Our first meal for Dineout Vancouver 2015 occurred at the Vancouver Fish Company, near the entrance to Granville Island. This place opened less than year ago, occupying the space previously home to Whet (and Sammy J Peppers before that).
We had reservations, but it probably wasn’t necessary, as the place was not that busy. Particularly for weekend at lunch.
We went with the Dineout lunch set menus. This started with two appetizers:
Beet & Arugula Salad with beets five ways, goat cheese, hazelnuts, and tarragon maple vinaigrette.
This is a light salad of pickled beet wedges, smoked beet cubes, yellow beet chips, and arugula, dressed with a light maple vinaigrette, dotted with roasted hazelnuts and fresh goat cheese. This is a nice light salad, with a nice blend of smoky, crisp, crunchy, sharp flavors. There are supposed to be five different preparations of beets in here, but I only noticed three. And while I was okay with the flavor of the pickled beet wedges, they were a little thick (for me). They made for a very firm hard bite.
The second appetizer was Clam Chowder Boston-style clam chowder, fresh clams, thyme cream, bacon-wrapped bacon
This is a thick creamy chowder of bacon, clams, potatoes, onions. It was a bit light on the clams, only noticed one complete clam in the cup. And the chowder was think and salty. Thicker than I like anyways. We asked the server to bring us a cup of hot water, which we used to thin out the chowder, and take the edge off the saltiness. This was just the trick we needed.
Our mains arrived shortly after we finished our appetizers. The first consisted of Rock Fish & Chips.
This is two thick strips of Haida Gwaii rock fish, beer battered and deep fried, served with a generous serving of french fried potatoes, and small cups of ketchup and house house made tartar sauce. It comes with a cole slaw of slivered cabbage, apple and fennel.
The fries were crispy and well seasoned, with a good crunchy texture, while tender on the inside.
The fish was medium firm, with mild delicate flavor. Batter was properly seasoned and lightly crispy when it was hot and fresh, but became soft as time lapsed.
The slaw was fresh and crisp, with lots of acidity from the vinaigrette dressing.
The second main was a Pan-seared Bowen Island Sockeye.
This is a sockey salmon fillet was seared on one side until crispy on the bottom, then finished in oven. It’s served over a tomatoey risotto, garnished with fresh watercress and carrot slivers. This was probably the best dish of the meal. The salmon was seasoned nicely and cooked to a medium-rare. The risotto was savory, rich and creamy. The watercress and carrots added some nice freshness to the dish.
After we finished our mains, our server brought our dessert. This started with Flourless Chocolate Cake pecan brittle, fresh whip
This was a nice rich chocolate dessert, with a scoop of fresh pecan brittle ice cream and dollops of whipped cream.
The chocolate cake was very rich, heavy and smooth. The cool ice cream and light whip cream were a nice offset of textures. The pecan brittle flavor was not really noticeable in the ice cream.
The second dessert was a Maple Crème Brulee with a rosemary shortbread cookie.
This is a rich creamy baked custard sweetened with maple syrup, topped with caramelized sugar, served with savory rosemary shortbread cookie. This custard was smooth and rich and very creamy, just lightly sweet from the maple syrup and sugar topping. The cookie was crisp and savory, but can’t say I really liked the rosemary flavor. I probably would have preferred just a regular shortbread cookie.
Service was helpful and attentive, friendly and polite.
Room is open and bright, with lots of warm wood tones, and the fabulous setting of the Granville Island marina outside.