The Observatory [DOVF ’16]

[01/23/15] Unfortunately this year, I only got the chance to go to one Dine Out Vancouver restaurants.. but luckily, it was The Observatory.


The Restaurant

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Located on the peak of Grouse Mountain, the view was definitely stunning. The restaurant only opens during dinner hour so if you plan out your visit, you can definitely caught a stunning sunset. Tray and I had a dinner reservation for 6:30pm, but we went up at around 5pm. The view was absolutely spectacular, and after the sun set, we just walked around the snow-capped hills and enjoyed ourselves in the Theatre in the Sky.

If you’re not into the cost that comes with fine dining, this trip is still of your interest because with a reservation to any restaurant on Grouse, comes with a free ride up and down and access to the activities on the mountain. The skyride itself costs $45 for an adult! If you’re not skiing or snowboarding.. you might as well enjoy a lovely dinner overlooking Vancouver.

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The restaurant is located on the upper floor of the Peak Chalet. At the time of our visit, there was a private wedding function. We were led into a separate, smaller room outlined by large windows revealing the foggy outside. I’m sure if we came on a less foggy day, we would be able to see a beautiful night view of Vancouver.

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Being a five-star restaurant, the atmosphere was fancier and more formal than usual. However, it was very welcoming and cozy as well, with the dim lighting and warm fireplaces.

The service was professional, attentive but nonetheless, friendly and unpretentious. Our waitress was very keen on refilling our water, making sure that we enjoyed our food, and answered all the questions we had.


The Food

The Dine Out menu is $40 per person and consists of three courses- appetizer, entree and dessert.

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Beef Carpaccio (4.5/5)

Shaved Heirloom Carrots, Pickled Beet Purée, Salted Turnip, Crispy Shallot, Red Shiso

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This is the appetizer Tray started with. The plating was colourful of many elements. Although she thought the beef itself was a little dry, but with all the other flavours and textures, it was a well-composed dish.

Carrot Coconut Soup (4/5)

Coconut Cream, Marinated Shiitake, Basil Froth

img_9077_1024_fotorThe soup was very creamy, rich and aromatic from the coconut. While the carrots gave it a hint of sweetness, the shiitake mushrooms added savoury elements and all the flavours just bind together for a delicious, hearty soup.

Braised Beef Short Ribs (4/5)

Potato Mousseline, Carrot Salad, Spinach, “Mole” Sauce

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As for the entree, Tray went for another beef dish. She loved every bite of the tender beef, and the mashed potato was very buttery and creamy as well. Mole is a sauce originated from Mexican cuisine, consisting of chocolate and spices. You might think it’s a weird thing to pair with shortribs, but it is commonly used with meat dishes and in this case, it added and unexpected fun twist. The chocolatey, sweetness complemented all the other savoury components.

Marinated Eggplant (4/5)

Eggplant Condiment, Cous Cous, Ginger, Cucumber, Mint, Roasted Pepper Sauce

img_9082_1024I opted for the only vegetarian option, which contains eggplants. As much as I love this vegetable, I find it a little difficult to cook with, so I was curious to see how they would execute this ingredient in a dish. I was a little disappointed though, because I found the slices of eggplants too stiff and hard to cut, and it didn’t seem completely cooked through.The couscous was delicious, with bits of celery and cucumbers that added freshness to the dish, although I should’ve read the menu description carefully to note the use of ginger.. but that’s a personal preference, I’m just not a fan. All this is melded together with a sweet tomato sauce, which tasted similar to ketchup.

Sticky Date Cake (2.5/5)

Guinness Spice, Vanilla Ice Cream, Date Meringue

img_9088_1024img_9097_1024This dessert was presented with three blocks of cake, and a scoop of already melting icecream. The vanilla icecream was on point in terms of a rich, vanilla flavour, and the creamy texture. However, we didn’t like the star of the dish, the date cake, nearly as much. We felt that the amount of spices was too overwhelming, and the “sticky date” component was not as prominent. It tasted more like some sort of gingerbread, with loads of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Sesame Panna Cotta (3.5/5)

Lime Curd, Pine Nut Brittle, Spiced Graham Crumble

img_9099_1024There wasn’t anything wrong with the dessert, but I found the title a bit misleading. I expected the sesame to be infused with the panna cotta, but instead, I found little cylinders of panna cotta that came with a separate dab of sesame paste. The sesame paste wasn’t very sesame either, because the whole time, I thought I was just eating chocolate or Oreo! On the other hand, the lime curd was a lot more pronounced in the dish, which was refreshing and balanced out the richness of the dessert. Regardless of the inaccurate description, I enjoyed the taste and amazing presentation of the dessert.


Final Thoughts

Without doubt, the atmosphere and service are the best features of The Observatory. The food tasted great and looked even better, but it’s definitely a splurge on a regular visit with the original prices.

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Tray and I had a very pleasant experience with our first (and my only) Dine Out experience this year. For a very special occasion or for a one of a kind experience for tourists, The Observatory would be one of my recommendations.

{1- Terrible :: 2- Poor :: 3- Average :: 4- Good :: 5- Excellent}

Food: 3.5/5 | Service: 5/5 | Value: 4/5 | Ambiance: 5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

The Observatory at Grouse Mountain Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Site: http://www.observatoryrestaurant.ca 


It’s been a while.. thank you everyone for waiting patiently for my update! I’ve visited lots of restaurants recently and I’m excited to share my experience with you all soon. (:

<3, Rae

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4 thoughts on “The Observatory [DOVF ’16]

  1. Rachel! That sticky toffee pudding with date meringue sounds insane. I want some right now! Everything is so beautiful and your photos just get better and better 🙂

    Like

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