Gastropost

"Give Peas a Chance" at ARC Dining, Fairmont Waterfront by Jenn Chan

Arc Dining, Fairmont Waterfront

 

Fairmont Waterfront will always have a special place in my heart. It is the first restaurant that we covered for  JennChanPhotography.com/blog, the food is amazing and we have made some wonderful friends amongst the incredible Fairmont staff. Recently returning from a life changing two month odyssey through Southeast Asia it seemed fitting that one of the first restaurants we visited was Arc! 

 

We arrived bright and early to a bustling lobby, sun shining through the signature mile high Arc windows and Kristyna, one of our favourite Fairmonters, waiting with her signature beaming smile. I ordered a latte and sat back and enjoyed the ambience and pleasant conversation. You will not have a bad meal at Arc, I will personally guarantee that!

 

Breakfast Menu

Breakfast Menu

 

I ordered the 2 Egg Breakfast and Jenn had the Pork Belly and Egg and the Spring Pea Toast. Perfectly cooked sunny side up eggs, an excellent chicken sausage, oven fresh bread toasted just right and delicious roasted potatoes. It is as good as it sounds and I know it sounds damn good! The belly has got to be the tastiest part of the pig; flavourful and tender. Combine that with an organic egg and a delightful parsley root purée and I regretted not ordering it myself. Next time! The Spring Pea Toast uses feta cheese, delicious, greens from Arc's own rooftop garden, peas and beans, the same organic egg atop a fresh slice of sourdough bread. I generally don't like peas, but I found this dish very appealing and snuck several bites whenever Jenn turned her back. A couple of glasses of fresh squeezed orange juice to wash everything down and that is a great way to start a day!

 

Bircher Müesli & Super Green Smoothie

Bircher Müesli & Super Green Smoothie

Pork Belly and Egg

Pork Belly and Egg

2 Egg Breakfast with Chicken Sausage

2 Egg Breakfast with Chicken Sausage

Spring Pea Toast

Spring Pea Toast

Spring Pea Toast

 

The Canada Place area of Vancouver is tourist central. I state that without a hint of negativity; it's a high compliment coming from me! Tourist areas are shining examples of your town that attracts people from literally 1,000's of miles away to take them in. Fairmont Waterfront is in the centre of centre. The rooms are amazing, the pool is absolutely world class and the food, as above, will suit any tastes or budgets. Tell them Jenn sent you and enjoy!

 

Arc Dining, Fairmont Waterfront
 
Words: Scott Allan
Photos: Jenn Chan
 

Afternoon Tea at Trump Vancouver Champagne Lounge by Jenn Chan

Trump Vancouver Champagne Lounge Menu

The Trump Champagne Lounge is a vivacious space! In only our first 5 minutes people watching proved to be very interesting: posh hotel guests walking through the lobby en route to their luxury digs, friends meeting for drinks, an engagement party and satisfied diners exiting Mott 32 with food coma grins. Giggling and judging people quietly to each other Jenn and I ordered the Sparkling Afternoon Tea and the Infinite Afternoon Tea. I'd humbly recommend only one tea set per pair, but gluttony is in, in 2017!

Pink Flamingo Iced Tea

Pink Flamingo Iced Tea

The Sparkling comes with a glass of Bartolomiol 'Miol' Prosecco Extra Dry and the Infinite with a very sophisticated Laurent-Perrier Brut. The Prosecco had a nice hint of blackberry and was full of flavour and the Brut was very tart, which I like, and had a fruit aromas with a slight citrus finish; delicious! We also ordered the Bain de Roses and Royal Darjeeling from the venerable TWG Tea.

Laurent-Perrier Champagne

Laurent-Perrier Champagne

Infinite Afternoon Tea

Infinite Afternoon Tea

Our tea set arrived, amalgamated, and sitting on a very unique hexagonal pedestal which really showed off its wares! Scones, as fresh as I've ever tasted, with a very frothy Devonshire cream and house made raspberry jam and lemon curd; lovely! We plunged into the tower with the Salmon à la Bombay Petite Sliders. Think smoked salmon with a mild curry kick, very good! The Rolled Egg Sandwich followed and the Italian Truffle tapenade really shines through just as the cream cheese stole the show in the Cucumber & Dill sandwich that followed. My first experience with my favourite condiment in the world, Sriracha, in a high tea set and it was a good one! Duck, delicious, mixed with oyster sauce, awesome, the aforementioned Sriracha, and wrapped in a fluffy crèpe! A very, very nice finger sandwich! I could have eaten 50.

Infinite Afternoon Tea

Infinite Afternoon Tea

Finger Sandwiches: Cucumber & Dill, Rolled Egg Sandwich, Spicy Duck Crepe, Salmon à la Bombay Petite Slider

Finger Sandwiches: Cucumber & Dill, Rolled Egg Sandwich, Spicy Duck Crepe, Salmon à la Bombay Petite Slider

Warm House Baked Scones with Devonshire Cream, Homemade Raspberry Jam & Lemon Curd

Warm House Baked Scones with Devonshire Cream, Homemade Raspberry Jam & Lemon Curd

Some people claim that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well I'm going to make an official argument for dessert finally getting the nod. Stay with me. Cake contains eggs, eggs contain protein and protein helps to rebuild and grow muscle. Sugar affects the same pleasure centre in the brain as cocaine. Would you rather kids did cocaine than eat cake?? Would you?? Cheese cake pops, hazelnut chocolate cake, Matcha and strawberry rolled cake, white chocolate and raspberry mouse and raspberry rose water lychee Paris Brest. Cake, cake, cake, mousse and whatever the last one is, not a bad way to end a delicious meal! You could go just for dessert and leave very satisfied!

Pastry Selection: Matcha & Strawberry Rolled Cake, Raspberry Rose Water & Lychee Paris Brest, Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

Pastry Selection: Matcha & Strawberry Rolled Cake, Raspberry Rose Water & Lychee Paris Brest, Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

Cheese Cake Pops & Cotton Candy

Cheese Cake Pops & Cotton Candy

 

Having had no fewer than 30 different afternoon teas in the last year I can pledge that Trump does it as well as anyone around! Their service is amazing, always, and the ambience is beautiful. You will not be sorry you went in even if you are sorry about its unfortunate name.  They're making us forge by offering world class hotel accommodations, luxury condos, sublime spa services, a raucous nightclub and incredible dining in Mott 32 as well as the Champagne Lounge where we found ourselves enjoying our tea experience. I would highly recommend you checking out Trump!

 

Louis XIII Truffles Wrapped with Gold

Louis XIII Truffles Wrapped with Gold

 

Words: Scott Allan

Photos: Jenn Chan

 

 

 

Lobster Fest at Provence Marinaside by Jenn Chan

Provence Marinaside

 

The Marinaside area of Vancouver is one of the most breathtaking communities in the city! The yachts, the seawall, the posh restaurants and the ultra luxury condos and townhouses. Poshest amongst the eateries is the decadent Provence Marinaside. 

 

Our experience starts, at Wine Director Josh's recommendation, with a nice, light 2016 La Beyssannette Rosé from, perhaps not coincidentally, the Provence region of France. A very pale pink with notes of strawberry and citrus that compliments, but doesn't overpower the vintage. Delicious! Out pops an amuse bouche from Chef Jean-Francis Quagua halfway through our first sips, perfect timing. The baby shrimp salsa pops with a fresh vegetable burst and the shrimp is perfectly cooked and as fresh as if they pulled it from the Pacific Ocean which lies a mere 50 feet from where we sit.

 

Lobster Fest Menu

Lobster Fest Menu

Amuse Bouche - Shrimp Salsa

Amuse Bouche - Shrimp Salsa

 

Lobster bisque is good. It's universally accepted. Paired with the 2014 Pinot Gris from the Okanagan's Kettle Valley winery it elevates it even further. The richness of the soup is neutralized perfectly by the acidity in the wine. A bite of lobster with a heavy spoonful of broth and chase it down with a sip of wine. You'll thank me! Emmenthal cheese has just recently come onto my radar, even a foodie misses some things, and it is good. Try melting it with Dijon, shallots and mushrooms then adding Atlantic lobster. It is a revelation. Again the sommelier reached into the Okanagan Valley for his pairing; the 2008 Summerhill Cipes Blanc de Noirs. If I had Josh in my employ I would have him pair my morning Cheerios, wine is life!

