Cin Cin: review
We had a business dinner at Cin Cin in downtown Vancouver, BC (would not have been my first choice, based on other Chowhounders' opinions) last night. I had the opportunity to sample various dishes-- some were good, some were mediocre and some downright awful. First, I would like to say that the wine list is spectacular. There is a fantastic list spanning many great wines of the world. Our server was knowledgeable about the wines and all preparations of the dishes (surprisingly, that doesn't happen all the time). We were a large group, and all plates came out simultaneously, and hot, as is to be expected (but again, does not always happen).
We tried the antipasti misti-- it was a nice plate of mixed apps, no fault there. We also had the beef carpaccio with sliced matsutake (?) mushrooms and roasted pine nuts. It was merely ok, really lacking in flavor.I had to request a bit of lemon to liven it up. I also sampled the albacore crudo, again nothing special. Main courses that I tried were the halibut-- it was rich, and very well prepared. I ordered the "Alberta Beef tenderloin" with chanterelles, a shallot confit and a jus, on some type of mashed potato mound. There were 3 tiny chanterelles sprinkled on the plate, and basically no sauce for the beef. It was perfectly cooked-- rare-- as I had ordered it, but really could have used a bit of sauce to bring out the flavor. My husband ordered the Sablefish (black cod) with Manila Clams, beans and chorizo. The clams were SO far gone, they were mealy and soft, and had a rank, fishy flavor and odor. The dish was totally inedible, and was honestly wondering if he was going to end up in the hospital later that night with food poisoning. It took ages for the bus-people to clear the plates after every course, and we were left looking at the remnants of our meal for quite some time. The restaurant was also uncomfortably hot and stuffy.
This is a quite expensive place, and there were highlights to the meal, but I witnessed many transgressions, and would not go there again. Plus, one thing that really irks me (especially in fine restaurants) is the presence of spelling errors on the menu. I mean, really-- food is your game here-- please take the time to check the proper spelling of the ingredients. It highlights some amateur moves that shouldn't be present in a restaurant that purports to be of such high quality.