It seems like everyone has praised Richmond, B.C. as ground zero for some of the best Asian food on the planet. Yet there was one cuisine the city didn’t quite represent—an elevated French-inspired restaurant was missing from Richmond’s dining scene—until now. Enter the Origo Club, a light and airy gathering place in the city’s Oval Village, a stone’s throw from the Fraser River. Its opening this week drew all eyes to delicacies such as well-crafted boeuf tartare, croque monsieurs, and expertly-cooked duck magret drizzled with sea buckthorn jus.
Part art gallery, part restaurant, the Origo Club was two-and-a-half-years in the making and is a spinoff of an eponymous private club in Beijing, the major difference being that the North American establishment is not members’ only but open to all. Interiors meld a French aesthetic with Chinoiserie and a circular oak walkway connects a contemporary Asian art gallery—which is bedecked with paintings and porcelain for both exhibition and purchase—to the dining room.
Origo means “origin” in Latin, a tip-of-the-hat to the club’s single-origin sourcing of top-grade ingredients, from premier Burgundian wines and rare Japanese sakes to coffee beans from micro-farms in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains. The 42-seat room serves well-executed bistro fare by day and fine-dining by night, prepared by an experienced team culled from some of Canada’s top culinary spots: head chef David Pan hails from Bishop’s; sous chef Tony Hua worked at Cava in Toronto; and there are Chez Christophe, Anh and Chi, and Ermenegildo Zegna alumni heading up the café, restaurant, and gallery.
Managing partner Woody Wu, a passionate oenophile and respected wine consultant, has grand plans for the bottle collection. “I want to bring in wines that are unknown to this market,” he explains. “Recently we were at one of the biggest wine auctions in Beaune, Burgundy—put on by Christie’s—and we purchased four barrels of exceptional wine. We are in the process of finishing that wine and plan to release bottles under a house label in 2019.” A partnership with a caviar brand is also on the horizon, and other Origo offerings will certainly follow. Equipped with two private dining rooms and plenty of space at the bar, the club is well-poised for success as a connoisseurs’ gathering place.
Origo Club, 110-6888 River Road, Richmond, B.C., 604-285-8889
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