Cute, elegant, and little Bar Clementine. I took my friend here for her belated birthday dinner on a busy Friday night. Highly recommend making reservations at least 2 weeks in advance for weekend bookings, though bar seating is always available for walk ins. Clementine was inspired by nature and the early 20th century, so a historical theme would be expected.
My friend ordered the pineau crusta, which is a “pineau des charantes blanc, lemon, maraschino, angostura.” She commented, “you know the place is fancy when you don’t understand half the menu,” (lol!) but fancy also means pricy. Food items are moreover tapas than bigger plates, and drinks are recommended to compliment each dish. Pineau crusta was recommended by our server if you prefer a sweeter drink. I requested for “something that’s sweet like juice but not juice.” It’s supposed to have a sweet but tart profile. I tasted French cognac, lemon juice, and orange bitter. We didn’t enjoy the initial first sip until it had a soothing finish. Great to sip on.
If you know me in real life, or have been following me for awhile now, you’d know how much I LOVE potatoes. Many people tend to assume I’m a meat lover! These are crispy potatoes with canola aioli and pickled potatoes. The potatoes were fried to perfection. Crispy on the outside yet soft on the inside. Pickled potatoes added a soft texture and richness to the light aioli. It had the resemblance of salt and vinegar chips. I’m still craving this on a daily! I believe these were the best potatoes I’ve ever had.
House-made tobacco smoked triple creme brie with pumpkin grapes, roasted carrots, and Genevese basil. Served with cinnamon house-made rye. Fantastic. Cheese melts the second it hits the warm toasted rye. Carrots and basil gives it a crunchy texture and richer flavour, while the berries bursts into light sweetness.
Fresh nanoose bay Kushi oysters topped with shallot mignonette. Personally, these were our least liked dish. We were struggling to finish them — not because we were full (and trust me, we were not full from this whole dinner, I’ll get to that in a bit), but because it was very fishy. I think these are just different for everyone. My favourite oysters would still be the ones from Black Pearl. I would not come back for this dish, or order it again.
Another favorite of the night: peking duck. Known for its crispy skin, perfect roast, and full of deliciousness, Clementine takes it to a Westernized cooking syle. It’s cooked with Gochujang and duck stock broth, duck garum, shiitake mushrooms, fried leek, carrot, and accompanied by a soft duck egg. Gochujang is a famous Korean chili paste which is spicy, sweet, and normally used to make many popular Korean dishes such as bibimbap. The duck was crispy and thick but very tender.
Wolf bass with Tomme de Chèvre, fermented tomato water, and aubergine. Not much to note about this dish. The fish flakes right off the fork. Broth was amazing — we drank all of it like soup! Tomato water added a tart but sweet profile.
The moment I glanced through the menu, I knew one thing for certain — I’d have to come back for drinks when I’m not driving. Stay tune for another review of Clementine, drinks edition! Overall, this restaurant has no doubt wooed me. Only downside being that it’s not filling. I recommend coming here after another dinner, before dinner, or just order every single item on the menu…
We went to Cactus Club right after for a second dinner. Here’s what we ordered to be full for the night, to give you a general sense of how filling Clementine is. Note, this is from 2 girls with large appetites.