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Notch8 New Spring Lunch Menu at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver by Jenn Chan

Notch8 at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Notch8 at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

 

"Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came." I'm blessed to be able to gaze upon the beautiful Fairmont Hotel Vancouver as I lay in my bed. We're neighbours and I'm lucky to get to spend a lot of time at Notch 8! So when Sophia welcomed us by name it felt nice. When Kristina greeted us at our table with a warm "you again?" it felt nice. Dining at Notch 8 feels nice.

 

notch8 at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Notch8 at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

 

Our lunch started off with a couple of cocktails, but don't judge us it's after noon. The Lavender Corpse Reviver and Lillooet Daisy helped to shake the cobwebs from a Sunday spent touring Vancouver's craft brewery district. The former a gin centric tipple with citrus undertones and the latter a well balanced blueberry and elderflower dominant offering. Delicious!

 

Lillooet Daisy & Lavender Corpse Reviver

Lillooet Daisy & Lavender Corpse Reviver

 

Close on the heels came our starters; the Sunchoke Soup and Roasted San Mariano Tomato Soup as well as Notch's world famous honey wheat bread. Chef Will came out personally to grate fresh truffle on the Sunchoke Soup which Jenn found very "hearty and Earthy". It was loaded with truffle and artichoke and had a very nice broth. The tomato soup is a revelation! Campbell's soup ain't got nothing on this, sorry Andy Warhol. Sweet, fresh and served piping hot. An added bonus happens every time your spoon returns from the depths loaded with Notch's incredible fromage frais!

 

Warm Honey Wheat - honey loaf, fig, walnuts, Fairmont honey butter

Warm Honey Wheat - honey loaf, fig, walnuts, Fairmont honey butter

Roasted San Marzano Tomato Soup - tomato oil, fromage frais

Roasted San Marzano Tomato Soup - tomato oil, fromage frais

Roasted San Marzano Tomato Soup - tomato oil, fromage frais

Roasted San Marzano Tomato Soup - tomato oil, fromage frais

Sunchoke Soup - truffles, artichoke,sunflower butter

Sunchoke Soup - truffles, artichoke,sunflower butter

 

At Kristina's suggestion, executive order really, I partook in the Canada 150 Maple Leaf cocktail. Bourbon, maple syrup, lime and apple. Way to perpetuate Canadian stereotypes Notch... Everyone already knows Canadians love lime. As I was enjoying my first sip out comes out entrées: Prawn and Crab Risotto, Lingcod and Steak Frites. Yes, Jenn, all 110 pounds of her, ordered two entrées. My California cut steak came out the perfect rare, first box checked, and the meat was exceptionally tender and fresh. The fries, thin in the MacDonald's style, were unsalted and crisp; very good. In all the dish is a near perfect 9/10! Jenn claims the risotto was the best of her life: "flavourful, filling and the seafood is super savoury". Well summed up! The Lingcod, also a Jenn Chan selection, was very "flaky and it melts in your mouth". "The combination of garden vegetables that surround the Lingcod adds a certain depth to the dish". The pea and nasturtium velouté formed the perfect base of the dish and it disappeared quickly!

 

Canada 150 Maple Leaf - Bourbon | Maple Syrup | Lime | Apple A toast for our birthday!

Canada 150 Maple Leaf - Bourbon | Maple Syrup | Lime | Apple
A toast for our birthday!

Lingcod - lavender honey ash crusted, green pea & nasturtium veloute, spring vegetables, meadow flowers

Lingcod - lavender honey ash crusted, green pea & nasturtium veloute, spring vegetables, meadow flowers

Prawn & Crab Risotto - BC shrimp, dungeness crab, spring peas & beans, goat cheese, micro shiso

Prawn & Crab Risotto - BC shrimp, dungeness crab, spring peas & beans, goat cheese, micro shiso

Prawn & Crab Risotto - BC shrimp, dungeness crab, spring peas & beans, goat cheese, micro shiso
Steak Frites - California cut striploin, shoestring fries, pepper jus house steak sauce

Steak Frites - California cut striploin, shoestring fries, pepper jus house steak sauce

 

Our most avid readers would hypothesize that now is the time when we move onto some random smattering of mouth watering desserts. Notch won't let you down in this regard either! A quick google of their website shows several selections, many really, that I would fill a child's ball pit with and dive in. Normally we would indulge, but, as previously mentioned, I had occasion to visit no fewer than a half dozen craft brewers during the annual Vancouver Hop Circuit and my bed was beckoning me home. Satisfied we hugged our server goodbye, as people do, and skipped merrily out. We'd be back was out comforting thought and, hopefully, we'll see you there!

