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Dine Out Vancouver 2018: Wildebeest

So 2018 is upon us and that means another round of Dine Out Vancouver!

This year the festival runs from January 19 to February 4, 2018.  In case this is your first time hearing of this festival, basically a selection of restaurants in Vancouver will offer set menus (appetizer, entree and dessert) for $20, $30 or $40.  AngryRussian and I decided to do one each of the $40 and $30 restaurants, as my opinion is that they’re usually the best deal.

If you’re interested, you can see my past Dine Out Vancouver posts by clicking here.

For our $40 choice, we decided on Wildebeest.  I had been here previously with Fannypack and really enjoyed their food, so I was glad to revisit.  AngryRussian and I basically ordered every non-vegetarian choice and tried everything.

Wildebeest - Smoked Pork Belly & Polenta
SMOKED PORK BELLY & POLENTA – Rosemary rub, truffled polenta, pickled onion rings, coleslaw, parmesan

The flavors of this dish was very good, especially the truffled polenta.  It was creamy and savory and delicious.  The pork belly was interesting as I had in mind the type of pork belly with crackling and very fork-tender, very fatty.

This wasn’t.  I would describe this as unsliced bacon, which I know is also pork belly.  Just different expectations.  The meat was also more tough to cut into, but still very delicious.  AngryRussian really liked this.

Wildebeest - Tuna Tartare
TUNA TARTARE – Celeriac mayonnaise, pickled pumpkin, potato chips, capers, chives, olive oil

The Tuna Tartare was light and refreshing.  It was lightly seasoned and was very fresh.  The picked daikon (yes daikon, not pumpkin as indicated on the menu) offered a nice tartish crunch.

Wildebeest - Cache Creek Flat Iron Steak with Roasted Veal Sweetbreads
CACHE CREEK FLAT IRON STEAK – Brown butter & squash purée, roasted pumpkin, pickled squash, smoked potato gratin, with added roasted veal sweetbreads

When the Cache Creek Flat Iron Steak arrived I was also surprised as I was used to seeing flat iron steak sliced into thinner pieces.  I also thought it looked kind of dry, but that was not the case at all!

The steak was very tender and juicy and really didn’t need much of the little amount of sauce they provided.  The squash puree was extremely silky smooth and both it and the roasted pumpkin were very cinnamon-y and nutmeggy.  I didn’t try the potato gratin as I don’t enjoy potatoes but AngryRussian said it wasn’t anything special.

I suggested we go ahead and add roasted veal sweetbreads (+$8) to the dish because we both love sweetbreads, and I was glad we did.  The sweetbreads were most and tender also and seasoned very well, and bitefuls of steak and sweetbread were just heavenly.

Wildebeest - Confit Duck Leg
CONFIT DUCK LEG – Parsnip purée, handmade gnocchi, roasted parsnips, bordelaise sauce

Yes the Confit Duck Leg really is as big as it looks.  It was very fatty and I commented how if it was the show Masterchef, the judges would’ve talked about how the duck fat needs to be rendered more, as there was actually a big chunk off the side of the leg that was all pure fat under the skin.  And some parts of the meatier parts also had a thick layer of fat.

But despite the fattiness, I found the leg a little to the dry side.  I think this may have to do with the legs being prepped ahead of time (as I found out walking past the open kitchen).  It was still tasty, but left me disappointed.  AngryRussian had not complaints though.

Wildebeest - Yogurt Panna Cotta
YOGURT PANNA COTTA – Blackberry compote, mint & sorrel granita

As for dessert, I had the Yogurt Panna Cotta because that is one of my favorite desserts.  The mint and sorrel granita was cool and herbaceous.  The panna cotta had a blackberry compote gelatin on the bottom and also had freeze-dried blackberries sprinkled on top.  I loved the dusting of freeze-dried blackberries all over the panna cotta also.  This tasted like a cheesecake and I loved it.

Wildebeest - Chocolate Silk Cake
CHOCOLATE SILK CAKE – Salt-baked pineapple, rum raisin ice cream, toasted coconut, lime meringue

AngryRussian was very intrigued by the salt-baked pineapple that accompanied the Chocolate Silk Cake.  I was too, but when I tried it I couldn’t taste the salt at all.  It also didn’t come with ice cream, but some sort of whipped cream, and I couldn’t taste rum raisin either…maybe I would’ve if I had remembered it was supposed to be rum raisin?  The meringue was light and flaky but again didn’t taste like lime to me.

I must say I enjoyed my previous Dine Out visit to Wildebeest a lot more and a little disappointed with this instance due to my high expectations.  But that’s just me, because AngryRussian commented that he thought everything was amazing!

Wildebeest Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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