This past week we were invited to the grand opening of SoL Sun Belt Cookery. I had high expectations seeing as it’s the same creator of Bin 941.
The location is next to the seawall, down the street from Georgia and Denman replacing Crime Lab – which wasn’t very good. I love the location myself, as I used to work around the area but it might be a difficult spot because of parking.
The service was fine, nothing spectacular but it was a pretty packed event. Not going to lie here, I didn’t really care for the decor.
As soon as we arrived, we were greeted with passion fruit bellinis rimmed with sugar. Unfortunately, the sugar had melted all over the exterior of the glass making it very awkward to shake hands with people.
Contrary to what my friends think, I do occasionally enjoy a more girly drink – instead of my staple gin and tonic, in which they call me a man and tell me I’m drinking cologne. Anyways, that bellini was strong, with a hint of passion fruit.
We started the night off with some local oysters, with chili granita Italian sorbet. The oysters are small, similar to kusshi with a very smooth, clean texture. It was oh-so-good. Big fan of raw food, big fan of oysters. Unlike how it is traditionally served, this left a bit of a sweet aftertaste making the dish surprisingly light and refreshing.
Octopus confit on top of a lemon braised potato looked mysterious on my plate. Perhaps because it was in the form of a confit, the bite was lacking in texture and taste. As I recall now, I can only remember the taste of the potato and the citrus olive oil.
Holding up that spoon up to my nose, I remember how I could breathe in this dish and eat it just from the scent alone. On top of a bean puree were chanterelle mushroom crumbs and grilled lobster, dressed with white truffle oil. Incredibly aromatic and I felt that the simplicity of the bean puree really let me taste how delicious and sweet the lobster was.
A cute little cup of gazpacho with a dollop of cream and a grilled prawn sounds like an interesting combo. The gazpacho wasn’t completely smooth and was made of golden beets and melon. Lovely colour, but not in taste – it left me with squinty eyes and questioning mind, “What the hell did I just have?” The prawn was heavily coated with rub and not grilled long enough.
Surprise! We had doughnuts, a much more decadent one compared to your honey cruellers. The doughnut wasn’t light and fluffy, nor dense like cake and was filled with brie and manchego – which is a Spanish sheep milk cheese according to Wikipedia (I’m not that smart). Oh god, they should skewer those and drizzle with their beautifully scented lemon and lavender syrup, I’m set for life.
Lamb chops were delicious. Meat was well seasoned, tender and cooked to around medium rare. The tart pomegranate syrup cut right through the fattiness of the lamb chops. Joyce had two of those!
Popped my cherry…with trying my first Turkish bread. I must have looked like an idiot, holding up the freshly fried bread and trying to smell the heck out of it. Just when I had myself convinced that it was going to be sweet, I took a bite. It was savoury, strangely light, and fluffy. It’s like a much lighter, less oily, more airy version of the Chinese doughnut eaten with congee – and tastes much better.
All in all, it was a good night despite the fact that I have a horrible phobia with meeting new people and being surrounded – not much of a social person at all. Would definitely come back on my own.
SoL Sun Belt Cookery
100 – 550 Denman St, Vancouver