I stepped out of the Vancouver International Airport half awake and bleary eyed. Having been up at 3am to grab my early morning flight my body was screaming for a little bit of caffeine. I was greeted by blue skies, multicoloured autumnal leaves and a warm kiss from the sun. My sisters car sat waiting for me and as soon as I threw myself into the passenger seat we raced into the city bound for the Shangri La Hotel.
We whisked ourselves up to the hotel’s signature restaurant Market by Jean-Georges where we would spend the next two hours catching up on lost time. This would be my first visit to a Jean-Georges outpost, first made famous by his 3 Michelin Star restaurant in New York (and one of the few restaurants in NYC awarded four stars by the New York Times). The J-G empire has now expanded across the globe, fans can sip and nibble their way through the chefs inspired creations in New York, Paris, Chicago, Las Vegas, Shanghai, Doha, London, Bora Bora and now Vancouver.
It was a late Sunday morning when Amy and I plopped ourselves at a table in Market’s intimate dining room. I have to admit I was on a bit of an elation high, excited to have the opportunity to visit family and friends for two days before heading off to Hong Kong the following week. While our fingers whispered through the menu I found myself distracted by the rays of light which shot across the bar. It was as if we were eating out on a summer afternoon, inspired by the illumination. For Vancouverites the weather was a total jaw dropper, one they rarely spoke of in hopes of jinxing themselves into weeks of lackluster rain. Their secret was safe with me.
We started off with two of Market’s signature cocktails a Lychee Raspberry Bellini featuring lively bubbles courtesy of codorniu cava and a Ginger Margarita with sauza hornitos reposado tequila, ginger lime puree and ginger salt rim. I hadn’t seen my sister since she moved to Vancouver some 6 months ago. Sipping and switching on our cocktails provided a perfect space and place for us to catch up.
The kitchen offered a breezy culinary whimsy which started with steelhead sashimi sitting on top crispy rice, chipotle emulsion and fresh scallion. The freshness of BC’s wild salmon paired perfectly with the textural crunch and cream of the dishes other noble ingredients. Soon after a bowl of Tuna Tartare stared up at us from the table. The dish was light and cleansing to the palate, featuring creamy avocado, spicy radish and floral ginger dressing. My favourites marched out of the kitchen during the latter part of the parade. Black Truffle Pizza smothered in fontina, Soy Glazed Short Ribs with apple jalapeno puree and rosemary crumbs, Roasted Sablefish with scallion, chili compote and thai basil…each giving us something to die for. The richness of the Nutella Tort may push you right over the edge.
Lychee Raspberry Bellini
codorniu cava, lychee, raspberry
sauza hornitos reposado tequila, ginger lime puree, ginger salt
crispy rice, chipotle emulsion, scallion
avocado, spicy radish, ginger dressing
Black Truffle Pizza
scallion, chili compote, thai basil
Soy Glazed Short Ribs
apple jalapeno puree, rosemary crumbs