I am surrounded by amazing people. One of my dear friends is going to Africa in August to volunteer on Mercy Ship for 4 months! We had an early send-off dinner in July as she will spend the last month prepping, organizing and packing. Flying Pig at Gastown was the determined location. For some reason, I kept thinking it was the Yaletown location. Thinking I was early, I decided to text a friend to see where they are only to find out I was at the wrong place! (C: Pretty fail,
we even walked in to the Yaletown location and almost got seated too! Q: They turned us down because our whole party wasn’t there yet! Silly boy…). Good thing Yaletown and Gastown is not too far but I went from being early to late for dinner!
On a weekend, the restaurant does not take reservation nor will they seat you until your whole party is here. To avoid the crowd, we had dinner at around 5:30-6pm; on a Sunday evening, the place was not packed. After we were seated and given the menu, we sat for a long time without knowing who our server was. Two other people read reviews and the main complain about this restaurant is the inconsistent service. It is either hit or miss. (C:
I think the person that seated us was supposed to be our waitress, but she never came back to take our orders or bring us any drinks. One of the bar staff ended up becoming our waiter. Weird! Q: Silly boy, that was our HOSTESS!).We started off our dinner more of the miss side. We had to wave somebody down to get us water before they realized we were forgotten! Our waiter apologized and said he is new. We gave him that.
When we asked more questions about the menu, he couldn’t answer them too well and had to go back to check with someone else. At least he did return with the answers. Throughout the night, we had different people asking how our food was, bringing us food, refilling water and taking our orders for desserts. We were so confused! Our waiter/waitress was no where to be found? Despite that, we were taken well care of after the initial mishap.
Now onto the good stuff, FOOD! Here is the menu; it is very simple but complete. It was hard for C and I to eat anymore as we made the mistake of eating at the Food Cart Festival prior to coming for dinner. (C: I wouldn’t say mistake…more like strategically leaving only a bit of room so we don’t over do it with the heavy food!).
One thing though that everyone wanted to try was the Bone Marrow Cheezy Bread! I believe nobody in our group of 5 had eaten bone marrow before hence this was a must try item! One order has 2 piece of bread and it arrived piping hot! Don’t let the picture fool you, we each had a decent size piece and enough for seconds! I am not sure how bone marrow suppose to taste like but overall, this dish is so buttery and cheesy. It is quite a heavy starter.
(C: Pretty heavy indeed. I couldn’t really taste any bone marrow, but for a cheezy bread it was pretty good. I think this one would be awesome with a great pint of beer). The one thing though is that tin foil were stuck to the bread. We all had bits of tin foil in our mouth from the cutting I guess? (C: That was my bad, I cut it a little too intensely and the knife went through the tin foil, getting a bit onto the bread =S).
Since C and I were full, we decided to get 2 sides instead and boy was I glad we did! We ordered Andrew’s Pulled Pork Poutine and Jumbo Shortrib Macaroni.
See how both dishes were covered in cheese? It is the same stuff on the cheezy bread minus the bone marrow I guess. Let’s start with the poutine and at the fries! The fries were crispy and still on the starchy side. I would still say they were tasty and I didn’t mind them. The pulled pork was sweet, juicy, delicious and plentiful! It is a very hearty, carb heavy dish. (C: I’m quite surprised by the size and how filling the sides are. The poutine was very cheesy and the fries were crispy. Pulled pork was good, but it didn’t wow me. Not really much of a poutine though, as there were no cheese curds or gravy! Still, it’s a great starter and Q really liked it).
Shortrib macaroni…the shortrib was tender and buttery. There really wasn’t much chewing required when it came to the rib. It just glided down beautifully! The macaroni, as the title of the dish implied, was jumbo! On their own, the macaroni was more dry and chewy. Of each bite, there needed to be cheese, shortrib and macaroni to have that moisture and taste balance. Of the two dishes, I prefer the poutine more! (C: I liked the short-rip macaroni a lot more! The macaroni was a nice al dente and the cheesy flavour goes really well with it – sort of like a mac and cheese. The beef short rib was flavourful and tender. Again, this is a pretty heavy starter).
The guest of honor that night, she is a healthy girl. She had the watercress salad along with a side of mushroom. Unfortunately, we did not get a pic of her salad but she liked it. The mushrooms were tasty but again, anything baked with cheese and butter will taste good! (C: I wasn’t wowed by the mushrooms. Flavour was good, but very greasy).
The other couple ordered Braised Beef Shortrib and Lobster and Shrimp Risotto! Both reported the dishes were tasty. The shortrib came with a side of real bone marrow! I was feeling too greasy/carb-heavy to ask to try it. (C: I had some of the braised beef short rib and man was that one a winner! Very tender and amazing taste. You can’t taste the red wine, but there are lingering hints of sweetness from the evaporated wine. Braised very well! A bit pricey, but I think this dish is worth ordering). The lobster and shrimp were not skimped! With each bite, there was plenty of seafood as i was told!
We all just barely finished our food, the boys had to try a little harder to finish off the girls’ plate. We instantly hit food coma at the end of all the dishes. The Flying Pig is definitely filled with hearty, filling (and almost greasy) dishes.
If you dine out with me, dessert is a MUST! Because we were all feeling fat, we opted for something not so heavy. We went for a lemon tart. The other options were vanilla creme brulee, some sort of dense, decadent chocolate cake and maple syrup something with vanilla bean ice cream (C: I really wanted to try the other cake they had, but we were all too full…). It was good but not really impressive. The crust was dense and not flaky. The lemon curd was good and the sweetness was balanced by the sour raspberry sauce. (C: Nothing too special, but this was very refreshing after all the heavy dishes we had!)
Overall, it is a place for comfort, hearty food with a fancier twist. I will come back but I need to do so after my cholesterol level has come down. Not a place I will visit frequently. (C: Food is good, price isn’t terribly unreasonable, service is a bit hit/miss, but atmosphere is pretty awesome. Great place to grab some wine and have a few starters then go party).