Saturday, 22 December 2012

Fond Holiday Memories at the Shangri-La

Shangri-La Hotel Chirstmas Party- A Sneak Peak at Market by Jean-George

1115 Alberni Street  Vancouver, BC V6E 1A1
(604) 695-1115

Tastiness Factor: 4./5

Service, Atmosphere, Locavore Approved- N/A 

My husband's Xmas party was held this year at the Shangri-La, where resides Market by Jean Georges.  This review is based on the catered dinner that we were served at the party and therefore, does not truly reflect a meal at Market itself.  I did note though that the dishes that we were served were found on their regular dinner menu.

I cannot really speak to the service or the atmosphere at Market as I doubt that service for a group of 40 people, held in a banquet room, is reflective of the Market experience.  I must say though that the whole evening went very smothly and that all of the staff that I encountered seemed very experienced.  

We were treated to a three course dinner, with a set appetizer, choice of 3 mains (meat, fish, veg) and a set dessert.  In my past experiences with similar group dinners, I have never been impressed by the food.  It is usually free, so you cannot really complain about the mass-produced feel of the meal.  

I was pleasantly surprised to have a much higher-quality meal at Shangri-La's attempt at banquet-fare.  The main dishes came right off their main menu and both taste and presentation were on par from what I would expect from a high-end non-group dinner.   Here is the run-down of the meal:

Appetizer: Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese- nice, light opener but a little "cookie cutter".  When have you gone to a group dinner or baquet and not had the stereotypical salad?  This salad was certainly a notch above most mass-produced salad, made special by the very fresh arugula and the top quality goat cheese.  A little creativity would have been nice though.

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Main 1 (Seafood option): Sablefish with scallion-chili compote and thai basil- This was my choice- how could I resist the buttery goodness of sablefish!  But, to my surprise, sablefish was not the star of this dish.  Althoough it was cooked to perfection and very well seared, it was the scallion-chili compote upon which it sat that makes me rave about this dish.  Sublime!  Unlike the first course, this is certainly not your average banquet fare!

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Main 2 (Meat): Beef tenderloin with brocolli and chili- All hail this dish!  Not only did my husband really enjoy his steak but, to my great surprise, he ate his brocolli!  It takes a miracle worker of a chef to accomplish this feat.  I have been trying for years without any luck.  And he actually ate every piece and enjoyed it! 

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Main 3 (Veg): Gnocci with carmelized squash- I did not get to try this dish but others at the table who ordered it said it was just "OK".  The consensus was that the taste of the squash was very mild and that the dish lacked flavour (why is this the case in so many of the vegetarian options at these kind of gatherings?).  The gnocci however were said to be light and fluffy.  

Dessert: Apple tart with ice cream- Simple yet well executed.  The seasonal apples were thinly sliced and placed on top of a nice light pastry base.  A nice refined take on apple pie.

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My husband and I had a lovely evening at the Shangri-La.  The service that we experienced was top-notch and the food was very good overall for a meal produced on a larger scale.  I look forward to returning to have a meal at Market to really get the whole Jean-George experience!

Market by Jean-Georges (Shangri-La Hotel) on Urbanspoon

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