Friday, July 1, 2016

Arc Restaurant : Fairmont Waterfront

It is quite rare for me to find more than three dishes that I truly want to try at a non-Asian restaurant so when I took a peak at Arc's menu at Fairmont Waterfront, I was quite excited! Chowder, tartare, bone marrow and foie gras all sounded good to me.

The atmosphere was fairly loud as there was live music playing at the bar and it did not really give off a fine dining vibe as the music was neither relaxing nor soft. We did not mind however since we were not here to celebrate a special occasion.

2014 HAIDA GWAII SEAFOOD CHOWDER, Ocean wise shells and fish, smoked bacon ($16.00)
Rating: 4/5
- Buttery, rich, creamy and flavourful chowder
- Plenty of large pieces of seafood and well executed, just cooked and not a second over
- Comparable to Forage's award winning chowder and I have never said that about another restaurant's yet! I highly recommend this!

BEEF TARTARE, Capers, shallots, house mustard, cured egg yolk, house baked bread ($16.00)
Rating: 2.5/5
- Good quality, well chopped and tender tasting beef
- Some portions have a hint of mustard while majority does not
- Too much onion that overwhelms the flavour of the tartar
- Bread does not taste properly stored and is more on the dry/stale side (but is not stale)
- Choice of bread overwhelms the texture and flavour of the tartar as well, but it may have been because the bread did not taste fresh

Rating: 1/5
- Garlic and rosemary bread rolls
- A bit disappointed the rolls did not arrive before the appetizers
- Rolls did not taste fresh or were not properly stored and taste stale (actually tasted stale, unlike the previous bread)
- Staleness aside, buns tasted on the bland side
- Tomato jam did not really work for me, but it has a heavy flavour for those who prefer this

ROASTED BONE MARROW, Parsley, preserved lemon, pickled shallot ($13.00)
Rating: 2.5/5
- Fatty bone marrow
- Bread has a nice smoky flavour
- Could taste more of the rich fattiness if the bread were crispier

SEA URCHIN RISOTTO, Aged biodynamic rice, sea urchin botarga, house cured lardo, preserved lemon ($16.00)
Rating: 1/5
- Off the daily menu
- Requested for the risotto to be served as a side with the entrees, but it was delivered with the appetizers (funny because I even complained to our server about how many restaurants disregard my request... yet it was overlooked)
- Light and cheesy flavour that did not overwhelm
- Non existent uni flavour however, only the color of uni is present
- Rice undercooked and tasted powdery in the centre

DUCK FOIE GRAS, Peanut butter and jelly, raspberry, peanut, banana ($22.00)
Rating: 2/5
- Oily and very soft crostini
- Jelly was very overwhelming
- Can taste richness of foie gras, but even the addition of a hint of jam overwhelmed
- Carmalized banana tasted extremely sweet and the sweetness overwhelmed the foie gras
- Gives off the vibe that banana and jam were added to a dish to make it playful or to make it sweeter for a child to eat 

After having a cramped table because all the appetizers arrived at once, the entrees arrived shortly and our server did not replenish our cutlery. Replenishing the cutlery is not necessarily a big deal to me, but it was in this case because I had a lot of jam on them. And because this is a Fairmont establishment.

DUCK BREAST, Romanesco broccoli, kohlrabi, black garlic, wild mushroom broth ($28.00)
Rating: 3/5
- Crisp skin that adhered to the meat
- Very moist, tender and juicy breast
- Wild mushroom broth was delicious, provided layers of flavour and complimented the meat (which was quite bland on its own)
- Not evenly rendered however and some parts were chewy with fat in-between
- Cauliflower was a highlight! Well prepared and roasted, very flavourful!

PAN ROASTED SALMON, Spiced pumpkin, pumpkin seed puree, popcorn broth, Tokyo turnips ($28.00)
Rating: 3/5
- Perfectly seared and crispy skin
- Salmon was moist and flaky, but of course dry and chewy towards the thinner end portion
- Well seasoned and tasty vegetables, all of them!
- Puree and broth were flavourful, so buttery and complimented the salmon

WARM OKANAGAN CHERRY CRUMBLE, Oatmeal crumble, house-churned burnt honey ice cream ($14.00)
Rating: 3/5
- Perhaps our server knew that we were disappointed and felt rushed because all the appetizers arrived at once and none of the cutlery were replenished since she offered a birthday dessert
- Perfectly executed crumble where it was neither too hard nor soggy
- Use of actual cherries where you can taste the natural tartness
- Dessert overall on sweeter side, but not too sweet
- Perfect ice cream, which is a good choice for dessert! House churned, soft and creamy, good quality and did not melt fast

Arc Restaurant gives the impression that it is more casual than fine dining from the loud music to the lack of service, which I did not mind because we were not here to celebrate a special occasion. It bothers me quite a bit however when the service is lacking at a fine dining establishment especially when there are only three seated tables on a slow evening, despite that the staff were genuine and friendly whenever we needed waved them down. We were also offered a birthday dessert! As for the food, it was either above average or a miss and the prices are reasonable... but there is better for the same price.

- Friendly staff
- Birthday dessert
- Amazing chowder

- Service was not attentive
- All the appetizers arrived at once

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 2.5/5

900 Canada Place Vancouver, BC V6C 3L5
Telephone: (604) 691-1818

ARC Bar - Fairmont Waterfront Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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