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Location: 221 Carrall Street, Vancouver, BC
Phone: (604) 569-2215 | Hours: Unknown
My girlfriend and I visited this hidden restaurant in historic Gastown the other weekend and she loved it! We had planned to come visit this restaurant awhile ago, but we were both occupied with other restaurants we have backlisted. It took me awhile to find this one, it’s kind of hidden, slipped away into the alley of Carrall. Not only was this restaurant hard to find, it was very hard to find parking too (if not, quite expensive). There’s a parkade on Cordova, it’s $7 flat rate on weekends. I didn’t want to put down $7 for a 2 hour dinner. So, I drove around blocks looking for free/cheaper parking. Note: If you want cheaper parking, resort to the meter parkings on Cordova, they are cheaper than the nearby side streets. And If you want even cheaper parking, resort to the Easy Park in Chinatown a few blocks down (but you’ll have to walk a couple blocks).
When we walked in the restaurant at around 7:30pm on a Saturday night, it was already pretty full. Although we were 15 minutes late for our reservation, we were nearly seated right away. The restaurant is for more the business party, as you walk in, you will notice most people are in smart business casual.
My eyes were attracted to this glass pod, the moment we entered the restaurant.
We were seated upstairs, right by the staircase. Upstairs was really small, maybe only 5 or 6 small tables. But, it was quite an interesting experience, as you get to see an overview of the entire restaurant.
Cork&Fin serves complimentary bread & butter like most restaurants. The bread wasn’t too bad, it wasn’t rock hard, but it wasn’t super fluffy either.
We decided to go for the small seafood tower, as we saw the big one wasn’t too much of a difference for $22 more. This one came with raw oysters (it came from somewhere from the Vancouver Islands, I totally missed the name), baja prawns, mussels, and manila clams. The oysters were sweet to the taste, the prawns weren’t bad, the clams were really big, but the mussels were a bit disappointing, as they weren’t that big. Anybody know which season mussels are the biggest?
These came with the small seafood tower. We’ve got cocktail sauce, horseradish, cucumber salad, and I’m not sure what the last one was. My favourite of all was the cocktail sauce, I’m sure they made it in-house as it’s got a sweeter taste to it than those from the can.
Aside from our “appetizer”, we also tried their steamed mussels. There was a choice of cream or tomato sauce, of course, go with the cream sauce. The cream sauce was a bit too salty, if it was a little less salty it would have been perfect. Again, the mussels were not too meaty.
Here comes the cat! For those who have read my previous posts, probably knows by now my girlfriend loves tuna! It’s no exception this time. We ordered the grilled albacore tuna accompanied by asparagus and mashed potatoes. The portions aren’t too big, but the tuna melted right into the mouth. It was grilled slightly on the outside and still quite raw on the inside.
Overall, we were pretty satisfied with the food here. The price wasn’t too expensive, probably the expected price for its class in downtown. Thanks to Letsgofordinner.com, we’ve got ourselves a small discount. The service here wasn’t bad, it was busy that night, but we were well looked after, given that the waiter had to climb those stairs to come to us. The ambiance is quite alive here, but at the same time you can get a comfortable relaxing dinner. I would come back, but their menu isn’t quite big. We’ll see what they have in store next time.