A couple of weeks ago, I was able to attend a truly unique media tasting event hosted by the catering company, Sugar Mountain Catering Company.
They hosted the dinner at the Arundel Mansion in New West, which is connected to the Arundel Hotel next door. They are hoping with this new private venue to create an extraordinary experience for people that want a more intimate dining setting. This venue seats 40 so you get the whole restaurant to yourselves, a full kitchen, bar, upstairs suite and kitchenette. As well, all the food will be catered by Sugar Mountain so all you have to do is just show up!
While the venue is old, it has a lot of personality ranging from the 60’s posters on the wall, to vintage bathrooms that feels straight out of a set from a movie.
Beautiful place settings with fresh herbs like sage and rosemary to tickle the senses before your meal.
The Sugar Mountain’s chefs at work prepping our courses.
Amuse bouche of cured roma tomato and basil encrusted chevre crostini with 25 year aceto balsamico. I have never had the privilege to taste balsamic vinegar that’s been aged 25 years so it was really a memorable moment. It went perfectly with the basil crusted goat cheese and delivered as a savoury first bite to the meal.
This is the Maple Hill Farms free range chicken consomme with vermouth, local spring morels, foie gras, mirepoix vegetables and pate feuilletee.
While the puff pastry was delicate and baked to perfection, the consomme fell flat for me. The vermouth was a bit overpowering for my taste so I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I thought I would.
Braised Fraser Valley beef cheek and bone marrow custard with Italian parsley, fleur de sel, pink Himalayan salt, glace viande and grilled bruschetta. This deconstructed dish was awesome to play with, though I wish there was more of the grilled bruschetta. The beef cheek and bone marrow custard was velvety smooth and I liked how the Himalayan pink salt added an extra bit of umami.
Fresh picked dungeness crabmeat with chilled grilled spring asparagus, fingerling potato and grain mustard vinaigrette. If there was ever a thing as an elegant potato salad, this would be it. They told us the crab was freshly caught the morning of and the chef deshelled all of the meat for this dish.
This was probably one of my favourite dishes during the night. The Gulf Island pink shrimp perogies with truffle butter, wild Sockeye belly bacon, ikura caviar and sour cream. I don’t even have to explain this and you can probably envision from this picture how tasty this combination of ingredients were. Needless to say, if I could’ve had a full plate of this for dinner, I’d be in heaven.
To add some Asian fusion cuisine into the tasting menu, the chef served up a nori wrapped tempura ahi with shiso oil, uni cream, and ponzu daikon sprouts. While everything was spot on and delicious, I wish I tasted more of the uni in the uni cream.
Poached fillet of smoked wild BC sablefish, Fanny Bay oyster, brandade gratin, fennel, bacon and rosemary infused veloute. I’ve never had smoked sablefish before and this opened up my eyes. The texture the chef was able to achieve by smoking the dish was incredible and made this premium fillet even more irresistible.
Palette cleanser – lychee ginger ice.
If you’re thinking, how in the world can you eat all of the previous dishes, AND this huge lamb chop dish, you must have underestimated my gluttonous belly and my capacity to eat like a man. 😀 This is the roast rack of Salt Spring Island lamb with Chianti syrup, wauteed fiddleheads and roasted spring vegetable couscous en cocotte.
The lamb chops were pink and rare to the touch, all left to baste in its beautiful juices.
Dessert troika of cashew and cardamom spiced love cake with coconut ice cream, jackfruit tarte tatin, and Belgian chocolate rasperry pots de creme. I’m not huge on desserts but I really liked the chocolate raspberry pots de creme. The combination of raspberry and dark chocolate is always a winner in my books.
All in all, while not every single dish was a one hit wonder, the tasting menu by Sugar Mountain Catering Company overall was elegant, sophisticated, and showed the versatility in techniques by the head chef. I could tell there was a lot of effort put into each dish and I really appreciate that. If you want to check them out, visit their Facebook page here.
Service Rating: N/A
Food Rating: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5