Looking for a fancy night out within “Parq”, your destination has to be “The Victor”. To reach it, you cross the roof top deck of “The Douglas”. And are treated to the view of the city in the distance. All this as you stroll and watch the lights of BC place dancing, and the twinkling of the tiny bulbs illuminating the roof top garden of Douglas firs and rippling water.
The restaurant is as photogenic as all of this. There are many little features and unique decorative elements that give the space and all its subsections a romantic gothic vibe to it.
The entrance is wallpapered with some of the most unique print. I can best describe as chubby bubble bees against a bloody backdrop of pooling reds and fluid goldens dripping in splotches.
I liked the private room with its linear lined wall, curved horns, and dripping candles. It had a nice modern viking feast motive to it.
On a previous visit I enjoyed some cocktails and dessert at the bar with a couple of friends. We found ourselves lounging on a couple of recliners by the window. Enjoying the view with our sips.
The “Emperor Sour” is their showstopper and the one to order for that perfect instragram shot. The only purple cocktail that comes to mind with Empress 1908 gin, lavender syrup, lemon juice, and creme de violette. It is as easy to drink as it is to look at.
By comparison “Any last words” was extremely potent and incredibly spicy with Sombra mezcal, luxardo maraschino, green chartreuse, lime, and creme de violette.
The “Blood orange limonata” was another smooth drinking cocktail. This was more like juice with Absolute citron, blood orange, lemon bitters, and sparkling water.
We also shared their have-to-have dessert: the “Creme burlee doughnuts”. They came on their very own pedestal crowned with a tuff of candy floss and gold flakes, because as their slogan goes: “to the Victor goes the spoils”. These round balls were perfection. Luscious cream surrounded by chewy dough, coated in thickened syrup for that tell-a-tale creme burlee burnt sugar crack. Great to pop into your mouth and savour as it melts.
But tonight I was here to indulge deeper with a fuller meal. We were led deep into the dining room, walking past their stand alone refrigerated wine cooler, and past the vibrantly upholstered booths and chairs, stopping before the raw fish bar at the very back. This was a working bench with chefs in crispy whites. The foreground of which was a trough of seafood and citrus fruits on ice. Before it was a row of high top stools monogrammed with a metal “V” to christen the restaurant and its name.
We were given a table that utilized a cushy love-seat for chairs. It was situated in front of a dresser topped with cloth wrapped books and a collection of paper weights, dimly illuminated by a desk lamp.
Liking all that I tried previously, I decided to indulge in another one of their rich cocktails in both price and flavour. The “All is fair” is a deep and boozy drink made with Bulliet bourbon, amaro, Montenegro, sweet vermouth, cherry and aromatic bitters.
To start off with we had some “Guyere cheese and caramelized onion brioche”, served with a whipped butter spread. This was one of the most delicious and fragrant loaves I have ever had. It was dense bread topped with crispy onion and baked cheese. The topping was the perfect textural contrast to the fluffy, baked warm bread itself.
I typically am not a fan of uni, but reading its description on the menu, I became intrigued over the application of “Uni toast”. What I got was some of the best uni I have ever had, it reminded me of why I liked sea urchins in the first place. It also had be reflecting on the worst uni I have ever had, which is probably the reason that scared me away from them in the first place. This was fresh uni spread over toasted brioche, seasoned and flavoured with Bottarga, ponzu dressing, and kaffir lime leaves. The crunchy bread was a great textural contrast to the buttery uni, it wasn’t the least fishy. What you got was creamy bites, in the ideal portion to leave you wanting more.
The “Porterhouse” was listed on the menu as 28oz of Striploin and tenderloin. Although after you cut away the bone and took away the fat, it is more like 15 ounces of steak meat that you actually get. On it was a lot of fat, and when we had to doggy bag what was left, the t-bone was not included in the cardboard box and bag.
I did like how the whole steak was prepared and dressed, then placed it in a pan and brought out to the dining room for you to inspect. This is before they bring it back to the kitchen to be carved up for your easy eating. It was a good enough piece and seasoned well enough, but given the $81 tag and the prestige of the restaurant, I guess I was expecting and wanted a little more from my premium cut of beef. Especially as it didn’t come with a side. We had to tack on the mashed potatoes, which were at least a wonderful addition to our set. Whipped creamy with a light and buttery flavour to balance out the spice and gristle of the beef.
The “Mac and cheese waffles” was another side and the winner of the dinner. They were the perfect cheesy and salty side to anything. Each triangle had you like about the pasta dish, but given new life with crunchy edges from a press in the waffle machine. Its square pockets were ideal in helping to hold pools of the creamy dipping sauce that came on the side. I would go back just for this. This application was a great way to add new life to a classic dish with extra cheese and salt.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
Certainly not for an every day meal, but with the setting and the cultivated atmosphere, a great place for celebrating at, or when you are wanting that indulgent evening. Don’t deny your cravings.
For the vlog version of this the rest of our 24 hour stay at “The Douglas” and “Parq” visit my YouTube channel: MaggiMei for all the fun: