Sherman's Food Adventures: Pier 73

Pier 73

It's not often we can boast about eating in Richmond where it doesn't involve any type of Asian cuisine.  Yes, despite the plethora of seemingly endless Dim Sum and Bubble Tea options, there are in fact some local eats.  That would be the case at the Pacific Gateway Hotel near the YVR.  Located on the premises is Pier 73, which is tucked away at the back overlooking the water with mountain views.  No, not exactly what one has in mind for a restaurant in Richmond.  We trekked out one night to check out the place.

The first plates to hit the table were the Duck Salad and Asian Glazed Short Rib (I guess we couldn't get away from Asian after all).  Looking more like a mess of duck rather than a salad, there was a smattering of frisee on top of sliced red and golden beats topped with sunflower seeds.  We found the duck to be meaty and well-seasoned yet somewhat dry.  The white balsamic dressing was rather mild while the large chunks of feta were a treat on their own.  As for the short rib, it sauced with a soy aioli which added a salty-creaminess to the already sweet and stick glaze.  Although fork tender, the short rib itself was also a touch dry.  It rested on a bed of crunchy cabbage while accented by crushed peanuts and cilantro.

Something that sounded interesting on the menu was the Garlic, Brie & Fry Bread.  The brie portion was appealing with melted segments accompanied by roasted garlic, pickled mustard seeds, compressed tree fruit and shallots.  The combination of these items afforded a creamy sweetness accented by acidity and the aromatics of the roasted garlic.  However, I would've liked to see a fluffier and more substantial fry bread as these were hard and greasy.  Our last appie was something more regular in the Mussels & Frites.  The buttery mussels were bathed in an impactful white wine broth with sweet onions and butter. There was definitely a wine flavour which was properly cooked down.  Lightly crispy, the frites were pretty mediocre.

Onto our mains, I went for the Seafood Linguine with selva prawns, scallops, halibut, salmon, tomatoes, onions and peppers in a white wine garlic cream sauce.  As much as the pasta itself was past al dente, it wasn't a huge issue as the rest of the ingredients were on point.  Prawns were meaty with a slight snap while the scallops were buttery and the fish was flaky.  I found the cream sauce to be rather mild, but the pop of the tomatoes added acidity and the onions were sweet.  I wasn't a fan of the peppers though as they didn't add anything other than colour to the dish.  

At first, my dad was hesitant to order the Line Caught Halibut Salad since it didn't sound filling enough.  Well it sure was with a combination of watercress, wheat berries, fennel, mushrooms,goat cheese, green peppercorn, spiced nuts and citrus vinaigrette.  The nicely seared and generous portion of halibut wasn't exactly overdone, but it was a touch dry nonetheless.  It was only mildly seasoned.  The rest of the salad continued the theme with only a light acidity to go with the combination of fresh ingredients. He wasn't so sure if the goat cheese went with the fish though.

Viv decided on the Pacific Albacore Tuna with dashi, tonkatsu sauce and smoked sablefish croquette.  Although it didn't appear to be substantial nor heavy, Viv was pretty stuffed upon finishing.  As evidenced in the picture, the fish was perfectly rare with only light sear.  With only a gentle drizzle of tonkatsu sauce, the subtle flavour of the tuna and dashi was not overwhelmed.  Crispy and light, the croquette was unmistakably fishy and smoky.  My mom went for the 8 oz. Sirloin Steak prepared medium-rare.  As you can clearly see, the steak was closer to rare, but that is the way we like it anyways.  It was fairly tender while seasoned with a peppery red wine sauce.  The bevy of attractive and vibrant veggies were cooked just right.

For the kiddies, they ordered off the children's menu which included 3 courses staring with a choice of Veggies or Daily Soup (Moroccan Lentil in this case).  My son had neither, so we ended up sharing the veggies while my daughter loved the lentil soup.  I gave it a try and it was very mildly spiced with only background hints of cumin and cardamom. For her main, my daughter predictably chose the Pacific Salmon with early potatoes and veggies.  For a reasonable price of $10.00, we felt her meal was a fantastic value.  As much as the salmon was a bit too done for our tastes, she gobbled it up.  The veggies ate as good as they looked.

Not being overly creative, my son had the Mini-Grass Fed Burgers with fries.  Well, not much to say about the fries as they were average like the ones with the mussels.  As for the burgers, the lightly toasted and airy brioche was a nice touch.  Being quite lean, the burger patties were somewhat dry.  For dessert, the kiddies were given the choice of ice cream IF they finished all their dinner (as indicated on the menu).  Well, despite not finishing all the veggies and fries, they were still given dessert...  They both selected the Chocolate Ice Cream which sported a dark hue.  As such, it had more of a dark chocolate flavour while still being rather sweet.  As much as it was just ice cream, it was satisfying being creamy and rich.

For the adults, we got 2 desserts including the Cheesecake in a Jar and the 2-Bite Lemon TartWith blueberry being the featured fruit for our cheesecake, the flavours were predictably mild.  In fact, the whole thing wasn't even very sweet nor cheesy.  It was smooth though with an appealingly firm crust.  With a Santa-hat shaped meringue on top, the petite lemon tart featured creamy and tangy curd encased in a firm shell.  At the end, we were pretty full since we ordered so much food which was generally well-portioned.  We felt the entrees were stronger than the appies while the kid's meals were a good value.  Service was super friendly too.

The Good:
- Decent hotel eats
- Friendly service
- Kid's meals are a good value

The Bad:
- Appies not as strong as the entrees
- Food is decent, but further refinement is needed 

Pier 73 - Pacific Gateway Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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