Sherman's Food Adventures: The Victor

The Victor

Lately, I've been trying to catch up with all the new restaurant openings as it is pretty difficult to hit them all when there are other activities other than eating.  Yes, it is true, there is more to life than eating out!  So fresh off Atlas, Botanist and Oddfish, we actually made it out to The Victor in the brand-spanking new Parq hotel.  We brought the whole family out since it coincided with my birthday as well.  Might as well since the kids are developing quite the palate for fine dining (insert curse words by Viv since she blames me for this...).

To get a sense of the Japanese portion of the restaurant, we got the Aburi Salmon to start.  Although there wasn't some fancy mayo sauce on top, the natural sweetness of the salmon really came through.  The quality was unquestionable as the texture was on point and super appealing.  The fish was buttery soft while not mushy.  It tasted great on its own and there was no need for soy.  On the same theme, we had the Togarashi-Spiced Blue Fin Tuna accompanied by a super hot block of Himalayan salt.  Although it was already lightly seared on the outside, we could sear it some more on the salt block.  This was rather gimmicky since the tuna by itself was already the right doneness for our tastes.  It was also buttery soft while exhibiting the a fresh sweetness kissed by the sea.  If one wanted to use it, there was a ponzu daikon sauce on the side.

Continuing on with the appies, we tried the Dungeness Crab Cake with vadouvan-spiced curry aioli and a sea bean & fennel salad.  Nicely crisped up and golden brown on the outside, this crab cake was exquisite.  There was practically no filler here as the large chunks of dungeness crab were quite visible.  Texturally, they were on point being bouncy and airy exuding a natural sweetness and brininess.  The aioli on the side was creamy and just spiced enough without getting in the way of the natural crab flavour.  Lastly, and because my daughter wanted it, she had the Crab & Shrimp Bisque with a side of gruyere toast.  Poured table side on top of a crab salad, the bisque was full of aroma and creaminess while not being salty.  It was well-balanced and the chunks of fluffy crab were a nice surprise in each spoonful.

For our entrees, my daughter decided on the Farmcrest Chicken Breast with charred leeks and atop a saffron & mushroom risotto.  Prepared with the drummette bone in, the meat was fairly moist and tender.  It wasn't particularly flavourful though, but the skin was nicely seasoned.  Moreover, the skin was properly rendered, yet not particularly crispy.  The risotto was creamy and cheesy with a light saffron aroma.  We found the rice to be still chewy and not overdone.  For my son, he went with his standby being the Braised Short Rib with cauliflower aligot, bone marrow gremolata.  The short rib was a fairly large portion and did exhibited penetrated flavours from the braise.  There was depth from the red wine as well as the other seasonings.  However, some parts of the short rib were a bit dry and chewy.

My choice of main was the 10 oz USDA Prime Rib Cap prepared medium-rare.   Personally, the rib cap is the best part of prime rib and I'm glad more places are serving it by itself.  This was cooked perfectly being juicy and super tender.  It was well-seasoned and well-charred where the exterior exhibited caramelization of flavours as well as a nice smokiness.  Normally, a lower quality rib cap can be chewy despite the doneness.  Being USDA prime, this practically melted in-my-mouth.  I really enjoyed this.  My mom predictably went for the Alberta Peace Country Rack of Lamb prepared Provençal style with cheesy cauliflower and pepper jus.  She asked for it to be prepared medium-rare and it was done right.  The lamb was succulent and tender as a result.  We found the crust to be rather mushy though and not all that impactful.  However, the pepper jus was pretty full-bodied.

Yes, my dad's Hokkaido Scallops didn't look like much and for someone with a bigger appetite, it would not suffice.  However, the quality made up for the lack of quantity.  These were buttery and soft with an appealing amount of rebound.  They were naturally sweet, and beautifully seared. Completing the plate was potato purée, roasted brussels sprouts, medjool dates and minus 8 ice wine vinegar. Nothing was too strong that it detracted from the sweet scallops.  Viv decided on the Whole Branzino with caponata, shaved fennel, pine nut salad and it was done nicely with crispy skin while maintaining moist and flaky meat.  This was as simple of a dish as you will find and they nailed it.  The squeeze of charred lemon brightened up the dish considerably.

For our sides, we had the Triple-Cooked Fries with truffle & chive aióli, Charred Broccolini (not pictured) and Mac & Cheese Waffle featuring a 5 cheese blend and cheese fondue on the side.  Staring with the fries, they were aggressively crunchy on the outside while being well-salted.  Inside, the potato was still there despite the triple fry.  I decided to not take a picture of the broccolini because it wasn't interesting to look at.  But it was prepared properly with a crunch and nicely seasoned with some spice.  The side that was most popular was the waffle as it was full of cheesy mac & cheese.  It was sharp, aromatic and flavourful while encased in a fluffy waffle.  The side of fondue put the cheese factor through the roof.

For dessert, we shared 3 of them including their take on an Eton Mess aptly named Eaten Mess.  This was made up of raspberries, banana, vanilla custard, sponge cake, chocolate, cream & meringue.  I thought it was more like a hybrid of an Eton Mess and a trifle.  Whatever the case, it was light and refreshing.  Sweetness was dialed down and the fruit really came through.  As for my daughter, she begrudgingly shared some of her Chocolate Mousse (since she has a separate stomach for desserts).  This was pretty good in my books featuring a creamy, yet rich mousse that was appealingly bitter and not super sweet.  Underneath, the dark chocolate cake crumble added even more tasty bitterness and a textural variation.

Lastly, the best dessert was the Crème Brûlée Donuts filled with vanilla custard and accented by strawberries and meringue.  This was missing the Maple cotton candy as seen on many IG posts.  I thought the hard sugar coating on the donuts was an appealing texture that gave way to the soft and chewy donut.  Inside, the custard was light and not overly sweet.  A pretty clever dessert in my opinion.  In general, the food at The Victor ranged from good to very good.  Service was generally top-notch except for gap in between the end of our meal and ordering dessert.  Prices are on the high-end for Vancouver, so there are also many other options as well.

The Good:
- Gorgeous dining space and location
- Generally top-notch service
- Food was good in general

The Bad:
- Prices are high, so there are plenty of other options as well
- Strange gap in service in between end of dinner and ordering dessert

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