Ah Whipping Girl... People often wonder how she got her nickname... Well, it certainly didn't involve any whips nor chains (thankfully!). Rather, she has the tendency to do some pretty hilarious things which I endlessly razz her about (hence she is my whipping girl). The most recent escapade involved the purchase of 2 coupons to Kitsilano Daily Kitchen. She went the first time with another friend and ended up messing up the tip (which she had to fix). So when it came time to use the second coupon (the better tasting menu one!), she was a little apprehensive since we could've very well have gotten the same server...
Luckily for us, that wasn't the case and we ended up having a relaxing dinner (with no tip incident...). After the complimentary bread, we moved onto our first course which happened to be the Sea of Cortez Big Eye Tuna Poke with fermented fish sauce, sesame seeds, citrus and tamari. the brightness of the fresh tomatoes along with the aromatic sesame seeds were the most impactful ingredients in the dish. However, we felt the overuse of acidity and salt (from the fish sauce) overwhelmed the delicate tuna. It did have a wonderful buttery texture though. Next up, we had the Prawns with Potato Rosti that was drizzled with a lobster reduction. We absolutely loved the prawns as they were cooked perfectly with a sweet cold-water snap. The creamy lobster reduction had a good deal of impact in terms of smell and taste. Underneath, the potato rosti was crispy with a starchy interior.
Moving on, we had a beautiful piece of Uni atop Butternut Squash Risotto with Summer squash and double-smoked bacon. Although the risotto was a touch soft, it didn't adversely affect the dish. We found there was just the right amount of moisture, yet it was strangely sour. The real star of the show was indeed the sweet uni which was complimented nicely by the crisp bacon and soft squash. Onto the Roasted Rack of Cache Creek Lamb with roasted squash and 18-year old balsamic, I was pretty excited (because I love lamb). On the other hand, Whipping Girl was moderately enthused since she doesn't prefer it. I think I ended up helping myself to her rack (er...). As you can clearly see in the picture, the lamb was a wonderful medium-rare. The meat practically melted in my mouth with an appealing gaminess from the fat. The sweetness of the squash and sweet tartness of the balsamic added nice balance to the dish.
We were treated to another game meat in the Oven Roasted Peace Country Elk Sirloin with ruby red beat puree and nugget potato. This was a strikingly colourful plate of food with a bright red hue accented by a touch of green. Although the meat was on the chewier side (as lean game can be), it was done rare enough that it wasn't too much of an issue. The tart and sweet puree was necessary as the meat was aggressively salty. Ending the meal, we were presented with Assorted Fruit and Grand Marnier Sabayon with a red wine reduction. Beautiful in colour, this simple dessert was relatively light and refreshing. The silky sabayon was quite sweet, but it went well with the fresh and vibrant fruit. Overall, we thought the meal was pleasant enough with a few seasoning issues. However, we were weren't sure if the regular menu prices could compete with similar restaurants.
- On point executed proteins
- Simple, yet effective plating
- Attentive service
- On the higher part of the restaurant price continuum in Vancouver
- A few seasoning issues