Saturday, 20 July 2013

Mosaic Bar and Grill

There has been an increasing number of bloggers going to mosaic bar and grill @ Hyatt Regency recently, but that wasn't the reason why I visited this restaurant for dinner. My sister actually purchased 2 coupons on  Vaneats (check it out if you haven't!) which is basically a prix-fix three-course meal for only $20 instead of $40! 

I was pretty stoked since it was my mom's birthday, and I read that they give out their ever-famous chocolate cake for free on birthdays. However, I was kind of worried they wouldn't have a vegan option for me because the online menu was all flesh (sorry for those carnivores out there).

Coincidentally, the reservation was booked on the day of Eat! Vancouver, so I made sure I wouldn't over-stuff myself at the festival for the sake of enjoying a very special birthday dinner. Well, if you haven't read the post about Eat! Vancouver, there really wasn't much that you could stuff yourself with this year, which was disappointing for both Coconut Crumpet, our fellow "clumsy" friend, and me!

ANYWAY, When my family went into the restaurant, I wasn't surprised at the quiet ambiance. There wasn't a lot of people even on a Saturday night, which I liked. The waiters and waitresses were all very accommodating and very nice, and I give a thumbs up to the service.

Once seated, we were told that they had a special spot prawn tasting menu for $45 and $65 if you wanted wine pairing with it. Of course, as a shrimp-a-holic, my mother gave no other thought and ordered just that. My dad wanted to use the coupon that my sister got, but failed to resist the temptation of the menu. I, myself, didn't use the coupon because there was only the choice of fish or beef as the main course. That's okay though, because the coupon won't expire until July :)

I was so glad that they had a create-your-own menu, including the source of protein you want (TOFU OPTION AVAILABLE!!!), the way you want it cooked (grilled, sauteed, roasted, i-forgot-the-rest, etc.), 2 types of veggie accompaniments, way you want the veggies cooked, and the starch you want. I ended up ordering grilled tofu with olive oil mushrooms and summer greens, and sunchoke puree. 

My sister, with the coupon, had a pretty interesting menu. My dad says that it's a "very good deal", which is a big compliment on his part (he is one tough critic). 

After ordering, we received some complimentary mini sea salt biscuits along with a cube of butter to start our meal. Since the biscuits probably has dairy in it, I didn't try any. My parents thought they were a bit too salty, but gobbled them up nonetheless. 

Vaneats Menu Experience

As I did not try the dishes in this experience myself, all the reviews of the food are from my sister.

The appetizer on the Vaneats menu was the Warm A la minute smoked skuna bay salmon with an avocado terrine, maple sherry bourbon oak vinegar and citrus caviar. The presentation itself is off the charts, especially when they open the cover and the fume of smoke (from the "smoked" salmon) releases into the air. My sister quite enjoyed the dish; the salmon was salty while the avocado sour cream terrine was milder tasting.It's quite funny because in Coconut crumpet's post, her salmon was milder than the avocado terrine.

The main entree was a grilled long line caught BC ling cod served with baby bok choy and shitake mushrooms. The fish was super flaky and melts in your tongue. A light broth is poured on top by the waiter when it is served. A thumbs up from my sister!

For dessert, it is either the banana split or the classic mosaic chocolate cake. Because we were celebrating a birthday and chocolate is served free for birthdays, my sister ordered the banana split. It was obviously a good choice as the banana split was the size of out heads and here's a picture to prove it!

The 2 banana halves have a nice crunchy caramel to it and served with 3 globs of giant vanilla ice cream scoops. As well, there are some berries sprinkled on as well as some toasted flax and chocolate drizzle.

Spot Prawn Menu Experience

As I did not try the dishes in this experience myself, all the reviews made of the food were by my parents!

To start the spot prawn tasting menu, my parents were given a mildly blanched spot prawn with a meyer lemon foam and some pickled veggies. I guess its purpose is to cleanse your palate before the main dishes arrive. Both my parents thought the dish was very refreshing. Unfortunately no photo was taken for this, but just for some visual picture in your head, this was served in a little sardine fish can container-- very cute!

