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Archive for the ‘Contemporary’ Category

When Mr. and I planned a dinner out with my colleague SM and fiance CD, we were looking at a number of restaurants in Gastown. In the end, we decided on Wildebeest because its menu was quite intriguing.

Intriguing, how? There’s a lot of game meat on the menu. And we ordered a lot of them.

Food

I don’t think I’ve seen duck hearts on a menu before. These Popcorn Duck Hearts were addictive – they’re crispy outside, meaty inside. Slightly bigger than chicken hearts, and not gamey (to me). The batter was thin, and it wasn’t greasy. The yogurt sauce was like a dipping sauce, bringing freshness and creaminess to the dish. You really could keep popping them in your mouth like popcorn.

Popcorn Duck Hearts

This Bison Carpaccio looks like a typical carpaccio, except with the use of bison instead of beef. The bison was lightly seared on the outside so it’s practically rare. Even though it’s leaner, it’s still tender, buttery. The sorghum “popcorn” added some crunch. The highlight of the dish was the sous vide egg yolk.

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Having some 1:1 time with CC and I was suddenly inspired to try a new restaurant (I usually wait a bit before going to a new place, just to give them time to work out the kinks, etc.). There were a few options but the name AnnaLena, as well as its menu, intrigued me, so we checked it out on a Friday night.

Food

Its menu is not too big, but with a good variety highlighting a key ingredient in each dish. Between the two of us, we shared a few things:

The Grilled Octopus reminded me of a potato salad, an elevated version that was executed well. The octopus was cut into small pieces so they were easier to cook and could absorb flavours easily. They were tender, and the suction cups were so much fun to eat. The lobster mayo offered a hint of ocean taste. The dill was quite prominent but I liked the fresh element that it brought.

Grilled Octopus

The Cured Salmon was basically a deconstructed lox and bagel. The house cured salmon had a good meaty texture thanks to the thick cut, and it’s not overly salty. The croutons were perhaps a bit too greasy for my liking, but I absolutely loved the chewy texture. Especially when you combined the croutons with the everything bagel spice, it definitely reminded me of the Montreal style bagels we kept on going back for when we visited Montreal this summer.

Cured Salmon

Even though pork belly was supposed to be the star of Tamari Marinated Grilled Pork Belly, what surprised and impressed me was the braised beets. (more…)

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An impromptu dinner on a Friday evening took us to Torafuku, the new brick and mortar location brought to you by the Le Tigre food truck team. Frankly, and feeling guilty to admit to it, I never ate at Le Tigre. With the rave reviews about Le Tigre, I was quite excited to try Torafuku.

TorafukuTorafuku

Food

The Rye So Messy Chicken Wings was an award winning dish. The gochujang marinate really came through as you can taste this garlicky, spicy flavour. The skin was crispy, meat was juicy, and I like the ramen crumble to add even more texture to it. These were really good wings, but 5 wings for $12 maybe a bit too expensive.

Rye So Messy Chicken Wings

Dr. Octopus vs. Mr. Tuna seriously sounds like a superhero movie title!
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A spa date with CC took me to North Vancouver and she suggested to try this restaurant called Tour de Feast. It’s located in a business complex next to an industrial complex. It’s not easy to spot in the dark and the interior basically looked like a cafe.

Food

Taken a look at the menu and I was caught off guard by how fancy the menu was. Not a big menu, but with items that you would find at fine dining restaurants. The day’s special was a surf and turf with steak and sockeye salmon; I didn’t go for that because my mood didn’t call for it.

So for appetizer I ordered the Octopus 2 Ways. First, the tentacles were braised to absolute tenderness it could be considered borderline mushy. Haha the suction cups just fell right off as you took bites. The flavour was quite nice; it could be even better if using a bit of heat. Then, there was an octopus rillette. It’s similar to crab cake except it’s mostly dough with some pieces of octopus inside. It’s pretty good but quite filling. I think we were off to a good start.

Octopus 2 Ways

With entree, I chose one of my favourite dishes, Duck Confit Cassoulet. The duck leg looked HUGE!! (more…)

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