Today I was invited down to “Hy Tea Lounge”, at the striking waterfall building. Here, to attend the trial run of a series of sit down dinners hosted by “Swipe Menu Event”. Their desire is to bring foodies together with well known local chefs for dinners held at various venues. All with the goal of diversify the dining experience in Vancouver.
And this blog post gives you a look at what you can expect from their very first pop-up. Four courses prepared by Chef Ivy, better known for her work as the executive sous chef at “ELISA Steakhouse”; and formerly of “Blue Water Café” and “Ask for Luigi”. Today she was representing herself in her farm to table inspired dinner, which included fresh vegetables sourced from her friend’s farm. “I like to support local farms. These ingredients can always help me create the most healthy and delicious food for my customers.” says Ivy.
The actual event is on September 27th, and I am here to see what it is about first hand, and to report if it is worth the $75 fee (this price does not include the $5.60 Event Brite fee). But it does include refreshments upon arrival, a glass of champagne, Chef Ivy’s four course meal; and for a little more, four glasses of wine perfectly paired with each course. The dinner does breeze by quickly with dishes coming to pass quick, and prompt service; so it is best to prolong your experience by opting in for the bonus drink feature, for $45 more. More drinks equal more fun.
Each event night consists of 2 sittings. One after another in two hour intervals, with 30 minutes in between for the kitchen to regroup. What sounds like a tough shift went smoothly, so I am sure show time will not be an issue.
We sat across 2 large tables, set with silver chargers, golden cutlery, and a display of peach roses and baby’s breath to set the upscale mood. The following is what we had. The menu is posted on the event page so you know what to expect ahead of time. Therefore there aren’t any substitutions. Nuts, gluten, and dairy are all part of the deal. Course by course Chef Ivy presented herself and her dishes to us, exactly as how you would get them if you purchased a ticket.
The first course was “Hamachi Crudo” with chanterelle, black table farm tomato, lemon, cucumber, and black olive tapenade. It was fresh and fragrant, a light and easy start. The flavour of the korabi compressed with fish sauce and the pickling with apple cider vinegar doesn’t overwhelm. This was a thoughtful dish. There was enough visual and textural interest to curate and change up the flavour bite after bite. The dish was watery at the bottom, but not watered down.
Round two was titled, “Everything smoked”, a sealed mason jar is set before you. In it salmon roe, potato, and confit egg yolk. Supposedly when you open the jar, smoke is released for a visual treat, but sadly none of us had even a puff waft out when we opened ours. Next, your server comes around and sprinkle some homemade furikake over your portion.
You then stir everything up for a uniquely smoked potato purée, made fishy with the smoked and marinated ikura. It was a delicious paste, that would have been better as a side, than featured as its own standalone dish. Ideally, along side the duck to follow.
Our third course was “Duck breast” served with fregola, pistachio pesto, black kale, sour cherry, and black truffle jus. “Fregola” is a type of pasta that typically consists of semolina dough that has been rolled into balls 2–3 mm in diameter. It is a fun texture to chew through and a great base for the duck. But I expected more than one piece of duck, especially as my one was over cooked and a touch dry. The greens on the side were bitter, but helped fully and masked by the cheery flavour I did really enjoy.
For dessert everyone had their own “Eclair” with Moscato poached apricot, caramelized white chocolate, and goat cheese. The cream tasted like salted caramel, it paired well with the sweetness of the softened apricot. But my favourite element of this was the crispy tuile, I could eat a bag of them as is.
If you haven’t visited “Hy’s Tea Lounge” before, this is a good reason to. The space is so special, and this four course dinner is a great way to highlight it. Not to mention, it is always great supporting local talent and home spun initiatives like this in the city. If there is enough demand, there will be more new and upcoming ways to enjoy Vancouver’s full food scene.
This one-night event will be held on September 27th at HY Tea Lounge on 2nd Ave, right behind the waterfall. Tickets are limited, so be sure to get yours before they are gone. The first seating is at 6pm, the second 8:30pm, two rounds to get your chance to try the first in a series of such pop up culinary events. Be warned tickets are non refundable. But for those interested in more information or in purchasing a pair, check out the link below.