fairmont hotel vancouver

GAME ON Afternoon Tea at NOTCH8 by Jenn Chan

Notch8

 

Notch8 at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver has done it again! With the new season, comes a new theme. Notch8 has decided to combine our love for classic board games with delicious cocktails and finger foods and transformed the Private Dining Room into a Games Room! From Wednesdays to Sundays, you'll be able to put your pinkies up with game inspired Afternoon Tea along with going head to head with your friends on your favourite games.

 

Aside from their popular Afternoon Tea, starting this Friday at 7pm, and every Friday until November 17th, they will awesome be offering "Tipsy Tea", which offers its guests fun cocktails, delicious bites, and an evening of competition, whether it be a game of Snakes & Ladders, or a competitive game of Monopoly!

 

Board Games
GAME ON Afternoon Tea
GAME ON Afternoon Tea
Miss Scarlet : Tangueray Ten Gin, Rosebud Tea Simple Syrup, Lemon Juice, Raspberry Jam, Egg White

Miss Scarlet : Tangueray Ten Gin, Rosebud Tea Simple Syrup, Lemon Juice, Raspberry Jam, Egg White

GAME ON Cocktails

 

Here's everything that's offered on the GAME ON Afternoon Tea Set, from the creative tier acquired from the UK, to the creative finger foods created by Chef Will, to the fun & games-inspired names, this set comes together beautifully. Amongst one of my favourites is the Chess-nut Tart and the Go Fish Niscoise Sandwich.

 

GAME ON Afternoon Tea: Go Fish - Niscoise Sandwich, King Me - Double Stacked Blini, Game of L.I.F.E. Sandwich, Chess-nut Tart, Double Domino Lemon Tart, Red Velvet XO Macaron, Raspberry Heart Shortbread Card, Valrhona Top Hat Chocolate Mousse, Checkmate Battenberg Cake, Chocolate Checkers Coin

GAME ON Afternoon Tea: Go Fish - Niscoise Sandwich, King Me - Double Stacked Blini, Game of L.I.F.E. Sandwich, Chess-nut Tart, Double Domino Lemon Tart, Red Velvet XO Macaron, Raspberry Heart Shortbread Card, Valrhona Top Hat Chocolate Mousse, Checkmate Battenberg Cake, Chocolate Checkers Coin

King Me - Double Stacked Blini | Smoked Salmon, Caviar, Herb Cream Cheese, Baby Dill

King Me - Double Stacked Blini | Smoked Salmon, Caviar, Herb Cream Cheese, Baby Dill

Go Fish - Niscoise Sandwich | Ahi Tuna, Shrimp, Olives, Green Beans, Poached Eggs, Baby Potatoes, Anchovy Olive Tapenade

Go Fish - Niscoise Sandwich | Ahi Tuna, Shrimp, Olives, Green Beans, Poached Eggs, Baby Potatoes, Anchovy Olive Tapenade

 

Game On Afternoon Tea runs from September 20th – November 26th, 2017, Wednesdays
– Sundays at 11AM, 1PM & 3PM. Adults $59, Children $29.5 (ages 12 & under).

Game Night Tipsy Tea runs Friday evenings from October 6th – November 17th, 2017, at 7PM. $75 per person. Guests must be 19+ years of age.

I hope to see you there!

 

GAME ON Afternoon Tea at Notch8
 
Words & Photos: Jenn Chan
 

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
 
 

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