Salmon n Bannock fills a unique niche in the local dining scene, it’s a west coast cuisine restaurant with a pronounced aboriginal twist. There’s an emphasis on (what many might consider) exotic game.
We arrived for an early dinner on a Saturday night, and were seated immediately (we had reservations).
The menu is adorned with ingredients like elk, venison, bison, smoked salmon, and
This is the complimentary bannock bread
bannock is an unleavened bread, made by numerous north american aboriginal societies since before the arrival of the europeans. In its original form it was a paste of water and coarsely ground flour or maze, occasionally mixed into a ball and cooked on stick over a camp fire. After the european contact bannock evolved to incorporate lard or other fat, nuts, fruit, and occasionally leavening agents, and cooked in a skillet rather than over fire. This offering was a post-contact variety, milled white wheat flour, probably combined with fat and salt, a little bit of leavener, formed into a disc and baked in an oven. It’s split and served with a pat of butter.
We started with a wild salmon soup
This is a thin fish broth, lightly smoky, with carrots, onions, and fresh dill. There was a lot of dill in this soup, I found it a bit too much for my liking. The seasoning was (otherwise) on point.
We also had venison sausage with sage blueberry preserve, served with arugula and cherry tomato salad.
This was a pretty good sausage. I’d have to guess that this is combined with some other fatty protein like pork, since venison is a such a lean meat. There was a very slight gamey flavour, but it was tempered with the herbs and seasoning, and the sweetness of the blueberry preserve. The arugula was and fresh crisp.
My dinner companion ordered the braised bison brisket
This is a seared and stewed bison meat, braised in a wine sauce, served with smashed potatoes. Like the venison sausage, the bison is bold lean meat, with a beef-like flavor, but without the gamey-ness of the venison.
I had the wild smoked salmon with Ojibway wild rice, oat and mushroom risotto
It’s served with roasted carrots and roasted beets. The salmon is, as billed, lightly smokey, but more well-done than I would normally like. I assume that this is the normal preparation though, so I’ll take it at face value. There’s good flavor, and proper seasoning. The ojibway risotto is the surprise here. The wild rice and oats is on the tender side of al dente, and there’s a rich bacon and mushroom flavor.
For dessert, we shared a blueberry cobbler with vanilla icecream
This is a fairly conventional blueberry cobbler dessert. It was warm, and lightly sweet, with just a little crunch from the cobbler topping. The vanilla ice cream was a nice rich creamy compliment to the fruit cobbler, but otherwise unremarkable.
The space is fairly compact, probably only seating 40 or so, and the when the room filled up, the ventilation became a bit of a problem. It got pretty warm and stuffy inside this place.
Our server was cheerful and very patient, and most attentive.