Since our first visit to Edible Canada on Granville Island close to three years ago, it has been added to our list of staple because it has seasonal offerings and quality is consistently good. So for this year’s Dine Out, we decided to go back once again because it had an interesting “Canadian” menu. And we made it a double date with Bryan and Kathryn.
In addition to the regular $30 DOV 3-course menu, you have the option to pay extra to upgrade your dishes. For example, Kathryn and I opted for the Surf and Turf Tartare Trio for an extra $10. It included three types of tartare (from left of photo): Venison, Elk and Arctic Char. I was quite happy with this option. Each tartare had its own flavours – venison was rich, gamey and it was mixed with some blueberries; elk had the resemblance of beef and the tartare reminded of traditional beef tartare with cornichon; arctic char was creamy and was similar to salmon tartare. The tartare trio came with the Amola salt truffle chips. They were crispy, nicely seasoned, with lots of truffle aroma.
Mr. and Bryan went for a regular appetizer, the Braised Alberta Oxtail. It was rich, moist and tender. The kubocha squash risotto was slightly overcooked, a bit mushy, and the risotto to meat ratio was a bit off. There was too little oxtail meat, or too much risotto on the plate.
Continuing with the meat, Mr. and Kathryn chose the Bison Bourguignon for entree. Now this had a lot of meat!
Pretty much the entire bowl was bison pieces, with some root vegetables, mushrooms, and just a smear of white bean puree on the side.
The bison bourguignon was a very rich dish; just on its own it’s actually quite challenging to finish the plate. It needed some starch or carbs to balance it out. So we had to order some bread to soak up the sauce. The Bread was very good! It was warm, crispy crust, and the chive butter went very well with the bread. As you can imagine, the bread was gone in no time.
As for me, the Ocean Wise Seafood Tagliatelle caught my eyes. And this was my favourite entree on the table. The pasta was cooked to al dente, tossed and coated with just the right amount of cream sauce. Highlight? The halibut cheeks! It was silky, tender yet meaty. The crushed hazelnuts and kale chips added some crunch and crispy texture to the dish. This was a healthy portion too.
Bryan ordered the Elk Steak, for an extra cost of $10. It was cooked nicely, but given that it’s a leaner meat, it did have a chewier texture than, say, regular skirt steak.
There were two options for dessert. Well, there’s a 3rd add-on option but we weren’t interested in blue cheese so we didn’t consider.
First, the Nun’s Puffs, Quebec style profiterole with maple syrup and maple sugar. Bryan, Kathryn and Mr. all ordered it. The general sense was that the profiteroles were a bit ordinary. They were good, but the plate left you wanting more.
The three of them were jealous of my Creme Posset. And boy, was I glad that I picked this one! It’s a milk custard, with a yogurt-like flavour. It reminded me of cheesecake too. It’s creamy, and it was balanced well with the tart berry compote and crunchy crushed walnut.
By the way, the Nun’s Puffs is no longer on the Dine Out menu. Apparently this past weekend they’ve changed it to Homemade Sugar Beet Brownie. Papa Lam found out about this when he went with his friends for DOV – and we’ve compared notes (i.e. photos) and there seemed to be some inconsistency in presentation and portion size between his dinner and ours here. Even at his dinner table, everyone received a different portion of the same dish. The dinner was a bit underwhelming for Papa Lam.
Value for the Money
There’s a debate in my head whether it’s worthwhile to pay the extra charge for some of the dishes. I thought the tartare was very good and I would pay extra for that instead of going for any of the regular appetizers. But it cost me $10 and when you look at the a la carte menu, the tartare was $21 and the oxtail was $18. Now I’m no longer sure $10 was a good deal. I would like to think that there’s some logic behind this madness but it’s hard to stomach the surcharge when you know how much it costs otherwise.
Overall, I found Edible Canada’s Dine Out menu very intriguing. The choice of ingredients is quite unique and it stands out from most other participating restaurants. That being said, there’s some hit and miss in the execution of the dishes. While we did enjoy the dinner, it didn’t “wow” Bryan and Kathryn on their first visit to the restaurant.
Edible Canada at the Market
1596 Johnston Street, Vancouver