 

 

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Lobby
 
 

Afternoon Tea Series: The Georgian at Fairmont Olympic Hotel by Jenn Chan

The Georgian

 

What a room! Grand in a prohibition era kind of way. 50 foot high ceilings, ornate columns and intricate mouldings. A very Downton Abbey feel in the middle of metropolitan Seattle. Adding to our experience was our extremely affable Fairmont host, Valerie, who was a wealth of knowledge on the room and the whole property really. We made a new friend!

 

The Georgian

 

Afternoon tea is a luxurious affair. Big Kentucky derby-inspired floppy hats, pinkies raised way up in the air and crisp dresses and suits. Judy Dench wouldn't look out of place here nor would Miley Cyrus if she were sipping her tea mere tables away. It's a space for everyone and there's something on the menu to satisfy their tastes! The first stop on our culinary adventure was mimosa town. On a groggy Saturday afternoon it is the perfect destination for a vacationer; I'll let you guess why! Jenn, Valerie and I raised our glasses to the Fairmont, without a drop of insincerity, and toasted them!

 

1907 Blend Tea

1907 Blend Tea

Mixed Berries

Mixed Berries

 

Soon the delicious teatime towers were brought out and placed in front of us. Jenn and I wisely chose the 1907 Blend Tea to accompany them; absolutely delicious and it immediately went into my top five tea list! Blueberry Scones Apricot Jam & Devonshire Cream were the first tier of our three tiered tea-stravaganza. I don't know where Devonshire is, but if you told me it was a magical land where hobbits go on mythical adventures I would believe you. If you told me they stole the recipe for this cream from a dragon I would believe it. The scones, made in-house, are so fresh and soft that they fall apart at the touch. Add the heavenly cream and the incredible apricot jam and it's a very, very satisfying carbohydrate delivery device.

 

Georgian Tea Set

Georgian Tea Set

Georgian Tea Set
Blueberry Scones

Blueberry Scones

 

My mom is a saint. I wanted for nothing growing up and love filled our home, but I'm not sure if it's a Manitoba thing or something completely Jean Allan; pronouncing sandwiches 'sammerches'. I think about her whenever I'm served a 'sammerch' and the tradition continued when I made my way to the second tier. Hereafter referred to as the 'sammerch tier'. Waldorf Sourdough Bread, Turkey, Apple, Raisins, Celery, Pecans and Herbs made up the first I tried. If I see a turkey sandwich with apple on a menu I order it. Every time. When I see a salad with pecans I do likewise. When I see a sandwich with both I shriek like a 12 year old girl seeing Justin Bieber. This sandwich is delicious!

 

Up next was one consisting of Curry Salmon Egg Salad Rye Bread Roll, Smoked Salmon, Curry Egg Salad and Micro Greens. Curry is not just for my beloved butter chicken or tandoori, it makes everything better! This sandwich will make you want 10 more. Which I do. Right now. Come on Chef Paul make it happen! This sandwich alone is worth the trip. The Herb Marinated Grilled Prawn, Tomato Jam, Mango Salsa, Cured Tomato, Parmesan Crisp and Mango salsa. Mango salsa should be on every menu! It would make a boiled rat delectable. It would make a toupee taste like heaven. And when you add it to one of the most delicious ocean dwellers the results are as you would expect. You want this! The Cucumber Watercress Sourdough Bread compliments the Watercress Crème Fraiche, Cucumber, Salmon Roe and Preserved Lemon extremely well. Yum! Sourdough makes everything better! I was not expecting much from a sandwich which lacks a huge protein component as I am a carnivore at heart, but the lemon tang mixed well with the very thinly sliced cucumber, which helped beat back the overpowering nature of the cucumber, and the sourdough rounded everything out.

