Gastown’s Pidgin recently underwent some changes as the they announced Chef Shin Suzuki would be taking over in the kitchen.
Suzuki is from Toronto, has quite the class French resume and joined the Pidgin team two and a half months ago. Some of the restaurant’s favourites by previous head chef Makoto Ono will remain but much of the menu now features creations by Chef Suzuki.
The restaurant officially launched their new menu in late March the best way they knew how…by hosting a group of Vancouver food writers and stuffing their faces. The menu is unequal parts French and Asian, although which one is more prevalent depends on which dish we’re talking about. You can order a la carte or a (currently $55) prix fixe menu.
The place is cleared out for standing room only but looks as charming as ever. I like to refer to Pidgin as “industrially elegant”, like a Japanese bar…in Europe.
We only had a few bites of the actual dishes, not enough to give you a proper idea of what it’s actually like but the themes are consistent: fresh, clean, bright flavours, gorgeous plating and what I can only describe as “getting it right.” The chicken wings were supremely juicy.
The attention to detail in getting the cook right is evident. I didn’t have any meat that was overcooked. Actually, my favourite dish of the night was near the end when the kitchen just brought out piles of perfectly cooked, vibrantly marinated steaks for us to wrap in lettuce.
There are ramen houses all over Vancouver that can’t cook an egg yolk as perfectly as in this beautiful combination with mushrooms, snap peas, and soy yuzu brown butter.
There’s also still an extensive and creative list of drinks at the bar.
One of these is a ‘Soju Southside’ and the other goes by the name ‘Pidginade”. Yes, they’re delicious and yes, drinking too many of them will result in not remembering which one is which for when you have to write about it.
The pork belly rice bowl and shishito peppers are among the returning dishes.
Here’s a look at some of the rest of the new menu:
Address: 350 Carrall Street, Gastown
Hours: Monday to Saturday: 5 p.m. – Midnight and Sunday: 6 p.m. – Midnight