Botanist

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Botanist opened up earlier this year at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. It took over the previous location of Oru, which I quite enjoyed. Botanist has completely renovated the space though, giving it a beautiful and elegant ambiance. I’ve been wanting to try this restaurant for a while, and S decided to bring me here for my birthday.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

We were seated in the “Garden”, which has beauitful floral chairs and wooden tables. The decor in here is truly beautiful.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

We were told that the Garden has over 50 different species of plants, and you truly feel like you are in a garden. They also have a cocktail bar, dining room, and outdoor terrace garden.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Botanist is known for their cocktails. If you sit at the cocktail lab, you can order some really fancy and sophisticated cocktails. I can’t find the name of the one I ordered anymore, but I remember it had gin and some lemonade in it. It was then topped with lavender. Light, sweet, and fresh.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

To start, we were given complimentary bread that was topped with poppy seeds and served with whipped butter. The bread is shaped like a leaf which follows the whole botany theme of the restaurant. Even the serving plate which is a piece of petrified wood adds to the theme. The bread was delicious with the whipped butter!

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Pan-Seared Scallops

To start, we shared the Pan-Seared Scallops. This was a beautiful work of art and featured onions, green apple, guanciale, brown butter, and snap peas. What made it extra special was that the scallops were wrapped with a thin slice of guanciale, which is an Italian cured meat. The scallops were cooked perfectly with a beautiful brown sear and not rubbery at all.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Herb-Crusted Lamb Saddle

For our mains, S got the Herb-Crusted Lamb Saddle which featured green garlic panisse, favas, shallots, and natural jus. I am not familiar with this cut of lamb, but it was cooked to a beautiful medium rare and very tender! The panisse was very interesting. It is supposed to be similar to a polenta, but we found it tasted almost like fish cake. Overall dish was colourful and delicious!

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Duck Breast

For myself, I had the Duck Breast which featured spaghetti squash, rhubarb, and natural jus. After my first bite, I immediately thought it tasted like Chinese roast duck! The skin was extremely crispy, while the meat was a beautiful pink and tender throughout. The slightly sour rhubarb worked well with the meat along with the spaghetti squash. I really enjoyed the Asian flavours of this dish and it was executed very well.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Meyer Lemon Polenta Cake

To finish, we shared the Meyer Lemon Polenta Cake which featured apple, honey, angelica brulée, lemon buttermilk ice cream, and a ring shaped polenta cake. The dish was expensive but the presentation was spot on. So many components, but everything worked well together. I found the polenta a little too dense for my liking, but the light ice cream helped balance it out.

Overall, I was quite pleased with the food at Botanist. I felt that every dish was presented like a piece of art. Although the prices are on the higher end (think Hawksworth prices), I found that the portions were very reasonable. The mains were all very filling although they will cost you around $40 each. Service was also spot on although I felt like the service was almost a little too attentive and I was being watched! Ambiance of course is perfect for any date night. Happy to have this new addition in the Coal Harbour neighbourhood!

Pros:
– Ambiance is beautiful
– Food was well executed and presentation was spot on

Cons:
– High end prices (not your everyday meal!)

Price Range: $60-100

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 4 Ambiance: 5 Parking: 3 Overall: 4

 

Botanist Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Advertisements

Sparkling Ice: Cocktail Recipe

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Disclosure: All Sparkling Ice beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are my own.

With the summer heat getting real these days, I’m always looking for new beverages to try. It’s also time for patio season and barbecues, and of course cocktails must be present! I was recently sent some of the Sparkling Ice beverages to try and decided to whip up a cocktail recipe.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Sparkling Ice is a fizzy, flavourful beverage without all the calories! In fact, they are advertised as a zero calorie beverage! The best part is that they come in a variety of fruity flavours, so make a great addition in your cocktail. Some flavours include Lemon Lime, Coconut Pineapple, Kiwi Strawberry, Cherry Limeade, and Black Raspberry. You can drink it straight, or add it to cocktails, flavour your marinade, and even use it in baking for flavour!They are available at most retailers, including Walmart and Amazon if you want to shop online.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

S and I enjoy gin, so we decided to make a Gin Fitzey:

INGREDIENTS

1.5 oz of gin
Simple syrup
½ Lime (sliced into 3 wedges)
Splash of Sparking Ice Lemon Lime
Lime (garnish)

DIRECTIONS

Add gin, simple syrup, and lime wedges to shaker. Muddle. Add ice. Shake and strain into chilled martini glass. Add a splash of Sparking Ice Lemon Lime. Garnish with lime twist.

The cocktail was super easy to create, especially if you don’t have a lot of ingredients. I loved how the drink wasn’t too sweet, and the fizz isn’t overwhelming.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

To find more cocktail or cooking recipes that incorporate Sparkling Ice, check out their website and on Instagram. I especially love their cute and quick videos on Instagram! Cheers!

Parallel 49 x Central City Brewing: Seasons Greetings 24-Pack Advent Beer Calendar

cc pseasonsgreetings by SophiaHo on 500px.com

NOTE: All beers sampled were complimentary as part of a media tasting. However, all opinions are based on my own experience.

It’s that time of the year again and if you’re still looking for the perfect holiday gift or you’re just a beer enthusiast, then this is for you. Earlier this month, Parallel 49 and Central City Brewers launched their collaboration of the advent-style beer calendar, called Seasons Greetings 24-Pack. Yes, if you’re tired of getting chocolate advent calendars, why not get one filled with 24 beers. In the pack, which goes for $72.99 at BC Liquor Stores and select private liquor stores, you’ll find seasonal favourites as well as some exclusive beers. Each brewery has pulled in 12 beers each for the pack.

2.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

At the media event, we were able to try some of the beers that are in the pack. The selection ranged from sours, stouts, scotch ales, porters, winter ales, IPAs and pale ales. For someone who enjoys lighter and fruitier beers, I was happy to find that the pack has many of those, but also a mix of some darker ales for others.

1.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Below are some of the beers included in the pack which we were able to try. The other 12 are a mystery!

DSCF by SophiaHo on 500px.com

The first 6 we got a sneak preview for were from Parallel 49. Of these, I really enjoyed the Filthy Dirty Grapefruit IPA which is great for those who enjoy a fruitier beer. The Top O’ The Mornin’ Breakfast Stout was an interesting one as it tasted just like coffee! It’s made using coffee beans from 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters.

DSCF by SophiaHo on 500px.com

The other 6 were from Central City Brewers. They feature the brand Red Racer. In this pack, there’s some stronger beers with one up to 11.5% in alcohol content. The Red Racer Fly by Night Porter was an interesting one again because of the strong notes of coffee and chocolate. I usually don’t like dark beers but the coffee flavour really made it much more interesting. Again, they also feature some fruit beers like the Red Racer Kiwi Sour which was a favourite for K. Light and fruity.

Overall, this holiday gift pack definitely has a large variety of beers and imagine how fun it’ll be to reveal a new beer each day in December! Definitely the perfect gift for your beer loving friend.

 

21 Nautical Miles – ChineseBites Media Event

commercial photography locations

NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are based on my own personal experience.

Seafood boils have been exploding in Vancouver and appears to be the new trend. I guess that means we don’t need to go down to Seattle for Crab Pot! A few weeks ago, I was invited by ChineseBites to attend a tasting at 21 Nautical Miles in Yaletown.

commercial photography locations

The restaurant took over the previous tenant, Society, so the decor is still somewhat similar with high ceilings. High tables and chairs with a bar feel is what I would describe the restaurant. I do find that the decor is slightly odd for the type of food we’re eating, but we are in Yaletown.

commercial photography locations

At the entrance though, you get the Asian decor with modernized paintings and cute chairs. As you can tell, the restaurant features seafood boils with Asian flavours.

commercial photography locations

We started off with a 3 litre tower of beer. Definitely reminded me of the times when we had this in Spain, but I haven’t seen this anywhere in Vancouver yet. Great to share across the table! They also have wine and pretty much any other drink you want since they have a large bar.

commercial photography locations

Seafood Party: Garlic Butter

And then the Seafood Party started! The seafood boils come in a metal bowl and are dumped onto your table which has been covered with parchment paper. Each diner will have a mallet and wooden board so you can smash open your crab. You’ll also get plastic gloves and a bib so you can get as messy as you want! There is a two person minimum order and it’ll cost you $38.95 per person. This will get you BC Dungeness crab, selva tiger prawns, blue mussels, clams, corn and potato. If you want to get fancy like we did, you can also add on Alaskan king crab, lobster tail, and snow crab. There are also four flavours to choose from, and pictured here is the Garlic Butter. This is perfect for those who can’t eat spicy and is really the only option since the other three are all spicy. This was a crowd pleaser since you really can’t go wrong with garlic butter flavoured anything!

commercial photography locations

Seafood Party: Black Pepper

Moving on to something a little spicy was the Black Pepper flavour. This flavour reminded me of the late night clams you get at Cantonese restaurants. The Alaskan king crab was delicious by the way. Normally, I don’t really care for king crab because I find that our BC Dungeness crabs are quite meaty already, but man, these were juicy! I highly recommend splurging a little to get the king crab here! One leg is plenty to share with your guests.

commercial photography locations

Seafood Party: Xi’an Spicy

Another level up in terms of spice gets you the Xi’an Spicy. With red chili peppers giving that extra kick, I actually really enjoyed this as it had a depth of flavour and wasn’t just plain spicy and numbing. Oh and the tiny lobster tails were juicy and delicious.

commercial photography locations

Seafood Party: House Special Spicy (5/5 Spice Level)

Then onto the spiciest you can get is the House Special Spicy. We had ours at 5/5 spice level, but you can choose how spicy you want when you order. Many of our group couldn’t take spice so this was a struggle, but I actually didn’t find it as spicy as I had though. I didn’t mind a few pieces in between the other flavours, but I thought that this was more of just plain numbing and spicy rather than having any additional flavour. If you like spicy, I would suggest the Xi’an Spicy instead since it has more flavour. And to be honest, I found the snow crab to be just average as they have long legs but the abundance of meat is very little. I like my crabs with lots of meat!

commercial photography locations

Overall, the seafood boils are great with the seafood being quite fresh although many of the spicier flavours will cover any freshness. If you really want to taste the seafood flavours, I’d recommend getting the Garlic Butter. I also wish there was some bread to soak up all the flavours. The seafood boils are OceanWise by the way, so always a plus!

commercial photography locations

Seafood Party: Wok Fried Spicy

Next up was the Wok Fried Spicy, a dry seafood dish which featured crab and spot prawns. These had a nice kick but the flavours really came from the outside crumbs covering the shell as the inside is not seasoned.

commercial photography locations

Kung Fu Soup

To clean our palettes, we tried the Kung Fu Soup which is an abalone flavoured soup with goji berries. Served in a beautiful tea pot and cup, the soup was light but full-bodied. I loved this and highly recommend ending your meal with this to calm your palette!

commercial photography locations

Stone Cooked Scrambled Eggs

Other than seafood boils, they have some other dishes on the menu including this very interesting Stone Cooked Scrambled Eggs. The staff brings over a very hot pot with hot stones inside. They then pour a blend of eggs, shrimp, and green onions in the pot and cover the pot. Because of the hot pot and stones, the eggs get cooked. It’s fun to watch but the stones are not very practical because you have to scoop them out before eating the egg.

commercial photography locations

Grilled Oysters

They also have Grilled Oysters which are filled with lots of garlic. I found these to be slightly too salty and you could barely taste the oysters.

commercial photography locations

Chicken Wings

The Chicken Wings are flavoured with preserved plum but tasted like peanut butter to me. Very crispy on the outside but the salty and sweet flavour threw me off a bit.

commercial photography locations

Beef and Lamb Skewers

The Beef and Lamb Skewers are flavoured with cumin spices and brings an Asian flavour. I found the beef (top) to be quite dry, so I did prefer the lamb (bottom) much more.

commercial photography locations

Sichuan Style Boiled Fish

A new dish that the chef let us try was the Sichuan Style Boiled Fish. This is served with flat glass noodles and tofu. The tofu really soaked up the spicy sauce, while the glass noodles did the opposite. I think a different type of noodles would have worked better and the noodles were also too hard for my liking. This was made with a 5/5 spice level, but it can be customized for milder tastes. This was mostly numbing so I wish there was another dimension of flavour to it.

commercial photography locations

Crawfish Tower

Then came the Crawfish Tower which was a crowd pleaser with everyone trying to get the perfect shot with the liquid nitrogen smoke. However, I’m not a huge fan of crawfish just because I find that it’s a lot of work to get so little meat!

commercial photography locations

The flavours were the same as the seafood boils, including garlic butter, black pepper, Xi’an spicy, house special spicy (spice level 5/5).

