C Restaurant in Downtown Vancouver

C Restaurant has been well known in the annual “Dine Out Vancouver” experience, and this year was no exception. If you have tried to book a table in January to participate in the Dine Out experience, you may have found yourself short on luck unless you booked within the first few days of “Dine Out Vancouver”.

We were very lucky to book a table, and quite honestly, I’m glad we did because I have wanted to try this restaurant for the past 3 years. Situated in Vancouver, BC, C Restaurant has the best access to local seafood and ingredients that are distinctive and homegrown. Here’s something that you should know…

If you enjoy dining out and have often went to fine dining establishments, you may have noticed a symbol in the menu item next to the salmon, halibut, or scallop. This symbol is the “Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Program”. Thanks to Executive Chef, Robert Clark, C Restaurant, is the founding restaurant of the Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise Program.

C Restaurant is situated in a very quiet and relaxing area of downtown Vancouver, just south-east of English Bay, facing Granville Island. Although the restaurant is in a nice area of town, I didn’t find inside the restaurant very attractive. The main dining area had a decor that reminded me more like the Boathouse Restaurant in Richmond, rather than a fine dining restaurant. There is a small and more “fine-dining-looking” upstairs section that sits less than 10 tables. Inside the restaurant looked very dingy especially with an ugly yellow lighting atmosphere – walls, lights, you name it!

Anyhow, we entered the restaurant and was greeted by our friendly hostess. We waited about 10 minutes while they set our table. C Restaurant doesn’t have a waiting area. Instead, they have what they call a “leaning bar”. The leaning bar has about 3 spots where you can stand and “lean” backwards, enjoying the view of Granville Island across the water. This is actually a good idea on C Restaurant’s part, because by you spending time in their so-called “leaning bar,” you can purchase alcoholic drinks to increase their business volumes!

After our “leaning experience,” we were escorted to a window table. Our Server was prompt in serving us water and offering us drinks. We quickly decided on the Dine Out Vancouver Menu ($38) as well as the Ethical Luxury Tasting Menu ($49). Here is how everything sized up…

Dine Out Vancouver 2009 Menu ($38)

dineout01hot-smoked-langley-trout

Appetizer:   Hot Smoked Langley Trout

summerland gala apple & belgian endive salad, Agassiz hazelnut dressing

This appetizer dish was a very generous serving.    The trout tasted good, however, the endive did not go well with the fish. On the one hand, you have a good-quality smoked trout…and on the other hand, you have endives that were bitter. Wasn’t a very good match.

dineout02pan-seared-johnstone-straight-silverbrite-salmon1

Main Course:   Pan Seared Johnstone Straight Silverbrite Salmon

White bean and chorizo cassoulet, frothy Spot Prawn bisque

This main course was prepared nicely. The kale and the frothy spot prawn bisque sent a tingling feeling to your palette, as well as a smooth, buttery taste.   Salmon was prepared perfectly with a well-seared exterior, and a juicy, moist interior.dineout03lemon-tart-with-fresh-vanilla

Dessert:   Lemon Tart with Fresh Vanilla

Preserved fraser valley blueberry gel

This lemon tart was the perfect finish to a rich meal. It was very light in flavour and was neither sweet nor sour. Great recommendation by our Server!

Ethical Luxury Tasting Menu ($49)ethical01albacore-tuna-tartare

Appetizer:   Albacore Tuna Tartare

egg pearls, radish salad & sake emulsion

This tuna tartare was lighter than expected. It was very fresh and comparable to tuna sashimi.

(Note: Earlier in this review, I mentioned about the lighting of the restaurant. I didn’t use flash with this picture, and you can see how the lighting is like inside the restaurant – very disturbing!!)

Appetizer:   Lobster Bisque

crispy chorizo & black truffle gelethical02lobster-bisque

This lobster bisque was presented very nicely.  Our Server brought an empty bowl, and a teapot, in which the lobster bisque was in this teapot.  The chorizo and black truffle gel was placed inside the bowl, and the bisque, poured into the bowl from the teapot.  Although the presentation was very impressive considering that many places do not serve soup like this, I must say I was very disappointed with the bisque. Why?  The temperature was lukewarm, and I HATE drinking soup that is cold! Although the flavour and taste was there, I will fail this soup due to the temperature it was served at.ethical03pan-roasted-sablefish

Main Course:   Pan Roasted Sablefish

yukon gold potato fondant, caramelized savory manila clam & grainy mustard nage

I considered this dish undercooked as the sablefish was still raw in the interior. Other than that, I think the other items complemented this dish well.ethical04gala-apple-bread-pudding

Dessert:   Gala Apple Bread Pudding

all spice anglaise & caramel chantily

I hate bread pudding, so that would be the end of this dish!! ;)

I must comment that our Server was not only attentive, but was also very informative. Every single dish that was served, our Server described what it was. Although our Server was busy serving a big section, he never made us feel neglected. All this shows the professionalism of our Server, though I can not say this for all the other servers at C Restaurant.

Although C Restaurant is located in a nice part of town with a nice view of Granville Island and Vanier Park, I must say that the atmosphere of the restaurant is not very nice. The interior decor did not feel classy, and the lighting was absolutely horrid.  Here is how we will rate our experience:

Atmosphere:     ******          (6 out of 10)

Service:               *********    (9 out of 10)

Food:                    *******        (7 out of 10)

C Restaurant is located at 2-1600 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC. There is street parking available within the area on Howe, Hornby or Beach Crescent. There is also valet parking available. Reservations are recommended, and all major credit cards are accepted. Their full menu is also available on their website, and you can access the website by clicking any of the above “C Restaurant” hyperlinks. Telephone number for reservations: 604.681.1164.

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About Taya & Gary

Gary and Taya Ng are the Founders of Eating In Vancouver & the World. This husband and wife team search for the best dining experiences - including restaurant launches, new menu tastings and culinary events. Learn more about the couple here and connect with them on Twitter and Facebook.

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    Hope I could visit this place someday.