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Located in the Pan Pacific hotel in Vancouver, Five Sails is my family’s go-to restaurant for special occasions. So it’s no surprise that I had to take Mike here when we were visiting Vancouver.

Amuse bouche - smoked salmon and trout & sablefish soup

I love the atmosphere here. The space is very intimate and quiet – perfect for a romantic dinner. It also has a gorgeous view overlooking the water. On this visit, the owner greeted us at the door and seated us in one of the large circular booths. She’s incredibly personable and you can tell she really cares about her customers’ experiences.

Shortly after ordering, we were served with an amuse bouche  – smoked salmon and trout & sablefish soup. The smoked salmon was a tasty little bite that had a very strong dill flavour. I enjoyed it, but Mike found the dill to be a little too overpowering. The sablefish (aka black cod) soup was delicious. It was so good I almost considered ordering a soup to start.

Foie Gras Yin and Yang

However, I love the foie gras dish at Five Sails, so I had to order the Foie Gras Yin and Yang – chilled: torchon with verjus gelée & gold leaf; pan seared: caramelized seasonal fruit with a port wine reduction served with toasted brioche ($24). With a hot and cold foie gras dish, you get the best of both worlds. The chilled portion was smooth and buttery and was a nice contrast to the perfectly seared foie gras. My favourite starter certainly didn’t disappoint.

Mike went with the “Prime” Beef Tartare & Warm, Sweet Wild Prawns – topped with sturgeon caviar with potato gaufrettes ($18). The portion wasn’t as large as I had seen at some other restaurants like Auberge du Pommier, but it was the perfect size for a starter. The tartare was delicious and the caviar added that extra bit of seasoning to the dish. The prawns were well cooked and were tasty, but I found it to be unnecessary to the dish. I also wished they had provided a few more of the potato graufette’s to eat with the tartar.

"Prime” Beef Tartare & Warm, Sweet Wild Prawns

For my main, I ordered the Roasted Breast of Fraser Valley Duck – with a spiced red wine sauce, celeriac puree & caramelized salsify, pont neuf potatoes prepared in duck fat ($37). The duck simply blew me away. Easily one of the best duck dishes I have ever eaten. The duck was perfectly cooked – still pink in the middle and incredibly moist. The red wine sauce was subtle in flavour which let the natural flavour of the meat shine.

The duck was served with “pont neuf potatoes” which are simply thick-cut fries. I didn’t think they were anything special, but then again, after the duck everything just paled in comparison.

Roasted Breast of Fraser Valley Duck

Since Mike was keen on getting as much seafood out of Vancouver as possible during our visit, he went with the Catch! – ½ butter poached Atlantic lobster, caramelized Digby U 10 scallop, wild Pacific prawn & fresh catch of the day in a lobster emulsion ($38). The Catch was definitely the best of everything combined into one dish. The catch of the day was the halibut, which was certainly fresh, firm and delicious. Each of the individual items were perfectly cooked and the lobster emulsion, which there really wasn’t very much of, just added an extra bit of oomph to the seafood. Despite the lack of the emulsion, the seafood really spoke for itself. Simply delicious!

We wanted to end the meal with something sweet, so we decided on the Chocolate Ahhh! – Smooth chocolate parfait with mango sorbet ($13). The presentation of this was beautiful. The sorbet was sandwiched in the parfait and the entire dessert was topped with a decorative piece of sugar.

The Catch!

Thankfully its presentation wasn’t the only thing it had going for it. I loved the combination of the smooth chocolate mousse with the cold, slightly tart mango sorbet. When I saw that they served Illy coffee ($4.75), I couldn’t resist getting some to go with my dessert.  It was the perfect way to end the meal.

When the bill came, we were also served with some chocolate and house-made cassis jellies, which were a nice touch. Overall, I had a fantastic experience like I do every time I come here. The food is always delicious, the service is always top-notch and the view from the restaurant is just the cherry on top. Highly recommended for a romantic meal in Vancouver!

Chocolate Ahhh!

At a glance:

  • Consistently delicious food and top-notch service
  • Located in the Pan Pacific hotel
  • Great view, recommended for a romantic meal
  • Ratings (out of 5):

  • Food: 4.5 stars
  • Service: 5 stars
  • Atmosphere: 5 stars
  • Five Sails on Urbanspoon

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