Menu tasting at Cache Bistro

Cache Bistro and Lounge in the heart of Yaletown is the debut restaurant of Hong Kong born chef Alex Mok. Chef Mok boasts an impressive resume including learning under Chef Herves Martin, the once private chef to the late King Leopold of Belgium. Chef Mok’s technique is classically French complimented by Asian flavours and locally sourced ingredients. I was invited to try a few dishes from their new menu and guess what… It’s really good!

 

House made bread and butter
House made bread and butter

First up was a nice plate of house made bread with 2 house made butters, a truffle butter and a peanut butter infused butter. The bread was good and the butters were nice as well, especially the peanut butter butter.

"Paris plate"
“Paris plate”
Xfour Classic Martini
Xfour Classic Martini

 

Next up was the Paris Plate, a lovely charcuterie board with thinly sliced sausage from Oyama, a very intensely flavoured foie gras mouse, pickled vegetables, mixed olives, onion jam and some walnuts, All of this wonderfulness (which is totally a word) was paired with a classic Martini with a twist made with Xfour Vodka which is made in Vernon.

Aldergrove Mok Ribs
Aldergrove Mok Ribs

I sampled 2 mains, first up was Aldergrove Mok Ribs. A full rack of pork back ribs with Chef Mok’s secret BBQ sauce and a red cabbage slaw. The ribs were incredibly tender and the BBQ sauce had a nice Asian twist with some hoisin sauce and a few other Asian flavours blending nicely with the rich BBQ flavours. The ribs were paired with a 2011 Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvee Violette.

Peace Country Lamb Chop
Peace Country Lamb Chop

The second main was my favourite dish of the night, Peace Country lamb chop with roasted house made fennel lamb sausage and a navy bean ragout. The lamb was perfectly in that magical zone between medium rare and medium and had a nice salty crust. The lamb sausage was rich with flavour and had a nice firm texture, very impressive for a house made sausage. The beans still had some firmness as well which is just fine with me, mushy beans are gross. This delightful dish was paired with Church and State Cab Franc, I’m not a wine expert by any definition but this wine is terrific.

Cache S'more
Cache S’more

Last but certainly not least was dessert, the Cache S’more. Croissant bread pudding, chocolate ganache and house made coconut marshmallow baked to perfection. The coconut marshmallow was perfect and proves once again that it’s not the taste of coconut I dislike, it’s the texture. The plating of this dish was quite lovely with an artistic dusting of powdered chocolate with the outline of a fork in it. It was so pretty the picture you see here was featured at Gastropost Vancouver.

Cache is the real deal, go see for yourself.

Twitter – @CacheBistro

Instagram – CacheBistro

Facebook – cachebistro

The interwebzzzz – cachebistro.com

Thanks to Cache and co for inviting me out and feeding me some fantastic food.

Scott.

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First Taste – Good Wolfe Kitchen and Bar

To say that I am a fan of Josh Wolfe is an understatement. Josh is the owner/chef/hard working dude behind Fresh Local Wild, one of Vancouver’s best food trucks. Fresh Local Wild has been featured on Eat St. and Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and is a personal favourite. Josh is the former Executive Chef of Coast and has also served as the Assistant Corporate Chef for the Glowbal Group among other top jobs in restaurants back in Toronto. Pretty solid résumé, no?

Chef Wolfe, looking at me, looking at you.
Chef Wolfe, looking at me, looking at you.

A few months ago I heard Josh had teamed up with Richard Goodine, a man of immeasurable food and beverage experience and they were opening a new spot in Yaletown, Good Wolfe Kitchen and Bar. Was I excited? Uh, ya.

Beer!
Beer!

Last week I found myself in Yaletown having a few tasty craft beers with the local Klout crew so I decided to tweet Chef Wolfe and ask if he was at the restaurant. I had planned on stopping by to say hello but I quickly discovered that I had stumbled upon their soft opening! I hastily paid my tab and did a sexy speed walk (like Flanders) down to 1043 Mainland St. and found myself a comfy seat at the bar. I saw Josh, he saw me, the magic started to happen.

Qualicum Bay Scallop Chorizo
Qualicum Bay Scallop Chorizo

I started with a Quallicum Bay Scallop Chorizo. Sliced raw scallops with marinated peppers, olive oil and parsley with all the spices you’d normally find in a chorizo sausage on top of the sweet scallops. Great presentation, wonderful flavours and textures. It paired well with the Phillips Brewing Hop Circle IPA I was enjoying at the time.

