Guys – if you’re looking for an aesthetically pleasing (we mean IG worthy) spot to grab either appys, drinks or dinner out in the burbs (of the Greater Vancouver Area) Haven is IT.
Now look here – let’s just get this out of the way. We aren’t food critics (unless ginger somehow wound up onto our plates) or our rice bowl ends up with a lone blonde hair that very obviously doesn’t belong to us. We rarely cook for ourselves although we both have the skills to do so (Jennifer maybe a little more so) & we really aren’t picky when it comes to the menu so long as they have dirty fries for Jasmine and vegetarian options for Jennifer. Basic. We basic. We love anything that we think tastes good, and we love hidden gems and bougie eateries but – we basic. Just keep that in mind.
We heard of Haven through the grapevine (social media, duh) and Jennifer didn’t have the need for any further details after hearing “super aesthetic.” We both live out in the burbs and although we love the hot spots in the city, we don’t always love having to make the trek out. Enter Haven. Self described “modern casual dining with a global, adventurous approach.” “Proudly independent, quirky, and too loud for your grandma.” Kinda love it for us, kinda hate it for all the grandmas. Oh, who are we kidding, sometimes it all gets a little too loud for us too. Anyways, we went on a date to check it out for ourselves & to see whether it earned its hype.
A M B I E N C E
We both decided to go during one of the coldest weeks we’ve experienced for years and you better believe we left our tees and sweatpants at home (waiting for us yearnfully). It was nice to see a firepit with adequate seating out front (although no one was really mingling about because – pandemic). And they have a couple of tasteful chairs in which one would want to plop into for a snap or two, so they immediately satisfy your thirst (we’re all thirsty, don’t act like you’re not) for that IG trap you’re envisioning.
The main room is pretty grand, there’s a few roomy booths for larger parties sprinkled in with (in our opinion) the not so favorable high tops. The bar is beyond any doubt the piece de resistance. It’s huge with all the fanfare you would expect from a spot that touts an artful and creative atmosphere for their patrons. See for yourself in the pics below. We apologize, it’s rough trying to get a professional shot of a neon sign on your smart phone. The overall decor seems to be a mix of Old Hollywood and Boho chic. It was slightly reminiscent of the decor @ the Beverly Hills Hotel in – you guessed it – LA. Palm fronds, traditional molding, neon, & gilded artwork in somewhat subdued surroundings. Loved it.
Haven made use of the walkway to the restrooms to their advantage – and yours as well. There’s a beautiful veil of flora draped from the ceiling but not the kind of vibe you’d find at a baby shower. Think neon, think pulsating, think luminous. The restrooms are also single detached rooms – thank you lord, hallelujah – every restroom everywhere needs to mimic this design. Not sure how us women will drunkenly form night-long friendships with the first girl whose shoes we love – but we’ll have to find some other way.
The second level is where we were sat. We loved the decor, the atmosphere (albeit a tad loud. Yes we’re both in our 30’s, yes we blast music at it’s max level while driving, yes we still somehow have earbuds rivaling that of a 1 year old). There was plenty of seating @ the 2nd level and there were groups, two tops etc. but we were still able to carry on with our clearly scandalous conversation that we didn’t want anyone to eavesdrop on.
F O O D
We’re not going to type out the entire menu here – you’re actually welcome buuut we will highlight the food we shared which happened to consist entirely of appetizers (they all sounded so good that we had to be greedy and try them all). Everything was priced accordingly to their portion size which we felt was on the loftier side. Our eyes are usually bigger than our stomachs but we saved our appetites that specific day so we were completely aghast that we had leftovers.
In true fashion, we had to try a few of the cocktails because they sounded incredible. We were beyond satisfied. Again, we aren’t hard to please but they were all so dang good (and appropriately priced). Photos of what we imbibed in below, details on Haven’s website.
Miso Truffle Fries
Miso mayo, roasted garlic, parmesan, chives, truffle powder
We’ve crowned ourselves the ultimate fry connoisseurs. Is any meal complete without fries? Not in our world! This was literally the most massive order of fries, the two of us couldn’t even make a dent in it and trust, we were starving. The truffle powder and parmesan really elevated these and took them from basic to Haven (see what we did there?) They were just so good!
Sweet Potato Hummus
Cashew dukkah spiced flatbread, chili oil, fried chickpeas, pea sprouts
Mmmhmm this hummus was everything! It was a burst of flavor with delicious chickpeas throughout. Instead of pita there was this scrumptious flatbread that was spiced to perfection. Hummus is readily available at the grocery store so the extra touches amplified this easy to buy dish and made it worthy of being a stand alone dish that will be devoured in the future.
Japanese mayo, teriyaki sauce, togarashi, scallions, sesame seeds
This may have been Jennifer’s favorite dish! Deep fried cauliflower has become hugely popular but it’s often a miss and not a hit. The cauliflower was fried to perfection. It had this perfectly crisp shell and wasn’t soggy at all. And that sauce! It was divine. We don’t know if it was the Japanese twist on this but it was a mouth watering medley of Japanese mayo, teriyaki sauce, togarshi (is this what makes it so good?) and sesame seeds.
Overall ladies and gents, we loved our experience and can’t wait to go again. We were so stuffed by the appetizers that we didn’t even make it to trying out any of the mains. Nothing like elevated bar food with next level drinks! Jennifer would like to note here that Jasmine had greens for the first time, in cocktail form. Guess that’s what it takes.
The service was great – the host offered to take our pics out in the lobby which is a popular backdrop (and saved us from looking like amateurs with our mini tripod). Our server was friendly, informative and was kind enough to ask about our blog and IG handle. We can’t wait to go back – both of us were practically salivating while typing up this post so it’ll most likely be sooner than later. We were also really happy with the ambience because out in the burbs there are a lot more chains than independent eateries. It brought a little Vancouver vibe out to suburbia and that, our friends, is just what suburbia needed.
Check em out: Haven Kitchen & Bar