Kits Daily – Bambi was Delicious

Heads up, the meal I had at Kits Daily included a plate that ranked within my All Time Favourite Plates. It was a mind-blowing gastro climax, I was instantly aroused and obsessed.

So before that epic climax…

The venison dish was a tad heavy on the black pepper. The venison was a quality lean cut but, I thought it could have been more thinly sliced, it was a bit tough. Overall, the flavours were outstanding. The broth was so flavourful and meaty. Not in the sense of the portion of the meat but, the flavor the meat imparted.

Venison
Venison

I had high expectations for this cod but, in the end it was unfortunately very under seasoned and lacked flavor. We did shake a few granules of salt on top but, instead of infusing with the fish it just sat on top and overwhelmed the flavor of the fish.

Kudos, to Kits Daily and our server Morgan she took the dish back and offered a replacement dish.

You ready for the epic gastro-utopia climax?

Bambi was delicious! White tail deer perched on pomme puree with a side of cranberry chutney. Although the deer was very lean, this succulent cut was very tender and cooked to perfection. Perfectly charred rim and when you look at it closely, the rarer middle was slightly elevated.  Shit, I’m getting a reaction just reminiscing about it. The richness of the pomme puree complimented the gaminess of the deer and the tartness of the cranberry cut through the richness.

White tail deer
White tail deer

It wasn’t just the meat, every single ingredient had its purpose and went so well together and, that is why Bambi ranked within my All Time Favourite Plates.

Kitsilano Daily Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Cache Bistro & Lounge – A Brilliant Dining Experience

Cache Bistro & Lounge – A Brilliant Dining Experience

cache restaurant

I had the pleasure of tasting Cache Bistro’s new fall menu last week with several other bloggers (Scott from WFLBC, Amy from Food Queen, Jen from Mashed Thoughts, Mary from MaryinVancity, Robin from eatwith.RobinLeung, and Amy from PopcornMedia).

Right from the outset, were greeted by Zoey, the manager of Cache. She passed us the tasting menu for the night and told us a bit about the restaurant. Cache is Chef Alex Mok’s debut restaurant. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver, Chef Mok has worked in several prestigious restaurants and worked under the private chef of the late King Leopold of Belgium. With Cache, Chef Mok aims to marry classic French cooking with unique Asian flavours.

It looks pretty small from the outside, but Cache Bistro has a spacious interior. I would say the restaurant’s décor has some European flair.

bar area 1

Cache has a big bar area and seating space for larger parties. On the other side of the bar, there are booths and smaller tables.

bar

The spacing was a little tight, but it works. It’s sort of cut off from the other patrons, which I think makes it a really nice space for a birthday event or group dinner – you don’t have worry about ruining someone’s date night!

They’ve got plenty of booze available here! We didn’t get to try any, but Cache also has German beer on tap.

Here’s the tasting menu for the night. The front lists the dishes that we got to taste.
menu front

On the back, there is a description of Cache and Chef Mok’s background as well as some contact information.

chef mok background

We also got to take a look at their new fall menu.

It looks like there’s tons of stuff on there, but it’s really because they combined the drinks menu with the food menu. Cache serves a lot of different wines, cocktails, and beers, so the menu looks very packed.

cache menu

The first thing we started with was booze! Cache’s expert bartender whipped up some Xfour Classic Martinis for each one of us.

Xfour Classic Martinis

I had mine with a twist. This martini used Xfour vodka.

Xfour vodka

Never heard of it before, but the martini was really smooth. The vodka seems pretty similar to Grey Goose.

a virgin cocktail

Jen from Mashed Thoughts doesn’t drink, so Cache prepared a virgin cocktail for her instead.

Immediately following the martinis and drinks, we were served some bread. The bread was good, but the real kicker is the two butters accompanying the bread. The first butter is a truffle infused butter and the second butter is a peanut butter butter; they both have the consistency of whipped butter and are made in-house.

truffle butter

The truffle butter is very light and delicious. The truffle flavour was much more subtle than I expected. With the peanut butter butter, it was out of this world! Never had anything quite like it – the flavour is reminiscent of peanut satay sauce that one would find with hotpot dishes.

The starter that we got to sample was the Paris Picnic, which included samples of Oyama Sausage’s cured meats, house made foie gras mousse, mixed olives, a blueberry compote, crostini, and house pickled vegetables.

paris picnic

Oyama Sausage is based in Granville Island; I’ve never had their meats before, but they were spectacular. Unlike some of the cured meats I’ve tried before, Oyama Sausage’s were not overly salty and had a really fresh taste.

oyama sausage

The fois gras mousse was really interesting. I’ve never had fois gras before so I didn’t know what to expect. It had a really creamy texture and a decadent duck aftertaste.

foie gras 2

The rest of the plate was good, but nothing else stood out.

