Posted by Degan on April 28th, 2011
When I posted about The Black Hoof my sister told me I wasn’t able to write about places she couldn’t go to. So I feel a little bit guilty posting about Celadon in the Whistler Hilton, because less than a week after an utterly amazing meal, they were closed. They’re looking to re-open in Vancouver, however, so keep an eye out for them.
My friends told me that they started planning my stagette right after the engagement party – last summer – and I heard about more than one planning session, as well as a spreadsheet. These women are organized, let me tell you.
So it was no surprise that we ate some amazing food. There was a surprise tho – the whole weekend was surprise after surprise because they managed to keep it all under wraps from the destination to the dining and I didn’t know where we were going until we had walked into Celadon and been handed a champagne cocktail.
Celadon is a Korean restaurant that I’ve had my eye on since Foodists wrote about it. They do high-end, creative food that is a far cry from a Korean BBQ joint – think Vij’s for the Korean set. Seated at an oval table with grills, we gave up on trying to order and let the knowledgeable staff guide us.
We started with banchan – Korean amuse bouches that included fish jerky, candied garlic shoots, noodles and other delicacies. Then there was spicy stir-fried calamari (actually spicy with a delicious tang that I loved) with bread, homemade kimchi that we had both cold and grilled (interestingly the fieriness increased with physical heat), and crispy seafood crepes with spring onions.
There were amazing tempuraed soft shell crab tossed in chili and garlic that was sweet and doughy and delicious, gyoza-like mantou and two different kinds of soup (spicy seafood gumbo & tofu and spicy kimchi soup with pork & tofu).
There was so much delicious food (and wine and Asian-inspired cocktails) that the whole surface area of the table was covered. But then it was time to fire up the grills so somehow we made some room and out came slabs of raw Kobe beef, Kurabata pork, teriyaki salmon, ox and more ready to be cooked. The meat came with skewers of mushrooms, pineapple, peppers and onions – which also got grilled. The quality of the ingredients was so good I would have eaten them raw and I relished the new flavours and spice that were being presented. Truly delicious.
Everything came out with an explanation and a story. Both the GM and our server were well-versed in Korean cuisine and local ingredients and Chef Sunny Huh came out at the end of the meal to ask if we had any questions (one of which was whether there was anything I’d like to try before I got married – Ha!) and explain a little more about the restaurant’s philosophy. The entire experience was a “wow” and we were all planning return trips when we heard the sad news of their closure a couple of days later. I’m so grateful that I got to experience it with a table full of my favorite ladies!
There were 12 of us, many of us foodies and media, and yet nary a note or a decent photo between us so thanks to Celadon for the PR photo. Looking forward to see you re-opening in Vancouver where I can eat my way through the menu again and Matt can take some more pictures.