After the little palate cleansing appy, the real starter of the tasting menu came and it was the spot prawn terrine with fiddle heads, fermented black garlic puree (super rare and expensive! but you can purchase the little gems from grandville island!), and a lemony sauce. Again, the presentation was gorgeous.My parents liked that they could really taste the prawn and not gelatin as many places add way too much fillers like gelatin in their so called "seafood terrine".

Next up is their spot prawn arugula salad with black radish, candied almonds and citrus flavored caviar. The strong pungent flavour of rocket/arugula really showcases the sweet taste of the prawns.

After gobbling this up, the "main" dish came, which was this delicious looking Spot Prawn Carbonara. My dad said this was the highlight of the meal and the (actually I made that up, but he did say this dish was his favourite). My mom, the pasta expert says that the linguine is definitely homemade, al dente and super fresh and chewy. The portion makes you wanting more yet filling enough to keep you satiated. To have such a heavy kind of dish like this, I think it's very important to have a proper portion so you won't feel sluggish after eating it.The fettuccine was served with local pork belly (from Abbotsford), and of course a perfectly sous vide egg yolk on top to make it carbonara. 

Would you look at how orange and large that egg yolk is. I feel kind of sick looking at a raw egg yolk on top of a dairy-based sauce, my parents really enjoyed it. This gives me an idea to recreate a vegan "carbonara" dish that I will share with you guys in the upcoming months.

The next dish of the tasting menu isn't actually on the menu, but only because my family had to change the protein choice of the plate. The original was supposed to be a spot prawn and spring creek beef with pomme maxim and fava beans. Since my whole family (not just me) does not consume poor cows, the chef allowed us to change the protein to salmon instead of beef for my mom, and lamb for my dad. As seen in Sean's Adventures in Flavour Town , the original dish looks pretty different from what my parents received. Unfortunately, my dad dug into his lamb dish before I was able to snap a picture so I only managed to take a blurry picture of my mom's salmon dish. The ring on top of the salmon was actually a large crispy potato ring. The salmon was cooked pretty standard, juicy but nothing super fantastical. My dad's lamb was apparently really good (like asdfghjkl good), but I don't see why people can eat such cute creatures and call them "delicious"...

Blurry Salmon Dish 
To close off the meal, they served a tangerine consomme with a scoop of homemade cardamom ice cream on top. It was a fresh end to a fresh meal, but the ice-cream still satiated the need to have some creaminess in desserts. I mean, what's the point of having dessert if it doesn't satisfy your cravings? 

Create-Your-Own Menu Experience

The. plating. was. very. brown.

Well, that's my fault for ordering mushrooms and grilled tofu.

It's okay. I still look happy don't I? ;) I know it isn't vibrant, but it looks so earthy I had to love it.

The quantity I received exceeded my expectations as the entree itself was only $16. The tofu was grilled perfectly and have a little charred flavor to it (which I enjoyed). The sunchoke puree was very similar to mashed potatoes but less starchy tasting. The mushrooms weren't overcooked and were nutty tasting. It was a good dish overall. 
There was also a side salad to go with it, but I was impatient, so you know what happened. Straight. Into. My. Tummy.

Classic Mosaic Birthday Cake Experience

Well, not exactly an experience...

A very subtle and not very memorable actually.
I thought this cake was going to be a super fudgey super chocolatey cake as I have read about before going to the restaurant. But really, I believe it is just a regular chocolate cake, even kind of like the cake from a cake mix with some fancy frosting/ganache in layers.
Or maybe I just have a very high standard of chocolate cakes and things because I make so much healthy vegan chocolate brownies at home myself and it is just so much better than this cake. 
Another probability of me not liking this cake is the fact that what I thought it would be just didn't match up to my taste buds. I thought it was going to be so amazing but it wasn't. Okay, I will now stop criticizing this innocent chocolate cake because it was free afterall.
But trust me. Just don't bother ordering this cake for dessert; unless you like dry cake, just don't do it. 

Concluding the Experiences

I feel like I'm ending this post on a wrong note and this restaurant is actually spectacular. All in all, I think Mosaic Bar and Grill is a great place for every one, even picky eaters because there's a create-your-own-menu. Oh and did I mention the service is really quite awesome too? 

Lots of nuts,

Peanut Crumpet xo

Mosaic Bar & Grille on Urbanspoon

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