Three reviewers: ts and js, with a special guest appearance by rl (teehee)
[no reviews by csc, lsc and yd!]
Nu had a $25 Dine Out menu, and a $35 100-Mile Diet Menu.
Feeling like I have to have "street cred," I had the 100-Mile Dine Out Menu.
I mean, I've read the 100-Mile Diet book (mini-review: "okay" as I could have done with less of the "personal" stuff) and I've always wanted to do something "virtuous" vis a vis our carbon footprint, so now that a 100-Mile menu has been offered to me, I feel like I have to take it.
Even though the 100-Mile Dine Out Menu consisted of chicken for the entree course.
Even though it had some sort of poutine course. I like fries but am not too crazy about poutine.
On to the review.
Side Stripe Shrimp + BC Alabacore Fritter
green beans, olives, preserve tomato, fine herb dressing
Nu's Classic Caesar Salad
asiago, popcorn pork belly, buttered croutons
Glenn Valley Farms Butternut Squash Soup
shredded duck, chive dumpling
Crispy Fraser Valley Duck Leg Confit
sweet potato puree, braised red cabbage, orange preserve, jus
Pan Seared "Larry Albright" Trout
vegetable ratatouille, pemberton potato criquette, dill cream
Braised Lamb Cheeks
roasted winter root vegetables, wild & cultivated mushroom couscous, minted radish, rich lamb jus
Blood Orange Pavlova
blood orange curd, citrus salad
Matt's Famous Sticky Toffee + Date Pudding
warm butterscotch sauce
Sadly, nobody who ate the $25 Dine Out menu is reviewing!!!
I tasted the seafood fritter (appy) and it was quite nice. I only had one small bit, so I don't remember any details anymore. But it was good. =)
Oh, and tasted the Caesar salad too: the dressing was good and anchovy-y!
100 Mile Menu
Pemberton Potto "Poutine"
qualicum cheese curds, flourless gravy
Glenn Valley Farms Butternut Squash Soup
candied black heart spring salmon bellies, chive oil
Fraser Valley Yellow Skin Chicken
North arm farms root vegetable pave, forest mushroom cream sauce
Caribou Apiaries Honey Creme Brullee, poached quince candy
The poutine course came and it was a semi-big serving of poutine. It was a bowl-ful of fries, with curds, and gravy, similar in size to maybe a medium (large) McDonald's fries.
The potatoes were merely okay. I didn't think them spectacular by any means: they weren't crispy and were, in fact, on the soggy side. The curds, as curds are, are flavourless, but I didn't really like the gravy all that much. Gravy has too much of an "MSG" taste to me, that is, it's umami to the power of more umami and it seems that the salt or the sodium or the umami-ness of it sticks to the side of my throat. I react this way to processed soups and other processed foods and I really don't like the aftertaste or the after-swallow.
That being said, I really do not know why they chose to have the POUTINE as a starter. I finished about half of my poutine and was trying to finish all of it, but I thought if I ate all of it, then I would be TOO FULL to enjoy the other courses!
I agree: I really can't think of WHY poutine would be part of the tasting menu! It's just so wrong. I don't think poutine can stand on its own as a "dish" in a tasting menu. There's really nothing much going on: it's just fries! The poutine itself was all right, but nothing spectacular.
The butternut squash soup was delicious. It was smooth, silky, with the subtle sweetness of butternut squash. What I didn't care for was the salmon they put with the soup. It was too "fishy," so it was a funny combination to have something that's fishy and sweet. Something fishy and salty would have worked better perhaps.
So to recap: POUTINE + SOUP or something LIQUID. Anybody following the plot? I'm getting fuller and fuller!
I didn't think the salmon was particularly sweet. In fact, it sort of tasted like "smoked salmon" to me (but not quite). But yeah, I didn't like that salmon there AT ALL! I just left it in the bowl.
When my chicken came, I was already FULL. Which was a shame because the chicken dish was delicious. It was tender, the mushrooms were flavourful, and if you had the meat with a little bit of the skin, it was quite heavenly. I couldn't eat more than 3 or 4 little pieces, though and had only 2 forkfuls of the root vegetable square they had. I COULD NOT EAT ANY MORE!
When the server came in to take away my plate, she asked if there was anything wrong with the chicken. I said no. In fact, it was quite delicious, but I was simply too full from the poutine. She smiled and said other people can handle it. I just smiled back and accepted her offer to have the whole thing wrapped up.
The chicken dish was good. I liked the mushrooms. I couldn't quite finish the root vegetable pave. Well, one factor would be that the poutine just took up an excessive amount of stomach space, but the second was that there was some sort of strong root vegetable there! I tried asking people if they got what I meant when I said that the taste of that vegetable pauses a little bit after taking a bite, but then rushes forward in a very "effervescent" way... like a WHOOSH of vapor/flavor. It was very weird, and I couldn't quite get to liking that. I assume it's some sort of radish, but I've had radishes before, and this was different. Oh well.
The dessert was probably the best part of the meal. Again, it is a shame though because I only had 2 spoonfuls of it before I have to pass it on to somebody else who can appreciate it more at that time! I surrendered. I really could not have any more food or else I'll puke everything out. The creme brulee was smooth and creamy, just rightly rich and rightly sweet (not too sweet). I thought I wouldn't like the honey but it might have been the ingredient that put this creme brulee way above other creme brulees. Perhaps it added the right touch of sweetness? Anyways, that's only speculation on my part.
Seems like the night for speculations anyways.
The creme brulee was very nice. In fact, I lose respect for a place that can't do creme brulee right! Teehee. The quince candy was basically like a marshmallow! From the description, I thought it would be a piece of candied fruit, but it was not the case. MARSHMALLOW! (I don't really like marshmallows.)
My overall rating: 8 for the food. It was one of the best performers among all of the restaurants we've tried during Dine Out 2008.
For me, the food was executed well, but I was actually wanting to do their Dine-Out menu... I just thought I should take the 100 Mile Menu because they seemed to have put an effort of making one. (I still object to that poutine being a dish in the tasting menu.) So, even though the food was executed well, in terms of my satisfaction, my food rating would have to be 6.5 or 7/10.
And now, RL! She had the wine pairings with her meal.
the 'nu' sign was hard to see in the dark -- it was gray. The parking was difficult as well. And the food, it's not *that* good. i felt full right after the first course and its matching light beer. but overall, it was ok.
[the 'nu' sign was hard to see in the dark -- gray kasi. parking mahirap din. and the food, it's not *that* good. i feel busog na on the first course pa lang with the light beer. but overall ok lang.]
Friday, February 22, 2008