100 Days (Vancouver’s 1st “Pop Up” Restaurant)

Restaurant: 100 Days / One Hundred Days
Cuisine: American/Mediterranean/International/West Coast/Eclectic/Tapas
Last visited: October 20, 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC (Yaletown/Downtown)
Address: 350 Davie Street (Inside Opus Hotel)
Price Range: $20-30 (closer to $30+)

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

Food: n/a (didn’t try enough)
Service: 4.5
Ambiance: 5
Overall: n/a
Additional comments:

  • Located in Yaletown, inside Opus Hotel
  • Vancouver’s 1st “Pop-up Restaurant”
  • Open only for 100 days (kind of; note about this below)
  • Opened August 27
  • Posh/Trendy/Contemporary
  • Artsy atmosphere
  • American comfort food w/twists
  • Mediterranean food
  • Good for drinks/tapas
  • Innovative menu
  • Friendly attentive service
  • DJ on weekends
  • Ocean Wise
  • Open late
  • Brunch available
  • Open daily 11:30am – late

**Recommendations: Lobster and Dungeoness Crab Mac & Cheese

100 Days is Vancouver’s first pop up restaurant. The pop-up concept started in Europe and the idea is that a restaurant opens for only a limited amount of time and then closes down and possibly re-opens in another location with maybe a new name, menu and theme. @br_webb first brought it to my attention over dinner at Hastings House and I hadn’t realized I had actually read up on it when it first opened. It’s a fun and new concept that I was very eager to try so I made reservations immediately.

The atmosphere is fantastic and it incorporates the graffiti art of local artist Vince Dumoulin. It’s young, contemporary and trendy and it definitely catches your eye when walking by. It does feel like a “Yaletown” restaurant trying to be “Main Street” and it kind of reminds me of Glowbal’s Society. The servers are dressed casual in black shirts and jeans just like Society, and the furniture is super casual yet the menu prices are high and I didn’t see the theme.

Originally I was going to the 100 Days Taste of Yaletown $35 menu, however I find the regular menu usually gives a better representation of what the restaurant can do. So a la carte it was.

The menu covers a lot. From American comfort food with gourmet twists to Mediterranean food, Italian food, tacos, and paella it was pretty much all over the place.

Society and Glowbal sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G… and GEE some of the items seemed inspired by the neighbourhood. “Lobster & Crab Bites” – Society is that you? “Lobster & Dungeoness Crab Mac & Cheese” – The Hub is that you? Popcorn Shrimp served in a popcorn bag? – Society this could be you. “Baked Lasagne” – Society. “Grilled Cheese” “Wild Boar Bacon” “Burrata Cheese” – Hello Glowbal. “Real Corn Tortilla Tacos” – Elixir are you still there? (Before 100 Days the restaurant was Elixir and they offered these unimpressive empandas). I’ll stop comparing but basically it has a very “Glowbal Group-esque” feel. Nothing is identical, but it was noticeably similar with ingredients, items and playful execution.

I didn’t try enough to speak for the restaurant or food overall. I only tried 4 things and based on those 4 things I wasn’t impressed, which is unfortunate because I really wanted to like it. I also found it was overpriced for what it was and it came across as an “eat to be seen” place. I know it’s trying to be different, but is it really? Even if it is, I have no problem with different, but the food still has to be good and the prices still have to be somewhat justifiable.

Added note: The server also told me the restaurant was to be open for 130 days which make me think that this “100 Day” concept was just a quick marketing push to get more people through the door quicker…

On the table:

Chopped Tuna – 1.5/6

  • Endive spears, hand pressed olive oil, sea salt, dried black olives, lime $14
  • Endive is naturally bitter. The chopped tuna was also bitter and the olives taste like cheap pizza topping olives with a bitter salty bite. When bitter it complemented with bitter, layered on top of bitter, the end result is bitter.
  • It has a very dull musky taste and there’s no citrus at all, it’s not a great feeling when eating tartar. I could taste the olive oil which was high quality but overall the dish was very disappointing. For $14 I would have rather tried the Albacore Tuna Nicoise from Brix also in Yaletown. That is also $14, is albacore tuna, has more ingredients and sounds better too.

Wild BC Salmon – 2/6

  • Salmon filet, dungeoness crab & sweet corn hash, avocado puree $24
  • This is something you could make at home on the weekend and seemed more like brunch. The cooking level was basic to maybe intermediate and so was the plating.
  • The salmon really tastes like farmed salmon and it was seasoned with salt and pepper with a crispy skin which I liked. However it was a bit overcooked and dry and I didn’t expect a restaurant like this to overcook salmon.
  • The avocado puree has a very light avocado taste and there was a lime taste but that’s about it. It didn’t do anything for the salmon and the flavours seemed old. I would have preferred and avocado salsa or even just an avocado sauce because everything in the dish was dry.

