18 posts in the month of August! A new record for me – that’s more than one post every other day of the month.
I first heard about Pink Peppercorn from a friend. She lived in the neighbourhood and mentioned that there was (at that time) a new restaurant on Kingsway. I drove by the area a few times but didn’t seem to notice it. Of course, that may have to do with the traffic patterns in the area and the exterior appearance of the restaurant.
A couple of years ago, big sis and jehfu were in town and looking for a date-night restaurant. I suggested they try Pink Peppercorn. I heard many good reviews and was told that it was the same chef and staff from The Cannery. I remember The Cannery had yummy food and thought they might want to check it out. They were eager to try this recommended restaurant. They left my dear little niece with me and went on their own food adventure. They had a great time and enjoyed the food and atmosphere.
Fast forward to the end of December, Vince and I met up for an impromptu dinner. I was starting to feel a little under the weather and wanted something with soup. He mentioned clam chowder and I hopped online to look for some suggestions for clam chowder in Vancouver. We thought about going to White Spot on Kingsway but then I was just at the Oakridge White Spot for a brunch reunion that very same day. In fact, the annual brunch reunions for my various groups of friends have been at the different White Spots to accommodate the kids. Much as there is variety in their menu, I was trying to steer away from a full day of eating at White Spot.
Thankfully, I suddenly remembered that Pink Peppercorn is across the street from the White Spot on Kingsway and suggested it as an alternate option. It was a Saturday evening and we didn’t have reservations. We decided to leave it to chance – if Pink Peppercorn was busy, we would go across the street to White Spot and eat there.
As luck would have it, Vince managed to find parking on the street and only steps away from the front door. We walked into the restaurant and though there were guests scattered throughout the restaurant, it was not full. We were seated by our server who was attentive and pleasant throughout the evening.
I didn’t have much of an appetite and was just planning on having soup. However, after looking at the menu and with some convincing from Vince, I ordered a full meal.
In case you didn’t notice it in my previous posts, I love crab cakes. It is not a surprise that my eyes zeroed in on the words “Crab & Salmon Cake” at the bottom of the page. I didn’t pay much attention to the “& Salmon” part but probably should have. Although looking closely at the menu now, it doesn’t describe or prepare me for how it would be served.
I really wanted clam chowder so my first course was an easy decision. Vince ordered the Lobster Bisque. I enjoyed the clam chowder. Vince couldn’t seem to find the baby shrimp in his lobster bisque. Maybe they were pureed into the soup…? 😉 A closer look at the menu says “garnished” with baby shrimp… Garnish meaning one or two sprinkled on top.
Accompanying the bread was the chef’s signature lobster oil. I must admit that I’m not that keen on lobster. I will eat it if served at a wedding banquet but it’s not high on my priority list. It probably has something to do with the extra “marine” flavour to it. I only tried a bit of the oil but due to personal preference, I decided that the bread tasted better without the oil.
Vince and I shared an order of the Crab & Salmon Cake. Thank goodness we did because the inside was mostly raw and it looked like ground salmon sashimi. You may recall that I don’t like sashimi. Where’s the crab? Maybe (hopefully) cooked as the outer layer. I finished my portion and was thankful that I did not order that as my main. I wonder if drinking more hot water helps to heat up the raw fish in my digestive system…?
After our starters and before our main courses were served, I took a look around the restaurant. It’s not every day you have a shark directly overhead…
It didn’t take long for the main course to arrive. I ordered the Cedar Plank Wild BC Salmon served with a mango tomato chutney and seasonal vegetables. Vince ordered the Blackened Louisiana Style Catfish with mango salsa and seasonal vegetables.
Despite having a less than average appetite which was further dampened by the raw fish in the crab & salmon cake, I enjoyed my main course. I tried a bite of the catfish but decided that the cedar plank salmon was indeed the better choice for me. I finished all my vegetables and just over half the (cooked – yay!) salmon. Vince was a good sport and helped me finish the other half of the salmon. Needless to say, I was stuffed by the end of the meal and had no space for dessert.
Service throughout the evening was fantastic and top-notch. At the end of our meal, the chef came by, introduced himself and chatted with us for a few minutes before moving on to check on the other tables. Wow.. impressive.
Fast forward another month to the eve before Chinese New Year. Most families get together for a big feast at a family member’s house or at a chinese restaurant. Since it was only my parents and myself for the evening and not wanting my mom to exhaust herself by trying to make the various food items, we decided to go out for dinner. However, I didn’t want to go to a busy chinese restaurant so we went to Pink Peppercorn.
I made an early dinner reservation and when we arrived, we were the only ones in the restaurant. Service was, of course, fantastic and attentive. I took the opportunity to take a few pictures of the empty restaurant. The bread and lobster oil were served shortly thereafter and remembering that I wasn’t keen on the lobster oil, I just ate the bread plain.
Although I know my parents have an appetite that is even smaller than mine, I wanted to make sure they tried some of the other items on the menu. I was taking them out for dinner and wanted them to enjoy their meal. I suggested we each order a first course and a main course. My mom decided to start with a Lobster Bisque and my dad went for the Caesar Salad. I ordered the Warm Spinach, Prawn and Papaya Salad.
I really enjoyed my spinach, prawn and papaya salad!! It had cilantro and a chili garlic dressing. The chili garlic dressing gave it a very good zing but not too spicy for my taste buds. I will order this again in one of my future visits.
My mom decided to try the Chef’s Creation which was a John Dory fish. I may have tried it in Australia … or maybe not. I remember seeing John Dory fish on the menu while in Australia but I don’t recall ordering it. If that’s the case, then the piece that my mom shared with me may have been my first try. It was okay… it’s fish. My dad tried the Cedar Plank Salmon. Presentation looks the same! (of course!)
I decided to try one of the other feature items — Sea Bass. I like Sea Bass so when I realized it was available, there was no need to see the rest of the menu. It was good and I finished my entire main course. Again, I was stuffed but who wouldn’t be after eating such a big dish of salad followed by the main course (and the extra bites of food that my mom kept adding to my plate).
While the fish from both visits were quite tasty, the next time I am there, I may be content with even just an order of clam chowder and the spinach, prawn and papaya salad. If I can’t finish a starter and a main leaving no room for dessert, then I should consider ordering the clam chowder and spinach, prawn & papaya salad to save room for dessert.
What do you think of that plan? 🙂