Teahouse – Dinner with a View

 

Located in Vancouver’s famed Stanley Park, the Teahouse Restaurant, est. 1978, was originally built as a garrison and officer’s mess during World War II, when Ferguson Point was a military installation. The present owner renovated it and opened it as the Teahouse Restaurant in 1978. Sitting along the edge of the park, with a prime view of the water, Teahouse is eclectic, to say the least. There’s the main center space, clearly built during the war, gazebos with walls of windows anchoring each side, and a small bar. If you’re so inclined, they also offer patio seating with heat lamps, for those summer days and nights.

The Teahouse offers a spectacular dining experience, with exceptional service and food. Warm housemade ciabatta bread was graciously offered to start our meal, along with a choice of still or sparkling water, and we couldn’t help but admire the view from our window table. As we perused the lengthy menu highlighting fresh, local produce and seafood, we sipped on a few of their featured cocktails, all made with fresh pressed juices. The Cucumber smash (Hendrick’s Gin, muddled cucumber, elderflower syrup, lemon, and lime juice) was light, refreshing, and surprisingly strong! The Hendrick’s gin really shined here, while the fresh juices and cucumber lightened up this cocktail. The Blueberry mojito (Stoli blueberry vodka, Havana dark rum, simple syrup, mint, and blueberries) was a fun twist on the classic, and beautiful to look at to boot. Lastly, the Grapefruit bourbon sour (Jim Beam bourbon, grapefruit liqueur, Cointreau, grapefruit, and lemon juice) was our favorite, as the sourness really married well with the bourbon. To accompany the various cocktails, we started with the Antipasti Tasting board (hummus, marinated artichokes, marinated seasonal vegetables, pesto bocconcini, warm naan). The board was beautifully presented, with an array of delectable vegetables and accompaniments. The marinated artichokes had an unexpected, yet delightful curry flavor, and the pickled olives were a nice contrast to the creamy hummus. The antipasti was packed with mushrooms, onions, green beans, and peppers in a thick tangy tomato sauce. Everything was offset by a sweet balsamic reduction to cut through the vinegar.

Photos by: foodolish.com

We rounded out appetizers with chilled prawn cocktail (housemade cocktail sauce) and Teahouse stuffed mushrooms (crab, shrimp, and cream cheese). The large prawns were fresh, firm, crunch, and the cocktail sauce had a nice tang and a slight kick from horseradish. A classic starter and Teahouse does it well. Meanwhile, the mushrooms have been on the menu since the restaurant opened and we can see why. Garnished with fresh arugula and balsamic, these weren’t much to look at, but they packed a huge flavor. The crab, shrimp, and cream cheese mixture was creamy and flavorful, while the arugula helped cut through some of the richness. We didn’t get a lot of crab or shrimp in the mixture, but the addition of arugula and balsamic, along with the cheese, was fantastic. If anything, we would’ve enjoyed more arugula on this dish. We definitely recommend sharing this starter, as it’s on the heavier side. The Burrata caprese (tomato, white balsamic glaze, herb oil, Himalayan pink salt, and basil) arrived with thick slices of heirloom tomatoes topped with soft burrata, basil chiffonade, and drizzled with an herb oil and white balsamic glaze. The burrata was so soft, it was basically falling apart. This salad just screamed summer, with juicy tomatoes. The soft burrata basically melted over them, so each bite was fresh and creamy.

For entrees, we selected the BC Albacore tuna (sesame crusted, soy mustard vinaigrette, tobiko, market vegetables) and 10oz Prime New York steak (seasonal vegetables, roasted potatoes, roasted roma tomato, housemade three peppercorn sauce). The hallmark of well-prepared tuna is that the center remains rare, while the exterior is seared, and Teahouse does this perfectly. The sesame crust was great, and the soy mustard vinaigrette really tied the dish together. The addition of tobiko also added a nice briny/saltiness to the dish. While we enjoyed this dish, we were a bit confused by the pickled ginger and wasabi, as it wasn’t really needed. Prime cuts are typically reserved for high-end steakhouses, but Teahouse serves a Prime New York, served with roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables. In our case, broccolini and zucchini, with peppercorn sauce on the side. The steak was cooked a nice medium rare and seasoned incredibly well. Without the addition of the peppercorn sauce, the steak was fantastic, but the addition of the sauce elevated the steak to another level. Prime steak is literally a cut above the rest. For all you steak-lovers out there, we thought this rivaled a steak from any high-end steakhouse and would definitely eat this again.

As if we hadn’t eaten enough at this point, we couldn’t leave without having dessert (and dessert wine), particularly when they’re all housemade! Chocolate lovers rejoice! The Chocolate Milano Cake (light, triple chocolate mousse, almond wafer crust) was light as air, with layers of light and dark chocolate, mascarpone, and a delicate almond wafer crust. The NY style White Chocolate Cheesecake (graham crust, cherry compote) was creamy, not super dense, and had just the right amount of sweetness. The sour cherry compote added some dimension and we found this to be a solid rendition of cheesecake. The Lemon Tart (candied lemon) was tart with fresh lemon flavor. The curd just barely came together and the crust was great, as it didn’t fall victim to being too soft or overly crumbly. Made with Tahitian vanilla beans, the Crème Brulee (vanilla bean) arrived with a crisp caramelized sugar crust, that wasn’t overly burnt. The brulee itself was light and creamy with flecks of real Tahitian vanilla beans. We ended our meal with Mission Hill Riesling Icewine VQA. For the uninitiated, ice wine is a dessert wine made with grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The Mission Hill Reisling version was sweet, with a syrupy consistency and flavor notes of apple, apricot, and honey.

Overall, Teahouse exceeded any expectations we had. Though the location in Stanley Park might give you pause as a tourist destination, the restaurant is anything but. It’s quaint, unique, and equally great for date night, a light lunch, or any special occasion. Service is top notch, and you’ll leave feeling well-fed and well taken care of. If you’re looking for an exceptional dining experience with fresh, seasonal West Coast cuisine, we highly recommend Teahouse. Enjoy the breathtaking views and experience a long sunset if you time your visit right.

Teahouse | Ferguson Point, Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2 | Open 7 days a week

Jonelle

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