Updated 4 June 2009: closed (source from Urbanspoon)
Suanne and I had always been mesmerized by the legend of the top restaurants in the world. Namely, the El Bulli and the Fat Duck. Some day, we hope to have the opportunity to dine out in one these places. For now, we settle for something more attainable … a restaurant owned by a chef who had worked in one of these restaurant.
The chef behind Gastropod is Vancouverite Angus An who according to his biography is said to had a stint in the Michelin 3-stars Fat Duck. In the local scene, Gastropod had won many awards and perhaps one of the best restaurants along 4th Ave in Vancouver.
Featuring modern European cuisine, Gastropod had won the Gold Award for Best New Fine Dining and Silver Award for Best Design from the Vancouver Magazine’s 18th Annual Restaurant Awards. We knew that we would not go wrong with such a restaurant … and we were right.
The setting is chic and inviting with white linen and simple lines. Best of all, the service is very friendly, sincere and unpretentious. They did their very best to connect to us which made our entire experience very enjoyable.
BTW, Gastropod’s DOV menu is $35 per person.
Someone must make it mandatory for all restaurants to provide bread, like they provide glasses of water for each table … don’t you agree? Gastropod is one of those who had simple but great bread. Their butter had sprinkles of salt which really enhances the flavour. When we finished the bread, they promptly came by asked if they could give us more.
For the appetizer, we had their Duck Two Ways which came as a “$5 supplement”. This is a 24-hour confit leg, liver parfait and cucumber salad. Oh man, this appetizer could very well be the main course. The duck leg was was really tender inside and crisp outside. I am not sure what 24-hour confit mean … you reckon they really cooked this in confit for 24 hours?
The pate on the other hand was creamy, smooth and lightly salty which melt in your mouth, lightly salty. This really is worth the $5 supplement.
Suanne had the Seared scallops which is also a $5 supplement. It is a simple dish cooked with Gribiche sauce (like Tartare sauce) served with a few Serrano ham and shaved vegetable salad. The star of this is undoubtedly the fresh and “springy” scallops.
For the main, we had the 36-hour Braise Pork Shoulder. This is the biggest chunk of pork meat we had come across so far. 2″ tall, it was really tender. I think it must have been like 3/4 lbs of meat here.
The light custardy sabayon (Zabaglione) drenches the pork shoulder with a few fried shallots. This dish is great, perhaps except that it had too much meat! The sides of spinach and shiitake balances the heaviness of the pork shoulder.
For me I had the “$8 supplement” Duo of Venison. That is what it is … two venison dishes in one. On top is the roasted loin of venison cooked perfectly medium rare. Below that is the venison bolognaise which was more pasta than anything else as far as I remember.
What we did not like is the strong chinese medicine (yoek choy) taste of the sauce.
Knowing Suanne, she will go for the Gastropod Cheesecake. It was a small slice of warm cheesecake and balanced with a mixed berry compote and sorbet.
For me, I decided to go for another of their “$5 supplement” — the Cheese Platter. There are 5 varieties of local and international cheeses. They did describe what the cheese were but for the life of me, the only one I remembered was the “5 year cheddar”.
It came on a wooden platter arranged with candied walnut, crispy bread and a sweet “pate” thingy that we don’t know what it was.
How do you go about tasting the cheese … I mean, the right way? For us, we stack them up … base it with the crispy bread, followed by the cheese, then the sweet-pate-thingy and topped with the candied walnut. It was fabulous.
Total bill came up to $120 plus drinks, taxes, tips. We enjoyed the meal.
There you go … the last of our series of Dine Out Vancouver 2008. Good thing we did not gain any weight after all these dine outs!
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Wow, this just all looks so good and I’m curious about the cheese, you’ve definitely got a bleu in there – is it a local Canadian Blue Cheese?
My all time favorite French cheese is Roquefort (Blue Cheese from France) and I also adore the Italian Gorgonzola but other than that I don’t know of any other countries that produce this cheese and I’d just be so happy to find out about Canadian Blue cheese because it looks really tasty.
Apparently they use a cooking method called “sous vide” – slow cooking in a temperature controlled warm water bath (in a sealed plastic baggie). So the duck confit would have been cooked for 24 hours in a baggie with duck fat and the pork shoulder would have been cooked for 36 hours.
My first impression is – geez, lots of additional charges!
I wonder if the 24-hour duck confit refers to how long the duck has been wrapped in duck fat, as opposed to the cooking time. I think duck confit is often “marinated” in the fat for quite a bit of time prior to cooking. Gastropod does seem pretty enthusiastic about the sous vide method… but I’m not sure you could get a crispy duck skin with that method.
Also, the sweet pate on the cheese plate… I think that might be quince paste. Mmm… I love cheese plates. Have you been to Salt yet?
Hi Twinkienic: I had never been to Salt before but very distinctly remember reading about the Salt Tasting Room on hoyummy.com. Is that what you’re referring to?