Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Cafe Salade de Fruits


Tucked in the French Cultural Centre on West 7th is a casual French bistro serving good quality food with fine dining service, Cafe Salade de Fruits. For a few years now I have heard a lot of about the bistro such as the prices are reasonable, mussels are a must order and the place is small so make sure to make reservations. Fortunately arriving out of the blue on a weeknight reservations were not needed! I still recommend reservations however since there are not many seats.

Cafe Salade has a homey and inviting atmosphere from the friendly staff with authentic thick French accents to the dim lighting. When you walk in, you notice the high ceiling immediately along with the brick wall above the kitchen and the wooden tables along with chairs. After seating, our server took our order and when we asked if she could make sure not all the dishes are sent out at once, she responded, "why would anyone ever do that?". And I was like girl... every restaurant always does that to us! So I knew we were off to a great start for dinner already.


COMPLIMENTARY BREAD AND BUTTER.
Rating: 2.5/5.
The slices of baguette are only okay, the crumb is soft, fluffy and fresh but the crust is very chewy. I appreciate our server for bringing more bread later on though to accompany the appetizers. The second plate of bread tasted better too since it was warm.

GRILLED TIGER PRAWNS ($14.00).
Rating: 4/5.
The large butterflied tiger prawns have a nice charred smoky flavour and are just cooked (not a second over) resulting in a nice bounce along with snap. I love how Cafe Salade actually serves tiger prawns as stated on the menu! I have been to so many restaurants that advertise tiger prawns on the menu and honestly serve regular prawns, not cool.

ESCARGOT WITH GARLIC AND BUTTER SAUCE ($11.00).
Rating: 3/5.
Bathed in a rich and garlic butter sauce are the tender escargots. The flavours are a touch on the lighter side and something seemed to be missing, but I could not pin point it.

DAILY SOUP, TOMATO AND OXTAIL SOUP ($8.00).
Rating: 4/5.
Coming from a person who prefers chowders, heavy cream bases and never orders tomato soups at a restaurant, the tomato and oxtail soup is really good! The soup is hearty, rich and very flavourful. Moreover, the oxtail is slow cooked and tastes tender. This is a very generous portion too and we enjoyed the soup so much that we asked for a couple to go. The portion is probably only half the size for take out though, which is disappointing (although still worth it!).

MUSSELS AND FRITES, WHITE WINE, CREAM, SPICES ($21.00).
Rating: 3.5/5.
This is the regular size Mussels and Frites that is served as an entree, but we ordered this as an appetizer. There is also an option of adding chorizo and tomatoes for an additional $2.00. The large and juicy mussels are perfectly cooked and have that natural sweet finish. The sauce however is a touch on the lighter side and unfortunately even tastes a bit watery. The fries on the other hand are amazing! The lightly salted fries have a crisp exterior while exhibiting a nice fluffiness on the inside and remained crisp even by the time the plate left our table.

DUCK BREAST BLACK CURRANT SAUCE ($28.00).
Rating: 3/5.
The thin slices of duck breast taste buttery and tender, but majority of the pieces that are a touch more rare than medium rare in the centre are on the chewy side. As for the accompaniments, the black currant sauce is neither too sweet nor tart and the buttery, rich and heavy mashed potato tastes delicious.

TENDERLOIN STEAK AND FOIE GRAS ($38.00).
Rating: 5/5.
OH. MY. GOSH. THIS. IS. SO. GOOD! The tenderloin topped with a generous portion of foie gras is an explosion of flavours in the mouth! The richness from the foie gras adds to the buttery and tender steak that results in so many flavours especially when considering that the tenderloin is the most bland cut of meat. In addition, the steak exhibits lots of char and is well executed. Cafe Salade's steak with foie gras tastes a lot better than the one I have tried at Le Crocodile's.

DAILY SORBET ($8.00).
Rating: 4/5.
The daily sorbet on this visit is blood orange, which has a nice tart, tang and rich flavour. The consistency is also spot on being creamy and not icy one bit. Cafe Salade's sorbet is well executed and definitely a Top Three where Blue Water's is as well. And there is no third on my list yet!

Cafe Salade de Fruits is one restaurant where I truly feel welcomed! The staff are genuinely friendly and actually want you to have a good meal whether you are here for brunch, lunch or dinner. I cannot remember the last time I truly felt appreciated at a restaurant and it may have been Amici's, which was a long time ago. Moreover, our server wiped down the table when needed, replenished cutlery in-between meals and asked how each dish was. It may sound silly to rave about such simple things, but a few fine dining restaurants that I visited within the same week of the bistro did none of the above. Even the owner and the cooks said goodbye. As for the above average food, I declare the steak with foie gras and sorbet a must order!

Food: 3.5/5
Service: 5/5

POSITIVES
- Good prices
- Staff that cares
- Above average food

NEGATIVES
- Smaller restaurant (make reservations)

CAFE SALADE DE FRUITS
1551 West 7th Avenue Vancouver, BC V6J 1F1
Telephone (604) 714-5987
http:/saladedefruits.com

1 comment:

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