Whet Kitchen Bar Patio has partnered up with VANEATs.ca for a promotion called #Whetyourappetit, a $30 menu running from Oct 17-Jan 17, 2013. VanEats asked me to preview the tasting menu and post my thoughts.
While you may think that heading down to Granville Island is a summer activity and recall all the patios available, once fall and winter hits there are actually also plenty of cosy places to sink into and escape the cold weather. Whet Kitchen + Bar Patio is at the entrance to Granville Island and sees plenty of patio action in the summer, but is also seeing it’s share fair of traffic now that the sun is gone.
The chef here, Chef Peter Grey, had worked with the Sequoia Group as well as Havana and has added some ethnic flair to the fall menu. He’s been working with local suppliers to ensure the restaurant is sourcing more sustainably and has expanded the menu with some more adventurous items.
The service here was friendly and attentive. We were in the mood for chatting that night and as we were in rather early there was time to hear a little more about the menu and the chef himself came out to talk to us about his objectives.
The first dish up was the Coconut Scallop Ceviche, hand peeled shrimp, citrus juices, ginger, jalapeño, corn chips, tobiko & ikura. The dish is a pretty little number and I appreciated the house-made corn chips and the flavours in the marinade. Unfortunately there was too much of the marinade meaning scooping the ceviche was a bit messy and the creation more soup-like than necessary. This could easily be remedied by draining it off before serving.
Next up was the Prawn, Shrimp, & Wild Mushrooms Salad, which includes pan seared prawns and wild local mushrooms, hand peeled shrimp, arugula, grapefruit, taro root crisps, lemon-hazelnut vinaigrette. The mushrooms were plentiful and full of a nice citrus punch from the lemon vinaigrette and the prawns well cooked and hand peeled shrimp fresh and plentiful.
The Crispy Duck Leg, a confit of Fraser Valley duck leg, sweet chill ginger sauce, yam & plantain chips, sesame seeds and grilled plums had cohesive flavours, but the duck was rather dry and didn’t have the crispy skin that is standard for this dish.
The Red Honey-Curry Coho, a wild BC Coho, with saffron yoghurt, hot pickled lime puree, candied almonds, cinnamon market vegetable, was nicely cooked, and I appreciated the addition of the lime puree and candied almonds, but the vegetables accompanying were cold and there where a few too many flavours competing on the plate.
The package also come with 2 Sleeves of Angry Scotch Ale, Russell Brewing Company’s strong, dark ale with dominant malt accent that originated in Edinburgh. Made with Scottish specialty malts including peated malt imparting a slight smoky character to the beer.
This is a decent value at $30 and could be dinner for two if you are smaller eaters. The dishes are on the right track here and merely need some tweaking to take them to the next level. I look forward to trying more of the fall menu as it unfolds.
1517 Anderson Street, Granville Island,Vancouver, BC