Vancouver Food Trip: Unusual Curry at Hawksworth Restaurant, Vancouver

Vancouver has a lot of interesting restaurants, from small take out places to fine dining restaurants. There are so many options to try depending on your taste and budget. You can go for a simple home-cook style meals, or go for gourmet style meals in fancy restaurants.

Last week, we had a chance to go out for lunch. Our office is located in downtown Vancouver (Canada) and there are a lot of options when it comes to where to eat. We have our favorites, but it won’t hurt to try something new. This time, we decided to try Hawksworth Restaurant, and it turned out to be one of our most “memorable” lunch experiences! You want to know why? Read on 🙂

Hawskworth Restaurant – Contemporary Canadian Cuisine

Hawksworth is not any regular restaurant. Since it opened, the restaurant already received numerous awards. It was a Five-time winner of Best Upscale Restaurant in Vancouver Magazine’s Restaurant Awards and had been featured in TV shows  CTV News Vancouver and variety of publications like Vancouver Magazine, BC Living, National Post, MacLean’s and many more. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks and is located at the heart of downtown Vancouver.


Let’s get down to business and talk about the food

For me, the million dollar question to every food review is “Is it worth it?”. This should be an easy question to answer with just a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, it’s either I like it or I don’t. Often times, the answer to this question is greatly affected with my first time experience eating in the restaurant. It’s like meeting someone for the first time, you have to make a good impression because first impressions last. This is even more true when it comes to restaurants, with so much competition right and left, sometimes there is no second chance. They only have one chance to”wow” the customer for the customer to decide to come back again.

We visited Hawksworth Restaurant during lunch time. It was not busy, we did not wait long to get our table. The interior of the restaurant is very elegant and glamorous, with huge fancy chandeliers and leather cushioned chairs. The seating area is not crowded, and the tables are spaced comfortably.

We were led to our table by the receptionist and the waiter came immediately even before we got to our seat. The waiter was very energetic, polite and attentive to our needs. He pulled the chair for me, helped me take off my coat, and offered to hang our coats. I can immediately tell that the employees are professionally very well trained for the standard of a fine dining restaurant. I cannot say anything bad about the service because it was truly exceptional.

It took a while for me to decide what to order. I thought I already knew what I wanted, but then I changed my mind when I looked at the menu again. Anyway, I ended up ordering Curry. It is a fish curry with pacific cod, egg, side stripe shrimp, cilantro, cashew, bean sprouts and a side basmati rice. It sounded interesting to me, and it turned out to be really “interesting” and nothing like the other curry that I had tried before. Curry is one of my favorite dishes. I love the authentic traditional Indian Curry with thick spicy sauce that is loaded with flavors from different kind of spices. I also love the Thai Curry version which uses coconut milk and mainly fresh herbs to flavor the dish as opposed to mixed spices. Either way, this is how I pictured Curry every time I craved for it. I guess, this was why I was kind of disappointed when I saw and tasted the Curry that I ordered.

The dish failed to give the traditional taste that I normally look for in Curry. It was elevated into a higher fancy looking dish, but in doing so, it took away the flavor and taste that Curry is known for. The presentation was elegant, but was out of ordinary for a Curry dish. I have nothing against it, I am all in when it comes to plating because I like making my food look beautiful too. I just feel that the way it was plated took away the image of Curry that I have in my mind.

When it comes to taste however, I would say that it was nothing like a Curry to me. The sauce is on the runny and watery side, the consistency resembles more like a soup, and it tasted like a sour soup. The sour taste was so strong that it dominated the taste and over-powered whatever little of curry spices the dish had. The dish also lost the aroma and flavor of the spices that Curry is famous for. But even with the acidity and sour taste of the sauce, it still failed to remove the fishy smell and taste of the Cod.

The Cod (which is supposed to be the main focus of the dish) was cut so small that you cannot even see it unless you “fish” for it. The shrimp is slightly raw and small. I did not find any of the Curry taste that I am looking for in this dish, at least nothing that I could say I ate and enjoyed. This style of Curry is definitely not for me, and not something that I will order again IF I decide to go back.

Thumbs up or Thumbs down?

With all the hype from media and awards and recognition they got, I expected so much from this restaurant. Personally, I find it overrated and not worth the price. There are other restaurants where you could get more value for your money and leave happy and satisfied. But then again, I totally understand they cannot please everybody. It will not be fair for me to judge the restaurant when I only ate there once, but as the saying goes “first impressions last”, and it just so happened mine was not the best first time experience. But then who am I to stop you if you are willing to pay for hot water and have a bill around 60.00 – 80.00 CAD for lunch. Feel free to try the place, just keep in mind that you had been warned about the Curry. Btw, I am not joking about the hot water! Hot water with lemon costs 4.00 CAD,  I wonder if they charge for cold water too? Till my next food adventure!

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