With the number of foodies at the office, we went out one evening for Dine Out. After much consideration, we decided on Prestons because of its location (pretty close to the office) and its approachable menu (something for everyone). I remember a couple years ago when we blogged about a tasting event there, I said I would return for its regular service because that media event wasn’t their best. Well, here I am.
For appetizer I ordered the Prawn Gyoza. If you have been following my posts, you would know I’m not a huge fan of Pan Asian food, so obviously I had reservations about this dish. The verdict? It was Lisa’s favourite at the media event 2 years ago, and it didn’t disappoint me this time around. No, these aren’t the traditional, authentic gyozas, but they were very tasty. The dumplings were pan-fried until crispy on the outside with moist, shrimp filling side. The drizzle of miso vinaigrette (think miso mayo) added some savouriness to the rather sweet filling. They were light and flavourful and not greasy at all. This was such a nice starter to whet your appetite. Around the table everyone said they could easily eat 10 of these.
Moving on to entrees. Beef short rib has got to be one of the most popular dishes offered during Dine Out, so restaurants need to work their magic to make it not boring. This Braised Beef Short Rib was fork tender, braised to perfection. The sauce wasn’t too salty and was excellent mixing with the creamy celeriac mash. I really liked the root vegetable “hash”, with nice seasoning and a crispy sear on the outside. The portion was on the small side, though. We finished the plate pretty quickly, while secretly wanting more.
I had my eyes on the Tempura Banana for dessert. A common dessert at Southeast Asian cuisine, this tasted slightly different. Not necessarily in a bad way. The batter seemed to be a Japanese tempura batter, so it’s lighter and fluffs up better. The caramel sauce wasn’t very sweet but it was just right combining with the sweet banana and creamy vanilla bean ice cream. You can see the vanilla bean seeds scattered in the small scoop of ice cream. I wish there was more ice cream.
Eight of us were seated at the long wooden table near the entrance. A neat space for big gatherings. Just keep in mind that groups of 8+ do get charged 17% gratuity automatically.
Overall this was a much more pleasant experience than the media event two years ago. Food was fantastic and service was great; the only drawback was its portion size. If the portion were just a tiny bit bigger, it would make a very satisfying meal. Given that it’s located near the business centre, this should make a good spot for business lunches and dinners. I would go back again for happy hour or other gatherings.
1177 West Pender Street, Vancouver