Weirdo Cafe in East Vancouver offers strange delights
By Michele Provenzano, Staff Writer
The fancy indie cafes that seem to pop up on every corner can be intimidating. If you’re anything like me, you enter the latest trendy cafe only to feel like you don’t belong there. You feel less sophisticated than the other patrons. You feel like… a weirdo. Well, what if there was a cafe dedicated to us weirdos?
I was in the car with my dad when he pointed it out: “There’s the Weirdo Cafe!” I asked him why he would criticize an innocent establishment and peered out the window to identify the victim. But I saw a small sign—Weirdo Cafe turned out to be the actual name of a restaurant in East Vancouver. Who knew!
Tucked away in the corner of a small strip of shops on Victoria Drive, Weirdo Cafe can be found—an Asian fusion restaurant that opened earlier this year.
After dropping in, we were met with friendly service upon entering and were quickly brought to a table in the moderately busy cafe. Thanks to its warm lighting, dark grey walls, and wooden decor accents, the area possessed a cozy and comfortable atmosphere. Dozens of wooden crates hung from the ceiling over the bar, creating a unique geometric art piece.
Glancing through the menu, the item that intrigued me the most was the spaghetti donut. Yep, that’s right, a spaghetti donut. It is essentially noodles encased in a donut-shaped fried batter. Some may find the concept gimmicky, and perhaps it is true that I’m rather easily amused. This dish showcases the restaurant’s dedication to unexpected food combinations. The menu contains a wide variety of foods from portions of pastas and risottos, to sandwiches and seafood. They also have brunch and dessert options.
The spaghetti donut was a wonderful combination of savoury and sweet. My only issue with the dish was not knowing whether to eat it with my hands, or with a fork and knife! I also ordered chicken karaage, a Japanese-style fried chicken. I paired my meal with their rose-peach iced tea, which was sweet and refreshing. Overall, the meal was satisfying, enjoyable, and at a fair price point.
Weirdo Cafe takes pride in its creative dishes. Their website outlines their values: “[the founders] think that delicious cuisine should not be bounded by a country’s restrictions, instead, it should combine the merit of different country’s cuisine to make a brand new different flavored creative cuisine.”
The cafe’s website also states that the restaurant is “founded by a bunch of people who have very weird and special ideas.” The owners feel that they may seem like “weirdos” to people who are used to restaurants sticking to one type of cuisine.
I’m looking forward to visiting Weirdo Cafe again and trying more dishes. Their website also explains a phrase on their sign in Chinese, 我有毒 (wo you du), means “I have poison.” The phrase is a homonym of weirdo, and is supposed to signify the idea that their food “can be addictive and unforgettable as our customers will continue to keep wanting more and more servings after a bite.” I certainly feel that they’ve succeeded.