Review: Dine Out Vancouver at Pinkys Steakhouse

by gigi on January 21, 2009

Update May 7, 2009: I just found out that Pinkys closed earlier this year. I guess it must have happened shortly after our Dine Out experience! :(

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It’s Dine Out season again and this year, Jenkins and I ventured to Pinkys Steakhouse with a group of friends. Pinkys opened in Yaletown sometime last year and I was never sure if I should go because I thought that since it belonged to the Browns Restaurant Group, it was just another one of your semi-upscale chain restaurants. The menu looked quite good though and even though we were unsure of Pinkys No Reservations policy for Dine Out, we decided to give it a try.

After we placed our orders, we were presented with a basket of warm mini sour dough rolls. Although they did not have a very sour taste to them, they were still quite tasty. I always enjoy it when restaurants make the effort of serving warm rolls and they went perfectly with the whipped butter that accompanied them.

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For my appetizer, I decided to go with the french onion soup. It was made differently from the traditional version in that the crouton and cheese was not baked in with the soup itself. I found the soup to be on the oily side but had a nice onion flavour and was not too salty. The flavours of this dish worked the best when the crouton was dipped into the soup. It softened up the crunchy crouton somewhat and also melted the cheese.

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Jenkins opted for the Caesar salad. It sounded boring on the menu so that was why I didn’t order it but after the dish was served, I quickly realized that he had made the better choice. The salad was actually quite large and the creamy, garlicky dressing was accompanied by shaved parmesan and fresh bacon bits.

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For the main dish, I chose the 7 oz sterling silver sirloin. I was pleasantly surprised when I was told that the steak came with a choice of sides, including a baked potato, fettucini alfredo, or tomato basil linguine. The tomato linguine sounded the healthiest to me so that was my choice. The steak also satisfied my junk food craving because it came served with three onion rings as well.

My rare steak was very moist, juicy and flavourful. It was cooked perfectly and didn’t seem to have any additional seasoning other than salt and pepper, allowing the full flavour of the steak to come out. The linguine was also cooked al dente and went great with the fresh flavour of the tomato sauce. My only complaint about the linguine was that I wished there was more basil. :) The onion rings were also very tasty; they were crispy but not oily at all.

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Jenkins picked the potato-crusted halibut. I am generally wary of ordering halibut in restaurants because I’m always afraid that it will not be cooked to my liking i.e. it is overcooked. When I poked my fork into Jenkins’ halibut for a taste test, the crispy outside gave way to a moist inside. The halibut was cooked just right and was very tender. It went perfectly with a creamy lemon sauce. I also liked the small side of rice, which was flavoured with saffron and a light curry. The rice had almost the same texture as sticky rice, which I quite enjoyed. Although I enjoyed my dish quite a bit, I would have also been happy with Jenkins’ choice. :)

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For dessert, I originally chose the chocolate chip ice cream but since they ran out earlier in the dinner service, they gave me some chocolate chip pecan pie instead. Dessert definitely did not seem to be Pinkys’ strong point. Although the pecan and chocolate chip filling was not bad, it was very ordinary tasting and the pie crust was very dry and was too thick. I did enjoy how the filling was not overly sweet though.

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Jenkins picked the tiramisu. It had a very light and airy texture but I found the flavours to be too mild to be enjoyable. It had the lightest hints of coffee and chocolate but not enough to satisfy our taste buds.

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In all, I came away from Pinkys with my expectations exceeded. Although the desserts did leave something to be desired, I enjoyed both my and Jenkins’ appies and mains immensely. They were all made very well and I found Jenkins’ halibut dish to have a great combination of flavours.  Despite it being Dine Out, the restaurant was half empty most of the night so if you are interested in going (especially on a weeknight), you do not have to worry about waiting long for a table. Thanks to Lucy for making such a great choice! :)

Details:
1265 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Tel: 604-637-3135

Summary:
Food: [rating:3.5]
Service: [rating:3]
Price: $$ (our dine out menu was $28)

Pinky's Steakhouse & Cocktail Lounge on Urbanspoon

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