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Painted Ship, revisited

I have visited the Painted Ship once before and during that visit, I admittedly walked away less than satisfied. So am happy to announce the world of difference that a year and a separate visit can make.

The setting is outfitted with a retro theme, furnished with thrifted vintage pieces and a warm pallet of brown, orange, and yellow. All together with their stage and live music nights, it sets the space up with a causal and easy vibe.

Their menu is a collection of Pacific Northwest fusion with Mexican and Asian influences. The intention is to enjoy dishes family share style, and our table was ideally suited to it.

If seated by the bar you are greeted by a psychedelic seaside mural. We opted the family style table in the corner designed to look like a living room setting with a fireplace in the background.

But first drinks. The Black Garlic Gin Martini caught my eye. Black garlic infused Tanqueray Gin, Port Sherry, Sesame Oil, and Morita Bitters. I am always on the look out for a savoury cocktail and this one was so different. You smelled the roasted flavour of the sesame oil on the nose before you slipped slow. It sat heavy on the lips, the drink filling like a broth. I found myself continuously going back for more, trying to wrap my head around what this was.

In contrast was the Bluebutter Collins. Screech Park Rum, Brown Butter Washed Blueberry Syrup, and Lemon. This drank like a dessert with the rich sweetness of the fruit mixed with naturally sugary rum. At the same time the blueberry made it feel healthy like a smoothie with its anti-oxidants.

As for food, they celebrate happy hour from 11-6pm daily, and all day Sunday with discounted menu items. And we would order it all today.

The Down Under Corn Ribs was fried Hominy Corn on the cob sliced into segments then dressed in a Sweet & Sour Tamarind Glaze. Truthfully this was $8 on and off the happy hour menu, but still fair price. I liked the idea, but would have liked the dressing on the side more. There was so much of it smothered on the segments that you can only taste the bold tang of the barbecue dressing and not the sweet corn itself. We would revisit this throughout the meal like a refreshing agent.

We found the Vietnamese Chicken Wings super tasty with a Fish Sauce & Piloncillo Caramel glaze, topped with Golden Garlic Spicy Peanuts. And you save $3 on them during happy hour. The highlight is the consistent crunch from the chunky batter. So memorable that it made it to my top 5 wings list. Highly recommend.

This one is only available during happy hour. The Al Pastor Japanese Eggplant was topped with Tultepec Pastor Marinade, Charred Pineapple Salsa Macha, and Pickled Serrano. Sliced liked sticks, it would have been nice to have them battered and crispy. With the salsa topping, you use the eggplant like you would chips. More like a side, As is if felt like the dish was missing something.

This was not like any potato salad I have ever had. Made by Tultepec, known for their explosive Mexican flavours, and this was no exception. Chunks of potato topped with a Toasted Guajillo Morita Aioli, a Ramen Egg, and a Walnut Salsa Macha. I found myself only picking at this, as a side to simmer on. So bold that I was left craving a base like bread, a wrap, or even rice to temper it. Especially as this was more sauce that potato, and far from a salad. I enjoyed the cucumber for freshness, the apples for their crunch, and the peppers as the wild card. With the ramen egg and the sauce that reminded me of an XO garlic sauce it gave me glimmers of something familiar in an unexpected way.

The Guacamole Tultepec with Crispy/Chewy Pork Belly Chicharron was an elevated chips and dip. The crunchy chips were lightly seasoned with salt and spice. Taken with a scoop from the generous amount of avocado and fresh cilantro. The pork belly was well prepared crispy and chewy, great on its own, it took centre stage away from the dip.

And I am so glad that we saved room for dessert given how unique the Flan La Tultepec is. Their take on the traditional flan fully dressed in Horchata Caramel with Pumpkin Seeds and Passion Fruit. The flan itself had a dense texture, like it was mixed with custard. It had the mouth-feel of a whipped cheesecake, especially with the caramel and the curve ball of the pumpkin seeds. The caramel had just the right amount of sweetness, as to not overshadow the flan. And the salt really gave random bites pops that caught your amazement.

Overall, the food is so unique. I have never had fusion like this, striking combos, and bold flavours. Things were familiar, but different, as to keep you going back for more. You could yourself trying to figure it out, learning what you like and why you like it as a brand new cuisine. So glad I gave this one another chance.

The Painted Ship
2884 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K 2G6
(604) 734-0505

1 thought on “Painted Ship, revisited”

  1. The revisit to Painted Ship showcases a diverse fusion menu blending Pacific Northwest, Mexican, and Asian influences. The retro-themed ambiance sets a casual tone, complemented by creative cocktails like the Black Garlic Gin Martini and Bluebutter Collins. Happy hour offerings feature standout dishes such as Vietnamese Chicken Wings and Down Under Corn Ribs, while desserts like Flan La Tultepec offer unique textures and flavors. Despite some mixed reviews on certain dishes, Painted Ship presents an innovative culinary experience with bold flavors and striking combinations.

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