 

Lobster Bisque + Baked Lobster Thermidor
LOBSTER BISQUE | grapefruit chantilly cream Wine Pairing: Kettle Valley Pinot Gris 2014 Okanagan, BC

LOBSTER BISQUE | grapefruit chantilly cream
Wine Pairing: Kettle Valley Pinot Gris 2014 Okanagan, BC

BAKED LOBSTER THERMIDOR | creamy dijon, shallot and mushroom sauce with emmenthal cheese Wine Pairing: Summerhill Cipes Blanc de Noirs 2008 Okanagan, BC

BAKED LOBSTER THERMIDOR | creamy dijon, shallot and mushroom sauce with emmenthal cheese
Wine Pairing: Summerhill Cipes Blanc de Noirs 2008 Okanagan, BC

 

There's a reason that lobster is expensive. It's a similar reason that Maseratis are expensive. Demand. The flavour of a good lobster, drenched in molten butter, cannot be easily described. The performance and hand made detailing in a Maserati is likewise difficult to articulate and, as such, the demand is high so the price follows in lockstep. We ordered the Whole Lobster Gratin and Whole Atlantic Lobster and did not, for one second, regret our choices. The gratin offering is paired with the delicious Angels & Cowboys Rosé from Sonoma County and the latter with the eclectic 2014 Reichsrat von Buhl Spatburgunder Rosé Trocken from Germany. When a sommelier drops off a glass of wine and can't explain its bouquet or highlights, especially one as talented as Josh, it will make you curious. The German wine is quite nice, but certainly difficult to put a finger on. It did; however, pair extraordinarily with the lobster and helped propel it into a fine dining category that few eateries in Vancouver match. The Sonoma wine melded with the smoked tomato infused gratin lobster and it was probably my favourite of the two, but, like a doting parent, I hate to play favourites.

 

WHOLE ATLANTIC LOBSTER | sautéed provençal style, seasonal vegetables, seven grain rice Wine Pairing: Reichsrat von Buhl Spatburgunder Rosé Trocken 2014 Pfalz, Germany

WHOLE ATLANTIC LOBSTER | sautéed provençal style, seasonal vegetables, seven grain rice
Wine Pairing: Reichsrat von Buhl Spatburgunder Rosé Trocken 2014 Pfalz, Germany

WHOLE LOBSTER GRATIN | smoked tomato, corn, wilted spinach, forbidden rice Wine Pairing: Angels & Cowboys Rosé 2016 Sonoma County, California

WHOLE LOBSTER GRATIN | smoked tomato, corn, wilted spinach, forbidden rice
Wine Pairing: Angels & Cowboys Rosé 2016 Sonoma County, California

 

Something about rhubarb takes me back to childhood. I remember picking it in our yard as a very small child and washing it like mom had showed me and sprinkling a bit of sugar on it and going to town. Mama's little baby also loved shortcake, shortcake. Provence's strawberry and rhubarb shortcake elicited a gasp as it arrived at our table. The perfect combination of sweet and tart and the shortbread was so fresh and flaky! Paired with my first experience with a late harvest merlot, the Paradise Ranch Merlot Ice Wine from the venerable Okanagan Valley. Delicious! Even if you have just came from dinner you can still spoil yourself with an amazing dessert at Provence! Service is a near perfect 9/10, only to give them something to strive for, and ambience is a perfect 10. Full stop. Treat yourself to one of the best restaurant in vancouver!

 

BC STRAWBERRY AND RHUBARB SHORTCAKE | basil agave chantilly Wine Pairing Paradise Ranch Merlot Ice Wine 2013 Okangan, BC

BC STRAWBERRY AND RHUBARB SHORTCAKE | basil agave chantilly
Wine Pairing Paradise Ranch Merlot Ice Wine 2013 Okangan, BC

Provence Marinaside
 
Words: Scott Allan
Photos: Jenn Chan
 

Valentine's Day Menu: TWG by Jenn Chan

TWG Valentine's Menu

 

The TWG Tea Salon and Boutique is a gorgeous space and their chef Cliff Hohl is a very nice man. He was gracious enough to hang out with us table side and explain the various dishes that make up their Valentine's Day menu. He was so happy and proud to tell us that TWG was "officially Oceanwise as of yesterday". Oceanwise, if you're not familiar with it, is a sustainability program championed by the Vancouver Aquarium. Take a few minutes and give it a google, a very worthy cause!


