The pressure was on, we have our chef friend visiting us from Hong Kong and I needed to pick a place with a unique dining experience. So, Actinolite was top of mind. They focus on local ingredients and each dish is carefully presented like a piece of art.
The chef menu is 7-course at $90 per but if you include the amuse bouche and bonus dessert we had, it’s 9 in total.
We started with their amuse bouche which is a fried pork skin with whitefish roe, sour cream and blueberry. The pork skin was not greasy, really light and adds a nice crunch to the fish roe and blueberry. Their bread was served warm inside a mini case iron cocotte pair with apple butter. Freshly baked in-house with sprouted kamut and honey. It was delicious that we had to ask for seconds.
The first course is fresh turnip from Ontario served 2 ways – Turnip served on nasturtium leaf and turnip custard that is fermented in gooseberry juice and salt with sauce made from the top of the turnip. Never realized how refreshing raw turnip can taste and how pretty it can look. Make no mistake the turnip is the star of this dish. Next up was the cinnamon cap mushroom cooked with lobster butter, oil and cheese curd follow by the pig’s ear. The squid dish that followed was another highlight, really liked the texture of the chips, squid and glazed celery root.
For starch, instead of typical pasta dish, the chef opt for a grain dish served like a congee with barley, kamut, milk skin, kuffalmost breakfast like, it’s definitely different unlike anything that we’ve had. The main course is the grill lamb belly served with kulfi and watercress sauce with a char oyster emulsion. One bite and the meat melts’ in your mouth.
Dessert is caramelized apple sorbet, roasted white chocolate ganache, apple skin, hemlock powder and toasted marshmallow. We were fortunate that we had a bonus dessert, a soda plum frozen yogurt with Saskatoon berries and Saskatoon berries soda. It’s really light – like palate cleansing.
To end the perfect evening was the sponge toffee dip in chocolate with mushroom powder and candy moss. It looks like a rock but it’s unbelievably light once you bite into it.