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

Yaletown L’Antipasto – The Best Olive Oil in Vancouver

Food Persuasion Restaurant Review
Yaletown L’Antipasto

Yaletown L’Antipasto, a cute little bistro like Italian restaurant in the heart of Yaletown.  The seating is limited without being cramped. A very non- Yaletown vibe, Yaletown-L’Antipasto had a friendly, casual and cozy atmosphere. Because the seating was so close, diners were able to converse with other diners at other tables.

I was dining with Jenn and Marian, which meant by the end of the night we would’ve had at least 3 bottles of wine between 3 girls.

Bruschetta Mista Toasted ciabatta bread with an assortment of in-house made pates. That night, it was Tomato, truffle, artichoke and Tuscan chicken pate. The chicken pate was our favourite, decadent and flavourful.

Bruschetta mista

Carpaccio  AAA Alberta Beef, drizzled with “Gocce di Tartufo” white Truffle oil, served with preserved vegetables in olive oil. It had a really big serving of Olive oil, a little too much for my taste, otherwise the quality of the meat and with the preserved vegetables was an excellent pairing.

Carpaccio

I am not an olive oil connoisseur but, even I can taste the quality. Olive oil flavours, grassy, buttery and it reminded me of drinking wine. There was enough olive oil in the last dish for a few teaspoons. I have included an  Olive Oil Tasting – How To’s section on the bottom. I wanted to purchase a bottle for myself but, alas it was directly sourced from a farmer’s co-op in Italy, all whom presses their own olives. Matti, co-owner of Yaletown L’Antipasto, tries to source their ingredients locally. However, the quality of the olive oil isn’t there locally and so they had to import from abroad.

olive oil

Spaghetti Bianchi, Manila Clams Sauted with Pinot Grigio, Olive Oil, fresh Garlic & Chillies. Simple and basked in my favourite olive oil. The pasta was cooked to al dente. Good dose of olive oil, by the end of the night the oil from my dish soaked through the cardboard takeout box and the paper bag.

Clam Spaghetti

The spaghetti is bought fresh.
fresh spaghetti

Pappardelle Rosse, switched to Spaghetti, home-made Organic Tomato Sauce with an assorted Meat Ragu, a rustic dish great for those cold nights.

Ravioli alla Filly, Lobster & Crab stuffed Ravioli served with a Fresh Roma Tomato Sauce, Sauted Tiger Prawns & Arugula. This was my favourite dish, Jenn thought it was too bland.

Ravioli

Segway tooo…

Simple Dishes Are the Most Difficult to Perfect

We launched into a debate that simple dishes are much harder to make because, A) you need quality ingredients, there are no heavy sauces to mask the poor ingredients B) that is how this dish is supposed to taste like! Well ok, my second point wasn’t a supporting argument but, I am sticking with it. We got so heated that we started to involve other diners and the restaurant owners in our conversation. Some dishes are meant to be simple so you can taste the ingredients. The highlight of the ravioli was the tomatoes, they were acidic with a hint of sweetness, Matti agreed. You cannot beat a simple dish with fresh quality ingredients.

His ultimate dream would be to have a farm with cows, chickens and vegetables and a restaurant on the side. I would LOVE to go. Have you ever tried fresh ice cream? I have, I milked a cow and manually creamed it.  It was the best ice cream that I had ever had, even better than the internationally award-winning Bella Gelateria.

Olive Oil Tasting – How To’s
When tasting olive oil, much of the oil’s characteristics are perceived through the sense of smell. Though most people enjoy olive oil with other foods, the following steps allow us to focus on the olive oil’s flavor without distraction:

  • Pour a small amount of oil (about 1 tablespoon) into a small tapered (wine) glass.
  • Hold the glass in one hand and use your other hand to cover the glass while swirling the oil to release its aroma.
  • Uncover the glass and inhale deeply from the top of the glass. Think about whether the aroma is mild or strong. You may want to write down descriptions of the aromas that you detect at this point.
  • Next you slurp the oil; this is done by sipping a small amount of oil into your mouth while “sipping” some air as well. (When done correctly, you will make that impolite noise that would cause you to be scolded when you were a child!) Slurping emulsifies the oil with air that helps to spread it throughout your mouth – giving you the chance to savor every nuance of flavor with just a small sip of oil.
  • Finish by swallowing the oil and noticing if it leaves a stinging sensation in your throat.

