Market by Jean-Georges at the Shangri-La Hotel
1115 Alberni Street, 3rd Floor
Featured on our Guilty Pleasures Gourmet Tour
Vancouver’s tallest building, the Shangri-La, is no secret in the city. The hotel and residential complex boasts 62 stories and is a striking component of Vancouver’s famous skyline. The swanky building, built only in 2009, proudly sells 1,500 sq.ft units for over $1.5 million dollars. It is places like these where we are drawn to look…but not touch.
Yet there’s a secret on the third floor, and it’s masked in wonderful disguise. Modern, luxurious, and chic, Market by Jean-Georges is a well-matched pair for the building that it shares. Neatly perched above street level, the food and fare at the West-Coast, French-inspired restaurant will have you feeling well-suited to the Shangri-La neighbourhood. But contrary to the “look but don’t touch” tendency one may have in the Shangri-La, the spirit at Market is “look…and enjoy.”
My foodie tip to you, which applies to Market and other high-end dining spots in Vancouver, is to visit on a weekday, during the lunch hour. The downtown business crowd is for the winning, and restaurants of all cuisines and classes offer lunch specials to capture this lucrative audience. With a passion for marketing, business, and food, I have great respect for this approach. Though lunch specials may not always attract a restaurant’s primary demographic, they motivate customers to give the restaurant experience a try. And if a restaurant, like Market, is sure to knock that experience out of the park? Well, then everyone wins.
What you’re about to see is a fine example of this tactic: Market’s $29, 3-Course Lunch Special, with a 50-minute guarantee. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the spoils of Market by Jean-Georges without breaking the bank. You get fantastic value for a sincere experience. The quality and creativity of food, level of service, and luxurious ambiance are just as genuine at lunch as they are in the evening; it’s just the price range that’s shifted. For a foodie, it’s these kinds of things that’ll make your day.
My 3-course selection (two plates and a dessert):
1) Steelhead sashimi on crispy rice – served with chipotle emulsion and scallion. It’s similar to Japanese nigiri, however, the crisped rice paired with the creamy emulsion adds a unique and decadent texture.
2) Slow Cooked Pacific Cod, with garlic-lemon broth and sautéed spinach. Moist and flaky, the fish is beautifully tender!
3) Market Cheesecake, Rhubarb Sorbet with Hibiscus Syrup. A must! For the thick, frothy texture and perfectly balanced flavours.
Other notable picks? The Black Truffle Fontina Pizza and the Ahi Tuna Nicoise Salad. Top it off with a Fresh Ginger Ale Margarita and, hey, why not? Lift that pinky when you take a sip!