At the start of June, Swallow Tail held a dinner event, taking advantage of the bountiful greenery and parks we have in Vancouver with Summer of Love, a BYOBlanket affair.
Seated on blankets at Robson Park, we were treated to some live music from a violinist..
..and were served a small appetizer, Noon-va-Sabzi - Persian bread with mint, parsley and feta.
Shortly after this, we were called into the nearby restaurant, Che Baba Cantina, where the rest of our dinner would take place.
The cocktail of the night featured chef-foraged, wild BC botanicals; including elderflower, fir tip and arbutus bark
The food came out and the initial confusion of “what is this?” and “is this 1 serving?” quickly gave way to the realization that we would be dining family style, with everything meant to be shared.
Loobia Polo Ba Ghoosht - Rich rice dish with green bean, turkey, Persian saffron and a gorgeous Tadig
Koofteh - One big meat ball. Really, it was quite big. At first I thought it was a Lion’s Head, a Shanghainese meatball that looks very similar.
Cutting into it revealed dates, walnuts and I think raisins. Very interesting dish for sure.
We all mistook the Abdoogh Khiar - a cold soup of tart yogurt, cucumber, mint and dried rose petals, to be tzatziki sauce and plopped it over our rice and meatball instead.
To balance all this rice and meat out, we were supplemented with some Shirazi Salad - Fine chopped fresh salad of cucumber, mint, tomato with a tart olive oil dressing. Kind of like Tabbouleh but without the bulgur and parsley.
Since it was family style, we were told we could ask for more as there was plenty of food left, so that’s exactly what I did.
What I initially observed as crispy pork skin on the first tray, I discovered it was actually just crispy rice.
While nice to literally sit down, it proved to be a bit difficult on the back (I’m getting old) and I found myself getting up frequently.
With the noise level slowly rising as people were fed, it was time for dessert and tea.
Persian black tea to be exact, to be drank by letting it flow over the rock sugar placed on your tongue.
Dessert came in beautiful mismatched glasses, perhaps to match each persons size and stature, or maybe just randomly.
Sholeh Zard – Yellow sweet rice dish with rose water topped w/ cinnamon+pistachios.
In all, it was a unique dinner with flavours and dishes that I have not much experience with.