This past Saturday, I had the pleasure and honour to be invited to preview yet another Swallow Tail event, the Secret Supper Soiree Speakeasy tour. This event is put on in part with Dine Out Vancouver, and features 2 secret locations, 5 courses, and 4 optional wine pairings.
We met at Grand Central Station and awaited the double decker bus to take us to our first secret location. For me, it wasn’t a secret, but definitely somewhere I’ve been meaning to visit, and I’m willing to bet most Vancouverites aren’t even aware of its existence.
I really enjoyed my experience Down the Rabbit Hole as it was very creative, unique and interactive. The food was good to boot! I definitely was looking forward to the same level of creativity on this tour.
Here in this ancient antiseptic room, we were served Pimm’s Cup and let loose to muse over the various organs on display. While a bit morbid, it did fit in with the whole speakeasy theme, as there were sure to be countless unsolved murders due to the prohibition of alcohol. The gangsters did run it like a legitimate business, just look at Al Capone.
After the Pimm’s Cup, we were told our first two courses were ready and awaiting us in the next room.
In tiny beakers (or is it shot glasses?) there resided a beet salad with blood orange, mint, and pomegranate seeds. Seemed a bit simple if all you got was beets on your spoon, but a bit of everything together combined for a nice…sweet tangy fresh and earthy finish.
The second course, soup, was Tomato Consomme with Pickled Cauliflower and Hijiki Seaweed. Sorry to say, but it smelt like kimchi, and wasn’t very tomatoey at all. This I did not enjoy, even though the presentation is unique (well, sort of, the soup at Alice in Wonderland was also served the same way)
After a bit of horsing around and pretending to be locked up..
..and looking at a room full of firearms (can you blame me, I’m a male!) it was time to move on to our final destination. I’ll be back and I hope to spend a day just reading every exhibit.
A short ride on the bus and we arrived. “What is this place?” and “I’ve never heard of this place” was uttered under many breaths, as it was truly a secret location.
I must say though, it’s a pretty swanky looking venue, and will most likely be used for many events in the future. Maybe with plenty of wine. On tap.
Between discussions of proteins and vegetables we would omit from our diet, we ate our way through the final 3 courses of the night.
The first, Poached Hen’s Egg with Forest Mushroom salad and red wine reduction. A perfectly poached soft egg resting on top of a baguette (would have liked it to be softer..) let loose a yellow river. Let me know if my writing is atrocious, I’m contemplating looking for a designated writer. Hint hint..
Next, a Pitt Meadows flat iron steak with potato pave, root vegetables and a mountain huckleberry & rosemary jus. It was during this time that an impromptu dance broke out, some classic swing dance. I love watching dance, but I will never dance.. unless I’m quite intoxicated. Swing is also one of my favourite genres, having enjoyed watching Swing Kids and listening to swing music.
The final course, dessert, was a Riesling baba, orange blossom semifroddo with pistachio and persimmon smear. I won’t pretend to know something I don’t, and I have no clue what the hell a semifroddo is. Is it wrong that I thought of Frodo from LOTR at first? Then I thought Alfredo, like fettucine alfredo. What kind of dessert is this?!
Semi – half and froddo – frozen. So it’s a type of half frozen dessert, typically an ice cream.
I enjoyed the unique locations, the entertainment, and the food, but I wish it could have been more streamlined with the theme of speakeasies.
I would have preferred cocktails over wine, as hard spirits were what fueled the speakeasies, but wines are what the Dine Out Vancouver wants to sell, not cocktails.
The food would have been hard to theme 1930′s style, as that was the tail end of the depression. Chef Andrea Carlson, formerly of Bishops, did a good job with BC wild inspired plates.
If you wanted to attend this event..well too bad, it’s sold out. You should keep your eye on the Swallow Tail’s twitter as they’ll announce if there are any free spots available last minute!