Perhaps with the exception of downtown Vancouver and some Richmond hotels, hotel dining doesn’t usually have a good reputation. That doesn’t stop me from being curious and wanting to try. So when the Executive Hotel in Coquitlam got a new restaurant, the Wild Fig, and was offering a coupon deal, CC and I gave it a try.
Our coupon covered 1 appetizer, 2 entrees and 1 dessert. They actually have many appetizer options and some interesting ones so we couldn’t really decide on just one. With extra charge we ordered two appies instead. The Charcuterie Plate had a good combination of cured meat, including cold smoked chuck flat, pork loin, salami and sausage, with Little Qualicum cheese. Overall we were quite happy with this; the cured meat had good texture (some drier, some more moist) and a mix of flavours (smokiness and spices), but some could be borderline salty for my liking. My favourite was the cured pork loin. What also caught our attention on this plate was the Brie & Fig Chutney Pastry Rolls; you could order this as a separate item but it came with the charcuterie plate so bonus for us. It was freshly baked – warm (almost too hot to hold at the beginning), crispy on the outside and soft inside. I liked the sweet fig filling (I’m a sucker for anything fig too) but they could put more filling in the pastry.
The Coconut Breaded Prawns had prominent Asian and tropical flavours. The prawns had a nice bite, a crunchy meat texture, although the breading was a bit too dark for my liking. It didn’t taste burnt, though. The menu said “horseradish marmalade” but I didn’t taste the pungent horseradish flavour; the sauce just reminded me of a house-made Thai chili sauce, more on the sweet and spicy note, which I thought worked well with the prawns and tasted quite good. Perhaps they just didn’t add enough horseradish in the marmalade.
As for entree, I had the Zinfandel Lamb Shank. Huge portion! It came with a decent sized, whole lamb shank; the meat was tender, the sauce was flavourful. There was also a hefty serving of roasted brussel sprouts, and the leaves were crispy and I quite liked it (even though they weren’t roasted with bacon haha!). The menu said “shoestring potatoes” but it looked like they had a change of mind as I found roasted potatoes on my plate instead.
CC ordered the Yakitori CAB Beef New York Strips, another Asian inspired dish. The sauce definitely tasted like a teriyaki sauce, and boy, the steak was super tender! And it was cooked right to a nice medium with an even sear on the outside. Definitely the better entree of the two at the table, probably the best plate of the evening. Once again, the “shoestring potatoes” was switched to what looked and felt like two orders of regular fries. Perhaps they ran out of shoestring potatoes that evening because that seemed to be consistently missing from every plate. Would be nice to tell us that.
To round out our dinner, we shared the Mason Croissant Pudding. The presentation just made you want to dig deep to get everything in one bite! It’s basically bread pudding with croissant. The texture felt denser than regular bread pudding, but it’s very satisfying. The chocolate, vanilla and caramel sauce was quite rich and sweet; the slight acidity in the berry coulis helped cut through the richness. At the bottom of the mason jar was a thick layer of caramel — that was just too sweet for us, so we didn’t dig through to the bottom.
It was Sunday night, and the restaurant was quiet, which was unfortunate. The service first started pretty good, with the food getting to the table within reasonable time frame and the server checking on us regularly without being disruptive. But by around 9pm, I guess it’s near closing time, another staff started walk around to turn off some lights in the restaurant, which I thought was a bit odd and rude to customers. At this awkward time, we couldn’t even ask for our bill because the server was nowhere to be seen! Finally we got the bill, and waited at least 15 minutes and the server still hasn’t returned to check on us. So I had to go find her to grab the machine so we could get out of their way and they could go back to finish cleaning up for the night.
I should point out that there is parking at the hotel lot, and it’s actually free if you let them know at the front desk.
In terms of food, I feel that the restaurant should be worth much higher than 57% on Urbanspoon (I would say at least 70+%), and the presentation was just welcoming and appealing on the eyes. But the service didn’t exactly end on the highest note. For Coquitlam, and specifically the North Road area, I think it’s a good option for this type of cuisine. If you had a bad experience at the former restaurant, perhaps you should go back and give this new version another shot.
The Wild Fig at Executive Hotel Coquitlam
405 North Road, Coquitlam