[ Five Sails Restaurant ] Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2014 - Ambiance is key


     With the Dine Out Vancouver Festival taking place right away the wave of Christmas shopping splurges, I knew that my wallet wouldn't be hurting from clothes anymore - it would be from food. As most know, the culinary scene in Vancouver is unlike any other. Having events like Dine Out Vancouver gives everyone the opportunity to be active in the diverse dining experience.
      After scrolling past restaurant after restaurant, it was decided that we would go here. Located in the heart of Downtown Vancouver Waterfront, Five Sails Restaurant provides a breathtaking view of the Vancouver Harbour. After staring out the window in awe, we were delightfully presented with complimentary starters. The bite sized portion of Lobster Salad with Grapefruit was almost instantly eaten by me after a series of photographs in the perfect lighting. "Perfect lighting" as in shifting the candle left and right, and left again. One thing I want to point out is the lettuce in the back did not please me. It wasn't the fresh crunchy bite I was looking for but nonetheless, I can't say no to complimentary.  

     For my appetizer I went with the Ahi Tuna Tartare. To my surprise, it wasn't screaming the usual "I need more, and I need it now." Perhaps it was the avocado, as an avid avocado muncher I do love my daily avocado meals. Fresh tuna along with the crispy wonton bits created a tasteful combination. The overall taste was well balanced, flavours and textures were clean and on point.

     Taking a moment to allow the ambiance to sink in. The restaurant was completely full but the atmosphere somehow allowed every table to feel as if they were in their own bubble. The overall mood makes you let go of everything and give you a moment to enjoy everything life has to offer. Truly relaxing.

     With our conversations aside, the entrees were presented to us. Tonight I decided not to go with the seafood but rather the Honey glazed roasted Fraser Valley Duck. Even though I took awhile to get the perfect shots, I could taste the perfection in each bite. Cooked to perfection, presented perfectly, and photographed perfectly. Dark roasted skins with soft pink interior, it was calling my name. Tender, moist, juicy, and just enough fat to add to the texture but not take away from the flavours.

     Seeing as it was such a good start to the night, I decided to add the Pan Seared Quebec Foie Gras onto my entree for an additional $10. At first I was hesitant but taking that first bite I knew all my possible regrets and worries were swept away. Beyond flavourful, the port wine sauce complimented the fat of the Foie Gras really well. The red kuru squash puree with potato gnocchi added to the heavenly plate by offering the heavier starch that was needed to balance out the dish. The caramelized mango threw me off at first. None of us were sure what fruit it was because the lime and Szechuan peppercorns masked the taste of the mango fruit we were so familiar with. It provided the refreshing kick to complete the entree. I must say, this dish was executed phenomenally. The squash and gnocchi made me satiated and not overwhelmingly crammed like some entrees can do. The duck and foie gras were prepared to perfection. Sauce and caramelized mango complemented the dish to provide that satisfying smile on my face. And let's not forget the view!  

     After the extremely satisfying entree, dessert had almost slipped my mind. The Banana Chocolate Tango was my pick to finish the night. A smooth chocolate ganache with banana infused vanilla mousse gave a delightful mix along with the homemade vanilla bean ice cream. It gave the hearty bite that I was looking for to complete my meal. I tasted very strong hints of vanilla bean that I absolutely love from the ice cream. It was a dessert well made that I was thankful for, not biting into something like classic cheesecake or creme brulee made my meal at Five Sails a memorable one.

I also had bites of the Luxe Lemon Mille-feuilles of which I was not too impressed with. The tart kick from the lemon cream was not was I was looking forward to. I did like the phyllo pastry but the sour taste from the lemon was not to my liking. I guess I did not like the association of the sour hints to the cake breaded layers. Fortunately, the waitress brought over chocolate ganache bits to cleanse our palettes. The richness from the dark chocolate wasn't too bitter or sweet, giving it a more neutral cleanse. 

To be given the opportunity to dine with a spectacular view is truly a gift. The atmosphere was so relaxing that I felt relieved from all the constant thoughts running around in my head. I recommend Five Sails to anyone that wishes to enjoy an extraordinary dinner with a divine view of what Vancouver has to offer. I would definitely say that this was one of the best dining experiences I have had so far. 
Ambiance is key.
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