The formal dinner for the Canadian Iaido Association annual seminar this year was held at Urban Beet. Peter Gunstone sensei was primarily responsible for organizing the whole thing, but I was told that one of his senior studens - Sue put together the dinner.
Upon arrival, the place looked like a coffee shop, but the set up was professionally done and the servers greeted us with a friendly smile. We had the whole place booked and they made sure that it was closed off for the event only.
For $30, we got a salad/soup, an entree, and a desert. I chose the salad and it was really, really good. Generally speaking, I'm a carnivore and don't really like the green stuff, but this salad was an excellent starter and I was really happy with it. It came with a nice mild dressing, and candied walnuts wich really complimented the whole thing.
My dish of choice was the salmon. I seldom order salmon in restaraunts because it's so easy to screw up and overcook. But the other choice was chicken breast and there's nothing I hate more than a dried up, overcooked chicken breast. There was a vegetarian option, but me being the meat eater, I didn't give it a second thought. I took a chance and ordered the salmon, and was very, very pleasantly surprised. The salmon was moist and flavourful, and perfectly complimented with the maple syrup drizzle, the side veg were cooked to perfection, but the best part of the dish has to go to the scalloped potatoes. Rich, buttery scalloped potatoes with some sort of mild cheese sandwiched in between. Absolutely brilliant.
My neighbor, who was a vegetarion, let me sample some of the canaloni. Though I didn't regret my order of salmon, it really made me wonder if I had made the right choice. The pasta noodles were done exactly right, the sauce wasn't overwhelming and the cheese stuffing was fantastic. I wish I had the option to eat two meals.
The chicken breast I was told was a bit dry, and Iwas relieved to not have ordered it. the chicken also came with those scalloped potatoes so overall, the experience couldn't have been that bad.
My desert was some sort of fruit pastry, which was also very good. The fruits were fresh, the pastry wasn't dried out as I expected - very delicious.
Urban Beet is a bit out of the way for me (Nanaimo, where as my stomping grounds are Richmond and Vancouver), but if I ever find my way out there, I'd definitely drop in for a bite.