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DINE OUT VANCOUVER 2014: The Oakwood Canadian Bistro

Last Dine Out Vancouver restaurant this year! I am not going to lie that I absolutely love and adore the Oakwood Canadian Bistro! Oakwood is actually an encore from my Dine Out experience last year. Sav and I went to 3-4 restaurants last year and Oakwood was our favourite. We both agreed that we’re visiting Oakwood again, no questions and argument needed. Oakwood Canadian Bistro is located in Kitsilano in Vancouver. They were and is still participating with a $28 three course meal for the festival. Sav and I had a hard time making reservations for the restaurant cause it is really full right from the beginning and most slots left were either early at 5pm or late night at 9 or 10pm. We didn’t care… MUST GO! We both said! Please don’t think I’m annoying but we were so in love with the food that we both were still talking about the steak we had last year on our way to the restaurant. Umm.. Yum! And I’m still thinking about it now 😛

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Oakwood is a very nice restaurant. They have couches and a fireplace at the back, big dining table in the middle great for large groups, and a bar! The ambience is great for casual dates or friends gathering. The waiters and waitresses are really friendly. One thing I like the most about these friendly bunches is how they explain clearly whats on your plate and recommendations when serving. This is what I recognize as a true dining experience. You may not understand all types of gourmand as a customer. A lot of us only know what taste good and what doesn’t when we put food in our mouth. But not a lot of us know what we are actually putting in our mouth, and how those food were executed. To appreciate food, taste should not be the only criteria.

There are three appetizers to choose from:

  • Pork terrine, maple cauliflower puree, pickled shallots, rye soil
  • Smoked seafood chowder, cod, slams, bacon lardon, oyster crackers
  • Waldorf salad, bacon, grapes, celery, candied walnuts, blue cheese, creme fraiche

I had the pork terrine. Our server recommended me to add foie gras (extra $5) on top of the terrine but I didn’t take his suggestion. I just didn’t felt like having foie gras. When my terrine came and I had my first bite, I was so glad that I didn’t ask for foie gras. The terrine is so creamy and heavy in texture, it would be too much on my taste palette if I ordered the foie gras. Not saying it is bad, its just not something I would handle. Sav would probably love the terrine with foie gras because his taste palette is really rich and heavy. The terrine was served with cauliflower puree. The puree is sweet, which I think made a really great balance with the heavy creamy terrine. Rye soil is a combination of rye bread crumbs, brown butter, dried portion mushroom and charred leeks. Essentially it tastes like bread crumbs. It was a little upsetting cause I thought it would have a crunchy texture so that the whole dish is not too blend. But its not crunchy. At least not like deep fried crunchy. So the terrine dish is just spoonful of creaminess.

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Bacon was another reason that the terrine is so heavy… There’s not a lot, but the terrine is wrapped with bacon.

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Although the terrine is rather heavy as an appetizer… I really enjoyed it and wanted more of it. There are nuts and fruit bites mixed in the terrine which gives it sweetness. A very comforting and satisfied appetizer.

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Sav ordered the smoked chowder with oyster crackers. The chowder was really rich and creamy as well. Lots of seafood! Guarantee spoonful of seafood every bite. The smokiness of the chowder was really noticeable which gave a lot of flavour to the dish. The oyster crackers were served warm. The are really airy, almost like a puff pastry texture.

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For main course, we have four different choices:

  • Seared sablefish, confit pork shoulder, dupuy lentils, pork rinds, carrot
  • Pork belly spaghetti aglio olio, spinach, forest mushrooms
  • Roast porchetta, confit garlic brocollini, dijon spatzle, caramelized onion puree
  • Girlled 16 oz pork chop, potato croquette, charred cippolini and fennel, apple glace (extra $10)

I had the roast porchetta! Porchetta is a boneless pork roast of belly and loin. It is an Italian culinary tradition. The porchetta was served with dijon spatzle. Spatzle is a type of egg noodle or dumpling found in the cuisines of southern Germany, Austria, Switerland, Hungary and Absace. Although it didn’t tasted like any pasta or dumpling. The texture is as disappointing as the rye soil I had in the terrine dish. I thought it would give great texture to the plate but it ends up being non-crunchy. The texture is somewhat weird? Its really soft and soggy. Didn’t taste like any kind of protein on your dish. But you can tell it was pan-fried or deep fried and there’s bites of oil when you chew into it. I never had it before so I can’t determine is that cooked properly but it wasn’t anything that upsets the overall taste of the dish. The caramelized onion puree is so good! Its on the sweeter side of the palette. And it definitely gave a great balance to the fat of the porchetta and the oil from the spatzle. I cleared up every single drop of that puree.

