Vancouver is nothing short of a foodies paradise equipped for palettes of all kinds. For a foodie like myself it is an absolute dream as I find I’m forever on a constant escapade of discovery. Our latest dining adventure lived well up to those heights and more as we found ourselves experiencing the wondrous, atmosphere of Hendrick’s Restaurant. Tucked away into the Westin Hotel inside the city’s bustling downtown it is situated in a gorgeous location with a sleek bar facing directly out into the outside world allowing for patrons to soak in the nightlife as they dine.
On arrival we were greeted by Scott who showed us to our table immediately setting the scene for Hendrick’s impeccable hospitality and as we settled into our seats we were further welcomed by the calming surrounds of a freestyle acoustic guitar – what a perfect setting!
The first flavours of the night came through a Brandy Tart cocktail. Light, crisp and refreshing this new addition to the bar holds a dehydrated lemon slice and fresh lemon wedge balancing perfectly between the summer citrus and the warming brandy. Already a hit this cocktail is bound to only deliver more and more throughout the colder months.
Soon after we met our first course and my, my what an absolute delight! Both plates were visually striking with each entrée being jam packed full of colours. My plate had the understandably best selling Naughty bits which were perfectly cooked chicken bits drizzled in a mildly spicy honey sauce. A light and rich Asian inspired dish with the perfect amount of spice to whet a hungry mouth. James opted for the Paneer Poppers which were gorgeous tofu pieces dusted in a light crumb giving it the perfect texture all the while laying on a bed of a stunning mango chutney. Now James is not a vegetarian by any stretch but a cleared plate and a cheeky smile could only indicate the quality of the meal and with that in mind it was plain to see a huge tick was more than warranted for the opening course.
As we chatted to the sounds of the Hendricks restaurant, listening to cocktails being shaken up and idle chatter amongst other diners it was apparent why this is a popular spot as it certainly delivers on all fronts. Better yet the main course was being placed before us creating an explosion of senses between us. A delightful Sockeye Salmon steak cooked to perfection delivering those rich full flavours along with a smooth and creamy mash potato all with some crispy seasonal vegetables. This dish is also a best seller and no prizes as to why as each bite was absolute heaven. On the second plate was grilled halloumi, which is always a favourite, but wait! This particular serve came coated in a light and crispy batter and sat on a bed of couscous, greek vegetables and garlic infused greek yogurt all of which was enough to transport us directly to Greece with those stunning fresh ingredients delivering dazzling and unmistakable Greek flavours.
Now for those who know me would easily guess my desperation to tell you about the final course, but I must wait! This is because it would be a complete crime to not tell about the gorgeous cocktail that floated us into my favourite course. The new Blood in Hand cocktail breathes a hint of smoked scotch wrapped up in a fluent sweetness that got better with every sip. I’m not a scotch kind of gal but this little gem is certainly something to write home about and well worth a taste.
DESSERT!!!! How can I say this? If our night was to have a crescendo, it delivered in waves with two simple yet impeccable dessert dishes that were both overflowing with wholehearted flavours. On my plate was a gorgeous Crème Brule which held a perfect balance of textures between the caramelised sugar and the silky smooth and rich crème. A breathtaking rendition of one of my most loved desserts. James had the cheesecake and not even close to ‘just any cheesecake’. This beauty had spiced apple bits hugging a generous slice of premium cheesecake that instantly melted in our mouths. Spooned with a rich red sauce and sweetened with some of BC’s finest blueberries it was a perfect first-class example of a common dessert not often mastered.
Over all we were absolutely taken away during our time at Hendricks. A delightful evening dining on some of Vancouver’s finest dishes constructed by one it’s truest local chefs in Chris Savino. Nestled in the heart of Downtown and accompanied with a heavenly tranquility, the sleek Hendricks dining experience is one of complete authenticity and can only be marked down as an absolute must.