Diva at the Met

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For Valentine’s Day, S took me to Diva at the Met, which is located at the Metropolitan Hotel. On the day, they only offered the set menu and you were not able to order off the a la carte menu.

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Complementary bread and butter

Dinner started off with complimentary bread and butter. There were two types of bread. One had raisins, while the other had nuts. The bread was pretty good, but I would have preferred if it was served warm.

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The restaurant has an open kitchen concept with glass, so you can see the cooks prepare your food. That night, they offered a four course menu for $80 a person. There are two choices: the Diva or the Divo. The Diva is supposed to be catered for the girl, while the Divo is for the guy. However, you are open to choosing either depending on which menu you prefer more. Of course, I wanted to try everything, so I went for the Diva, while S got the Divo.

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Lobster Bisque

The Divo menu starts off with the Lobster Bisque, which has a truffle cappuccino foam. The consistency is rather thick and you can definitely taste hint of the truffle cappuccino.

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Octopus Carpaccio

For the Diva, it starts with the Octopus Carpaccio, which was probably my favourite of the night. The dish was beautifully presented, with lots of colours. It featured lobster, quail egg, and heirloom tomatoes. The octopus was thinly cut and cooked perfectly. It had just the right chew and the tomatoes made the dish very refreshing. The lobster was fresh and the meat was tender.

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Smoked Ham Hock Terrine

Divo’s second course was the Smoked Ham Hock Terrine, which featured pickles, onion jam, and bread tuile. The terrine had a smokey flavour and the ham wasn’t too salty. Paired with the onion jam, it made a great dish. The bread tuile was thin and crispy, but there could have been more of that to complement the terrine.

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Arugula & Granny Smith Apple Salad

The Diva’s second course was the Arugula & Granny Smith Apple Salad. I wasn’t too happy with this dish since I felt like I already sort of had a salad like dish for my first course. Seemed like they thought the ladies only eat salads… Anyways, this was a huge portion of arugula, and it was topped with a cider vinaigrette. It also came with blue cheese, which I’m not a fan of, so it wasn’t something I really enjoyed. However, I liked the candied walnuts, grapes, and Granny Smith apples that were paired along. The apples were slightly sour so it was really appetizing.

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Grilled Angus AAA Rib Eye

The Divo’s main course was the Grilled Angus AAA Rib Eye. S ordered the steak medium rare and indeed, the inside was cooked to a beautiful pink. It was dijon herb crusted with a brandy jus. The cut was perfect and so tender. I wish I had ordered this myself. It also came with roasted honey garlic and a potato and gruyere pave as sides.

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Roast Pheasant Coq au Vin

The Diva’s entree was the Roast Pheasant Coq au Vin. The pheasant was stuffed with stone fruit, and came with red rice, barley and honey carrots. The meat was actually pretty moist and the fruit stuffing gave it some sweetness. It came with a red wine sauce. Everything about the dish felt a little too healthy though. Not bad, but I probably wouldn’t order this again.

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Passion Fruit Curd and Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse

Lastly, for dessert, both the Diva and Divo’s came on the same dish. For the Diva, it was the Passion Fruit Curd, while the Divo’s was the Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse. The passion fruit curd was filled within a genoise, or Italian sponge cake, and had layers of white chocolate mousse. It came with some berry coulis and fresh fruit. I enjoyed both the desserts. The chocolate mousse wasn’t too sweet and I liked the hint of hazelnut flavour. Tasted sort of like eating a Ferro Rocher. I also liked how it was presented so you can share the plate with your significant other.

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Chocolates

Lastly, as your bill comes, they bring you a plate with chocolate truffles and a rose for the girl. Pretty sweet. Service was attentive and friendly. It didn’t feel pushy at all and the ambiance was nice but not over the top. Great place for date night.

Pros:
– All our dishes were pretty good and presented nicely
– Service was attentive and friendly

Cons:
– Wish we could’ve ordered off the a la carte menu

Price Range: $80/person for Valentine’s Day set menu

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

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

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Pidgin

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I swear I’ve walked on this street many times, yet I’ve always passed by without noticing Pidgin. The outside decor makes it look sort of like a cage, while the inside is hip and modern. There’s a bar table since they have a long list of drinks, but there’s also regular seating for those who are ready for a meal. Pidgin is known for their sharing plates. Since we wanted to try a bit of everything, we went with their Prix Fixe menu, which comes with 8 dishes to share for $55 a person.

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Sakehitosuji “plum sake” Junbaishi and Kozaemon, Junmai Umeshu

We started off with two drinks which were outside the prix fixe menu. I’m a huge fan of plum wine, so we decided to try both of their Plum Sakes. If I remember correctly, the Kozaemon was pricier, but also much sweeter. Really good!

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Daily Pickles and Oyster Shot

The first dish that came were the Daily Pickles. It came with beets, cabbage, and something similar to oshinko. They were all sour but my favourite was probably the beets. The rest were too sour for my liking. To be honest, the dish wasn’t too exciting and was a bit disappointing. On the right, was the second dish which was the Oyster Shot. A mini raw oyster topped with apple horseradish. Super cleansing and fresh!

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Cured Sockeye Salmon

The third dish was the Cured Sockeye Salmon. It was plated beautifully with a radish and herb salad. I didn’t really like the salad, but the salmon was nice. Nothing too special again.

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Raw Scallops

Next was probably my favourite dish. It was the Raw Scallops, which came with pomegranate, red curry oil, daikon, and julienned green apple. I loved the acidity of the green apple against the freshness of the seafood. Very flavourful!

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Mushrooms and Snap Peas

The fifth dish was the Mushrooms and Snap Peas. We were told to mix everything together and dip the mushroom into the soft boiled egg. The dish was also flavoured with soy yuzu brown butter. Pretty good, but I wouldn’t say it was amazing.

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Pan Roasted Halibut

Finally, something that seemed more like entree came. It was the Pan Roasted Halibut, which came with a side of pine nut raisin mix and some cauliflower puree. The halibut was moist and I loved the cauliflower puree that it was paired with. Not bad!

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Half Duck

The last entree was the Half Duck, which was a huge dish! It came with a carrot cake puree with orange and spices. I found that the meat was way too salty though. This was a huge dish too, and it was almost too much to eat alone, especially since each course comes out one by one. I felt like it needed some sort of a side to go with it. We ended up packing more than half of it to take home.

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Meringue

The last course was the Meringue. Again, it was plated really nicely, with yuzu curd, vanilla cream and coconut on the side. The meringue was quite sweet though, and was only good when balanced with the yuzu curd.

Overall, I found Pidgin to be just average. Was the food good? Yes, but nothing extraordinary or memorable. The plating is really nice and the portions will actually get you filled up, but it’s also quite pricey. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the service though.

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