C Restaurant: BC Spot Prawns are Here!
2-1600 Howe Street, Vancouver
Kicking off this year’s Spot Prawn Season, I joined Diana, Kevin, Maurice, Sophia, Missy, Sean, Rick and Devon at C Restaurant for the first catch of the season. As we awaited the fishing boat to arrive with the fresh catch of spot prawns, we sipped some Cedar Creek Pinot Gris wine and nibbled on tasty appetizers on C Restaurant’s sunny patio with a serene backdrop of sailboats.
My favourite were the smoked salmon lox wrapped cream cheese bites, topped with tangy creme fraiche and a lemon twist. Not to mention that they were so pretty. I have to commend C Restaurant on creating the most creative and easy-to-eat appetizers, each bite came elegantly on a tall kebab stick, and the servers were carrying an ample supply of napkins and long glasses to collect used kebab sticks. If only all cocktail parties could be so creative and efficient!
The most seasonal appetizer of the evening were the sweet and juicy watermelon bites, shaped in perfect little disks and topped with a small dab of lemon curd. A great combo and a very refreshing, juicy bite, especially after all that cream and smoked salmon that I consumed.
I also loved the little quail’s egg topped with crispy bacon, again, a cute, creative and delicious treat! I loved that I managed to eat all these little appetizers without getting my hands dirty at all. Because the heavy duty dirty work was yet to come with spot prawn peeling!
Spot Prawn Season happens during the Spring of every year in BC. It’s a big deal, not just because spot prawns are amazingly delicious but because these prawns are special little creations. Morphing from male to female during the last phase of their life cycles, they lay eggs and populate BC waters with thousands of spot prawns. Spot prawns are also very versatile in cuisine, they can be put in sushi, be eaten as sashimi (just ask Chef Tojo), fried, poached or steamed.
Chef Lee Humphries at C Restaurant simply fried up the fresh spot prawns with butter, lemon, chives and garlic. Each time a platter of the spot prawns appeared on the patio, they vanished like hot cakes as the guests quickly nabbed them up like there was no tomorrow. I could barely take a picture in time!
The spot prawns looked fresh and beautiful, curled up on the platter, pink and plump and covered in scrumptious chives, lemon and garlic butter.
Now, the hard part, I am already not the most graceful diner, so peeling this giant buttery spot prawn was a challenge. But it was well worth it. Underneath that thin shell is the most succulent, juicy and moist chunk of sweet prawn. The texture of the meat is almost as firm as a lobster’s and soaked to the core in this rich butter sauce, C Restaurant’s spot prawns totally make the ‘to die for’ list.
A little less messy to eat and equally delicious were the spot prawn tacos that came out on platters, speared and bursting full of spot prawn filling. Also drenched in a rich butter sauce, the spot prawns in these heavily stuffed tacos were moist and tender. The tacos also had a slight kick to them with mild spice that only further brought out the natural sweetness in the spot prawn meat.
To feast on more fresh spot prawns, make sure you check out the BC Spot Prawn Festival at False Creek’s Fisherman’s Wharf this weekend: Saturday, May 5 from 11 am to 3 pm. There will be lots of spot prawns, cooking demos, and wine and coffee. The best part is you can buy spot prawns right off the fishing boats. It doesn’t get more fresh than that.