Sherman's Food Adventures: Song YVR

Song YVR

My initial visit to Song YVR (formerly known as Kin Kao Song) was fantastic.  Subsequently, they were recognized as Michelin Bib Gourmand and it was to no surprise.  For those who aren't familiar, Bib Gourmand refers to restaurants that good quality and value.  That pretty much sums up Song as the food is delicious and although not cheap, the pricing is fair for the quality.  We love this place so much, we had to make a return visit to try some more dishes.

However, we went back to the well with the Lemongrass Wings that were split then deep fried.  This way, there was much more of a uniform crispiness and since they cooked much faster, they didn't dry out.  Hence, the skin was well-rendered and crispy while the meat stayed juicy.  Beyond the aromatic lemongrass, the side dip was key in providing acidity, sweetness,  herbaceousness and a slight kick.

One of the stealthiest dishes was the Pomelo Salad topped with crispy shallots and shredded coconut.  Juicy and sweet with a touch of bitterness, the pomelo was a treat by itself.  However, the aromatic and crunch of the shallots and coconut acted as a perfect textural contrast.  Hints of lemongrass and lime leaves complimented the already tangy, sweet and slightly spicy dressing.  Completing the whole thing was some cashews.

One of the best things to have here is the Tom Yum Prawns Soup.  It is served in a hot pot that almost brought the soup to a boil.  I say almost because it didn't and the soup was a bit lukewarm.  Despite this, the flavours really popped.  Beyond the expected hot and sour notes, there was plenty of aromatics and bite from the galangal, lime leaves and lemongrass.  Umaminess and saltiness was evident from the shrimp paste as well.  This was more of a stew than soup as it sported large and meaty tiger prawns, young coconut and oyster mushrooms.

Jam-packed with large and fluffy chunks of crab meat, the Crab Fried Rice was truly a real treat.  Although the jasmine rice was just a touch soft, it was still the beneficiary of high BTUs, hence it was nutty with caramelized flavours.  The addition of shrimp paste provided impact in the form of a fermented and rich saltiness to go with some brininess.  This was a considerable portion, but then again, it was $40.00.

Another must-order at Song is the Pad Thai.  We added grilled pork jowl as our protein for an extra $5.00.  Featuring their house tamarind sauce, the dish was rich with tang and sweetness.  The rice noodles were chewy and not clumpy.  There was enough sauce for impact and lubrication.  Pressed tofu and pickled turnip made this a very legit Pad Thai with all of the necessary textures as well.

So one of their newest dishes is the Beef Short Rib Stir Fry with fresh turmeric, peppercorns, chili, garlic sauce, mushrooms, eggplant, green beans and peppers.  Once again, the wok fry was excellent as the flavours were caramelized and there was no moisture on the plate.  The short ribs were meaty and had some chew.  As for the veggies, they were vibrant with a bite and plenty of texture.

One of my favourite dishes was actually vegetarian in the Squash Stir Fry featuring kobacha and egg with a garlic and mushroom sauce.  The texture of the squash was appealing where it was firm, yet still tender.  The ample amount of fried egg provided a complimentary texture.  Best of all, the umaminess from the mushroom "oyster" sauce was sweet and full of depth.  Okay, I can't tell you enough how delicious the food at Song YVR is.  I highly recommend the place and it definitely deserves its Michelin Bib Gourmand status.  Sure, it is not cheap, but what is these days?  Might as well eat something that is guaranteed to be tasty.

The Good:
- Expert wok skills, things are caramelized without excess moisture
- Pronounced flavours
- Not your ordinary Thai restaurant

The Bad:
- Dishes average around $40.00 each, so it is pricey. Worth it in my opinion though.


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