Posts Tagged ‘beet salad’

Did you know WildTale’s Dine Out menu is only $30 this year? When my family and I went there for Dine Out last year it was $40! I was invited to a preview of this year’s menu and I was curious to see how it has changed.

Turns out there are a couple repeating items on the menu, which makes this $30 menu a pretty good deal.


One of the repeating items is the WildTale Seafood Chowder. Well, it’s not entirely the same as last year’s, but the idea is there. The chowder was the most memorable appetizer last year, and this year’s chowder was my favourite appetizer on the menu. It was rich, creamy, flavourful – and the corn and crab fritter was nice and crispy, adding some texture to the soup.

WildTale Seafood Chowder

If you look for something lighter in the appetizer, either the Organic Beets & Watercress salad or the Albacore Tuna Carpaccio would make a great option. I love beets, so any beet salad could easily win my heart. These beets were sweet, balanced by the hint of bitterness in watercress. It’s missing some tang and acidity, though – I love me some goat cheese in my beet salad. (more…)


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The dining scene in Vancouver has changed. There is a higher appreciation and demand for mid-range, casual to casual-fine dining restaurants. I liked C Restaurant a lot when I visited a few times but it’s just too expensive for frequent visits. Same for its sister restaurant, Raincity Grill located by English Bay. Fine dining calls for special occasions so for Mr.‘s birthday, I chose to go to Raincity Grill for dinner. Raincity Grill is famous for its 100-mile approach so I was quite excited to see what they would offer using fresh local ingredients.


Even so I didn’t pay for the full price. I bought a deal voucher for a 7-course tasting menu. First course, Surf & Turf, included a seared scallop and confit pork belly. Scallop was cooked right with a nice crust; pork belly was tender although not having a crispy skin. We thought it was off to a good start.

Surf & Turf

Next, the North Arm Farm Beetroots was a fancy beet salad. Instead of serving the beets fresh with its natural sweetness, it’s lightly pickled so it’s a bit acidic. The different preparations of beets — raw, pickled and fried — added different textures to the dish. (more…)

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For every Dine Out, in addition to the new restaurants that pop up throughout the year, my family and I also have a wishlist of restaurants that we would look for. It has been a few years since we wanted to go to The Observatory on Grouse Mountain, but every time the menu just wasn’t very interesting to us. Finally this year’s menu seemed to have something for everyone so we booked it as part of our Chinese New Year celebration.

The Observatory


I should give a caveat that The Observatory isn’t a typical Westcoast restaurant. There are elements of molecular gastronomy that you will see below. But before I even talk about the actual menu, I must compliment on the Epi French Bread (Pain d’Epi) that they offer each table. First of all, it’s free; secondly, it’s of generous amount; and thirdly, it’s hot and tastes good. It came with a compound butter with some smokey and apricot flavours topped with some sea salt. It was some really good-tasting bread, crunchy but not jaw-breaking, and we finished it rather quickly.


Because there were 3 of us, we got all three appetizers. The Duck Confit wasn’t a whole duck leg; it was shredded duck meat in a ring mold along with some micro green salad. The grapefruit gel was basically the dressing, adding a bit of sweetness, bitterness and tartness to the salad.

Duck Confit

The Roasted Heirloom Beets was just too pretty to eat. The two preparations (crispy and soft roasted) really showcased the beets and its natural sweetness was very pronounced. The ricotta cheese cake replaced the usual goat cheese but still brought in some creaminess to the salad.

Roasted Heirloom Beets

The Black Cod Brandade was quite good (what is brandade?). (more…)

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A couple weeks ago, I was invited to a menu tasting at Caché Bistro to check out its patio. Caché Bistro & Lounge is the debut restaurant for Chef Alex Mok, who used to run a underground restaurant for about two years. The dishes served at Caché are inspired by classic French techniques with some Asian twist. Around the dinner table, I was accompanied by Dee, Dennis, Sean, Curtis, and Jeremy & Adrian. Unfortunately, it was a bit overcast on that day so we didn’t really get to enjoy the full patio experience.


The evening started with some refreshing Sangria, using fruits such as strawberries and pineapples, which are not commonly used in Sangria. We could drink jug after jug of this if there wasn’t any wine pairing throughout dinner.



Our first course was Chef’s Charcuterie. It featured three cured meats from Oyama Sausage Co from Granville Island: (from top of the platter pictured below) Black Pig Sausage, Truffle Salami and Felino. Oyama is known for its great quality of product so there’s no surprise there. Of the three types, I personally enjoyed the Felino the most, which had a little heat to it. The charcuterie platter also included a number of items that Cache made in-house: bread, lobster oil, fig jam and three kinds of compound butter. The lobster oil was quite nice, had a strong, almost shrimp-like essence to it. It reminded me of the traditional wonton soup base which is made of shrimp shells. The compound butters — satay (peanut), cranberry, and truffle — all had their own distinctive flavours, but the truffle one was the most prominent. I was quite impressed by how much they made in-house, all made in small batches to guarantee freshness in everything they put out.

Chef's Charcuterie

Chef’s Charcuterie – Oyama Sausage, fig jam, crostini & lobster oil

Next, Beet Salad as appetizer. Yes, another roasted beet salad with red and golden beets and mixed greens. (more…)

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