There’s more to dining in Richmond than North America’s most authentic Asian cuisine—especially if you search out a French-flavoured establishment that may be one of Metro Vancouver’s most original destination restaurants.
Origo Club is celebrating its one-year anniversary this month. And while its fine French-inspired menu has gained a must-try reputation among in-the-know locals, there’s much more to this unique, multifaceted spot than meets the eye.
Salade Niçoise and Cassoulet, available on the lunch menu. | Photo: Origo Club
“It’s been a lot of hard work but it has paid off,” says Origo Club’s managing partner Woody Wu, reflecting on the first birthday of an establishment many thought was an unusual fit for Richmond when it opened in 2018. But the top-notch dishes, amazing French wine list, and contemporary-chic aesthetic—not to mention an onsite art gallery—quickly won people over.
But why open a French restaurant in Richmond in the first place? “It was my passion,” admits Wu, adding that he had been a frequent France traveller over the years and has a serious fixation on its wines and wine regions. “I felt that Metro Vancouver needed a place like this, where you could come and enjoy a glass of wine and a great evening.”
One of the restaurant's decadent desserts. | Photo: Origo Club
The secret to making it work, though, has been the staff. “We’ve spent a lot of time on food and wine training here and everyone has come a long way. It’s been a real journey for many of our staff and we frequently receive great feedback from our customers about them,” he says.
Dining, of course, is the main focus for many of those customers. Book quickly for Origo’s amazing $59 three-course anniversary menu—running July 16 to 20 only—or make a dinner reservation anytime to savour exquisite dishes ranging from escargot and confit de canard to côtelette de porc and a luscious crème brûlée à l'espresso.
Items from Origo Club's special anniversary menu. | Photo: Origo Club
There’s also a highly tempting lunch menu (go for the cassoulet) plus a wildly popular weekend-only afternoon tea, complete with decadent treats. As if that wasn’t enough, the establishment also feels like a fine French café outside lunch and dinner hours, when its high-end coffee program (including expertly-prepared pour-overs from Ethiopia, Jamaica, and beyond) lures true java fans—ever-tempting pastries included.
For Wu, though, the Origo project has never been just about great drink and dine offerings. “From day one, I wanted to combine cuisine with art here. I feel that we’ve focused a lot on the culinary side this year—it was important to take our time and get it right—but in year two, the art will become a big focus as well.”
Afternoon tea is served on weekends. | Photo: Origo Club
That partly explains the use of the word ‘Club’ in the name. “Our concept is unique for Metro Vancouver—it’s more in line with establishments in Paris and London where you bring people together to pursue and share passion,” explains Wu. So far, that’s meant some sparkling Asian contemporary art displays in its gallery, ranging from delicate porcelain creations to breathtaking fabric scrolls. Additional shows will open in the space throughout the coming year, says Wu.
But while the art program is ramping up, it’s not the only growth plan Wu has in mind for Origo Club over the coming years. “We’re planning to start a membership wine club in the fall. I’ll be bringing in some amazing wines from Brittany and Bordeaux—it’s going to be really exciting.”