I went for a group dinner at the recently opened Supermarine Seafood & Cocktails in Kitsilano on Yew Street. It’s in the space previously occupied by Abigail’s Party, and has the same ownership as Wildebeast (in Gastown) and Bufala Pizzeria (in Kerrisdale).
We had reservations and were seated immediately.
This is a compact space, probably seats 30-35, in a fairly tight arrangement. The lighting is subdued. The combination of the tight space, low lighting, and partially underground geometry makes the space feel like a cellar.
Because we had six members at our table, the server informed us that we would be served “family style”, meaning that dishes would arrive in somewhat random order.
The first dish was a feature menu item, an heirloom tomato salad
This is wedges of sumptuous heirloom tomatoes, shavings of Parmesan, and roasted beets, drizzled with a little olive oil. The tomatoes were so intensely flavorful, enhanced with the salty Parmesan, and herbaceous olive oil. The roasted beets were earthy and sweet.
Next came octopus chips.
These are thin slices of tender octopus, dredged in seasoned flour and starch, and deep-fried. It’s served with a tomato brava sauce. The octopus has a slight crunch with a decent chew, while still maintaining a tender texture inside. It also has a hint of lemon and rosemary. The tomato brava sauce came across as ketchup
This is tender octopus, marinated, grilled and glazed, served warm salad of crispy beans & potato, arugula purée. The maple-garlic glaze was the highlight of the dish, it enhanced the char on the octopus with sweetness and saltiness. The arugula puree was creamy savory and garlicky.
This is spring salmon charred on side, and served over eggplant glazed with miso toffee, house made ricotta, salad of fresh beans & summer herbs.
The salmon was slightly overcooked, which hurt the dish considerably. The grilled eggplant was tender and had a wonderful sweet char.
This was followed by grilled Skate Wing
This is a wing of line-caught Cape Cook skate, roasted on the bone, served over white polenta, with a field mushroom marmalade. I’ve only had skate once before, many years ago, and on that occasion, it was not well prepared. But this was wonderful delicate buttery flesh, decent flavor and seasoning, but quite boney.
The mushroom marmalade was fantastic, both sweet, salty and earthy, and the polenta was smooth and creamy.
Next came Tempura Snow Crab
This is segmented Snow Crab claws, thinly battered and lightly deep-fried, then drizzled with a honey & black pepper glaze. It’s served with bok choy, pomme purée, and a fresh crab meat salad.
There was a wonderful crunch in the tempura batter on the crab. It had good flavor but snow crab seemed a little underweight (not very meaty). The pomme puree is basically a light whipped mashed potatoes.
This is handmade spaghetti tossed with fresh Littleneck clams (cooked in butter garlic, white wine parsley and egg yolk) topped with spicy bread crumbs. The clams were wonderful, garlicky and buttery, but the noodles seemed a little soft and overcooked, rather than al dente.
This is pan seared Vancouver Island rock cod, served with a warm salad of summer squash, walnut, basil, and bandit bisque. The rock cod is a firm white fish, and there was a nice crispy char from the pan sear. I liked the bandit bisque, which was rich and savory.
This included broccolini, kale with lemony panko topping, roasted yellow and purple beets with mixed microgreens and soft goat cheese.
The room was compact and noisy (both from music and conversation), and while the server was attentive and friendly, I found it hard to hear the server’s explanation of the dishes.
My one critique of their process is the imposition of “Family Style” service, but no serving spoons or other utensils. If the kitchen chooses to impose “Family Style” service, that’s fine, but if the idea is that the diners are supposed to share everything, then I would expect the servers to provide serving utensils so we don’t have dirty forks and spoons going into the dish.