PiDGiN /ˈpijən/ opened in Vancouver Downtown Eastside with much controversy last February 2013. The general premise for the demonstration and protest steams from city revival and booming gentrification in DTES. PiDGiN Vancouver builds on Canadian chef Makoto Ono culinary experiences in Beijing, Hong Kong, Europe and Canada. Chef Makoto Ono is a gold reciepient at the first Canadian Culinary Championships in 2007 and has also worked at West Restaurant. Pidgin menu draws on a combination of Japanese, Korean and European French cuisines. I love the clean open interior white space which Craig Stanghetta of Ste. Marie has designed. You can find his other works at Homer St. Cafe, Revolver Cafe, and Meat & Bread to name a few.
To begin our Valentine’s Day meal we optioned a la carte vs the Valentine’s fixe prix menu offered. For those of you interested as a reference point for next years celebration, consider:
Pidgin Vancouver Gastown | Valentine’s fixe prix menu: 75 pp shared between 2
- daily pickles
- oysters, apple, horseradish, warm dashi broth
- raw scallops, pomegranate, red curry oil, daikon, green apple
- crab cakes, avocado, seaweed sauce, wasabi tobiko
- “dan dan” rutabaga noodle salad, tofu, almonds
- vadouvan spiced lamb belly, smoky eggplant puree, eggplant mostarda
- beef striploin, potatoes, balck garlic jus, black truffle
- red velvet laminton
de capo negroni: We love aperitifs Old Fashioned bitters made with gin, vermouth, campari, cold press coffee ice ball. The twist and modernization of ice coffee ball was interesting and added a nice depth in flavor profile. Remember negronis $8 on Mondays and bring your own bottle, pop the cork just $1 tonight.
oyster shot, apple, horseradish 3: These are the best oyster shooters! It is chilled and topped with sweet apples and a burst of horseradish. Stir and throwback. Simple one is not enough. We had to order a couple more leading into dessert later.
humpback shrimp toast, daikon slaw, brioche 3: My friends do not be mistaken that these shrimp toasts are the same shrimp toast available during dim sum. Unlike the shrimp toast recipe made of minced shrimp paste that are deep fried at any Chinese restaurant. Pidgin shrimp toast is made with a giant humpback shrimp.These humpback or King shrimp is called humpback because of the arched shape of the carapace. The shrimp toast is lightly sweet and refreshing and brightened with a strip of soy ponzu jelly.
‘vitello tonnato”, veal + albacore tuna, fried egg emulsion, togarashi 15: Let’s start with the creamy albacore tuna chunks. It is savory and well seasoned just enough that it doesn’t lose it’s fishy flavors. The veal was not gamey and showed just the right amount of blood.
grilled octopus, romesco, fennel biscotti 13: Tender octopus with a slightly charred perimeter was nicely matched with capers and a spicy romesco sauce. It’s nice that Sriracha wasn’t the bast of all hot sauce. The romesco is nutty and red pepper based from Tarragona, Northeastern Spain. Although we weren’t particularly attracted to the biscotti (something crispier would have been nicer), the overall dish was quite delicious.
Foie gras rice bowl with Unagi glaze: Imagine pork fat oil with rice. If you think that is disgusting, frankly is not. And before anyone became health-conscious, this was one of the best comfort food. If you are even in Hong Kong Tai Wing Wah Restaurant 大榮華酒樓 may possible still have it. But let’s get back to Pidgin Vancouver. Pidgin’s Foie gras rice bowl with Unagi glaze was on point! It is most amazing that it melts and disintegrates in ones mouth.
fried chicken wings 12: Perhaps better than Pok Pok Portland without the heaviness in charred fish sauce and heavy soy. Pidgin chicken wings are just as addicting as Phnom Penh. They are brined 48 hours, lightly battered, deep fried yet amazingly moist and juicy. Can you try to replicate Pidgin Chicken Wings Recipe at home also.
Red Velvet Lamington: This Australian sponge cake coated with desiccated coconut is part of the Pidgin Valentine’s fixe prix menu. Our server was so kind to order it. I have a soft spot for red velvet. Soft cream cheese sweeps the plate with dollop of chocolates.
Pidgin Vancouver Gastown
Cuisine: European, Seafood, Japanese, Korean, French
Mondays – Thursdays: 5:00-12:00pm
Fridays – Saturdays: 5:00-2:00am
350 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J3
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