Guest blogger and purveyor of deliciousness, Nathalie shares her experience at Salt Tasting Room!

Today I dined with Michelle at Salt Tasting Room (Blood Alley, Gastown Vancouver BC V6B 1C7). The strangest experience was walking through Blood Alley while a bum was staring down through between his legs at us and yelling he could us through his ass. Fifteen steps later, you’re passing some swanky back alley restaurants and Salt Tasting Room is one of them.

Michelle and I did the flight of wine and cheese and meat. What this means is: you get three different wines, paired with the types of cheese, meat and condiments you order with all you can eat bread. You can build the menu yourself, or get them to pair things for you. I got our waiter to pair mine, except I really wanted the Mikevitow’s Cornbeef and Lamb Sausage.

CHEESE: Cornish yarg
CONDIMENT: piccalilli relish
WINE: Cassini Syrah

The Cornish yarg was delicious. It was a light, semi-hard cheese without an overwhelming flavour. The flavour was delicate with an earthy undertone, almost like a hint of some sort of mushroom.  The yarg was a good pair to the piccalilli relish, which I thought would be more sour but it was actually quite cleansing and light as well, due to the cauliflower washing down the spices. The cherry ontop was the Cassini Syrah. It was spicy, with hints of pepper and licorice.  It was sweet because it had a floral undertone to it, but mostly spiced, as it gave the full bodied flavour of the three, as the yarg and piccalilli were both very light.

MEAT: Mikevitow’s Cornbeef
CONDIMENT: Pipparas Peppers
WINE: Quails Gate Old Vine Foch

This was my favorite flight. The peppers ontop of the cornbeef was delicious! The cornbeef is salty and fatty, so the peppers bite away the hearty meat with its spice and tinge of sour. The Foch is a sweet and sour fusion, which came across as brisk and cleansing for this meaty portion of my meal.

MEAT: Lamb sausage
CONDIMENT:  Olives in some sort of vinegar dressing
WINE: Landon Chason Cotes du Rhue

The Cotes du Rhue was light-bodied compared to my other wines. I think by the time I reached this end of the meal, I realized I should have had a little bit of each initially. I was a little full. The lamb sausage was good with the mixed olives and red peppers, the vinegar dressed the bread with a sharp, salty taste but the lamb was already a bit salty. I just wish there was a pick to pick up my olives, because my fork was far too large! I’m unsure if it was because I ate this at the end, but this wasn’t the best combination compared to the other three. Since the wine was light, the dish overwhelmed me tasting any perceptible flavour.

Overall score:

Delicious! Wonderful design and vibe inside, it feels modern and upper-class. Very friendly servers and the food was presentable and distinctively high quality. The Taster dish was good, but I was just a bit disappointed in the last combination. I would come back though and try to make my own combinations!

I tried Michelle’s as well, she’s a vegetarian:

WINE: Elderten Cab
CONDIMENT: Castelvetrano Olives
CHEESE: Linconshire Poacher

Cheese was salty and packed with flavour – it’s almost meaty! The olive was sweet as a great pair with beautiful wine to cleanse. My favorite out of her dishes!

CHEESE: ,Monte Boisse
CONDIMENT: Dried Cherries
WINE: Chateau du Pierreaux Gamay

This was nothing special. The Dried Cherries was probably the most prominent flavour, the wine and cheese were very fleeting on the palate.

WINE: Tantalus Riesliny
CONDIMENT: Hazelnuts
CHEESE: Local chevre

The wine was delicious, even by itself. This was the only white on the table, and it was lightweight, refreshing and fruity. I could drink this all day, it is very smooth and the alcohol is veiled by its flavour. The local chevre and hazelnuts is a brilliant combination. The chevre is sharp with that distinctive goat flavour and nothing else to dress it up, except the hazelnuts. The sweet, but savoury body of the hazelnuts fills you up quick with its earthy tones.
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