Sherman's Food Adventures: Seaside Provisions

Seaside Provisions

Looking back at the last time I dined at Seaside Provisions, it was just prior to the pandemic.  Honestly, that seems like eons ago and I look fondly at those simpler times.  My original visit was an invite with Mijune and the meal was so good, I actually came back with my family shortly after (on my own coin).  Then the pandemic hit and well, you know what happened.  So here I am again with another invite along with Jacqueline featuring some of their new menu items and cocktails.

I've always like the cozy dining space here and we were seated right by the fireplace on some comfy couches.  We were served 3 cocktails including the Caribbean Sea (Cazadores tequila with fresh passion fruit, pineapple infusion and a flaming 151 rum),  Highlight Out (Mount Gay eclipse rum with fresh grapefruit juice, cinnamon and blood orange bitters topped with soda, garnished with an orange peel and mint crown), Raspberry Gin Sour (Bombay Bramble gin with fresh raspberries, egg whites and fresh citrus garnished with fresh raspberries).  These were all rather fruity and completely up my alley.  I particularly enjoyed the Highlight Out where it was the least strongest in alcohol and had a refreshing finish.  The Caribbean Sea was tropical and sweet but if you added the 151, this would be the strongest.  Due to the use of gin, the last cocktail was mild with a nice raspberry essence complimented by the foamy egg whites.

As for the food, we began with the Argentinian Chili Garlic Prawns seared with pablanos with torn and charred brioche.  Oh this was as good as it looked with a bevy of confit garlic as well as equal parts of spice.  The capsicum emulsion also had a sweet seafoody finish which was quite appealing, especially when we sopped it up with the texturally awesome torn bread.  It had a nutty crispiness that gave way to an airy lightness inside.  To finish off the flavour profile, the gremolata added an aromatic tangy bitterness.

Another dish with some spice was the Fried Chicken sporting a soy maple glaze topped with garlic crème fraiche.  This featured tender nuggets of fried thigh meat that was juicy and tender.  The batter was crispy while being completely flavoured by the glaze.  It wasn't as sweet as I had feared (as maple can be quite sweet) where it only provided the essence of maple complimented by equal parts savouriness and spice.  The garlic crème fraiche provided some creaminess and aromatics while the pickled red onion added crunch and extra acidity.

Personally, I love Fried Brussels Sprouts and the one here was no exception.  It was a good portion of perfectly prepared Brussels sprouts that were crispy while still exhibiting a tender meaty centre.  They were aromatic from the deep-fry and also nicely seasoned by the red wine vinaigrette.  The parmesan espuma added a bit of creamy salty nuttiness which went well with the fried sprouts.  The spattering of crispy guanciale afforded even more umaminess as well as a salty meatiness.

Onto the most impressive dish, we were served the Petite Platter sporting 12 oysters, whole lobster, ahi tuna tataki, Argentinian prawns with guacamole, 2 pcs each of ikura, salmon and hamachi nigiri.  This was so impressive, the table next to us was wanting to devour it if we weren't (of course we would devour it!).  The oysters were Gems from Comox Valley and they were shucked properly without any shell fragments.  They were sweet with just the right amount of brininess.  Lobster was cooked right with it being sweet and exhibiting the classic bounce texture.  Absolutely loved the tataki as the kalamansi gel was super tangy with some sweetness.  We found the nigiri to be well-prepared as well while the rice was appealingly chewy.

The seafood and Japanese theme didn't end there where we were served the Trout Oshi.  By virtue of being lightly cured with house-pickled serrano peppers, the trout had inherent flavour in the form of acidity and spice.  Texturally, it was soft with a bite while the rice underneath featured discernible individual grains that were chewy. Dipped into a touch of soy and these pieces of sushi were nice little bites.

We also added the Scallops with pineapple curry, herb salad and calamansi gel.  This was a good decision as the scallops couldn't have been prepared any more perfectly.  Still slightly rare in the middle and sporting a caramelized sear, the scallops were buttery and soft while being well-seasoned.  Loved the tangy sweetness of the pineapple while the gel provided an extra shot of acidity.  The combination of ingredients also afforded the salad an appealing brightness.

Onto the mains, we had the delicious Prawn Risotto with carnaroli rice, tomato confit, parmesan foam.  Due to the use of the starchier carnaroli rice, the risotto ended up to be thicker and creamier.  I felt the risotto was firm enough with softer edges.  It was plenty flavourful from the mild tomato and the aroma of Argentinian prawns.  Of course, the cheesiness of the risotto was evident, especially from the foam.  As for the prawns, they were buttery with a minor snap texture.  They were naturally sweet with enough seasoning.

We were then presented with a Herb-Crusted Halibut with parsley, chives and basil served atop celery root puree, charred fennel and a potato fondant.  Initially, I was concerned that the piece of halibut might be overdone, but it was actually flaky and moist.  The herb crust was crispy and aromatic with a crispy exterior texture.  Loved the creamy puree as it added luxurious moisture to the fish.

Our last entree was the 6 oz Tenderloin with house-seasoned fries and peppercorn jus.  Prepared perfectly medium-rare, the steak was moist and super tender.  The peppercorn jus was impactful with a richness as well as a bite from the pepper.  Due to the starch coating, the fries were lightly crispy while being plenty potatoey on the inside.

Onto dessert, we were served 2 including the House-made Yuzu Pannacotta.  This featured a gelatin topping which provided a nice texture while adding more tanginess.  As for the pannacotta itself, it was really rich and creamy.  I would've preferred it to be a bit lighter, but that can be purely subjective.  It almost ate like a light cheesecake, but with the brightness of yuzu.

Our second dessert was the House-made Bread Pudding with dulce de leche and ice cream.  I have to say this has to be one of the best bread puddings I've had in quite some time.  Loved the crispy top that was contrasted beautifully by the tender and moist interior.  This was purposefully sweet and aromatic.  Overall, the meal at Seaside Provisions was even better than my first visit (granted that was 3 years ago). Nice to see they have continued to refine their food and kept up the focus on fresh seafood.  One of the better spots in the neighbourhood.

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:
- Fresh, well-prepared seafood
- Impactful flavours
- Cozy dining space

The Bad:
- Pannacotta could've been lighter


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