Beyond the Rhetoric


Dine Out Vancouver: Fraiche Restaurant

January 22nd, 2013 by
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Fraiche Restaurant, West Vancouver

Vancouver is filled with all sorts of fantastic restaurants that span a variety of cuisines and the Dine Out Vancouver annual promotions is one of the best ways to give them a try. First on my list this year is Fraiche Restaurant, located up in the British Properties of West Vancouver. It really is surrounded by a quiet residential neighbourhood, which is in stark contrast to the kinds of eateries that you find in Yaletown, Gastown, or other parts of the city.

Not unlike places like Cloud Nine and The Observatory, one of the biggest selling points for Fraiche Restaurant is its view. Perched up on that mountain, you get a great perspective on the Lion’s Gate Bridge and into the rest of the city. The restaurant itself isn’t that big–maybe 20 or so tables–making for a reasonably intimate dining experience. You might also be interested to know that financial advisor Aaron Koo once worked there as a chef, though I didn’t have a chance to visit while he was there.

For Dine Out Vancouver, Fraiche is offering a $38 prix fixe menu, giving you a few choices for each of the three courses.

Fraiche Restaurant, West Vancouver
Amuse Bouche – We were first treated to a complimentary amuse bouche. Normally, these are on the lighter side of things, but Fraiche went with a crab croquette instead. It was a like a mini deep-fried crab cake.

Fraiche Restaurant, West Vancouver
Poached Lobster Salad – One of the three appetizer choices, this salad actually provided quite a bit of lobster, but it really didn’t feel like there was enough salad to go with it. The compressed melon was decent, but the jalapeno sauce lacked any real kick.

Fraiche Restaurant, West Vancouver
House-Cured Duck – Another appetizer option, the cured duck was similar to a stiff proscuitto, except as duck. In fact, it reminded me a lot of Chinese “lap may” in flavor and consistency. It was quite salty, as was the dollop of foie gras mousse on top. The blood orange niblets were made out to look like caviar. Given the higher level of saltiness, I felt this dish either needed more brioche or more salad to balance it out.

Fraiche Restaurant, West Vancouver
Roasted Sablefish – This was my main. The fish, while delicate and flaky, didn’t have much complexity in terms of flavor. It was one-dimensional in that it was just a little salty. I did like the brandade dumplings, which reminded me of a chewy gnocchi.

Fraiche Restaurant, West Vancouver
Grilled Loin of Lamb – This was Susanne’s main. The portion size was on the smaller side and I felt the lamb was just a little overcooked for my tastes. Much like the duck, this was also on the saltier side of things. The tomato relish was quite nice though.

Fraiche Restaurant, West Vancouver
Butter-Poached Sole with Truffle – One of our dining companions had this as his main. I didn’t sample it, so I can’t really speak to how it tasted.

Fraiche Restaurant, West Vancouver
Mascarpone and Fruit – One of the two dessert options, the frozen marscapone had a consistency somewhere between cheesecake and ice cream. I would have preferred if they simply stacked the marscapone on the cookie crust, but that’s a matter of presentation. The accompanying fruit jelly had an intense flavor, but it didn’t completely overpower the marscapone.

Fraiche Restaurant, West Vancouver
White and Dark Chocolate – And this was the other dessert option. The dark chocolate came in liquid form, on the right, and was poured over the delicate puffs of white chocolate, which almost had a marshmallow-like consistency to them.

Fraiche Restaurant, West Vancouver
Petit Fours – Dinner was capped off with a plate of complimentary petit fours. The ones on the end had toasted coconut, while the two in the middle were peanut-flavored.

Fraiche Restaurant, West Vancouver

All said, dinner for four–including a couple of drinks, taxes and gratuity–came to $210. While the food wasn’t that bad (albeit somewhat over-seasoned in a one-dimensional kind of way), I feel that there is much better food to be had in this city at the same kind of price point. You really are paying for the view, but Fraiche is still much better than Cloud Nine.

I have one more restaurant on my list for Dine Out Vancouver 2013, so keep an eye out for my review of Le Parisien to follow in the next couple of weeks.

Fraiche Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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One Response to “Dine Out Vancouver: Fraiche Restaurant”

  1. Ray Ebersole says:

    While food can look great, as we first eat with our eyes, it isn’t always as we think. It is interesting that food that looks this good could be spoiled by incorrect seasoning. The first thing you learn as a chef when sending food out to guests is to taste it for correct seasonings. Being too salty is the worst seasoning error because that cannot be fixed on a completed dish.

    I look forward to your next installment with hopefully a better experience.

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