Ten Ten Tapas – Menu Tasting

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Earlier this week, I was invited to swing by Ten Ten Tapas to try a couple items off their dinner menu. Situated right on the water just below Burrard Bridge, this modern bistro boasts floor to ceiling windows that open the entire dining area to scenic views of False Creek and Granville Bridge. A large heated patio is also available for those looking to enjoy an evening outdoors.

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Looking at the dinner menu offerings, everything is broken down categorically into different types of tapas. To start off, I was recommended the Homemade Hummus served with herb-baked pita. This starter turned out to be my favourite item of the evening and one I would recommend to anyone dining at this restaurant. The hummus itself was luxuriously smooth and accented nicely with tempered garlic. Paired with several fragrant pieces of herb pita, this starter is perfect for one or two people to share.

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Depending on what mains you end up ordering, a light white wine for the seafood tapas or a beautiful red for the duck or lamb dishes would be ideal. I decided to go with a bottle of Sapporo because I felt like beer but one or two different wine pairings is highly recommended to optimize the overall tapas experience.

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For the main dish of the evening, I was gently urged to try the Moroccan Braised Lamb with 25 Spices served with a mulled wine poached pear stuffed with Gruyere cheese and walnuts, glazed apricots, glazed prunes, caramelized figs and 25 spice jus. This dish actually won 2nd place in the recent Vancouver Foodster Chef’s Signature Dish competition so I was eager to try it. The lamb itself was wonderfully tender and pulled apart easily with little insistence. I found the dark meat somewhat salty but enjoyed how the gaminess was cut nicely by the sweeter elements on the plate. Overall, a well-thought out dish highlighted by a substantial depth of flavour that many will enjoy.

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The seafood tapas I decided to try was the Pipita Shrimp & Scallops which were pan-seared and then lightly coated in pumpkin seed and then drizzled with citrus vinaigrette and balsamic reduction. A side serving of homemade strawberry chutney completes the plate with a slightly sweet accent. The shrimp were quite large and appealing in both firmness and texture. I found the citrus vinaigrette and balsamic reduction to be light and well-moderated which allowed the seafood to shine naturally. As a starter, I would definitely order this again along with the hummus and pita bread.

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Although I was quite full at this point in the evening, I politely tried the Cheesecake with strawberries and blueberries for dessert. I did not see any desserts on the main menu so I don’t believe they are currently made in-house. Irregardless, I would stick to the main food menu on future visits as there are far better items to try.

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In closing, Ten Ten Tapas benefits from a phenomenal location and a menu that is highly attuned to the communal dining experience. In the hour or so I was there, I noticed several large parties dining together and sharing different types of tapas. Depending on how many dishes you end up ordering, your dining experience can get expensive but most people understand they are paying for the ambience as well as the unique selection of food. If this type of dining experience interests you, Ten Ten Tapas is situated at 1010 Beach Avenue just under Burrard Bridge. Open with the hummus and pita, crack open a bottle or two of wine and then go from there.

Ten Ten Tapas
1010 Beach Ave #3, Vancouver, BC
Tel (604) 689-7800
Web www.tententapas.com
Twitter @TenTenTapas
Facebook TenTenTapas
Ten Ten Tapas on Urbanspoon

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About Alvin

Alvin Lee is a professional photographer, culinary arts enthusiast, and contributing author of Eating in Vancouver & the World. Visit Alvin’s website and connect with him on Twitter @alvinkclee and Instagram @foodimagery.

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