Sunday, March 20, 2011

Backstage Lounge


From the name Backstage Lounge to the description on the website, I didn't think the place would be a very family-friendly establishment. It definitely is not a suitable dining venue for young children, but the atmosphere is not too vibrant for a dinner with my parents. From our window seat, we could see the public market food court across the boardwalk and aquabuses travelling along False Creek. For appetizers, we ordered a pound of honey garlic wings ($11.95) to share. You would expect wings at a pub/lounge to be really good, but this was not the case. The wings were tiny and not in the least bit juicy or tender as a result. There should only be 8-10 wings in a pound, but we got around 15, so you can imagine how small they were.


I wasn't very hungry, so I got an appetizer as my main. The ahi tuna bites ($13.95) came with a small side of shaved fennel and grapefruit. The tuna was lightly seared and topped with black sesame and organic pea shoots. I particularly enjoyed the soy lemon reduction and miso aioli as they added depth to the flavour without taking away from the freshness and natural flavour of the fish. The portion was small as there were only 4 slices of tuna, but it was worth the price.


Mom ordered the seared cod gnocchi ($15.95) which I was also interested in trying. The gnocchi were stuffed with potato and cooked in lemon pesto sauce with roasted leeks and cherry tomatoes. The seared cod was crispy and slightly hard on the outside, and not very tender inside either. But the gnocchi were delicious with the rich and creamy lemon sauce.


Dad went for the Italian chicken burger ($13.95) with Swiss cheese, Italian proscuitto, baby spinach, Roma tomatoes and sun-dried tomato aioli. I tried a little bit of the bun and grilled chicken inside, and was surprised that the meat was quite tender. I had some of the fries that came with the burger as well, but did not like the way they were cooked.


Considering this is a lounge, I was impressed at the quality of the appetizers and entrees. But I found it interesting that typical pub fare like wings and fries were not that great. One thing I did enjoy was the live music that started playing halfway through our meal. It was a nice touch and made the evening a lot more enjoyable and relaxing.

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