Last month, one of my coworkers had organized a group lunch for a bunch of us at The Highwood on SAIT Campus. The Highwood Dining Room gives the students of the Culinary Program at SAIT an opportunity to prepare upscale cuisine in a live classroom environment under the guidance of their culinary instructors. I’ve been to The Highwood a couple of times before in the past and have had mixed feelings about my experiences as I’ve found the dishes can be hit or miss.
On this visit, I had a bowl of the Seafood Bisque ($6) to start. I used to love the lobster bisque from the cafeteria in the basement of the Senator Burns Building on SAIT Campus many years ago. I was hoping this Seafood Bisque would a trip down memory lane for me. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. I was a bit disappointed as I found the flavours of this bisque to underwhelming. I was hoping the bisque would be creamy, silky, and smooth. Instead, I found the texture to be a bit on the grainy side and thought that the bisque could have used more pureeing and blending.
For my main, I decided to try the Baby Potato, Duck Confit, and Arugula Salad ($9). The salad was dressed with a Brassica mustard vinaigrette and topped with oven roasted cherry tomatoes and a soft boiled egg. I was very impressed with how well executed this salad was. The soft boiled egg was cooked to perfection with the egg yolk being runny while the egg white was cooked through. The baby potatoes were al dente and the roasted tomatoes provided just the right touch of sweetness. The duck confit was flavourful and tender though I wish they would have provided some of the crispy skin. Overall, this salad rivals some of the more memorable salads that I’ve had at other fine dining establishments. My only quibble is that I thought the portion size was a little on the small side. I wouldn’t have minded if they upped the price a bit and provided a larger portion size. Nonetheless, I enjoyed every morsel of it.
For dessert, I had the Lemon Thyme Panna Cotta ($6). The panna cotta was topped with a blueberry compote and garnished with a pistachio biscotti. The texture of the panna cotta was perfect. It was rich, creamy and had just enough gelatin so that it set but without being too jiggly. The blueberry compote provided the perfect contrast to the luscious panna cotta.
Overall, I did enjoy my meal on this visit with the Baby Potato, Duck Confit, and Arugula Salad being the highlight. The panna cotta for dessert was solid in execution as well. This lunch turned out to be one of my more memorable experiences dining at The Highwood.
The Highwood at SAIT
1301 16 Ave NW