Archer Restaurant – I’m 30…days…

Archer restaurant is a new restaurant in downtown Vancouver, BC. While many new restaurants choose to open outside the core for lower rent, Archer is right in the middle of the shopping district which is a nice, and convenient feature of the restaurant.

As the recently released Michelin guide shows, the Vancouver food scene is constantly getting better, and is such an improvement over just a few years ago. I think the guide will only do good for the city, improving service, quality and tourism. I will post about my thoughts about the awards in a later post, although I was able to predict about 50% of the results, and I was pleased to see that 75% of the restaurants I mentioned were included in the guide.

I remember coming back from San Sebastian in Spain about 10 years ago craving for a good tasting menu in Vancouver only to find one. Now they are common throughout the city. Same goes for sushi. Omakase was almost unheard of just a few years ago, although there was an abundance of places selling California rolls and everyday, although pretty good, sushi.

Anyway, back to Archer. Here was the menu for the evening:

We started with the smoked oysters which were nicely presented with some theatrics.

The smoke was faint and well incorporated, the texture from the onion was a nice thought and there was a nice balance of umami, acidity, and tastes of the sea. A nice bite. Next, the the chicken pate presented as mille feuille.

Although the brioche was prepared well, I wanted more pate both in quantity and flavor. For mains, we started with the crab gnocchi. This was an interesting preparation although I could not detect certain elements listed on the menu in the dish such as: tobiko, snow crab, and tuna. The taste was fine.

The meat we ordered was the duck breast. This, and the oysters, were my favorite dish.

The duck was moist and cooked well. The seasoning and 5 spice was perfect and delicious. The potato pave and leek hay were a good pairing and tasty and finally, the sauce was well executed and very flavorful.

For dessert, the flaming cheesecake which was very nicely plated but just ok in taste.

Overall, the food was good though some dishes can be improved. Plating was sometimes beautiful and elegant and sometimes lacked refinement. Service is where the most improvement can be made. It was neither good nor bad but slow at times. Server did not seem too passionate about anything. I would probably go back in a few months as they are only 30 days old.

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