Thursday, 28 June 2012

Restaurant Review -- Oakwood Canadian Bistro

New: Oakwood Canadian Bistro review
What's up: Birthday Goodies, Measurements, Soirette Macarons and Tea review

The Oakwood Canadian Bistro is difficult to define. The best I can do is describe the menu as a mixture between elegant bar food and classic North American dishes with a twist.
The scrumptious flat iron steak at Oakwood Canadian Bistro
With ceiling-to-floor wood decor and tables that resemble fancy picnic benches, the restaurant has a casual but sophisticated look and very laid back atmosphere. The service was reasonable, although they may have been a bit understaffed that night as it wasn’t easy catching the servers’ attention and our glasses were frequently empty. 

The Oakwood boasts serving only organic, hormone and antibiotic-free, ocean-wise meats and fish.
The food however was excellent. As an appetizer, the all Canadian poutine was a meal by itself. Served in a rustic little iron cast frying pan, crispy, thick-cut fries were smothered in cheese curds and smoked beef brisket, then drizzled with a delicious sauce.

Oakwood's All Canadian poutine served in a mini skillet
The maple pork belly was also an excellent choice. A moist slab of tender pork belly was served with crunchy, savoury pork crackling and a jicama salad.

Maple Pork Belly at Oakwood

For the main course, I had a hearty serving of white wine garlic mussels. The mussels were perfectly cooked and the sauce, seasoned with fennel, parsley and garlic was good enough to drink by itself. Word of warning—if you order the mussels, don’t order the poutine for an appetizer. The mussels come with a miniature deep-fryer basket filled with fries and a home-made ketchup sauce which wasn’t quite to my liking as it tasted strongly of apple sauce.

Oakwood's white wine garlic mussels and a mini basket of fries
Next up was their homemade house burger. This unique burger is served much like a steak allowing you to have it cooked to your taste (rare, medium rare, well done, etc.). Served on a homemade, chewy sesame bun, topped with applewood cheddar, alfalfa sprouts, buttermilk fried onions and an aioli sauce, this burger is a must-have at the Oakwood.

Oakwood's homemade house burger, medium well
No matter how full you are at the end, you cannot pass up dessert at the Oakwood. The apple pie (which is really more an apple dumpling) was the hit of the night. With a flakey, sugary, buttery pastry, filled with piping hot cinnamon apple filling, this is truly the perfect North American dessert. Served in another whimsical little skillet, the dumpling is paired with a shotglass of vanilla ice cream to contrast the steaming hot dumpling.

Delectable apple dumpling at Oakwood Canadian bistro

For chocolate-lovers, the Nanaimo bar is good choice. Like all their food, the Nanaimo bar was unconventionally presented in a tiny mason jar, displaying the layers of chocolate and vanilla custard.
For those daring enough, the Oakwood also serves a Beet and carrot cake with blue cheese cream.

Beet and carrot cake with blue cream cheese, a Oakwood specialty and Nanaimo bar in a jar from Oakwood
The Oakwood Canadian Bistro is located on 2741 West 4th avenue in Vancouver. It’s easily accessible by transit and there’s street parking, some metred, some not, so bring change.

Prices: $6 - 10 for an appetizer, $30 is about the highest the entrees go for but there are many entrees $20 and below.
Location: 2741 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
Rating: 4.5/5 One of my favourite places yet. I'll give it another try soon to see if it's worthy of a 5/5, as consistency is key! Great variety, great atmosphere and plenty of parking.

The Oakwood Canadian Bistro on Urbanspoon

Photos by Nikki Tse

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