I had an amazing lunch at Hawksworth Restaurant in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia last week. In case you haven’t heard about this culinary superstar and its equally shiny executive chef and namesake, David Hawksworth, they’ve scooped up numerous industry awards in the two and a half years since opening, like the Georgia Straight’s 2013 Golden Plates Awards for best chef, best fine dining restaurant and best hotel restaurant, and Vancouver Magazine’s 2013 Restaurant Awards for restaurant of the year and chef of the year (both for the second year in a row).
In 2012 Maclean’s magazine named it Canada’s Restaurant of the Year, and in 2011 enRoute Magazine named it Canada’s Best New Restaurant.
Needless to say, the food is fantastic, and I love dining with friends who like to share plates because you get to try more of the fantastic things on the menu!
To start, we shared the pan seared scallops (below, left) with Korean fried cauliflower, green apple and sesame ($17), and the charred hamachi (below, right) with crispy pork belly, watermelon, peanut, jalapeno and coconut ($17).
For our mains, we shared the Lois Lake steelhead (below, left) with shrimp chorizo fritter, romesco sauce, chickpea, and almond crumble ($27), and the southeast Asian coconut red curry (below, right) with side stripe shrimp, mussels, bean sprouts, and shoestring potatoes ($26).
One of the things I love about dining out is enjoying fancy, fussy recipes you’d never (or at least I’d never) attempt at home. I believe using umpteen ingredients and laborious techniques is best left to the pros, and I'm not one of them.
But I felt compelled to try making the Korean fried cauliflower because it was just so darn delicious and seemed not-too-difficult. Hawksworth was kind enough to share this recipe with me to share with you!
The recipe required a few more steps and ingredients than my usual repertoire, but it was worth it! My husband, and sous chef, agrees.
And if you just can’t be bothered to make it but really want to try it, the Korean fried cauliflower is featured on Hawksworth’s lunch menu with the scallops ($17) and on the bar menu on its own ($8).
Korean Fried Cauliflower
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into 1” florets
- 250 grams all-purpose flour
- tempura batter
- 500 ml rice flour
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 50ml grapeseed oil
- 200 ml Korean chili sauce (Hawksworth makes theirs in-house and I used Sriracha that I already had on hand)
- 50 grams toasted white sesame seeds
- 30 grams scallions, sliced
- Blanch cauliflower in salted water for 15 seconds and place in ice bath to stop cooking.
- To make tempura batter, combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until fully incorporated (some lumps are okay).
- Dust cooked cauliflower florets with flour and then dip in tempura batter.
- Fry in cast iron pan with 1-inch-deep grapeseed oil until crispy, turning carefully once browned.
- Remove from oil when crispy and toss in chili sauce (I drizzled it over top).
- Place in bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions.