Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Some things surprisingly good at Notch8

Click to add a blog post for Notch8 Restaurant & Bar - The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver on Zomato
Beautiful space with OK lighting until maybe 10 PM when they dim it down to romantic lounge lighting. The dimness and restaurant colours has the strange effect of giving the otherwise brightly lit renovated hotel a "black hole" right in the middle.
When you are inside, however, there's definitely an elevated dining ambiance. Seating is not tight so it is still possible to have a sense of privacy. Chairs are comfortable. Staff are seasoned.

NOTCH8 Signature Bread ($7) stout, comte cheese, mustard seed
  • How can bread possibly be worth $7? I ordered this as a joke to get the answer to that (just like I ordered Soffee Café's ham and cheese french toast at $11.75 to see what it's like).
  • Surprisingly good, BUT you have to eat it right away. If it gets cool or cold, it hardens very quickly and then it's just horrible.
    • That also means you can't really save it to mop up any tasty jus from your dinner.
  • You basically get a small loaf, so it's worth about a light dinner all on its own.
  • Strangely fun to tear apart -- it is lumps of bread pasted together with some mustard seed in the seams, and while very warm it is easy to tear discrete chunks off.
  • I would have liked this to hit the table even warmer than it was, but I can see issues with people burning their fingers and yelping about it (pun intended).
Asparagus Salad ($16) sugar peas, burrata, red endive
  • Hiding underneath the greens is the burrata cheese, so make sure you get some if you are sharing.
  • A decent portion. If you are a light eater, you might get away with this as a very light meal with room for dessert. I recommend this as a shared-by-three-persons appetizer.
  • Sharp and refreshing vinaigrette. Maybe a bit too sharp for me, but there's a nice refreshing quality.
  • Aroma is also awesome and you can get whiffs from it from a foot away.
  • Surprisingly good, maybe one of the best orders at our table.
Rotisserie Chicken ($33) heirloom carrots, fingerlings, bourbon molasses mustard
  • Half a chicken.
  • Really tender meat. Not super-juicy, but tender.
  • Really thin skin. You get the tasty roasted skin without the fatty layer.
Fire Roasted Daily Rotisserie Feature ($35) charred shallot mash, beans, roasting juices
  • On Tuesday, this is sirloin.
  • Four (?) slices of sirloin, about a quarter-inch thick. Maybe adds up to 12 oz?
  • Sorry -- this was hideously boring compared to ordering just about any other main. For your money you get slices of meat, mashed potato, and beans. I thought I was at the Hotel Vancouver, not The Keg.
  • Otherwise nothing wrong. If you are dining alone maybe it'll be fine but if you look at what everyone else is having, your plate may feel embarrassing.
  • If you want to go low-carb, ask for your mashed potatoes to be swapped, maybe with a very small salad (and check how much that is).
Grand Marnier Souffle ($15) crème anglaise; allow 20 minutes for preparation
  • At the time of writing this blog post, the Notch8 Dessert menu link returned an error, but you can still see the dessert menu by going to the Bar-Lounge menu.
  • Portion looks atrociously small for $15 -- approximately 3/4 cup in a tiny copper pot.
  • I think everyone at our table really loved this except me. I am probably being some sort of barbarian to say I thought it was just sort of eggy tasting and that dominated my experience.
Open Liquor ($7) non-alcoholic cocktail
  • I was looking through the mocktail list and asked which one was the weirdest. Our server said she was also a bartender and offered to custom-create something weird for me. I told her to keep it a mystery and just bring it out with extra straws for everyone to try.
  • Strangely there was a 10% "PLT - Alcohol" on the $7 cost even though it was non-alcoholic.
  • She put together a "Green Goddess", made with basil, cucumber, lime, some kind of herb (not cilantro, apparently), and a mysterious syrup from pre-Prohibition Days.
  • Nice palate-cleansing refreshing taste. Worked like a lemonade but with more character.
We were five so I wasn't surprised the kitchen felt a bit slow. Our server was confident, friendly, and engaging.
Prior to arriving I let the restaurant know a few days ahead that we had a birthday in our party. I thought they might just acknowledge her with a happy birthday and maybe a birthday song and pay special attention to her. But they also gave her a little ganache cake (about 3"x3"x2"!) and two chocolate macarons! Magically, that did not appear on my bill. This was definitely way more than I expected.

No comments:

Post a Comment