The restaurant, Chantecler, is named after a chicken breed native to Canada and its name is proudly laid out in black tiles above the 1935 cast iron and enamel Moffat stove; it is fully operational (!) and chef Poon and his staff uses it as a finishing stove before plating.
Really digging the bistro-style white tiled floors, thick wooden tables (which the co-owners built themselves) and the brick walls. Simple yet sophisticated.
We sat at the communal table by the front.
We ordered a bottle of 2010 Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec. "Le Mont" from Loire, France, recommended by Dan (@DanGutter). Great choice...went beautifully with our entire dinner.
We pretty much ordered everything on the menu!
Tongue and Cheek with Fermented Vegetables & Butter ($11)
A better view of the tongue and cheek on my plate.
Potato Gnocchi with Cod Roe, Chive & Seaweed ($13)
Soft Polenta with Shitake, Five Spice & Shallot Ragu ($12)
Pork Neck with Oyster, Lettuce & XO Sauce ($21)
Pacific Cod with King Oyster, Bonito Butter & Toasted Seeds ($19)
Beef Cheek with Beet, Marrow & Parsley Root ($19)
Stuffed Onion with Creamed Kale, Glutinous Rice & Black Truffle ($18)
Chicken Consomme with Hen Egg, Smoked Hen & Confit Mushroom ($14)
Sea Buckthorn Parfait with Meringue and Almond Praline ($10)
Killer cocktail: Amaretto Sour Royale. Thanks Jacob!
Chef Poon brought us to the back prep area where another Moffat stove stands (he purposely turned off the lights for us to show the stove lights =D).
Believe me when I tell you that I enjoyed every single item on Chantecler's menu? Because I truly did, especially the plates with distinct Asian ingredients such as the pork neck and XO sauce (XO sauce being a spicy seafood sauce used in Cantonese cuisine) and the stuffed onion with black truffle glutinous rice (which instantly reminded me of the classic dim sum dish, glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaf). Even the polenta and gnocchi, both being classic Italian dishes, had distinct Asian flavours with the addition of chive & seaweed, and shiitake & five spice. The beef cheek was incredibly delicate with bold flavours and the night ended perfectly with desserts that were light yet and delicious (I didn't miss not having chocolate at all, a rarity for me).
Chef Poon is doing really interesting things at Chantecler. He is putting out phenomenal dishes with ingredients that you wouldn't normally expect to go together...nothing you've ever seen before... but understand that once you taste it, you will realize it just works. Being Chinese and from Hong Kong, I can honestly say I've never been a huge fan of anything "Asian fusion" until now with Chantecler...it is really that good.