I recently won a contest on twitter, sponsored by Chef Duncan Ly of Yellow Door Bistro. The prize was tickets for the Dinner 4 South Africa at the Scandinavian Centre, a fundraiser for Good Tree Missions Fellowship to help develop and educate struggling areas of South Africa.
To answer the contest question, I read numerous online articles, watched a video, and scoured their website. When that didn’t work, I called the restaurant and grilled an employee on the phone. After learning so much about the restaurant in order to win the contest, I wanted check out Yellow Door for myself. As Amanda was in town again for work, and as she constantly complains about the “scene” in Calgary, I decided to take her with me.
Though late on a Tuesday night, the bistro was busy, filled with people in suits. Amanda ordered a glass of prosecco ($11.00) while I ordered a glass of 2012 Charles Smith Boom Boom Shiraz ($11.50).
This might sound strange, but the in house sparkling water was really good. This is the second time I’ve been to the restaurant with a great filtration system. When you taste water this clean and sweet, it almost makes water my drink of choice.
We ordered two appetizers: Beef Tenderloin Tartare ($16.00) and Sea Scallops ($14.00). The brioche for the tartare was a nice change from the norm. The bread was glossy brown on the outside, soft and sweet on the inside. The bread tasted similar to pound cake. The fine crumbs melted in your mouth.
The tartare was shaped into a square, with a indent the size of a belly button, filled with bright yellow yolk. The beef tenderloin was finely minced up with capers, cornichons, and shallots. The temperature was cool, and the texture was soft and pleasing on the tongue. I really enjoyed the seasoning in the tartare, and I would order this dish again.
The Sea Scallops were just as good as the Beef Tenderloin Tartare, but in an opposite way. The tartare was comforting and filling, whereas the sea scallops whet your appetite for more. The two scallops were huge, nicely caramelized on the outside. I wish I could cook scallops like this – it wasn’t like sashimi but it was cooked so that the texture remained silky smooth. Alongside the scallops was a cauliflower tapenade, raisin caper puree, chili compressed cucumber and a thin, cauliflower crisp.
Amanda wants us to return with her other friend, another Vancouverite working in Calgary. I want to check out Raw Bar’s menu, as the menu has a number of Asian influenced seafood dishes. In any case, I’ll be back at Yellow Door and Raw Bar, to sample more of their fare.