Hawksworth | An “Interesting” Fine Dining Experience

Hawksworth | An “Interesting” Fine Dining Experience

To continue our bachlorette culinary adventure…we had dinner at Hawksworth located within Rosewood Gerogia Hotel. The restaurant has an extensive selection of wine and cocktails.  The menu for that is double the size of the food menu and weight triple as much.  For drinks we had Whiskey Sour and a champagne based drink.

Don’t remember what the champagne based drink is called but it was very delicious with a touch of citrus.  It reminds me of prosecco but better!

Champagne

Champagne based drink

Finally a whiskey sour that’s decent!  It is made of house scotch, plum and jasmine spirit mixture, honey syrup, fresh lemon juice, yuzu and egg white.  It was very tasty and enjoyable.  The sweetness and sourness are well balanced and the whiskey is smooth if that’s a right description.    I still think Pourhouse has the best whiskey sour hands down.

Whiskey Sour

Torii Sour ($14)

Btw, the water here isn’t free.  Everyone gets charged with a $3 bottled water fee.  That’s quite hefty in my opinion…it is Vancouver!  Our water is one the cleanest in the world!  This is like a premium for dining in the restaurant which I do not like.  Speaking of which, there was also no complementary bread.  The bread basket with butter and olive oil is $4.

Bread basket ($4)

Bread basket ($4)

The assorted bread themselves were warm but nothing out of the ordinary.  The olive oil given was of a very good quality one; it just tasted so clean with a hint of olive.  The butter has red pepper flakes in it and added just a slight taste in the butter.  It was better to dip the bread in the good quality olive oil.  Again, NOT IMPRESSED with having to pay for bread in a high end restaurant.

Our motto in terms of food that weekend is Sharing is Caring.  We ordered 3 appetizers to share amongst the 6 of us.

First up: Ancho Glazed Pork belly with heart of palm, yucca, jícama, lime ($18).  The pork belly melted in my mouth.  It immediately reminded me of the Chinese Five Spice instead of an anchovy glaze.  The vegetables were crispy and enjoyable!  It helped to cut the fattiness of the pork belly.  It was a good dish but I was not wow’ed by it.

Pork belly

Ancho Glazed Pork belly ($18)

The Seared Japanese Squid was a pleasant surprise!  I am never a fan of squid thinking they are chewy and not very flavorful.  This dish is everything but!  It was served with peanut, nashi pear and crispy pork chili vinaigrette.  The squid was so tender and soft to bite into.  The pairing of crispy pork chili vinaigrette was quite unusual but they work!  The smokeyness from the sear taste wonderful with the crispy pork chili.  The peanuts gave it some additional crunch factor while the thin slices of pear cut the usual oiliness from the dish with all that seared squid and crispy pork!

Squid

Seared Japanese Squid ($18)

The simple yet fantastic dish: Prosciutto di Parama!  It was the accompaniment of the dish the intrigued me: pear, burrata, olive oil marshmallow, walnut.  What?  Olive oil marshmallows?  That is quite odd isn’t it?  But let me reassure you, it is fantastically weird!  It has the same consistency/texture of real marshmallow but it is not sweet!  Again, it probably made with good quality olive oil.  I popped one of those in my mouth and the taste of the olive oil lingered in a good way.  Everyone was so impressed by these little marshmallows!

Prosciutto

Prosciutto di Parama ($18)

I’ve got to show off our skills at dividing/sharing appetizers.  This is how it looked on our plate after divided and conquered:

????

Our plate of divided appetizers

 

Funny story time:
Shortly after being seated, a large group of business men holding their cocktails was seated behind us.  While one of the girls went to the bathroom, an obviously tipsy older man asked if the seat was taken and that if he could join us.  OF COURSE, we said no in a very polite way.  It kind of put a damper on our dinner as these men were loud and rowdy.  We thought these must be big shots as lots of waiters and more senior management were catering to them.  Turns out, it was more of a business dinner with a guy trying to sell this certain brand of cognac.  While the guy was trying to give a presentation, the other men were shouting profanity and not paying attention.  The presentation was boring but poor guy having to present to a tough, semi-drunk crowd.  They all got sample of the congac but I wonder if they can actually taste or know any difference given their intoxicated state.  When they were leaving, the same guy came by and said sorry he couldn’t join us…good thing one of his friends pulled him away.

Ok, back to food!  Here are our entrees!

Two of us got the Parmesan Crusted Chicken ($36) which came with potato gnocchi, artichoke, pine nut, barigoule.  It was so delicious!  The crispy, savoury layer of parmesan with a bite of juicy chicken…what more could you ask for?  Maybe another serving of it actually… The dish itself is on a bed of oil, presumably the broth used to cook/make barigoule.  This whole dish was so delicious down right to the potato gnocchi and the vegetable.  This dish was my favourite that night.

Chicken Parmesan

Parmesan Crusted Chicken ($36)

Next up: charred beef striploinIt is braised shortrib, marrow pomme purée, morel and  fava bean.  Didn’t taste this dish myself, but the bride said she loved it.  The addition of beet was different but it worked well according to her.

Beet shortribs

Charred Beef Striploin ($48)

Two girls both ordered the Slow cooked lamb shoulder with de puy lentil, celeriac, pumpkin seed and tangerine ($37).  Again, not a fan of the lamb so I didn’t try it.  Verdict is that it was so tender and melty.  The healthy condiments were quite the perfect balance for the lamb.

Lamb shoulder

Slow cooked Lamb shoulder

Sablefish seems to be a staple in our dining adventure.  Someone always orders this!  So this is Pan Roasted Sablefish with eggplant, furikake, black tea dashi broth ($40).  The girl said the fish was very good but not so much the egg plant.

Sable fish

Pan Roasted Sablefish

After we got our bill, there were complimentary macarons and pâte de fruit.

 

These raspberry macarons were most likely from the Rosewood associated Bel Cafe.  From my experience with Bel Cafe’s macarons, the flavors, sweetness and texture are not always consistent.  These macarons were decent.  The vanilla filling was overly sweet but the shells were light and airy with a crunch.  The pâte de fruit was of berry medley.  It was a good berry-flavored gummy.  It made my fingers very sticky afterward though…

Complementary sweets

Complementary sweets

Overall, the food is simple but done right with the key ingredient being showcased both in terms of flavor and presentation.  The portion is not too small that we were not satisfied at the end

Service wise it is good but I feel like our server was a bit of a snob.  There was minimal interaction, conversation and eye contact.  He answered our questions, made sure our water was never emptied , checked on us if our food is good but in a very robotic manner.  We were not that hard to please I don’t think?  We ordered, chatted and ate.  No special requests or anything.  I was expecting this kind of snobby attitude from Le Crocodile or another high end French restaurant where we could hardly pronounce the menu and not from Hawksworth, a Canadian contemporary restaurant.  When we were ready for our bill and to go, our server was no where to be found.  When the dining room supervisors (they clearly were not hosts as they circulated around restaurant to check on everyone and wore a full suit) came with our bill and credit card machine, there was more conversation and engagement.

The food was good but the price is even more expensive than Le Crocodile.  For the same or less amount of money, I would rather dine at Le Crocodile where I feel appreciated as a customer, the service is warm and welcoming and for the amazing food.

 

Hawksworth Restaurant on Urbanspoon

 

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