Lemon Pepper Chili Squid
Lemon Pepper Chili Squid

Next up Chef Wolfe sent me some Lemon Pepper Chili Squid with ginger, green onion and chili piquant. A very nice way to do a classic calamari. Nice crunch, tender squid, subtle heat and a nice  freshness provided by the ginger. The presentation is nice but I sort of knocked them over before I took the picture and then failed to stack them back up neatly…hence the crumbs.

CHicken Fried Sweetbreads
CHicken Fried Sweetbreads

The third dish to arrive was a high end take on a pub classic, think chicken wings taken to the next level. Chicken Fried Sweetbreads with house made red hot, Rochefort dressing, celery and carrot. Classic chicken wing taste with  tasty, tasty sweetbreads aka thymus gland. So good. I want more right now.

Braised Beef Cheek
Braised Beef Cheek

Next up was a dish I asked to try, Braised Beef Cheek with country style risotto and natural jus. Super tender beef cheek on a classic, perfectly cooked risotto. There isn’t a whole lot to say here other than wow.

Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Torte
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Torte

Last but not least, dessert. As you probably know I’m not a sweets guy so dessert has to be out of this world for me to rave about it. This was. Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Torte with tamarind candy, vanilla ice cream and mint. I grew up in Surrey and I hate to generalize but I’ve always loved South Asian sweets and this dish is a great fusion of classic chocolate and South Asian flavours. Dense, rich, exotic, incredible. The tamarind candy was like an old friend, a flavour I didn’t know I was missing until it came back into my life.

House made bread
House made bread

Goodwolfe also bakes their own bread and It’s not the typical sourdough loaf you’re used to. This is artisan bread that comes with butter and a cauliflower and truffle puree that is lights out.

I know this post may seem biased to some due to my obvious chef crush on Josh but he is where he is because he’s incredibly good at what he does and it’s a true joy to see him in a kitchen again and even better to see him in the kitchen of his own restaurant.

Josh hard at work
Josh hard at work

You’d be hard pressed to find better food, better value and better company than Goodwolfe Kitchen and Bar. Go see for yourself.

Light fixture above the bar
Light fixture above the bar

Scott.

Twitter – @GoodWolfeVan  @ChefWolfe  @RichardGoodine

Facebook – Good Wolfe Kitchen & Bar

Interwebz – goodwolfe.ca

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Karma stuff – part of my meal was comped by Chef Wolfe but I left his staff a big juicy tip because Karma is a real thing and the service was as good as the food.

Glowbal Grill and Satay Bar – New menu and old friends

A new menu is always a good reason to visit an old favorite and Glowbal Grill in Yaletown is very much a personal favorite. It’s not just the food and drinks that keep me coming back, it’s the outstanding service staff that runs a fairly tight space with military like efficiency. Every time a server or a manager came by the table to clear plates or glasses and stopped to chat for a few seconds there was someone else there to relieve them of their arm full of dishes, unmatched teamwork and a credit to General Manager Brandon Copico and Assistant GM Kyle Johnstone and the rest of the management team.

Now the food. Josh Wolfe, owner of the uber awesome Fresh Local Wild food truck and former Executive Chef of Glowbal Group’s Coast has returned to team Glowbal as their new Assistant Corporate Chef. After chatting with GM Brandon for a while Josh came over and introduced himself, took some time to go over some menu changes and asked my wife and I if we had any allergies or dislikes and then offered to feed us, um yes please!

We started with a small caprese salad with fresh local tomatoes, basil and incredible burrata, it was so soft and gooey, I could eat an inhuman amount of this cheese. The second was a beet salad with baby arugula, sherry vinagrette and big gorgeous chunks of pecorino cheese that were the perfect match to the earthy sweetness of the beets. The beets were prepared an a few different ways that included roasted beets and raw paper thin beets. the third salad was a Tomato and Cucumber salad with fresh heirloom tomatoes, celery leaves, citrus vinagrette and a piece of salty and wonderful crisp prosciutto. Celery leaves are really quite good, stop throwing them away!

Next up Chef Wolfe brought us some Wild Mushroom Risotto made with BC Morel and Chanterelle mushrooms. This dish is not new but is great, fresh local wild (see what I did there??) mushrooms have great texture, almost meat like, and add a nice density to the rich creaminess of the risotto. Also there didn’t seem to be any cream added to this dish which was a complaint I had on my last  visit.