 

The tea pairing, Mon Amour Tea, is one of the best I've tasted. Inhaling deeply from a tin of it left at our table, presumably for photography purposes, I harkened back to the days when Bubble Tape was first introduced. Remember that?  Grape bubble tape, the kind bootlegged in my school yard, seriously, was the first thing that came to mind. Absolutely delicious!

Bain de Roses Tea infused sparkling wine cocktail

Bain de Roses Tea infused sparkling wine cocktail

 

 

Have you ever had really, really good iced tea? Like the stuff plantation owners must have enjoyed on the wraparound decks of their palatial mansions? Love me Tea must be one of those! I wasn't raised extravagantly. I had everything I needed, but some years were tough with my mom going back to school for a time and my dad being unemployed for a time when Safeway closed the bread plant, where he plied his trade as a mechanical engineer, to bust his union and move the plant a little ways up the road. As such I have humble tastes: Nestle's Quik trumps any and all hot Chocolates at your froofy cafés and peanut butter is good on anything. This iced tea is not the sickeningly sweet, powdered offering of my youth, but a subtle, semi-sweet and refreshing upgrade. This is progress we can all get behind! Make iced tea great again!


 

Mon Amour Tea & Love Me Tea

Mon Amour Tea & Love Me Tea

 

 

TWG's scallops are the polar opposite of rubbery. Fresh, tender and flavourful. They really soak up the dashi broth and blend marvellously with the dragon fruit and "white desire" tea infusion. Korean brown rice is just better than regular rice, it just is. Again the dashi, the root of everything miso, soaks in and competes with the garlic for flavour supremacy. The time and effort spent to curl the carrots and cucumbers into tight spirals speaks volumes about TWG's commitment to presentation and elegance. Chef Hohl intimated as much, "the team is excited about this menu", he exclaimed between self deprecatingly deflecting praise and promising to bring us the meal's "Cliff notes" that he was having trouble finding thinking he'd left it on his "Cliffboard". Oh Cliff! I was proud to hear he had tried to model his summation after my writing. High praise from an artist to a financier dabbling in the written word and hardly an artist by any stretch of the imagination. Words are words, people use words everyday, but the culinary arts nourish people, inspire people and have the ability, with minimal exaggeration, to bridge cultural divides.

 

 

Pan-seared scallops complemented by a dashi broth infused with White Desire Tea

Pan-seared scallops complemented by a dashi broth infused with White Desire Tea

Pan-seared scallops complemented by a dashi broth infused with White Desire Tea

 

 

The dessert came out looking as glossy and beautiful as a $10,000 paint job on a $1,000,000 car. The vanilla bourbon ice cream is amongst the best, top five, ice creams of my life! Decadent, but with that natural vanilla flavour that reminded me of my first independent car ride with a peer as a 16 year old. That vanilla air freshener dangling off the rear view mirror signalled a freedom, an independence that vanilla always brings back for me!


 

Bain de Roses Tea infused mosse and raspberry confit, served with scoop of Vanilla Bourbon Tea infused ice cream and fresh berries

Bain de Roses Tea infused mosse and raspberry confit, served with scoop of Vanilla Bourbon Tea infused ice cream and fresh berries

 

 

The TWG Tea Salon recently underwent an extensive renovation and the room is incredible! Brightly coloured containers of the world's best teas line the walls. Ornate tea pots encased in glass for the dining area and smiles everywhere. What makes you smile? For me it's kindness. For me it's joy. For me it's socializing. I promise you, from the bottom of my heart, that going to TWG will make you smile! Go hungry and leave happy!


 
 

Dine Out Vancouver 2017: Notch8 at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver by Jenn Chan

Notch8

 

After a treacherous 3 minute walking commute from Jenn's apartment we bellied up to our lovely, intimate table and were approached by our very gracious server Sherrie with a cheerful "hello Ms. Chan!" A very good start! I would be remiss to forget to mention the grandeur of the beautiful Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, my personal favourite building in the downtown core, nay the province! Its signature blue roof now boasting colour changing LEDs at night and its castle-like exterior projects strength and stability. As the automatic doors from another era 70's Star Trek-style slide open you're struck by the height of the ceiling and the elegance of the marble floors as you pass windows of Louis Vuitton and Gucci displays. I myself stopped to drool over some lavish, embroidered Gucci blazers. My closet is already bursting with suits, some 30 or so, but I'd have traded 10 or 20 for this particular white and black emblazoned jacket! Notch 8 doesn't boast huge windows with views, but the size, opulence and sophistication of the room can leave you dumbfounded.