Source: Directly from: The Olive Oil Source- Nancy’s Tasting Advice

Other Italian Restaurants

Yaletown L'Antipasto on Urbanspoon

Minami Japanese Restaurant

Minami Japanese fine dining restaurant opened their doors this Spring and it has become my go to restaurant this Summer.

Minami Japanese Restaurant, located in Yaletown and sister restaurant to Miku, a fine dining Japanese restaurant in the heart of Coal Harbour meets high expectations. I’ve been to both, the menu is very similar but, the atmosphere and décor is much nicer at Minami.
The service was impeccable right from when we entered to when we left.
It is a rare treat, when all the dishes scored between 4 -5 out of 5!

Now the Food…

We started with the Shiso Mojito Watermelon and Citrus Cured Scallops, mojito infused watermelon, montchevre goat cheese, micro greens, pickled celery, cucumber, a light salad to prepare our paletes. Creative ingredients that melded so well and gave a refreshing blend of flavours. 4.5/5

watermelon and scallops
We were recommended to try the calamari, everyone that went to Minami raved about this dish.

Calamari, nori tempura batter, brussels sprout chips, pickled tomatoes, tosazu sauce. The batter was heavenly, so light, not the usual American calamari. This is one of their popular dishes. 4/5

calamari

Miso Baked Duck Breast, ginger braised carrots, watercress, sweet potato fondant, orange reduction. This dish is slightly different from the one offered at Miku. I much prefer the duck breast at Minami. Again, this dish was able to hit my entire palette, sour, sweet, spicy, salty. 4.5/5
Duck Breast
Minami and Miku are known for their Aburi Sushi, a roll that is pressed and then lightly seared and, topped with the secret Miku sauce. We tried dissecting the sauce, the two ingredients we all agreed on were sesame and soy sauce but, that is a given, it’s the base of almost all Japanese, Chinese sauces.

Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi, pressed local salmon, jalapeño, miku sauce, my favourite dish. It was sooo good. 5/5
aburi salmon sushi

Aburi Saba Oshi Sushi, pressed mackerel, miku miso sauce. Once again they hit this out of the ball park, a terrific dish. 4.5/5.
aburi saba sushi

I keeping my fingers crossed, Minami will stay open longer than the other predecessors at this location, Goldfish being one of that recently closed. Their dishes were made with creativity and detail. The ingredients were fresh and, I will be recommending this place to my picky foodies.

Minami on Urbanspoon

Glowbal Grill Steaks and Satay- Divine Brunch Service

I am infatuated with brunch, it’s my favorite meal.

What could be more enjoyable then eating your weekend brunch on a patio surrounded by fashionably well dressed yuppies, in their Chanel and Prada sunglasses? The relaxed atmosphere and the delicious food puts everyone in a happy mood.

Now the food…

To start off and I apologize, I failed to take a pic of their freshly made mini doughnuts, presented in cute little dim sum containers. We inhaled it all within 3 minutes. They reminded us of the yummy mini doughnuts served at PNE.

The delightful Lobster Benedict -Atlantic lobster, poached eggs, lobster hollandaise crispy pancetta, cheddar biscuit  -$16.50. Lobster and eggs, a win-win combination . It was so rich and flavorful and, the eggs were perfectly poached.

Shrimp Benny
Shrimp Benny
The Glowbal Benedict – crispy pancetta, hollandaise, baby greens, potato hash – $12.50. This is my default dish. Yes, I’ve been here for brunch more than a few times and I love it every time. Everything was nicely cooked and fresh.
I sound like a broken record, trying to think of different phrases to describe Delicious.
Glowbal Benny
Glowbal Benny

Glowbal Grill Steaks and Satay on Urbanspoon

http://glowbalgrill.com