Next up was a Bone In Canadian Prime Ribeye with a selection of 4 sauces, Bearnaise, Chimichuri , Horseradish and steak sauce. These sauces replace the selection of salts that used to be offered with steaks. The ribeye was cooked to a magical place somewhere between rare and medium rare and had the full falvour you can only get from well marbled beef cooked on the bone. The sauces were a nice addition, my personal favorite being the house made chimichuri. The side we received was a variation of an old favorite of mine, The Lobster Baked Potato. Gone is the gigantic baked potato typical of most steak houses which has been replaced by smaller roasted potatoes served in a cast iron skillet and topped with hollandaise sauce and generous chunks of lobster meat. This was a pretty ballsy move messing with something so good but the new dish is as good if not better than the old one.

Dessert was a trio of creme brule, vanilla, white chocolate and hazelnut. I’m not really a dessert guy but I’m a total sucker for creme brule and all three flavors were wonderful and prepared perfectly under Chef Wolfe’s watchful eye. Then magic happened, and it was called chocolate bread pudding. What?? This dish is pure food sex. It was topped with house made seafoam (honeycomb toffee). If you like chocolate or desserts in general you need to try this, it’s amazing!!

Huge thanks to Chef Josh Wolfe, GM Brandon Copico and AGM Kyle Johnstone for being fantastic hosts and all around awesome guys. Click on their names to find them on Twitter and give them a follow!

Scott.

Take the stairs you lazy bastards

As some of you may or may not know when I’m not out on the town eating, drinking and taking pictures I fix elevators for a living. I am also a dad to a super awesome 1 year old girl named Hayley and since she’s in a stroller I find that I am taking elevators a lot more then ever. I didn’t really use elevators much before Hayley unless I was in a high rise or the stairs weren’t accessible but now it’s a necessity. I have noticed that a lot of perfectly healthy able bodied people take elevators up or down 1 or 2 stories and it has really started to bother me. Elevators are for people who can’t take the stairs, parents with small children, the elderly, people with physical disabilities etc. not for lazy assholes.

The part of my job that makes it all worth while is making buildings accessible to everyone but somewhere along the way people have decided that taking the stairs is far too much work. Escalators are often within sight of mall elevators but there is almost never enough room for my daughters stroller in the elevator let alone a wheelchair. Minus 10 points for modern convenience.

Thanks for reading my little rant, now back to regularly scheduled programing.

Scott.

Bake for the Quake

This past Wednesday I attended Bake for the Quake, a fundraiser for Japan earthquake and tsunami relief with proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders. The event, organized by Melody from Vancouver Food Tour and Joy from Gourmeted, was held at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown. I arrived about 15 minutes after the event began and was amazed by the turnout, the line went from one end of the building to the other and out the door! I guess I should have skipped the quick drink at Glowbal before I headed over…

I picked up some yummy treats including a Ryan Kessler cupcake, check out the rest of my pictures below.

Great event for a great cause!!!

Scott.

Booze Reviews, Jura Superstition Scotch Whisky

Jura Superstition is a blend, there I said it, I am drinking blended Scotch. Usually I am a huge snob when it comes to Scotch Whisky, single malt only and nothing less than 12 years old unless it’s Ardbeg or Strathisla. Jura Superstition is my one and only exception to my own rules. Jura is a Scottish island located to the north east of the more famous island know as Islay. Islay and Jura are roughly the same size but Jura’s population is a mere 200. The Isle of Jura Distillery is the only one on the island and produces its own unique single malt whisky line ranging from 10 to 40 years old. Superstition is a blend of both old and new single malts which gives it a unique marriage of peat, smoke, sweet and spice that is unlike anything else I’ve had.

On the nose the peat is quite mild joined by mild smoke and a hint of orange zest. In the mouth the peat and smoke continue their mild ways and are joined by citrus notes and a distinct tobacco flavor that is very similar to a good Cuban cigar. The finish is long with more tobacco and smoke flavors. This is the ultimate pairing with a good cigar. The color is a rich amber.

All told this is a great blend for anyone looking to step away from the mild highland whisky’s and move up to something more sophisticated. It’s not a huge leap like a Lagavulin or Ardbeg would be for the casual Scotch drinker. Jura Superstition will make a nice addition to your  collection.

Cheers!

Scott.

Vancouver food bloggers, throwing stones and naming names.

Oh my goodness what a childish mess. For those of you who don’t already know there was recently a very “aggressive” post on a local food blog calling out all of the big players in the Vancouver food blogging community. It’s a long winded post but read the whole thing, it’s shockingly detailed with the writers opinions of other peoples blogs, their motives etc. Thankfully I was not a part of it seeing as I don’t blog for Urbanspoon and I really don’t give a rats ass how many people read my blog. That’s the real issue here, blogs as a business.

