Wildebeest Vancouver unanimously wins Best New Restaurant 2013 for its “odd bits”. This restaurant specializes in everything from chicken hearts, sweet breads, to bone marrow. Depending on how adventurous you are, you can still find something tame for your glass stomach. Wildebeest is one of my favorite restaurants (at the moment) both for brunch and dinner. And because of this I wanted to introduce it to my friends over a birthday celebration.
Instead of sitting at the front row seats facing the open kitchen, we opted for the back: Low top wooden long table with swivel elementary school restored chairs. The area is intimate and great for shared plates. Since we had a large group, the menu provided is fixe prix family sized between $35 to 40 / pp dependent on what is on the menu.
The waitress surveys if anyone has any allergies and inquires how adventurous you are. “Are organs ok?” Yes Please! Although in the end perhaps some were too afraid to speak up / just wanted to accommodated me the birthday girl…
We began with a few libations. I’ll Have Another topped the list. Refreshing with sake Poire William, coconut water, violet liqueur, soda and lime. Don’t nurse it for too long otherwise it tends to get quite watered down.
Smoked Olives: A very smoky flavor that reminds you of smoked salmon. The olives were fresh and definitely not mushy.
Beet Salad: red and golden beets cooked and seasoned and served with ricotta cheese and some sweet wafers. There was definitely not enough to go around a 9 person table. So we ordered another.
Elk Tartare: Elk was tender and a tad more dense than beef. It was then garnished with radish and sping greens for presentation and creamy yolk for mixing.
Deep Fried Organs: Medley of pigs ears, chicken hearts, hock skin, etc started to turn some stomaches. Perhaps the textures were too wild. But to me it was a party. I like the taste of iron. Perhaps its true that I do have some Vampire blood in me.
Poutine (side a la carte order): At this point we were all very hungry as the earlier dishes didn’t fill the void. The gravy was well balanced, thick but not clumpy and not too salty.
Quail: The waitress presented the bird and warned us this was meant to be on the raw side. This is the first time I’ve ever had a barely cooked bird and it was weird. Suppose to be tender and juicy turned tough to cut apart and chewy.
Sweet Breads: Lightly breaded thymus and pan fried. It was flavorful, juicy and plump. Served alongside wild mushrooms for a punch of earthiness.
Roasted Parsnip Roots: Looks like golden carrots, these roots has a mineral taste that resembled ginseng. Soft and seasoned with a variety of herbs. I couldn’t stop eating these. I think I will try to replicate this at home.
Halibut: Last was the fish. A large piece of filet cooked on top of kelp with mushrooms and scallions. The buttery flakey fish.
In the end there were plenty of food to go around and dinner was wonderful as promised by the waitress. You just have to pace yourself in the beginning and perhaps learn to live like cavemen to eat nose to tail!
Cuisine: Gastropubs, Wine Bars, Canadian
Mon 5:00 pm – 12:00 am
Tue 5:00 pm – 12:00 am
Wed 5:00 pm – 12:00 am
Thu 5:00 pm – 12:00 am
Fri 5:00 pm – 12:00 am
Sat 5:00 pm – 12:00 am
Sun 5:00 pm – 12:00 am
120 W Hastings St Vancouver, BC V6B 1G8