Open since 2013, Ten Ten Tapas is located on Beach Ave under the Burrard Bridge. Their seawall location although a bit tricky to find ( their address is 1010 Beach, but they’re located right below Beach, on the seawall) is ideal for a romantic dinner or a special occasion.
Their menu includes a series of west-coast inspired shared plates, and they even offer wine-pairing dinners and live music. New on the menu this month is their latest enterprise: murder.
that’s right, starting in December, Ten Ten Tapas has hired a team of professional actors to run monthly Murder Mystery Dinners.
Which is where I found myself last Thursday. The price tag includes four courses.
We had three choices for the first course: Asparagus Green Pea Puree with truffle and creme fraiche (which I chose) – Asparagus is such a mild flavour, which was paired well with the pea puree. The creme fraiche gave the combo a slight tangy flavour and thickened the consistency for a satisfying experience.
Other choices included the Sea-2-Sky Beet Salad with balsamic pickled beets, fresh mozzarella, vine ripened tomatoes and baby greens in a balsamic reduction. My dining companion’s feedback was that the combination of pickled beets and balsamic reduction was too much vinegar for the palate. The salad may have been better with fresh beets. And finally, a Baby Romaine Salad – romaine hearts with vine-ripened tomatoes, marinated olives and feta cheese in a citrus roasted garlic anchovy vinaigrette.
For our second course, we had three choices: The Creamy Minted Green Pea Risotto with Grana Padano Cheese ( which I kick myself for not getting, I only had a taste, but it was SO good!). The Cajun Calamari Pan-Seared with Mango Chickpea Salsa and House made Tzatziki. I was told by my dining companion that the calamari, although perfectly cooked, was saturated with Cajun spice, making it too salty to enjoy fully.
I chose the Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio with shaved Parmesan and truffle oil. Ok, now here’s the tricky part: I was expecting the dish to be served with baby greens, which would’ve made a good pairing. I took a bite and was surprised by a taste that I wasn’t familiar with? The more I tried it, the more overwhelming the flavour became. I knew it wasn’t baby greens, it was some sort of herb. After passing the herb around my table, one of my dining companions accurately identified it as Lemon Balm. Lemon Balm in small batches can be quite tasty and even enhance the flavour of a dish, but not when an unsuspecting guest puts a bunch of it in their mouth.
Our third course choices included the following:
Prosciutto-Wrapped Red Snapper with Citrus Green Pea Risotto, Asparagus and Freshly-Grated Padano Cheese – I totally had dish envy, the fish came beautifully plated and was tender and flaky. The risotto was perfect. Another dish that looked amazing was the Slow-Braised Boneless Beef Short Ribs with Citrus Broccolini, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Artichoke Ratatouille. Oh, it smelled heavenly, and I was told it tasted heavenly as well.
I chose the Eggplant Pomodoro Terrine with Goat and Feta Cheese and Grana Padano. This hearty dish was an excellent choice for a cold winter’s night. Thick and wholesome. The portion was very generous as well. There was also a Cornish Game Hen dish, but I didn’t have a chance to see it or sample it.
Finally, the dessert course arrived. Our choices included:
Chocolate Torte with Maple Mascarpone, Creme Brulee and Sticky Toffee Pudding. My pudding was thicker than I expected, making it more like a cake.. A little more toffee sauce would’ve been nice. The Creme Brulee although perfectly caramelized on top, was a tad runny on the inside (it would fall off the spoon, which is not what you want creme brulee to do). The Chocolate Torte looked delicious, but alas I didn’t have a chance to try it.
Overall? This was a long dinner. We were seated at 7pm and we didn’t leave until almost 11pm. Some of the dishes were a miss for me, but it could be the fact that the place was packed and it was a set menu. I will come back to Ten Ten Tapas and do a more through review of their fresh sheet. I’ve heard they have an amazing wine list and I look forward to checking it out.
I was joined by Mark Robins of Vancouver Presents! Mark is a well respected theatre critic here in Vancouver. We decided that we will combine reviews to give our readers a full account of our experience. He’d write about the theatre part, and I would write about the food. You can read what he thought of the Murder Mystery part of the evening here.
The next Murder Mystery Dinner at Ten Ten Tapas is on January 14 and February 11. Visit http://www.tententapas.com for tickets and information.