Can a Vegetarian Restaurant Provide an Enjoyable Experience?

Of course it can. I am open to all cuisines as long as its delicious. A number of Vegetarian dishes are among some of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. For example, Mexican Street Corn.

I recently went to a new vegetarian restaurant called Nightshade in Vancouver. The location was the former home of the famous Glowbal Restaurant which has since (sadly) moved to a new, larger location, and is no longer living in its glory days food and atmosphere wise. The original Glowbal, as one guide book I remember talking about it, was referenced as “you haven’t been to Vancouver until you have been to Glowbal”.

Anyway, back to Nightshade. I like what they have done with the interior. They clearly spent a lot on details and renovations. Unfortunately, I dont think the food was as well executed. The restaurant describes its food as globally inspired.

First up was Roti with a dip and garlic. The texture of the roti was tough and nothing resembling the original. The flavor was good. There was not enough dip provided, but the garlic was very good.

Next was the mista lava lava “roll”. The restaurant’s take on sushi. It was sake marinated yuba (inari), yam tempura, heart of palm and gochujang crema. I am a fan of inari so that was the best part of the dish but there were numerous issues with the rest of the dish:

  1. ratio of rice to ingredients was way off
  2. the rice needs more sushi seasoning (rice vinegar etc)
  3. the rice was inconsistently cut with some pieces huge, some small, some sloping etc

Cost is not usually mentioned in this blog as I will pay for top ingredients and quality but at $18, you can get far better “real” sushi.

Mushroom Toast – This was another poorly executed dish. The toast was supposed to be focaccia, but the texture was dense and nothing like authentic focaccia. It was weird. The flavor was good, as you can’t go wrong with anything Maggi (this had Maggi butter), but it was overly salty. The mushrooms themselves were supposed to be prepared three ways but I only saw one. Then mushroom pate and pickled daikon.

I did not notice the pate but in addition to pickled daikon I only saw raw carrots which I didn’t understand. They weren’t even pickled.

Lastly, we had the agnolotti. The dish had numerous issues: pasta not aldente and overcooked; this was more of a gnocchi than agnolotti; the tomato sauce was very average. Overall, and underwhelming dish.

For dessert we had the creme brulee. It was supposed to be a lavender custard but I did not taste any lavender. Also, the custard was gritty. My guess was that it was made with some sort of roux and there was a mistake in the technique of making the custard/sauce.

Overall, the food was disappointing. The service was fairly good and the drinks were very good. The interior is nice. It would be a good place for drinks but I would skip the food.

Leave a Reply