I had local food and beverage expert, @myvancityca recommend “Raudz” to me, and several locals verify her recommendation as the place to try in Kelowna. So when looking for dinner downtown I made an effort to make a reservation at this well known local hot spot.
The restaurant was kept dark for ambience. Brick walls, a long wooden share table, high back booths, and line sketches of animals over the kitchen pass. We spent some time at the bar waiting for our table by the window to clear. The two sections were separated by a black fence outfitted with window boxes.
The bar showcased a healthy collection of wine, but we decided to try a couple of their cocktails made by two dapper bartenders with styled moustaches that ended at curled tips, dawning bow ties and vests over their collared shirts.
When it was time to shift from bar to table, we were asked to settle up. We did, only for the host that took us there, to mention that they were going to cover our drinks. When I later inquired about the complimentary drinks again, the same host said she confused us with another couple, and disappointment ensued.
I paid in full for my “Teetotaler tries tequila” with Cazadores anejo, marrow vermouth, odd society mia amata amaro, sarsaparilla syrup, orgeat, and soda. And as promised by our bartender duo, it tasted like a root beer float.
My guest also paid in full for her “Lost her way” cocktail. Maple leaf “lady of the cask” brandy, sons of Vancouver amaretto, apricot shrub, and cedar creek “home block brut”. It was a smokey and rich cocktail, yet still easy to drink with a nice foam head.
My second cocktail I had our dining table. This was the “Cupboard cocktail” with Okanagan spirits aquavitus, Grand Marnier, Summerland sweets blackberry jam, Silk Roas sour cherry tea syrup, and lemon. It was boozy, yet jam forward with a unique crushed nut rim. It left you wanting something with peanut butter notes to balance it out.
But the best thing that we had to drink was their “Crab cappuccino”. I can see why it is so popular. It is so well presented and delicious. Roasted Dungeness crab soup with milk froth. It was so deep and rich, yet light to sip. It drank much like tea, hence the way it is served. But if you use the spoon and stir up you get actual pieces of crab at the bottom. Each spoonful had so much crab flavour that you wanted more of. And you didn’t want any bread or crackers to weigh it down. Best just as it is served, at the right temperature. Our server even obliged us with two of the crabs cut from slices of carrot, one of each of us so we didn’t have to share.
The “RJB” was recommend by a local, although his rendition had lobster and truffle. None-the-less we still ordered this grilled beef tenderloin sandwich with butter poached crab, shaved cured bacon, and onion jam; all on a brioche bun, served with roasted potatoes and a duck fat mayonnaise. This was a board that kept you interested, a choose your own adventure of eating. Rich flavours and a juicy steak, but the bun get soggy fast because of it. Just as well, seeing as the steak was so thick that it was hard to bite into. This was best enjoyed with fork and knife and pieces cut down to manageable bites. My only critique was that the mushrooms were far too salty, which we mentioned it to our server, who did offer to replace it. But the time it takes for them to make it, the rest of the board would be cold. The potato and duck fat on the other hand was amazing. A salty and tasty spin on a classic side.
The presentation of the “Yarrow valley duck breast” was a feast for the eyes, shame it was so dark by the time we ate, that I wasn’t able to capture it well. Perfectly cooked juicy chunks of duck served with fresh cheese gnudi, Okanagan mushrooms, wilted greens, roasted pepper, and a mushroom cream. All the flavours were complimentary, but we all found things salty as certain patches. The gnudi was also fairly memorable, like cheesy mashed potato rounds.
We didn’t have room for dessert, but our bill came with complimentary lollipos for each of us. Even my third guest who came to join us towards the end of our meal, finishing up what we were too full to, got one. This was very considerate of our server, who didn’t want him feeling left out.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
I would definitely like to return to try more of their menu, everything we had was tasty and there is so much more to try on their impressive menu. Don’t deny your cravings.
1560 Water St, Kelowna, BC V1Y 1J7