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 posts, 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 into 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". But as another fifteen minutes later, we were able to order.

I think the restaurant may have been short staffed because I felt guilty asking for features of the day and when he said "hold on," it seemed as if 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 food, until the very end when we paid for the bill. 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, BALSAMIC VINEGAR AND LOBSTER OIL. 
The bread is not served warm but tastes soft as well as fresh. As for the lobster oil, is it tasteful but not rich or overwhelming.

MANILLA CLAM CHOWDER ($7.95). 
The chowder tastes rich and has a nice consistency, but unfortunately there is an odd aftertaste of burnt plastic. I am not sure what sure what the cause of the burnt plastic flavour could be from, but 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. I found the coganc to be a bit too strong but BF enjoyed it (as most would). Thus far, 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. We passed on the clams however because neither of us wanted a whole plate of them. But later on, our server came back and mentioned the restaurant can offer a mix of mussels as well as clams, so we of course we were pleased. The seafood tastes fresh and the broth has a light tomatoey chicken flavour, along with a hint of peppercorn. There is also a bit of sliced chorizo which was a nice addition (considering a full order of mussels were not available?)  and does not taste salty. If anything, although this is not a big deal, but perhaps we should have stuck with all clams because there were three dead mussels.

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, and I wanted more carbs. At first, I was confused 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 dish and without having room for side plates, we ate from the entree plate. The scallops are cooked to a medium rare and taste tender, but lack a nice sear. 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 tastes a touch 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 salt along with the pepper because the seasoning provided a nice flavour and random crunches. The sauce is very overwhelming overall though.

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

Moving towards the market vegetables, the broccoli, red pepper, asparagus and 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 of mashed potato mix, so I was not a fan.

10oz NEW YORK STEAK SERVED WITH MASHED POTATOES, MARKET VEGETABLES AND PEPPERCORN SAUCE ($31.95).
His steak is prepared to a medium rare as well, with the same selection of vegetables. The steak tastes tender but could have tasted more juicy.

As for the peppercorn sauce, it tastes slightly salty and we did not really like it which may be selective. The peppercorns are not overwhelming though.

Pink Peppercorn is not really what I visioned prior to my visit. I pictured an inviting and warm atmosphere and the restaurant as a perfect destination for a date night. But instead, it seemed like we were playing a waiting and rushing game. We waited a while for water and was even told to "hold on" before we could order. Of course we do not mind waiting, but a better choice of words would be more polite and suitable. As for the food expedition, why did all the appetizers come at once? Furthermore, the service could have been better. Our server did not follow up on us until the end of the bill and was hard to get a hold of. If the restaurant was a full house it is more than fine, but I do expect more service when the room was not even half full. The cook however did come at the end of dinner to see how our meal was, but it would have been nice if he introduced himself too.

POSITIVES
- Cute interior
- Nothing is overcooked

NEGATIVES
- Fine dining prices without the service
- All the appetizers arrived at once (if we did not order soup, we would not mind)

LITTLE THINGS
- Seafood is probably better than the steaks
- 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 so. 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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