Well, I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later. After countless enjoyable dinners out and a multitude of generally positive reviews, I finally sat through a horrible meal. Congratulations to Aurora Bistro for quashing my blind faith in the Vancouver restaurant scene.
Dine Out Vancouver offers the opportunity to sample some of the city’s best, and worst. And in the case of Aurora Bistro, it’s definitely the latter. Now in all fairness, since it was DOV tonight’s meal was not representative of the restaurant’s best work. Nevertheless, tonight’s effort seemed half-hearted at best.
We both started with the cauliflower soup with white truffle oil and almonds. Fondy took a her first spoonful of the soup and whispered “Ce n’est pas chaud!”, safely assuming that no one within earshot spoke French. I tried my soup and had to agree. It was lukewarm. Admittedly tasty, but it perhaps could have used another minute or so in the microwave.
For her main course, Fondy chose the roasted half Cornish game hen with oyster mushrooms and smoked potato gnocchi. Her chicken was excellent – juicy and hot. The smokiness of the gnocchi was so subtle I missed it entirely. They tasted fairly bland to me. I had the misfortune of ordering the Vermouth braised veal cheeks with grainy mustard pomme puree and onion fondant. It was similar in appearance to the version they serve at Pastis, almost a Shepherd’s Pie, yet wholly different in taste. This version was overdone and disappointing. Parts of the dish – the onions in particular – were stone cold. We both finished with some hospital cafeteria-worthy apple upside down cake with burnt caramel and crème fraiche.
Alex and Martin asked me how the rewrite was going. “Somewhere between it’s not and very slowly,”I truthfully replied.
And before I forget – Happy Cornchip Day!