Society Dining Lounge - Dine Out

I was looking through all of the $18 Dine Out menus and Society's 3-course menu seemed the most appealing, so I made a reservation for Sunday night. The place was packed and the noise level was high with loud music and a group event upstairs. The large patio in the front would have been a nice place to sit, but unfortunately the weather was too cold.

The lighting inside was really dim with pink plastic chandeliers that reminded me of the dining room on the Carnival Dream. A bit tacky in my opinion. And since it was so dark, I couldn't see my cup of water clearly. As a result, I drank from a dirty cup that hadn't been cleaned properly and felt the food dregs left over from the mouth of the previous diner. Gross! Luckily the stuff had already dried out or else I might have thrown up right then and there. I notified the waitress immediately and not so much as an apology other than, "Oh I'll get you another cup."

After reading Kirby's post, I knew I had to get this drink. The candy collins ($6.95) is a lemon gin cocktail topped with a pink fluffy cloud of cotton candy. Just the presentation was enough to impress. I was told that the cotton candy could be stirred into the drink to make it pink and sweet, but I couldn't stop myself from eating it :) So my drink ended up being quite sour. Slightly carbonated lemonade was not so bad though.

When the appetizers came, I was really shocked at the portion size.

spinach salad:
What is this? A few limp spinach leaves, a couple of bite-size orange segments, and a paper-thin slice of riopelle cheese. The candied pecans promised in the menu were nowhere to be seen. The shaved fennel and red onion were present, but in quantities so minute that they might as well have been left out. I won't even go into the taste because the size of the dish was just too disappointing. Let's just say that it didn't taste amazing enough to compensate for the portion.

sweet potato and pulled pork croquette:
Since I didn't see any sweet potato, I'm going to assume it was part of the croquette. So what do we have here? Two measly fried balls of pork coated with batter (and sweet potato I assume), and a baby's handful of cucumber shreds. The pork was not bad, but again I was not happy at all with the portion size.

At this point I was still hopeful and thought that the entrees would be larger. Boy was I wrong...

veal piccata:
Was it veal? Or was it a meatball?! I don't know, you tell me. The veal meatball was served on a thyme polenta about two thirds the size of my palm. And let me tell you, I have pretty small hands. The side of veggies consisted of 3 cherry tomatoes. The veal was extremely tender and the polenta had a nice garlic/thyme flavour, but that didn't make up for the minuscule portion size.

prawn linguini:
The pasta was a better choice because at least carbs are filling. The 2 triangular pieces of garlic toast added up to half a slice of bread, and combined with the linguini could actually make a decent meal for someone with a small appetite. And let's not forget that ONE prawn and ONE prawn ball in case the carbs weren't enough.

Luckily I was smart and ordered a side of brussel sprouts (+$3.95 according to Dine Out menu), which of course didn't arrive until I reminded them after we had finished our mains. Imagine my surprise when we got such a huge portion for only $3.95. It turned out they had punched it in as a regular dish instead of a side, and I found out later when they charged me the regular price on the bill. I got the price amended after talking to them, but the fact that happened was enough to let me know how disorganized the restaurant was. The brussel sprouts tasted pretty good though. There was a lot of garlic and cheese, so the veggies were very rich and savoury. But they were much too salty without any pasta or rice to go with them.

The dessert was the only decent-sized item in the Dine Out menu. The chocolate smore creme brulee arrived a la flambe with a bright orange-blue flame flickering away. But the flame was pretty much the only appealing part of the presentation. After the flame died out, I was left with a mushy pile of brown gunk in the cup with a plain graham cracker on the side. The cracker was good; it tasted just like digestive biscuits I could buy from the grocery store. The brown gunk was more like chocolate mousse than creme brulee. It was overly sweet and the chocolate flavour wasn't very rich, but the mini marshmallows on the bottom was a good touch.

I really wish they had offered a $28 menu with normal portions instead of this $18 tasting menu. There's nothing more disappointing than leaving a restaurant with a half-empty stomach.

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  1. Wow, sounds like it was a pretty bad experience there. But at least the cotton candy drink was impressive right?

  2. @KayCe: Yea I think the cotton candy drink is worth trying. Maybe their regular menu items are not so small...


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