For my third and last Dine Out of 2012, I visited Monk
McQueens ($28 menu) with Rae, Trixie, Yoshi, and Sis. Monk McQueens is known for their
beautiful view of False Creek and West Coast cuisine.
Lucky for us, they sat us near the window so we enjoyed a beautiful view along with our meal which I think enhanced our overall dining experience.
We were first given a bread basket to share and it was delightfully warm and soft. The bread was so good, we had to get seconds!
For my first course, I ordered the Caramelized Onion and Matsutake Mushroom Tart with amaranth braised prune salad, burrata cheese, and Bristol cream vinaigrette.
Unfortunately, the general consensus on this dish was that it did not taste very good. I couldn’t find a single piece of mushroom inside the tart and the “caramelized” onions were bland.
None of us knew what this was so we asked the server and she said the bottom was made from a grain similar to quinoa and it is topped with an olive tapenade. Maybe it’s an acquired taste, but to me it tasted really weird...
Sis and Yoshi ordered the Roasted Parsnip and Duck Veloute with shredded duck leg confit to start and they LOVED it. To put it simply, it’s a parsnip and duck soup which might not sound very outstanding but I assure you, this tasted a hundred times better than the onion tart.
The Spring Lamb Chop and Pot Pie came next and it consisted of espresso rubbed double chop, soft blue corn polenta, and a sour cherry cab franc demi.
The lamb chops were AMAZING. I absolutely loved the espresso rub as well as the blue corn polenta. I never thought of putting espresso and lamb together, but the flavours worked incredibly well together. It also helped that the lamb chops were thick, juicy, and cooked to a perfect medium rare.
The dish also came with a minced meat pot pie on the side.
Even though the pot pie was very delicious, I felt like it wasn’t necessary as the lamb chops were impressive enough to stand on its own. In addition, I slipped into a little bit of a meat coma after because there was just too much meat.
Rae ordered the Cedar Jelly Glazed Roasted Sockeye Salmon with roasted tomato, eggplant, portobellini, and mussel & clam froth.
Rae enjoyed the variety of vegetables that came along with the dish as well as the salmon. She thought it was a little dry but that was her only criticism.
I was especially excited for the dessert because I saw ‘Avocado White Chocolate Chip Gelato’ on the menu. The gelato is a side to the Chocolate Brownie Creme Brulee and basically this is the only dessert offered on the Dine Out menu.
To our surprise, the ice-cream came almost completely frozen! It was really hard to cut through with a spoon so we had to wait for it to melt a bit before eating. The gelato had chunks of avocado in it which was interesting but I just wish it was made not so ahead of time.
The chocolate brownie crème brulee was actually crème brulee with a piece of brownie in the middle. Both were delicious, but I could have done without the brownie. I felt like the dessert had too many components which made it all very ‘busy’. I would have been perfectly fine with just the crème brulee and avocado white chocolate ice-cream.
The crème brulee made a nice crackling sound when I tapped the hardened sugar crust. As well, the custard was light and smooth so thumbs up!
Based on these reasons:
- gorgeous view of False Creek
- Lamb Chops are amazing!
- pretty innovative dishes
Food Rating: 3/5
Service Rating: 4/5
Price: $$$-$$$ ($20-40)
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
<-- my image of onion and mushroom tart :P
courtesy of http://www.foodbuzz.com/photos/2130846-photo-from-post-caramelized-onion-mushroom-and-goat-cheese-tart