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The Dining Room, Vancouver

Dining 101 [Vancouver]: Hidden Tasting Bar and Social Lounge

Restaurant: Hidden Tasting Bar and Social Lounge
Location: 433 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
Cuisine: International/ Tapas/ Bar
Menu: http://www.hiddenvancouver.ca/
Price: $15-25

Took a long time for me to decide, but in the end I chose Hidden for my official Birthday Dinner! I was first attracted by their menu and pictures of the interior, which I found online. I just wanted to find a place that was a bit fancy, but a chill for conversation.
Walking into the Westin, I was pretty lost because there wasn’t much signage to lead you to Hidden apart from the sign outside. The venue is actually really small, so for a group of 10+ we sat along a compilation of tables.
I’m not really sure how I should comment on the service. They made quite a few mistakes and at times were dismissive. Yet when we made them aware of their mistakes, they were very willing to solve the problem. Nonetheless, I feel first impressions are very important!

Bellinis

Bellinis

Vancouverites are probably more familiar with the slushy-looking Bellini from liek Moxies or WINGS. However, this is a more traditional style of Bellini, it’s kinda of like a Champagne/Cocktail. Still very sweet and fruity, but not as refreshing at the slush-version. But the Champagne glasses definite add an hint of sophistication to the drink;).

Lobster Poutine

Lobster Poutine

What really signifies a poutine? I really think this is Lobster Cheese Fries:P. Poutine has to have Cheese curds and Gravy! The menu actually said the Poutine had Montreal Cheese curds, but it all melted together so really lost the poutine-feel to it. But, nonetheless, I found this to be delish! The lobster chunks were juicy and buttery underneath the mound of cheese and fries. Unfortunately, I guess, being buried under the cheese and béarnaise, the fries didn’t keep it’s crispiness. The fries were a bit soggy, but the combination of flavors from the lobster, cheese, and béarnaise totally excited my tastes buds (I must admit it made me even more hungry LOL).

Fresh Steamed Mussels

Fresh Steamed Mussels

The mussels weren’t as plump as I had hoped. The flavor of the broth was thoroughly infused into each mussel, but without a juicy texture the taste didn’t exactly hit the spot. I felt like the andouille sausages were actually the highlight of this dish. The sausage was completely immersed into the smoked paprika-tomato broth, simply bursting with juices and fragrant spices. I loved that firmness you get when you bite through the skin part. Although, I think they really should have given us more flat bread because it was perfect for savoring the rich tomato broth.

Baby Back Ribs

Baby Back Ribs

Hands down, this was my favorite of the night! The Baby Back Ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender (some pieces didn’t even have bone LOL)! The BBQ sauce was evenly glazed over each ribs, which had a slight char around the edges. While served on top of some Fraser Valley fingerling potato salad, I was in love! I’ve never really cared for potato salad, I always found it way too heavy. But I just couldn’t stop eating it here; this fingerling potato salad was just finger-licking good! I’m just so addicted to this meat and carb combo;). High recommend you ordering this!

Sea for 2 Tower

Sea for 2 Tower

Sadly my picture turned out so blurry. But this compilation of Seafood delights was a great value! Included 4 diver scallops, 4 tiger prawns, 2 snow crab legs, 4 local mussels, 4 manila clams, seared local steelhead trout filet, and 4 local royal miyagi oysters.
The scallops were huge:) Unfortunately, not very juicy and when left on the ice for too long, the outside seemed a bit rough with a somewhat rubbery inner texture. On the other hand, the tiger prawns were fresh and juicy, but extremely tiny. While the mussels and clams were quite bland and not plump at all (I actually ended up dipping them into the smoked paprika-tomato broth). The crab legs and miyagi oysters seemed to be the most fresh among the components of the tower. Luckily my friend was nice enough to de-shell the crab meat for me, so I could taste that natural crab freshness. The steelhead trout filet was also quite dry and I don’t really understand why they served it on ice since it was seared. The ice watered down the smokey flavor the trout gets from being seared, so really just tasted like boiled trout on ice:(.
However, generally, the seafood was quite fresh. The tower just lacked a bit of flavor for intrigue. But for $35, you get a lot of variety!

This is probably not the best place for group dinners unless you plan to book the whole venue for a function. I’ll definitely come back for another visit though. I really enjoyed the chic yet relaxed atmosphere. Certainly would be a great place for a small group to chat over a few drinks.  

Hidden Tasting Bar and Social Lounge on Urbanspoon

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