Dine Out Vancouver – Cin Cin Ristorante & Bar

The Wine Cost More Than The Dinner


Our Dine Out Vancouver adventure continues with dinner at Cin Cin Ristorante & Bar. Situated on world famous Robson Street, you enter Cin Cin through a winding stone staircase which leads up to the restaurant, with high arched windows that lead out to a beautiful heated terrace.

CinCin’s acclaimed wine collection, housed in the private wine room, is deep and global with rare vintages and boutique finds, acknowledged by Wine Spectator with a ‘Best of Award of Excellence’ for the past three years. That may help to explain why the Dine Out wine pairing cost more than the $35.00 Dine Out Vancouver menu.

Pronounced “chin – chin” meaning a toast to good health, old friends and the pleasures of fine food and wine, Cin Cin is owned by TopTable Restaurants, which also owns Araxi, Blue Water Cafe and Vancouver Magazine’s Restaurant of The Year, West.

Red + Gold Beet Salad


Sarah’s appetizer was a salad made with red and gold beet with aged ricotta, arugula and balsamic dressing. It was very refreshing, light, and made for a good opening dish. However, the portions were very small – just one red beet and one gold beet. Should have seen there was no ‘S’ next to beet in the menu.

Pork Terrine


My pork terrine appetizer was made country style with citrus mostarda and sherry, and paired with a glass of Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blance 2005. The terrine and wine went well together but again, I felt the portion was very small. You could have finished the dish with four bites.

Wood Oven Roasted Arctic Char


Sarah’s main course was the arctic char with caponata, nugget potato and citrus vinaigrette. The fish was kinda dry and overcooked. It wasn’t nearly as good as the char we had at La Terrazza. The fish was much bigger at La Terrazza too.

Rotisserie Fired Pork Loin


My main course was two small pieces of pork loin with potato pave, spiced cabbage, clove and nutmeg jus. It was paired with a glass of Mission Hill “SLC” Chardonnay 2005. The dish was very dry and didn’t taste very good. The wine did not help it much either. It was at this point I decided to make a scene by posing with my food. I got a couple of strange looks, but that was about it.



For the last course, Sarah had the tiramisu with mascarpone creme, lady finger and Kahlua. She liked the dessert because it wasn’t that sweet. However, she finished in four bites because it was very small.

Chocolate & Meringue Cake

My dessert was a chocolate cake the size of a Kit Kat, with a tablespoon of banana sorbet and lemon sauce. It was paired with a Sumac Ridge Pipe Port. I wish I could tell you what it tasted like but when something can be eaten with one bite, it’s kind of hard to remember.

After dinner, Sarah said she was still hungry. You know a restaurant didn’t do its job when the guests are still hungry after the Dine Out. Cin Cin is by the far the worst of the Dine Out restaurants we have gone to. The dishes were unbelievably small and the $41.00 wine pairing cost more than three course dinner.

Not all Dine Out Vancouver menus are an indication of the restaurant quality. Many restaurants make special menu just for Dine Out in order to meet the $35 menu price. What they make for Dine Out may not be in their regular menu. I hope this is the case with Cin Cin.

Dinner for four came to $215.00 with tips and one wine pairing. Overall, I give Cin Cin 2.5 out of five stars.

20 thoughts on “Dine Out Vancouver – Cin Cin Ristorante & Bar”

  1. That’s sad. I feel sorry that anyone would represent themselves to prospective clientèle in such a stingy and shabby manner. Sometimes when there are many courses it is best if each is small, but if you were both still hungry, it was just badly planned.
    Better luck next time, John.

  2. Jeff says:

    Wow, lower points than lot of the other stuff you had before!

    But honesty is always great. And at that price you’d expect better I suppose… too bad.

  3. why always such small portions?

  4. Soultrance says:

    Wow, I’m very surprised things didn’t turn out that well at Cin Cin. I took my wife to Cin Cin the first time she came to Vancouver before we were married and everything was fantastic. We both got the tasting menu with wine accompanyment and everything was fantastic. The portions are small, but we both left feeling comfortably full and very happy. The risotto was unbeatable, the tiramisu was the best I have ever had the the accompanying wines were delicious. The bill was just under the $350 mark, but for a fantastic night, amazing food and a life long memory, it was well worth the cost.

    I’m very sorry to hear it wasn’t good. I do, however, suggest giving them a second chance outside the dine out menu.


  5. Michael Kwan says:

    Wow, that’s disappointing that you were disappointed with CinCin. It’s supposed to be very popular among celebs.

  6. Glenn says:

    I hope you’re going to an all you can eat buffet next time.

  7. Marc says:

    Bummer, but I love the “Tada!” shot. That’s just awesome 🙂

  8. Aris says:

    You said it’s pronounced as chin-chin? Hahaha, John. Next time if you have some Japanese guests, please tell them that you want to take them to O-chinchin restaurant. 🙂

    O for honorific. The answer can be found here:


    Avoid using “chin chin” when drinking a toast,…


  9. Kiltak says:

    Most of the time, restaurants who offers “new cuisine” all serve ridiculously small portions. Even then, if the chief knows what he does, you usually leave the place with a satisfied stomach.

  10. Max says:

    First picture, woman on the right… can you hook me up?

    1. John Chow says:

      She was on a date with another guy. I never got her name.

  11. Max says:


    When I post comments on your site, my fellow editor Jane’s MyBlogLog avitar comes up, and I’m not even a member of MyBlogLog. Is this because we link to the same URL?

    1. John Chow says:

      Looks that way. The top commentator is based on the URL of the blog you want to link to. Since you and Jane are the same and only she has MyBlogLog, it uses her pic.

  12. I dunno John. It’s pretty common for wine to cost more than the meal at a good restaurant. And a small but perfectly prepared piece of food is something to relish. I don’t know if the food was good or not but complaining about the portion size and price makes you sound like you might not be that into the food experience in the first place.

    1. John Chow says:

      Oh I’m into food experiences. Cin Cin was the sixth “high end” restaurant we’ve been to in the last two weeks so I have a lot of references to draw on. We were expecting a lot but it didn’t deliver. I will chalk it up to the limitation of meeting the Dine Price requirements.

  13. Carl says:

    Can’t complain too much when you got to have dinner for FOUR people at one of the most famous restaurants in Vancouver for like $200 🙂

    Don’t forget: Dine Out is all about the BARGAIN! Eat expensive food for CHEAP! That should give it 1 extra star 😉

  14. Leftblank says:

    I’m a big fan of tiramisu, but that small portion doesn’t look like you’ll taste a lot of it – it’s gone in no-time. Still a nice looking menu/restaurant though, bit expensive 😉

  15. WallerBlog says:

    The tiramisu looks a bit disappointing. Maybe it’s just the picture, but this one looks like a cow patty with a little whipped cream on it.

    BTW there is a typo in the third to last paragraph:

    The dishes were unbelievably small and the $41.00 wire pairing cost more than three course dinner.

  16. Nomar says:

    lovely dinner, the bill is not that high compared with some of your others 😉

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