The Fat Badger restaurant brings proper British pub grub to Vancouver

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      The team behind España restaurant has opened a second restaurant in the West End. Edward Perrow and Neil Taylor are the owners of The Fat Badger (1616 Alberni Street), which opened last week in the old Le Gavroche spot.

      While the focus at España is Spanish tapas, the emphasis at The Fat Badger is British pub food. Taylor, who is executive chef, hails from Berkshire, England, so the grub is authentic. A chalkboard menu is updated daily, and the offerings aren’t your typical chicken strips and burgers pub fare.

      Starters ($8 to $12) include sautéed black pudding—yes, that’s English for “blood sausage”—served with lentils, watercress, a soft-boiled egg, and mustard. There's also a house-made game terrine plated with fruity Cumberland sauce, gherkins, and toast.

      The main menu ($14 to $22) boasts a chicken and mushroom pie with mashed potatoes and buttered carrots, as well as steak and chips topped with Stilton cheese and port butter. Black pudding reappears on a plate with crispy pork belly, and colcannon (an Irish potato and cabbage dish), and vegetarians can try the leek, Cheddar, and thyme tart. Brit pub staples like beer-battered cod and chips—served with a side of mushy peas—ground the uncomplicated menu.

      With nine taps—all of which feature English, Irish, and Scottish beers—on site, The Fat Badger also offers a bar snacks menu ($4 to $10). A chip butty—the unapologetically British french-fry sandwich—might hit the spot for some diners, while others may prefer a Scotch egg (a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage and breadcrumbs) with their pint. In a nod to India’s influence on British food, Taylor has created a poutine-type dish made with chips, chicken tikka masala, and paneer curds.

      When I visited The Fat Badger on June 10, just five days after its opening, the restaurant was full and energetic. The room has barely a trace of its fine-dining past. Dark wood furniture and British racing-green banquette seating give the room a no-fuss feel. There’s music playing but not the blasting of TV screens typical of other Vancouver pubs. Perrow, who was formerly managing partner at Bins 941 and 942, leads front-of-house. Service is warm and friendly.

      If you save room for dessert—and you should, since there are four to choose from each night—go for the sticky toffee pudding. It’s topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and hot butterscotch sauce. The perfect ending to a short culinary trip across the Atlantic.



      Here we go again...

      Jun 12, 2014 at 7:09pm

      British food is SIMPLE AND CHEAP. Once again, another Vancouver chef takes something which doesn't even garner a mention anywhere else in the world, jacks the price, and tries to turn it into something posh and "cool."

      No thanks.


      Jul 10, 2014 at 7:29pm

      Mean people suck.


      Aug 23, 2014 at 7:53pm

      We really enjoyed the menu, service, beer. Thrilled to have such a fun place to dine just steps from home. Even with a full house, the service was quick, friendly, knowledgeable. Thanks and we will be back soon!

      Chris M

      Dec 4, 2014 at 2:41pm

      One of my favorite hangouts. The food is what pub food SHOULD be. Sure, it's not cheap, but you get what you pay for. If you want fish deep fried from frozen, by all means. This place however makes everything fresh and isn't afraid to put new and interesting things on the menu. The menu changes daily. PS. Sit at the Bar and James will take care of your every need.