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The Michelin-recommended restaurant is doing vegetables spectacularly.
I’d love to say that I knew Vancouver’s Folke restaurant was going to get a nod from Michelin before the news dropped last week—but I did not. I did, however, already have a reservation. It was a coincidence. I pitched the place for a vegan friend’s birthday dinner since I’d heard good things (Folke earned silver in the Best New category of our 2023 Restaurant Awards) and it’s in our neighbourhood.
So the restaurant happened to be abuzz with Michelin-recommended glow when our party of three sat down on the patio Monday night. The service was warm and friendly, and the room (and outdoor space) was buzzing. One member of our party has charmingly intense dietary restrictions, and our server double-checked all the menu items with the chef to ensure we were ordering safely, which was very kind.
We ordered the beets ($24), kohlrabi ($28), chilled ramen salad ($29), tapioca dumplings ($20) and zucchini ($26). The beets were presented beautifully and served with gnocco fritto, an insanely delicious cracker. The chilled ramen salad was refreshing but filling, garlicky and umami-i and rich without being heavy. I’d never had kohlrabi before. It’s also called German turnip or turnip cabbage—two less-than-sexy vegetables, if you ask me—but this was a fabulous introduction: Folke did it with kimchi and chrysanthemum, for a tart but cozy bite.
The tapioca dumplings weren’t my jam. I might be a bit of a purist in that category: it’s hard to do dumplings better than they’ve been done for thousands of years. The filling was good, but the slippery outsides left something to be desired (namely, friction, as we tried in vain to stab them onto our forks).
Then, there was the zucchini. The perfectly scored and seared pieces were served atop a yellow curry that was light but comforting, and had a bit of heat (not too much for my spice-intolerant buddy—no specific restrictions, she’s just clinically white). The texture of the zucchini itself was incredible. It felt like backyard BBQ meets vegan artistry: the presentation was elevated but friendly, the ingredients simple and bright.
It’s not often that the best thing I ate all week is something so… healthy (fried chicken and ice cream have been featured in my last two columns) but this lovingly charred veggie easily took the prize. Another surprise? Folke doesn’t accept tips—”We all get paid properly,” our server quipped.
Zucchini from Folke
2585 W Broadway