For many years now, I’ve always either been very impressed or very disappointed with my Dine Out experiences. On the one hand, I get to try some incredible dishes made by chefs who use this opportunity to experiment with ingredients and show their true creativity. On the other hand, it can be a daunting and disappointing experience when you pay upwards of $50 after tax and tips, only to get a mediocre three course meal that tasted like it sat under a hot lamp for hours.
I took a chance with Wildtale Coastal Grill ($30 menu) and came here on a weekend at prime time.
We first started with some warm bread and butter. A nice touch, as many restaurants don’t actually offer this I realize unless you pay extra.
Meta Knight heard good things about the Wildtale Seafood Chowder Corn and Crab Fritter so he chose it as his starter. We expected it to be thick and creamy, but it was rather bland and runny. The fritter itself was not crunchy, probably because it wasn’t freshly fried.
For his entree, he chose the Herb-Crusted Wild Coho Salmon, Bay Scallop Risotto, and brown butter caper sauce. He really enjoyed this dish, especially the risotto as it was creamy, light, and full of earthy seafood flavours.
At first I had full intention of going with the Dine Out menu but I actually saw something else that caught my eye. Wildtale has a special on Sundays called “Surf & Turf Sundays” for $24.95. You get a 28 day aged Alberta AAA beef as well as your choice of Carribean Lobster Tail, Grilled Jumbo Prawn Skewer, Scallop Skewer a la Plancha, or a Pan-seared Prawn & Scallop Combo. This, of course is accompanied by some creamy mashed potatoes, au jus, seasonal veggies, and Yorkshire pudding. Meta Knight was SOOOO jealous when he saw my dish compared to his Salmon entree.
So to get it out of the way, this is an incredible deal. Hands down, you will not find this anywhere else in Vancouver for the same price. However, and I hate to say this, overall the dish was underwhelming for me because of a couple of different reasons. The lobster tail was not as plump and juicy as I expected, and didn’t have the great ‘snap’ when bit into. The steak, while it was AAA Alberta beef, was very hard to cut through, even with the provided steak knife. I don’t know if it was the beef or the cook of the beef, but it was just kind of tough to consume.
I’ve had some really delicious Yorkshire puddings before but this one seemed a little off. It was a bit too dry outside and not really soft and moist on the inside. Furthermore, it was bland so it was hard to eat without the limited au jus.
Last but not least, Meta Knight had the Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse with housemade Biscotti. The flavour combination of everything was spot on. I adore the raspberries with chocolate, and I think the addition of real raspberries on the bottom and top of the mouse really balanced out the sweetness. Our only complaint was that it seemed like it was over-refrigerated and over-hardened. The mousse wasn’t silky in texture but rather came out in chunks when we dug in.
All in all, I hate writing about poor experiences but Meta Knight and I just left feeling dissatisfied. This dine out was definitely not what we expected as we heard raving reviews from the preview media events. My guess is that everything was made too ahead of time so it sat under a heat lamp for a while before serving (or in a fridge for a long time). And the reason I say that is because our courses came swiftly one after the other with barely any wait time so we were pretty much done in an hour.
I don’t want anyone to cancel their Dine Out reservations for Wildtale after reading this post because this is just one person’s opinion of their experience. Maybe they’ll improve in time, or another chef that day will be cooking and it’ll be fantastic. Just take my blog post with a grain of salt and if you are planning to go to Wildtale, or did go already, please let me know how it went in the comments below!
Service Rating: 4/5
Food Rating: 2.5/5
Overall Rating: 2.5/5