We were given a certificate to celebrate my birthday at the Five Sails and so we did. We were placed at a table beside the window which overlooked the water, the newer part of the Convention Trade Center with the living room. The water view is beautiful indeed.
We each started with an appetizer--steak tartare with 4 half prawns placed on homemade potato chips while my grown son had the veal sweetbreads with gnocchi. My steak tartare also came with brioche toast which was NOT crispy enough as it was too soft for my taste. The steak tartare lacked "oomph" so it was just okay. The cut up prawns were tasty but a little on the salty side so it actually balanced out the somewhat blandness of the steak tartare, imho.
As for my son's veal sweetbreads, it was fried quite crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. We have had better home made gnocchi so it was just okay but the cream sauce was very tasty.
We each had a few cocktails to start; the drinks were refreshing but i couldn't really taste the alcohol at all so it was somewhat watered down.
For our mains, we had the roast duck with a piece of pan fried foie gras and the dover sole. The duck was a breast that tasted very Asian--smoked tea flavored. It was done quite nicely if you like that flavor and of course, the slice of foie gras was done to perfection. My dover sole was a bit of a disappointment and perhaps it was the brown butterl sauce that came with it. The fish did not have much taste but it was too salty for my taste. I have to say that the entire fish was deboned and it came with some fresh vegetables.
For dessert, the lemon souffle was made to perfection while my Opera slice was good but not worth the $12 or $13 for such a very small piece. The restaurant remembered that it was my birthday so they came out with another little piece of the Opera cake for me.
The best part of the meal was NOT the food but it was our server, JASON! The service he offered was exceptional and totally that of a 5 star restaurant. He was very knowledgeable with the wine and drink list and he was exceptionally personable and warm. There was no pretense arrogance and snootiness to his service at all. Jason, thank you so much for your exceptionally fantastic service!
In all, I think there are many other restaurants in Vancouver with better food but it is the view that you are paying for at the Five Sails. The food here is good but not worth the value and the prices that are charged, and so for this reason, i can only give it a 4 star.
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