I usually use Dine Out Vancouver as the opportunity to try restaurants that I’ve never been before. Even some of the institutions that have been around for a long time. One of which was Salmon House in West Vancouver. This year, they had a pretty appealing menu for DOV, and so Mr. and I invited Mama and Papa Lam to join us for dinner.
The first appetizer was the Lobster Bisque. It was rich and creamy, and you can taste the lobster essence. Mr. found it borderline salty, but to me it’s normal for most lobster bisque. What made this better was the addition of candied salmon; it added some sweetness to the savouriness, as well as accentuated the seafood flavours in the bisque.
We ordered some House Made Bread to go with our appetizers. For $3, 4 dinner rolls may seem pricey. But fresh, warm, house-made bread is always good and worth more. This was even better because two were regular bread, and two were cheesy bread. They were served with smoked salmon butter, and the salmon flavour was very prominent. If we were not conscious of the fact that it’s butter, we could probably keep eating it.
The Salmon House Sampler was a generous sized appy. The shrimp spring roll was hot, crispy, and the shrimp had the nice crunchy meat texture. The tuna tataki had just the right sear outside, and the scallop was evenly caramelized on both sides. The seafood was righteously highlighted on this plate.
The Green Apple and Brulee Goat Cheese Salad was more ordinary, but I like the twist they put on by bruleeing the goat cheese so there was some smokey flavours with the creamy cheese spread on the crostini.
For the entree, the West Coast Feast Bowl was indeed a feast. It’s like a bouillabaisse. There was an abundance of salmon, prawns, mussels and clams in the bowl. Everything tasted fresh, juicy and plump. Perhaps the size of mussels was a bit on the small side. The spicy tomato broth was quite nice, giving it a bit of a kick. The bannock bread came as a surprise; it was denser but felt more substantial, and great for dipping in the broth.
The Alder Grilled Chili Garlic Marinated Lamb Chops were grilled to a nice medium; meat was juicy and seasoned well. The vegetables on the side were cooked well; the green curry sauce added just a hint of spice to the dish.
The Alder Grilled Wild Sockeye Salmon was done quite beautifully, too. A bit overcooked for my liking (I prefer it slightly pink inside), but for a well-cooked piece of salmon, this was still moist, flaky, and I didn’t mind the texture at all. I have to say, Salmon House cooks their vegetables very well. Once again, the vegetables on this plate were cooked up nicely.
For dessert, as I’m a sucker for brioche bread, I opted for the Pink Praline Brioche. It reminded me of panettone, the Italian bread that’s one of our family favourites for Christmas. It was nice and soft, like a blank canvas allowing the vanilla creme anglaise to add some sweetness and the passion fruit sorbet for tartness. Not a typical dessert, but I quite enjoyed it.
The Belgian Chocolate Mousse Cake was a pretty plate. It was decadent, soft and creamy, but not overly sweet. Tartness from the berries balanced out the richness of the chocolate mousse. Both desserts brought a great ending to our meal.
Our server was friendly and professional. When we asked for his opinion on our wine choices, he offered to give us a sample of one of the wines, to make sure we actually liked what we chose. That was a nice gesture to offer by the restaurant.
There were no surprises on the menu, but it also took a lot of effort to do classic dishes right. And Salmon House accomplished that. Very well. It was a very enjoyable dinner, probably my favourite for Dine Out this year. I recommend you checking them out, and I would definitely go back so I can take a look at its gorgeous view atop the hill.
Salmon House on the Hill
2229 Folkestone Way, West Vancouver