Wildebeest has been open for about a month now and there’s been quite a bit of buzz about this place. It’s full of communal tables and has a very rustic feel.
The first dish we tried was the Chawanmushi, with Dungeness Crab, crispy seaweed, inure and toasted croutons. Most of the chawanmushi I have had are served in a teacup, where it was originally steamed to a custard-like consistency. So I was really shocked that this version is cold, no, not room temperature, but actually cold. That threw me off and I didn’t even notice the smoothness of the custard until I was almost done. There were lots of crab but a few more pieces of ikura would have added some saltiness to the dish.
After reading the description of the Poached Farm Egg, we really wanted to try it. Served with young heirloom onions, elderflower, farmhouse country morning cheese and a few slices of mushroom, the perfectly poached egg sits on top and the crispy onions provides a nice textural contrast. Elderflower is something you either love or hate. It was almost like toasted quinoa. Some bread to soak up the eggy-ness would have been good too.
Here we have the Roasted Bone Marrow, with some potato shoe strings, a pickled parsley salad and some crostini. Spoon the fatty marrow onto the bread, add the salad & the shoe strings and you’ve made yourself a nice crostini. The marrow was a bit fatty for my liking, but that’s the chance you take when getting marrow.
We also tried the Roasted sweetbreads, with some more of the fried onions. The texture of the sweetbreads brings to mind liver, but creamier. Despite the delicateness of the sweetbreads, it stands up well to searing. It was creamy and crispy, and very very rich.
The last and best dish of the night was their 48-hour Short Rib. The meat was dusted with some smoked salt, and that was all it needed. The presentation of this “on the bone”, was wonderful. The meat fell away from the bone very easily and was fork tender.
They also have a wine room downstairs that is worth checking out. And yes, they have a different menu there as well. I’ll be sure to revisit and give that a try too!
120 West Hastings St.
5pm to midnight, Tuesday to Sunday evenings