Irish Heather

Woohoo!!! Mr. ESL is getting married!!! To commemorate his last days as a bachelor Ms. Awkward Diner organized a fantastical and super fun stag for him. It all started with dinner at The Irish Heather. Or was it the Salty Tongue??  I say this because although we had reservations at The Irish Heather, we were seated in a communal table at the latter, and the restaurants were side-by-side.

Both restaurants are really just one long corridor each, but I guess that’s true with most Gastown establishments.

On to the food!

Irish Heather: Steak and Ale Pot Pie

I had the Steak & Ale Pot Pie ($16.75) which came with choice of fries, masoed (mashed?) potato or Kale Caesar salad.  I picked the kale caesar as it sounded interesting.

Their pot pies came in a vegan version also and they differentiate them with either a doggy or an acorn!!!  Aren’t they darling???

Both pot pies were huge.  The meat version came with au jus and there was a lot of filling.  Upon cutting into it gravy came pouring out to mix with the jus so it basically was one big delicious mess.  The steak pieces were tender enough and were mixed in with chunks of celery and carrots.  My only gripe was that the crust wasn’t cooked through: the top was cooked while the inner layer was pretty gummy and doughy.

Irish Heather: Kale Caesar

The Kale Caesar ($8 for a small) was absolutely delicious.  I always thought that kale would be too tough to eat raw in a salad, so I’ve always just made kale chips.  But the kale here was cut into a chiffonade so it was tender and easy to chew.  There was just enough dressing to cover everything without being overly rich and satiating.  I finished this over the pie.

After having this I was even inspired to make my own kale salad at home!

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Bocuse d’Or Test Kitchen Tasting with Chef Alex Chen

Bocuse d'Or Test Kitchen Tasting with Chef Alex Chen

Bocuse d'Or Test Kitchen Tasting with Chef Alex Chen

Wendy was extremely excited to receive an invitation for us to attend an exclusive tasting event for Canada’s entry into the Bocuse d’Or.  For those who haven’t heard of it this biannual competition is an international event held in Lyons, France and will take place on January 29th and 30th this year.  It’s one of the most prestigious awards to win for a chef and the competition has produced insane extravagances such as Spain’s 2005 1 million Euro entry inspired by Salvador Dali; they brought out their fish course in a one meter high crystal egg!  This year Chef Alex Chen of Vancouver earned entry into the competition.  This is no easy feat, since of the 56 countries entering only the top 24 are chosen, and from there the competition is whittled down to just one representative per country, along with their Commis and Coach, to compete in the final event. Chen has previously held posts such as the Four Seasons in Toronto and Chicago and his most recent position as Executive Chef at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which he resigned in order to train for the Bocuse d’Or.

Bocuse d'Or Test Kitchen Tasting with Chef Alex Chen

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