Top Patios in Vancouver Series: Glowbal / by Jenn Chan

Glowbal

 

This was the best meal of my young life! We at Jenn Chan Photography are extremely proud of our relationship with the Glowbal Group. It's hard to go wrong regardless of which restaurant in the Glowbal chain you try: Italian Kitchen, Coast, Black & Blue, Glowbal Grill, etc... Exceptional service is preached on the first day they train new staff, Jenn is a former Coast server so we have some insider knowledge, and reiterated throughout an employee's tenure. And it shows! 

 

Being that we were cordially invited to dine at the Glowbal Grill on this evening we weren't surprised to be whisked past the lineup upon sight, greeted warmly by the general manager, a delightfully gracious gentleman name Kyle Johnstone, and showed to one of their loveliest patio tables. What might surprise some, however, is that this is the default Glowbal setting. The GM made the rounds the entire night, chatted with customers, put out fires and just generally controlled the flow of the patio like an orchestra conductor.

 

 

Glowbal
Glowbal
Glowbal

 

Seemingly seconds after we were seated we were presented with an amazing amuse bouche courtesy of the chef. You don't need to have 20,000+ followers on Instagram or blog posts that are seen by more than 70,000 eyes, you only need to go to Glowbal Grill. Everyone is treated like a celebrity and let me tell you that the mushroom arancini with truffle oil we were gifted did nothing to dispel that celebrity feeling! I'm not a big mushroom fan, but I could have eaten 50 of these, but then we wouldn't have had room for the rest of our meal which, in case you've forgotten the first sentence of this article, was the best of my life!

 

If you're fans of our blog, and we're eternally grateful if you are and humbled by the number of you, you know we always, always test a restaurant's Caesar. Glowbal's aptly named Pacific Caesar is as high end as Caesars get and scored a near perfect 9/10 on the JCP Caesar Meter! JC ordered the red sangria and called it delicious and drank it like a race horse at the water trough after the Kentucky Derby so, even though I can't attest to it because I didn't get a chance to try any, I am going to go out on a limb and say it was exceptional!

 

 

 Mushroom Arancini with Truffle Oil

Mushroom Arancini with Truffle Oil

Mushroom Arancini

 

Now here is where things got very interesting, very quickly. While scanning the menu we happened upon some Siberian Caviar and when we asked our server what she thought of it her knees got weak and she almost keeled over! Oh Nathalia! Some people are just plain good at everything they attempt and I have a sneaking suspicion our server on that night is one of those. An extraordinary waitress; kind, warm, helpful and genuine! The tin of delicious Sturgeon roe arrived accompanied by red onions, chives, egg white, egg yolks and bakery fresh Latkas. We paired it, at Kyle's recommendation, with the 2014 Domaine la Gemière Sancerre. Now I consider myself an eloquent writer, I have the best words to steal a line from Donald Trump, but it's tough to articulate the flavour of caviar melting in your mouth after a swallow of this delicious Sancerre. I lament my inadequacy, but at least it will give you further reason to visit the Glowbal Grill.

 

 

 Siberian Caviar - with Red Onions, chives, Latka, Egg White, Egg Yolk, Sour Cream

Siberian Caviar - with Red Onions, chives, Latka, Egg White, Egg Yolk, Sour Cream

Siberian Caviar

 

Still reeling from the foodgasm that is caviar paired with a nice white wine our second courses arrived: a sashimi trio consisting of halibut, ahi tuna and wild salmon and an order of ahi tuna poké with mango/ coconut chips. I eat a lot of sashimi, like a lot. I'm currently on a bit of a health kick and protein is king. You can get a $10 sashimi dish at a quaint, smaller Japanese restaurant and be perfectly content, but when you get sashimi from a restaurant who prides themselves, defines themselves by quality it is a whole different animal! Literally. Wild salmon, ocean fresh halibut and the kind of ahi tuna someone had to get up very early to buy at the docks.

 

 

 Sashimi Trio & Ahi Tuna Poke

Sashimi Trio & Ahi Tuna Poke

 Sashimi Trio - Halibut with yuzu kosho & ponzu, Ahi Tuna with sesame miso, Wild Salmon with jalapeño gochujang vinaigrette

Sashimi Trio - Halibut with yuzu kosho & ponzu, Ahi Tuna with sesame miso, Wild Salmon with jalapeño gochujang vinaigrette

 Ahi Tuna Poke, with Mango & Coconut with Chips

Ahi Tuna Poke, with Mango & Coconut with Chips

 

Jenn has a horrible habit of ordering miso sablefish whenever and wherever she finds it. Maybe horrible is a stiff assertion, but compulsive behaviour, wherever it rears its head, should be avoided imho. The fish, however, was exquisite, the shiitake mushroom consommé and soba noodle salad extremely lovingly constructed and it quickly disappeared. I was lucky enough to grab a couple bites in between the blur that was Jenn's wizard-like mastery of knife and fork and can attest to the quality. In and of itself worth a visit.

 

 

 Miso Marinated Sablefish - Shiitake Mushroom Consomme, Soba Noodle Salad

Miso Marinated Sablefish - Shiitake Mushroom Consomme, Soba Noodle Salad

Miso Marinated Sablefish

 

Now let's get serious for a second. Not as serious as cancer, but as serious as an avid carnivore meeting what he didn't even know was his favourite thing in the world. Enter my raw cut of Wagyu beef paraded to the table in all of its marbled goodness. I've had Wagyu before, many times, but I have never had such an incredibly tender, deliciously fat marbled cut as this. Hands down the best steak of my life! The best! Served a perfect medium rare, first box ticked, and so tender, so tender, that I could have cut it with a stern look. It sat on a bed of decadent, fluffy mashed potatoes and crisp, fresh broccoli. The steak was a perfect 10/10, the mashed potatoes were a handcrafted miracle of carbohydrates and, I'm told, the broccoli was excellent!

 

 

 Japanese Wagyu

Japanese Wagyu

 8 oz Japanese Wagyu New York Strip

8 oz Japanese Wagyu New York Strip

Japanese Wagyu New York Strip
Japanese Wagyu New York Strip

 

Even hardly able to walk to excuse myself to the restroom I did not have the mental fortitude to deny an offer of freshly baked apple pie. I mean who does? Gandhi maybe, but that's it! Light, flaky puff pastry with caramelized apples served with delicious rum raisin ice cream. Hard to follow the best steak of my life, but an extremely valiant attempt and I would even go so far as to acquiesce to the fact that you could probably make a trip to Glowbal for the pie alone.

 

 

 Apple Pie - puff pastry, caramelized apples, rum & rasin ice cream (baked fresh daily)

Apple Pie - puff pastry, caramelized apples, rum & rasin ice cream (baked fresh daily)

 

Have you been to downtown Vancouver? It's the largest city in North America without freeway access which means there are only a few ways in and out of the downtown core. One of them, that you will undoubtedly take before you die, leads you right past the Glowbal Grill at the bottom of the newly opened 1,000,000 square foot Telus Garden development that boasts the length of an entire city block. The unique birdcage booths on the patio will catch your eye, but not more so than the 220 foot long arched canopy that boasts an LED light show at night. It is truly an engineering marvel and hard to miss. If you do miss it look for me. I'll be there.

 

 

Glowbal
 Glowbal

Glowbal

Glowbal
Glowbal
 
Words: Scott Allan
Photos: Jenn Chan