cache bistro and lounge
Cache Bistro is a restaurant serving French-inspired cuisine that occupies the old Charm Modern Thai space on Hamilton Street in Yaletown. The chef here, Alex Mok, was apparently trained by the personal chef to the king of Belgium, so I don’t think it’s a stretch to anticipate some royal-quality food!
The bread at Cache comes with truffle butter and peanut satay butter. The bread’s crust was a little softer than I prefer in a bread not meant for mopping up sauce, but the quality of the butter made up for that. They weren’t airy, whipped butters that barely add flavour to the bread, but neither were they hard, impossible-to-spread frozen pucks. Both varieties of butter were good, but I preferred the peanut satay, which captured all the savoury flavour of the nut, without being peanut-butter sweet like I worried it would be. Quite a surprise, and something a little different than the now-standard garlic butters that most restaurants have.
Next up were the mussels, which were served with with a choice of white wine broth or their daily special broth (which on this occasion was tomato and sausage). On this occasion, we chose the white wine broth. The mussels themselves were quite large, probably among the biggest I’ve seen. These weren’t those tiny clam-sized mussels. However, with moules frites, I’m used to seeing a thinner broth that can be slurped after the mussels have been eaten. At Cache, the broth was on the thicker, creamier side. Think cream of mushroom instead of chicken noodle. Despite its thicker consistency, it was quite tasty, though I’m pretty sure I’d be full if I tried to finish it all.
Colder weather is upon us, and that means that bourguignon is season-appropriate! Now, beef bourguignon originated as a peasant dish in which tough (read: cheap enough for peasants) cuts of meat were simmered in wine in order to tenderize them. Cache’s rendition of this dish uses veal cheeks, which are tough compared to other famously tender veal cuts, but probably still tender compared to tougher bits of meat from a grown cow. After braising, I found the meat to be a little bit too tender (is that even a thing?) and would have preferred a little more resistance to bite through. The sauce was hearty without being overly heavy, something that can be an issue with these rich beef stews.
What is this amazing-looking confection? Well, that would be the rather innocuously-named dark chocolate mousse tree. I pictured something like a 2D tree on a plate drawn using chocolate mousse. What I got instead was a tuft of cotton candy, a “trunk” made of a biscuit, “dirt” and “ground” composed of chocolate shavings and chocolate mousse, and mango “lava”. This was an incredibly creative dessert the likes of which I’d never seen before, and didn’t taste half bad either.
Cache Bistro is definitely worth the trip to Yaletown — every course was very well done, although the dessert menu is the most tantalizing (the profiteroles look to be worth a return visit!).