Ancora Ambleside, West Vancouver.

April 2022

This second location of the excellent Japanese/Peruvian restaurant in Vancouver opened in 2019 across the street from the Ambleside waterfront. Viaggio Hospitality, Ancora’s owners, also have four hotels and some casual dining places in southern BC. No question Ancora is their class act among the Moda hotel at Seymour and Smithe downtown and the Waldorf out on East Hastings, both budget addresses.

Peruvian Chef Ricardo Valverde has worked and studied in some very good Canadian eateries and his taste and style shows. The room has the same smooth sophistication we’ve enjoyed at the original restaurant, formerly “C”, where inside or on the patio you are a short stone’s throw from yachts floating in False Creek.

We booked an early lunch at Ambleside and found the staff young and (especially the male waiter) relaxed, an easy mix of familiarity and respect, a long way from the entitled talking-across table conversation in a lot of new restaurants. We were told anything on the wine menu would be delicious and our choice of a riesling (I can’t remember the producer and the wine list isn’t online) worked well with our seafood.

We shared a mixed ceviche of mussels, scallops, shrimp, crispy squid, seaweed, and yam, fresh, cool, variable in consistency and lightly dressed. Next was a taco (not on the online menu I don’t think) with a variety of ingredients, again great seafood and an appetizing presentation. Our lunch was reasonably priced and the whole experience first rate.

We noticed that a Thierry (their third location, there’s another in Mount Pleasant) is set to open next door, which makes that block of Bellevue look like prime food real estate. That’s not going to cause us to move to the expensive glitzy Ambleside neighbourhood but could prompt an occasional stop-off on the way to the Coast or Vancouver for some delicious seafood and a relaxing classy experience.

Food 9.1 service 9.2 ambience 9.0 value 8.8 peace and quiet 9.0 (but noise could amp up in the evening)

About John Sloan

John Sloan is a senior academic physician in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and has spent most of his 40 years' practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He is the author of "A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly", published in 2009 by Greystone Books. His innovative primary care practice for the frail elderly has been adopted by Vancouver Coastal Health and is expanding. Dr. Sloan lectures throughout North America on care of the elderly.
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