 

 
Notch8
Notch8 Dine Out Menu

Notch8 Dine Out Menu

 

At Sherrie's cajoling Jenn ordered the Fra-Gee-Lay which is served in a foot tall leg lamp glass à la A Christmas Story. Ya. Happy to report she didn't shoot her eye out! I ordered the Lagonitas IPA which wasn't very photogenic, but delicious! Quick on the heels of our refreshments came our appetizers and a little surprise from Chef de Cuisine Will Lew. Half the surprise was his presence at our table, what a nice man, and the other half of the surprise was that he brought with him a pet project. A large marble bowl with moss and rocks that had been filled with water and frozen like a winter pond! It was made to carry two very special oysters; Kusshis with cured salmon that were simply delicious. 

 

Our appetizers followed: the Savoury Macaron and Forest Mushroom Tart. The macaron, semi sweet, came piled with caviar, smoked salmon, scallop mousse, roe, crème fraîche, tiny, edible flowers and micro dill. It was delicious with a little bit of sweet and the explosive flavour of the smoked salmon, incredibly fresh, and the delicious crème fraiche. It was very satisfying! If you're a regular reader you know that I hate mushrooms. Bad childhood experiences with those horrid canned 'mushrooms' coupled with a traumatic visit to a mushroom farm *shudders*. BC Winter Mushrooms, as served in this decadent tart, may have saved me from an upbringing of fungal fear, but, alas, the past can't be rewritten. Add in the fromage frais, chestnuts, wild onion, yet another childhood nemesis, sweet elderberry and spruce and this tart is incredible! The mushrooms had a lovely flavour and texture and blended wonderfully with the cheese and onion, worth a trip on its own! These dishes were expertly paired with a Cedar Creek Pinot Gris 2012 and was the perfect start to our culinary adventure. 

 

 

Fra-gee-lay

Fra-gee-lay

Lagonitas IPA

Lagonitas IPA

Savoury Macaron, Forest Mushroom Tart + Frozen Pond

Savoury Macaron, Forest Mushroom Tart + Frozen Pond

Frozen Pond - Kusshi Oysters wrapped with cured salmon

Frozen Pond - Kusshi Oysters wrapped with cured salmon

Savoury Macaron - caviar, smoked salmon, scallop mousse, roe, créme fraiche flowers, micro dill

Savoury Macaron - caviar, smoked salmon, scallop mousse, roe, créme fraiche flowers, micro dill

Forest Mushroom Tart - BC Winter mushrooms, fromage frais, chestnuts, wild onion elderberry spruce

Forest Mushroom Tart - BC Winter mushrooms, fromage frais, chestnuts, wild onion elderberry spruce

IMG_7543.jpg

 

The entrées came out with a lovely Cedar Creek Pinot Noir 2014 which was beautiful. I ordered the Wagyu Short Rib and JC had the Maple Ash Lingcod. The lingcod came with a king crab bisque, smoked oyster cream, shallot petals, sunchoke, violet endive and dulse. The king crab bisque and smoked oyster cream could have been a meal all on their own, incredible! The fish was browned perfectly and was a very lean, fresh cut. It paired well with the Pinot Noir, but the Notch 8 sommelier Jean-François was gracious enough to come to our table and suggest a Reisling that paired perfectly with Jenn's Lingcod. She of the white wine preference was very grateful to get it and the Tantalis Reisling 2015 from Kelowna was a bit sweeter and delicious. 

 

The short ribs came out accompanied by truffle, marrow-pumpkin puree, chanterelles, red winter wheat berries, huckleberry-black garlic-aged balsamic and cipollini. Unbeknownst to me wagyu is Japanese for 'Japanese cow'. Yup. I've eaten wagyu many time and always assumed, like Kobe beef, it was named for some region of Japan and received Daily sake massages, but that is not the case. The beef gets its reputation, not to mention its incredible taste and luxury price point, from its predisposition to marble. Marbling is the way the fat spirals throughout the meat and leaves the meat incredibly tender as it melts during cooking. This dish is a near perfect 10/10, stop reading and head to Notch 8 right now!

