I missed Michelle’s baby shower due to my sibling’s wedding in Vancouver. So, I thought I would treat her out to a nice lunch and give her my gift. I picked Downtownfood, because I knew the service would be stellar (if Andrew or Meagan were on shift), and the food consistent, as I know the chef, Darren MacLean, is always in the kitchen.
The $25.00 set menu offered either watermelon salad or Humboldt squid for the appetizer, ahi tuna nicoise salad or a burger for the main course, and a caramel doughnut for dessert. I really wanted the squid and ahi tuna, but I forced myself to get something different.
To start off, we ordered an appetizer of Crispy Eggplant Wontons with Pickled Eggplant Tapenade ($13.00). Michelle thought there was just the right proportion of Noble Meadows goat cheese to tempura battered eggplant. We both couldn’t get enough of the edamame puree. Texturally, this dish has a lot going on – warm creamy cheese, soft pickled eggplant and the crispness of the tempura shell.
I shared the Wagyu Burger ($18.00) with Michelle. Our server Andrew informed us that the burger comes with a surprise. I’ll give you a hint, citing the artist Kelis.
My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard,
And they’re like,
It’s better than yours,
Damn right it’s better than yours,
I can teach you,
But I have to charge.
Nope, an escort wasn’t brought to the table, rather, a strawberry milkshake. I let Michelle have the milkshake, and she clearly enjoyed every sip. As for the burger, it’s worth ordering again. The patty was juicy, soft and pink in the middle. The smoked cheddar was a thick gooey layer, sandwiched next to crispy house cured bacon, rooftop lettuce and Broxburn tomatoes.
The bun on the burger was killer – the texture was flaky, similar to that of a croissant. I wanted to know more about the ingredients used in the bun, but MacLean never responded to my inquiry. He’s a busy guy, so I guess this will remain a mystery.
I also ordered the 7 OZ Brandt Lake Wagyu Beef Steak Sandwich ($22.00) with house smoked mushrooms. The steak was tender, topped with chimmichurri butter. I liked the sweetness and crunch of the pickled onion. As for the twice blanched local potato fries, it wasn’t my favourite, perhaps due to my uncultivated taste. I prefer the frozen, premade fries you find at any pub, with the standard crispy shell and super soft interior.
For dessert, Michelle ate the caramel doughnut and finished off her milkshake. I took a nibble and enjoyed the warm, sweet, sticky sauce enveloping the freshly fried bread.
Three lunches in three weeks at Downtownfood means I’m ready to venture out to new restaurants. I think a visit to Briggs Kitchen, Yellow Door/Raw Bar, and Midtown is long overdue. As well, Avec, White Elephant Thai Cuisine and Long’s Chinese is on my urbanspoon list of restaurants to try.