  • Sweet Corn Hash
    • There wasn’t much dungeness crab and the pieces that were there were dry. At least the potatoes were creamy Kennebec potatoes rather than Russets or it would have been even more dry.
    • The corn was fresh and there was some sweet red pepper and fresh parsley and that’s about it. No dynamic flavours, nothing really unique and something you could easily prepare at home if you can cut potatoes into perfect squares and sautee ingredients together.
    • I don’t know how this complemented the salmon as a side either. I’d expect to see the potato hash for breakfast or brunch, but not on a $24 dinner plate.

**Lobster and Dungeoness Crab Mac & Cheese – 6/6

  • White wine Mornay sauce, lobster bisque $22
  • Thank goodness for this dish! This saved the meal from seriously letting me down. It was highly recommended and it’s the most popular item – for good reason too.
  • The salad dressed with tangy vinaigrette was the perfect pairing.
  • It looks a bit small, but the bowl is deep and it’s so rich that it’s just enough. It’s probably best shared because it’s super hearty and creamy. It’s worse than dessert and I loved it.

  • The top is covered with stringy baked on melted cheddar and mozzarella cheese and I only wish there was a crusty gratin crust.
  • The lobster bisque is served in a cup on the side and they pour it on top of the casserole as it’s served. I think the lobster bisque is made with mushrooms and lobster shells. I could taste mushrooms initially and then the aftertaste is of pure lobster. It’s actually very good and it’s almost like a rich creamy seafood gravy mixed with mushroom soup. It’s indulgent.
  • The lobster bisque was such a smart idea to use as a sauce. Very cost affective way to get the lobster flavour throughout the mac and cheese, however the sauce was even richer than the lobster bisque and almost overpowered it… that just tells you how rich the mac and cheese sauce really was.

  • It was super creamy, cheesy and also stringy mac and cheese and there’s chunks of lobster throughout. There’s probably about 8 pieces of lobster, but the crab meat was unnoticed. I like how the seafood wasn’t shredded into the pasta and I could actually bite into the pieces and each piece was juicy and tender and covered with sauce.
  • The sauce is a very thick and creamy white bechamel sauce also known as Mornay and my guess is that it’s the same sauce they use for the potato gnocchi pasta dish. It’s super creamy and heavy and almost sticks to your throat. I think there’s Gruyere, Aged White Cheddar, Emmental and maybe Fontina. It was definitely made with soft buttery soft cheeses.
  • The macaroni noodles aren’t overcooked and each one is just coated and swimming in bechamel cream sauce.

Desserts

I had to get one to wash away the mucky taste left from trying to finish the tuna tartar. However I never really need an excuse for dessert either. The dessert menu was random with American classics and Italian classics and I still couldn’t figure out the theme. However the “Warm Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie” was exactly like “The Pazookie” offered at The Hub. I saw someone order it here, but The Pazookie was twice the size and only $7 at The Hub. I LOVE that dessert!

Baked Alaska – 3/6

  • Chocolate cake, ice cream, caramelized meringue $8
  • The presentation was great and it was served with a side of strawberry sauce.
  • I rarely see Baked Alaska being offered at restaurants so I just had to order it. I’m a huge fan of ice cream and the contrast of warm and cold in my desserts too.
  • Was it good? In a way, yes. Was it a Baked Alaska? No. I can’t say it was. A Baked Alaska is supposed to be quickly baked in the oven and it’s a very hard technique and dessert to master. I felt like this version was an easy alternative to replicate the real deal. Rather than an oven they used a blow torch which doesn’t give you the affect of what a Baked Alaska really is.
  • This was very deceiving because it says “caramelized meringue” and it looked like a very caramelized shell with the brown crust but it was soft all round and not warm. It had no crunchiness of a meringue and the whole thing was a very sweet pure marshmallow cream, it’s more like a fluffy mousse like whipped frosting.

  • I actually ended up removing the marshmallow cream because there was too much and it was too sweet.
  • The ice cream is actually soft serve ice cream which I love. There were no vanilla bean seeds in it, but I love soft serve ice cream. It’s more icy in texture than regular ice cream and they had this one frozen hard.
  • The chocolate cake was standard but there also wasn’t much of it. The strawberry sauce helped break up the overly sweet marshmallow cream, but  I actually didn’t need it and just preferred the ice cream and cake alone which defeats the purpose of ordering a Baked Alaska.

