Friday, January 16, 2015

Secret Location

January 16, 2015

Veal cheek - 3

J's comment > insanely tender and flavorful veal cheeks, the perfect marbling; mushrooms a lovely addition to the dish for additional texture

Sea cucumber - 3

J's comment > I've always been impartial to sea cucumber (and I've only had it the chinese style), but dang! This sea cucumber had me crave it like I've never craved a seafood item before, truly rivaling my love for lobster and crab; fricking-unbelievably good!

Corn ball and baby octopus - 2+

J's comment > the perfect consistency of a corn ball, light and fluffy yet generously stuffed; baby octopus was crisp w the lovely grill flavor seared through; green onion was truly the best grilled green onion that I've ever had (it sounds like overkill to describe it as such, but coming from a non-veggie eater who sees green onion as a decorative item, this was truly divine)

Foie on brioche - 2+

J's comment > an easy win, it's hard to not like foie (although it has been done before many times in my book), rich yet not heavy and flavors intense; good pairing w the brioche which was light as air! classic combo, but beautifully executed

Sablefish - 2+

J's comment > perfectly cooked sablefish (really, I wouldn't accept/expect anything less); flavors lightly tomato-flavored, would have liked a slightly more prominent, not necessarily bold, but more 'present' sauce

Pear and manchego cheese slices - 2

J's comment > not bad; very thinly and evenly sliced pears, matching the thinness of the manchego cheese slices; this really makes a difference in raising the bar of your 'simple' fruit and cheese pairing; it's all about balance! Oh, the drizzle was something saffron, which I still am not a fan of, hence the slight mark deduction, but otherwise, technically perfect

Pork tenderloin - 2

J's comment > lovely jus, pork cooked well, but this was a lean cut and you know me w lean meats... I like marbly cuts, hence the bias here.

Chorizo crisp in chorizo squash soup - 2

J's comment > very thin and crisp chorizo, most interesting texture; soup was slightly thick and moussy but w also strong notes of chorizo

Amuse bouche #2: Jamon serrano - 2

J's comment > well chosen, all lean with not stringy fat pieces, very tender and not chewy at all 

Amuse bouche #1: Gluten free tomato bread - 2

J's comment > decent bread, by far the best gluten-free kind I've had (although I do tend to generally avoid anything gluten-free), but would have loved some butter on this :P;

fun fact, when talking with Chef Alvarez, he advised that the product for this bread was from Chef Salimian, but the recipe is his; Chef Alvarez told us that he and Chef Salimian are good friends and will be 

Churro w chocolate - 2

J's comment > churro slightly doughy, not even the copious amt of molten chocolate could save it unfortunately :(

Poached pear w saffron crust - 2

J's comment > not a fan of saffron nor fruits as dessert in general hence this is definitely not going to rank high w me; the saffron crust was indeed crisp though, which was fun

Palate cleanser - 2

J's comment > very chalky, not sure what the pink bits were, but it was too much

Riondo Prosecco - 3

J's comment > best prosecco I've had to date; perfect balance of bubbly and not too sweet; reminiscent of the Indigo Wind (a sparkling sake actually)

White wine sangria - 2+

J's comment > best sangria I've ever had; excellent balance of fruits and wine

Bitter Sweet Symphony: Angostura & cherry bitters burnt into a brandy glass, w cinnamon ice and honey - 2

J's comment > not bad; not too bitter actually, delicate notes of honey

House made cocktail - 2

J's comment > an 'avg' cocktail, nothing memorable about this one

List of other countries that Secret Location will be featuring to the end of March

Secret Location Tasting Room on Urbanspoon

Extra Comment

Secret Location is running a 'Dining Journey' from January 5th to March 21st, showcasing/featuring Spain, Italy, France, Asia, Persia, and South America cuisines (each cuisine taking center stage for two weeks). 10 courses for $95 per person, including paired drinks. FYI, the last two drinks on this post were not included in the $95. More info @

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Labels: gastown, event, moderniste cuisine, tapas

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