Are You Sure There’s a Restaurant Here?
The Cannery is located on the Vancouver docks, which seems appropriate but it’s the only retail establishment on the docks – everything else are shipping container companies that moves the millions of products going in and out of Vancouver’s port.
To get to the Cannery, you need to go through a port security checkpoint. If you have a port pass, you just swipe it and the gate opens. If you don’t have a port pass, you push the help button and a voice comes on asking, “Where you headed?” Tell them you’re headed to the Cannery and they’ll open the gates without confirming or asking any more questions. Now you know what to do if you wish to break into Vancouver’s “secured” port.
The Cannery would make a very interesting first date restaurant. Because of its unique location, your date may start to feel a bit uncomfortable as you drive along the miles of containers warehouses and real canneries. If she has never heard of the Cannery restaurant she would be thinking, “Is this guy taking me to a restaurant or is he going to put in a container and ship me off to Japan to be a sex slave?”
The above is a photo of the Cannery’s next-door neighbor. I was expecting some mobster to come out and ask if I was in the union or something. The Cannery is on the waterfront – it’s actually on the water. Forty-six pilings were driven into the ocean floor to create the foundation of the restaurant. The view is actually very good. You can see the Lion’s Gate bridge and North Vancouver across the harbor. You just have to ignore the big container ships being loaded and unloaded.
Oven Baked Ling Cod
My cod starter dish was served cold on watercress lemon creme fraiche, roasted cherry tomatoes and frisee lettuce. It was paired with a glass of Sandhill Sauvignon Blanc. I really like this dish. I think it would have been equally good if it was served hot but having it cold gave it a refreshing salad like feel, which is what you want for an opener.
Roasted Fennel & Celery Cream Soup
Sarah had the Roasted Fennel & Celery Cream Soup accented with smoked Queen Charlotte sable fish. I could taste the fennel and I could definitely taste the celery but the sable fish seemed to be missing. It was still a good opener but not as good as the Ling Cod.
Grilled Swordfish Filet
Now this is how you serve Swordfish. Grilled to perfection and brushed with chipotle pepper and cornmeal over creamy cilantro corn cream sauce.
Grilled Pacific Salmon
For the main course, I ordered the salmon with sauteed Portobello mushroom and tiger prawns, chive and basil bell pepper coulis. The dish was paired with a glass of Gehringer Brothers Pinor Noir. Red wine with fish is generally a no-no but a Pinor Noir works with salmon. The dish was very tasty but it wasn’t as good as the salmon I had at Riancity Grill.
Belgium Chocolate Tower
This dessert looks almost too good to eat. You can tell just from looking it that it was going to be sweet, and it was! I decided to pair the dessert with coffee instead wine because I wasn’t that impressed with the wine pairing for the starter and main.
Passion Fruit Cheesecake
Sarah’s cheesecake was served on a meli-melo coulis. Mixing cheesecake with passion fruit wouldn’t have crossed my mind but Sarah enjoyed it because it wasn’t as sweet as my Belgium chocolate tower.
The service at the Cannery was really fast for the starter and main – just 10 minutes apart. Then they realized they were going excessively fast for a fine dining menu and took their sweet ass time getting us the dessert. We enjoy that time by looking out into the water and watching the containers being loaded onto a freighter.
Overall, I give the Cannery 3.5 out of five stars. If you’re a single guy living in Vancouver, I highly recommend you take a new date to the Cannery. Don’t tell her where you’re going and watch her reaction as you drive into the docks. If she asks, “Are you sure there’s a restaurant here?” Give her an evil smile. 😀