Tuesday, May 31, 2011

VANCOUVER SLOP: HIDDEN



Hidden, the latest reincarnation of the Westin Grand's restaurant, is a concept that works in context: a hotel restaurant that offers its guests all the familiarity of comfort food, but with enough tweaks to remind you that you're not in Kansas anymore.

The restaurant, aptly named considering its near non-existent street presence, obviously isn't the first to offer a "unique take on comfort food," now a generic modus operandi that means little to anyone.  The menu is divvied up into categories like "Earth," "Land," and "Sea" (the first two, while confusing, are meant to separate vegetarian options from the meat options), and features Hidden's take on classic chain-restaurant fare.

The most notable is the chicken and waffles ($12; picture above). The former is a buttermilk battered and fried chicken breast, served atop the latter, a savory cheddar waffle, with a watermelon relish to accompany.  There's not too many places that offer chicken and waffles in town, and so any entry - tweaked or not - is welcome.  Hidden's version is crisp and miraculously light, with the watermelon relish giving the whole plate a clean finish.


The other dishes aren't quite as successful.  The lobster poutine ($10) is really a bowl of enormously cut potato wedges, hollandaise sauce, some melted cheese curds and a couple chunks of lobster sitting atop, all of it an awkward marriage.  A bay scallop mac and cheese ($15) comes with the mac in one bowl and the scallops, served with a raisin and onion relish, on the side, without a clear connection between the two (the server observed that most people end up eating them separately).  Neither are interesting on their own, but mix them together and you've got a curiosity.


It seems that no restaurant of this sort is comfortable these days without offering sliders of some sort.  Hidden has decided not to do much out of the ordinary with their's ($13), except, perhaps, for serving it on an overly dry brioche bun.

What's the attraction then?  For $15, you can try any two items (albeit in reduced portion sizes) on the menu for lunch.  Coupled that with a much more quiet venue, with hotel level service, and Hidden's got most chain restaurants beat.  It's for those wanting something familiar...even in their quirks.

Joe.

Hidden Tasting at the Westin Grand
433 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 647-2521
the clutterer Web Developer

7 comments:

  1. Wow...you're the person I have ever heard who was not bowled over by the lobster poutine!

    You are right on the money about the fried chicken on cheddar waffle with watermelong relish--it's awesome!

    Another dish to try that's great--bacon wrapped striploin!

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  2. The lobster poutine is a must-have when going to Hidden! The combination of the sauce, melted cheese, and chunks of lobster on the potato is amazing!

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  3. I dunno guys, that Lobster Poutine just looks like a gelatinous ball of nasty. I'll stick with my $6 belgian fries.

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  4. Omg did you even taste the lobster poutine?? It's AMAZING!!! Everything we ate was wonderful as was the service.

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