commercial photography locations

Blue Crab in Chef’s Special Sauce

As if we did not have enough seafood, the chef brought us the Blue Crab in Chef’s Special Sauce. This turned out to be a favourite with the dish featuring blue crab, chicken wings, chicken feet, and potatoes in a special chef’s secret recipe from his Xi’an hometown. I find that there isn’t much meat in blue crab, but this sauce was tasty!

commercial photography locations

Mango Thousand Layer Mille Crepe

To finish off our large meal, we had the Mango Thousand Layer Mille Crepe. These are super popular these days, and even my sisters has been obsessed at making them. This was quite good with a nice layer of mango jelly in the centre. They told us it was directly imported from Taiwan but my sister actually found this at Price Smart when she was looking for crepe cakes to taste test. She’s pretty sure it’s the same one because of the special layer of mango jely in the centre. As well, when I ate it, it was slightly frozen so it seemed like it was frozen and then defrosted. So I guess you could still say it’s imported from Taiwan… It was still good but not even close to the ones at Lady M!

commercial photography locations

Overall, 21 Nautical Miles definitely is a great place to visit if you want to try seafood boils with Asian flavours. The prices are not cheap, but you also get a fancier ambiance.

21 Nautical Miles Seafood Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Storm Crow Alehouse

Looking for a place to chill after work and have drinks (other than the typical Earls and Cactus) turned us to Storm Crow Alehouse which opened earlier this year on Broadway.

Long Island Iced Tea

What’s cool about this spot is that there is a whole wall of board games which you can borrow while enjoying your drink. They have all types of games from 2 player games to games for a large group. We started off with jenga along with some Long Island Iced Teas. They have a large selection of drinks, but I found their cocktails to be just okay. Perhaps stick to the beers.

Mount St. Nacho

Since we were quite hungry from work, StevieD and I shared the Mount St. Nacho. The nachos were topped with cheese, jalapeños, red onions, roasted corn and black beans, pico de gallo salsa and sour cream. We added pulled chicken for an extra $6 so the whole dish came to $26, which is not cheap at all. And frankly, the dish sucked. The chips were not crunchy and the chicken was dry. I expect a lot more if I pay this much, and we left disappointed. Probably some of the worst nachos I’ve had.

Hillbilly Style Chik’n & Waffles Dee-Lux

S got the Hillbilly Style Chik’n & Waffles Dee-Lux and these sucked too. This came with house-breaded chicken strips and waffles served with maple cream sauce and honey mustard. The chicken strips were so dry! And same with the waffles…

All in all, we were extremely disappointed with the food at Storm Crow. I’d suggest coming here just for the drinks and the board games, but grab dinner elsewhere. They do a treasure box thing when your receipt comes which goes along with their whole theme.

Pros:
– Fun board games
– Good place to chill with large groups

Cons:
– Skip the food
– Service isn’t too great

Price Range: $20-30

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 1.5 Service: 2 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 3 Overall: 2

Storm Crow Alehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cuchillo

After being hungry at a beer event, J suggested we go grab some tacos at Cuchillo. I didn’t know this place existed and it is quite a hidden gem with only a skull on the outside of the restaurant!

We started off with some white wine and rose. I can’t remember the names of these but that they were rather fruity.

Baja Style Battered Rockfish

Our first taco was the Baja Style Battered Rockfish. The beautiful green coloured kale and hemp corn tortilla was topped with jicama slaw, chipotle aioli, and of course the battered rockfish. This had a good spicy kick but man this was good! The batter was light and the fish remained moist. Their tacos are quite packed for the amount of tortilla you get so it can be quite messy to eat!

Pulled Duck Y Cracklin’

The second taco we had was the Pulled Duck Y Cracklin’ which came with roasted garlic, blackberry habanero jam, pulled pork, crackling, and this all sat on top of a black bean corn tortilla. I really enjoyed the sweetness of the blackberry jam against the tender pulled pork.

Pork Belly Confit

We also tried one of their larger dishes, which was the Pork Belly Confit which came with a maple chipotle and tamarind glze, a granny smith puree and was topped with chicharon and patacones (or fried plantains). The ratio of fat to meat was right on and the meat was tender! So much fatty goodness.

This is definitely a great spot to grab some tacos and enjoy Mexican food. I like how the place feels more upscale yet it’s casual enough so you don’t need to dress up. If you’re feeling a little fancy but want tacos, then here’s the place to go. Great for a girls night out or date night.