 

 

Maple Ash Lingcod - king crab bisque, smoked oyster cream, shallot petals, sunchoke, violet endive, dulse

Maple Ash Lingcod - king crab bisque, smoked oyster cream, shallot petals, sunchoke, violet endive, dulse

Maple Ash Lingcod
Braised Wagyu Short Rib - truffle, marrow-pumpkin puree, chanterelles, red winter wheat berries, huckleberry-black garlic-aged balsamic, cipollini

Braised Wagyu Short Rib - truffle, marrow-pumpkin puree, chanterelles, red winter wheat berries, huckleberry-black garlic-aged balsamic, cipollini

Braised Wagyu Short Rib
Wintery Field - winter roots & greens, milled grains-oats-corn grit polenta, blue juliet, pumpernickle crumb, goat cheese 'snow'

Wintery Field - winter roots & greens, milled grains-oats-corn grit polenta, blue juliet, pumpernickle crumb, goat cheese 'snow'

Wintery Field

 

The desserts came out with a 2014 Cedar Creek Merlot which was very smooth and hit the spot. Notch keeps it simple only offering one dessert option. If you've been to Notch's Dine Out you know that dessert is like putting one more straw on a camel's back before it breaks, so much food! They served us each a Brie Walnut Ice Cream which they made in-house. It comes with black current gelee, nut wafer and fingerlime and to say it is good ice cream is like saying Michael Jordan was a good basketball player or that Wayne Gretzky had good hands with the puck. It is great ice cream, amongst the best I've ever had, and works wonderfully with the the nut wafer and fingerlime. 


 

Brie Walnut Ice Cream - black currant gelee, nut wafer, fingerlime, paired with Cedar Creek Merlot

Brie Walnut Ice Cream - black currant gelee, nut wafer, fingerlime, paired with Cedar Creek Merlot

 

All of a sudden, before we realized 3 hours had passed, it's 10 o'clock and the lights go down at Notch 8. No, we aren't being asked to leave, but we are being asked to enjoy the sexy, sultry vibe as dinner hour makes way for cocktail hour. The live musician takes his cue and smooth jazz fills the air. We sip contently on our Merlot as an elegant, embroidered box passes by. "What is that?" we wonder to ourselves. Literally one second later Sherrie comes to see how we are doing and we ask her. It's Notch 8's Old Fashioned Dice Game. Roll 3 die and the first dictates the whiskey, the second the syrup and the third the bitters. Well we better try. Just for the completeness of the review. An old fashioned is one of those cocktails that your grandpa probably liked and wouldn't be out of place in a 1920's speak easy, but is making a comeback in a major way because of its simplicity yet complex flavours. There's no wrong roll as both mine and Jenn's drinks were very good plus if you roll 8 during Happy Hour the drink is on the house! 

 

Old Fashioned Dice Game

Old Fashioned Dice Game

Old Fashioned Dice Game
 
 

Top Japanese Restaurants in Vancouver Series: Gyoza Bar by Jenn Chan

Gyoza Bar

Gyoza Bar

 

Chef Wooj tried to kill me! The Head Chef at the Gyoza Bar, one affable Japanese import named Woo Jin Kim, attempted to snuff my light by gorging me with plate after plate of Gyoza Bar's best! 

 

 

Gyoza Bar
Gyoza Bar
Dinner Menu

Dinner Menu

Bar

Bar

 

The meal started, as all great meals do, with a couple beverages. I started with the Postmark dark IPA, an IPA and porter-like hybrid, which was very good. Jenn tried their signature Mango Mule and loved it, it seemed to disappear pretty quickly. Chef Wooj came out and was gracious enough to introduce himself and chat for a bit. "Leave it to me" he said, "you don't need a menu": exhibit A in my murder trial had he been successful! As we waited Jenn got into a Pender Collins, a cocktail of elderflower centric deliciousness, and I tried the Blood and Beauty. "Scotch, scotch, scotch. I love scotch" well Ron Burgundy I don't mind it either - 8/10. We also had an Aburi ginjo sake which I found tart and refreshing with a hint of vanilla. All engines go!

