The Meh Files: The New Glowbal at Telus Garden

Everything to All,

Makes for a forgettable
meal at new Glowbal
I was expecting to hate my meal at the new Glowbal restaurant anchoring the downtown corporate office building for Telus.  If you are an optimist, the Glowbal menu is international, diverse and crowd pleasing.  However, if you’re a bit of cynic like me, the menu seems unfocused, unoriginal and uninspired.  The biggest problem I have with the menu is I see other restaurants’ dishes; for example Zakkushi’s skewers and Cioppino’s pasta.
I was curious to see if Glowbal could, given its more expensive menu, deliver a unique and memorable meal like restaurants in its price category.  On a chilly afternoon a few of us from work decided to grab lunch to check if Glowbal would be a suitable spot for our holiday staff dinner.

Most of the dishes we tried are available for dinner as well.  We started off with the Robata Platter, which came with 2 skewers of 5 different types of robata.  Four out of the five selections came from the a la carte robata menu: Tierra Y Mar (Shrimp & Chorizo), Bacon Wrapped Okra, Ginger Soy Beef and Kurobuta Pork Cheek.  The fifth skewer was a special, the Ahi Tuna Cake (the middle skewers with the yellowish rounds).

 

The plate is eye catching and grand in appearance.  I felt the 4 skewers off the menu were executed well; the highlights were the pork and beef offerings.  The pork cheek had a sweetness similar to Chinese cure sausage, lap cheong.  Most of the pieces of beef were grilled to medium making it very tender and had a more soy flavour than ginger.
The only dud was the Ahi tuna cake.  It was really fishy tasting and some bites had a coarse texture like canned tuna.  Although most of the skewers were grilled well, they were missing that charcoal quality that Zakkushi has.

 

At this point, our group grabbed individual entrees. One colleague got the Burrata & Salad.  Another got 3 Kusshi oysters and the served at table side seafood Bisque.

 

With respects to my co-workers dishes, they reported liking their choices and felt they were prepared well.  However it was neither mind blowing or original as they also added that they have had similar dishes at other restaurants in the city.
I opted for the daily risotto, which was described as seared duck with an orange glaze on top of a tomato risotto.  It turned out to be duck, with a smeared orange glazed on the plate with a cheesy risotto studded with grape tomatoes.  As for the cherry red sauce in the picture, I wasn’t sure what it was and to be honest it didn’t make an impression.
I find duck heavy eating; as a result I thought it was odd that the kitchen would pair it with risotto, which I find most places make ultra rich due to the use of copious amounts of cheese and butter.

 

The risotto served at Glowbal is predominantly cheesy and salty.  I found it leaning towards the mushy side in terms of texture.  The few embedded halves of grape tomatoes didn’t really do much for the rice dish.
The duck was seared medium well and was nicely seasoned.  The orange glaze was cloyingly sweet more than citrusy.  I preferred the duck on its own and was happy that the sauce lightly adorned the plate.
Each component of the dish when eaten on its own was okay but when combined into a complete bite it was too much.  The orange glaze was randomly sweet, and the duck and cheesy risotto were too heavy to work well with one another.   I felt it was a case of too much going on with this dish.

 

We rounded out our meal by sharing the Zeppole al Cioccolato.  This generously portioned dessert was the highlight and best thing we ate at Glowbal.  This dessert was an Italian miniaturized version of a filled donut with flavours inspired by a Ferrero Rocher.  Staying true to the classic flavours of hazelnut and chocolate, these wonderful fried dough balls were decadent and delicious.

 

The new Glowbal attracts the powerful and moneyed who work in and near Telus Garden.  As a result the establishment is well decorated and the service we received was top notch.  It’s unfortunate the food does not match.
With wine, our bill escalated above $200 with tax and tip, and I couldn’t help but wonder if our money would have been better spent elsewhere for a more memorable food experience.

Although nothing was seriously wrong with our lunch, I couldn’t shake the feeling I would had better robata at Zukkushi, better seafood at Blue Water Café or Yew, better Italian at Ciopinno’s, and better food in general at Chambar for the money we spent.

In the end, I was indifferent to the meal, which is not great when so much money was spent.  If you follow me on Instagram, you may already know where our company went for our holiday staff dinner (post upcoming) and it was not Glowbal.

The new Glowbal maybe a great place to end a night with some drinks, a plate of those Zeppole al Cioccolato, and a few glamorous Instagram selfies to prove you’ve been places.  However for a truly unique and memorable food experience I suggest going somewhere else.
Glowbal
590 W. Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC
604 602 0835
Glowbal Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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