On Friday night, Dianne Chow and I were invited to sample some of the new menu items at Hurricane Grill (1137 Marinaside Crescent) in Yaletown. Hurricane Grill is situated in a beautiful part of Yaletown facing the inner harbour lined with sailing boats. Sitting on the patio, sipping a glass of wine is probably a past time of many of the Yaletown locals.
All restaurants change their menus over time. It helps gives the chefs some creativity, plus to match their plates to the season and what local ingredients are at hand. Dianne and I selected an appetizer, two main courses, and a dessert to try from the new menu items, and of course, some white and red wine.
Our Appetizer – Ceviche
Ceviche is a very popular dish around the world. It has many variations from the country where it is made. Local fresh seafood and spices make it custom to each area. The Hurricane Grill version uses prawns, scallops, and tuna, which are “cooked” in a tequila and lime marinade. To this is added avocado, sliced tender cactus pads and pico de gallo, and served with crisp corn tostadas ($13). The marinade really comes through with citrus lime flavour, followed by a spicy bite. Not too salty; you don’t need much with the lime juice. The seafood tasted wonderful, everything soft to your bite, and nice with the crisp tostada.
To this we paired a white wine; the Cono Sur Viognier from Chile. This wine has been very popular with many people and wine writers. Viognier, an aromatic grape originally from the Rhone Valley, makes a wonderful wine in Chile, thanks to the bountiful sunshine. This wine had lots of round mouthfeel and lots of apricot and other stone fruit flavours. It wrapped it’s roundness around the spiciness of the ceviche and was a great pairing.
First Main Course – Pollo Modo Mio
The Pollo Modo Mio is a boneless half chicken that is oven roasted, then grilled with a Pasilla BBQ sauce. It is served with fresh seasonal vegetables (green beans for us) and oven roasted potatoes (or mashed). This chicken was tender, smoky with some sweetness to it from the BBQ sauce. Pasilla refers to the dried chilaca pepper from Mexico. This dish was not spicy, but did have a sweet spice, cinnamon?, flavour to it. The pasilla chile offers a rich smoky taste to the sauce. We both really liked this dish and felt that the spices although nice, could be increased, which would really make this dish amazing. A recommended dish to try.
To this dish we paired the Carmen Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva from Chile. Yes you can pair red wine with chicken. Always look at how the chicken is cooked. This one is grilled with a BBQ sauce, which provides you with rich, smoky flavours, that work great with red wine. The Carmen Cabernet Sauvignon has a ripe dark fruit vanilla nose. Nice black fruit, raspberries, black pepper and vanilla flavours. Very round mouth feel. Silky smooth and dry. The full ripe black fruit really tasted nice with the bbq flavours from the chicken.
Second Main Course – Pork Tenderloin
This Pork Tenderloin comes from a special variety, called Sakura pork. Sakura, as the name sounds, comes originally from Japan according to the manager Scott, and has certified some Canadian farms to raise the pigs according to their standards. There is absolutely no use of the common feed additive Ractopamine and minimal use of antibiotics. From some quick research on the internet, I also think that lactobacillus is added to the pig’s diet, helping it to grow up healthy. In this dish, the pork was cooked so that there was just a tinge of pink in the centre of the tenderloin, keeping the pork very tender and juicy. To this a wild mushroom and peppercorn sauce is it’s accompaniment. Garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables round out this dish.
The creamy mushroom peppercorn sauce made the pork tenderloin very tasty. On it’s own, the pork had no additional seasonings. A bit of pork, sauce, green beans, and garlic potatoes made a nice mouthful of tastes and textures. For this dish the Viognier went better than the Cabernet. The Cabernet provided too much contrast to the pork and the cream sauce, while the Viognier was a complementary flavour.
Dessert – Tiramisu
The Tiramisu really topped off the evening. It was amazing, with so much mocha flavour. The bottom layer of mascarpone was very dense, like cheesecake, where most of the mocha flavour originated, followed by the soaked ladyfinger, and topped with mascarpone. The dish was very creamy and full of flavour. Upon first, and second, taste, it was very much a Harry Met Sally experience. If you have not seen the restaurant clip from the movie, here it is.
If you would like to try making tiramisu at home, here is a recipe.
Thank you so much to the manager, Scott, for hosting us and giving us an opportunity to try these dishes. I enjoyed the food a lot, the location is beautiful, and can recommend this as a fun place to take family or friends. Enjoy!