I’m thoroughly impressed by YEW. They thought of all the details, and it really makes all the difference. Our server had exceptional product knowledge, the plates (the actual, physical plates) were interesting, and the plating (how the food was presented) was thoughtful and beautiful.
But best of all? Dessert. Was. Great.
My pet peeve is going out to a nice restaurant, and then asking for the dessert menu. Without fail, there will be one or all of the following: creme brulee (oooh, but with some exotic flavour), molten chocolate cake (served with coffee or vanilla ice cream), and lemon tart (never tart enough). I’ve given up ordering these things, because the restaurant will never win. If they don’t do it well, then I’m hyper-critical of their attempt. If they do it well, then I’m annoyed that I spent money something that I can make at home for a fraction of the price.
Well, YEW did not disappoint. I had the milk chocolate cream, salted caramel and cinnamon meringue. My god, it was delicious. The milk chocolate cream was smooth and velvety, and was simultaneously light and rich. The salted caramel was indeed salty with a nice, smoky, almost-burnt flavour. It was garnished with a bit of fleur de sel and crispy cinnamon meringue pieces. With each spoonful, you got the sweetness of the caramel, then the flavour of the chocolate cream, then the burnt taste of the caramel, and then a kick of salt. It was a thing of genius.
The pineapple carpaccio featured paper-thin slices of pineapple, marinated in verbena syrup. It came with a creamy, tart lime sorbet and a coconut cookie. The overall effect was very bright and refreshing.
The best dessert, by far, was the cheesecake. On the menu, it sounded like a regular cherry cheesecake, but that’s a far cry from what arrived. It was a playful, deconstructed version of cherry cheesecake that literally danced on the plate. The “crust” was a crumble that was carefully sprinkled on the plate, topped with a quenelle of creamy, savoury cheesecake and accompanied by a streak of morello cherry glaze. The taste alone was a winner, but I love the fact that someone made the effort to present it with such playfulness.
As if that weren’t enough, our server brought us a plate of mignardise (small desserts) to go with coffee. There were homemade marshmallows rolled in toasted coconut, plus candied almonds in icing sugar and cocoa. Elegant, beautiful and so much fun.
I loved every minute of it. Finally, a restaurant that spends time on dessert and – more importantly – has fun with it. I’m definitely going back.
As an aside, YEW offers a prix fixe meal every Sunday and Monday: three courses for $35. The menu changes each week, and is posted here as the Start Smart menu.
YEW restaurant + bar
791 West Georgia Street (2nd floor in the Four Seasons Hotel)