The Pacific Northwest’s bounty is one that’s varied, plentiful and one to be celebrated. And that’s exactly what Chef David Gunawan is renowned for: celebrating it.
Vancouver locals are likely already familiar with his award-winning restaurant Farmer’s Apprentice and his natural wine bar Grapes & Soda.
His newest venture, Royal Dinette, is a beautiful addition to his repertoire, created in partnership with the Donnelly Group.
Royal Dinette's fish dishes delight — Photo courtesy of Natasha John
Located in downtown Vancouver’s Financial District at 905 Dumsmuir St. (at the corner of Hornby Street), Royal Dinette is unique in that it’s the only restaurant in the area that’s truly built on farm-to-table cuisine.
Diners can feel good about supporting local farms and producers while tucking into Gunwan’s head-turning dishes. Not only are the flavors and textures right on the mark, but the presentation is also gorgeous, and the passion from the kitchen is palpable.
Joining David Gunawan in the kitchen is Head Chef Jack Chen, who brings experience from L’Abattoir and Farmer’s Apprentice with him.
The farm-to-table concept offers guests a transparency: they can know where their food is coming from. And the open-concept kitchen echoes that sentiment, as diners can check out the action and see what’s going on in the kitchen.
They make their own fresh pasta in-house and also boast a butchery and pastry station.
The atmosphere is informal, and the service is excellent, making for a perfect date night or casual night with friends. With Jonathan Therrien and Chen-Wei Lee leading the front-of-house staff, you’re in good (and very experienced) hands.
The décor is a balanced blend of chic touches like marble, upholstered seating and light tile that are combined with more rustic elements like reclaimed, whitewashed cedar planks; jars of preserves on display; and a butcher block.
The menu's seasonally driven, with small plates perfect for snacking and à la carte options that cover all the bases with plenty of vegetable options, a couple fish options and a meat option.
If you’ve got the appetite, exploring the tasting menu (with an optional drink paring) is a solid choice and an awesome way to try a few different dishes. That being said, the small plates and à la carte options are great for sharing.
Complete your meal with one of Wendy McGuinness’ amazing and creative cocktails. And, if you happen to make it in between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., then make sure to take advantage of their happy hour, with bubbles on tap and classic vermouth- and pastis-based cocktails on special for $6.
If you prefer beer and wine over cocktails, Royal Dinette has a lovely selection of local wine and craft beer, too.
Join Royal Dinette for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., or for dinner and drinks Monday through Saturday.