gracecheung604 | write on time: My first Tweetup...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My first Tweetup...

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A few Sundays ago, I hosted my first un-official tweetup at Yew. In attendance were @bennettchin, @omurices, @dennispang and @pawspix. There was one more girl there that night, but she's not on Twitter! Shocker! We scored the BIG table, probably made of a yew tree, not to be confused with the Big Room, which is like their wine room and probably seats about 12. I've been to Yew several times but never with enough people to warrant the Yew table. I was excited!
The one thing that joined all of us strangers was our common love of wine. I hate to spill the beans (so I won't) about Yew, but suffice it to say...they have a WICKED deal on vino on Sundays.
We received some bread and butter to start. The bread was rustic warm and filling.  
The butter was lightly dusted with some fleur de sel.
We started with eight oysters, four miyagi and four kumomoto. Instead of coming atop a bed of ice, which eventually melts into water, these arrived on a bed of salt. Really good presentation without risk of melting water.  
The oysters come with four homemade sauces (that's why we got eight oysters, so we could try one with each sauce. See what we are willing to do to get you the best vicarious experience? We will try everything, so you don't have to. 
Going from upper left (clockwise) a Icewine Mignonette, a Citrus Ponzu, then the Guava Horseradish and lastly, the House Made Tobasco. My favourite was the guava one...tangy with a little bit of a kick.  
@dennispang had the calamari, with a tzatziki sauce. It looked a little soggy and soft, and I've never been a fan of calamari strips, always loved it in rings and tentacles...Oh, and tell them to "go easy on the salt"...
@pawspix and another girl ordered a cheese plate, it came with blue cheese and another hard cheese called Alaskan Gold. I've never had the latter, but it is reminiscent of an aged cheddar. Served with some nuts, and honey and a few slices of bread. A very good choice for accompanying wine. 
Our entree came next, and it's a pork belly with a shrimp dumpling. Sounds simple, but it's so not! 
Sitting on top of a bed of spinach and shimeji mushrooms, the pork belly was topped by a shrimp patty. 
The belly was nice and tender, and a huge portion. We removed the dumpling so you can see how nicely done the belly was. The dumpling was the only disappointment in the dish...again...overly salty. 
The other entree we ordered was the Cold Appetizer selection...for ~$25, you get to sample four of the appetizers from the Cold appys section. 
Oh, that's right, it came with some flat bread too!
The scallop ceviche was the one I was looking forward to the most. I don't like cooked scallops, but I love it raw/sashimi style and I also love it dried, Chinese style. The ceviche was really refreshing and the radish and black sesame gave the dish some much needed crunch. A little hint of jalepano peppers made it even better!  
The next dish we tried was the Tuna Nicoise...the most lacklustre of the bunch. Overly dressed and almost cloyingly sweet. I guess they tried to counterbalance this with some olives, but the flavour just became all blended, leaving you with a taste of overpowering olive tepanade...the tuna flavour was completely lost. I ddin't enjoy this one at all. 
The lobster roll has long been one of my favourites from Yew...one of the few places I've found in Vancouver that doesn't believe every roll can benefit with the addition of avocado. The lobster meat, the cucumber and the mango...it's really all you need. The rice paper wrapper is a pleasant change from nori, which probably would get too soggy with all the juiciness of the roll. 
My other favourite dish was the tako...a perfectly tossed mixture of peppers, parsley and dressing. If you like octopus, you'll love this dish too! 
We also ordered a side serving of Gnocchi, the minute I saw that it was topped with truffle oil, it had me. It was delicious...rich and topped with buttered bread crumbs. Probably way too much food, but definitely worth trying.
@Omurices ordered the Surf and Turf. It was a rather small serving of tenderloin, with a little iron crock pot of lobster macaroni and cheese. 
Sitting atop a bed of fresh white asparagus, the tenderloin was perfectly cooked (yet a bit salty), and it was clearly quite juicy. The Lobster mac and cheese wasn't really made with macaroni...more of a long pasta...still rolled up to soak up the cheese goodness and the sweetness of the lobster. A good dish if you are sharing, because the pasta pot is quite filling. 
After dinner, we received a small smattering of dessert nibbles...nuts rolled in cocoa and powder, as well as some gelee gummies. All delicious and a great way to end the meal! 
Wines we consumed tonight included a Quail's Gate Gwertz, a Kim Crawford Pinot Noir and the Joie Farm Rose...awesome prices for all the wines.  
Our server was a delight, handling all our photo demands, billing requests and general rowdiness. No complaints, and I'm sure we'll be back! 
YEW Restaurant + Bar on Urbanspoon

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