Pros:
– Solid tacos
– Great ambiance and service

Cons:
– Not the cheapest for portions

Price Range: $25-35

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 4 Parking: 3.5 Overall: 4

Cuchillo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Anh + Chi

Anh and Chi is the new hip and modern Vietnamese spot that took over the prior space, Pho Hoang. The restaurant is owned by the same family but the children now run the restaurant.

The restaurant is clean and modern with natural sunlight shining in to make picture taking effortless. Be aware of the long line ups and no reservations here. We came here closer to 2pm and got a seat within 15 minutes.

They’ve really vamped up the decor and everything inside just has a modern flare to it.

Soda Ép: Hand-Craft Soda – Fresh Lime, Dragon Fruit Tonic, Salty Plum

We started off with their Hand-Craft Sodas which the servers recommended. From left to right is the Fresh Lime, Dragon Fruit Tonic, and Salty Plum. The Salty Plum really wowed us with the drink not being overly salty or tart. It had a nice balance and was very appetizing. A must order!

Chả Giò – Crispy Spring Rolls

Onto the appies of which included the Crispy Spring Rolls which comes in a beautiful woven basket. They really know how to play with presentation here and hence their high prices. $7 for two rolls is not cheap. The spring rolls are filled with pork, prawn, carrot, taro, bean thread vermicelli and black mushroom. Many of their dishes are served with lettuce, mixed herbs and a chili fish sauce of which you then wrap around. I have to say, the flavours of these spring rolls are very modernized but I loved it!

Sài Gòn – Prawn Salad Rolls

The Prawn Salad Rolls were also presented beautifully. Each order comes with one roll cut in half (pictured is two orders). You can also choose from grilled pork or chicken. The rolls were filled with lettuce, bean sprouts, rice vermicelli and my favourite ingredient was the mint which gave it a very fresh taste. It was served with a delicious peanut sauce.

Cánh Gà – Fried Chicken Wings

The Fried Chicken Wings were a hit at our table with a marinade of chili fish sauce, butter, garlic, and green onion. The outside was crispy with the inside moist. We did find that this dish was slightly on the saltier side though.

Phở Hoàng

We got a taste of their predecessors by ordering the Phở Hoàng but it still came at the new prices at $11 for a normal bowl of pho. This came with sliced beef sirloin, brisket, tripe, tendon and meatballs. The broth was actually pretty good but I wouldn’t pay the price for it when I can get the same or better at a cheaper joint.

Bánh Xèo – Vietnamese Crêpe

I’ve been seeing the Vietnamese Crêpe all over social media so I suggested we try this as it’s not something I would usually order at Vietnamese restaurants. Filled in a crispy egg omelette was pork, prawn, bean sprouts, and mung bean. This was served with the same lettuce, mixed herbs and chili fish sauce so you could wrap the egg in. I really liked how crispy the outside was but found the inside ingredients to be under-seasoned.

Khay Bánh Hỏi Lụi Nướng – Street-Side Platter

The Street-Side Platter is great for sharing and consisted of house-made pork sausage, beef in betel leaf, grilled chicken, fried spring roll & grilled prawn. It was served with fresh lettuce, mixed herbs, pickled carrots and daikon, fine rice vermicelli, rice paper and chili fish sauce. We were given a warm bowl of water to soak the rice paper in to wrap our grilled meats so you got some DIY fun. However, I found it quite messy to do and would’ve prefered to have the assembly already done for me. All the meats were grilled just right and flavoured very well. The only one that lacked flavour would be the prawn.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nlhQ26XCd7c/V3rY7_aon_I/AAAAAAAAB2w/YAnGr6hgdJUKL64JOxDOCPfpCbB6JJE1gCCo/s640/10.jpg

Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò Tôm – Vermicelli Bowl

Lastly, we got the Vermicelli Bowl which was very similar to the previous dishes as they consisted of the same ingredients. I would skip this if you already ordered the above dishes. We chose to have grilled chicken and it also came with a grilled whole prawn, fried spring rolls, a bed of greens, mixed herbs & chili fish sauce.

Overall, we were quite happy with Anh and Chi but found that many of the flavours in their main dishes were very similar after a while. Still, it’s great to see Vietnamese cuisine go from the typical cheap eats to becoming modern and upscale. Of course, this comes with a price, but you are paying for the overall experience. Service was also extremely friendly which is a huge change from the usual pho joints.

