As part of my duties at the UBC Food Society, I organize and go to outings with a smaller group of people (usually around 10). For this latest outing, we went to Gastown to check out the Irish Heather’s Long Table Series, followed by dessert at the 7 Sweet Sins.
So the Irish Heather was horribly hard to find, if I hadn’t come here before for a friend’s birthday, I think I would have been lost too! The signage is very minimal. The best way I can describe where it is, is North of the Blarney Stone on the same side, but South of Peckinpah and on the opposite side. (And yes, I do feel like a bit of a dork using restaurants as landmarks) ;)
I got there a bit early because I was worried about my members and friends not being able to find the place. While I was waiting for 7PM, I was lead to wait in Shebeen which is just behind the Irish Heather and Salty Tongue. All three places are owned by the Heather Hospitality Group! It was kinda neat to go through the buildings. In Shebeen, I could have ordered some drinks while waiting for the Long Table Series (LTS) to start.
Finally, at 7PM, it was time to start! First off, there was a small introduction by Sean Heather and the chef, they talked about the other establishments that are part of the Heather Hospitality Group as well as what we were going to eat. There were still a few stragglers in my group, but it turned out to be all good when I saw them through the window of the Salty Tongue. The VERY long table was made out of wood with small cut-outs for salt and pepper shakers. The restaurant was actually very long and skinny, there wasn’t much room around the table. But the décor was very nice and matched the feel. It was well-lit and very homey.
We were started off with the Orchard Hill Cider. It was sweet with a hint of apple. Some members of my group were driving and so opted out of the cider and chose pop instead. I felt that the cider complemented the entrée very well because of the sweetness and apple taste.
Our entrée was the roast suckling pig with braised cabbage and mashed potatoes. It kind of looked like cafeteria food and I felt like it was a bit bland. I think other people at our long table felt the same as the salt and pepper shakers were constantly missing. (I was seated right infront of the holders.) I will admit I was a bit disappointed with the food. The pork was tender, but the skin was chewy. It seems like all the crunchy bits went to someone else at the table. The portions were also not quite even. Some people had more than others. The rare crunchy skin I got was good, it kind of reminded me of Filipino style roasted pig or lechon.The ‘proper’ English gravy was in my opinion a bit bland. I didn’t feel like I tasted it. The carrots were nice and crunchy (or not so nice if you don’t like crunchy carrots…) and the mash potatoes were standard. The braised cabbage was pretty good, but it felt like a bit of a filler. The apple sauce was probably the best with the pork, but it was really sweet.
All in all, our bill came up to be $20.16 with tax. A bit pricey for what we got. There is also an option of ordering dessert for an extra $8 but we opted out so that we could go to another dessert place.
Overall, I feel that the LTS is quite interesting, the ambiance was very suited and there was ample opportunity to get to know the people around you. The service was ok, I felt like it was a bit slow, but then it may have been because the table took up so much room that it was hard to get from one end to the other. The meal is a bit pricey even though we did get full but I will most likely be back on some other night to try some of their other dishes.
Moving on to the 7 Sweet Sins, which is a dessert and ice cream spot in Gastown. This compared to the Irish Heather was much more easier to find.
And they have a huge selection!
I ended up sharing with a friend and getting the chocolate torte with a fairly big scoop of pistachio ice cream and a small lemon meringue. It is my habit of ordering lemon meringue every time I see it, but so far I think the best I’ve had in the city is at Butter Baked Goods.
The torte was very chocolate-y and rich. It was served warm and it was oh-so-good. Me & my friend were going at it even though we were a bit full from dinner until the richness completely overwhelmed us. The pistachio ice cream actually complemented the torte. It was a very nice contrast, cold and having that indescribable pistachio taste. It helped cut the richness of the torte.
The lemon meringue was ok-good because you can definitely taste the lemon and it was very tart. The meringue helped add some sweetness (which cut the tartness) but I didn’t really like the crust very much. I probably wouldn’t order this again.
The two desserts were fairly priced. They came out to be $13.27 after tax. The torte and ice cream was $7 not including tax and this was what made it all worth it.
I had forgotten to take a picture of the shop, but there was low tables and couches that we crowded around to fit all of us. It was really nondescript with nothing really standing out (good or bad). The service was fast and you have to order at the counter. Overall, a decent dessert place, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat here.