restaurant that confidently dubbed itself Gastropod.

We happened to be dining during Vancouver’s notorious Dine Out event. At the front, our hostess confirmed our reservation and promptly seated us. Gastropod is a relatively small restaurant, and at 7:30 in the evening, its modest dining room was already beginning to fill quickly.

The first thing we notice is the service is quick, friendly and attentive. Our server checks on us often; just often enough for us to know that she cared, but not so often as to prove a nuisance. I especially find aggravating servers that check in every two seconds to see how the meal is tasting. How about you let me chew this food that is firmly wedged between my teeth first, douchebag, then I’ll let you know.

I started with the Sweet Onion Veloute, Chef An’s modern take on the classic French Onion soup which was delicate in flavour and had a velvet texture. A surprisingly subtle and crispy, deep-fried sweetbread topped off the Veloute. Case started with the Organic Green Salad, which was perfectly tossed with a refreshing lemon dressing. Hints of Chef An’s Taiwanese heritage was evident in the accompanying thin slices of pickled radish and melon, which added the perfect amount of crunch and tartness to the salad.

We were pleasantly surprised by the wit and humour demonstrated by the serving staff. When our mains were brought out, our server remarked that this evening, our purchase of fine silverware came with a bonus 36 Hour Pork Shoulder. Okay, so it wasn’t exactly Eddie Murphy’s Delirious, but it’s a nice change from the the sullen, sunken-eye, soulless pods (no pun intended) that normally serve our meals.

The pork shoulder was extremely tender on the inside with a slightly crispy crust. The hollandaise foam was the perfect sauce for this dish, which could have been easily overpowered by something heavier. Our only critique is the pork wasn’t seasoned evenly and parts were drier than expected.


I finished the evening with the Chocolate Fondant–a moist chocolate cake with a molten chocolate core served with a raspberry sorbet. Case hesitated initially, but eventually ordered the Goat Cheesecake which is served with a Pink lady apple sorbet. Although unusual, the Goat Cheescake was surprisingly tasty. The apple sorbet’s tartness was a necessary accent to the distinct goat cheese flavour.

The whole experience came in at just under $130 for the two of us. The service was top-notch; the meal was good — but didn’t blow our minds. It did, however, get us thinking about our next visit.

The Details

1938 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Gastropod on Urbanspoon

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