New tastes: Pig Trotter with Truffle Parsnip Puree, Salsa Verde and Grainy Mustard. *Photo by Mikaela Ian Pearman
New tastes: Pig Trotter with Truffle Parsnip Puree, Salsa Verde and Grainy Mustard. *Photo by Mikaela Ian Pearman

Pigs trotter, veal, shrimp and fried artichokes made for an adventurous meal at Bolero Brasserie.

Many of the items I was trying for the first time. 

My partner and I visited Chef Jonny Roberts’ restaurant a few Fridays ago to sample his new fall menu. He changes the menu every couple of months, keeping his regulars coming back.

Once we arrived, I had a quick chat with Chef Roberts and we decided that it would be best if he just sent us food instead of us ordering from the menu.

To start, we had Pork Cheek Confit with Candied Bacon, Crystalised Ginger and Preserved Mango, Chili Tiger Shrimp with Pistachio Crème Fraiche and Mango Puree and Parma Ham and Fried Baby Artichokes with Parmesan and Truffle Oil.

Out of the three, the artichokes were the best. They were crunchy, salty and creamy all in one bite. When you wrapped the parma ham around it, the flavours rose another notch, created a perfectly simple yet flavoursome appetizer.

The pork cheek is something I would never order, as I’m not much of a pork eater. But this pork was succulent.

We found the best way to eat it was to take a bite of the pork, a piece of the bacon and then a little bit of the ginger and mango and eat it all together. The salty, sweetness popped, causing an explosion of flavour.

The shrimp was my least favourite — it still had a good spice and the crème fraiche helped to cool it down.

For the mains, we shared Pulled, Pressed, Pan-Friend Pigs Trotter with Truffle Parsnip Puree, Salsa Verde and Grainy Mustard, Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Beignets, Truffle Cauliflower and Micro Greens and Bistro Veal with Mushrooms, Bacon and Madeira.

Again, I wouldn’t have ordered any of these dishes, but I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of flavour in each.

The grainy mustard and salsa went really went well with the crunchy pork rind and the moist meat. The truffle parsnip was perfectly creamy with a rich truffle flavour.

The scallops were probably my favourite. They were buttery and nicely seared. The cauliflower puree played off of the creaminess of the scallops and the beignets gave a nice crunch.

I would have loved to see a sauce with this dish, maybe a buerre blanc or something to give a bit of tang. The veal was my least favourite, but the mushrooms and bacon gave an earthiness to the dish that was very homey.

For dessert, we shared Quebec Sugar Pie, Honeycomb Strawberry Mess with Chocolate Sauce and Chocolate Fudge with Croquant and Frangelico.

The sugar pie was out of this world. Think pecan pie without the pecans.

It was creamy and had a smooth caramel flavour. The pastry was perfectly flaky and its saltiness was a nice contrast to the sweet pie.The chocolate fudge was rich and sweet with a nice crunch from the croquant.

The strawberry mess was light with the airy texture of the honeycomb and the whipped cream. The strawberries added just right amount of tartness.

Overall, this was a wonderful meal. Chef Roberts spoiled us in a good way. Tonight’s lesson was this, think outside the box and you will be pleasantly surprised.