Judas Goat Taberna

I can't believe it.  The day had come.  Viv and I were heading to the NKTOB/B2M/98° concert.  How on Earth did I get into this predicament? Not only was I going to be in the minority among 10,000 screaming women, I had to wait in line to get in all by myself - the lone male there.  Why was I in line all by myself?  Well, I had to drop off my camera in my car first because we couldn't go to the concert without eating beforehand!  We ended up going to Judas Goat in nearby Gastown. 

Although it was a bit early for dinner tapas, we made it work with some Sangria ($9.00).  Nothing like a little booze to start off the meal.  The first item to arrive the White Anchovies with Salsa Verde ($5.00).  Typically, anchovies are super salty, so it can be easily overwhelming.  However, in this case, the salsa verde was bold enough to counteract the saltiness with nice acidity, spice and garlic.  We would've liked to see the bread toasted a bit more though.  Next up was the Albacore Tuna Ceviche ($8.00) with lime, cilantro, coconut milk and crispy onions.  We really liked this as there was ample lime juice which made the dish appetizing.  The cilantro and coconut added great aroma and flavour.  As for the crispy onions, they were really crunchy which afforded a nice textural contrast to the soft tuna.

Arriving stuffed with saffron risotto, the Salt Spring Mussels ($5.00) exhibited a literal taste of the sea.  The cheesy, yet firm risotto absorbed all of the mussel juice and when combined with the impactful saffron, it was super flavourful.  The biggest plate in terms of ingredients was the Chorizo, Octopus & Olives Stew ($9.00).  There was enough olives to last a week (for me at least because Viv doesn't really eat olives).  The various olives were plump, salty and added great flavour to the dish.  The little morsels of octopus were very tender with only a slight chew.  As for the chorizo, we found them to be a bit hard. I liked soaking up the flavourful broth with the accompanying bread.

Onto the Israeli Cous Cous ($8.00) with cauliflower and preserved lemon, we found the accompanying greens to be oversalted.  However, when combined with the ample amount of charred soft cauliflower, roasted garlic cloves, olive oil, slivered almonds and preserved lemon, the flavours began to balance out.  The cous cous itself was firm, yet soft enough at the same time.  As if I didn't have enough pork fat for one day (went to Tuc for lunch), we had the Pork Belly & Bacon Lollipops ($9.00) as well.  These were cubed pork belly on skewers served with bacon fat powder and what we believed was a caramelized onion and balsamic jam.  Having a good balance of fat and meat, the pork belly exhibited a beautiful gelatinous fat underneath the firm rind.  The jam provided the necessary tart and sweetness for the porkiness of the belly.

Heading into the homestretch, we had the Brisket Meatballs ($8.00) with rustic tomato sauce.  The star of this dish was definitely the tomato sauce as it was tart and plenty peppery accented by fresh basil.  The sprinkle of goat cheese added some flavourful gaminess to the entire dish.  As for the meatballs, they were lean and and a bit dry with little filler. Our last dish was a new creation being the Salmon Sausage ($10.00) with salmon & lobster bisque. The sausage was more like a salmon mousse with a bit of texture.  It was mild and naturally sweet accented by herbs.  The bisque was salty with a noticeable lobster essence which added another layer of flavour to the mild sausage.  It was suggested we eat the sausage with bread and that was a good idea since it provided texture to a basically mushy concoction. Overall, this return visit to Judas Goat was enjoyable with decent eats.  Nothing spectacular, but nothing horrible either.  Definitely an interesting little place in Blood Alley.

The Good:
- Interesting location which is quaint with unintentional free entertainment
- Decent little bites
- We got good service

The Bad:
- A little tight with the seating
- Can get pricey if you order lots

Judas Goat Taberna on Urbanspoon

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