Sunday, May 15, 2011

Vegan dinner at Goldfish

Goldfish on Urbanspoon
You may remember that way back, I attended a specially arranged vegan dinner at Joe Fortes.
The Vancouver Meatless Meetup arranged for another vegan dinner at a posh restaurant -- Goldfish (1118 Mainland).
The menu initially presented was horribly boring, but this time the restaurant selected wasn't rushed to throw something together, and the actual dishes were utterly delicious.

  • chilled mint pea soup,
  • composed salad (meaning NOT lettuce with dressing),
  • tofu with eggplant
  • risotto with asparagus
  • fruit tart with a seasonal sorbet

The somewhat grainy chilled mint pea soup turned out to be probably the largest course in terms of volume. It had a simple look to it, but sometimes simple things can be very delicious. Not overly minty -- just enough to give the chilled soup a refreshing quality and wake you up. If there's a criticism here, I think it'd have to be the portion. It was very generous, to the point where someone might find it a bit heavy because of its thickness. Fortunately, there weren't really any heavyweight mains in this menu.

The tofu was fried in a light flour batter, and laid on a wide strip of eggplant puree with just a hint of something chilli to give it a delayed bite. I found there wasn't quite enough of this sauce, and the kitchen was happy to oblige with more.

A "composed salad" was next, with a mix of vegetables (beets, arugala leaves), nuts (sunflower seeds, chickpeas), and fruit (blueberries, orange wedges), and raspberry dressing on the side. We could have used a spoon for this one to get more flavour / ingredients per bite. The sheer number of ingredients plus fruit to give it a freshness to contrast the vegetables made this salad quite memorable.

Risotto with asparagus and mushrooms was up next, nearly steaming hot from the kitchen and approximately one bowlful. It looked bland and boring on the plate, but was actually very savory, almost a bit too salty. Pepper optional and in hindsight, I think a turn or two of the pepper mill would have gone nicely. More than anything, the seasoning made it delicious, and there was some almost fruity tasting sweet orange-red sauce (supposedly some sort of chilli) gave it some playful flavour in the mouth if you mixed a bit of it in with each bite.

Finally, the fruit tart... I was rather suspicious that this was a kitchen disaster. Quite possibly the cookie-like crust (that was sweet but not overly so, and strongly tasting of coconut) had disintegrated or burnt at the bottom (which can happen if the filling somehow leaks out, for example), so that you got a good looking rim on your plate but no base, just a lot of tasty strawberry-in-sweet-sauce filling. A scoop of very fruity sorbet gave this dessert a third component. I'm not a fan of desserts that are so sweet they leave a burn in the throat, and this one was thankfully not one of those. Overall, a fresh and cool way to finish a wonderful meal.

$50 before tax and tip -- well worth it. It's not on the regular menu, so if you do want to try this menu, you could try asking for the "May 13th Katie Kitson vegan set dinner" and hopefully they'll remember it. You might get a superior fruit tart, however.

No comments:

Post a Comment