Society: Cory Schneider and Cotton Candy
1257 Hamilton Street, Yaletown, Vancouver
When Canucks backup goalie, Cory Schneider is not sweating on the ice during the Stanley Cup Finals, he’s dining at Society in Yaletown. We saw him there last Thursday having dinner with his family. Across the street from Rodney’s Oyster House, Society is a trendy restaurant that might be geared at a younger crowd, a younger, giggling, squealing, texting and Twitter-happy female crowd. This explains the loud top 40 music and the giant girly pink chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Hard to believe that a hockey player dines here, but maybe he didn’t pick the restaurant.
The first thing that’s wrong with Society is the humongous menus that were handed to us at our tiny table. I almost spilled water!
We started with the Signature Appetizer Platter. I was drawn to it because it listed mini grilled cheese as one of the items. No one loves cheese more than I do. So obviously when the platter came, the grilled cheese was the first thing that I looked for. To my disappointment, it was nowhere to be found. I did see two slices of toasted baguette dipped in what looked like tomato soup though. When we asked our server (whom, by the way, was wearing the shortest, tightest black dress I have ever seen) about it, she said something about the kitchen running out of cheese so they substituted the grilled cheese with mini tomato soups (?). I have to admit though, provocative clothing aside, the servers here are extremely attentive.
The tomato soup/toasted baguette tasted alright. The soup was a little on the gritty side though.
The caprese salad was served in a small cast iron ramekin, the tomatoes were fresh and sweet, and the cheese was soft, creamy and wonderfully stretchy. I’m wondering why they didn’t use this cheese in the mini grilled cheese sandwiches.
The prawns were a little chewy by the time I got to them as they had cooled. I’m not crazy about the sweet and sour sauce that they were drenched in though.
The mini pizza was tasty. The flat bread crust was pretty crispy. And the mix of meat (sausage and pepperoni) on the pizza gave it a nice kick of spice balanced out by the more mild goat cheese.
The kobe beef taquitos were scrumptious, I’m not sure that it was really kobe beef though. It tasted like regular ground beef to me. I liked that the taquito shell was nice and crispy though, and whatever beef it was inside was well seasoned and flavourful.
Next we ordered the Lobster Shepherd’s Pie because it sounded so cool and original. Traditionally, Shepherd’s Pie is made with ground beef as filling and topped with mashed potatoes. The history of Shepherd’s Pie dates back to the middle ages in England when farmers would use leftovers to make a meat pie with a mashed potato topping. Society’s Lobster Shepherd’s Pie is a decadent twist on an old tradition.
The Lobster Shepherd’s Pie was rich and creamy. The mashed potatoes on top, piped stylistically over the dish, were whipped to a smooth consistency, and tasted both buttery and creamy. It was a perfect match for the filling: a creamy mix of vegetables, lobster and herbs. I wasn’t expecting to fish out substantially large chunks of lobster in the dish, but lo and behold, I did. And boy were those chunks of lobster tasty, tender and flaky, cooked just right.
Lastly, was the dish that I had gone to Society for: the dessert platter! It features cotton candy. I was deprived as a child- my parents never let me buy cotton candy at amusement parks. I’d watch other little kids walk by with their faces covered in cotton candy, happily ripping away at big pink clouds of the stuff. And now I get a whole fluffy pink cloud of cotton candy to myself! Maybe I really do fit in with the young, giggly girl diners at this restaurant.
The dessert platter is also great if you love attention, everyone turns around and looks when it’s being served. That tall display of cotton candy is hard to miss.
The platter is beautiful, it’s very nice to look at. And if you’re on a date, it’s actually quite easy to eat gracefully (and in a flirty manner) too, each item is small and bite-size. As for taste, nothing really stands out except for the wonderfully sticky, sweet and dense chocolate cupcakes with pink icing. The cupcakes are soft and gooey in the centre, and the icing offers just the right hit of excessive sugary sweetness to top it off.
It’s hard not to eat the brownie ice cream sandwich first though because it seems to melt quickly. In the middle is a small scoop of vanilla ice cream that goes great with the dense brownie. The brownie is not too sweet and offers a great contrast to the cool, sweet ice cream.
The rice krispy squares taste like cardboard. And those little circular cookies to the left of the platter in my picture are actually chocolate chip cookies. They’re crunchy though, I’m not sure if that’s intentional.
The macarons are also mediocre. The problem is that they’re not chewy at all. That’s my favourite part about a macaron, the chewy, flavourful meringue cookies so I was disappointed at Society’s crunchy macarons.
The little balls on the platter are sugar dipped beignets which were deep fried and quite tasty. I wish there were more of them.
The little oreo milkshakes were perfect for the platter since they were smooth and a little mild compared to all the sweetness already on the platter. The drink really helped wash all the sweets down.
Now, onto the star of the platter, that gorgeous pouf of pink cotton candy. It tastes as pretty as it looks, sweet, sticky and fleeting, melting as soon as it hits the heat of my tongue or the roof of my mouth. This is such a fun, interactive dessert (again, great for a date), since we had to use our fingers to rip off the cotton candy piece by piece.
I’m not sure that I’d return to Society for the food alone. I was impressed by the excellent service though and I loved the cotton candy.