Pros:
– Great modern twist and presentation
– Service is great and ambiance is beautiful

Cons:
– Pricey
– Some dishes become very similar in flavour

Price Range: $20-30/person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food:4 Service: 4 Ambiance: 4 Parking: 3.5 Overall: 4

Anh + Chi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sai Woo

Super late post again but back in early May, us accountants finally celebrated the end of tax season! Our firm treated us to dinner and drinks at Sai Woo in the heart of Chinatown. Sai Woo doesn’t server your typical authentic Chinese food, it’s more of a westernized style of Chinese food.

We basically booked the whole restaurant and the inside decor is beautiful! I loved the fairy lights and the ambiance gave a nice chic and elegant feel.

Their cocktails are what I would come here for and they have a long bar on one side where you can come in if you want to just enjoy some drinks.

Sai Woo Sour

E and I decided to go all out that night (since we were’ paying!) and tried to go down the list of the cocktail list. Yes, huge headache the next day, but it was fun! We started off with the Sai Woo Sour which featured Bombay Sapphire East, Benedictine, ginger syrup, lemon juice, and egg white.

Elderflower 75

The Elderflower 75 was my favourite and consisted of Finlandia Vodka, St. Germain, lemon juice, and sparkling cava. This was the fruitiest drink and extremely easy to drink. Plus, it’s always classy to have some cava in hand.

Smoking Gun

The Smoking Gun is the men’s drink and the process in making the drink is super cool to watch. They light up the drink and some smoke comes out then they throw in this huge ice cube. The drink consisted of El Dorado 12 year old rum, bitters, brown sugar, oak, and tea smoke. A very bitter drink and great for those who like to drink straight rum. The guys said it was too sweet from the brown sugar though…but us girls found it bitter!

Carioca

Another favourite was the Carioca with Cacha 51, guava juice, orange juice, lime juice, and sloe Gin float. Another one of those lighter and fruitier drinks which I enjoyed.

Tuna Tartare

As we booked the place up for a private event, our menu was already pre-ordered and it included some canapés to start. I didn’t get pictures of all of them but a memorable one was the Tuna Tartare which came with nori on top. Quite yummy! They also seem to enjoy using raw ingredients at Sai Woo.

Wagyu Beef Carpaccio

We were able to choose two appetizers each. For myself, I chose the Wagyu Beef Carpaccio which came with broccoli puree, crudite, rye crumble, sorrel, and candied lime. To be honest, I found this to be just average. The beef lacked flavour and the plate itself was also extremely small for the price.

Beet Salad

E got the Beet Salad which came with buckwheat cracker, yoghurt, blackberry sauce, fermented grapes, and herbs. A colourful dish but E also said it was just average.

Sai Woo Salad

My second appetizer was the Sai Woo Salad which comes with smoked sockeye salmon, gem lettuce, frisee, pickled tomato, blue cheese cream, and fennel. Again, something was off about this dish. It was way too acidic with the pickled tomatoes overbearing the whole dish. The smoked salmon was also more like cooked salmon as it was fully cooked. Everyone agreed this dish was too pickled.

Pressed Lamb

For my entree, I got the Pressed Lamb which was my favourite of the dishes. The lamb was packed into a rectangle and was crispy on the outside while staying very moist in the inside. It came with seasonal vegetables of what appeared to be brocolini, braised shallots, kale, sherry jus and a side of long grain rice.

Ling Cod

Some of the other diners got the Ling Cod which came with oyster mushrooms, green onion puree, greens, and jasmine rice. Apparently this was extremely salty for some while being perfect for others. Seems like they have inconsistencies in seasoning.

Lemongrass Chicken

The other entree option was the Lemongrass Chicken which came with vermicelli noodles, bitter greens, and a sunny side up fried egg.

Baklava

Dessert was just as disappointing. the Baklava was unappealing to look at and consisted of pistachio nuts, toasted nuts, honey rose pearls, and phyllo chips. This was sort of an deconstructed baklava but something about it just didn’t seem right.

Chocolate Cake

The Chocolate Cake came with candied fennel and orange marmalade and it appeared that most diners did not enjoy this. Perhaps it was gluten free and therefore the cake itself was very hard and dry.

 

Overall, we found the food at Sai Woo to be underwhelming but we think it might be because they aren’t experienced with catering to a large group. Most diners who have gone to Sai Woo on a regular day have had good experiences, so I would probably give them a try during their regular service. I have to say that their drinks are great so I wouldn’t mind coming here to grab a drink. Plus the decor is beautiful inside!

Sai Woo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato