Last night I dined at a communal table with several people that I didn’t know at first, along with my friend Jordan Rogers who joined me, there was Ed Lau whom I knew from my blogging circles. As people were seated and introduced I had no idea what was about to happen next, it was the element of surprise. As dinner progressed and the table conversation enthralled, there were group conversations happening on both sides of the table, at the whole table or just a single personal chat. You learn things from your friends when sitting across from them at dinners, Jordan and I learned from each other that we are both planners, spontaneity is not something we both enjoy in our lives.
For me it was a painfully slow dining experience where the element of surprise had a spontaneous twist to it. Personally I like to know what’s ahead, I like to know the menu of the meal I am about to have especially if I am at a chefs multi course culinary adventure. Here there is no menu presented, no bread served, and no inclination to what lies ahead.
Chef Bayan whom I met for the first time last night is meticulous and a perfectionist as he leads his team of chefs in crafting each course, one plate at a time. At Dinner with Bayan it is about the element of surprise from the moment you are seated to the goings on between courses, there is a performance art element that comes into play during the meal. Need not worry about having an acting background, you are the audience the chef and the servers are the creators of this fascinating dining experience.
No doubt, I was confused as to what his theme was for the dinner, it definitely had an Asian element to it, there were squares, circles, unique flavours and ingredients, the wines were for the most part from Argentina so there was a South American focus as well. These were some of the dishes that stood out for me:
Cheese and Crackers was interesting is a great way to describe this course which was served in a cocktail glass that was filled with ice. The cheese was filled inside the pillowy crackers.
Halibut Sashimi outstanding flavours, and perfectionism at play. Thinly sliced halibut plated with creativeness.
Smoked Salmon, cream cheese and dill lolly pop was intense and unique!
Red Snapper with a spiced tomato jam with juniper berries, and it was delicious!
Chef Bayan had personally invited me to this dinner, there is an elusiveness about him and his dining adventure that comes into play. The venue for this edition was Finch & Barley Restaurant in North Vancouver. Think what it’s like to go and see a magician on stage, you are curious throughout the performance, this is Dinner by Bayan!
Dinner by Bayan takes place twice a month, usually on Monday nights at different restaurants in Vancouver or North Vancouver, the location will be advised to those reserved 3 days in advance. These dinners include a min of 9 courses and are $95 per person, add $45 per person for the wine pairings. You can reserve online for Dinner by Bayan and follow on twitter @dinnerbybayan
By: Richard Wolak