Exile Bistro is located near the rainbow crosswalk in Vancouver and it has only been opened for about five months. When my friend, Stephanie, mentioned this cool little restaurant that serves both vegetarian and game meat options, I was sold. I walked in without any expectation because the menu was very interesting. You’ll find a lot of game meat in their selections and since I occasionally do not get to eat interesting meats, we ordered their best choices. Shall we dig in?
I apologize for the grainy photos. I was experimenting with Photoshop’s camera on my tablet and they didn’t turn out as well as I hoped.
Cherry Blossom Lemonade
To quench the summer thirst, we both ordered a cool glass of cherry blossom lemonade. The drink was quite girly and pretty with the little dosage of pink swirls on the side from the cherry.
The taste was just like a normal lemonade with a bit of floral sprinkle added in.
Kohralbi Scallops with Walnut Butter and Cherry
I was a bit excited when I saw the words ‘scallops’ so I instantly thought they were seafood scallops – so we ordered it. When we bit into it, we had a puzzled look because the texture was nothing like scallops. We took a look at the menu, and we said “Ohhhh….”
Kohralbi is a type of German turnip with a lighter feel to its taste than normal white turnip. The texture is crisp and it melts in your mouth.
The walnut butter was very rich and it had an earthy tone to it that complemented the sweetness in the cherry.
What’s in it: Lobster mushroom, cauliflower cream and elephant garlic chips
Yes, this is a vegetarian dish and a delicious one too. The house made pasta was very fluffy and cooked al dente. The down side was that you couldn’t really taste how fresh it was with everything on top of it.
The cauliflower cream had a purée texture to it and the taste was exquisite and very creamy. The enormous garlic chips gave the dish an extra flavour “oomph” to it.
What’s in it: Elk, wild boar, turnips, beets, radish, zucchini, assorted squash, assorted sauces, mushroom bone broth, buckwheat noodles.
This meal took Steph and I two and a half hours to finish. We started off by eating the vegetables one by one and eventually ended up throwing them all in at one go because it took too long to prepare and eat. The ladle that they provided us was also really small with only bite size portions per spoonful so we had to quicken the pace a bit.
The broth was tasty and rich. You could taste the meaty flavours in the soup and it wasn’t too salty – we ended up drinking the soup too.
If the elk or wild boar isn’t thoroughly cooked, it would taste extremely gamey in an unpleasant way. If cooked well, the meat is delicious with a hint of gamey flavours similar to lamb but with a beef like texture.
Since they gave us a small ladle, we should have broken the soba noodles in half for eating convenience.
The display for their vegetables was absolutely beautiful! Colours were everywhere and we tried to eat in a manner that would keep the display in order. Eventually we dumped everything in.
We loved the beets and the squash but the turnip wasn’t so good.