McLean’s Restaurant, Bar & Custom Deli – Desserts


Restaurant: McLean’s Restaurant, Bar & Custom Deli – Desserts
Cuisine: Pacific Northwest/West Coast
Last visited: July 12, 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC (Downtown/Gastown)
Address: 200-332 Water Street
Price Range:

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 3
Service: n/a
Ambiance: 4
Overall: 3.5
Additional comments:

  • Kirk McLean’s 1st Restaurant
  • Chef Eddie Szasz
  • Formerly So.cial at Le Magasin
  • Same chef as So.cial at Le Magasin, but new menu
  • Oyster bar
  • Brunch/Lunch/Dinner
  • Casual fine dining
  • Extensive wine/cocktail list
  • Alberta beef
  • Fresh ingredients
  • 3 rooms: dining room, lounge, bar
  • Restaurant & Lounge 11:30am-10pm
  • Bar 5pm-midnight
  • Custom Deli – 10am-8pm
  • Dinner post

**Recommendations: Albacore Tuna Tartar, “Queen Charlotte” Halibut, Free Range Chicken Breast, AAA 10 oz Rib Eye, House made sorbets

McLean’s Restaurant, Bar & Custom Deli is opened by our very own Vancouver Canuck Kirk McLean. The restaurant used to be So.cial at Le Magasin and although the furniture and menu has changed, they both still feel quite similar. McLean’s is casual fine dining located in Gastown and it serves brunch, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week.

I attended McLean’s for a media dinner organized by Cassandra from The Good Life Vancouver, therefore my dinner was complimentary. As always there are no expectations for the outcome of my post and I will be as honest as possible. That being said, I cannot comment on the service that we received either.

After 7 appetizers and 7 main courses, I was very ready for dessert! I never miss out right? So nothing changes here. The desserts are all made in house and they’re considering hiring a pastry chef since there isn’t one yet and they want to make the dessert more eclectic. The desserts are changing daily so I’m not sure if you’ll be able to order the things I had. I didn’t think that the dessert menu connected with the savoury dinner menu. They were French and British desserts and I didn’t see much creativity except for their house made sorbets which were quite unique. Nontheless, together with Vanfoodster we ordered all the desserts on the menu and demolished them easily.

For a more detailed post of McLean’s and for more photos of the restaurant and food, see my post for dinner at McLean’s Restaurant.

On the table:

**Trio of House Made Sorbet – 5/6

  • Red beet sorbet, pear and cheese sorbet, raspberry and strawberry sorbet (left to right) – about $9
  • The sorbets were delicious! They were so flavourful and well made. It was rich in flavour and slightly more icy than the ones from Bella Gelateria.
  • My favourite of the 3 was the red beet sorbet, and then the pear and cheese one next.

  • Red beet sorbet – 5/6 This was awesome! so unique and right up my ally! I love seeing new ideas. It tastes just like frozen red beet puree. It was naturally sweetened from the red beet itself and just so light. It was the texture of pureed redĀ beets, but it was still creamy and icy. It was so light and so rich in flavour. It would actually be great served with some goat’s cheese. This was so creative and it reminded me of the avocado ice cream from Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie.
  • Not to pat myself on the back, but to pat myself on the back… I actually made a red beet & chocolate dessert 2 years ago so I loved seeing this red beet idea being used at an actual restaurant. It would have been an awesome accompaniment to a chocolate brownie believe it or not.

  • Pear and cheese sorbet – 4/6 I don’t remember what kind of cheese they used. It wasn’t a strong cheese like Gorgonzola or anything. I could definitely taste some pear, but fore a sorbet I would prefer to have it heavier on the fruit and even light. The cheese added a creaminess to it wasn’t too strong. It was a great contrast with the red beet and I kept eating the 2 together. That worked really well.

  • Raspberry and strawberry sorbet2/6 This was okay compared to the other two. It was slightly too tart and out of the 3 it didn’t get finished as quickly. It was interesting how the most basic flavour sorbet was the one that shined the least.

Bread Pudding2/6

  • About $9
  • I think this would be completely overpriced. It was a pretty big piece, but it wasn’t that great and I would rather have the bread pudding at White Spot served with ice cream.
  • It was served room temperature and it looked completely solidified and not moist at all. It was served with a creme anglaise that added some moistness, so the bottom part of the bread pudding that soaked in the sauce was good. I would have liked to see some real vanilla bean seeds in the creme anglaise too.
  • I couldn’t taste any cinnamon or fruits or anything. It was the most basic bread pudding and it was too old fashioned to see it on the menu, especially with no contemporary twists. Mind you they are still playing around with the dessert menu so maybe I just need to give it some time…

Creme Brulee3/6

  • About $9
  • Again, I think this would be overpriced. Even at Bistrot Bistro which is also causal fine dining, it’s only $6 without the added fruits. The dessert potions are a bit larger here, but still $9 is pushing it.

  • The creme brulee was almost like a thick and creamy custard pudding. The burnt sugar crust was also too thick and too hard and I really had to jab my spoon into it to break it. It wasn’t light and delicate, but it tasted quite good.
  • We were told it was imply a creme brulee, however it wasn’t your regular vanilla creme brulee and even if they did have some vanilla in it I would have liked to see some real vanilla bean seeds. I quickly noticed a very aromatic and unique flavour and it took me a little while to pinpoint what it was. But this creme brulee was infused with cardamom! It was almost like an Indian or Chai creme brulee and I thought that was a creative idea that worked!
  • It was a very aromatic cream brulee and I did like the Eastern spin off on a classic French dessert.

Chocolate Mousse2.5/6

  • About $9
  • Same issue, a total price gauge for chocolate mousse. This was fine dining price not casual fine dining.
  • I’m not a huge fan of chocolate mousse. I just find chocolate mousse always the same, and it’s too much to have as a dessert alone. It’s just a bit boring and the texture can get tiring. It was good here, but I prefer a darker chocolate one like the one at Bistrot Bistro.
  • This one was not too sweet, quite creamy, but not as fluffy and it was topped with whipped cream. It was just standard chocolate mousse.


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  • Bow says:

    Oh,the struggle one must go through, working at their job. Nice pics though; desserts looked better than they tasted…it happens a lot unfortunately.

  • Mijune says:

    Bow – lol! I was in pain… physical pain! I wore a belt that night and I had to take it off!

  • Elaine says:

    Hey Mijune! I am going there next Monday…too bad the dessert menu seems a bit unexciting…
    I am not a big fan of gelatos/sorbets/icecream at restaurants though!

  • Mijune says:

    @Elaine – this was a while ago, so the dessert menu has probably changed because they did warn us that they were only experimenting since I came when it first opened. I’m usually not a fan of ordering ice cream and sorbet either since it’s so “normal”…. but they use really creative ingredients here and they are actually incredibly delicious!

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