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eG Foodblog: Mooshmouse - Back-to-school Dining on the Left Coast


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Second course, coming right up.


Okanagan goat cheese and Hazelmere Farm beet salad with chive blossom vinaigrette

Wine pairing: Golden Mile Road 13 2004

Beets like none I've ever tasted before. Just the right amount of toothiness, wonderfully sweet with the vinaigrette offering an excellent flavour counterpoint. Jeff and Kurtis, what kind of cheese was this? It was delicious... I tried to stretch it out so that there was a little bite of cheese with each mouthful of beets. A dish that I just didn't want to see the end of. :smile:

Edited by Mooshmouse (log)

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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As I'm reading these last few posts, besides feeling the pang of regret for not having attended the Aurora dinner, I'm looking at the list of members waiting patiently for your next post.

Awesome blog! Thanks for all the effort you've put in this week!


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*takes microphone from Joie for a moment*

This isn't the last you've seen of Vancouver, oh no.

In mid-October....


Where have we seen this before?

All this and more when a certain food celebrity joins us for a week in Vancouver's food life, in one short month. :wink:

*hands back microphone*


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I did too. I also loved what I called "fruit coptail" (the mixed fruit cocktail in syrup in a can, of course). I probably haven't eaten either for decades now and don't miss 'em.

I'm looking forward to the balance of your photos from Aurora.

I'm just awed by the number and consistently high quality of your photos, and also the amount of time you've put into this blog during a busy week! Thank you for one of the best blogs ever. :smile:

Fruit "coptail"... I love it! :laugh:

As I'm reading these last few posts, besides feeling the pang of regret for not having attended the Aurora dinner, I'm looking at the list of members waiting patiently for your next post.

Awesome blog!  Thanks for all the effort you've put in this week!

Whew. I've officially PhotoShopped the very last Aurora photo. :shock::rolleyes:

Thank you all for your patient encouragement. It really does mean a lot to me. :wub:

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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It's wonderful seeing pictures of the food and the gang in Vancouver! Clearly a city for foodies. I think I'm in the wrong place...

Hawaii, eh? Anytime you want to house swap for a week... :biggrin:

Thanks for the wonderful pictures, Moosh!

Last night was outstanding. I was so pleased to see a full house. For those of you not familiar with Aurora Bistro, it's an award-winning restaurant that focuses squarely on locally sourced, sustainable, and organic food. The wine list is exclusively British Columbian. It's always a real treat to have the chef/owner and the restaurant manager as eGullet members. They put their hearts into everything last night, and it showed.

Edited by editor@waiterblog (log)

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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, I'm looking at the list of members waiting patiently for your next post.

yeah, I'm one of those. And I really have to get myself to bed! It's almost midnight over here! but I want to see more of that gorgeous food! The preview of that tomatodish.. ahh.

That's it. Vancouver has to be our next holiday destination.

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Third course being served!


Nicola Valley Bison Carpaccio with pickled eggplant, grilled brioche and black truffle aioli

Wine pairing: Red Rooster Pinot Gris 2004

Brilliantly lean meat. Pickled eggplant a novel and tasty substitute for caper(berries). Need I say anything about the black truffle aioli? Anything with black truffles in it is good in my books.


Vanilla Rooiboos smoked Sockeye Salmon on Pemberton potato salad with pickled sea asparagus and cedar jelly

Prior to this dinner, I wasn't a big fan of sea asparagus, but I'm certainly a believer now. Admittedly, the salmon was a shade on the salty side for me; however, the vanilla rooiboos and the sweetness of the cedar jelly certainly evened out the flavour balance.

Fourth course at the pass!


Chanterelle Mushroom, Sweet Corn and Moonstruck Cheese Co's White Moon tart

Wine pairing: Quail's Gate Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2002

One of the benefits of having Ian accompany me to these dinners is that we're able to sample more than a bite of each dish. I started off with this dish and switched with Ian midway through... we're very exacting when it comes to splitting dishes in half. :rolleyes:

But I digress. Moonstruck is a group of fabulous organic cheesemakers, about 10 minutes down the road from our cabin on Salt Spring Island, and I was pleased to see their White Moon on the menu. This tart was, along with the beets, one of my favourite dishes of the evening. Light and flaky pastry crust. A fabulous interplay of flavours with each bite: the mushrooms' earthiness, the corn's sweetness, and the cheese's richness. Divine.


Seared Halibut cheeks on wilted Arrowleaf spinach with local hazelnuts and brown butter

There are few dishes using brown butter that I don't love. This was no exception. Fork-tender, melt-in-your-mouth halibut. Excellent.

Edited because I inadvertently omitted the third course! :unsure:

Edited by Mooshmouse (log)

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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Fifth course on deck!


Surf and Turf: Togarashi Spiced Greenhill Farm's Baby Beef Sirloin with Dungeness Crab Pomme Dauphine and oven-dried tomatoes

Wine pairing: Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio 2003

There was no sharing with this dish. Ian and I took one look at the menu, saw sirloin and crab and said, "Nuh-uh!" As good as the beef tasted, I felt that the Dungeness Crab Pomme Dauphine was the best part of this dish... wonderfully crisped exterior, lovely and smooth within.


I was fortunate enough to sneak a morsel of my tablemate's duck confit leg. Beautifully seasoned.

Edited because I inadvertently omitted the third course! :unsure:

Edited by Mooshmouse (log)

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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Sixth course on deck!


BC Artisan Cheese Plate

Wine pairing: Tinhorn Creek Kerner Ice Wine 2003

Thanks, Canucklehead, for pinch-photographing and taking this picture while I was off chatting at another table. :rolleyes:

I'm hoping that Jeff, Kurtis or Andrew can chime in with the names of these cheeses as they were all remarkably good. The figs were a nice added touch.

To my dismay, they were out of the Quail's Gate Botrytis Affected Optima 2003 which is one of my favourite BC dessert wines. However, Kurtis's expert suggestion of the Tinhorn Creek certainly did not disappoint.

Edited by Mooshmouse (log)

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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So..uh...what was on the menu for breakfast this morning?


Shaddap, you! :raz::laugh:

If you really must know, I had one sportsbottle's worth of filtered water and an Atkins Chocolate Mocha Crunch bar... had to find something easy to eat that wouldn't leave any crumbs on the keyboard! :wink:

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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If you've been following along on this magical culinary ride, scroll back up... I inadvertently omitted the third course but have now inserted it in its rightful place before the fourth course. :rolleyes:

Last, but certainly not least, dessert.


R&B Brewing Spent Grain spice cake with dark caramel and whipped crème fraîche

After working my way through this gastronomic extravaganza, the spice cake was a little heavy for me. It was, however, incredibly rich and very tasty.


Sugar Pumpkin Tarte Tatin with Pine Mushroom Ice Cream

At the outset of the dessert course, Chef Jeff announced, "I have to tell you that, unfortunately, my ice-cream maker died last night. The machine, not the person!"

Ice cream consistency notwithstanding, this was the perfect way to end a wonderful meal. The lovely, subtle flavour of the maitake mushrooms rendered me oblivious to the runny ice cream. Delicate, flaky pastry. Sugar pumpkin filling just sweet enough and not cloyingly so. A brilliant dessert, really.

Edited by Mooshmouse (log)

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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A standing ovation goes out to Chef Jeff, Kurtis and the front- and back-of-house crew at Aurora for an outstanding dinner showcasing the finest, freshest ingredients that British Columbia has to offer. And special thanks to Gary King of Hazelmere Farms for his passion and for so lovingly tending the fruits of the earth.






That was the sound of me hitting the floor after what must be a record-breaking foodblogging stint. After I pick myself back up again, I'm off to step out into the sunlight (finally!) and pick up my beautiful boy from school. I'll log back in for my final post when we return.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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Cedar jelly; how do they make that?

Pine-mushroom ice cream -- was that sweet or savory or in between? And is that a pumpkin-sugar chip on top of a regular (apple) tarte tatin?

Aurora Bistro seems to have some things in common with a place like WD-50, in combining things that don't immediately jump out at you (me, whatever) as going together. But that applies to only a couple of dishes they presented for you and your dining partners, not the whole meal.

Michael aka "Pan"


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You know you've been blogging for a week when your four-year-old son turns to you before starting his dinner and says, "Mommy, have you taken a picture of this already?" :rolleyes::laugh:

Did I include everything that I wanted to in this foodblog? Nope. I'm lacking three things in particular: a visit to T & T Supermarket, purveyor of all foods Asian, otherwise known to me as Snack Nirvana; a visit to Chocolate Arts, one of the city's best destinations for sweets; and a visit to the Elysian Room for some outstanding espresso, owned and operated by fellow eGer hopkin. At least I can show you one of my past cappuccinos from the latter.


I didn't even get the chance to squeeze in a tour of the most dysfunctional kitchen in the world, showcasing my oh-so-luxurious 22 1/2" cooktop with no explanatory symbols whatsoever and my 23 1/2" oven with completely indecipherable symbols.




Kitchen genius, courtesy of Smeg. :hmmm: It should go without saying that I absolutely cannot wait to start cooking in a newly renovated kitchen of my own once we move [insert sigh-of-relief emoticon here]. Gas cooktop, here I come!

And heck, I almost forgot to include these photos that Ian took with his PDA of our junior explorers on Saturday's walk through the woods.



Hopefully the culinary road that lies ahead of us will be just as exciting as the one that has yet to unfold in front of them.

Thus endeth this gastro tour of back-to-school week at the Mouse house... thanks for accompanying me on my culinary misadventures! It's been a huge boatload of fun cooking and eating over the past seven days, knowing that you've all been dining vicariously with me. Your patience and encouragement have certainly spurred me on. I offer yet another heartfelt thanks to everyone for all your kind words.


If ever you have the chance to visit our fair city, please drop me a PM. It'd be great to put a face to a screen name, and I'd be more than happy to accompany you on a visit to one of our local Filipino restaurants if you're so inclined.


From me and mine to you and yours, I bid you a fond adieu. See you 'round the eGulletverse!


Edited by Mooshmouse (log)

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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Absolutely awesome blog. I've hit F5 more times in this thread than I can remember.

Great pics and stories too. You have given me a list of local restaurants to check out. And God bless you for the hot pics of the Sleeman's.

If you ever start an off-site food journal, please let me know.

Thanks for the week.

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