Ensemble Restaurant – Chef Dale McKay – Canada Top Chef Contender
Food Persuasion Level : [rating=3]
Service : [rating=4]
Cuisine: Tapas West Coast
Location: Downtown, Vancouver
For the second day of Ensemble being opened this restaurant was busy. Every table was taken, luckily we made reservations.
The décor and layout remained pretty much the same as the previous restaurant Corner Suite Bistro.
All dishes are to be considered small plates and meant to be shared. All dishes are under $20.
ensemble menu starter
Now the food…
We started with the sweet and sour eggplant stuffed with baba ganoush, yogurt and tomato -$7.50 My friend couldn’t stop craving about it. There was a teaser of mushroom and anise spread gave it a nice earthy licorice taste. We gave it a 4.5/5
Pulled pork sandwich, apple horseradish slaw, watermelon -$8.50. This was exactly what was written on the menu. I thought, “hey, watermelon that’s an interesting, how are they going to incorporate it in the sandwich. It was a freaking slice a watermelon on the side of the dish, like a garnish. The presentation was compared to a elementary school cafeteria This was disappointing, a 2/5. The sandwich itself was uninspiring and comparable to what we could have gotten from Re-Up (pulled pork sandwich food cart)
Five spice pork belly with cauliflower, pear and cashews – $13. It was a little sweet, probably due to the pear juices. The meat was tender and flavourful. Overall, this was a flavorful dish. 3/5
I really wanted to like this restaurant; they had a local heavyweight chef, Dale McKay, previous chef DB bistro and a Canada Top Chef Contender. They garnered a ton of hype and, generally prices are decent. The service was friendly and without pretension. Unfortunately, the dishes were a hit and miss, some we absolutely love others were average.