Saturday, 4 January 2014

The Flying Pig: Fat Rats Pig Out

We would like to formally introduce the Fat Rats, a group of girls whose vision of a party centres around food. The group nickname started off as a casual joke made by Papaya Crumpet, but it was so applicable and suited us perfectly that it stuck. To the point where Coconut Crumpet spent over an hour meticulously cutting out paper letters as props for our graduation group photo-shoot. F-A-T-R-A-T-S. 

So after we held those letters for less than two minutes, the session was over and we were charged 75-freaking-dollars. That photography company starting with the letter A exists to pocket poor about-to-enter-university student's what-could've-been-tuition money by the stacks. To make us all feel better that we didn't waste hours of our precious time prettying up and getting stuck in traffic to get to Vancouver, we braved the downpour of typical autumn rain to get dinner at the The Flying Pig. 

Even without a reservation (because they don't take reservations for dinner), we were seated quickly and our dripping wet umbrellas joined the impressive pile by the entrance. Lighting is dim and the decor is cozy, the ambiance sitting between that of a classy restaurant and a casual neighbourhood joint. The Fat Rats were probably the youngest and most formally dressed diners in the whole restaurant. Not awkward at all..

While we examined the menu, water was brought to the table in glass bottles that resemble vintage milk bottles. Our waiter took our order, and our photos before zipping back into the open kitchen where tons of cooks moved to and fro from stove tops and hot appliances.

Muscles, Clams, and Fries

Papaya's platter of bivalves and matchstick fries, the special of the day.
Papaya Crumpet gleefully exclaimed, "Look, there's baby clams!". Only later did we realize that those were actually capers.

Wild Seafood Pappardelle
The Clumsy One's Wild Seafood Pappardelle in a spicy rose sauce. Although it didn't look like a huge serving, it was the perfect size. The portion that leaves you comfortably full afterwards. Like the "ah~ that was nice" type feeling. The sauce had just a hint of mild spiciness that brought enough flavour to the dish without overpowering it. The pasta was al dente and there was a handful of shellfish. A solid choice for the less adventurous diners.

From front to back: Poutine, Jumbo Macaroni, Risotto, and Jumbo Macaroni again
Reviewed from forefront to back:
Papaya & Flautist's Pulled Pork Poutine 

Papaya: Though the fries were not as crispy as how fries should have been, the dish overall was pretty memorable. The pulled pork did not add any extra salti-ness to the already salted fries, and the cheese were perfectly melted (unlike Costco's slab of cheese curds and super salty gravy :S).

Flautist: Costco's is better. The plating was sloppy and the fries were unevenly covered. Wish it could've been more impressive.

Jumbo Shortrib Macaroni - carbernet cream sauce
This side dish actually uses jumbo shell pasta and not macaroni, which I think makes it more unique. The larger shells allow the eater to enjoy its al dente-ness more.

Flautist: Even though it was reeeeeeally cheese-y, it was really good. The best one out of the two side dishes I had. The plating was just as sloppy though (now I know why the lights are dim).

Lobster & Prawn Risotto
Lobster & Prawn Risotto - citrus and marscapone

Coconut: I was really looking forward to this dish as it's been commonly reviewed on several other blogs. It's under the side dish category but since risotto is so rich, a portion like this can serve as half a meal already. The citrus and marscapone components of the dish were not pronounced enough as they were masked by the heavy flavours of cream and cheese. The pieces of lobster don't seem to match the size of the past photos from other bloggers, it shrunk... It's not bad at all, in fact it's quite yummy, but it just isn't worth rave reviews.

Crispy Brussel Sprouts
Coconut's Crispy Brussel Sprouts - with lemon, Parmesan, and capers
The other half of my dinner consisted by another side dish recommended by countless reviewers. The sprouts were cooked soft to the core, with a caramelized surface. They weren't exactly crispy, since the juice and oil weighed the leaves back down. This bowl of veggies seemed to never end. I was the last Fat Rat to still be picking at food, making me look like the last child at Christmas dinner that stubbornly refused to finish her brussel sprouts. But that wasn't the case at all, because I loooooove brussel sprouts; these were just so (almost too) extremely rich. Salty, oily, cheesy, the works. Thank goodness for the dominant lemon juice that helped cut through the richness. When I began eating them, I was like "Yum! Come to me my beloved brussel sprouts!" but as reached the middle of the bowl, I began feeling a little overwhelmed with all the oil and cheese, "Ughhhh..." Bottom line: Worth ordering if ever at The Flying Pig, but please, share. It will lessen the probability of never wanting to hear the word 'cheese' ever again.

Hipster and casual finer dining (fine dining as in the price range). Suits Yaletown really well. 

Final words?
Flautist: I liked the mood slightly more than the food. As a note, bring pickles or kimchi (to cut through the richness)
Papaya: Just like Coconut has recommended, ordering side dishes at the Flying Pig is a very good idea for saving budget and fulfilling your stomach. 2 side dishes ( around $14-$18) can already make up the size of a main dish, so one should definitely order sides over 1 main as more options are available to try. Also, when ordering, try ordering dishes with varying ingredients and that can save you from getting sick from the overfilling of cheese. Anyway, I would definitely recommend the Flying Pig for a place for "pigging out" or having a casual weekend gathering with friends and family.

The Flying Pig on Urbanspoon
"This. Is. Us."
Papaya & Coconut Crumpet, on behalf of the Fat Rats crew

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