The Flying Pig (Yaletown)

The Flying Pig is one of those trendy Yaletown restaurants that has been gaining ground. The success of the Yaletown restaurant spawned its second location in Gastown. On several occasions, I hear good things from friends and those in the foodie world. This was something on my bucket list of restaurants to try. Naturally, when I got the opportunity to choose a place for staff lunch, I took advantage of the moment. Time to test the Pig’s flying ability!

Typical lunch time rush

Typical lunch time rush

Appetizers trio: Devilled Jumbo Chicken Drumettes, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Andrew’s Pulled Pork Poutine

Appetizers trio: Deviled Jumbo Chicken Drumettes ($8), Crispy Brussels Sprouts ($5), Andrew’s Pulled Pork Poutine ($6)

I feel that the choices for appetizers suffers a little especially when you got picky eaters at your table. To satisfy everyone, we ordered 3 items which were plated together.

The Jumbo Deviled chicken drumsticks were spiced with sriracha that really stayed on the tongue. The meat was at most times very moist and tender. I would not say they were jumbo sized though…
The Crispy Brussel Sprouts were very crispy and fragrant. It was sprinkled with a little parmesan. They were very delicious.
Andrew’s Pulled Pork Poutine were not too special. Our plate really needed some more pulled pork on top of the fries. The upside was the fries were exactly how I liked– cheesy!

West Coast Seafood Chowder

West Coast Seafood Chowder – $6

Many of us including myself ordered the West Coast Seafood Chowder off the fresh sheet. It came in a nice porcelain pot. Unfortunately, this appetizer was heavily criticized at my table. Everyone asked “where’s the seafood?” The chowder only had salmon and no other sea creature. In it was also potatoes, celery, chopped chives and a very small helping of bacon. Personally I found it too watery for my tastes– I had expected the chowder to be thicker and creamier. Overall, our table agreed that the chowder was mediocre. However, thank god that the chowder was not any more creamier. The sablefish aced that part instead…


Pan Seared Alaskan Sablefish  ($17)

Pan Seared Alaskan Sablefish ($17)

It was a grave mistake to order a seafood chowder as an appetizer. I had forgotten that risotto itself can be very creamy and rich. To top that off, the the risotto was placed on top of a chive butter cream. This entree was incredibly heavy and “saucy”. Food coma ensued after a few bites.

The Alaskan Sablefish itself was cooked to perfection. It was buttery and extremely tender as it should be. Below it is the sweet pea and carrot risotto which often overwhelmed the sablefish if eaten together. The risotto was beautifully crafted mush– creamy, mush that tasted mainly like peas. It had a nice consistent and fluid texture. Mixing it with the chive butter underneath made it ultimately too rich and “saucy” as my coworkers put it.

Mussels and Claims with Matchstick Fries

Mussels and Clams with Matchstick Fries ($15)

Another item off the fresh sheet was Mussels and Clams. It was a widely overlooked item that proved to be the most visually enticing as many of us munched on creamy sablefish. The seafood was fresh and delicious however, when it came to the fries, there was some difficulty. It looked awkward to pick up each fry by hand or with a fork. Since they resembled noodles, we joked that chopsticks would be best.

Rocket & Watercress Beetroot Salad ($8)

Rocket & Watercress Beetroot Salad ($8)

Braised Beef Shortrib Jumbo Macaroni

Braised Beef Shortrib Jumbo Macaroni ($14)

When we first entered the restaurant, it was packed with other diners. Reservations are a must for lunch. Despite the lively and vibrant environment, there was a sense of dissatisfaction. Dishes tasted great and looked visually attractive. However, after getting past looks, there was a clear lack of lingering excitement after finishing our meals. In a nutshell, there was nothing extraordinary. The Crispy Brussel Sprouts were a hit among diners. The most ordered item, the sablefish, would have been much better had the kitchen revised its overall richness. Most of us were sent into food comas afterwards.

Would I go again? Perhaps not for lunch. The dinner menu offers many of the same items but prepared differently (with additions).

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