Tuc Craft Kitchen opened recently in Gastown, and let us first say this — the place rocks. Headed by Chef Roy Flemming, the Tuc experience is made up of irresistible dishes with exceptional, fresh, local ingredients. Seriously good food, fit for feasting.
It’s a bit of a hidden gem of sorts, with a slightly quiet street presence — but don’t let that fool you. Inside Tuc the decor is warm and rustic, with a definite industrial touch. Details like reclaimed wood and metal tire chains hold up the stunning bar, and the vintage Pyrene beer taps certainly caught our eye.
The idea with Tuc was to create something that felt like it had been there forever, and the atmosphere achieved inside really does lend to their whole philosophy. Owners Colin Ross and James MacFarlane wanted to put together a restaurant that was timeless, and the result is a space that is modern and cool, and meshes well with the neighbourhood.
We visited with our blogger friend Sean of Flavor Town Adventures, and were treated to a selection of tasting items chosen by Chef Roy himself. It’s always a treat whenever a chef takes the time to talk with us personally and explain their food, so we appreciated that he curated our menu for us.
First up was the Bacon and Egg. This might look simple, but it was absolutely delicious. With a perfectly hard-boiled egg surrounded in bacon, and coated with a panko crust. We probably could have shared like a dozen of these, they were so yummy.
Next up was the pork belly crackling from Gelderman Farms, served with star anise red wine reduction and coarse salt. We’re huge fans of pork belly so this was without a doubt one of our faves of the evening.
Fish stew, made with rock fish and steelhead, poached in a white wine fume, rouille. To be totally honest, this wouldn’t ever be something we’d order, but it was outstanding. Who would have thought fish stew would be so incredible? The flavours were so rich and creamy, and the fish was so fresh — zero fishy taste whatsoever. We highly recommend this one to share.
Now that we’d had a selection of Tuc’s amazing small dishes, it’s time to move on to the Main feast. First up was the Hangar steak à la Bourguignon – braised Okanagan beef served on top of gratin potatoes and glazed vegetables. We loved the presentation, and the flavours were out of this world — rich, juicy and totally flavourful throughout.
Orange glazed lamb ribs — Australian lamb, jalapeno pepper and a candied orange glaze. These were really tender and juicy, and the glaze added the perfect amount of heat.
Pork 2 Ways — slow braised pork belly and roasted pork loin chop from Gelderman Farms, espresso reduction, smashed fingerling potatoes and eggplant relish. The chop was juicy and totally delicious, and the smashed potatoes were a great crispy side dish to help soak up the espresso reduction.
The Red Bandit Neuniére — Port Hardy Rockfish pan seared with thyme and served with warm savoy cabbage slaw, crisp shiitake chips and semolina gnocchi cake. This was an all-around winner, and the Rockfish was tender and flaky.
For dessert we enjoyed some of Chef Roy’s Beignets with rum caramel sauce, which were perfectly fluffy and sweet and generously coated in cinnamon and sugar. Yum.
Tuc is a wonderful addition to the Gastown neighbourhood. The food was satisfying and memorable, and the prices are great. Open for Lunch and Dinner daily (closed Sunday), stop in for a bite next time you’re in their hood. You’ll be glad you did!
XX – The Food Gays
Disclaimer: We were invited to dine for review purposes, however all opinions are 100% ours.