Untitled

Amy from Popcorn Media is vegetarian, so Cache served her a house salad. I have no clue what’s in it, but it sure looks pretty and delicious. The beats were apparently really good.

house salad

I forgot this handsome chap’s name, but he was a really funny host. After the starter, he introduced the wine that would be paired with our first main.

handsom chap

Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvee Violette VQA ’11 BC was the red wine paired with our first main, the Aldergrove Mok Ribs.

le vieux pin syrah

I’m not much of a wine connoisseur, so I’m not even going to try and describe it. I just know that it paired really well with the ribs!

The Aldergrove Mok Ribs is a full rack of pork back ribs cooked using Chef Mok’s secret BBQ sauce. Accompanying the ribs is a side of sesame cilantro red cabbage coleslaw.

ribs

Described to us as the best ribs in town, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ribs were indeed really damn good.

ribs 3

Chef Mok’s fusion of Asian flavours was clearly portrayed in this dish. The ribs were a tad on the sweeter side from the sauce’s incorporation of (what I think to be) hoisin sauce. They were also fall-off-the-bone tender. The slaw was phenomenal – the taste is incredibly similar to Chinese pickled daikon. I’m certain this slaw was the best I’ve ever had and likely will ever have.

rib 4

Moving onto the second main, we were served Church & State Cabernet Franc V2A ’10 BC as the wine pairing.

church and state cab franc

The flavours of this wine were much bolder, so I could make out the lingering spiciness. I remember hearing some of the others mention notes of vanilla and citrus.

I thought it paired really well with the Peace Country Lamb Chop, which was a grilled lamb chop with navy bean ragout and a roasted house made fennel lamb sausage.

lamb 1

I really like lamb, so to see a dish with both a lamb chop and lamb sausage had me pretty excited! The chop had a great sear and was incredibly tender. Excellent lamb flavour and a nice horseradish kick.

lamb 2

Cache’s house-made sausage was a real winner; I’ve never had such a good tasting lamb sausage. It was packed with lamb flavour! Unfortunately though, the bean ragout didn’t appeal to me as much as the lamb. I found the beans harder than I’m used to – it’s more of a personal preference thing though.

Finally after the mains, we reached the pièce de résistance – dessert. We were served the Cache S’more, which had house-made marshmellow, chocolate ganache, and croissant pudding.

Cache S’more

There’s only one word to describe this marshmellow – perfection. It was super gooey and delicious.

Visually, this dessert was also really beautiful.

s'mores 3

The dessert is just bordering on being too sweet, but it straddles that line pretty well. Having this with a cup of black coffee was just the perfect way to finish up the meal. Everything was at the perfect level of melty-ness. If you’re into s’mores or gooey food, this is the dessert you should try.

To finish off the night, Chef Mok came out and briefly chatted with us about his menu. He seems like a cool guy.

chef mok

Overall, Cache Bistro & Lounge serves up some real quality food. It’s by no means a cheap place to go to, but it’s definitely a fabulous place for great food and drinks. I’m putting Cache on my date-night list!

Guest Blogger:

Chris Yeh from Our Food Adventure @ OurFoodAdvent

Caché Bistro & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Blue Water Cafe – Finger Licking Desserts

No more second guessing where to go for late night desserts. I just uncovered a great place, Blue Water Cafe, a seafood restaurant with finger-licking desserts.

An hour after our rather large and fattening dinner, my friends and I decided what the hey? Let’s go for oysters and desserts.  After what seemed like hours of hmmms… and, “where do you wanna go?, “I don’t care, you are the food blogger, you recommend”, I decided on Blue Water Cafe.

The service was impeccable and the atmosphere was relaxing and inviting. A place where you can comfortably sit for hours without being rushed out the door.

We ordered a dozen oysters between the four of us which were devoured in less than 2 minutes. I was so excited that I forgot to snap a photo.

Jean Pierre Sanchez, resident Pastry Chef plated inspiring delectable desserts.  His name threw me off, so I had to ask. He grew up in France and I believe his father is Spanish.

Warm Dark Cuban Chocolate Cake brandy truffle center, vanilla bean ice cream 12.50. Think of molten chocolate lava cakes, where the center is filled with luscious, warm, oozing chocolate. I couldn’t taste the brandy. Admittedly, I inhaled this and might have not taken the time to savour the flavours. It barely touched the spoon before I gobbled it up.

Warm Dark Cuban Chocolate Cake

Lemon Grass Creme Brulee carrot cake, papaya salsa yoghurt, ginger sorbet 11.50. This was my favourite out of the bunch, the flavors had the ‘in your face’ kind of intensity. I love lemongrass so this was awesome. Seared to perfection, very often the sugar is over caramelized resulting in the burnt taste. This was perfect.

