Restaurant review: The Flying Pig (Olympic Village)

To celebrate my dinner companion’s birthday, we decided to try “The Flying Pig” at the Olympic Village.
Flying Pig bills itself as a “nouveau Canadian bistro”, meaning local seasonal ingredients in a casual atmosphere, and at a reasonable price.

The Olympic Village location on West 2nd Avenue (between Manitoba and Columbia street) is the newest one, open since late December 2014.  The others being the original location in Yaletown on Hamilton Street, and in Gastown on Water Street.

The restaurant did not accept reservations, but we arrived on a Wednesday night, and there was ample seating available.

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While examining the menu, the server brought out a complimentary basket of bread, with a plate of extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar.

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The olive oil was fruity, and the aged balsamic vinegar had some nice sharpness to it.  The bread was quite soft and tender, but not especially crusty.  There actually four slices of bread, I was slow on the camera.

My dinner companion’s starter was Salt & Pepper “Humbolt” Squid.

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This is tender strips of squid, battered and deep-fried, garnished with salt, pepper, diced raw red onions, and served with lemon and dill yogurt dipping sauce.    This tastes and feels very much like a greek calamari to me.  It’s good.  It’s tender and well seasoned, and tastes pretty good,  but misses a little because there’s not much crispness.  If its deep-fried, I expect a little crispness.

 

My starter was Rocket and Watercress Beetroot salad.

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This is a green salad of rocket and water cress, tossed in an olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette, served with candied walnuts, fresh soft goat cheese slivers of fresh pear, and large cubes of roasted beets. This is a nice salad.  The greens are fresh and crisp.  The beets are roasted to a firm (but tender enough to cut without effort) al dente.  The walnuts are slightly sweet and nicely crunchy, and the goat cheese provided some creaminess.   I kinda thought the beet cubes were a bit too large though.

My dinner companion’s main was Pan seared BC Sablefish.

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This is a large filet of sable fish, seared on the skin side and finished in an oven, then served over a lobster bisque risotto, with vegetables and a chive beurre blanc sauce.  This was a very nice dish.  The risotto was tender and creamy with a light hint of lobster.  The sablefish was perfectly seared and roasted to just the right doneness.

My main was Blackened Steelhead Trout.

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This is a fillet of steelhead trout heavily seasoned with Cajun spices, and heavily seared on one side and finished in an oven.  It’s served over a ragu of shrimp and chorizo sausage pasta, studded with peas and zucchini.  This was a terrific dish.  The trout was boldly seasoned and cooked to the right doneness.  The pasta was spicy and held up well against the Cajun flavors of the trout.

We finished with a shared dessert of Bourbon maple creme brulee.

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This is a rich creamy custard, topped with carmelized maple bourbon sugar.  It’s served with fresh fruit and an oatmeal cookie, and dusted with powdered sugar.  This was a superb creme brulee. The custard is silky smooth and creamy, with just enough sweetness.  The bruleed top quite thick, but wonderfully sweet and crunchy.  The cookie was nice, but not especially noteworthy, next to the custard.  It’s a fairly large serving, and it was enough for two, given that we were pretty full from the rest of the meal.

The dining room is expansive and open, and quite loud from the ambient music.  It’s clean and little on the dimly lit side.

Our server was very attentive, and cheerful.  She also comped the dessert when she learned we were there to celebrate a birthday, so she gets bonus points for that.

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