 

Tea Sandwiches: Turkey Waldorf, Curry Salmon Egg Salad, Grilled Prawn & Cucumber Watercress

Tea Sandwiches: Turkey Waldorf, Curry Salmon Egg Salad, Grilled Prawn & Cucumber Watercress

 

Feeling satisfied from our first two tiers we set our sights on the dessert tier hidden masterfully at the bottom. I started with the milk chocolate brownie. I have had a bad brownie only once. It was a little old and the crunch really detracted from the fudge-y goodness. The Georgian's brownie tasted like it came right out of the oven as we entered the room. Add in the milk chocolate icing and this will satisfy even the pickiest chocolate addict. Macaron shops are the donut shops of the new millennium. As junk food places disappear macaron shops, with their luxury price tag, keep popping up. The sole reason is because they are delicious, like very delicious. The Georgian's rose water raspberry macaron ranks amongst the prestige priced Fauberge and Thierry's of the world. Jenn's favourite was the No bake Matcha Mango Cheesecake. If you've never heard of matcha you will before too long. It is everywhere. From its humble Asian beginnings it is finding its way into foods across the cultural spectrum. This cheesecake would have been good with lawn clippings on the top, but the matcha, with its myriad of health benefits, compliments it perfectly. My favourite was the Pistachio Eclair. In the hierarchy of nut deliciousness pistachio ranks high. This eclair, my first in forever, harnesses the deliciousness that is pistachio and combines it with the slight sweetness of the icing and the freshness of the pastry. It is excellent!

 

Sweets: Milk Chocolate Brownie, No Bake Matcha Mango Cheesecake, Rose Water Raspberry Macaron & Pistachio Eclair

Sweets: Milk Chocolate Brownie, No Bake Matcha Mango Cheesecake, Rose Water Raspberry Macaron & Pistachio Eclair

 

If you're lucky enough in life to do what you love for a living you have a better life than 99% of people. Real estate is my passion and I'm blessed to exist in that milieu. Photography is Jenn's passion and we are moulding her passion into an ancillary career which we hope will one day become her primary. Valerie is a people person and the hospitality industry is tailor made for her. Three strangers becoming friends over tea. A cliché from, presumably, every British movie where I imagine tea drinking is prevalent. I would also imagine that this isn't the first time friendship has been sparked in this regal restaurant. Take someone for tea at the Fairmont Olympic Seattle today and I guarantee you leave closer than when you arrived! 

 

 

Rooftop Bee Hives

Rooftop Bee Hives

Rooftop Bee Hives
Rooftop Bee Hives
Rooftop Garden
 
 

Easter Brunch at Arc Restaurant by Jenn Chan

The Arc Restaurant at Fairmont Waterfront underwent a massive renovation in 2014 and as soon as you walk in you can see that it was money well spent. The sleek, curved interior, with its modern finishes and floor to ceiling windows offering spectacular views of the Burrard Inlet, North Shore Mountains and the bustling Canada Place Square and cruise ship terminal, is elegant and has a clean, upscale vibe. With the addition of a large patio it has become a fantastic place for dinner and drinks for tourists from the beautiful Fairmont Waterfront upstairs and locals alike.

Arc Restaurant

Arc Restaurant

Arc Restaurant Bar

Arc Restaurant Bar

Easter Brunch Buffet

Easter Brunch Buffet

Easter Brunch Buffet

Easter Brunch Buffet

Easter Bunny Chocolate

Easter Bunny Chocolate

 

The food is simply amazing! The crab is succulent and fresh and the meat was coaxed from the thoughtfully pre-cracked shell with minimal effort. The salmon tasted like it was pulled minutes before from the Pacific Ocean, a stone's throw from where you sit comfortably in your tasteful leather chair, the waters renowned worldwide for their salmon fishing. The sushi was a welcome surprise in its authenticity and expert composition and there was an extensive wine list from which to draw your pairings. 

Oysters, Clams & Mussels

Oysters, Clams & Mussels

Crab Claws

Crab Claws

California Rolls

California Rolls

Charcuterie Platter

Charcuterie Platter

Got myself a plate of delicious seafood!

Got myself a plate of delicious seafood!

 

The desserts are rich and the options are plentiful. From the velvety, soft chocolate cake to the divine mousses there will be something for everyone.

Easter Treats

Easter Treats

Chocolate Cakes

Chocolate Cakes

Lemon Meringue

Lemon Meringue

Cake Pops

Cake Pops

Tiramisu Shooters

Tiramisu Shooters

Selection of Desserts

Selection of Desserts

 

The staff exuded professionalism, charm and dedication and truly go the extra mile to accommodate their guests. The Arc will welcome you and you will go back!

Thank you for having us Fairmont Waterfront!

Words: Scott Allan
Photos: Jenn Chan