Dine Out #2 was a long trek (for us in the ‘burbs) to the Oakwood Canadian Bistro in Kitsilano. I have wanted to go for last year’s Dine Out but no one else seemed to be interested in its menu. Luckily, they have returned for another year of DOV and the menu is equally attractive. I happily scheduled a double date with WK and MS over the weekend.
A double date gave us a good opportunity to see/try almost everything on the menu. For appetizers, I most enjoyed the Smoked Cheddar and Cauliflower Soup. The cheese was rich and the soup was creamy, but it was a bit too salty…until you mix in the tomato foam. The slight tartness of the tomato foam helps cut through the richness and balance out the flavours.
The Pork Ravioli, even though it’s a carb dish, had probably the smallest portion of all. The 2 raviolis were of decent size, the filling was tasty, but the pasta dough around the filling was just way too much. And it was under-cooked so it was hard. I thought the apple wasabi sauce was interesting. The glistening pork rind added crunchy texture to the dish, but I think it would be better if it’s smaller and just sprinkled on top.
WK ordered the Albacore Tuna. I can’t comment on it because I didn’t taste any. However, the portion was huge with three big slices of crostini. There was also no shortage of white bean puree and tuna chunks to spread on the crostini. According to WK it was a filling dish.
As for entrees, the Sous Vide Lamb Shank was well done! The meat fell right off the bone, tender and flavourful. Instead of a rich, red wine based sauce, they used a tomato nage (which according to the server, is a French fancy word for sauce lol). It’s a lighter sauce and it worked pretty well with the lamb shank.
For his man pride, Mr. challenged himself and paid an extra $10 to get the 16oz Ribeye. Seriously, it was a HUGE piece of steak! That said, it was grilled to perfection. Medium rare, nicely charred on the outside, and it was seasoned very well. I managed to steal a few bites from Mr. and I really enjoyed it. Mind you, it’s probably not the best ribeye that you can find, so there’s some fatty and stringy parts, but there’s still a lot of meat to go through. The accompanying mushrooms and Brussels sprouts were also cooked nicely. A very satisfying plate.
Of the two dessert options, the Nanaimo Bar Custard was interesting. The custards were creamy and sweet; other than the coconut bits, it didn’t really remind me of Nanaimo bar. I would prefer it to be more chocolaty in the ganache portion.
I liked the Apple Crumple (crumble??). The crumble was crunchy, buttery and it was just the right ratio of crumble to apple chunks. I only wish they had peeled the skin of the apples; it was kind of chewy. The vanilla bavarian cream was pretty neat. It had the consistency of a semifreddo and the warmth of the apple crumble slowly melted the cream and when you stir it in, it became saucy and caramel-like. Great choice for a winter dessert.
It was a Saturday evening, it was Dine Out time, and there was a big dinner party at the restaurant (at least 16 people). Yet the servers remained attentive and efficient. I was pleased with the service we received.
One thing to note is that they have a big screen TV by the bar, which was showing a Canucks game when we were there. There’s also a personal TV by the booth seats. This would make a nice game-night hang out in Kitsilano.
The portion at Oakwood was generous and food quality was impressive. This is a $28 menu that I would recommend, and even for $38, I think it’s worthwhile to order the ribeye steak.
The Oakwood Canadian Bistro
2741 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver