The one Dine Out that I most looked forward to this year was at Forage. Since the menu was released, there has been a lot of buzz about it. And people had been raving about it since the event kicked off on January 17. Finally my day has come to give it a try.
Forage has been a two-time champion of the Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown so obviously I had to order its Seafood Chowder. While it’s thick and creamy, it wasn’t overly rich; and there was no shortage of ingredients (and lots of salmon and shrimp) in the chowder, which I loved. I was hoping that the quail egg was soft poached and the yolk would ooze out, but it didn’t. I liked the addition of chicharron as a crunchy element but it became soft and a bit chewy after sitting in the soup for a bit.
My friend CP ordered the Bison Carpaccio and she said it tasted very good. Unfortunately I’m still off red meat so I didn’t try any. I thought the presentation was pretty good despite the rustic feel.
For entree, I went for the most-raved about Pork Belly. It looked and tasted like the Chinese-style Roast Pig. Skin was super crispy and meat was tender. The apple chutney/slaw had a bit of acidity that rounded out the richness/fattiness from the pork belly. I think I prefer the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly from Catch 122. My perfect pork belly would be skin from Forage and meat from Catch 122 haha!
CP ordered the Gnocchi and it reminded me of the time I tried it through the Dishcrawl event. It’s slightly crispy on the outside and pillowy inside. It had a nice mushroom flavour too. There should be kale tossed in this dish, but with CP’s allergy it wasn’t added to this plate.
CP’s Blueberry Hazelnut Financier was pretty good. It’s slightly crunchy on the outside and paired well with the whipped cream and blueberry sauce. The brown membrillo cream on the edge of the bowl was a bit unappetizing looking, though.
My “French Toast” was an interesting take on the classic. The cubes of rye bread were fried to nice and crispy on the outside, and the swirling in the chocolate sauce was just an indulgence. Not sure if it’s intentional but the popcorn garnish was a bit stale so it’s sticking to the teeth.
It was a popular restaurant for Dine Out! Our seating was 1.5-hour long and the courses came out one after another. A bit rushed with no time to spare for chitchats. We finished our seating in 1.5 hours on the dot and as we left we saw a line-up of people waiting for tables to clear. This was taken before the line-up appeared:
They are accommodating in their service, though. CP is allergic to kale so when inquired, they were able to remove the kale from the gnocchi dish. Otherwise, CP would have to order something else, even though she really wanted the gnocchi.
Perhaps it was so highly rated through the Dine Out period, I had high expectations on this dinner. It turned out to be very well done but not to the extent of “the best I’ve had ever” like some had stated. Their DOV dishes aren’t featured in their regular menu, but its food quality makes me curious enough to want to return for its regular dinner or even brunch menu.
1300 Robson Street, Vancouver