For her birthday, I took MaMa Lam out for a fancy dinner. Market has been on her list for quite some time now, so that naturally became our destination. It was a very nice restaurant, lots of natural sunlight from the windows, modern and spacious.
These days you don’t get Bread Basket at a lot of places now, so it was a welcomed addition to our table. It was warm, with a nice crust while not breaking your teeth. And there was plenty to share between the two of us.
For appetizers we decided to share half a dozen of Fresh Oysters on the Half Shell. Initially we were told that Kusshi, our favourite, was on the list, but turns out it was a mistake so our server suggested another one similar to kusshi, Malpeque from PEI. Haha the name reminds me of the Malbec wine. It was quite good; creamy like kusshi, but missing the natural sweetness. Still prefer kusshi overall.
As for entrees, Mama Lam ordered one of her favourite fish, Roasted Sablefish. It was flaky, nicely seared with a crispy exterior, with a chili scallion sauce that had a bit of heat. It came with some jasmine rice (not mentioned on the menu, so don’t order extra rice for this dish!), which just went so well with the sauce. It definitely had some Asian influence and it was a very enjoyable dish.
I chose the Lamb Loin because it’s one of my favourite meat. It was cooked to perfect medium, tender and juicy. The tomato BBQ sauce also had a bit of heat element, which went well with the meat. I did like the textural contrast from the crumble on top. I only wish there’s some kind of carbs on the plate to make it more substantial.
We were planning to grab dessert elsewhere as nothing really caught our eyes, but they made a gracious host and gave us a free dessert with inscription wishing Mama Lam a happy birthday. It was the Fresh Peaches with Lemon Thyme Bavaroise. What was the most surprising was the bavaroise, which is supposed to be a pastry cream; in this case, it almost tasted like ice cream. I really like the lemon thyme flavour, adding a bit of tartness and savouriness to the dessert.
It’s been awhile since I went to a fine dining restaurant, and boy do I miss the customer service. I thought our server was friendly and quite attentive. I appreciate the gesture of giving us a free dessert for celebrating Mama Lam’s birthday.
While we were eating, we discovered this gorgeous private room that was in the corner of the restaurant. Such a posh place for a small party with friends.
Overall, I really enjoyed the flavours at Market, but I thought the portion was a bit small for the price we paid. The restaurant is running this great Flash Your Age promo that allows you to enjoy potentially steep discount. If you dine at Market on your birthday, you and up to 3 other guests will be treated to a discount equivalent to your age on the entire food bill. Remember that you have to call in to make reservations (online reservation doesn’t count) and specify that you’re there for the promo. They have a daily quota so it’s subject to availability. According to our server, the quota is filled for the next two months or so. I missed out on a big one with Mama Lam but hopefully you can take advantage of it. The promo runs till August 31, 2015.
Market by Jean-Georges at Shangri-La Hotel
1115 Alberni Street, Vancouver