I had been to Cork & Fin several times over the past two years before dining there recently, but only for their 5:00-6:30pm buck-a-shuck sessions, or a random drink. I really wanted to have a full meal in order to see what the kitchen was capable of, and to see whether the food could stand up to the slick and comfortable ambiance of the space that I had enjoyed in the past while shooting oysters. Valentine's Day seemed to be the perfect excuse to test this Gastown brasserie.
The first dish was a crudo platter consisting of six Kusshis, tuna tartar, cured salmon, and scallop sashimi. All of the seafood was clean tasting, subtle, and elegantly presented.
The second dish was an unusual and harmonious octopus salad. This looked a bit intimidating at first glance because the slices of octopus were abnormally large when recalling salads of a similar ilk; however, this grilled cephalopod was tender, and married perfectly with the roasted tomatoes and greens upon which it rested.
The dessert echoed the yin-yang balance that existed between the pasta and char, and presented itself in the form of a flossy pavlova and a luscious pistachio chocolate mousse. On its own, the pavlova would have been too light. And by itself, the mousse would have been too heavy. But together, they were perfect.