Restaurants that are somewhat hidden always feel like a tempting adventure for me. Long narrow walkways, off-street diverges, and discrete signage are popular forms of mysterious restaurants. Hendricks Resto-Lounge doesn’t have a big presence on the street and requires you to walk up the Westin Grand Hotel’s elegant staircase to even get a scent of the restaurant. Apart from a small sign and a framed menu outside, passersby may miss this small eatery. Does the nondescript front door enhance the elegance of Hendricks or should you ask for the elevator back down to street level? Read on to find out.
Team Tastic came here for a weekend lunch and I had myself a great taste of the following:
- Fire Roasted Gin & Tomato Soup ($12)
- Hendricks Burger ($17)
- Short Rib Beef Dip Panini ($17)
The Fire Roasted Gin & Tomato Soup was a treat. Presented with a grilled cheese, I enjoyed seeing the rich-looking soup. This tasted even better because the grilled cheese was buttered, delightfully chewy, and was made for dipping into the hearty soup, which, by the way, left a slight florally numbing sensation after a few spoonfuls. Very delightful. I haven't had tomato soup like this before but this was the highlight dish for me.
The Hendricks Burger had an interesting sauce but didn't go above and beyond its $17 price tag. The bun was fluffy and the colours vibrant, but the sauce tasted sour which isn't my personal preference for a burger. I did enjoy the crisp onions and brioche bun but believe there are better options on the menu. The fries on the side though were tasty with a crisp shell and saltiness.
Speaking of better menu options, the Short Rib Beef Dip Panini stole the show between our two mains. This was ginger beer braised beef, green apple slaw, and horseradish “au jus”. Flavour intensity was like watching a satisfying film here. There was a ton of flavour in the panini but once I gripped those textured grill lines, jammed it into the beef dip, and took a chomp, the panini became a juicy beacon of triumph and all I wanted was to dip it again.
There was a generous amount of beef dip so with I was happy I had enough to lather the dip into my salad. Being vegetarian is not my forte so when the beef dip is this tasty, it needs to go on everything.
Hendricks Resto-Lounge is a beautiful restaurant in the middle of downtown Vancouver. It’s a bit of a trek to get in here as you’ll have to scale a large staircase or take the elevator to the second floor. Once inside, there are beautiful booths, art deco-esque typography, and seating for 98 guests. The vibe is quite modern as everything looks very recently renovated. As the restaurant sits in a corner spot of the Westin Grand hotel, the view outside to the Vancouver Public Library and Robson Street is great for people-watching.
Service was fantastic at Hendricks Resto-Lounge. Our server was attentive, easy to flag down, and stayed busy throughout our meal. The weekend lunch crowd was almost non-existent at noon on a Saturday but I suppose breakfast and dinner might be more popular for this kind of hotel. Waters were topped up frequently and might I say the glassware for water here was superb. They had a thin frame but had a large capacity relative to the total glass’ volume. From our weekend lunch here, you should be able to stumble in here with any size group and expect to get a table.
One-liner: Casual-midrange dining that feels a little more exquisite than the local casual chains despite being hidden in a hotel
Highlight: Fire Roasted Gin and Tomato Soup
Price per person: $20-$30
Would I go back? Yes.