From the owner:
Liliget Feast House - the only First Nations fine dining restaurant of its kind is now closed. I have been in business for 12 years and I have now retired.
Both myself and my daughter, Annie, are happy that its legacy can live on in our new cookbook, "Where People Feast, An Indigenous People's Cookbook".
Liliget is self described as Canada's only First Nations fine dining restaurant specializing in wild game and seafood. Enjoy authentic regional dishes cooked over the alderwood grill, including Salmon, Oysters, Venison and Elk.
We escaped the noisy hustle and bustle of Davie Street by walking down the narrow stairway to Liliget restaurant. At the bottom, we found ourselves in an initimate, peaceful dining area that took us back in time. With soft contemporary Native music in the background, we were greeted by friendly staff, and given a simple but interesting menu to peruse.
For appetizers, we were given bannock bread, which had a little sweetness, and went well with the lox. We also had smoked ooligan fish that was deliciously made (the bones were soft enough to chew).
For our main course, my friend had the Liliget Feast platter, which had samples of venison, buffalo sausages, salmon and a sweet potato tart. My Vegetarian Platter was not your usual rabbit food -- it was a sumptuous array of 2 sweet potato salads, kelp, beets, and wild rice, all presented neatly on a lacquered tray.
The sopalali berry punch and sopalali mousse dessert are their house specialties -- both are toothsome and good to share.
Although Liliget has very limited hours, I felt that it is worth trying. It offers an excellent dining experience, especially when you want to explore something different and quieter on Davie.
The most interesting feature of Liliget is its unique design and atmosphere. You descend down a narrow staircase to a deep basement that is a world away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Vancouver outside. Tables are arranged around several large wooden pillars, and you sit on the floor with your feet literally underground.
Service is prompt and well-mannered, and you are so intrigued by the surroundings, that you'd probably pay money to just sit there for a while. However, when it came to food, I wasn't quite as impressed. The appetizers we tried were so so, but I was most looking forward to their most popular item, the feast boat. The dish looked novel, but the word that best described the taste was "plain". Maybe this is how it's supposed to taste, maybe my taste buds have been over-stimulated from eating lots of spicy food all my life, but nothing in the platter jumped out and grabbed my attention. The salmon was a little dry, and the vegetables could have had at least a bit of salt. Some of the things in the platter were exotic, and I liked trying them out - I'm a sucker for unusual food.
If you don't mind mild food, you'll like Liliget. Even if you don't enjoy the food, you should still try the place at least once, just for the experience.
I quite enjoyed the feast platter--a nice variety of tasty food. Some of the other dishes served at my table were hit and miss. Service was attentive and prompt. Ambience was interesting. The seating arrangements are novel, however it's a bit dreary to know your in a concrete basement with food that would best be enjoyed outside.
A friend of ours was visiting us last week and he heard about Liliget and wanted to try it out. I did some searching online and heard many good to glowing reviews about this restaurant. Being probably the only First Nations fine dining restaurant really intrigued me.
Upon entering the restaurant, it's beautiful. The decor in unique and you sit at tables that make you feel as if you are sitting on the floor (sort of how they have tables at some Japanese restaurants).
Our server was very nice. He has a softness in his manner and was quite friendly.
We ordered the halibut, an order of elk, and a sampler platter with Salmon, Cod, Oyster, Buffalo smokie, Venison, wild rice and some vegetables.
My halibut was quite dissappointing. It was tough, chewy and very bland. I do like fish that is simple so I can enjoy the flavour, but this was really no good. The texture was poor as well as the flavour. The platter was amiss as well. The only seem that seemed to be enjoyed was the elk; however, was a little overpowering by the sauce.
It's a shame because we felt the concept was a very good one, but unfortunately it was a let down. Perhaps they have declined in quality because I felt mislead by the reviews I had heard. Anyhow, a nice ambient experience, but poor food experience.
The food is amazing and is presentation beautiful. Served by the aboriginal people of the land most appreciated. Traditional meals that were made were excellent. Definatly a place to go for that special occasion, or just a day of appreciation of a loved one. Also a great place to impress for that important meeting ;)