Tonight was the Zomato Meetup at Van Dusen Garden’s Shaughnessy Restaurant. On a cold wintery night, with the background of Van Dusen’s beautifully Christmas lit trees, we were welcomed to an intimate table of 15 foodies who met with Zomato reps Sophia & Jess to share in a deliciously prepared meal.
On the menu for this evening’s #ZomatoXShaughnessy #ZomatoMeetup to start were two delicious cocktails – one gin based and the other bourbon based. I ordered the English Garden – which was made up of gin, elderflower, ginger ale, berries, cucumber and lemon. I loved the elderflower and ginger ale combo. It was light, refreshing, sweet, yet didn’t really taste like it had alcohol…which makes it one deliciously addictive drink.
I didn’t try the other cocktail, which was the Shaughnessy Lemonade made of Rosemary infused bourbon, chartreuse, homemade lemonade, and ginger beer. However those who had it, loved it!
For appetizers, we shared 4 different dishes. The first appetizer was the Smoked Mediterranean Olives with spiced artichoke dip and herbed crisps.
The second appetizer was Salt and Pepper Squid with a chili-lime aioli with cilantro. The Salt & Pepper Squid tasted like the ones you would order in a Chinese restaurant for dinner. I really enjoyed the light chili-lime aioli for dipping.
The third appetizer was one of my favorites of the evening – mussels cooked in a coconut curry sauce. The mussels were plump and fresh!
The favorite appetizer of the night for me was the colorful Scallop, Bacon and Endive Salad. Considering it had both scallops and bacon, it was already a hit before I tried it! However the presentation of the salad was beautiful, with the colors of orange, pecans, slices of radishes, butter lettuce accompanies well along with the freshly seared scallops and tossed in a light maple vinaigrette.
For the main entrees there were also 4 to share and taste. The first entree served was the Cioppino – fresh seafood bowl of fish, scallops, prawns, mussels, and clams cooked in a spiced tomato and fennel broth.
The second entree was a beautifully cooked Duck Confit served with a parsnip puree, grilled orange salad, hazelnut and citrus jus.
My favorite of the evening was a classic butternut squash and mushroom risotto – just the right amount of Fall squash and mixed mushrooms drizzled with truffle oil and fresh parmesan cheese. The creamy texture of the risotto made me long for more.
The final appetizer of the evening was the Maple and Bourbon Glazed Steelhead fish served with crushed olive oil roast potatoes and caramelized cauliflower. Nothing says West Coast like a crispy seared fish dish.
For dessert there were two sweet yet decadent choices – a Flourless Chocolate Cake and a Lemon Shortbread Parfait. The Flourless Chocolate Cake was dense, but had a pecan praline and vanilla ice cream to complement the dish.
The Lemon Shortbread Parfait was my favorite dessert of the two – consisting of layers of lemon curd, shortbread crumble, topped with lemon ice cream and torched meringue. With the perfect amount of tartness I could finish it all to myself if I had the option to!
Overall it was a wonderful evening to meet local food bloggers and enjoy an intimate evening of food and food conversations! I also had the opportunity to chat with the brains of Zomato and find out more about their upcoming Vancouver initiatives. Thank you to Zomato’s Sophia and Jess for bringing this event to our foodie community! And special thanks to Shaughnessy Restaurant for the wonderful service and delicious menu.