Monday, 22 January 2018

DOV 2018: YEW, fantastic fish dishes!

Restaurant: YEW (visit their website here)
Location: 791 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
Cuisine: Seafood, Canadian
Dineout Price: $40

Date of visit: January 22, 2018
Atmosphere: 4/5
Staff/service: 5/5
Food variety: 4/5
Food quality: 4.5/5
Buck worthy? 4/5

For date night, we decided to revisit YEW since their Dine Out was so enjoyable last year. Sadly, we weren't able to try all three options available, though I saw other people order the scallop, beef, and cookies n' cream dessert-- all looked equally delicious.

We were started with some bread and a lobster spread (didn't get the name, only heard lobster and olive oil). It was delicious! Reminded me of a tuna paste but with some lobster and in the form of a mousse-like concoction.
Couldn't resist also ordering some oysters ($3.75 each), they had Paradise Cove rotating through this evening. These were medium sized, plump, and fresh. Briny and creamy with a sweet finish. Yum! It came with fresh horseradish, a red wine vinaigrette, and hot sauce.

Tiger Prawn Ceviche
peppers, red onions, lemon, coriander
The funny thing about this was that I actually got the vegan version first! I dug around trying to find my beautiful no avail. Our server promptly brought me the right dish after this was flagged.

I enjoyed this bright dish, it was light and tangy with fresh veggies and large prawns. Some of the butter lettuce pieces were larger than bite-sized, but easily folded to fit a mouthful.

Salmon Gravlax
cucumber, avocado, toasted sesame, tamarind sauce
Adorables started on this dish first and he was quite impressed. The salmon was smoked and the flavors of the tamarind sauce enhanced the creamy avocado. Just the right amount to start our meal.

Steelhead Salmon
brussels sprouts, pickled daikon, bonito consommé
This dish won my heart. The salmon was so perfectly cooked it melted in my mouth. Upon first entry, it has a crispy exterior and buttery salmon inside. Brussels sprouts and consomme felt a little detached to the dish, as if it could've been there or not. Tasty nonetheless.

Ling Cod
parsnip chiboust, winter vegetables, Jerusalem artichokes
Every year we seem to order both fish options for our mains, so here's the other. Still beautifully cooked, this ling cod was full of rich fish flavor of its own. It was falling apart a bit though. Exterior was golden and crispy.

Pistachio Cherry Tart
brandy soaked cherries, crème Anglaise, sweet butter crust
As I've noticed, pistachio seems to be a common choice of ingredient this year for dineout. The plating of this dish was so elegant and beautiful. Aside from the brandy soaked cherries, which I don't like to begin with, this was a delicious dessert. Not too sweet, the pistachio concoction atop the sweet butter crust created a wonderful combination of textures and flavors.

Earl Grey Chocolate Mousse
38% milk chocolate, orange gelée
The star of the show goes to this dish. I mean, look at the sparkles on it! Although a small piece it was rich, creamy, and just the right amount. The earl grey was prominent in the mousse and not overpowered by chocolate. The base itself was dense but also had crispy bits in it! A wonderful surprise in textures. We both felt it was amazing because it wasn't overly sweet and strong in tea flavor.

And thus concludes another memorable Dine Out experience at YEW for us. They ended our meal with some complimentary financiers-- chewy on the outside and fluffy moist cake on the inside. I loved them, and even ate Adorables' share (only half,  I let him have a bite). 
Aside from the food, service is always attentive and friendly. A solid choice every year!

Saturday, 20 January 2018

DOV 2018: Fishworks, wonderful staff and seafood!

Restaurant: Fishworks (visit their website here)
Location: 91 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver
Cuisine: Seafood
Dineout Price: $30 lunch and dinner menu

Date of visit: January 20, 2018
Atmosphere: 4/5
Staff/service: 5/5
Food variety: 4.5/5
Food quality: 4/5
Buck worthy? 4/5

For our second dineout, Adorables and I had a double date with my parents in scenic Lonsdale. I apologize in advance for the quality of photos this time as our key equipment (the camera) was left at home for safety due to heavy rain. I was quite excited about the menu, with three selections for each course and dominant in seafood. A nice intimate storefront, we felt welcomed by the friendly staff. 