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I would not say the porchetta was really tender. It was nicely cooked but I think it is on the edge of a dry piece of pork. If you look at the picture below… See how the meat is like two circles (a outer circle and inner circle)? The inner circle is dry and tough. I won’t say it is overdone but it does not have juice and tenderness. The outer circle is basically just crispy pork skin and fat. Yes… ALL fat!! That was the best part. It was so crispy and the fat goes so well with it. Overall the porchetta was not bad because the fat and the dry meat goes so well together that it doesn’t taste like dry meat.

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Sav ordered the pork chop. He had great memories with his 16 oz steak last year so I could tell he was going to order that pork chop. The pork chop has a supplement of $10 on it. Which I think is the most worth it supplement so far from our dining experiences. I know I talked about how I don’t encourage and appreciate restaurants adding supplement on top of the dine out price cause that will just take away the meaning of having a deal meal. But I really think Oakwood made the supplement worth it. At least compared to Chambar‘s New York Steak (which is also $10 supplement) it is way worth the money!

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So Sav who is a super foie gras fan requested foie gras on his pork chop for an extra $5. He pretty much invested an extra $15 on his main course… Oh well! The foie gras melted really fast. It turns out that the foie gras was not served as a piece but in shred. Our server came out with a chunk of foie gras and grated it in front of us. He added so much! But like I said, it melted really fast cause foie gras is really sensitive to heat and especially when its in shredded form now.

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Like I said, the pork chop is huge! It came in two pieces, one with the bone still attached to it. It has a really thick cut to it and it was cooked perfectly. Juicy and tender.

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My favourite part of the dish is the potato croquette! It is sooooo good! The croquette was not just mash potatoes, they added really chunks of potato so that there’s a great texture in it. It was deep fried and the crisp is done so well that I’m craving for it already. I must say this is a wonderful dish. Everything was done perfectly.

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Moving to dessert! There’s only two choices so Sav and I ordered one each.

  • Maple creme caramel, pecan shortbread, cranberry gel, vanilla caramel
  • Chocolate mousse, coffee pistachio crunch, whip cream

There’s also an extra dessert option for $2 which is the bacon macaroon.

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Both desserts were amazing. Sav actually finished the whole chocolate mousse only leaving me a few bites. He was never fond of desserts cause he knows that his body can’t handle sugar and will eventually start a productive cough and generate mucus. But he ate the whole thing… And end up coughing the next day… Oh well!

Both desserts were really creamy and smooth. The texture is so comforting! The highlight of the chocolate mousse is the coffee pistachio crunch. First I must say it is such a great combination and a very creative one too. The coffee  pistachio crunch is the highlight of the dessert. Lots of texture. Taste like lots of thin slices of chocolate with crumbs of coffee waffle cracker and pistachio.

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The maple creme caramel has the right level of sweetness. The cranberry gel goes super well with the creme cause the creme is on the lighter side of the palette. The shortbread tasted like an airy butter cookie.

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Cause two desserts is not satisfying enough. I had to try that bacon macaroon. I’m not sure what the filling is but it tasted like maple syrup. Which makes perfect sense for a bacon combination. The macaroon was perfectly made. You can taste the chewiness inside and the soft easily breakable texture of the outer cookie. The little bacon pieces gave it a savoury flavour. Sweet and savoury all in one little bite is how I describe this little monster.

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Sav and I had a really great time at Oakwood. Look forward to our next visit.

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About nat.

foodie, traveler, pug mama, and part-time fashion beauty guru.



  1. Pingback: dine out vancouver 2015 | natalie hoilam cheung - January 19, 2015

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