Dinner Through The Decades

Dine through the decades this summer at Vancouver's landmark Fairmont Hotel. This year marks the iconic “castle in the city’s" 85th year anniversary.

Dine through the decades this summer at Vancouver’s landmark Fairmont Hotel. This year marks the iconic “castle in the city’s” 85th year anniversary. Queen Elizabeth was one of the first to stay and dine at the hotel upon its initial opening in 1939. History buffs can even take a peek at the luncheon menu and dishes created specially for Her Majesty in the basement level of the Fairmont which houses an array of memories from the past. 

The Queen’s historic menu, archived recipes, and a selection of dishes served at the hotel over eight decades, inspired Executive Chef Kay Noh of Notch 8 restaurant to create Dinner Through the Decades. The three course concept menu with a taste of nostalgia, allows guests to step back in time and sample a bite of history while surrounded by the contemporary ambiance of the Fairmont’s Notch 8 Restaurant and Bar. Inspired by the allure and mystique of 1930s rail travel, the restaurant gets its name from the top speed that a train can travel. Given that the famed hotel was designed by Canadian Pacific railway architect Francis Swales, it’s the perfect homage to the Fairmont’s rich past.

a luxurious restaurant room with groups of chairs, tables, a bar and lounging area
Notch 8

In addition to the $85 per person dinner, guests can also choose to add a wine pairing to their meal for $19.39 (the year the hotel opened). 

If it’s cocktails you fancy, choose from a menu of pre and post-prohibition drinks reminiscent of that era. Start off with the Bees Knees. Created in the roaring 1920s, it’s a simple mix of gin and lemon juice that at one time was the most popular cocktail served in the Fairmont’s Panorama Room, which boasts stunning views of downtown Vancouver.

a man rubbing a piece of orange peel on a lavish glass of winw
Old Fashioned

If you are looking for a classic imbibe to savor and sip, you can’t go wrong with a Hickory Old Fashioned. With a shot of Hickory infused Woodford Reserve Bourbon, some bitters, and sweet maple syrup, there’s a reason why the Old Fashioned has been served around the globe since the 1800s.

Time to Dine

The distinct Dinner Through the Decades menu allows guests a glimpse into Fairmont Vancouver’s exceptional culinary past.

Choose from a starter, an entree and a desert. Each delicious dish on the menu has the year that it was served alongside it. Try the 1940 Red Barrel Puree Garbure Soup. Succulent duck breast smoked to perfection, served with cannellini beans and fresh vegetables.

a fillet of fish with slices of cooked potatoes and a green and orange sauce spread under
BC Halibut

If you are a seafood lover the seared B.C. halibut, originally served in the 1950s, is a must, plated with the perfect mix of saffron fingerling potatoes, and a green garbanzo bean puree. 

No dinner is complete without a sweet treat. Your taste buds will be dancing for joy when you take your first bite of the Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake. Filled with macerated strawberries and rhubarb, topped with mascarpone chantilly cream, you will be wishing you can take the 1990s recipe home with you – and you can!


Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Ingredients for the shortcake dough:

  • AP flour, 1500gm
  • Sugar, 195gm
  • Baking Powder, 48gm
  • Baking Soda, 16gm
  • Salt, 10gm
  • Cold cube butter, 688gm
  • Buttermilk, 1224gm
  • Heavy cream, 120gm
  • Granulated sugar for sprinkle on top


Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add buttermilk; stir just until combined (do not overmix). Drop batter by 1/3 cupful 2 in apart onto a baking sheet. Brush with heavy cream; sprinkle granulated sugar. Roll to a thickness of 2cm, place and bake in metal ring. Bake at 350F until golden, 20-25 minutes.

Macerated Strawberries


  • Cubed, Fresh Strawberries, 750gm
  • Granulated sugar, 200gm


In a bowl combine sugar and strawberries. Stir to combine, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to overnight.


Rhubarb Puree


  • Chopped Rhubarb, 2250gm
  • Sugar, 200gm
  • Water, 300gm
  • Red color gel


Put the rhubarb, water and sugar into a saucepan and gently heat until the rhubarb starts to leach its juice and turns the sugar into a syrup. Bring the syrup to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes until the rhubarb is tender. Blitz in a blender, add red food color, and then pass through a sieve to create a smooth purée. Store in the fridge until needed


Mascarpone Chantilly Cream


  • Heavy cream, 882gm
  • Icing sugar, 255gm
  • Vanilla extract, 15gm
  • Mascarpone cheese, 678gm


Add the heavy cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract to a mixer bowl and whip on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the mascarpone cheese to the whipped cream and whip until stiff peaks form. It will happen fairly quickly. Refrigerate.


Montage of the Shortcake

Spread some Rhubarb pure in the center of a service plate. Cut a Shortcake in half. Place the bottom layer of the shortcake on to the plate. Pipe or scoop Mascarpone, Chantilly on the shortcake base. Pour macerated strawberries on top of the cream. Place the top layer of shortcake on top, you can sprinkle icing sugar and serve as is, or you can place more Mascarpone cream on top.

“The “Dinner through the Decades” menu at Notch 8 inside the Fairmont Hotel is available until September 2 2024. https://www.notch8-dining.com