Sherman's Food Adventures: Terroir Kitchen

Terroir Kitchen

When it still existed, La Regalade could be classified as a hidden gem in West Van, albeit an expensive one.  However, it was worth it due to the large portions of rustic French cuisine.  Now in its place, there is something very much different in Terroir Kitchen. Gone is the cramped seating and boisterous room.  We now find a finer dining experience with well-spaced tables and a serene environment.  Furthermore, the cuisine reflects that with precision and refinement.  Mijune and I decided to check the tasting menu out right after our dinner at Water Street Cafe.  Yes, she is truly a bad influence.  Now back to the gym...

Our meal started with a Seared Scallop atop boudin noir, minted pea puree and flaked pastry.  If perfection is a real thing, than this first bite was it.  The scallop couldn't have been seared any more evenly as it was nutty and sweet while the centre was buttery soft.  Not to be outdone, the accompaniments were stellar including the earthy boudin and the sweet pea puree.  I could've eaten 10 more of these easily (Mijune could do 20 because she is Mijune).  The Charred Octopus was nearly as good.  It was smoky with a light crust giving way to tenderness with a light resistance.  I felt the octopus was a bit over-salted though.  Underneath, there was potato and orange salad, green olives and N'duja salami.  Seeing how the octopus was already salty, it didn't help that the olives and salami also added more punch.  Despite this, this was still very tasty.

Going in a different direction we had the Mushroom Risotto.  This was a bit perplexing to me as it resembled a cream of mushroom soup with rice more than a risotto.  I'm not sure if it was the chef's intention to have it that saucy, but in the end, the rice was still al dente.  Flavours were good too with plenty of woodsiness from the morels and a touch of tang to go with it as well as cheesiness (from the grana padano).  Even though I gushed about the scallop, the best dish hands down was the Branzino with dungeness crab, pea shoots, squash and broth.  First off, the fish was absolutely the star with crispy well-seasoned skin while being tender and flaky.  Second best thing on the plate was the impactful broth that was full of punch that was a balance of all flavours except for spice.  The dish looked light and indeed it was, yet at the same time, exuding very powerful flavours.

Moving away from seafood, we had the Grilled 45-day Aged Striploin with smashed fingerling potatoes and red wine jus.  Prepared medium-rare and properly rested, there was not much to complain about with the steak.  It was meaty, nutty, juicy and tender.  Surprisingly, I equally loved the meaty potatoes underneath.  For dessert, we were served a platter consisting of Chocolate Pavé, Pot de Crème, Chateau de Bourgogne Cheese with cassis poached pear and burnt almond biscotti.  Okay, the best thing on the board was the pot de crème as it was balanced and super silky.  Loved the cocoa nibs on top.  Normally, I'm not much a cheese person for dessert, but this was so creamy and satisfying, we actually got some grilled bread to eat it with!  Finally, the chocolate pavé was rich and not overly sweet while exhibiting an appealing bitter aftertaste.  As you can see, the meal was pretty delicious with some extraordinary highlights.  Sure, the risotto was a bit soupy, but everything else was impressive.  Nice little spot out in West Van.

The Good:
- Almost everything was prepared properly
- Impactful flavours
- Spacious seating

The Bad:
- Downtown pricing in West Van
- Risotto was too soupy

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