Downtown Eats: Market by Jean Georges at the Shangri-la Hotel

Wow. I ate at Market Saturday Night – fantastic evening!

We arrived early for our reservation, so we could check out the bar. The website says the restaurant is divided into four “distinct experiences” –

…A cozy and casual bistro with fireplace; a heated outdoor terrace with city views; an enticing bar complete with raw bar; and a sophisticated fine-dining room featuring two private rooms, one for 10 and the other 12.

The bar, was nice but small. Very busy. Bar snacks: spicy nuts, buttery popcorn, and wasabi peas. I ordered a Cucumber Martini and it was quite fabulous. Light, refreshing, crisp flavour – one could easily drink too many.

I took a peek at the casual bistro, which looked like a good lunch spot. The outdoor terrace was not set-up yet since it’s still quite cold, but the “view” I saw was a parkade.

Overall the design felt very modern and the entire restaurant was packed.

We were seated for our 9pm reservation at 9:30pm, but the service staff was very apologetic and we were happy at the bar, so no problems there.

First step – figuring out what to order! Somebody nicely took a picture of the menu (as it’s not online) here.

Next, we were greeted cheerfully by the sommelier, who rustled up a yummy bottle of the 2004 Juan Gil for us.  Then, onto the food…which was awesome.

Starters – between the four of us, we had Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with avocado (well cooked), Dungeness Crab Dumplings with a meyer lemon and celeriac tea (the tea was SO GOOD with the dumplings!), steamed shrimp salad with an avocado champagne dressing (my favourite – huge portion and incredibly flavourful shrimp), and Seared Scallops with carmamelized cauliflower and a caper-raisin emulsion (very good I’m told, but I didn’t taste it).  I was disappointed because they’d just sold out of the sea urchin toast, which sounds delicious. Next time.

Mains – We all gravitated to similar items. Two of us had the slowly cooked arctic char with a truffle vinaigrette, truffle mashed potatoes, and truffle scented brussels sprouts. This dish was excellent. I can still taste it now as I write about it. The other two each had a seared Canadian sirloin with gingered mushroms and a soy-caramel sauce. The steak had great flavour, and it was a pretty generous slab of meat.

Desserts – A warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and an apple confit, which was rich and jammy with sorbet and creme fraiche…all of this washed down with espresso.

The food exceeded expectations – it was refreshing good, simple, and tasty! Service was professional and attentive. I will definitely return.

The only drawback was probably the crowd in the restaurant. Maybe it’s because we were in a late seating on a Saturday night or maybe I am out of the Vancouver scene, but let’s just say the people watching was very good. Amongst other things, everyone seemed to know each other and people were dressed to impress.  Overall the room was eclectic – full of different ages, locals, and tourists. But this is a minor quibble, and hey –  it WAS entertaining to observe.

Market by Jean Georges
Level 3 –
1128 West Georgia Street
Vancouver
Open for lunch & dinner Monday-Saturday
(1 604) 695 1115

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