It has been a while since I returned to Wildlight Restaurant. The reality is, it is quite the drive from my home by SFU to their location at UBC. So when I go, I have to have the mindset to be prepared for a long drive ahead. However, my guest has yet to visit, so I thought now would be as good of a time as any, when looking for a restaurant to catch up and celebrate our friendship anniversary at.
My guest got there ahead of me and took the initiative to order from their happy hour. This was a clever thought that resulted in us eating cold food, but saving $72.
This includes happy hour highballs like a classic Old Fashioned at $10 a glass.
For food we shared the Mussels & Fries, a half pound of Salt Spring Island mussels served with a side of crispy fries. The boil was zesty and mildly tangy with a tomato base. It had the right hue for flavour, but came out a little flat. I thought it could have used more herbs to flush this out. The shellfish was nice and plump, and the broth at least served as a nice dip for the extra crispy fries with their starchy centre. Although a little thin, some crusty bread and butter would have been ideal instead.
The Wildlight Chicken Drumettes came dressed in shishito, garlic, charred lime, and nuoc cham caramel. These I liked and would recommend at the Happy Hour discount. These were the type of wings you lick your fingers clean of, having a caramel toffee stickiness to latch on. Although it was the brightness of the fish sauce and salt coming though that made this dish memorable.
Not specifically Happy Hour, but we did save because of it. Seeing as it was Wine Wednesday, we indulged in a bottle of wine at 1/2 off.
We would continue our meal with a couple more plates from the regular dinner menu. We opted for the 10 oz grass-fed striploin steak with sautéed port mushrooms, pomme purée, baby kale, and peppercorn sauce. We found the price reasonable for the size and quality. There was a fatty lining around the meat offering a chewy, melt in your mouth, gristly feel.
The sauce had a nice umami flavour giving me miso and uni, where none exists. And it is sauce that made it stand out from every other steak offering, on any other Pacific Northwest menu.
And as a side we added on the Blistered Shishito Peppers with shiso furikake and smoked onion mayo. I often get this dish from other restaurants (as one of my favourite vegetable dish) and on every occasion they always warn that 1 in 14 is spicy, and it turns into a contest to see who actually does get a spicy pepper. Consistently it has been none, up to tonight where I got 3 in a row. Curious, but not all that spicy. These were more bitter and could have used a further charring, more seasoning, and less salt. Although, I was still happy to finish the plate.
And even as full as we were, we couldn’t turn down a slice of their Pink Guava Cheesecake. It was personalized with “congratulations” to mark out friend-aversary and gifted from the restaurant. This was a lovely gesture that spoke volumes to the service.
There was no mistaking the flavour of the exotic fruit, its sweetness melded well with the cheese in a salty contrast. The cake was a dense whip accented with the toasted almond crumble, crispy meringue, and tart berries. I liked it without the layer of passionfruit gel atop. I found it an unnecessary add on, competing with the guava. But it did help to make this a more tart than sweet dessert, which I enjoyed.
In summarize, we had a lovely meal, but truthfully for the distance to travel, I am not likely to return anytime soon. The food also felt fairly generic, understandably, as it was trying to appease majority of the appetites, being the only fine dining option in the area. However, for me it had them coming across as a three star hotel restaurant, a touch predictable and safe. Although tonight, this was some of the best service I have experienced as of late; that is enough to warrant a recommendation and a return trip.
Wildlight Kitchen + Bar
5380 University Blvd #107, Vancouver, BC V6T 0C9, Canada
2416685C 8714 4B1E B35F 2D7CB8C531B6