Located in Downtown Vancouver, Hawksworth Restaurant has developed a top shelf fine dining reputation. A brief overview of David Hawksworth and his team paints the picture as to why.
This is our last post from Vancouver so we deserve a little indulgence. Shall we taste the menu at Hawksworth Restaurant?
We’ve previously established how easy Vancouver is to get around and finding Hawksworth Restaurant is no exception. Simply cross the road to the Rosewood Hotel from Pacific Centre and enter the restaurant from the ground floor.
The sophisticated interior has been designed with a discerning eye. Colours and textures are soft and gentle with dark wood and impressive lighting the contrasts. Bold art adds a sense of humour while simple table settings and chic glassware highlight the upcoming fine dining experience.
Having spent over 10 years in some of Europe’s Michelin-starred restaurants, Vancouverite David Hawksworth returned to secure his place as one of the leading names in Canada’s culinary scene. His insistence on the best quality locally produced ingredients highlighted in his contemporary Canadian cuisine has been instrumental in achieving that status.
A multiple award winner himself, Chef Hawksworth pays it forward through the Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Foundation. A $10,000 prize at the end of the gruelling Master Chef style competition opens an international stage and boosts the career of the victorious young chef.
Hawksworth’s signature dishes are found in International Business Class and in the Maple Leaf Lounges of Canadian Airlines through the partnership established in 2015. David Hawksworth makes guest appearances on Cooking shows, at food competitions and in restaurants such as Sevva in Hong Kong or James Beard House in NYC.
Dinner at Hawksworth Restaurant is not for the budget-conscious, however, with quality produce, innovative flavours and expert guidance by wait staff, expect excellent value. Starters are in the early $20 area while mains start at $40 and can top $60 depending on the dish.
The best way to experience Hawksworth Restaurant’s expertise, IMHO, is by ordering the Tasting Menu. At a little over $100 each or $176 with wine pairing, this 6-course flavour journey highlights the best of the à la carte menu. Reinvented based on available produce, the tasting menu surprises and delights.
Our journey began with seasonal White Asparagus. Shavings of smoky serrano ham and house-formulated peperonata highlighted the asparagus’ subtlety, while a Spanish non-vintage El Maestro Sherry brought all flavours to the fore.
Well known by sushi lovers, Kanpachi is one of the 3 yellowtail varieties and commonly called Amberjack. The flesh is soft, the flavour delicate and is often aged for a couple of days to intensify the taste.
At Hawksworth, the Kanpachi Tartare came with coconut sorbet, puffed rice, white soy and had a lovely hint of kaffir lime. The accompanying 2014 Clos Du Soleil Pinot Blanc from BC’s Similkameen Valley was a treat.
Slow cooked Atlantic Lobster arrived next snug as a bug under its herbed pasta blanket. Fennel featured and the stone fruits and citrus from the Argentinian 2013 BenMarco Torrontes brought out the Meyer Lemon.
Our preference for tasting menus is not only the value they represent but the wine pairing surprises often experienced. Bacon dashi, black garlic, puffed grains and spring herbs highlighted the Pacific Halibut. Gutsy flavours combined with fish, but a wonderful taste sensation.
Partnered with a dark red from Austria, the 2013 Blaufränkisch, the union was perfect. The wine’s spicy notes underlining the deep sea halibut, bacon and garlic.
To accompany the slow cooked lamb neck tagine, a 2013 Mollard et Fillon from the French Languedoc region was delicious. Intense berry flavours harmonised with sweetness from smoked carrot purée and yoghurt.
The Tasting Menu’s final course is dessert, but they will tempt you with an option to add local artisan cheese. This is a no-brainer, especially when they tease you with the pairing. A Takasago Yamahai Plum Sake from Shizuoka, Japan.
We’re always chuffed when an Aussie wine makes the cut in internationally renowned restaurants. At Hawksworth, we had the pleasure of the Innocent Bystander Moscato bubbles from Healesville, Victoria for the finale. Lime crémeux, salty pistachios and sweet blackberries made for a wonderful finish to this grand experience.
Hawksworth Restaurant is a grown-up experience but one that we highly recommend when in Vancouver. For something casual, a little more boisterous and group friendly, try David Hawksworth’s, Nightingale.
Nightingale is also in downtown Vancouver, the restaurant’s interior, menu and libations show the same attention to detail with an edgier, hipster atmosphere.
Dining at either of David Hawksworth’s venues: it’s a thing we love….
*** Psst….paraphernalia.co cover their own expenses to bring you unbiased reviews you can rely on.