Western Living Magazine
Protected: Work where it feels like home, say goodbye to the commute
The Ultimate Home Design Guide: Top Designer Tips for Every Room
You’re Invited: WL Design Talks With Trish Knight and Nicole Varga
5 Incredible New Wineries Have Hit the Okanagan
The Grape Escape for Wine Enthusiasts
The Gin of the Summer (and Fall, Winter, Spring) Is on Sale
Dark Skies in Utah: Chasing Cosmic Connection on the Road
Cycling the Emerald Isle: A Windy Adventure on Ireland’s Greenway
Glamping Utah: Adventure Has Never Felt So Good
Trending Now: 10 New Furniture and Homewares for Fall 2023
Paint Trends 2024: No One Can Agree on the Colour of the Year
Discover California Closets – BC
Q&A: Meet the Texas-Based Contemporary Artist Dan Lam
5 Reasons to Enter the WL Design 25
Introducing Western Living’s 2023 Designers of the Year Award Winners
When everyone was telling him to play it safe, Joël Watanabe decided to gamble with an Italian-Japanese hybrid restaurant.
Owner/Chef, Kissa Tanto, Vancouver
At first blush it sounds like the worst elevator pitch ever. A chef who made his name with an updated take on Shanghainese/Taiwanese food (Bao Bei) decides that for his new venture he wants to fuse—wait for it—Italian and Japanese cuisine, give it a nonsensical name, locate it in a still-transitional part of town and charge downtown prices. Um, hard pass. But it’s a testament to Joël Watanabe’s vision that when everyone was probably telling him to do Bao Bei 2.0, he and partner Tannis Ling went the passionate route, transforming a derelict second-floor room on East Pender into an elegant take on jazz-age cool and creating a menu that walks an exacting tightrope between two cuisines that heretofore were not thought to be natural partners. If there’s anyone else on the planet combining Snake River Farms Wagyu, pearl onion petals, salt, charred scallion sauce, Parmesan, arima sansho, fresh herbs and gnocco fritto, it’d be a miracle. But under Watanabe’s eye it all seems like the most logical idea ever, and the praise—and the attendant crowds—started the moment the doors opened and haven’t stopped since.
JOËL WATANABE’S RECIPEPotato Tortellini
Are you over 18 years of age?