dine with a whale

Student. 21. Vancouver, B.C. Nicknamed whale.

I enjoy trying new restaurants, eating yummy food, and drinking tea. I love love love chocolates. Please leave a message if you have any questions or comments, or if you would like me to review a restaurant or specific dish for you! :)

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Girl’s date with chubs the other day. We were originally planning to go to PiDGiN but decided the area is a little too sketch for two girls to venture down alone at night. Ended up at forage, which has been on my “food-to-eat” list ever since it opened. Heard/read a lot of good reviews about it so I was really excited to try it out. Most foodies raved about forage’s BC spot prawn and seafood chowder, but the waitress who served us that night did not include that dish in her list of recommendations. So we tried out these things instead…

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foraged and cultivated mushrooms, Okanagan goat cheese, grilled caraway rye ; CAD$12 ; ☆ (3.5/5 - Good to Very Good)

This dish was recommended by our waitress as one of the most popular items and one of her favorites. Mushrooms is one of the few veggies that I actually enjoy eating (I’m a meat person if you know me) so I naturally gravitated towards ordering this. The dish came on a wooden board that symbolizes the restaurant, while the mushrooms and goat cheese sat on a heated pan. I wish I could tell you what type of mushrooms they were, but I am no mushroom expert. They were small and brown and chewy to the bite. Very well flavored but the goat cheese was the one who stole the spotlight. I am not a huge fan of cheese, especially not goat cheese, as I often feel like I am eating spoiled food. However, the Okanagan goat cheese from this dish worked perfectly with the mushrooms and the grilled rye. It was soft and slightly melted, with a subtle tang. It is hard to describe exactly what it tasted like, but it was neither overpowering nor unpleasant. As for the grilled rye, it has a fine crisp to it with a strong herbal taste (I believe it was due to the dill seeds in the rye). For me, I liked the taste of the dill seeds, but it can be too overwhelming for others. It did pretty much mask the taste of everything else except the goat cheese. With that said, I did enjoy this dish and I would definitely recommend this to others, especially if they are a mushroom fan like myself. :)

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Thursday special. (I don’t remember the exact name/description, but it is pork belly with potatoes purée, apples, and red wine infused something) ; CAD$26 (?) ; ☆ (2.5/5 - Acceptable to Good)

It is only available for Thursday dinners and the waitress made it sound exceptional. I am used to Korean style pork belly where the meat is superrrrrr tender and the fat just melts in your mouth. This was something completely different. It tasted and felt exactly like the Chinese styled crispy pork belly (more well known as “siu yuk”). As a Chinese who has been eating this ever since I was born, this was nothing special. As a regular person eating this dish, this was acceptable, but I have had much better crispy pork belly elsewhere (eg. HONG KONG ;D or locally Tak Fook Noodle and Congee at Parker Place foodcourt or HK BBQ Master in Richmond). The meat was tougher than I am used to and a little too salty. There was not enough fat to indulge me. However, I must say, the pork belly skin was very crispy, the way it should be, which made up for the disappointing meat (only barely). The apple strips were simply apple strips. Nothing too special about them. The red wine infused thing (I am going to guess white radish or cabbage) was tasty but did not do much for the dish as a whole. The potatoes purée was sweet but simply just potatoes purée. There was no additional flavors; quite plain in my opinion. All in all, the dish did not impress. It was not terrible per se, but I would not order this dish again.

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Apply Pie - black pepper short crust, honey streusel, quince jelly ; CAD$8 ; ☆ (3.5/5 - Very Good to Good)

This was the reason I chose forage (to be fair, desserts is the reason I choose to go to most restaurants). forage’s apple pie was advertised to be one of Vancouver Foodster’s Best Desserts in 2012 so I was looking forward to this throughout the night. The apple pie came on a regular plate, honey glazed, with brown sugar (?) and whipped cream on top. My olfactory senses hit me before I even took a bite of this deliciously smelling apple pie. My first bite did not disappoint. The apples in the pie were warm and sweet; not super mushy or crunchy. It was not overly sweet or sugary, despite the honey on the crust (I loved the honey!). The crust was a little too hard for my liking. It was not crispy, just hard and dense. I’ve only had apple pies three times in my life (Mcdonald’s, Aphrodite’s, and Chilliwack’s Airport Coffee Shop), but all three times, I had apple pie with a crumbly or flaky rolled-dough crust. Hence, I cannot judge if the short crust on forage’s apple pie is well done or not, but I wished they made it with rolled-dough crust instead. As for the black pepper, I only noticed it once, and it was an estranged taste among the sweet pie. I am kind of thankful I could not taste the black pepper besides that one single bite. In general, I enjoyed this apple pie and would recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet and warm dessert after dinner! :)

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Will I come back? forage was a great dining experience. The restaurant was clean and tidy. The seats were comfortable. The service was excellent as the staff was super friendly. Besides the sun constantly glaring at my face, I have no complaints for the ambiance or the atmosphere. I would most likely come back here again to try their other dishes (their bison tongue ravioli sounds exotic!).

Overall:   ★★★☆☆ (3/5 - Good) ; $20-30

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So there you have it, my first review as a food blogger. Hope you guys enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! Please leave any comments, questions, or requests in my Ask box!