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May 8, 2010 08:06 AM

A Tapas Chowdown of Biblical Proportions at Judas Goat Taberna (Vancouver)

Judas Goat
27 Blood Alley

Honestly, I had low expectations coming in to this Chowdown. Judas Goat is a restaurant that has been getting a lot of good buzz from the Vancouver food press and food blogosphere. My instincts were telling me that this place would be a dud. My instincts couldn't be more wrong - Judas Goat far exceeded my expectations. The food here is inventive and delicious. A couple of the diners at our table commented independently to me that "this doesn't taste like food from Vancouver" - alluding to the mediocrity and sameness of the tapas landscape here in this city.

We ordered nearly everything on the menu and each dish was good and distinct from each other. The menu is broken down into
Pressed Pottedor Cured

We ordered...

Chorizo, Caramelized Onion and Dark Chocolate Bruschetta
Rabbit Rillette with a Carrot Panna Cotta
Lamb Cheek in Savoy Cabbage and Truffle Oil
Braise Pork Belly on Onion Puree with Pinenut Orange Gremolata
Beef Brisket Meatballs with Rustic Tomato Sauce
Foie Gras with Rhubarb Foam
24 Month Parma Ham
Cacciatore from Moccia
Sablefish with Smoked Paprika and Lemon with Israeli Cous Cous
Saltimbocca of Veal Sweetbreads with Sage Brown Butter
Scallop Tartare with Pork Rind Cracklings
Crisp Prosciuitto with Squash Arugula and Manchego
English Pea Salad with Pecorino Mint and Lemon
Almond Goat Cheese Cake
Chocolate Tart
Spanish Coffee Truffles

The dishes were small but fairly priced - ranging from $6-10 with most items overing in the $7 pricepoint. They are meant to be shared between two to four people. We ordered at least two of everything for our table of nine.

The standouts for me where the Pork Belly on Onion Puree, Lamb Cheeks in Cabbage, Saltimbocca of Veal Sweetbreads, the Rabbit Rilette, and the Foie Gras with Rhubarb Foam. The meat dishes were falling apart tender (probably owing to their SousVide Supreme sitting on the counter behind us). The seasoning was spot on and the unusual parings of the various foams, panna cottas, gremolatas worked very well.

I sampled two of the Red wines from their concise wine list - Nichol Syrah and (my favourite this evening) Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir (2007?). The wines too were very well priced.

Great Chowdown. Great company and Great food.


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  1. The majority of the group then walked over to The Diamond for some cocktails...


    1. As usual, a wonderful report fmed. Thank you!

      A couple of things I will add...the restaurant is small! I mean maybe seating for 30 tops? I would make a reservation if you want to go. I saw them turning people away when we were there.

      When I go out for food, the one thing I look for is a good balance in flavouring. I like the seasoning to be perfect. It really happened here and every bite was delicious! The stand out dish for me was the salad of Crisp Prosciutto with Squash Arugula and Manchego. I also loved the sweetbreads, pork belly and meatballs. Another diner, repartee told me she had never tasted Parma ham as good as this and I think fmed said the fat on it tasted like buttah. I would have liked to try all the bruschettas but the chorizo was very good on the one we did try.

      The Diamond room was also beautiful and the cocktails were killer! One of our wine experts on here, Cancuk, said the Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir we fell in love with is available at the liquor store for about $20 a bottle. Well worth checking it out, it was really, REALLY good!

      This was really a stellar night! So glad I went.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ck1234

        It is a tiny place - no kitchen to speak of. Just a prep counter and a Sous Vide machine. It was tight for 9 people at our table. More conducive to smaller parties of 2 and 4 for sure.

      2. great reports fmed and ck1234. Happy to hear tapas is still alive in the city. Also appreciate the tips on the vino.

        2 Replies
        1. re: el_lobo_solo

          The Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir is actually $30...but delicious! Fruity without being jammy. Black cherry, strawberry, caramel, pipe tobacco, vanilla - yum.

          1. re: fmed

            Oops, typo. (on my impaired memory) sorry! :-) and I must have been wishing it was $20!

        2. Man you guys had quite a spread going over there. Missus and I kept looking over to see what you were eating !

          We had:

          Crisp Prosciutto with Squash, Arugula and Manchego
          Pickled Eggplant
          Chorizo, Caramelized Onion and Dark Chocolate Bruschetta
          White Anchovy and Salsa Verde Bruschetta
          Lamb Cheek in Savoy Cabbage and Truffle Oil
          Braised Pork Belly on Onion Puree with Pinenut Orange Gremolata
          Scallop Tartare with Pork Rind Cracklings
          Pressed Vegetables With Gazpacho Dressing

          All good, and our faves were the Lamb Cheeks and Braised Pork Belly. Scallop Tartare was disappointing .... but pairing with Pork Rind Cracklings was certainly "outside-the-box" thinking, although one piece of the crackling was damned near impossible to "crack" open.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LotusRapper

            I liked the scallop tartare actually but I will agree about the pork rinds, the piece I had could have taken a tooth out it was so hard.

          2. the cook NOT Lee, mentioned that the only thing they used the SVS for was the sablefish.

            1 Reply
            1. re: betterthanbourdain

              Apparently they are now serving lunch Friday to Sunday.