100 Days on Urbanspoon

21 Comments

  • Victoria says:

    I haven’t actually been here for dinner, but they do have a pretty decent weekend brunch. Plus, they bring in a DJ in the afternoon on Sundays around 1, I believe.

  • Mijune says:

    @Victoria – really? Ok I’ll check your post! Let me know if you go there for dinner, I’m curious how you think it compares.

  • munchkie says:

    Interesting concept – I’ve walked by this restaurant so many times and have wondered what the deal was… The lobster mac and cheese looks pretty yummy from your pictures.

  • Designgirl says:

    Totally agree on the Mac & Cheese!! The more I think about it, the more I want to start drooling.

    I went there for dinner and the only dishes I really loved was the Mac & Cheese and the Fried Mozzarella. Everything was pretty mediocre.

  • Jay says:

    So if it’s 100 days, when is the last day?

  • Mijune says:

    @munchkie – yup it is! I might go back for that, but at the same time I’ll be a bit scared to after this post… :S

    @Designgirl – I know right!? I felt the same way, but I didn’t try the fried mozzarella. That really shouldn’t be hard to do though. It’s pretty much a mozzarella stick no? What else did you order that was mediocre?

    @Jay – good point! I just checked and it looks like it opened on August 27… however when I asked the server she said they’re now open for 130 days… which defeats the whole purpose/concept. I made a note about this above as well.

  • Mijon says:

    I believe it is opened by the Glowbal Group. HY knows the manager there (we took A&V’s wedding pics in there) and I think he works for the Glowbal Group. And the mac’n cheese was raved about for a long time while we were there even tho we didn’t get to eat!

  • Megs says:

    It’s funny you mention the similarity to Glowbal Group restaurants – I read that 100 days was “conceived” by John Evans (of Opus) and Peter Girges (formerly of…. you guessed it, Glowbal Group, and Emad’s nephew or cousin).

  • Mijune says:

    @Mijon and @Megs – wow that all makes so much sense now! Maybe I should have researched more as well, but I guess it was all too obvious. So it’s pretty much Society with a different name… on the same street… my tag line should have been 100 Days – new concept or old?

  • Elaine says:

    Seems like everyone agrees on the Mac n’ Cheese; looks like I know what I am going to get next Monday at 100 Days hehehe!

    I agree on the set menu thing. I mean, they are not bad and I do get a great value out of it. However, I almost never have a great or above average experience with them…

  • Mijune says:

    @Elaine – you’re going on Monday? Keep me posted. I’m really curious to know how their other items compare to what I had. Glad to hear you understand where I’m coming from as well. Thanks for your comment!

  • The Real Slim Shady says:

    You make me laugh. You think you’re a food blogger because you have a camera and a computer! This place is amazing, fun and exciting. The food matches the late night fun, its playful and approachable and not expensive. Ive eaten at %90 of the Yaletown restaurants and this one does seem to take dishes from each one as mentioned – also – they have a dish I see at Cioppinos and another I ate at bluewater. Come to think of it every restaurant in the city takes from each other and the world for that matter.

  • Ryan's Mommy says:

    I went there, a bit a heavy on the salt. But overall good:

    Lobster crab bits…like D.F. Chinese prawn balls, a good try.
    Duck pot pie…very rich but delicious.
    Paella…very good. Served in a Chinese clay pot.
    Short Rib…rich and salty. Served with polenta cake.
    Mac n chesse…perfect.
    Amazing french fries…we ordered a second helping!

    Bottle of Blue Mountain Pinot Noir…one of my all time faves! $60 bottle (approx $30 regular retail).

  • Mijune says:

    Ryan’s Mommy – really? Well you certainly made a bigger dent in the menu than I did. Ok the duck pot pie I may go back for… I do love short rib too… and fries… yes that sounds good too. Thanks for the recommendations… I’ll put it on my “considering” list lol 🙂

  • Gloria says:

    Just went there on Wednesday.
    Apparently it’s going to be open for 200 days not 100!
    They’re also opening one called “Chinois” or something after “200 Days” closes.
    Loved the Mac-n-cheese, didn’t like the gnochhi.

  • Mijune says:

    @Gloria – really?! See it kind of defeats the purpose of “pop-up restaurant” if they’re not “popping up” but just staying around… I don’t get it. Sounds like a marketing thing…

  • Elaine says:

    Hey Mijune, here’s my post of 100 days:
    http://omysweettooth.blogspot.com/2010/11/100-days-vancouver.html

    The mac n’ cheese was good like everyone said it was…lmao…

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