YEW Restaurant + Bar (Updated February 25, 2012)

Gone are the days where hotel restaurant were tourist traps with boring menus and stale buffet tables with a carvery. Now, Vancouver has some of the most modern and trendy restaurants staying inside their top hotels. YEW at the Four Seasons Hotel came to my attention when I was here for a conference approximately a year ago. Although I didn’t stay for a bite, I had a chance to during this year’s Dineout 2012. With lobster and foie gras supplements on the menu, who can resist? Click to read on about every single delicious detail.

YEW is the beautiful looking restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Vancouver. True to its name, the decor is mostly adorned with wood, but my eyes were attracted to the private room. The private room was located in the middle of the restaurant with its four sides were surrounded by glass (ironically) and wine rack. Very beautiful, but not an ideal place to be when there’s an earthquake or a shootout.

When we got there, I was delighted to see lobster and foie gras supplements available on the menu. My doctrine of eating out is to “go big or go home”. Knowing the lobster poutine would be quite heavy, I reluctantly opted out the foie gras appetizer but ordered it as an add on for my main course.

Our first course arrived. By comparison, my poutine’s size dwarfed my colleagues’ crab cakes. This could well be a meal on its own! The poutine had a VERY generous portion of lobster meat as I can taste them in almost every bite. The lobster cream and the creme fraiche amplified the creaminess and complemented the delicious lobster perfectly. Does it work? Would I order it again? It would be a resounding yes! I really don’t know if I can have a normal poutine anymore.

I thought the poutine pretty much set the standard of what YEW had to offer, and our mains continued to impress. My foie gras resting on top of the beef tenderloin surrounded by a bed of crispy cauliflower and sour cream mashed potato was quite a sight to behold. I love foie gras, and I would get it whenever it is on the menu. However, I thought the foie gras in this case was quite bland in comparison with the other foie that I’ve had, but I still appreciated its texture, especially when eaten with the beef tenderloin. The meat itself tasted great. Each bite was juicy, tender, well seasoned, and packed with flavor.  The mashed potato was super creamy and acted almost like sauce to the delicious meat. The cauliflower retained its strong taste and added a bit of texture to the mashed potatoes. I loved this dish. Every single element was prepared, executed, and complemented each other very well.

By now, I was quite full after tasting lobster, beef tenderloin, and foie gras in the last hour. What’s missing is something to clean the palate! Between the three of us, we each ordered a different dessert. I got the Pina Colada Rice Pudding Coconut Rice, Pineapple Cardamon Compote, Mango Lime Sorbet. I liked how the sorbet’s sour taste cut into the rice pudding, and I can taste that chemical reaction in my mouth.

My colleague got the Chilled Bananas “Foster” Caramelized Banana, Coconut Sable, Vanilla Cremeux, Chocolate Meringue, while the other got the Cheese & Green Apple Mousse Cake Lemon Confit, Lavender Biscottis. I just couldn’t eat anymore, so I didn’t get the chance of tasting them.

Updated February 25, 2012: One of the coworker I went with wanted to come back for the Lobster BLT that was available on the Brunch menu, so on one Saturday afternoon, we did. We were first served with a complimentary course of sugared donuts with orange aioli, which was a surprise.

And now the star of the show, the Lobster BLT. I remembered the Lobster Poutine I had just a few days ago had a generous amount of lobster, would I find something similar? We sure did. Once again, it was FRESH lobster, not the canned crap. The lettuce, tomatoes, and the prosciutto were glued together with the tarragon aioli which went well with the lobster.

The BLT was served with fries, and they were good fries too. I could actually taste the potatoes.

No luxury meal is finished without a dessert, and since we were not on a schedule, I decided to go for a trio of bite size treats consisted of Duck Egg Creme Brulee, Hot Chocolate Mousse, and Sesame Ice Cream. I love creme brulee’s and I was curious as to how the duck egg would make a difference. As expected, it did have a different egg taste to it. The mousse had a rich chocolate taste with a thick consistency. The sesame ice cream was interesting. The savory taste of the ice cream was contrasted with the sweetness of the pear, creating an interesting balance of taste. I liked it.

Service was good. The annual Dineout event meant that everyone from every tax bracket flooding to restaurants, and YEW was no exception. In fact, it was already quite packed when we arrived at 5:30pm. Our waitress was still able to provide attentive service even when the dining room was getting hectic.

I was quite impressed by YEW’s Dineout menu, and I don’t usually get impressed. (By comparison, I went to around 8 last year, and I was only impressed with one.) Restaurant looks great, and all three courses were good, with two courses that blew me away. Food was not overly pretentious: it was simply classic dishes prepared with a twist and huge attention to detail. I would definitely come back again and try some of their regular menu items!

Snapshot:

Name: YEW Restaurant + Bar
Address: 791 West Georgia St. Vancouver, BC, Canada V6C 2T4 (Map)
Phone: 604.692.4939
Web: www.yewrestaurant.com
Menu: Link
Dishes You Must Try: Lobster Poutine, Beef Tenderloin
OpenTable Profile: Link
YEW Restaurant + Bar (Four Seasons Hotel) on Urbanspoon Rating: 86% (out of 236 votes, as of this writing)
DineHere Rating: 3.5/5 (out of 34 reviews, as of this writing)
Yelp Rating: 4/5 (out of 117 reviews, as of this writing)
Finest Dish’s Quality Rating: 4/5
Finest Dish’s Service Rating: 3/5

Gallery:

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