Despite being one of the most densely populated zones in Vancouver, there is a paucity of exciting restaurants in Kits that inspire a trip over the bridge. While there are a few neighbourhood standbys and a handful of Vancouver institutions, new restaurants often seem to struggle to find their niche. We doubt that the latest addition to the area – Nosh – will suffer a similar fate; the unassuming yet stylish eatery seems to have hit the mark with residents by serving up traditional comfort food with a contemporary twist. Mother and son owners Sandra and Tony Scott have created a warm, inviting atmosphere and chef John Ly has crafted a menu that offers a high-end take on classics such as braised shortrib and duck confit. Although Nosh has no pretense about being a fine dining establishment – meals are ordered at the till for dine-in and takeout – there is something quite enjoyable about eating high quality, beautifully prepared food in a casual environment. With a menu that changes seasonally to take advantage of local produce offerings and a wide selection of selections to take away, Nosh is destined to become a Kits staple.
Nosh’s winter menu features a diverse range of comfort food perfectly suited for these cold, rainy months. We headed over on a drizzly, Wednesday evening and sampled a number of items on offer as everything sounded extremely appetizing. The open-concept kitchen allows diners to witness their dishes being prepared and we were impressed with the professionalism of the kitchen staff, something unusual for a place that bills itself as a takeout joint. In addition to their standard fare listed on a large menu beside the till, Nosh has a number of daily specials, and we opted to try to the soup of the day – a sunchoke bisque with lemon and herb crème fraîche. It was thick and creamy while still allowing the fresh taste of the vegetable to remain palpable. For our next course we selected the grilled vegetable sandwich as well as the roasted lamb with crispy polenta. The sandwich was hearty and the bread thick and crusty, but the real highlight was the quinoa salad that accompanied it. With sizeable pieces of blood orange and beets, it was packed with flavour and the kumquat dressing added an intriguing fruity essence. We will definitely be back to sample some of their other salad offerings – the Asian winter salad with pear and crispy noodles caught our eye and has us clamouring to return. The lamb was expertly prepared; juicy and tender, it far exceeded our expectations though the portion was on the small side for the price point. We found Nosh’s desserts – many of which are adorably served in mason jars to facilitate easy transport home – too tempting to resist and we topped off our meal with the rustic apple pie. Resembling a homemade apple turn-over, it was perfectly seasoned and not too sweet – exactly how we like our desserts.
For diners who opt to eat in, Nosh offers a selection of very reasonably priced beers and wine on tap. We were delighted to discover our current favourite blend – Blasted Church’s Big Bang Theory – available and even more excited to find that it tastes as good on tap as it does from the bottle. While the vegetarian selection, especially for mains, is the restaurant’s weak point we hope that they will rectify this on upcoming menus. Overall we had an extremely pleasant dining experience that far surpassed what we would expect from a casual, takeout restaurant. The care and effort put into every dish at Nosh rivals some of Vancouver’s fine dining establishments, and we can’t wait to return to sample more of their delectable fare. The restaurant has successfully brought the gourmet-to-go concept popular in other cities like New York and Los Angeles to Vancouver, and is an excellent option when you crave something a little more decadent than what your corner sushi joint can provide.