Seeing small businesses grow excites me, even more so when they are a food establishment because I love good food. So when Robin Wasicuna of Wiseguy Foods messaged me on Twitter explaining that he would be opening up for a couple of evenings a week at the Dancing Moose Cafe I was ecstatic.
Having eaten regularly at the Robin’s Food Truck, located behind the Abe Miller Centre in downtown Yellowknife, and even been treated to a meal at his home I knew Robin’s passion for good food with a twist would be a delight and a welcoming option for a nice meal out.
On the eve of Robin’s opening night myself, along with a few other media personalities (You can read Jack Danylchuk’s write-up for Edge YK here) sat around a big table of The Moose and enjoyed samplings of several dishes on the new menu, Numbers, while learning about each one, the restaurant and Robin’s philosophy from the wait-staff and Robin himself.
While I’m not a food critic by any means and did enjoy each dish the group tried throughout the evening I did have a couple of favourites.
Coming in second for me was the Ling Cod with duck crackling, juniper aioli and cranberry. This surprised me as I’m not much of a fish fan but the cod was nicely prepared, while the duck provided the salty crunch that I long for and the juniper aioli brought a impactful punch of flavour.
What I enjoyed the most was the pork belly – this should be no surprise to anyone who knows me – which was accompanied by crispy kale, chili, charred lime and cauliflower cream. The pork was to die for! Can I say that? Robin explained it briefly after our meal saying that by pressing the meat at a certain point in the cooking process allows for the fat to flow back into the meat instead of over and out of it.
There were many items that I have yet to try so I look forward to the time when I can go back again. It was suggested a couple of times throughout the evening that if you ordered everything on the menu the total would be roughly $170. In perspective for the amount of food you would be getting you could feed four people comfortably, which would be about $42 per-person. Not outrageous for good food.
Chef Robin has a philosophy to raise the bar when it comes to dining out in Yellowknife. He explained that patrons shouldn’t just enjoy the food, they should enjoy the entire experience of dining, from the moment they walk in the door to the time they leave.
Wiseguy Foods – Numbers – will be open in the Dancing Moose Cafe throughout the fall, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 6pm to 9pm. Walk-ins are welcome but you can reserve a table by getting it touch with Robin. For additional updates you can follow them on Twitter @WiseguyFoods.
Disclaimer: I was invited out to the media night by Wiseguy Foods to experience the food. My meal was covered by Wiseguy Foods but my words are true, it was a wonderful experience and a culinary adventure.