I recently learned that Sequoia Grill has gone back to its original name as the Teahouse Restaurant. Celebrating its 30 years of success, it has said a lot about the restaurant’s quality and reputation. To top my South Granville adventure with my mom on Mother’s Day, I decided to take my dad out for dinner at the Teahouse.
I think overall the food was good. We ordered Soup of the Day, i.e. Seafood Chowder, and Appetizer of the Day, i.e. Seared Baja Scallops to share. The chowder was good, lots of seafood and proper seasoning – but I found it to be a bit too thick for my liking. The scallops were cooked well, although I secretly hoped that they would be bigger (hehe). The red pepper aioli had a very unique taste which, to my surprise, brought out another layer of flavour in the scallops. I liked the extra touch of the deep fried oyster, different texture compared to the scallops. Again, not a huge arugula fan so the salad wasn’t at all exciting to me.
For entree, I’ve chosen the Cioppino. There was a generous amount of seafood/shellfish in the broth. The fish pieces weren’t the freshest but scallops, shrimps, clams and mussels were all great. The broth wasn’t spicy as described in the menu but it’s tangy and definitely great for dipping. Unfortunately the focaccia was a little too greasy so I didn’t quite enjoy it. My parents ordered the Rib Eye Steak and Roasted Halibut, both were featured entrees of the day. The steak was tender (although more of a medium than medium rare as per my dad’s order) and the fish was moist. I was really surprised that the halibut wasn’t flaky and dry like how most halibut filets turn out. I have to specially mention the vege that came with the halibut. It’s some kind of baby asparagus – they’re very thin and tasty with the citrus dressing.
I was told by my coworker that their desserts are heaven. So we ordered Tiramisu, Double Belgium Chocolate Truffle Cake, and Trio of Gelato as our last course. The chocolate cake was indeed heavenly – it’s so rich and decadent, and it’s a perfect match for a cup of espresso. Tiramisu was good, too, but the mascapone cream was a bit thick. I can taste the kahlua/coffee soaked cake in between layers of the cream – and it balanced out the heavy cream cheese. Interesting choice of flavours they’ve got for gelato: mango, kiwi and raspberry. They’re all kind of exotic and have a tartness to it.
The friendly service is what I remember the best from my dinner that evening. When I made reservation online, I made a request for a table with a view. When we arrived at the restaurant, the request was acknowledged and addressed right away. Although a nice sunset was not promised, we were given a table by the window facing the ocean. Throughout the dinner service, our server was very attentive. He explained the menu thoroughly to us, and pointed out components of the dishes as they’re served. This level of detail and great service is rather rare, even if it’s for fine dining restaurants. It’s interesting that my dad noticed that another server always smiled and nodded at dad when she walked by our table. Another sign of good service by acknowledging other guests in the dining room, even if it’s not your assigned table.
We had our table in the Conservatory. Boy, was it beautiful. Without any fancy decoration, I could still picture how great of a wedding venue it would be. It’s a glass conservatory that offers you the gorgeous view of Stanley Park and the ocean on any given day (well, especially a nice, sunny day in the summer). It can be used as a stand-alone venue, with its own door that leads to a garden big enough to host a wedding ceremony.
Unfortunately, the acoustics of the room wasn’t that great. While we were there, the room eventually got filled with dinner parties of different sizes. Then the noise level increased exponentially and we almost had to yell across the table. A little bit of a let-down towards the end of dinner, but I think overall we’re happy with where we were seated.
Honestly, the food wasn’t as good as I expected, but the gorgeous view and beautiful venue definitely made up for it. It’s great for special occasion.
Teahouse in Stanley Park
Price Range: $30-$50
Ferguson Point in Stanley Park
7501 Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver