Follow Me Foodie to Film Feast: Jiro Dreams of Sushi at Market by Jean-Georges at the Shangri-la Vancouver
January 17th to February 2nd is Tourism Vancouver’s Dine Out Vancouver Festival (DOVF). This is the city’s largest restaurant festival featuring $18, $28, and $38 price fixe menus and special culinary events. I’ve written about my bitter-sweet relationship with Dine Out in the past, and in a nutshell, it is a social event more so than a proper representation of a restaurant on a regular night. Just go with the right mind set and expectations.
I was invited to the media preview which gave a sneak peek of menus from participating restaurants and the theme of my group was “Date Night”. Oh la la! The following three restaurants are date appropriate, but also suitable for less romantic occasions with friends.
My first stop was at Market by Jean-Georges at the Shangri-la which I was anticipating. What’s more “datey” than dinner and a movie? For me I’d rather skip the movie and go for two dinners, or just a very extensive dinner, but on this occasion I’ll take the combo.
For Dine Out this year, Market and the Shangri-la are offering more than their usual $38 price fixe menu, which is still available. This year they introduced “Film Feast: Jiro Dreams of Sushi“. The event includes an exclusive screening of Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which follows an 86 year old world-class sushi master and his 3 Michelin star restaurant. The private screening is hosted at the hotel’s Blue Moon 36-seat theatre followed by a special 4 course Jiro Dreams of Sushi inspired dinner at Market by Jean-Georges by Chef de Cuisine Montgomery Lau (Monty).
The event is as exciting as it is bold and ambitious. The movie is inspiring, powerful and influential and it takes a serious look at the art of making sushi. I watched it when it first came out and inevitably craved the finest nigiri afterward. However after watching the movie, a flight to Japan seemed like the only thing that could satisfy the craving.
Of course it’s unreasonable to expect 3 Michelin Star Jiro sushi at Market by Jean-Georges, or anywhere outside of Jiro for that matter, but it’s still a fun idea. Chef Monty also dined at Jiro’s son’s restaurant, so he wanted to share the experience with guests by reinterpreting it for a West Coast palate.
The Jiro Dreams of Sushi inspired menu features a good variety of sashimi and textures of rice. It is a Pacific Northwest/modern Japanese menu, so don’t expect authentic Japanese food. I’m actually glad it wasn’t and was happy Chef Monty made it his own.
Some of the components were from the regular Market by Jean-Georges menu, so if you miss this, then you can still try parts of it on a regular night. The Steelhead Sashimi with Crispy Rice and Chipotle Emulsion is one of my favourites and the Rice Cracker Crusted Tuna Citrus with Sriracha Emulsion is also a Market by Jean-Georges a la carte appetizer. It is not the exact same for the Jiro menu, but similar and still good in both contexts.
I got a very deconstructed experience and highlight of what guests can expect at Film Feast: Jiro Dreams of Sushi, but it was still a favourite stop on my “Date Night” themed Dine Out preview tour.
Tickets for Film Feast: Jiro Dreams of Sushi at Market by Jean-Geoges are $58/person and can be purchased here.
On the table:
If you can’t come for Film Feast, you can still order the Rice Cracker Crusted Tuna Citrus with Sriracha Emulsion, which is not the same as this, but a bit similar in concept. It is available as an appetizer on the regular Market by Jean-Georges menu.
Again, if you can’t come for Film Feast, you can still try the “crispy rice” by ordering the Steelhead Sashimi with Crispy Rice and Chipotle Emulsion on the regular Market by Jean-Georges menu. It’s not the same, but still one of my favourite appetizers in Vancouver.
This was a brilliant interpretation. At Jiro, the dessert is tamago, so Chef Monty does his own version but adds sweet potato for texture and sweetness. It was the love child of a Chinese egg tart custard, tamago and creme brûlée. Excellent, but somewhat acquired and still for an Asian palate especially served as a dessert.