NFA Underground Restaurant

by Victoria on February 20, 2010

Disclosure: When invited, we were extended a discount on our dinner for this visit.  The cost is normally $50 per person.

During all of the Olympic festivities happening in Vancouver, us dedicated food bloggers still managed to set up a night out for dinner together this past week.  Jonathan from Food and Tell was contacted by the chef of NFA (No Fixed Address), an underground restaurant located somewhere in Vancouver, and invited him and other food lovers to come check out his dinner service last Wednesday.  So off we went, with the following other local foodies from:

  • The Best Damn Food Blog There Is
  • Sherman’s Food Adventures
  • Van Foodies
  • Gourmet Fury
  • La Petite Foodie
  • [eatingclub] Vancouver
  • Yum-O-Rama
  • Basically, you can contact Steve via email (see bottom of post) to set up an evening to go to his secret location and dine to your heart’s content on a delicious six-course meal that has Asian influences.  He will get back to you a day or two before the set date with the exact details.  The place fits between 8-12 people quite comfortably and is a great idea for a special event or birthday dinner with friends.  All you have to do is set things up, and the chef picks out the ingredients and prepares a full dinner surprise once you show up on the evening agreed upon, listed up on a large chalkboard for all to see.  Everyone is welcome to bring their own drink of choice (of the alcoholic variety or not), otherwise there is plenty of water available for consumption. ;)

    Overall, I thought the room was great – it was a larger dining area than I had originally anticipated (which worked out well for the large group that we had there), and there were candles lit throughout the space, along with various art for sale (I’m guessing from a local artist) lining the walls.  It was definitely cozy and somewhere I would come back to – it didn’t feel strange and like I was invading someone else’s home.

    So as you can see, we started off with a Thai Beef Salad.  I was immediately on guard at this point, as not only am I extremely picky with Thai food (as a lot of you probably already know), this is the dish that my mom makes which is my absolute favourite.  It was going to be some stiff competition and would be hard to live up to.  Steve’s twist on this starter was to add a corn fritter to the mix.  I’d have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with this one, and found that it actually tasted how it was supposed to, and I even liked his additional unique twist.  The lemongrass and cilantro and fish sauce and all of the delicious flavours were present in perfect amounts, and I loved how he also added shavings of green papaya to the mix.  It was a great way to get the evening going, and I would definitely eat this again – would make a great light lunch!

    Thai Beef Salad Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5

    Next came the Scallops, prepared on a platter three different ways. While I enjoyed the middle item – the Ceviche – the most, I heard that others really enjoyed the one on the far right the best (served with the caper raisin emulsion and caramelized cauliflower).  At the front left was a Scallop with miso dressing and leek and apple.

    Scallop Platter Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4

    At this point, we moved on to the Slow Cooked Fennel Pork Belly.  We were told that this is a bit of a specialty at NFA, and was normally one of the items served as part of each dinner (although there are always exceptions of course).  This was served with endives and prosciutto, over a bed of potato and a delicious piece of roasted garlic to top it all off.  The crispness of the pork skin was absolutely to die for, although I did find the texture of the potato to be almost a little bit too hard?

    Slow Cooked Fennel Pork Belly Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5

    In order to cleanse our palate at this point, we were served a spoonful of Grapefruit Sorbet with Sliced Candied Ginger and Campari.  The iced treat was quite tart (in a great way) and I loved ginger in all shapes and forms so I really enjoyed the piece on top.  I was now ready and raring to go on to the next course!

    Pink Grapefruit Sorbet Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4

    After having the sorbet and continuing to drink one of the multiple bottles of bordeaux that we had brought along for the evening, the Sake Marinated Sablefish with Cantonese Veg Sauce.  It was a little unfortunate, as although I’ve said to Sherman  in the past that you can’t really mess up sablefish, a lot of us found the texture of this one to be quite mushy.  Apparently that can happen at times with some extra break down of fish from enzymes on occasion (that’s what we were told), but I’ve never had it like that before after the multitudes I’ve eaten (and trust me, as my favourite type of fish I’ve had it many, many times).  Maybe it was just marinated for too long? Besides that, it was served with some bok choy and a croquette.

    Sake Marinated Sablefish Rating: 3Rating: 3Rating: 3Rating: 3Rating: 3

    Finally, just when I was at the point of almost undoing the top button of my jeans, the dessert came around – a rich Dark Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Coulis, with delicious hazelnut pieces on top.  As I’ve said before, I’m not a huge chocolate-for-dessert fan, and enjoy it more as a snack at random parts of the day on its own, so after a very hearty meal and lots of red wine, it was difficult to joyfully indulge too much in this treat.  Of course, it’s always a matter of preference, and I did see some of the plates practically licked clean by the end of the night.  I made it about a third of the way through and then had to give up.  I did really like the taste of the raspberry sauce and the hazelnuts, and the first few bites of the chocolate itself were also great, but I thought that even half of a serving would have been more than enough.

    Dark Chocolate Mousse Rating: 3Rating: 3Rating: 3Rating: 3Rating: 3

    So there you have it!  Another successful night out meeting up with other food bloggers, and enjoying some tasty food in an undisclosed location – plus, going somewhere no one else really knows about always makes things all the more fun!

    NFA (and that’s all I’m saying ;) )
    For reservations, please email nfa.reservations@gmail.com

    Overall: Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5
    Food: Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4
    Service: Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4
    Atmosphere: Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4
    Price: N/A - $50 per person for a six course dinner

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