When I first got the invite to Yew Seafood + Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel, I was a bit perplexed. ProNamel Acid Truth? What's that? Wait, I know! My wife uses ProNamel toothpaste. Okay I get it. Hold on, maybe not... What does this have to do with Ned Bell's food? Well, apparently they were trying to spread the word about the risk to our teeth from acid-rich foods such as wine, citrus, vinegar and carbonated drinks. As such, a toothpaste such as Sensodyne ProNamel could help protect against acid wear. Okay... So were we going to eat low-acid food then? Of course not! Then you wouldn't need the toothpaste then!
We got to dine on delicious food prepared by Chef Ned Bell that featured acid-rich ingredients to highlight how tasty it can be. But at the same time, warn us of the harm it can do over time. Yes, this is where you would use the toothpaste. Not to eat it of course... Anyways, we started with Ned Bell's Interactive Seafood Tackle Box consisting of Pacific Oysters, Humpback Shrimp, BC Spot Prawns and Albacore Tuna. At another station, there was Gourgeres, Milk Buns and Warm Salted Almonds & Cashews. I particularly liked the Humpback Shrimp as they were buttery soft and naturally sweet. They were lightly dressed in an aioli. The Albacore Tuna was sliced into thick pieces with equally big chunks of avocado. These went well with the crunchy crisps.
Moving onto the actual meal, I started with the Seared Qualicum Scallops with crispy & raw cauliflower and orange dressing. Seared nicely while being rare in the middle, the scallops retained their natural sweetness and texture. The crunch from the raw cauliflower was a bit different, but worked. As for the tempura-fried cauliflower, it was crunchy inside and out (as with the hazelnuts as well). The mild orange dressing added a mild sweetness and the slightest of acidity while the raisins were plump and sweet. Next up, I had the Roasted Oceanwise Halibut with lemon truffle vinaigrette, apple butter and Agassiz hazelnuts. Unbelievably, the halibut was prepared in a way that it was moist and almost cod-like albeit more firm. That in itself made the dish successful. With the addition of the wonderful lemon vinaigrette, the fish was not longing for flavour. I liked how the truffle was muted and only appeared at the finish.
Moving onto some meat, I had the Pemberton Meadows Organic Beef Tenderloin with smoked golden potato puree, wilted spinach, lobster topped with vanilla Hollandaise and balsamic reduction. The beef practically required very little effort to eat while the lobster was dressed in a light and airy Hollandaise. I found the vanilla to be just there without being overwhelming. I felt the balsamic reduction was more than merely a bystander as it added the necessary acidity to liven up the flavours especially the mild tasting beef. For dessert, I chose the Organic Dark Chocolate Souffle with cherries and milk chocolate ice cream. The upside down, "unramekined" souffle was moist and only semi-sweet. There was a background bitterness which was accented by the sweet and tart cherries as well as the smooth sweet ice cream. Yes, it is true, the acidic ingredients and wine were very tasty. I guess I will be stealing some of my wife's ProNamel toothpaste after this.
*Entire meal and wine were complimentary*
- It appears that I like acid (no, not the drug)
- On point protein execution
- Balanced flavours
- Believe it or not, I personally would've liked even more acidity (with more toothpaste I suppose)