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Flair Artist Series

Flair X RHET: 2024 Soar to Prosperity

Tonight we were invited to celebrate Lunar New Year with Flair Airlines, as they drop their new artist series, featuring a Year of the Dragon tribute by @RHEK.

I arrived early as the invite suggested we be prompt at 6pm because the space would be packed. There was the promise of drinks and food, however they would be scarce.

Hosted at Chinatown’s Pizza Coming soon, which RHEK is part owner of. Iconically this bar does not actually serve pizza and has been open for half a decade now. This is an electric space that builds on the community’s love of nostalgia through retro cartoon characters and collectable toys. Tail wagging Felix the Cat clocks, a stay puff marshmallow plastic figurine, and Jerry from Tom and Jerry snow cone ice grinder. This is a fun causal spot for Chinese small plates and cocktails.

At the door guests and their plus ones were checked in. Each person was handed a Chinese lantern totem to exchange at the bar for drinks. Shame, as it would have been nice to take home as a keepsake.

The cocktail of the evening and the only one being offered was made sparingly with Remy Martin’s fine cognac, a couple of ounces mixed with cranberry juice; in a dispenser that was manually shaken and pour over ice and a couple of berries. Tasty enough as a punch, but not enough to pack a punch.

Food was a self serve affair, dishes came out one at a time and was placed at the back of the restaurant for everyone to queue up for. Given the number of people and the limited number of food, you didn’t get enough to fill, just a single dumpling, a square of radish cake, a cauliflower floret, a chicken wing, and a scoop of fried. All that only if you lucky. I was left feeling like I was fighting for food so didn’t go back after my first serving. Apparently those who came late and stayed later were able to claim more. I myself, would leave within an hour to seek a full meal nearby, without having to ration.

I did have a couple of dumplings, made by Dicky’s Dumps and not in-house by the kitchen. So as tasty as they were in vegetable and pork and chives, they were not very telling of the restaurant’s ability.

The only other bite I got was Fried Lo Bak Go which is Daikon Radish Cake with Chinese Sausage. This was a disappointing version of one of the items I typically always order at any dim sum. It was so starchy and mushy. And the aioli on top was better suited to a burger.

I heard the wings were good, but after the same two types of dumplings and radish cake kept coming out, I lost hope in their being more and enough for everyone.

As for the artist collaboration, I wished that it was announced and celebrated in a larger way. Maybe with a red draped reveal and a welcome and thank-you speech by the event organizers. I just thought it would be more of a focal point, with a full gallery of work to take in. Instead it was one print of a googley eyed dragon done Chinese style, with a long snake-like body and tiny hands and feet. Except that Chinese-style dragons are known to be aggressive and fierce, like your Asian father ready to belt you, this version was non-threatening. And pairing it with an 8 ball in the image made it feel more like a tattoo print, a westernized take on the custom. Once again, this was the one and only piece of art available for viewing, although labelled at 001, that must mean it is the first and currently only one in the series?

This unique retelling of a dragon was also made into a metallic black and gold sticker and adhered to a red pocket, for the celebration. And these were also given out at the door. Inside each was a voucher for $88 off your next Flair airlines flight as a welcome gift. Flair is known as a budget airline company, offering very affordable flight tickets to limited cities. So I was told that $88 can get you a free flight. I have yet to travel with them, and have heard mixed reviews, so I guess I have a reason to try now. Eight lucky guests won a full free flight, up to a $3000 value, although none of their flights are actually priced that high. For many, this gift was worth attending the event for.

And then at the door to leave we were given a copy of the RHET’s dragon to take home and help usher in the year of the dragon with.

Overall this an interesting event. It is always best to go into such things without any preconceived notions as to not be disappointed and hopefully pleasantly surprised instead.

Pizza Coming Soon
179 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T6
(604) 558-4900

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