gracecheung604 | write on time: April 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

First try at Pidgin

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I had first tasted Chef Makoto Ono's food back in 2006 in Toronto at the Gold Medal Plates competition where he actually beat out Chef Mark McEwan in his hometown. I heard that he moved to China next and was surprised to see him resurface in Vancouver. I was eager to give his menu a try. 2013-12-28 19.26.53 They have a simple drinks and dinner menu and a clean chopstick & napkin combo. Side plates (rather, bowls) are provided since most of their dishes are meant for sharing. 
2013-12-28 19.45.15 
My drink on the right is the de capo negroni. It's a pretty potent blend of gin, vermouth, campari, and a large ice ball made with cold press coffee. Interesting, that's for sure. 2013-12-28 20.04.45 For a starter, we tried their simple Korean Gochujang Fried Chicken Wings. People raved about this so I really wanted to give them a try. True, they were good, a great crunch, not greasy at all, and juicy and tender on the inside. I recall reading that the wings are actually brined overnight, so that could be the reason why they seem juicier than your average "hot wings". I appreciated the fact that they were not drenched in sauce too. The veggie garnish didn't really do anything for me though.
2013-12-28 19.57.51 For our second starter, we gave the Shrimp Toast a try. Served with a slaw of daikon on homemade brioche, this was a tasty bite, but note that it's nothing like the Shrimp Toast you normally get a dimsum restaurants...  
2013-12-28 20.30.06 
This is the Ling Cod, gently smoked and pan-roasted. It was done to a medium and the sweet smokey fish flaked off easily. The lentils were a good side this, the two textures matched well together. The clams added a playful touch to the dish. The sauce is a bacon dashi veloute, essentially a broth-based roux, but using bacon is playful. 
2013-12-28 20.30.15 
I had reviewed the menu prior to coming and was delighted to see that they had Squab on the menu. I've since noticed that it's no longer on the menu though; too bad because I thought it was a clever nod to the name of the restaurant. Served with pickled veggies and some fresh herbs, I found the dish a little sparse. However, the flavour of the squab was really good and had almost a rustic feel to it.  
2013-12-28 20.38.27 
After finishing the cocktails, I decided to get a half litre of wine to finish off the meal with. I was smitten with the cut up pop bottle presentation. I was tempted to through it into my purse, next time...I'll have to bring a larger purse! 

Take Note:


  • Some appies are better deals than the mains (ie. wings versus squab)
  • Prix fixe menu pricing has risen from $40 to $55/person
  • Shishito peppers are highly recommended as a starter


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