Tag Archives: fine dining

Empire Landmark Tower: Cloud 9

Click to add a blog post for Cloud 9 Revolving Restaurant & Lounge on ZomatoTo celebrate a friend’s birthday, we celebrated dinner at Cloud 9. We had a reservation at 7pm on Sunday for 4 people.
It was the second time for me to dine there, but the first time, it was already pitch dark and the inside also pretty dim. The night view was really nice, but this time, the sun was just starting to set, so we got an incredible view – 360 degrees of it from the 42nd floor.

idearabbit-cloud9_2 idearabbit-cloud9_3The Cloud 9 restaurant rotates slowly (so don’t put any camera’s, purses or personal belongings on the window sill – though you will see it again in an hour, assuming no one takes it). We started off with the view of North Van and Vancouver Harbour. I was surprised that the AC wasn’t strong on such a hot evening. As we came upon English Bay, the view again was stunning, but the sun was grilling us. Even with the blinds down, we were kind of sweating…

idearabbit-cloud9_1Their menu just changed at the end of June 2015.

idearabbit-cloud9_4 idearabbit-cloud9_6I ordered the 6oz BC Sablefish (Haida Gwaii) $36. The portion of the fish was quite generous, poached in tomato saffron broth. It was quite bland, and wished for more salt. There was table salt on the table, but just for my health, I resisted the temptation and ate on. The wild pilaf rice was on the harder side and with the sauce so bland, the rice was also flavourless. I wasn’t too impressed by the dish. Was not worth the $36. 2/5

I was a bit jealous of Sheepie’s food. He was the only one to get the 3 course meal. If you’re hungry or can eat it, I highly recommend the 3 course if you want a great deal with good food! Sheepie ordered the Linguine Vongole (seafood) course $34.95

idearabbit-cloud9_5For his appetizer, he had the Kale Caesar Salad with kale lettuce, romaine hearts, crispy bacon bits, shaved asiago, herbed croutons in garlic Caesar dressing. The salad was surprisingly pretty good. I remember vaguely the first time we dined there, he had a caesar salad and it was a depressing bowl of just lettuce with a bit of croutons. It didn’t seem like a fine dining salad, so it’s good to see that they’ve improved. However, the croutons and the mini tomatoes were way too big… 4/5

idearabbit-cloud9_7His Linguine Vongole has decent portions of prawns, scallops and clams. The olive oil, basil and white wine dressing was flavourful compared to my dish. 4/5

idearabbit-cloud9_8Lastly, he had the Chocolate cake. It was super rich and smooth. Could have eaten all of it…lol.5/5

So for all 3 for less than my fish dish! I would definitely get the course next time!
The other 2 had Chowder soup but it was in light tomato soup, making it look like minestrone soup than the usual creamy chowder we’re used to.
Our server was ok, not rude or anything, but not what you’d expect at a high end restaurant. At the beginning, it was a young girl – perhaps a busser who checked my friend’s ID to see if it was really her birthday. For some reason, she never got the birthday cake and we didn’t ask for it, because we didn’t know we were supposed to get it. It was when we were going to pay that my friend noticed that there wasn’t any discount on the bill. When she told the server, she brought the cake in a doggy bag. That kinda sucked.
The dining experience had both pros and cons and this visit gave me a better idea on what to do next time. I would say that my ratings for Zomato is more on the view and experience of dining in a revolving restaurant.

Taste: carrotcarrotcarrot   Price for Value: carrotcarrotcarrot

Atmosphere:  carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot   Service:  carrotcarrot
Location: carrotcarrotcarrot

Al Porto Ristorante

Click to add a blog post for Al Porto Ristorante on ZomatoA hidden gem in the historic, charming part of downtown – Gastown. The restaurant was quite large and spacious. Most tables were full with active servers swooshing by.

The complimentary sliced bread were not warm. I am not sure if this is the custom of Italian restaurants, but I was hoping to be warm. They served it with olive oil and balsmic vinegar to dip into.

idearabbit-alporte1 idearabbit-alporte2idearabbit-alporte3For our appetizer to share, we had the Calamari $9.95. I was expecting a small portion, but we were both surprised with the huge amount – perhaps the largest one I’ve ever seen. Great price, love the ample green herbs mixed in, very fresh and crisp! The Chef’s tartar sauce went really well. The diced tomatoes were refreshing. 5/5

idearabbit-alporte4 idearabbit-alporte5I ordered the Linguine Vongol $15.95 with clams, white, brodo and butter. There were generous number of clams. The pasta was al dente, something I can’t quite get used to…lol. I remember the first time I went to Italy, I was outraged that a decent restaurant was serving half cooked pasta…ha ha. The flavour was good. 4/5

idearabbit-alporte6Sheepie ordered the Veal Saltimbocca $22.95 with prosciuttio, sage and red wined demi sauce. Sheepie wasn’t too happy with the dish. He said the veal was salty and rubbery.

Service was satisfactory. The atmosphere bright, open and lively. Would return again.

Taste: carrotcarrotcarrot    Price for Value: carrotcarrotcarrot  Atmosphere:  carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot
Service:  carrotcarrotcarrot  Location: carrotcarrotcarrot


Click to add a blog post for ARC Restaurant - Fairmont Waterfront on Zomato So for my birthday, I wanted to host it originally at Mosaic Grille since I liked the restaurant when I went there before with Sheepie. Unfortunately, they only had a 3 course menu for $52 + 18% gratuity + tax per person for large groups. I didn’t want the restriction on the menu and the cost per person (I wanted choices!), so reluctantly, I declined and searched elsewhere. I usually pick places that I’ve been to, but for this occasion, I happened to come across Arc through online reviews. It looked really nice and had pretty good reviews.
When I phoned up, the gentleman told me that they were already booked that evening for 7pm, so they only had 5pm or after 8pm. After having to change the venue, I didn’t also want to start changing the time on everyone, so I declined. However, he was persistent, and told me that they can work something out. They seem to also do set menus for large groups, but he was also selling me on the fact that they would also be able to do a la carte, though with the other groups reserved, it may take some time for the food to come out. I was sold by his enthusiasm and accepted.
We had the tables by the back of the restaurant which was nice since we had more privacy, and was away from the live music. My friend loved the singer/pianist, but it was a bit loud and made it difficult to hear our conversations, so the distance was good.

idearabbit-arc1The restaurant had great high ceilings and high-end decor. The ground to ceiling glass all along one side let natural light in, and the view of Canada Place and the waters was really nice and romantic. Seating and tables were comfortable. Staff were professional and courteous. Our server Arvin was excellent. My friends also complimented that the service was very good. It was interesting to see so many babies at the restaurant. Not only did my party have a baby, but the two other table close by also had each had babies. All of them were well behaved.

idearabbit-arc3For drink, I ordered the Ginger Iced Tea, after seeing one of my friend order one, I was drawn in. I didn’t know until my bill came later that this non-alcoholic drink was a whopping $9! I know this is a high-end restaurant, but 9 bucks for ginger ale and ice tea? I thought that was way overpriced.

idearabbit-arc2Complimentary buns were served with whipped butter and tomato jam. The buns were warm and nice bite-sized. I had it with the garlic butter and it was delicious. Arvin was very generous with the bread so with had more than enough for the table. One girl said she really liked them so she had 3. I think I had 3 too…lol.

idearabbit-arc4I ordered a Green Salad $12 (which was not on the menu), but our server mentioned it, so I had one. As the name implies, it was full of greens. It has some mozzarella slices with sunflower seeds, but it lacked the flavours that I usually expect from salads. It was a bit too plain for me, and wished I had ordered a different salad from the menu. However, it was a good portion.

idearabbit-arc5For my main course, I had the Seared BC Halibut $36 with clam chowder, kelp, pork belly, spinach and purple potato. Overall, it was too salty for me which made eating a bit difficult. I almost wanted some long rice or veggies along the side to dilute the saltiness. The pork belly were small bits like bacon bits. There were about 4-6 clam chowder. I have never had purple potato – more like black actually, but tasted pretty much like other small potatoes. Presentation was very good, and the portion was pretty decent.

Comments from others:
Mushroom Bisque $12: “Huge! Tastes delicious.”
Caramelized Brussel Sprouts $5: “Really good.” I thought for $5, it was a pretty large dish. A great deal.
Poached Coastal Salmon $28: “Very good.”
Braised Pork Cheek and Seared Scallop: “Good.”
Glazed Duck Breast $30: “It was soooooo good.” “Very good.” “it was ok, it was too raw when I asked for medium, so I had it taken back to the kitchen to be cooked a bit more.”
Pemberton Beef Ribeye: $33 “Delicious. Good portion, surprisingly large. The second piece was too rare, so I had it cooked again.” Another girl was really interested in her dish and seemed like she’d wished she had ordered the Ribeye.
Pemberton Beef Tenderloin $36: “Yes, it was pretty good.”

Overall, the atmosphere and service was superb. Presentation and portions of the food was surprisingly generous. Taste for the salad and fish was not as ‘wow’ as the rest, but I was kind of distracted most of the time talking to everyone. I was however, quite full at the end and didn’t even have room for dessert. Others really liked the restaurant too. A bit pricey for most of us, so it was a nice occasion to try out the restaurant together and to celebrate my birthday. :)

 Taste: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot    Price for Value: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot

Atmosphere:  carrotcarrotcarrotcarrotcarrot   Service:  carrotcarrotcarrotcarrotcarrot
Location: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot