The GOODS from Pidgin
Vancouver, BC | PiDGiN has caught its breath and is ready to change the channel to our kitchen and bar. We feel it’s time to talk about food and drink and less about politics. We are introducing a series of prix fixe menus to be shared in pairs starting at $35.00 per guest. Enjoy up to 10 dishes with a friend / a cousin / a lover and experience a balanced tasting of what PiDGiN is about. We will be offering flights of soju, sake, or 2 cocktails with our prix fixe selections for a $20.00 supplement per guest.
We are also debuting a late-night menu for those in the neighbourhood who crave our (soon-to-be) famous chicken wings while savouring a feature drink from our bar. This menu will feature some night owl-exclusive items as well as a selection of dishes from our daily sheet. PiDGiN is currently open until midnight (with plans to extend our hours) for your late-night dining and thirst quenching needs. Read more
You’ve likely heard plenty about PiDGiN, the new restaurant in Gastown, but you probably haven’t seen its interiors being built before your eyes. Here’s a time-lapse look at its construction. If you look closely and pause it at :59, you can see co-owner Brandon Grossutti sleeping at Table #30 (on the banquette) on the night before the restaurant’s 6am liquor inspection.
by Andrew Morrison | As many of our regular readers are well aware, the recently opened PiDGiN restaurant on Carrall has seen its entrance picketed nightly by protestors who view the eatery is an unwanted agent of gentrification on the Downtown Eastside. There’s been an active, oft-emotional and occasionally bizarre conversation about it in one of our comment threads. The restaurant has stayed mum on the protests until a little over an hour ago, when the following statement was released:
First and foremost PiDGiN is about food and dining experience; we have worked tirelessly to create something that all Vancouverites can be proud to call their own. Our focus on food, bar, service and design will contribute to an already thriving reputation as an international destination for great hospitality and culinary exploits. That said, we are intimately aware of where we call home and all the responsibility that comes with. PiDGiN is by definition a bridging of language and culture and our location is not haphazard; we are opening in the most diverse and interesting part of the city and that’s why we are here.
Over the course of the last 7 months of building PiDGiN we have supported and created a dialogue to integrate ourselves within the community. It has been our mandate since inception to introduce programs that will contribute and support the great efforts made within the DTES. We are implementing donation programs which all proceeds will go to charities that will be crowd-source picked by our patrons and residents of the DTES as well as creating food programs for residents of the DTES. During the build process we worked with groups in the neighbourhood, including The Window and Beauty Night, we also gave work to those that asked on the construction site as well as outside. Upon opening we have employed 2 DTES residents, local recycling, window washing, Blue Shell for linens and interior cleaning and will continue to hire within the neighbourhood wherever we can.
When choosing this location we knew that there would be a stark contrast between what is outside and inside. Rather than this being viewed as a negative we believe it starts a conversation, one that is overdue. Our patrons come from the DTES and all over the city, some of which have never taken a step in Pigeon Park. This venue is on the divide between the east and west of the city and can serve as an opportunity to bring a more integrated community, where we can better understand each other’s viewpoints and struggles.
Despite the fact that the protestors have chosen to confront this business, we all agree, there absolutely needs to be more dignified housing and services for low income residents of the DTES, our inability to help those most in need in our society is a horrid reflection of the lack of progress by all levels of government. Rather than us being divided in our fight to help those in need, we welcome a dialogue with them and other community leaders to focus our collective strength on the real problems facing the DTES, not on a small business trying to be socially responsible.
Take it as you will. My view on the restaurant – which remains unchanged – is here.
by Andrew Morrison | One of Canada’s culinary giants, Makoto Ono, has secured two side-by-side locations just off Hastings on Carrall Street in Gastown with plans to open a new restaurant before Christmas.
Ono, you might remember, was the first to win gold at the Canadian Culinary Championships back in 2007. He’s been on the ascendancy ever since, opening the eponymous “Makoto” in Beijing and the celebrated “Liberty Private Works” in Hong Kong.
He returned from China last year to guest chef at his father’s famed restaurant, Edohei, in Winnipeg. The revered sushi establishment closed in late February (Sadao retired), which freed Makato up for this project. There was some speculation that Makoto would head to Toronto, but lucky for us, he decided to return to Vancouver instead, where he went to culinary school and where his girlfriend works as a pastry chef.
I suspect that Pidgin, as the new restaurant is called, will be something of a summation of Ono’s career to date. The concept will see a hybrid of Japanese and French cuisine with a thread of Korean weaving throughout. The name alludes to the expression of that combination, and to Pigeon Park, which is right across the street.
The menu will offer share plates, from small to very large, priced from $10 to $25 per. The wine and cocktail program will be buttressed by a healthy supply of sake, baekseju and even soju, all designed to wrap neatly around the food conept. They keenly aware that Gastown is very much a cocktail-forward neighbourhood, and I suspect they’ll be putting a little skin in the game. I’m told that they haven’t hired a bar manager yet, so get your CV ready.
The project has been evolving since March, and plans for the redeveloped addresses of 350/356 Carrall (combining for some 1808 sqft) have already been submitted to the City. What they envision is a stylish 66 seater with a 10 seat bar. They’re also considering doing a chef’s table (which I wholeheartedly encourage them to do).
I’ll be writing a little bit more in the paper next week, so I’ll leave it at that for now, except to say that Craig Stanghetta is locked in for the design, so it’s pretty much guaranteed to be an exceptionally pretty space (if you are unfamiliar with Stanghetta’s work, read an interview with him here, have a coffee at Revolver, a drink at Bao Bei, and then bites at Farina and Meat & Bread).