Monday, April 28, 2014

Chef's Tasting Menu at The Fish House in Stanley Park

Fish House in Stanley Park on Urbanspoon Until 2014-May-17, The Fish House in Stanley Park is having a special 5-course Chef's Tasting Menu, priced at $85 per two persons.
  • Celeriac Velouté - prawn and black truffle fritter
  • Duck Terrine - Brome Lake duck, Sakura Farms pork, house-made preserves, moutard du monde
  • Butter Poached Haida Gwaii Halibut and Frisée Salad - sweet peas, cherry tomato, butter-fried crouton, warm bacon vinaigrette
  • Braised Beef Short Rib - 72 hour braised 8 oz boneless short rib, Dungeness crab and wild mushroom arancini, sweet crab bisque
  • Layered Brownie - rich fudge brownie, dark chocolate mousse, chocolate ganache
The Fish House is one of the few restaurants that still serve warm bread before a meal. You get a generous basket plus lobster oil mixed with black vinegar (in lieu of butter). The portions look kind of skimpy on each plate, but all taken together (especially if you aren't shy with the bread), it's a filling meal. Combined with great service, $85/2 is fairly good value for what you get.
While we were there, I also took the opportunity to try their Avocado Spring Roll, just to see how a seafood restaurant does vegetarian.

Avocado Spring Roll ($9 for 1 or $15 for 2) avocado mousse, chili oil, tamarind cashew sauce
  • Without the condiments, this was pretty boring, though nicely done: Packed thick and full with creamy avocado.
  • Make sure you get some of that cashew sauce on it, and it tastes great.
  • $9 is steep, but the spring rolls are on the largish side.
Celeriac Velouté
  • Rich, but not overly so. Not overly truffled either. Overall, nicely done, tasty, creamy, starter soup.
Duck Terrine
  • The actual portion of duck terrine is two grey slices with a small random number of blueberries (?), and thin, crispy, slices of baguette plus assorted accompaniments, such as mustard and cornichons.
  • Don't think of this as a course, but a small appetizer.
Butter Poached Haida Gwaii Halibut and Frisée Salad
  • This was kind of weird: The halibut was pulled / torn up and sprinkled generously over a crispy-on-the-outside-chewy-on-the-inside slice of baguette that we initially thought was a slab of seared fish. This, and the fact that the actual quantity of fish was pulled, made it easy to estimate that the wasn't a heckuva lot of halibut.
  • Buttery as advertised, but not so much that anything felt greasy.
Braised Beef Short Rib
  • Medium rare, thick cut lump of meat. Tender and with tasty sauce, but otherwise meat is meat.
  • I actually liked the arancini the best. It was really tasty!
Layered Brownie
  • Looked great, tasted great, but hard to eat. The darker bottom layer was very firm, almost hard.
  • Cut only. Until you have cut out a piece, do not stab it with anything or the thick bottom layer will hold fast your utensil. You get only a fork. You might want to ask for a knife or maybe a spoon.
We were there Friday night, and even on a later seating (8 PM), the restaurant was still quite busy. It's a rather spacious restaurant, so it is likely possible to drop in or take your time dining on an earlier seating.



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