Saturday, 26 January 2013


It's Dine Out Vancouver again!

Remember in my past years, I am not particularly a fan of the Dine Out events, I think the gimmick is valued more than the quality of food. BUT whatever motivates my friends and I to go out and enjoy fine dining...
I'm in.

I was able to visit a Cardero's on the first day of Dine Out. I have been to Cardero's for the regular lunch and dinner menu before - all visits, so I had an idea of what to expect.

AMBIANCE | Unfortunately, the ambiance was disappointing  I have never been to Cardero's on a full-house Friday night, and I probably will never again. Situated close to the center back of the restaurant, I found Cardero's acoustics dreadful. I was literally yelling at the person next to me to be able to converse, I simply could not hear the person at the end of my table. According to the engineer majors within my friends, the low roof combined with solid wood walls cause sound to bounce back and forth, literally amplifying and echoing everything, creating a mayhem.
I also found it very stuffy and warm inside. I had my coat on the back of my chair, and when I got home, my mother instantly said "you smell like frying oil, you better dry clean that coat!" To save costs, my coat is currently being aired out in the garage haha.

Overall, the interior of Cardero's is very similar to Sandbar (Granville Island) - both consisting of wooden themes and a half open kitchen (I suppose thats why I smelled of oil...) The wood and anchor/nautical details certainly suit the seafood cuisine. Above all, I did thoroughly take pleasure in the casual and fun mood of Cardero's, it is the perfect restaurant for having laughs and drinks, all while enjoying fine dining. Plus, I should not complain about anything that was an amazing waterview.

Food ordered (Party of 6):
Tomato Bocconcini Salad vine ripened tomatoes, Fior de latte, balsamic reduction and fresh basil
Manhattan Style Clam Chowder finished with dark rum
Wok Squid garlic, chilies and cilantro
Braised Lamb Shank mashed potatoes, market vegetables and red wine demi-glace
Grilled Steelhead Salmon roasted vegetable succotash, brown butter sauce
 Cardero's Chocolate Mousse Cake raspberry coulis, fresh berries

FOOD | Cardero's again, specializes in seafood. This time however, I wanted to try their kitchen and order some land animals. I ordered the Bocconcini Salad, which was average and small (as with most Dine Out menus). I heard the Chowder was decent, though many said that European white clam chowder would've been preferred. Still I regret not ordering the Wok Squids. The squid portion looked small but in my opinion would've been a better deal over a few slices of tomato and vinegar.

Between Lamb, Salmon and Chicken breast, I ordered the lamb. A word of caution, the lamb is very game. The portion looks big, but the lamb shank had a huge bone in the middle, so in reality, the meat portion is very small. Oh, I really enjoyed the mashed potatos (I suppose you cannot really go wrong with mashed potatos...). I tried a touch of the salmon - it was quite juicy, far better than I had expected. Going with the rule of thumb, choose salmon for a light taste, lamb for the meat hearties. That said, if it is your first time to Cardero's, salmon would be the recommended choice since seafood is their specialty.

I almost never enjoy Dine Out desserts. To me, they are almost always a generic, overly sweet cake of some sort. Cardero's surprised me. The seemingly common chocolate mousse cake was perfectly flavoured - not too sweet and not too heavy. I finished my plate in a jiffy!

1583 Coal Harbour Quay 
Cardero's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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