|View from our room|
My last review of Chef Ned Bell’s Cabana Grille has left me wondering wether I want to go back for fear of backlash. My review made it to Urbanspoon and is one of my most popular food reviews so far. Bad reviews travel fast I suppose. However, Ned Bell is head chef at Yew in the Four Seasons Vancouver, a good 4 hour+ drive from Kelowna and it is well taken care of compared to his Okanagan baby. Bell, come back to Cabana and get em’ back into shape!
Yew on the other hand is not a disappointment unlike it’s underachieving sibling. You can tell Bell cares about his Vancouver reputation and so he should with Vancouver’s food scene and numerous cut-throat bloggers. Yew is located in the pricey and luxurious Four Seasons Hotel and with a renown reputation worldwide, and customers expecting excellence, a chef does not want to disappoint.
The dinning room gives the ere of being inside a tree with high ceilings and cuts of wood hung on the walls exposing the unique grains of each tree. It is bright and cozy with an inviting bar on one side and an open view of the kitchen and chefs on the opposite side. If you’re lucky you’ll be in when Bell is.
Upon entry there is fresh seafood displayed in full view. One day I saw a gigantic halibut, the next day there were spot prawns frozen in clear ice.
|Spot Prawns in ice|
Since we were staying in the hotel we visited the restaurant often and were able to sample a great deal of Yew’s menu. The menu offers some unique dishes from crab tacos to fried pickles and Bell’s own rendition of the ultimate comfort food, pasta alla carbonara.
Having just arrived off the plane, and skipping breakfast to ensure we caught our flight, we were ready to eat! After quickly settling into our hotel room and enjoying the view we headed down to Yew. This gave us a good idea of the clientele which ranges from business elite, tired shoppers (the mall is conveniently attached to the Four Seasons), the cast of the Vancouver Housewives, and foodies looking for their next thrill.
Our charming waiter, Norman, would recommend the best of the menu to us when we were stumped and even helped us make decisions on other restaurants during our stay.
For lunch, I needed no help choosing the crab tacos. It was sweet, salty, crunchy and filled with soft crab, a nice change from the amount of filler restaurants usually offer within their crab dishes to cut corners, but you most definitely pay for it at Yew.
The pasta alla carbonara was even heavier than the usual spaghettini version. The noodles were more like a homemade penne rather than a spaghetti which makes the dish too filling after a few bites. Although the carbonara sauce was good it also lacked that something extra, a deeper flavour that separates the bland from the bold.
The fish and chips were also a bit of a disappointment. The fish was delicious but the exterior had less than enough flavour and was too greasy for my taste. For $24 it should be a lot better than OK.
The lobster sandwich is a delicious in theory and would be executed as such if the bread was thicker in order to prevent the bottom from becoming soggy. We ordered three of these sandwiches and all had the same soggy bottom.
My favourite dish besides the crab tacos would have to be the special spot prawn and gnocchi. It was light and yet filling, perfect for what one needs to refuel after a day of shopping.
The desserts are a hit and a miss. The pies come by the sliver, slice or whole. The sliver is what I would consider a fuller slice so watch your portion sizes for dessert when it comes to the pie, although they are delicious.
|A pit of black chocolate|
The chocolate mousse was not a mouse at all but more like a solid glob of thick cake batter of dark chocolate resembling a lava cake, a dish I am not fond of, especially when I’m expecting a velvety mousse.
The most unique dessert was the root beer which was a root beer float, spices and hazelnuts. As a huge fan of root beer I could have used more of the delicious taste of the soft drink but it was delicious despite.
The spring rhubarb sorbet was light and refreshing, also good for a nice pick-me up after exploring the city. The chef also offers vegan selections which can be hard to come by, although I was not prepared to abandon my ice cream with all its fatty-milky goodness for a vegan option.
Late nights snacks are offered after a night out in Gastown. Everything the body needs to prevent a hangover: deep fried pickles, Kobe hot dog with lobster, parmesan rosemary truffle fries, frozen foie gras etc. The list of late night treats are impressive and delicious, especially while being more than two sheets to the wind. If I could suggest you go here for anything it would be the late night dishes and a great cocktail or two.
|Was even more messy than it looks|
The Four Seasons was a treat. Wildly expensive but nice. The large variety of room service options is ideal but in order to receive it you will be charged a service fee and 15% gratuity on every order so make it count! My favourite part of staying at the Four Seasons was the miniature bottles of shampoo and condition from L’Occitane (one of my favourite brands) and the location was ideal as well. My least favourite part would obviously be the price because I could get a similar comfortable experience without the 15% gratuity and overpriced room.
The food was good despite the fact that some had minor flaws. The atmosphere is an experience that is worth having and I recommend you stop in, in between shopping or sight seeing. The service was impeccable and it was an enjoyable time but it’s time to move on to a new experience.