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Posts Tagged ‘lamb shank’

West Oak recently celebrated its 5th anniversary in the Yaletown neighbourhood. As a follow-up, Areta, Alice (Double A!) and I were invited to a hosted dinner at the restaurant. I’ve been here a couple of times beforehand, one of which was an evening out with a few of my girlfriends a few years ago.

Disclosure: This meal was provided to me complimentary of the restaurant. However, the views and opinions are my own.

Food

We got a sneak peek of some of their new cocktails (from left):

New Cocktails at West Oak

The Aperol Spritzer Mimosa is their new take on the classic brunch cocktail. This is available only during brunch, but the restaurant made one for us to try. Aperol, prosecco, fresh juice (orange, grapefruit, etc.) — it was juicy, citrusy, fizzy, refreshing. Great for a patio brunch. There’s no reason a mimosa fan wouldn’t enjoy this.

Tiffany Blue could become a local IG sensation. The Ciroc Apple came through and gave it some tartness, almost face puckering. You can really taste the apple here. The addition of edible silver makes it sparkle like a precious piece of jewelry.

Tiffany Blue

The last cocktail, at the time this was written, hasn’t been named. It just had a nickname “Green Thumb“. It had gin, elderflower liquer, basil, cucumber. It reminded me a bit of mojito – it’s light and crisp, and herbaceous.

Then, we dove into dinner, with a couple of appies to share. (more…)

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If you haven’t noticed the pattern, I’m actually reluctant to eat at restaurants that don’t take reservations. I enjoy the comfort in knowing that a table will be ready for me at around the time I want, instead of having to live through the stress of lining up and waiting impatiently for people to pay the bill and servers to clear the table. Or I have to be early and wait for the restaurant to swing open the door right at 5 or 5:30pm. And that’s why it’s been awhile since I last went to Twisted Fork. They don’t take reservations.

But lucky me, working downtown and getting off work at 5, I was able to get to Twisted Fork right at 5:30pm, as the door opened, and checked out their Dine Out menu.

Twisted Fork Bistro Menu

And you must be wondering about the post title. When I was trying to look up the dishes on the menu in advance of the dinner, what they looked like and what other people thought about them, I couldn’t find anything online. No Twitter, no Instagram, not even Urbanspoon; that actually piqued my interest even more.

Food

Escargots on the menu? Sign me up! I was really surprised to see that on a Dine Out menu, but hey, I wouldn’t give up the opportunity to have them. The Escargot and Mushrooms was actually like a warm salad. Escargots were diced up and sauteed with mushrooms and arugula. The texture of mushrooms and escargots matched quite well, and the earthy flavour was nice. Mixing in the tomato sauce and putting them all on the baguette crostini was like building my own bruschetta. At certain bites, though, I couldn’t really tell which I was eating, mushrooms or escargots. I suspect there weren’t very many escargots on my plate.

Escargot and Mushrooms

TheĀ Braised Lamb Shank was filling! The lamb shank was braised beautifully, meat fell right off the bone. (more…)

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Perhaps with the exception of downtown Vancouver and some Richmond hotels, hotel dining doesn’t usually have a good reputation. That doesn’t stop me from being curious and wanting to try. So when the Executive Hotel in Coquitlam got a new restaurant, the Wild Fig, and was offering a coupon deal, CC and I gave it a try.

Food

Our coupon covered 1 appetizer, 2 entrees and 1 dessert. They actually have many appetizer options and some interesting ones so we couldn’t really decide on just one. With extra charge we ordered two appies instead. The Charcuterie Plate had a good combination of cured meat, including cold smoked chuck flat, pork loin, salami and sausage, with Little Qualicum cheese. Overall we were quite happy with this; the cured meat had good texture (some drier, some more moist) and a mix of flavours (smokiness and spices), but some could be borderline salty for my liking. My favourite was the cured pork loin. What also caught our attention on this plate was the Brie & Fig Chutney Pastry Rolls; you could order this as a separate item but it came with the charcuterie plate so bonus for us. It was freshly baked – warm (almost too hot to hold at the beginning), crispy on the outside and soft inside. I liked the sweet fig filling (I’m a sucker for anything fig too) but they could put more filling in the pastry.

Charcuterie plate

The Coconut Breaded Prawns had prominent Asian and tropical flavours. The prawns had a nice bite, a crunchy meat texture, although the breading was a bit too dark for my liking. It didn’t taste burnt, though. The menu said “horseradish marmalade” but I didn’t taste the pungent horseradish flavour; the sauce just reminded me of a house-made Thai chili sauce, more on the sweet and spicy note, which I thought worked well with the prawns and tasted quite good. Perhaps they just didn’t add enough horseradish in the marmalade.

Coconut bearded prawns

As for entree, I had the Zinfandel Lamb Shank. Huge portion! (more…)

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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.

Dine Out at Oakwood Canadian

Dine Out at Oakwood Canadian

Food

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.

Smoked cheddar and cauliflower soup

Smoked cheddar and cauliflower soup – tomato foam, thyme croutons

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.

Pork ravioli

Pork ravioli – apple wasabi butter, rind, radish sprout

WK ordered the Albacore Tuna. (more…)

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