This week I found myself having to head to Granville Island to get some ingredients for a recipe in a cookbook I’m in the process of testing and in need of lunch and not wanting to deal with the crowded market scene I stopped into Bistro 101 at the Pacific Culinary Institute.
For lunch they offer a 3 course menu for $18 and it’s different everyday. What I love about this place is that your served by the students but not only are they learning the art of service but they are also involved in the kitchen!, I did a course when I was a teenager at VCC and worked for a summer in JJ’s Dining Room and it was an awesome experience for myself so I can relate to the awkwardness that happened with service but the one thing I will say is everyone was really attentive and professional.
After I checked out the menu and made my selections one of the pastry students came by my table and brought out some fresh bread and butter and also took my dessert order~turns out she’s the one who made my choice~a deconstructed s’more that I saw as I was being seated.
Another student came by my table with a chilled amuse-bouche of a Puttanesca Prawn, it was an interesting bite but the prawn for me was over powered by the puttanesca sauce.
For my appy I had 3 choices~a mushroom egg drop soup,Oceanwise baby shrimp and avocado spring mix greens in a rice paper roll or a honey and five-spice quail~all decent choices on there own~I went with the Oceanwise choice. The rice paper roll was served with a miso tahini sauce, the baby shrimp were cooked perfectly and there were a ton of them in there and the avocado spring mix filled out the roll perfectly, the avocado added a beautiful creaminess with the sauce underneath. this is something that I would totally make at home on my own~avocado is going in all my rolls from now on!
Entrée wise there was a Grilled Beef Striploin with a devil sauce, Pan Fried Mahi Mahi that was a Oceanwise choice and was on the tropical side~served with a berry salsa and ginger coconut pilaf and to round out the choices the poultry option was a Smoked Turkey & Emmenthal Stuffed Chicken Breast with a basil tomato veloute and herb polenta~my choice! The chicken was cooked thoroughly yet was moist and flavorful, the skin on top was nice and crisp, the smoked turkey added flavor and the cheese rounded everything out. The sauce on the bottom was rich but not overly thick which was nice and the tomato side added a great acidic note to this rich dish, the herb polenta was flavored with thyme and was on the solid side~it was a disk under the tomato so it was perfect on get all that yummy sauce off the plate.
Dessert wise the choices were a Sour Cherry Vanilla Cake with a pistachio fig ice cream and hazelnut tuile, an Apple Crumble with vanilla ice cream and my choice~a Neoclassical S’more with a chocolate sorbet and homemade marshmallow on top.
The s’more part was a cake bottom, the creamy milk chocolate mousse middle wasn’t to sweet and the homemade marshmallow capped off a great dessert.
The chocolate sorbet was like nothing I’ve had before, it was totally smooth and intensely flavored with dark chocolate, paired with the milk chocolate mousse it made for one rich chocolate lovers dessert. Graham cracker crumble rounded out the plate.
After taxes my bill came in at under $21 and they don’t take tips, they also offer a dinner service for $24 and buffet on Fridays, I’d advise making reservations for larger groups~they are a member of the Opentable reservation program if you’re a member or you can do so right on their webpage by clicking here. The dining room is also fully licensed and has a deal on Wednesdays where all bottles of wine are half price (Promotion is not applicable on theme dinners, special events or bookings made through the Corporate, Catering & Event Department unless otherwise stated). I had a great lunch here and I can’t wait to come back for many more great lunches and dinners! I’d recommend it to anybody heading down to Granville Island looking for a great lunch or dinner at an amazing price.