Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pink Peppercorn Seafood House



I will not act like I know much about Pink Peppercorn Seafood House and from reading some reviews; a man named Eddy who previously worked at the Cannery, is the owner. Apparently he brought over most of the same employees and items on the menu, along with the decor. 

This is what I pictured when walking in to Pink Peppercorn... cute decor, overly friendly staff, a cheerful positive atmosphere, and I assumed it was a fine dining restaurant because of "$$$$" on Urbanspoon. Some people have mentioned the interior of the restaurant has no "fine dining" feel to it and looks tacky. As for myself, I find the interior cute, interesting, entertaining, unique, and the only restaurant in Vancouver that has something like this. 

We arrived around 6:50pm on a Monday evening and there were around five seated tables. After a short five minute wait at the front, we were seated and waited around fifteen minutes for water. When our server brought over some water, we asked if we could order and he asked us to hold on. Another fifteen minutes later, we were able to order.

I think the restaurant may have been short staffed because I felt bad asking for features of the day and when he said "hold on," I felt like I was a nuisance. Furthermore, throughout the dinner it was hard to track down our server and he did not ask if we enjoyed any of the dishes, until the very end. I guess the restaurant really was short staffed, but they only had five tables? Anyway, not a big deal, I probably felt uncomfortable as well as awkward because I felt like I bothered him, or was expecting a different vibe because of the decor.


COMPLIEMNTARY BREAD, AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR AND LOBSTER OIL. 
The bread is not toasted and tastes soft as well as fresh. Furthermore, the lobster oil is tasteful but not rich or overwhelming.


MANILLA CLAM CHOWDER ($7.95). 
The chowder has a nice rich and creamy consistency but also, unfortunately an odd aftertaste of burnt plastic. In addition, there is a good amount of finely diced clams.

LOBSTER BISQUE, GARNISH WITH BABY SHRIMP ($11.95). 
The bisque has a rich creamy blend of a lobster flavour, along with a hint of cognac. As for myself, I found the coganc to be a bit too strong but BF enjoyed it (as most would). Furthermore, the lobster bisque at Pink Peppercorn and Top of Vancouver, are probably the best ones in Vancouver (uhh... remember Fraiche's?).


SAN FRANCISCO STYLE MUSSELS, LEEK, CONCASSE AND BASIL, CRACKED BLACK PEPPER IN A WHITE WINE GARLIC SAUCE ($14.95). 
The restaurant was sold out of mussels and offered to make the same appetizer with clams. However, we passed because neither of us wanted a whole plate of clams. Later on, our server came back and mentioned the restaurant can offer a mix of mussels as well as clams, and we took the offer. The seafood tastes fresh and the broth has a light tomatoey chicken flavour, with a hint of pepper corn. If anything, although not a big deal, perhaps we should have stuck with all clams because there were three dead mussels. Furthermore, the appetizer includes a bit of sliced chorizo (nice addition considering a full order of mussels were not available?), which does not taste salty since it was in the broth.

The. Small. Table. Issue. 
I know I mention this frequently but to date, never at a fine dining restaurant. I mean, we may have mentioned it at Joe Fortes but we deliberately did not order many appetizers to prevent the small table issue. Anyway, from all the fine dining restaurants I have blogged about, none of them have ever brought out all the appetizers at once. At both Gotham and Hy's, we were able to finish our soups before the second round of appetizers arrived. I mean, it does bother me because I feel obligated to finish everything ASAP so nothing gets cold. Also, cold dishes were not even my biggest concern the time! We did not even have room for a side plate or bread. At first, I was confused as to why BF was finishing his soup so fast, until the mentioned because the rest of the appetizers will get cold. Furthermore, the soup bowls were not cleared until the entrees arrived, which may not be a big deal… but we needed table space! Plus, I thought Pink Peppercorn was a fine dining restaurant?


JUMBO SCALLOPS COATED WITH LEMON PEPPER AND CHAI BUTTER SAUCE ($16.95).
The jumbo scallops are an appetizer of the day kind of thing and without having room for side plates, we ate from the entree plate. The scallops are medium rare and tastes tender, not overcooked. Furthermore, although the scallops are good, unfortunately the appetizer was served luke warm; and would have tasted better if hot.

As for the lemon pepper along with the chai butter  sauce, it was a bit too lemony, sour and overwhelming. Thankfully the sauce was not drizzled on the scallops because it was so tart that my eyes would twitch. In addition, I appreciate the sea along along with the pepper sprinkled on the scallops because of the nice random crunches. If anything, there was just too much sauce. 

AGED ALBERTA BEEF TENDERLOIN SERVED WITH YUKON GOLD MASHED POTATOES, MARKET VEGETABLES AND THYME JUS ($38.95).
The filet mignon is medium rare and tastes tender, I believe it is 7oz? As for the thyme jus, there is a red wine peppercorn with beef gravy and shallot flavour.

Moving towards the market vegetables, the broccoli, red pepper, asparagus along with a carrot are perfectly cooked (technically slightly undercooked but I prefer that). Furthermore, the mashed potatoes taste strangely sweet and I believe it is because they mix potatoes with a powder mashed potato mix, I was not a fan.

10oz NEW YORK STEAK SERVED WITH MASHED POTATOES, MARKET VEGETABLES AND PEPPERCORN SAUCE ($31.95).
His steak is medium rare as well, and tastes tender. Neither of us prefer the new york steak or sirloin in general as we both find them chewy, but the steak tastes tender.

As for the peppercorn sauce, it tastes slightly salty and we did not really like it. In addition, the sides included are the same as the beef tenderloin entree. If anything, steaks are pretty much a personal preference and I am positive that the sauce would be lovely for people who prefer sauce over, just a plain steak.

POSITIVES
- Interior is cutely decorated
- Steaks are cooked as requested
- One of the few restaurants in Vancouver that offers lobster oil
- Cook came out to ask how things were (would be nicer if he introduced himself)

NEGATIVES
- Not really fine dining but prices are somewhat high?
- Appetizers arrived all at once (if we did not order soup, we would not have minded

LITTLE THINGS
- Cannot speak for the seafood entrees since we did not try any (they are probably better than the steaks for sure though)
- Dinner took only 56 minutes to finish after we ordered and usually at a "fine dining" restaurant, a dinner should take an hour and fifteen minutes or less. What I personally think it should be below...
  • Soup 15 minutes
  • Wait time 5-10 minutes for second appetizers
  • Second appetizers 15 minutes
  • Wait time 10-15 minutes for entrees
  • Entrees 25-30 minutes
- Our dinner was more like all four appetizers at once and 15-20 minutes later the entrees arrived

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 2.5/5

Pink Peppercorn Seafood House on Urbanspoon

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