Jacuzzi is in town! For his first night in, I took him to Foreign Concept and then to the Comedy Cave. For this post, let’s listen to “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” by Elton John.
We sat in the back, near the bar section. I peeked through the screen and saw Duncan Ly, the owner and chef of Foreign Concept. Even if he weren’t in the restaurant, we would be in good hands, as I hear he trains his chefs exceptionally well.
We ordered the Fish Sauce Caramel Brussels Sprouts ($15), Pork Belly & Foie Gras Steamed Buns ($32), Lemongrass Glazed Duck Breast ($37), and the Squid Ink Spaghetti ($29). Three entrees and one appetizer were the perfect amount of food for the three of us.
When the tantalizing aroma of the brussels sprouts hit our table, I knew this appetizer would be a winner. The Brussels sprouts were crispy, saturated with the hot juices of fish sauce, caramelized sugar and sausage. The layer upon layer of flavour was fabulous. This dish isn’t something I could make at home. I would order this again.
The squid ink spaghetti arrived next, nestled with chili prawns, clams, and charred octopus. The black noodles were el dente, coated with a subtle Panang curry emulsion, and spicy from the crunchy jalapeño slices. I enjoyed the scent of dill and the sweetness of the peas. The prawns were plump, with a texture that made me think the prawns were fresh and not previously frozen.
Jacuzzi and L raved about the pork belly steam buns. We were impressed with the super thick, tender slabs of pork belly. The soft meat melted in our mouths. Jacuzzi commented that the white buns were pillowy and warm. The pate added umami, while the pickled cabbage added a crunchy acidity to each bite. I enjoyed the noticeable fragrance of the basil leaves.
The yuzu cucumbers were nicely pickled and tasted like Hendricks gin. The Asian pear added some sweetness and softness. L said the Ssamjang aioli gave this dish a nice kick. What I loved is the condiments aren’t just an afterthought. You can tell a lot of preparation ensures every component of the dish is top-notch. L said this was his favourite dish of the night.
Jacuzzi was impressed with the quality of the braised duck leg confit and the breast. He pointed out that the colour of the duck was a perfect hue, and it wasn’t greasy or overcooked like the Peking duck in Vancouver. I noticed the crepes were thin, smooth, and light. Jacuzzi noted the wrappers held the ingredients together and didn’t have the gummy texture of the wraps in his hometown. We topped our duck with zingy strands of cucumber, scallions, pickled carrot and papaya. Jacuzzi doesn’t generally like duck, but even he said this was the night’s best dish.
The food was so yummy, L and I wondered why we don’t eat here more often. After last night’s experience, Foreign Concept will be on our regular roster.