February 4th, 2012. Chinois Dine Out Disaster
So Nabil really wanted to take me out to a Dine Out dinner since we’d never been together before. I gave him a few choices that I was interested in. Chinois was on the list because, hey, it’s a new Yaletown restaurant, it’s Chinese fusion, it must be hip!
We arrived at the restaurant to find it extremely low-lit….perhaps they are being frugal with the electricity to help save the planet? I don’t know….but al the decor was seriously lost because the place was so dark.
We opted for both the Dine Out Cocktails, the Lotus Flower (Lychee infused simple syrup, fresh pressed orange juice and soda) & the Silk Route (Chivas Regal, Drambuie, honey infused syrup, green tea and ginger beer). The Lotus Flower was more tart than I would have liked, and despite being too strong for my liking I actually thought the Silk Route had a lot of intersting stuff going on.
Nabil wanted to be extravagant and add a half BBQ Duck to our already 3-course meal. It came with a side of shrimp chips and hoisin sauce and a ginger garlic sauce for dipping. Uh…for $25 we got the greasiest half duck I’ve ever encountered! It was such an embarassment of a BBQ duck
Really….We barely made an effort for fear that the greasy coating in our mouth would make it difficult to eat anything else. This was our first sign of things to come….
Okay, so the first appetizer off the Dine Out menu was the Deep Fried Crab Claw with Red Vinegar Sauce. Decent, if a bit greasy….but really. A crab claw is a crab claw. One dinky crab claw.
The other appetizer was the BBQ Sampler of Crispy Pork Belly and BBQ Pork with a side of hot sauce. More grease and dry pork….we were starting to feel pretty yucky with all this grease.
The Spicy Kung Pao Chicken with Ghost Chilies, Roasted Cashews and Tofu was really mediocre. No authenticity whatsoever in terms of Chinese cuisine. Really…so pedestrian.
Uh….the Jumbo Prawns with Candied Walnuts, Broccoli and Creamy Spicy Sauce? Is this some joke? Holy huge florets! And the creamy sauce was just bad…..Wow….Chili Mayo gone terribly wrong.
Nabil insisted we try all 3 of the Dine Out entrees, so we also had ordered the Black Pepper Steak, which is AAA Tenderloin, Wok Fried Onions and Mushrooms. Again…a total let-down. Are we in a mall food court here?? It was better than the Kung Pao and the Jumbo Shrimp…but it was also quite greasy
Do we dare stick around for dessert? Eh…why not. Coconut Ice Cream and Mango Pudding with Fresh Mango and Lychee.
Hmmm…my 2 least favorite flavors….but they weren’t terrible. I appreciated the fresh fruit on top of the pudding and it both desserts had good consistency.
Will I be back? Not likely. The food is definitely not worth it, there are virtually no lights in the place, so it’s like you’re eating in the dark, the seating is so cramped that you can literally join in on the conversation of the other diners and the manager is a complete sleaze (a couple sat down next to us and when the girl went to the bathroom he came by and commented to the boyfriend about her artificial physicial enhancements and wanted to to know if the guy’s banged her yet).
Second time I learned my lesson that “Chinese-Fusion” is a baaaaaaaaaaad idea. Chinois….more like Chin-Naaahhhh!