Lemon Grass Creme Brulee

Lemon Meringue Tartelette rhubarb orange compote, pistachio ice cream 11.50. This was very citrusy and refreshing. It went superb with the rhubarb and orange compote. The pistachio ice cream gave the tart dessert a smooth finish.

Lemon Meringue Tartelette

Kalamansi  Cheesecake roasted strawberries with sweet basil strawberry tellicherry pepper sorbet 11.00. See that dessert way in the back right corner, that’s the cheesecake. My friends dug into it before I could smack their spoons away and snap a close-up. The cheesecake was light, almost airy.

Blue water desserts

It is on the expensive side but it is well worth it. Also because my friend snuck a spoonful of their treasured artichoke vinaigrette preserve, who know how much that costs.

Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar on Urbanspoon

Fable Kitchen – Top Chef Canada Runner Up Trevor Bird

Appies

Canned Tuna – preserved lemon, salt canned in-house  Fable Kitchen’s server rightly described it as “The best canned tuna you’ll ever eat” and, she’s right. It was bit on the heavier side but, the flavours were creative blended well together.

Canned Tuna

Chickpea fritters, pickled red onion, shoots, curry mayo. This was good but not the highlight 3/5

Spaghetti and meatball, Duck meat ball, tagliatelle, mushroom sauce in the middle. 5/5. I rarely give 5 ‘s but, this dish deserved it. I understand why they made this an appie instead of an entrée, it is very heavy. My friend remarked, if he could dunk his head in this  it’ll be the best thing EVER.

Spaghetti and meatball

Entrees

Duck Breast, scallion pierogi, fiddle heads, cauliflower. 4.5/5

Duck

Steak, an asian inspired sauce, ginger, black bean, soy sauce. 4/5
Steak

Potato Crusted Chicken and ratatouille. The crust had an interesting texture, reminded me of potato hasbrowns from McDonald’s. It’s not a bad thing just different. Chicken itself was tender. 4/5

potato wrapped chicken

Featured Entrée Slow cooked local salmon with Gnocchi, kale, leeks, spinach puree. The gnocchi was doughy and dense. The salmon was good, the dish other aside from the gnocchi was executed nicely. 3/5

Slow cooked local salmon

Desserts

Lemon Pot de Crème, lemon granita, gin foam. Holy cow this was soooo good. A nice refreshing end to our heavy meal. 4.5/5

Fable Lemon de pot cream

Peach Melba, sable. Sable which I apologize to my highschool French teacher translates to shortbread. Of course!! 2.5/5
Peach Melba

Fable Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Tableau Bistro Loden Hotel – Old School Comfort

Tableau Bistro, located inside the Loden Hotel serves a locally inspired French menu.

I’m sorry, I haven’t been blogging for a while, I was dying of exhaustion. It took me 12 hours of sleep on Sunday to fully recover from a week-long binge of drinking, eating and debauchery. Vegas is not a relaxing vacation spot. ;I’ve been thinking of going on a cleanse but, seriously who was I kidding, how could a restaurant blogger go on a cleanse and still be able to blog??

Now, I’m back!

I’ve been going to Tableau a lot these past couple of weeks. I always, love coming here, if I ever wanted to relax in a comfortable and nice environment, Tableau is the first place to come to mind and, admittedly it’s one of the closest restaurants to where I live. To my friends outside of downtown…I’m sorry I made you trek all the way downtown but, aren’t you glad you did?

This is a good first date spot. If your date turns out to be a bore you would also have other first dates around you for entertainment.

The service was attentive and the food for the most part was delicious. There were a few dishes that were off but, generally they rated 4/5. Tableau makes one of the best TWENTIETH CENTURY cocktails in Vancouver gin, white chocolate syrup, lillet, lemon and, egg white.

Absolutely DELISH!

I recently went to Bottleneck on Granville, review to come, I ordered the same cocktail and they came back with some disgusting licorice mouthwash concoction. Arghhh gag I can still taste it.

So on to the food….

Lamb chops – we all loved this dish. Unfortunately, this is a seasonal dish and is no longer available on their summer menu. The meat was so packed with flavor and the smokiness really came through. 4/5.

Lamb chops
Lamb chops

Mushrooms on toast, I know, I was skeptical at first, it’s mushrooms on toast, how phenomenal could this be? Our server told us this was one of their popular appetizers so we decided to give it a try. ;I was pleasantly surprised, this was good! ; Expensive for what it is but, I’m a big fan of mushrooms and this is now one of my favourite dishes on the menu 4.5/5

Mushrooms on toast
Mushrooms on toast

French onion soup, crouton-less, the fragrant was amazing. This rich soup was so flavourful, after I finished the bowl, I was pretty much full.

