Ever since having such a memorable meal on my initial visit during The Big Taste event in early March, I’ve been a huge fan of downtownfood. There’s always a first for everything and this is a first for me where I’ve been back to the same restaurant THREE times within a week. Actually, to be more accurate, it was THREE times within a span of four days! It started off with me having dinner at downtownfood earlier that week. It was then I learnt that downtownfood was about to launch their spring menu, which meant that many of the favourites would get replaced with new items. Hence, I ended up there a second time that week to try some of the items from their lunch menu before they got replaced. I had also found out that downtownfood was putting on an Easter set menu special on Good Friday to “clear the pantry in preparation for the new [spring] menu”. This set menu special consisted of 4 courses for $35. This was a great opportunity to have a couple of the favourites from the dinner menu again one last time so I convinced my friend Anna of Anna’s Appetite and my friend M to join me there for dinner on Good Friday.
As part of the set menu, we started off with a Fire River New Brunswick Oyster that was topped with Metafore hot sauce. It was a tasty bite to start off the evening.
As usual, we were served a basket of downtownfood’s awesome house made baguette. As addictive as this bread is, I’ve learned to pace myself now so that I have room for all the other courses.
Next up on the set menu was the Beet Tartare, which was made with roasted local beets and garnished with capers, shallots, pickles, a spiced aioli, and mustard. The Beet Tartare was served with tangy toasted cumin crisps. This version was a slight variation to the one that I had on my very first visit to downtownfood. It was just as tasty and my favourite part was the cumin crisps which were light and almost paper-thin.
Chef Darren then surprised us with a complimentary treat that was not part of the set menu. It consisted of Sous Vide Wagyu Striploin, Lobster Fritter, and Smoked Hen of Wood Mushrooms with a Chipotle Bernaise. This was his take on surf ‘n’ turf. OMG, was this ever good! This was easily the best steak that I’ve ever had. The beef was so flavourful, perfectly cooked, and just melted in our mouths. After this, I can never look at steak the same way again. The tempura batter on the lobster was light and the lobster was sweet and tender. I loved the smokiness of the hen of wood mushrooms. This is definitely the new standard for surf ‘n’ turf!
For our main, as part of the set menu we had a choice of the Single Line Caught Pacific Halibut or the Braised Veal Cheeks. My friend Anna and I decided to try the Single Line Caught Pacific Halibut, which was served green curry with vegetables, coconut milk, and topped with a green mango salad. The halibut was perfectly cooked. It was moist, flaky, and tender. The green curry was quite mild so it did not over power the delicate flavour of the halibut while the green mango salad provided a nice textural contrast. All in all, this was a tasty dish and I’d definitely order it again.
My friend M had the Braised Veal Cheeks, which was served alongside a Jerusalem artichoke puree, crisp chive buds, and kale in a goulash broth with pickled red onions.
For dessert, the set menu came with the signature Flourless Chocolate Cake, which was topped with almond chocolate tuile, pistachio gelato, and salted caramel. I liked that I could really taste the pistachio in the gelato. It’s all a matter of personal taste. I know quite a few foodies have raved about this Flourless Chocolate Cake and are sad to see it go but my personal favourite dessert by far at downtownfood is their new Chocolate Marquise Cake with the Hazelnut Crunch Crust, that I had tried on my previous visit earlier that week.
We finished off the evening with complimentary house made marshmallows rolled in toasted coconut. These were delish and the perfect way to end off the evening!
This was another solid meal at downtownfood. This time the stand out dish for me was definitely the Sous Vide Wagyu Striploin with the Lobster Fritter and Smoked Hen of Wood Mushrooms.
628 8th Ave SW