Saturday, 31 August 2013

Yew Seafood + Bar - @ Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver

My family has been coming to Yew Seafood + Bar for quite a few occasions now. We often came for their prix-fix specials which were really great value for a fine-dining atmosphere. After VegFest Vancouver and some shopping that afternoon, we decided to try out their new "ocean to table" concept. Of course I didn't mind as I knew that Yew has developed a vegan menu as well; i was thrilled to try out their menu items.

Even their designed changed quite a bit as we walked in, but we were still greeted by the same welcoming servers and a warm atmosphere. We got seated right away without having made reservations and were given some iced water promptly after sitting at a table.
Our server that night was beyond amazing. He was so welcoming and willing to answer any questions you have about the menu. Upon ordering, we were given a basket of complementary mini biscuits (I recall they were earl grey with sea salt?). I told the server I was vegan and he quickly told me he'd bring a vegan bread for me! 

The vegan bread turned out to be a crusty baguette kind of bread, drizzled generously with extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkled with some fresh parsley. I could really tell the olive oil was of high quality because of that strong decadent olive taste to it.

For dinner, my family ordered the Westcoast Paella, Mussels & Clams, as well as a side dish of Kennebec Fries. I ordered the Sweet Corn & Summer Squash.

Westcoast Paella
The Westcoast Paella consists of mussels, salmon, halibut, spot prawns, scallops, chorizo, and saffron rice. It's a seafood lover's pan of joy. Although I did not try this I can say that my family really enjoyed it, especially the saffron rice. Saffron is one of the most expensive spices, therefore rarely used in regular households. The flavour was strong in the rice and they surely didn't skimp out on the saffron when they list "saffron rice" in the paella (although I think a little of it goes a long way).

Shellfish & Clams
The Shellfish & Clams is served in a cioppino broth with a grilled pizza bianca on the side. As pictured above, it turned out the "pizza" was the complimentary vegan bread that I received prior to our meal! I was pleasantly surprised that they would give me something that's on the menu for free... and two big slices of it!
This cioppino broth past of the dish was rather salty for my family, as we're used to more "bland" foods we cook at home. So if you aren't a salt fan, don't order this dish.

Kennebec Fries
As a side dish, my family ordered the kennebec fries which came with a lobster and bacon aioli. The fries were thick-cut and crispy without being greasy. I did try this, but not dipped in the aioli. My family who tried the aioli with the fries really enjoyed it, saying that there was actually lobster in it. So if you are feeling some gourmet hand cut fries, don't hesitate to order this!

Sweet Corn with Summer Squash
My dish was sweet corn with summer squash, consisting of arugula, chanterelle & asparagus salad, and lemon vinaigrette. The lemon vinaigrette was defnitely the star of the dish. It was so lusious and lemony without it being too sour. I did enjoy this dish very much, but I had hoped for a bigger portion because although I am vegan, I don't eat carrot sticks and lettuce for a living. I do eat a large amount, maybe even kind of scary for some people... ask Coconut Crumpet for confirmation ;)
Don't get me wrong; if you have a smaller appetite than I do, which I can honestly say you do, this dish won't disappoint. Everything on this plate complements each other perfectly and I love how the woody earthy flavour of every vegetable can be easily distinguished from the dish, not hidden from some heavily seasoned sauce. The dish was super fresh, perfect for a summer day.

Organic Chocolate Mousse (Vegan!)

This is the part of the meal I enjoyed the most. So. Good. This is definitely my definition of a perfect finish to a meal. I've got to reinvent this and share it with you all!
It is an Organic Vegan Chocolate Mousse with tapioca, mango compote, and coconut sorbet. Doesn't that sound like utter bliss? Trust me, it is. Please don't leave Yew Seafood + Bar without ordering this. Heck, you can just walk in the restaurant ordering this one thing and your life would be complete. Well... for me, that is. 
The chocolate mousse is so smooth and with just the right amount of sweetness that I love (I'm a dark chocolate kind of girl), along with a delicious mango compote made with fresh mangoes. The tapioca adds a chewy touch, and the coconut sorbet just makes it cool and perfect.

Of course, my family would order one cappuccino to pair with dessert. The coffee was strong without being too bitter, and came with a little biscotti cookie. 

To end the meal, we were given a plate of vegan cookies and fish shaped chocolates, one for each person. The cookie was delicious, consisting of many nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, much like the ones I often make at home. My family was too stuffed to finish the fish shaped chocolates, so we ate the cookies and packed the chocolates home. 
I would really recommend Yew Seafood + Bar for those special occasions, because they really have something for everyone to enjoy. The service was first class, and the servers are willing to meet any dietary needs you have. Just make sure if you aren't a fan of salt, refrain from ordering any broth types of dishes, as those can be too salty. 

YEW seafood + bar on Urbanspoon

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