French onion soup, crouton-less
French onion soup, crouton-less

Burger and fries – Gruyère cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato. I rate burgers by the quality of the patty and the condiments. The patty was juicy and the bun was toasted. Other than the Gruyère there wasn’t much that set this burger apart from every other burger. 3/5

Burger and fries
Burger and fries

Rabbit Dijionaise pan-fried, although it tasted like it was braised. The meat was a sopping mess. 2/5

Rabbit Dijionaise pan fried
Rabbit Dijionaise pan-fried

Beef tartare, the quality of the meat was superb. 4/5

Beef Tartare  with quail egg
Beef Tartare with quail egg

Gnocchi pan-fried was nice and buoyant, often gnocchi’s are doughy, this was perfect. 4/5

Gnocchi pan fried
Gnocchi pan-fried

Garganelli pasta with meatballs was simple and delicious. 4/5.

Garganelli pasta with meatballs
Garganelli pasta with meatballs

Steelhead trout with quinoa 3.5/5

Steelhead trout with
Steelhead trout with

Banana cake and peanut brittle and carmalized and chocolate ice-cream. They ran out of peanut brittle, and cake itself was hard and too dense. 2/5 I was looking forward to the peanut brittle too.

Banana cake with peanut brittle
Banana cake with peanut brittle

Coffee cheesecake, light in texture and also in flavor. 2.5/5

Tableau Bar Bistro on Urbanspoon

Hawksworth at Georgia Hotel – Not Exuberantly Expensive As Expected

One of the most buzzed about restaurant this winter would have to be Hawksworth at The Georgia Hotel. Previous executive chef at West, David Hawksworth had exceptionally high expectations to meet. Most of us have been anticipating Hawksworth opening since 2008!!! That’s when the first hint was leaked.

We thought to indulge ourselves during lunch. The décor is opulent with the huge hanging chandeliers and a pristine dining room.  Get ready for some spectacular people watching spot too.  I was a bit hesitant to go at first,  thought it would cost me an arm and a leg but, the prices are just a tad more than Cactus’s, at least during lunch.

Now the food…

Bartlett pear salad speck, burrata, roasted shallot $16. The salad was light and on the bland side.  It was however, a good choice to clean your palette. Burrata, a type of creamy Italian cheese made from mozza and cream gave the dish a buttery texture. 2/5
Bartlett pear salad

48 hr beef shortrib black pepper jam, honeydew, green papaya, peanut, Thai basil $16. This was our favourite dish. I can’t believe the shortribs were still intact after 48 hours of braising.

HOW?!?!

Even when you slice through it, was very tender but still held its shape. The combination of the short ribs with the peanuts and honeydew were delicious. 4/5

48hr shortrib black

Hawksworth beef burger applewood smoked bacon, aged cheddar, frites $18. It’s a regular burger, the patty wasn’t juicy. Now the burger at Mahoney and Son’s, located at the Convention Center is a BURGER. 3/5

Hawksworth Burger

Hawksworth Burger. 2jpg

Hawksworth on Urbanspoon

Black and Blue – Trendy Steakhouse

Glowbal Group Black and Blue

Black and Blue, another Glowbal addition to Alberni’s entertainment corridor receives a successful start.  The decor and atmosphere reminds me of Tao in New York, dark, posh and full of pretty people.

Trying to compete with high-end steakhouses such as Gotham and Hy’s, Black and Blue just misses the mark.

Appies…

Short rib poppers -$12, potatoes, cheddar cheese, horseradish.  If you expected short ribs as the featured ingredient, you will be sorely disappointed, reminded me of bar food. 2/5

short rib poppers

Pan seared foie gras -$19, I love foie gras the tartness from the apricots gave an otherwise heavy dish a refreshing twist. 3.5/5
pan seared foie gras

Steak tartare with quail egg and blue cheese crustini -$16, the grade of the steak was superb but, it was submerged in oil. The blue cheese was so overpowering, I couldn’t taste any other flavours. 2/5
steak tartare

Entrees…

Beef wellington, with mushrooms foie gras and red win jus -$31. Quality of the meat once again was excellent. The pastry was flaky and the steak cooked perfectly.  4/5
beef wellington

Berkshire pork chops -$31, a simple dish that was executed perfectly. Pan seared with s&P, the meat was moist and tender. 3.5/5
berkshire pork chops

Sweets…

Chocolate soufflé was amazing!! This warm gooey chocolate concoction is guaranteed to make you go back. Drizzled with either vanilla our chocolate sauce, we had both. I can’t stop raving about it.

chocolate souffle

Undecided whether we would come back for the entrees, definitely, for the dessert and drinks. They had a few table side options like the crepe and the banana pudding. If there is one thing I know, where Glowbal excels, is the pretentious and trendy. So if you are searching for the next resto  to prowl in your Christian Louboutins and Prada suits, we’ve found your new fave hotspot.

Black + Blue on Urbanspoon