Thank goodness for Spot Prawn season! Here is a recap of a few of the places I've visited in the past few weeks. There have been four visits so far, but the season is not over yet!
The first of the season! Getting some Grilled Spot Prawns at Black and Blue.
These are simply grilled Spot Prawns, Head On. The juiciness is incredible, and the quick grilling make the shells very easy to remove. The heads are juicy too, so give it a quick suck to get all the goodness out.
This is the lunch special at Hawksworth. I was dining with a friend from out of town, from a place where spot prawns are either impossible to source or ridiculously expensive. Once the server informed us that they had this special available, it was a no brainer. We were both going to have this.
The Spot Prawn with Polenta. There are about 7 prawns (headless, oh what a shame) as well as some grilled broccoli, guanaciale, and some slow roasted heirloom tomatoes. I have never been a huge fan of polenta, but the sweetness of the corn and lobster gave the creamy polenta an amazing flavour. Combined with the bouncy prawns, this dish was stellar.
For the next Spot Prawn tasting, I headed to Coast (also of the Glowbal Group). Not only did they have Spot Prawns, the also had Razor Clam. These are almost like miniature conch. Steamed with shallots, garlic, fennel and some onions, this was simple and really showcased the clam. The flesh is juicy, meaty and really quite satisfying. It was my first taste of a razor clam, and I think I will start seeking it out more.
But the star of the show was again the Grilled Spot Prawns, Head On. These were quite similar to the ones at Black and Blue, but were accompanied by a light tomato based sauced. The sauce, along with the cherry tomatoes gave the dish a bit of additional warmth and complexity that I appreciated.
My fourth Spot Prawns of the season, we again headed up to Black and Blue, The Roof. We got a dozen, again Grilled Spot Prawn, Head On. This was less grilled and more trimmed than my first taste, but delicious nonetheless. The salad that accompanied it was pleasant, with a light dressing that neither added nor took away from the dish. It seemed perfunctory, and I think something more innovative would have been better. Perhaps a light ceviche of some sort, maybe a bit of grilled bread with some creamy spread?
I am also going to try Chef Heinrich's (of Mosaic at Hyatt Vancouver) Chef's Tasting Menu, focused on Spot Prawns this weekend. That 5-course dinner will definitely need its own post! Here it is!