Sherman's Food Adventures: Happy Hour @ Glowbal at Telus Garden

Happy Hour @ Glowbal at Telus Garden

As mentioned in my Urban Thai post, it appears that Vancouver's happy hour game has stepped up in the past few years.  There seems to be more and more choices, but more importantly, the pricing is more competitive.  I've always been jealous of the cheap and tasty happy hours found in the States and am now thankful we have great options.  Recently, I decided to stop by the new Glowbal at Telus Garden to try their revamped happy hour menu with the fam. 

After perusing the new menu, it appears they are going with smaller options rather than merely discounting regular menu items.  Before we tried those, we started with a dozen of their Buck-a-Shuck Oysters.  These were fresh and sweet with a noticeable brininess.  They were accompanied by the usual horseradish, cocktail sauce and classic mignonette.  We found a few of them were haphazardly shucked though with shell fragments.  Next up was the Ahi Tuna Tartar with ponzu, avocado and cucumber.  The bits of tuna were meaty yet buttery.  There were bright flavours and a nice crunch from the cucumbers and chives.  Loved the amount of sesame oil in the mix but there was too much ponzu.  The side of crunchy taro chips were great, we just wish there was a few more of them.

Now onto the "smaller items" where we could order by the piece.  These included the Braised Beef Short Rib with truffle aioli.  We got 3 of them ($2.25 each) and they were served on spoons.  We found them to be tender and gelatinous while completely sauced with a sticky and silky red wine reduction.  Although flavourful, the sauce was rather salty and that was a bit overwhelming.  We did like the Earthy aioil on top as it added a different layer of taste.  We also got 3 pieces of the Beef Tartaki ($2.00 each) that consisted of puffed mustard chip topped with beef, black garlic, spring onion and smoked egg yolk.  I liked the airy and aromatic crisps, but they did have a hard time standing up to the beef.  About that beef, it was super tender where it was tangy and sweet.

Continuing on with the per piece items, we had the Buttermilk Parmesan Fried Chicken ($2.00 each) with peppercorn lime aioli and jalapeno.   These were more substantial than the previous 2 items where the chicken was succulent and well-seasoned.  The batter was crunchy and also nicely seasoned.  It was a touch on the thicker side, but didn't feel heavy.  It was also easy on the grease.  The aioli was slightly spicy with a background acidity.  Moving away from the meat, we had the Mushroom Tempura ($1.50 each) with kabayaki sauce and dusted with togarashi.  This was one of my favourites as the mushroom was still firm despite being cooked through.  The batter was light and crispy while the kabayaki sauce was sticky and sweet.

My son really enjoyed the Confit Duck Poutine mostly because he loves poutine in general.  In many aspects, it was a good dish since there was a plethora of tender duck (it was very good where all of the pieces were not dry at all).  The fries were fairly crispy while the amount of cheese curds was also generous.  Although the sauce was flavourful, silky and exhibited a nice hit of 5 spice, the salt content was a little much.  If there was less salt, the dish would've been nearly perfect.  One dish I could've done without was the Spinach & Cream Cheese Arancini with red pepper emulsion.  They were undercooked where the filling was mealy and dry.  Texturally, the dish was a complete miss and flavourwise, I found it be bland as well.

On the other hand, the Cauliflower Nuggets were really good.  Unlike many other restaurants, they prepared each piece as a large florette.  Hence, the cauliflower remained meaty and with a nice bite.  Outside, the batter was thin and crispy.  What really made the dish was the roja hot sauce as it was spicy enough without being overwhelming.  There was a equal amount of sweetness for balance.  Our last dish was the Mussels Provencal with tomato, summer squash, garlic and toasted focaccia.  This was more or less a straight-forward dish where the mussels were fairly plump and sweet.  There was an appealing brininess to go wit the impactful tartness of the tomato.   Okay, at this point we were only missing the shrimp cocktail and calamari, but we couldn't eat anymore.  We thought there were some highlights, but things were rather salty.  However, given its location and the see and be-seen vibe, the happy hour at Glowbal is reasonably-priced with plenty of options.

The Good:
- Reasonably-priced happy hour consider location and high-end feel
- Attentive service
- Lots of options

The Bad:
- Some items were rather salty
- Arancini was almost inedible


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