Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dine out Vancouver 2010 - Market

So the 2nd and last trip of Dine out 2010 for me was to Market by Jean Georges, in the Shangri-La downtown. I reserved tables pretty late, so the best time that I could get was at 5pm on a tuesday, although it seemed like a good time to have a drink then start dinner. Market is located on the 3rd floor of Vancouver's tallest skyscraper, the Shangri-La hotel, and you can easily access it from various locations.
This year was the first year for Market to offer the dineout menu, since it is usually known as a higher end restaurant, and not willing to conform to offering a cheap discount meal. The lighting in the restaurant wasn't as dim as in Chambar, which appealed to me as a photographer, since I don't like using flash in a restaurant. I started off with a sazerac, since I read that Market was more known for its amazing drinks.
And I can attest to that; the sazerac was perfectly made and i really enjoyed the drink. Since I was there with my family, my mom and sisters all had sodas. The sodas are all made in house, which may explain why it costs $5 a cup, but the sodas were exceptional as well.
There are reviews out there talking about the terrible service at the restaurant, but I found the service to be spectacular, and the waitress I had was very attentive. Since the dineout menu didn't have that many options, not enough that all 4 of us could try something different, I decided to order something off the a la carte menu instead of the dineout menu. For appys, the shrimp salad and pea soup came out quite fast, and looked well prepared.
My little sister really enjoyed the soup, and she said that it was really good. My mother and other sister had the salad, which had a few pieces of large shrimp in it. The salad was well dressed and it's taste wasn't overpowering.
Since I ordered off the a la carte menu, I decided to go with the sear scallops, mainly after all those seasons of watching "Hells Kitchen" with Gordon Ramsay yelling at the chefs for preparing the scallops poorly.
The scallops were prepared perfectly, and the taste of cauliflower as well as the seared scallops with the mixed sauce was really amazing. The price was $12 for those 4 scallops, so I can see where they are making money. There was also bread that came before the appys, but it was just normal buns with butter, nothing special. Throughout the night, our glasses of water kept being refilled, so no complaints about the service. The decor of the restaurant was quite nice, i opted to sit outside in the terrance but my mom wanted to sit inside. The little booths were quite comfortable and there was coat check offered. The entrees ordered were hanger steak, red snapper, and halibut.
The hanger steak was prepared medium rare, because "the chef prepares it that way." That sounded a little bit fishy to me, making it seem as if the steak was prepared beforehand and then reheated and served. It didn't really taste that way, from the piece that I took from my little sister. I've had better steaks, but it was by no means inferior. My entree of halibut was served ontop of spinach, nothing fancy.
The lemon sauce that was prepared was what made the dish though. The halibut ontop of the spinach mixed with the sauce created a dish that went well very smoothly, creating a fusion of lemon and then the unique taste of spinach, along with the halibut.
The red snapper was slightly smaller than the halibut, but it was equally well garnished. I didn't try the red snapper, but my mom liked the dish, but i did a taste of the sauce used, and once again it was made to perfection. The sauce was so good that my mom asked for extra bread just so she could wipe up the rest of the sauce.

The dessert was a simple chocolate lava cake with ice cream, with a piece of caramel over top. Simple dessert, but made perfectly, and the ice cream had a unique taste to it, even though it was just vanilla. The chocolate inside the cake was melted, and was a good consistency to mix with the ice cream.

Overall the dinner was a good experience for my little sisters to get a taste of fine dining. I only went because it was Dine Out, but after eating the a la carte menu, there isn't much of a difference in price. But the shining point of this restaurant was the drinks. The drinks menu is quite extensive, and the bartender knows what he is mixing. The service was what I expected from dining in such a restaurant, and I have no complaints about it. The food was made simple, yet the simplicity of the dishes made it that much better. The simple ingredients mixed together to create a fusion of unique flavours. And just the environment in the dining room was pretty great, although it would be better if the dress code was respected by all. I will definitely be back for more drinks, and maybe even another meal one day.

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