 

 

Mango Mule & Dark IPA

Mango Mule & Dark IPA

Pender Collins & Blood and Beauty

Pender Collins & Blood and Beauty

Aburi Ginjo Sake

Aburi Ginjo Sake

Head Chef Woo Jin Kim

Head Chef Woo Jin Kim

 

The first salvo in the food war was a very nice Roasted Beet Salad. It had an amazing dressing, made in-house, and the beet gyoza was very soft and flavourful. I wholeheartedly, 100% endorse the use of fruits and nuts in salads and the orange and roasted almonds make this salad an adventure. He also brought their Prawn Ceviche and Pork Gyoza. See I told you and this is just the iceberg's tip! The Pork gyoza is, bold statement coming, the best gyoza I've ever had! Pork shank and minced pork belly mixed together with few other ingredients distracting from the main oinky feature, served in a heated skillet, and served with an umami and spicy miso sauce. Absolutely incredible! Chef told us how important it was to him that gyoza be served hot and consumer hot and it makes all the difference! The ceviche was excellent, fresh and tasty! Make yourself a sandwich with the gyoza skin cracker, guacamole and prawn and thank me after.

 

 

Roasted Beet Gyoza + Market Salad - feta cheese, pickled beets, fresh orange, toasted almonds

Roasted Beet Gyoza + Market Salad - feta cheese, pickled beets, fresh orange, toasted almonds

Roasted Beet Gyoza + Market Salad

Roasted Beet Gyoza + Market Salad

Prawn Ceviche

Prawn Ceviche

Pork Teppan Gyoza - served with spicy miso _ umami soy

Pork Teppan Gyoza - served with spicy miso _ umami soy

 

And then it came. The Bao Board... The pork ribs, cooked for 36 hours, were smoky and sweet and the meat was high quality. I put some in a bao bun with sriracha aioli and a couple apple slices and had a foodgasm! Also on the massive Bao Board was a succulent tenderloin, so tender and supple. I combined it in a bao bun with spicy miso and Asian slaw and it was excellent! The Chicken skewer was soft and fresh, maple garlic goodness. Toss some into a bao with butter lettuce, Asian slaw and spicy miso sauce, you'll thank me! But the plate is not finished! The Shrimp Gyoza consisted of fresh-out-of-the-water shrimp with a tangy cilantro-garlic vinegar. The restaurant should be called Gyoza King!

 

 

Head Chef Woo Jin  Kim working on our Family Style Bao Board

Head Chef Woo Jin  Kim working on our Family Style Bao Board

Family Style Bao Board - Maple Garlic Soy Chicken Skewers, Soy Garlic Tenderloin Skewers, Korean Spiced Pork Rib, Asian Slaw, Kimchee & Pickled Cucumber

Family Style Bao Board - Maple Garlic Soy Chicken Skewers, Soy Garlic Tenderloin Skewers, Korean Spiced Pork Rib, Asian Slaw, Kimchee & Pickled Cucumber

Family Style Bao Board with Bao Buns & Butter Lettuce

Family Style Bao Board with Bao Buns & Butter Lettuce

Family Style Bao Board

Family Style Bao Board

Chili Shrimp Teppan Gyoza - with Cilantro-Garlic Vinegar + Umami Soy

Chili Shrimp Teppan Gyoza - with Cilantro-Garlic Vinegar + Umami Soy

 

So there you have it. If you'd like to sign my petition to have Mr. Woo Jin Kim charged with attempted murder please contact me at Scott@JennChanPhotography.com. BUT WAIT... Out comes a big bowl of Chicken Miso Ramen. "Don't worry about trying to finish it all" Chef Wooj exclaims "I just wanted you guys to try!" The free range chicken makes all the difference and the al dente ramen noodles, made in-house daily, with a heavenly miso broth.

 

 

Awase Miso Free Range Chicken Ramen

Awase Miso Free Range Chicken Ramen

Awase Miso Free Range Chicken Ramen

 

Panting heavily after having made a valiant attempt on the ramen a smiling Chef Wooj saunters out with a Japanese Green Tea Cheesecake. A subtle matcha flavour in a decadently soft, whipped cheesecake. All 3 bites I was able to muster were light, fluffy and flavourful and I don't generally care for matcha and yet thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

 

Japanese Green Tea Cheesecake - Strawberry compote, Vanille Icecream, Azuki Beans

Japanese Green Tea Cheesecake - Strawberry compote, Vanille Icecream, Azuki Beans

 

If you like gyoza or ramen or Bao or delicious cocktails or desserts I would highly recommend you head to the Gyoza Bar! Say hi to Chef Wooj for me!

 

 
Words: Scott Allan
Photos: Jenn Chan