Wow, You’ve Got Something There! – Royal Dinette

Very Delicious!
Full of Flavor and Freshness!
Royal Dinette – Great!
One of the reasons why it took me so long to become a food blogger was that I didn’t want to delay the wonderfulness of eating tasty food.  It takes time to shoot photos and write notes.
For my dinner at Royal Dinette, I abandoned almost all blogging procedures, except for picture taking (kind of – I’ll explain later).  I literally stuffed my face without mentally denoting things.  The food served at the eatery on Dunsmuir was awesome.

I would describe our dinner at the Royal Dinette as a canopy of greens, a kaleidoscope of colors, and plates full of flavor.  Over the course of two hours, a cascade of vibrant plates of food arrived at our table, which we emptied quickly.

This was another staff dinner but unlike our previous one at Ancora, Royal Dinette’s fare captivated our attention completely.  Our table opted for Family Style dining (a set meal priced per person at the table, it was $55 per the night we went) with a few extra dishes added.

Since we were starving and hadn’t decided to go with the Family style dinner yet, the table got the D’Original Charcuterie Plate to snack on.  We got a few salamis and a terrine.  The smallest rounds were bison salami.  I liked the house made pickles, which consisted of squash and cauliflower.  They were great to wet our appetite.

The first plate of our Family dinner was a creamy burrata paired with sweet beets, rhubarb sauce, and tart sorrel granite.  We got grilled bread to use as a platform for the rich cheese.

The Lamb Leg Tartare was recommended and we specifically ask for it (it was not apart of the family dinner).  The creamy emulsion on top, I think is a vadouvan mayo.  Vadouvan is a specific spice blend that’s a French take on Indian masala.  The curry-ish flavor works well with raw lamb.

The lamb was tender and smooth.  There were bursts of crunchiness and crispiness from shreds of fried potatoes and fine dices of pickled cucumbers mixed in the tartare.  The whole ensemble served on top of the in house made crisps, was a great study of different consistencies and flavors.

My favorite dish of the evening was this raw tuna salad.  It was the start of what I dubbed “the treasure hunt under the foliage” as many of the dishes that followed were topped with a heap of greens.  The leaves and shoots worked with the dishes but in general made for odd looking photos as each dish looked like the top of a salad kit from the grocery store (the beloved overhead shot was not going to work tonight).

What was fantastic about the Tuna Salad was it had a multitude of tastes.  Those wilted looking dark green blobs were softened leaves that had a more intense herbiness and saltiness.  There were great little salt pickles, citrusy flavors from I don’t know where, and various types of crunchy radishes.  The dish looked simple but had a lot of “Wow” happening; it was the census top dish at our table.

Next up was a dish I didn’t think I was going to like simply because it contained whole-wheat pasta.  I’m not a fan of the commercially available ones I tried; I find the coarse texture off putting.  However, this pasta felt more like regular pasta much to my relief.  The Humboldt squid was tender and the Little Neck clams were plump and sweet.

 

Our next pasta dish was obscured by greens and I’m a bit hazy on exactly what I ate (remember when I said I didn’t take notes) but I remember liking it.  I think it was a cheese filled pasta covered in a nettle pesto??? (Oh man this may be my worst review yet – “it was good, nom nom nom”).
Next came two fish dishes: Halibut and Ling Cod.  Our group was divided on which was the better entrée.   I voted for the halibut.

I felt it had more unique flavors and textures that worked well with each other.  There was the liquorice tasting fennel, various strips and nubs of sweet carrots and beets, tender mussels, the perfectly cooked sweet halibut and a rich umami sauce that brought the chaotic looking plate of ingredients together.

 

The Ling Cod was prepared just as well as the halibut but the items that were paired with the cod had similar flavors.  As a result I felt this dish was less dynamic.

We had an anti fish person at the table, as a result a pork loin entree was added on top of the family dinner offerings.  Everything was on point: the pork was succulent and tender, grits were creamy and comforting, and the au jus was savory and umami rich.

However the most remarkable thing was the grilled lettuce.  It was amazing as it had a charred taste.  The leaves were soft where the veggie touched the grill and started to become more crispy as one moved towards the outer layer.  I may never think of Romaine as boring again.  I will definitely try BBQ lettuce this summer.

Here comes another blogging face palm.  I left the table to use the washroom and by the time I returned, dessert had been served and nearly demolished.  Fortunately, my co-workers know I blog so they at least took a pick of each confection before taking their spoons to it.
One was an apple chocolate tart and the other I believe was a beet sorbet with a lychee slush.  I got a bite of each and am reserving my opinion about them since I didn’t get to try enough of it.

However considering I spent less than 10 minutes in the powder room and I was literally left crumbs and a sheepish group apology, I’m going to say the desserts were crowd pleasing.

This may not be my finest blogging moment (sorry for the lack of details), but I wanted to cover the Royal Dinette.  Other than the established media, there are not many blog posts detailing how amazing this eatery is.  People need to know about this place.

I highly recommend opting for the family style dinning choice.  Our meal was crafted with finesse and utterly filling without breaking the bank.  On many levels, the dishes served were filled with creativity and attention to details common for fancy restaurants.  However, I find the Royal Dinette very down to earth and approachable; no need to be an elite foodie to enjoy the food here.

Royal Dinette
905 Dunsmuir Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1A8
604 974 8077

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