As part of the event, you get to take home recipe cards of many of the items offered, as well as have chats with the chef about the dishes they are serving.
The first dish I tried was a Crispy Duck Confit from George ($25 menu), complete with crackling. There was also some deep fried vegetables and some truffled brussel sprouts on the plate. The duck was really moist and the skin was extra crispy, quite a feat considering this was laid out buffet style and not made to order. I found some of the vegetable a bit oily, but that is likely due to the dishes sitting out.
From Cache Bistro ($35 menu), this was one of my favourites, a little Pulled Pork Cornbread Slider. This was melt in your mouth pulled pork and the bun and almost a brioche feel, definitely not your average corn bread. The sauce was sweet but with a great smokey flavour as well.
The offering from Glowbal Grill ($35) was pretty tasty too. It was a Canadian Prime Rib-Eye Medallion with some roasted root vegetable, and a very (almost overly so) generously pat of cafe de paris butter. The beef was cooked to a perfect medium rare, but I found the veggies a little bland. The pat of butter on top didn't melt as expected and ended up being left on the plate. I'm sure in the proper setting, the butter would have melted onto the steak and probably helped to season the vegetables too.
This Bison Flat Iron Steak Crostini is from Hamilton Street Grill ($25 menu), and was really quite tasty. The marinade had some rosemary, juniper berries and black peppercorns. Topped with a bit of pecorino cheese, this was an excellent amuse bouche. The actual menu has this as an entree, sans the crostini. And onto my hands-down, standing ovation favourite of the night, something that involves a torch!
This is the famous Salmon Aburi Sushi from Minami ($35 or $45 menu). You've got salmon on top with special miku sauce which gets a great sear after being torched with some charcoal.
You see the salmon on top, but there is salmon in the middle too! And all topped off with a sliver of jalapeno for a kick of heat. Folks, this tastes better than it looks, and it looks pretty darn good!
Accompanying the aburi sushi was a Beet Salad with some Figs and Creme Fraiche. The salad was refreshing and was nice and light. I am not normally a fan of beets but the this little portion was just right for me. The fig was very sweet and I liked the mixture of the two together.
A close up of the Salad and Aburi Salmon. What a great couple!
And my final dish of the night was also from Minami. Served as two courses on their Taste of Yaletown menu, this was the ultimate surf and turf on a plate. On the left is the Soy Braised Angus Short Rib, ontop of a Yukon potato puree. On the right, is a piece of Saikyo Miso Baked Sablefish, cooked to a perfect doneness. Saikyo miso is a white miso that is more rice based than soy based, so the saltiness factor is lessened, making it a perfect marinade for delicate fish such as sablefish. The potato puree was butter smooth and the greens on top helped give the dish flavour.
Of the 9 restaurants that participated, I enjoyed Minami the most. However, there were many restaurants that didn't take part in this premiere event, so be sure to browse iYaletown's website for all participating restaurants. With these prices, it's a good time to try something new or revisit an old favourite.
- Taste of Yaletown on now until October 27
- Images shown are for sample sizes and not indicative of real portions served
- Check out Shake Up Yaletown on October 25.