Thursday, February 06, 2014

Secret Location

February 6, 2014

Ostrich carpaccio, root beer leaf + olive oil, Malagasy chocolate bitters - 2+

J's comment > OMG... this is the best way to have red meat carpaccio, it was creamy yet clean - yes! clean was the first word that came to mind! The ostrich wasn't gamey either as I thought it might; everything on this plate worked in total synchronization and it just worked!

Coconut polenta, pulled yak - 2+

J's comment > mmmm.... the creamiest polenta you can imagine and the yak was not in the least bit dry; hard to describe the taste of yak though... not as gamey as you'd think for sure, at least not the way Secret Location prepares it in this dish ;)

Roasted sablefish, sugar snap pea froth - 2+

J's comment > beautiful sear and perfectly cooked, like the ostrich dish above all the ingredients on this plate were in total synchrony

Abalone ceviche, fennel salad, golden beet - 2

J's comment > really well done abalone, not tough, chewy or fishy in anyway in the least, and definitely not your traditional Asian style (the only other way I've had it before); still, I prefer the Asian style

Deep fried cucumber w tea infused quail egg, black trumpet mushrooms - 2

J's comment > hats off respecting the skill in this dish; the pink ball you see is the poached quail egg and the infusion was so thorough that the 'eggy' flavor you get in eggs completely subsided; cucumber was very crisp too; despite this though, I just didn't 'connect' with this dish.

Coffee crusted ostrich, tobacco chocolate jus (after jus pour) - 2

J's comment > really well seared for a red meat protein that has virtually no fat and ergo no marble to depend on for flavor and tenderness; very flavorful, but the ostrich carpaccio was a better representation of the ostrich; nonetheless, I prefer my meats rich (well everything rich really ;) ) 

(pre jus pour)

Squab skin, elder berry gel - 2

J's comment > didn't get the elderflower flavor at all; squab skin was chewy.

Just a lovely little grape: aerated grape, sliced grape, osmanthus French meringue, beer leaf ganache - 2+

J's comment > a beautiful and tasty finish; very impressive meringue, not too airy, but fluffy enough to enhance the essence of a meringue; grapes were just divine, definitely several staircases above the frozen grapes served at Suika

Churros con chocolate: hazelnut gianduja, vanilla ice cream, hazelnut praline, Andoa Noire moss (after chocolate drizzle) - 2+

J's comment > decadent chocolate drizzle, just loved the melted milk chocolate; the churros were also one of the better ones I've ever had, still I think the one at Tapas 23 has a slight advantage, but as a combo on a dish, Secret Location takes it.

(pre chocolate drizzle)

Crab apple celery soda - 2

J's comment > this palate cleanser definitely does the job after the pan seared ostrich; after drinking this your taste buds are definitely clean and ready for dessert; however, I'm not a fan of celery and wouldn't drink more than necessary

Damilano Barolo, Moscato, Italy - 2+

J's comment > sweet dessert wine, a nice alternative to a late harvest

Conundrum, white, California - 2

J's comment > slightly sweet, not bad

Green Lake Cava, California - 2

J's comment > a dry bubbly, not bad for pairing w the snacks

Quarisa Johnny Q, Shiraz Viognier, Australia - 2

Blonde hot chocolate w caramel. Served w housemade raspberry marshmallows - 2

J's comment > a bit on the milky side (I requested the less-rich version so totally expected on this point)

Espresso macchiato: Shot of espresso with small amount of steamed milk - 2


Secret Location Tasting Room on Urbanspoon

Extra Comment
This was a special 10 course tasting menu running until Feb 15, and each day's tasting is different; 300 dishes in 30 days; I honestly don't know how Secret Location is doing this. Incredible. You also have the option of getting everything as a 'surprise', or have the server inform you ahead of time. For more info go to

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Labels: event, gastown, moderniste cuisine, pacific northwest

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