The menu of Surrey’s newest restaurant is focused on “New Canadian” cuisine, as a tip of the hat to the many cultures of the city itself.
Dominion Bar + Kitchen is due to open today (April 4) in the lobby of Surrey’s tall new Civic Hotel, located next to city hall and its outdoor plaza.
The food puts a spin on ingredients and influences from the many different cultures that make up Surrey, according to Darren Pierce, general manager of the restaurant/bar.
“It’s bringing all these flavours together because that’s what’s around us – it’s grabbing from what you see around us in Surrey, and we’re right in the heart of Surrey,” Pierce told the Now-Leader. “It’s not quite a gastro-pub, it’s more just a unity of everyone coming together and all these cultures and all these fantastic cuisines, and expressing them here in one place.… We’d like to try to showcase that.”
Signature dishes include Bao Mac, described as a mini cheeseburger in a Chinese-style bun, and Jäger Chicken, marinated in Jägermeister and served with German spaetzle noodle dumplings. The concept has been in the works for close to two years, Pierce noted.
The 144-seat restaurant includes a 22-seat bar area, a 33-seat outdoor patio and semi-private room near the entrance.
The bar is one of the first in B.C. to feature wine on tap, and the menu puts an emphasis on B.C.-made products.
Dominion aims to bring “social atmosphere, innovative design and local comfort to the Surrey community,” Pierce said.
Restaurant design company RK Group Ltd. aimed for a “unique arrival experience” for those entering the eatery, which features industrial lighting, Italian tile floors and some striking colours in a space boasting lots of natural light.
“We want people to feel like they are walking through the doors of an elite, savvy restaurant,” said Robert Kruger, RK Group’s executive designer. “The design and feel of the room complements the cuisine and embraces the restaurant’s theme of community, comfort, connection and quality.”
The restaurant is owned and operated by Century Group, which is headquartered in the nearby Central City tower.
Pierce joined the company in December after working for a Vancouver-based hospitality firm for the past five years.
“I loved the concept and I really wanted to get behind what they were trying to put forward, which is this whole ‘New Canadian,’ proudly Surrey (concept),” Pierce said. “I was like, let’s see what Surrey has to offer. I decided this could be the challenge for me.
“This is the first of what we hope to grow, and it’s gonna be great to hopefully be part of a legacy, so I took that on,” he added. “We’d like it to be that way, and we’re going to see how well we can do with this one, and if we get the right volume of people through the door, and we do our job right, then we should be looking to grow – that’s the goal, anyway.”
The Dominion will open in time for Party for the Planet, an annual outdoor festival at Surrey Civic Plaza. The event, on Saturday, April 14, will celebrate Earth Day with performances by Sam Roberts, Bobs & Lolo, Star Captains and other artists, plus a tree and plant sale, rock climbing wall, road hockey, a market, food trucks and more.