While waiting for our meals to arrive, we were served warm foccacia bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip. I missed the explanation of what the creamy ball on top was, but it was delicious with hints of sesame oil and chickpea-based. This went well with the soft fragrant bread.


Albacore Tuna Poke
avocado, mango, edamame, mixed greens, sesame seeds, tamari, wasabi aioli, brown rice
Presented in a large clear bowl, this was a colorful dish, albeit a tad messy. A good balance of every ingredient. The salad portion had bigger pieces which didn't go well with other finer ingredients. Everyone agreed it was too saucy and could have been more tart. Fresh and refreshing though!

Prawns Po'Boy Taco
fresh tomato salsa, cilantro aioli, pickled Spanish onion
This beauty came with two golden prawns stacked high and topped with the fresh salsa and onion on a bed of cilantro aioli and soft taco. The shrimp was fresh, had good crunch, and went well with the whole taco. Favorite appy out of them all!

Vegan Cream of Mushroom
coconut milk, wild mushroom, leeks
Adorables asked why I took a photo of soup because it was just soup, but we need photo evidence for everything eaten right? A simple soup of literally minced wild mushroom and coconut milk with some shredded leeks, this was as simple as it got. The coconut milk was fragrant and dominant in the soup, you taste the mushroom after a little while.

Bonus: Crabcakes
We were informed of this fourth option by our server when he was explaining the dineout menu for us, what a treat! More variety! This appeared with a small salad and tartar sauce spread beside the browned crabcake. He mentioned a wasabi aoili with the crabcakes but we didn't taste any traces of that. It was packed full of crab and fresh, however didn't scream anything spectacular to us.


Pork Osso Bucco
pork crackling, carrot, celery, potato puree, red wine sauce
Ok. I knew this was a seafood restaurant, but had to try everything in their offerings so this was also ordered. Presentation-wise, perfectly traditional-looking osso bucco. The sauce is runny and made the dish look a bit messy with everything splattered. However, it looked succulent atop the potato puree in red wine sauce. Pork was dry in some parts and too salty for our liking. Pork crackling needed more presence in the dish, almost had to dig around to find it, but it was light and crispy when found.

Wild Salmon
poached lobster, sauce American, winter vegetable
The highlight of the entrees, the salmon was presented beautifully atop perfectly seasoned and cooked winter veggies. I was actually expecting a poached lobster tail instead of the little bits scattered on top, but enjoyed the buttery bites nonetheless. The salmon was perfectly cooked and paired well with the sauce. A dish full of flavor, my mouth still remembers the rich buttery lobster mixed with the salmon.

Mussels & Risotto
fresh basil, sweet peas, sardo cheese
I admired the detail they put into placing all the mussels open-side up to receive the risotto. A deceivingly simple dish, this was remarkably full of flavor. The mussels were fresh and delectable. The risotto was rich, creamy, and exquisite. Some grains weren't cooked through and we found it almost too overpowering in flavors (too salty).

coffee syrup
Ah, onto my favorite part of the meal-- dessert! Now, this tiramisu wasn't outstanding in appearance, but it was light, not overly sweet, and perfectly balanced with the coffee and cream. Everyone enjoyed this dish. One note is that it is a bit too moist.

Pistachio Ice Cream
saffron biscuits
This was neatly arranged in a cup but partially melted already. Unsure if the biscuit had saffron, not too strong. The ice cream itself was marvelous. A light cream swirled in with crushed pistachio to create a memorable icy treat. Contrasted well with the tart berries for an indulgent experience.
Vanilla Panna Cotta
strawberry compote
My personal favorite, this beautiful panna cotta was simple and delicately plated. I dug into the creamy panna cotta and topped it with the sweet and tangy strawberry compote for a heavenly combination of flavors. Alone, the strawberry compote would've been too sweet but with the panna cotta it was perfect.

Our server was attentive, funny, interactive and quite interested in NotMooStachio's story! Definitely enjoyed our meal more at Fishworks because of him! Portion sizes were on the smaller side, but we all went home stuffed.

We ended our meal with complimentary fish-shaped truffles, which were rich, smooth, and deliciously bitter. Bravo!

Fishworks & Canoe Oyster Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 19 January 2018

DOV2018: Honey Salt, delightful lunch

Restaurant: Honey Salt (visit their website here)
Location: 39 Smithe Street, Vancouver
Cuisine: Canadian, Seafood
Dineout Price: $25 for lunch; $40 for dinner

Date of visit: January 19, 2018
Atmosphere: 4/5
Staff/service: 4.5/5
Food variety: 3/5
Food quality: 5/5
Buck worthy? 5/5

So excited for our first Dine Out of the season! I chose this classy lunch location for a date with Adorables to start! Located in Parq Vancouver, it is easily accessible through the entrance of the JW Marriot. There are various themed seats from regular tables to sofas and lounge chairs, a very comfy casual feel. They're offering a $25 lunch and $40 dinner menu for Dine Out Vancouver.

Adorables ordered a Sweet Tea ($5.00) to start, I found this a little bland but he enjoyed it.


Burrata & Heirloom Beets charcoal-roasted beets, arugula, honey vinegar
In presentation, this dish was quite nice, salad topped with a generous portion of burrata. The salad itself was nicely coated in the honey vinegar and contrasted well with the gooey rich burrata cheese. Some of the beets were a little too burnt for my liking but the beet itself was tender and sweet. Overall the burrata was too overpowering and the imbalance made this dish underwhelming.

Tofino Fry calamari, sidestripe shrimp, lemon, peppers & spicy Japanese "kewpie" mayonnaise
We were both impressed with the generous portion size of this dish. The simple yet elegant presentation caught my eye. The batter was light and flavorful, went well with the calamari and shrimp. Peppers were a little overcooked; the lemon had a great unique crunch and wasn't overly tart. Paired with the mild and tart mayonnaise, this was a well rounded dish.


Biloxi Buttermilk Fried Chicken creamy slaw, durkee's dressing, brioche & nice little salad
Honestly, I expected something a lot different than what was presented to us. Nonetheless, it was presented as a burger with three nice crispy pieces of chicken nestled between a delicious brioche bun paired with a small salad.
The chicken was tender, crispy, and seasoned well but a little dry. The creamy slaw made good presence in the burger. However, the mustard in the dressing was a bit overwhelming in some parts. Little side salad consisted of romaine lettuce, carrots, radicchio, and a very tart dried berry (unsure what it was, guessing barberry or cranberry) in a nutty cream-based dressing. Very pleasing.

Poke Bowl BC albacore, green chili ponzu, avocado, cucumber, tobiko & black rice
Surprisingly, this was the highlight of the meal for me. This was visually appealing, elegant and colorful. They even went the extra mile to make rice crispies out of black rice for added texture to the dish. The green chili ponzu was a nice balance of tart and creamy. Tuna was very fresh and such a generous portion that it overwhelmed the amount of rice present. Pleasantly surprised with the half avocado and pickled radish added extra color, crunch, and zest to the bowl. A delicious creation.

Brown Bag Baked Apple Pie  ginger ice cream
We were both perplexed at the sheer size of desserts but we thoroughly enjoyed this succulent apple pie. It did come in a brown bag and opened at the table to reveal a nice pastry inside.
Big chunks of apple inside the pie and a buttery flaky crust topped with ice cream-- heaven in a spoonful! I didn't taste any ginger in the ice cream, felt like it was just plain vanilla ice cream (smooth and creamy though).

Warm Apple Cider Donuts bourbon & cinnamon sauce
After diving into the pie and nearing the brink of our stomach capacities, we split one of the three donuts. I didn't expect it to be so dense and a little dry, but with the sauce it was quite delicious. The sauce was like caramel with bourbon and cinnamon accents and enhanced the donuts.
I love how they placed it in a light blue bowl on a white plate because I'm a sucker for that color combination. Just perfect, they were nestled so snugly that I almost didn't want to take one.

Needless to say, we were both very stuffed after our meals and had to pack the remaining desserts to go. Service was attentive and warm, I did get the feeling they're still getting used to their roles and how the place is run. Our entrees appeared before our appies were done and cleared, which is uncommon practice for a higher-end establishment like this. Our waitress promptly noticed and apologized for the rush of dishes and explained that it sometimes happens during lunch, but of course I didn't even notice until she brought it up. We both enjoyed our date at Honey Salt and would definitely return-- especially for that delicious apple pie!
The cute book our bill came in!

Honey Salt Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato