Website Relaunch Party at downtownfood

I was very fortunate to attend the website relaunch party that was hosted by downtownfood this past Saturday night.  My friend K and I both responded to their invitation on Facebook and was looking forward to sampling their (new?) menu items! We also met two fellow foodies, bloggers Bear Hungry and foodstyleaholic! We sat together during the entire evening discussing this event and getting to know one another.  I think it’s wonderful to meet people who share the same passion as you and will not give you the odd look when you take pictures of your food :)

Besides the sample appetizers, there were also drink specials for the night.  Being relatively low on alcohol tolerance, I started with just one cranberry and vodka and finished with water.  Good thing K was driving.

Here’s what we sampled tonight:

Fresh Shucked Oysters

These were placed at the bar and you can eat them as it is, or try them with sturgeon caviar.  I love raw oysters and couldn’t help myself and ate nine of them (don’t worry there were tons…! I didn’t clean it out).  There were three varieties and my favorite was the deep cup.  You can also add marinara or soy sauce onto them but I liked them as it is.

Roasted Beet Tartare

Served on a cumin crisp.  The cumin crisp dominated the flavors of the beet but it was a very nicely done tapas.

Tuna Tataki

The tuna was nicely seared and the fish itself was soft.  The sauce that it was basking in was light but also had a bit of a kick to it.

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crustini

Hmmmm goat cheese.  I can’t seem to remember what the mushrooms tasted like as the goat cheese was also the dominant flavor in this tapas, but I believe something was spicy in here.

Pork Wonton

This was a bit of a disappointment – it was packed very densely, the wrapper was thick and the meat was dry.  I also didn’t quite like the sweet and spicy soy sauce that accompanied it.  And not to get technical, but they should be called dumplings as opposed to wontons because this is not a wonton.

At this point the friendly photographer Ben Tsui came by our table to take a picture of us.  He also told us that there was an array of desserts/pastries in another room… the four of us practically ran there and found these beauties:

Lemon Macarons

These were to die for! The macarons were made very well and the lemon cream was just heavenly.  Because of the thick cream in between, I ate each layer separately rather than altogether to avoid a mess.  Light, airy and crispy, hmmmm!

Lemon Tart

I love lemon flavored desserts and was happy to see another one! The lemon curd in these was delicious and the crust crumbled as you bite into it.

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Sprinkled with… sea salt? You get a mixture of sweet and salty flavors as you pop this into your mouth.  I like how the chocolate filling was soft and creamy as opposed to dense.  This had the same crust as the lemon tart.

Almond Spice Cake

These weren’t too bad but because I like my cakes soft, I thought these were a bit too dense for my liking.  The almond spice was definitely distinguishable though!

After we (or I) stuffed ourselves with as many of these as we can, the server carried another plate of colorful macarons into the room.  Back in we go.

Assorted macarons

We asked the server if these were different flavors and she said they were, but the four of us took different colors to try and concluded that they have no distinct flavors to them – just sweet.  Also, we had very high expectations since the lemon ones were made so well, but these ones were hard, crunchy as opposed to crispy, and whatever filling was used, it was hard and sticks to your teeth.

We caught the next appetizer in time as we were walking back to our seats:

Qualicom Scallops on the Green

The green was guacamole.  The scallop was seared very nicely, but I didn’t feel that it went well with the guacamole – like the two didn’t belong with each other at all.

Breakfast at Midnight

The star tapas of the evening.  Fried quail egg (still soft in the centre) paired with a chunk of pancetta.  The egg yolk oozes into your mouth as you bite into it and the creamy mixture surrounds the pancetta… I want more! THIS is the reason for me to return to downtownfood :) Ladies and gentlemen, this is a must try!

House Smoked Crispy Oysters

The oysters were breaded and lightly fried and paired with a spicy sauce.  I think it would taste better if paired with an aioli of some sort instead.  Between this and the raw oysters… the raw oysters win hands down.

Shrimp Fritters in Honey

These were piping hot!! The fritters were done very nicely but once again we noticed that it was somewhat spicy.  Spicy seemed to be the theme of the night? Anyways, I don’t know much about fritters and maybe these were very good fritters, but I didn’t find them special.

Chicken Liver Mousse

K and I were ready to leave and then these came around, and I was glad because I had wanted to try them.  I love liver pate and wondered what it would taste like if it was made with chicken? Unfortunately I did not like this one bit.  It was extremely salty – the saltiness was so overpowering that everything tasted… gross.  I was very disappointed in this.

I was very grateful to have been part of this and downtownfood was extremely gracious for hosting this.  I enjoyed most of the samplers and wouldn’t hesitate to return.  I realize that it was a very busy event and there were tons of people that night, but I noticed that because we were seated and didn’t move around much, we were sort of neglected.  We’d see the servers bring out plates of tapas and as long as you were standing, you would be served.  We’d see the tables beside us get served before us as well.  As a result, after long periods of waiting we decided to just go up to a server and grab the food ourselves and the servers seemed a bit shocked/surprised by our action.  Oh well… we foodies live for food, right? :p

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