Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Aurora Bistro

I'd read good things about The Aurora Bistro even before I noticed it at the top of an alphabetical list of Vancouver's best restaurants by our local paper's food columnist Mia Stainsby. I had just read Last Time to Eat by Toronto food writer Gina Mallet (the first food book, as opposed to cookbook, I've read- it's title an obvious reference to Douglas Adams' travels to see dissappearing animals in his book Last Change to See) in which she pronounced scrambled eggs with truffles to be the perfect food, at least from the vantage point of her childhood in France. Seeing scrambled eggs with truffles on Aurora's brunch menu, I hustled my wife and houseguest Toshiko over to the tiny restaurant in serious industrial Vancouver to taste them. The hash browns were a bit overpowering, but in a good way- luscious memories of heavy breakfasts in the past. The truffles were the equivalent of travelling a long way to experience something very good. Kind of buried in the eggs, like the yuzu flavour in the shrimp I'd recently blogged about from The Salmon House. There was nothing special about the eggs. They weren't from some chickens that had been fed with wonderful grains and then led long and happy lives, or at least not that I could tell from eating them. But the combination of eggs, and eventually revealed truffle flavour was intriguing. The pot of vanilla tea I had with the eggs was even more intriguing, as good a complement as any wine paring I've tasted.

Upon looking at the menu, when I pointed out that sablefish was on the menu and one of Fumiyo's faves, she said she never ate fish in the morning (ok, this was around 130 in the afternoon). Actually Fumiyo almost never eats fish at any time of day. But she did order the sablefish and actually enjoyed it. The taste I had was delightful, in a smoked fish kinda way.

Bacon fan Toshiko went with the eggs and duck bacon. She found it good, but the bacon was too salty for her tastes. I quite appreciated the two strips of bacon that came with my truffled eggs, and I dislike salty food.
The while the women awaited their desert, I switched from excellent vanilla tea to the house signature Aurora cocktail. It tasted too heavily of alcohol, not fruity enough for me. Fumiyo asked what the base was, and I wished I hadn't been able to so readily identify the gin. As far as I'm concerned, if you can taste any particular kind of booze in a cocktail, it's not made right.

Another specialty, the donut balls. The women enjoyed them. I was reminded heavily of why I dislike sweets.
I would come back here for dinner. Eating in the day time is not when my taste buds are fully awake and able to enjoy what I'm eating. In a biography of James Joyce I once read, Joyce talked about drinking wine only after the sun goes down, because while the sun is in the sky the grapes are still absorbing the sunlight. As the biographer pointed out, this was Joyce's oblique way of saying he couldn't afford to start drinking in the day time. Still, a very poetic image.
Moderately synchronistic, the local paper's recipe of the week was scrambled eggs with truffles.


Post a Comment

<< Home