I write because I want people to have a laugh and find some good places to eat, not because I get free food (which does happen from time to time) or because I make money from my blog. I could put ads on my blog and to be honest I might at some point in the future but my main reasons for blogging have stayed the same since day one, I like to eat good food and want to share it with others. To name each and every person who you don’t think is “qualified” to write about food is very immature. The fact is that every single person on this planet likes to eat different things and to say someone shouldn’t be writing about food because they don’t like something is ridiculous.

As far as Urbanspoon goes I’m not interested in my ranking, it seems like a popularity contest, so I have decided that Urbanspoon isn’t for me. It works for some and that’s great but don’t criticize others because you don’t think they should be ranked higher than you. People read blogs because they are interested in their content and if they enjoy the content they will keep coming back for more. A blogs popularity means that people like it and to tell the readers that they’re wrong and shouldn’t like it because you say so is offensive. Free speech is a basic human right and I applaud Kim for having the courage to say what he was feeling but at the end of the day he looks like a spoiled little baby who can’t handle someone getting more attention then him.

I am a huge fan of EVERY Vancouver food blog and as a blogging community we offer the people of this city something truly special and I can’t wait to see future posts about great restaurants from great people. So to Richard, Raul, Melody, Sherman, Mijune, Erin, Diana, Mary, Ben, Suanne, and everyone else who writes about food in Vancouver, whether it’s for a blog, a website, a magazine or a news paper keep up the good work, haters are going to hate but the world keeps on eating.

Scott.

The Teacup, Moroccan Mint

I received a gift from a friend a little while back from her girls adventure to the good old U.S of A from The Teacup in Centralia, Washington.  Located at 204 North Tower Avenue I don’t actually know much about The Teacup other than what I’ve been told so I’ll just tell you about the tea. My gift was a blend called Moroccan Mint, I love mint tea. I don’t really drink tea other than mint tea and I drink it without any milk or sugar because I enjoy the raw, unsweetened mint flavor which is very uncommon in our sugar sweetened society. The blend is a secret but it smelled mostly peppermint based with a hint of spearmint and variegated ginger mint.

Loose leaf teas are not the norm around my house but I think a shift in tea philosophy is in the works. I can’t help but think about all the teabags we throw away every year and we have two “tea balls” at home so why not? Plus they look cool and fresh tea tastes MUCH better. Water boiled, I hung my tea ball (lol) in my mug for roughly 5 minutes and then had a taste. Like I said, fresh tea is so much better than store bought tea bags. Peppermint was the predominant flavor and I didn’t get the bitter aftertaste that sometimes comes with mint tea. If you read my last post about being alcohol free for the month of April you’ll see where this post is coming from. The Booze Reviews will resume in May (hopefully) but until then I will be exploring alternative beverages in the 0% alcohol category.

There’s lots of places to buy loose leaf tea in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley so ditch the teabag, pick up a tea ball and start enjoying better tea!

Scott.

30 days of booze free living

I have decided to lock away the alcohol for the month of April. Why, you ask? I DON’T KNOW!!!!!!!!! Whoa sorry about that, it’s getting to me already. Someone we know is doing a 30 day challenge and has challenged her friends to do the same. She’s doing a raw food diet and asked everyone else to pick something that was achievable and would make a difference to their health.

Now we wait and see if, a: I can actually go a whole month booze free and b: whether or not I will see any health benefits from doing so. I secretly hope that I don’t feel better…I like alcohol.

Wish me luck.

Scott.

April Fools, I got you good!

So as many of you who follow me on Twitter know, today I made a big announcement that I had leased 900 Pacific St in Vancouver, the old Kettle Of Fish, and planned to open a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant. I thought that everyone would be all over this been a prank seeing as it was April 1st…but I was wrong.

I received congratulations from A LOT of people who expressed genuine excitement, even our local cheese heroes at Benton Brothers Fine Cheese sent me a congratulatory tweet and Melody Fury, founder of Vancouver Food Tour seemed almost giddy about the prospect of gourmet grilled cheese. This could not have gone any better as far as April Fools jokes go. I let it go on for a few hours while the accolades poured in and when the time seemed right I revealed that it was a hoax. I then received many more messages from very upset people who really wanted a grilled cheese joint in town, am I actually on to something here? Maybe but truth be told I hadn’t put an ounce of thought into this, I was driving past Kettle Of Fish and the idea just came to me and 30 seconds later it was on Twitter!

Well I got you good Vancouver, but the real story may be that this city seems to really want grilled cheese! Who will step up to the plate and give it to them? Will it be me after all? Maybe (probably not) but stranger things have happened.

Scott.