Gastown—PiDGiN restaurant and Executive Chef Shin Suzuki launched their new fall menu last week and celebrated with an intimate seven-course pairing dinner featuring seasonal dishes each matched with a special cocktail, sake, or fine wine from bar manager Nelson Navasero and wine consultant Neil Ingram.
It was a special occasion and treat on this night as it's now more than clear how Suzuki is further putting his stamp and style on Pidgin's already renowned menu of offerings backed by his international experience working with all sorts of culinary influences.
1) To start, the oyster shot (with northern divine caviar, horseradish, and pickles) paired with a Gardener's 75 (a take on a French 75 with gin, apple, and cocchi) was a nenergetic and tasty way to start of the meal.
2) The charred brussels sprouts (with miso bagna cauda and crispy anchovies) was quite good as a sort of unconventional salad filled with some simple but very appealing, tasty elements in it.
3) The salt-cured aburi mackerel (with fennel puree, charred onions, and blueberries) was a light but tangy seafood treat with a nice mixture of complementary flavours.
4) My highlight was the immaculately cooked and prepared grilled octopus (with eggplant purée, merguez oil, and feta) paired with a smooth Tatsuriki (Drago'ns Might) sake. You could easily taste all the fresh tako meat.
5) The seared sturgeon (with onsen egg, potato chips, and caviar) was dynamite in its taste and composition paired with some easy drinking Yamagata Masamune Usunigori sake.
6) The grilled bavette steak (with miso gorgonzola, smoked beet purée, pickled walnut, and horseradish) was meaty as it was substantial in its toppings and flavours.
We were also treated to a taste of the seared half duck (confit duck leg with pomegranate gastric, juniper black olive crumb, and crème fraîche). It was deliciously tender and cooked just right as a nice capper of a dish.
7) For dessert, the coffee chocolate walnut tart paired with a Viranlly old fashioned (with whisky, dulce de leche syrup, and vietnamese coffee tincture, very top) was rich and full of pleasingly sweet flavours. Similarly, the stylishly named cocktail gave us a punchy buzz (think of it as a solid after dinner drink).
The always appealing and usually innovative (autumn) flavours paired particularly well with each libation all making for an intriguing mix of course pairings. Pidgin continues to grow and evolve their arsenal of East meets West flavours.
More | YVArcade / Montecristo / Scout