As much as I love Japanese cuisine, every now and then I enjoy trying out cuisines from other cultures, and what better city is there in the world other than Vancouver to do so? As a proud Canadian, I decided to visit the semi-new Nightingale Restaurant, which is a sister restaurant of Hawksworth.
When my friend and I got seated, we told the waitress that it was our first time here, so she broke down the menu for us by saying that most people tend to order a couple of dishes to share, as opposed to one dish each. She said for 2 people, 2 small dishes and 1 large dish would be ideal. We decided to order:
- Kale Salad ($16) with charred corn, ricotta salata, bread crumbs, ‘green goddess’ dressing
- Oven roasted cauliflower, sunflower seed, green hariss ($12)
- Pizza: San marzano, buffalo mozzarella, basil, olive oil ($15)
Although the pizza was not very special, it may have been because we got the most basic one there is. They have a bunch of more unique pizza options that I’m sure are fantastic. The highlight for me was the Kale Salad. It was so refreshing and light, yet is easily able to fill you up if you eat the whole dish on your own. The flavours compliment each other nicely, and although I’m not a vegetarian, it didn’t make me miss meat in this meal. The oven roasted cauliflower was also very different compared to your average roasted cauliflower. The seasoning was perfect and the green hariss on top made for a nice, healthy, creamy sauce.
In terms of service it was also a great experience. They offer three different kinds of water (sparkling, still, and tap). My friend and I asked for sparkling and still, and we were given two huge bottles to share. I love when I get to keep the whole pitcher/bottle of water at my table instead of waiting for the waiter to come pour it for me every time. The only downside to Nightingale was that it is extremely loud inside. You would think you’re at a sports bar. Because of the high ceilings, everything echoes. It’s very difficult to hear the person you’re with – even as two people. As beautiful as the place is, and as unique as the food is, I do not recommend it for a date with someone new or a get together with a large group of friends.
Verdict: Try it out for a unique Canadian cuisine experience! Go with 1-2 people at the most so you can hear each other easier than with a large group. Ask if you can sit in the upstairs seating area if you can, it’s definitely prettier and vibey in comparison to the main floor. Also don’t forget to try the Kale Salad – you’ll thank me later.