06 February 2013

West Restaurant (Vancouver)

West Restaurant + Bar on Urbanspoon

West Restaurant has been one of the spots we really wanted to visit over the many Dine Outs. This year, we booked very early and managed to get an early dinner reservation on a weekend day. When we arrived, they were just about to start the first dinner sitting. The restaurant entrance was quite small and we nearly passed by it. Inside, the interior has a nice warm wooden tone and high ceiling. It had a very inviting feeling.

Aside from the Dine Out menu, the regular menu is also available for order. For each of the entrée on Dine Out menu, people could also add on extra side if they wish.

Complimentary Bread
 We were given two different types of breads and I couldn’t remember what they were… They were served warm with butter and olive oil. It was a very nice touch and light way to start the meal.

Caramelized Parsnip Soup
 The caramelized parsnip soup was poured into the bowl while served. Inside the bowl, there was smoked ham hock and parsley crème fraiche. The soup was creamy, sweet and light. Interestingly, I couldn’t taste much of the parsley aroma. When drinking with the ham hock, the smoky flavour brought out the savoury side of the taste. It was quite nice.

Shaved Endive and Pear Salad
 The salad was mixed with toasted almonds and cherry vinaigrette. The first couple bites of endive were a bit bitter. Yet the pear brought in the fresh fruit sweetness alongside the nutty flavour from the toasted almond. How refreshing~

Pacific Ling Cod
 The pan seared ling cod came with a bed of braised kale, fingerling potatoes and garlic scape salsa. I like the crispiness of the fish skin – it was also very well-seasoned. There wasn’t any bitterness from the braised kale. In fact, the preserved lemon was a nice addition to it.

Red Wine and Cinnamon Braised Beef Flatiron
 The braised beef had a side of carrots and crispy polenta. The beef itself was very moist and soft – you hardly need a knife for this. The polenta was creamy and crispy on the outside. I couldn’t taste any cinnamon, probably because of the strong taste from the red wine.

You can order a pan seared foie gras along with the beef as an extra, which Lun did.

Foie gras
 The foie gras has a very distinct flavour – it was rich, creamy, and a bit fatty. Our server put it well – “this is something people either love or hate; it’s very hard to find a middle ground.”

Banana Cake with Lemon Caramel Parfait
 We decided to share the desserts so we got one of each. This consisted of two thin pieces of banana cake with the lemon caramel parfait in the middle and maple butterscotch marinated pineapple on the side. The texture was a bit richer than I thought, especially when the lemon caramel parfait got “warm” up a bit.

Chocolate Truffle Cake
 The chocolate truffle cake was dense and not overly sweet. The coffee chocolate chip ice cream was very strong in flavour, which I didn’t mind.

Apple Galette
 The apple galette had a nice balance of cinnamon but I was hoping the curst would be a bit flakier. The cranberry ice cream was a bit small and more like a sorbet than ice cream.

 Overall, I found the portion being a bit on the smaller side. Usually after the 3-course dinner, I would feel very full but it wasn’t the case for me on this one. All the dishes had great presentation and decent taste. I think you still got quite a deal with this but I thought some of the cheaper ones I went were more memorable. It’s more of a personal preference and perhaps I had quite a bit of expectation before I came. Nonetheless, it was worth the try at a fine dining place like this with the Dine Out price.

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