Restaurant: Fairmont Waterfront (Hotel banquet menu)
Cuisine: American/West Coast/Steaks/Seafood
Last visited: July 3, 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC (Downtown/Waterfront)
Address: 900 Canada Place
Price Range: Banquet menu prices
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Additional comments: n/a
I decided to do a post on the banquet menu at Fairmont Waterfront in downtown Vancouver, BC. I came here for a wedding so I’m not going to “review” the food, but I do want to show what’s available if one were to book the ballrooms for an event. I figure it’s wedding season and perhaps there are some readers that are curious about banquet menus at various hotels… it’s for event planners/future brides/curious readers and foodies 🙂
Fairmont Waterfront is a great place to host a banquet, party or wedding. I’ve come here before for an event, but it was my 1st time attending a wedding here. I was expecting typical banquet/hotel food, but the food actually blew me away. Mind you it was a 5 course menu that was on the “higher” side in terms of price and ingredients. I was very impressed and they set a really high level in terms of hotel banquet “mass produced” food. It really put me in my place. It was so good, I’m showing it off!
On the table:
The night actually started with an amuse-bouche (a single bite appetizer) however I missed the picture of it. It was delicious though and it made me very excited for dinner. It was a perfectly cooked prawn with some pickled lemon zest, minced veggies, and a hint of vinaigrette served on a Chinese spoon. Everyone had one on their plate before we were even seated.
- Smoked salmon carpaccio and ahi tuna tartar, preserved lemon, celery sprouts, caviar cream
- I really didn’t expect this. The plating was gorgeous.
- It was delicious. Very fresh fish and the ahi tuna was melt in your mouth delicious. I actually ended up rolling my smoked salmon around the ahi tuna and eating it like a roll with the caviar cream as the dip.
- The caviar cream added a nice tangy salty bite and the ahi tuna actually didn’t have much marinade, but everything eaten together – it was perfect.
- The preserved lemon was fantastic. It was sweet and tangy and not bitter or too sour at all. It was like tangy candy.
Crisp Duck Confit Cake
- Crisp Duck Confit Cake, Petal Tomatoes, Organic Greens, Truffle Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Everyone expects a crab cake, but a crisp duck confit cake? Sure it’s not crab, but was it just as delicious? In this case YES!
- This was one of the crispiest cakes I’ve had. It had such a crispy and toasted crust and it gave off a nutty and salty flavour. I think they use some Panko to get it that crispy.
- The whole cake was made from shredded duck. It was so tightly packed I could actually cut through it and make a clean slice without it falling apart. It was very lean and parts of it were a tad dry, but this is such a difficult recipe to execute… I really congratulate them.
- The balsamic vinaigrette was quite thick and there was a slight truffle flavour. I could have used more of it, but I think it was the luck of the draw in this case, depending on the plate you got.
Intermezzo (Palate cleanser)
- Intermezzo: Granny Smith Apple Sorbet, Rosemary Infused Apple Brady, Rosemary Garnish
- After having apple sorbet at Bella Gelateria in Vancouver (just around the corner of Fairmont Waterfront) or Dolce Amore in White Rock… nothing will ever come close.
- However, this was still very good. I could taste every bit of what was listed in the ingredients. The Rosemary could have been a tad stronger in the Apple Brandy, but I could still taste it in the background.
- Perfect palate cleanser after the prawn, fish, and duck. It was light, tangy, perfectly sweet, a tad bitter, earthy, refreshing, icy and flavourful all round.
Main – Choice of Lamb or Beef
- I don’t have the exact description but it was rack of lamb cooked to medium rare with a pistachio crust. It was served with mint infused mashed potatoes and veggies.
- I’m not even a fan of lamb and this one was excellent. It was a bigger portion than the beef and I didn’t hear one complaint about it. In fact, people that ordered it, raved about it. It was cooked perfectly and the meat was so tender. It was slightly gamey and it was so soft and easy to cut through… like butter. The fat was well marbleised and the whole thing was just very moist. It didn’t even need the sauce or gravy. The quality of the lamb and execution was so high it held it’s own no problem.
- The pistachio crust was a lovely touch. It was actually a bit soft like a paste, so it was almost like a pistachio pesto.
- The mashed potatoes were infused with mint leaves and it was such a creative idea I’ve never seen done before. It was so aromatic and the perfect side to this lamb.
- I don’t have the exact description. It was beef tenderloin with braised beef short rib on top served with cheesy scalloped potatoes and veggies.
- This was delicious as well, but compared to the lamb it could have been juicer. The steak needed the sauce, but the sauce was delicious!
- The sauce was so well reduced, thick and syrupy. There seems like a lot of sauce on the plate, but by the time you finish the steak it soaks it all up and the plate is clean. The most reduced steak pan jus I’ve had is still at Manhattan Restaurant in Delta Inn Suites Hotel in Vancouver or the old So.cial at Le Magasin.
- The steak was cooked to medium rare and the short rib on top was a tad dry (almost like it was under a heat lamp too long), but luckily with the sauce it was quickly fixed.
- The scalloped potatoes were excellent! It was nice thin slices of red potato so it held together really nicely. In between were nice layers of cheesy cream sauce. I think it was Parmesan and Gruyere with some ground Rosemary. It was almost like a rich cream cheese sauce, it was so buttery, creamy and salty – it was amazing.
Maracaibo Chocolate Bar
- Maracaibo Chocolate Bar Cointreau Macerated Fruits
- Arghhhh… I’m very on the fence with this dessert, just because I know Cactus Club serves the same thing! It’s on the “Special Features – Rob Feenie” menu. It’s the Peanut Butter Crunch Bar. I LOVE that dessert, so I know when it’s being replicated or being ordered from the same bakery. In this case… it’s ordered from the same bakery… unless Fairmont Vancouver supplies Cactus Club (which I highly doubt). They just plated it to make it “their own”.
- This bakery makes fantastic chocolate bar desserts. The Peanut Butter Crunch Bar is better than their Maracaibo Chocolate Bar. If you’ve never had the Cactus Club Peanut Butter Crunch Bar – you’re totally missing out. Even people that say “I’m not a peanut butter fan” – LOVE it! Don’t let the name deter you, it’s awesome!
- It has a crust at the bottom that’s crunchy just like a chocolate bar. It’s made out of nuts and chocolate and it’s almost like a Nestle Crunchy Bar in texture and flavour. It tastes like tightly packed cookie crumbs, with nuts, and maybe rice crispies or something… it’s the best crust ever.
- The chocolate bar part is a soft dark chocolate fudge/mousse. It’s not as dense as fudge, but denser than mousse. It’s great! Together with the crunchy crust it’s perfect! It just melts in your mouth.
- It’s a substantial chocolate bar and it’s quite sweet, rich, and indulgent. I like it served with ice cream like they do at Cactus Club. This was a great dessert to end off a fabulous dinner.