This past weekend was a friends birthday, and I chose Market by Jean-Georges at the Shangri-La in Vancouver to celebrate. I have a friend who really enjoys it there, and I’ve been wanting to try it as well. We arrived at 7:30 and it wasn’t very busy at all, but the room filled up and then was almost empty by the time we left. Meaning, we had a very long dinner – mostly due to slow serivce, missing food, doubles of food, and other mix ups. I’m not sure who to blame because we were served by many different people, and even the chef came out to check up on our experience (he knows one of my friends, and he took care of us when he heard of all the problems). I’ll talk about it more later. Onto the food.
To start I ordered the Beef Tartare, and ordered the Short Ribs along with a side of mushrooms for my main. The tartare wasn’t too expensive at just $12, and it was a huge mound of beef. It didn’t look too appealing though, the presentation could be worked on, and I’m not sure if onion rings are the best match. The beef was cut into pretty small chunks, but you could still feel the raw texture, and a bit slimey. I really liked it. It had some parts that were a bit too salty, and there was also a bit of spice. The onions rings were nice and crisp, and I guess they were trying to be a little bit different, than your standard tartare with crostini.
My Beef Short Rib was pretty good too. It wasn’t sitting in a sauce, but it was still pretty tender and could be shredded easily with bits of fat marbeled throughout. The outer most part of one of the edges was a bit dry and overcooked though. I twas served with fresh apples on top, but I didn’t get much spice from the jalepeno pure. The rosemary crumbs was definitely different, but added a strong crunchy texture to the meat. It wasn’t the best shortrib dish that I’ve had, but I liked it better than my last one. I need to stop ordering short rib so much.
My friend enjoyed the Grilled Rack of lamb because it was nicely cooked, and didn’t have much gaminess to it. However it wasn’t served very hot, and seemed like it had been sitting there for a while before serving. Another friend ordered the Slowly cooked steelhead, and really liked it too. Also added that this mash is the best truffle mashed potatoes she’s had. They also ordered some oysters which were amazing. However, these were well forgotten, and our friend only received it after we asked again for it, and by this time the rest of us were finished our appetizers (two appetizers for some of us) and waiting for our mains came out.
The birthday girl and her sister ordered from the Valentine’s Day menu at $65 per person. It started off awesome, with an amuse bouche of egg toast with caviar and dill. They loved it, and was a really good to start off the meal. Unfortunately, the rest of the food didn’t keep the high standard. One ordered the baked potato soup, and the other the scallop tartare. And the mix ups begin! They were both served the scallops, but birthday girl forgot what she ordered and ate it anyway because it was infront of her. She realized later that she ordered potato soup, but didn’t mention it to our server. The scallops got mixed reviews, and I guess depends on how much you like black truffles. They didn’t, so they didn’t really like it, but another friend really liked it. When the rest of us got ouf appetizers, then the potato soup came out, and another scallop for her sister, which she promtply sent back because she already had it. They weren’t supposed to have two appetizers. But they got them anyway. At this point, the chef came out and saw that our orderes were mixed up, and brought out another soup just to make things even. The potato soup had a lot of black truffles and oil in it too, so they didn’t enjoy it much either.
They both ordered the steelhead salmon on sweet potato ravioli which they both ordered medium rare. One came out fully cooked, so it was sent back and came back about 5 minutes after. The ravioli wasn’t cooked enough for them though, because the pasta had too much bite for them. It depends on how you like your pasta though I think.
We were given the 3 complimentary desserts of our choice because of the experience we were having. We chose the Apple Crumble, Caramel Poached Pear, and Market Cheesecake. Everyone was happy with the desserts they had. I tried the Cheesecake and it was very light and airy. The two Valentine’s Day menus also came with desserts, so we also got to try their Macaron, and their Lava Cake (which also got mixed up, and the put the “Happy Birthday” on the wrong dessert). The Lava cake was pretty good, but I actually liked the salted toffee ice cream it came with even more. The macaron was good too. It was a single layer of the macaron “cookie” part, and then topped with a vanilla parfait. I liked it along with the fresh berries. My friends agree that Thierry’s Macaron is better though.
Even the drink orders were slow. Our wines, cocktails, dessert wines, and even water took a while to come. I honestly think our Dessert Wines were forgotten as they came out over 5 minutes after our desserts came and we ordered them at the same time. To help with the poor experience, they did offer to compensate a bunch of the food and drinks – some virgin cocktails, the oysters, the extra appetizers from the Valentine’s day menu, a dessert wine, and 3 desserts.
From this visit somethings were good, somethings were really bad, and I’m not sure how to rate it. Overall the experience wasn’t delightful, but there were some redeeming qualities that would let me give it one more shot.
Note: If you want to bring your own cake and serve it, there’s a $5 per slice fee – which would have been more than the cost of our cake that we picked up from Thierry.
Market by Jean-Georges
1128 W Georgia St