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Posts Tagged ‘Dine Out Vancouver’

Where have you booked for Dine Out this year? If you are still deciding, I’m going to start sharing my experiences, whether it’s an invited dinner or out of my own pocket. I was invited as a media to preview the menu at PiDGiN. Their food is a fusion of Asian and French cuisines, and they decorate the interior by rotating artworks by local artists.

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They have designed their $45 DOVF menu to be as close to their regular prix fixe menu as possible, which is a 6-course menu shared family style for a minimum of 2 people. You have the option of an omnivore menu, or a vegetarian one. You can also order drink pairing for an additional $40-50 per person. The Dine Out website didn’t include the vegetarian menu, so I suggest you to visit PiDGiN’s website for the menus, and I’m posting them here as well. Note that the following plates are all meant to be shared by 2 people – they will adjust the portion based on party size.

Food

In addition to the 6-course menu, you can also order snacks a la carte. The Beef Tendon Chicharron was addictive. It’s crispy, and it wasn’t greasy. There was just enough seasoning, and the gochugaru citrus spice reminded me of sour plum flavour, with the tiniest hint of heat.

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They use different vegetables to make their Daily Pickles. On this day, it was cucumber, ume-infused daikon and shitake mushrooms. They were just slightly pickled, so they weren’t overly briny or vinegary.

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Dine Out Vancouver is back! Running from January 17 to February 2, the prix fixe portion of this year’s program is the same as last year, with 4 price points at $15, $25, $35 and $45. There are also lunch options, usually at a cheaper price than dinner. Menu may not be the same as dinner, though, so the value for money is a bit debatable.

The menus are now live and reservations are open. As I was going through the menus, I noticed a lot of new restaurants, ones that I’ve never heard of before. There’s been a lot of openings and closures last year so it makes sense – but it’s also nice to know it’s not the same old list. Here are some suggestions, based on past experience (Dine Out or not) as well as menu attractiveness (e.g. value for the money, choice of ingredients, creativity in the menu, enough options for two people, etc.). Now keep in mind I curated the list based on my preference (as you know, I’m a meat lover and I’m biased against chicken and salmon), my way of thinking, so it may not all suit your taste. But hopefully this gives you a place to start.

I’ve included links to the menu to make it easier for you.

$15 Suggestions

Crispy Chicken Sandwich and Fries, Popina

$25 Suggestions

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The official Dine Out Vancouver may have ended on Sunday, but some restaurants have decided to offer the Dine Out menus just for a few more days.

Sandbar DOVF 2019 7 oz Prime New York Striploin

7 oz Prime New York Striploin at Sandbar Restaurant

Here are their respective extended end date and menu. The list is very short this year. I will keep updating the list if I hear more.

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This year’s Dine Out has 4 menu price points: $15, $25, $35 and $45. Not many places offer a $15 menu but I was most intrigued by Popina on Granville Island. The restaurant concept is created by some of the most celebrated chefs in Vancouver. The space is made up of shipping containers, located right by the Granville Island Public Market.

Popina on Granville Island

Popina on Granville Island

The $15 menu is pretty straightforward. A sandwich + a side of fries and its signature puffcream for dessert. CC and I went there on the sunny Sunday afternoon, 3 hours before our dinner reservation. Luckily for us, because it’s just counter service, we were able to just order one set and share between the two of us.

Popina on Granville Island

Food

For the sandwich, you have the option of BC Beef Cheeseburger or Crispy Chicken Burger. We chose the Crispy Chicken Burger.

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Another restaurant that we previewed for Dine Out was Dockside Restaurant. They are also offering a $35 menu. Similar to the Sandbar tasting, we had the full portion for photos and small bite size for tasting. But luckily for us, here we got to try everything on the menu.

Food

Dockside’s menu offers 3 appetizer options, 4 entrees, and 2 desserts. Here they are:

Cucumber Caprese – This didn’t seem like much, but it’s refreshing and light. I really like the mint on top. Simple 3 bites to start the meal.

Dockside Restaurant - Cucumber Caprese

Beef Empanadas – This had good flavour. The crust wasn’t too thick and there was decent amount of filling.

Dockside Restaurant - Beef Empanadas

Korean spiced Arancini –  This is an Asian take on the Italian appy. (more…)

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For the second year, Juke Fried Chicken in Chinatown is participating in Dine Out Vancouver. I was invited to a tasting of its $25 menu.

Food

The appetizer includes two options. The Country Biscuits are to die for! They were warm, had a nice crispy crust on the outside, and soft, buttery inside. Combining with the herbed schmaltz (think butter), mmm it’s one of the best biscuits I’ve had in town. There was leftover from the tasting, so I brought some home. Even with reheating, my family was still marvelled by how delicious these biscuits were.

Juke Fried Chicken - Country Biscuits

The other option is Fried Zucchini Pickles. Since it’s home made, it’s not pungent and acidic like the typical pickles. There’s a bit of sweetness in them. The corn flour-cornmeal crust was thin, making the exterior perfectly crunchy. The honey dill dressing goes well with it, and I tasted a hint of heat too. I didn’t think much of it when I saw this option on the menu, but it’s actually some good munchies before the highlight of the meal.

Juke Fried Chicken - Fried Zucchini Pickles

Suggested by the restaurant name, obviously fried chicken needs to be on the menu.

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Last week, prix fixe menus of Dine Out Vancouver 2019 were revealed. With that, I was invited to a menu preview at a few restaurants on Granville Island. One of which was The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant.

Sandbar offers a $35 Dine Out menu, with a couple of entree options that you can upgrade with $10 extra. For the menu preview tasting, we were shown a full-size portion for photos, and then canape-size for tasting. Therefore, what you see below is what you will get, but what I tasted may not be the best representation of the dish as I only had a small portion of it.

Food

There are three appetizers to choose from:
Sablefish Croquette – The croquette was mostly potato with some flakes of sablefish. The miso ailoi had a hint of lemon. The pickled fennel on top brought a good amount of acidity.

Sandbar DOVF 2019 Sablefish Croquette
Beet & Arugula Salad – A classic combination of beet, arugula and goat cheese, with a fig balsamic vinaigrette. You can’t go wrong with that.

Sandbar DOVF 2019 Beet & Arugula Salad
Clam Chowder – My favourite appetizer here. It was creamy, it was rich, and it was hearty.

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