We had one of the best restaurant recommendations ever back in the late Spring, when we were travelling on the southwest coast of the Island. Our bed and breakfast hostess had suggested we try Wild Mountain Food and Drink in Sooke for dinner. It had opened only three weeks prior to our visit – generally we like to give a new dining spot three months to settle in, but being that we had only one night in Sooke we took a leap of faith and made reservations.
Right off the bat our hopes for a good experience were raised by the fact that the place was packed solid. On a Tuesday night, no less – and it wasn’t even tourist season yet.
Wild Mountain Food and Drink is operated by the husband and wife team of Oliver Kienast and Brooke Fader, who between them have some very serious chops in the culinary world. The couple is wholly dedicated to producing meals that feature the best seasonal local ingredients that they can get their hands on. They work in harmony with area farmers, foragers and fishers as well as growing much of their own produce, and those bright west coast flavours shine through in spades.
The small blue house that serves as home for Wild Mountain Food and Drink seats maybe 30. It’s noisy and cheerful and bursting with energy. There are water views, and there is plenty of good people-watching to while away the time as you are waiting for your meal.
We began our culinary adventure with a luscious creamy sweet potato soup that had me ready to lick the bowl. (Or at least mop it clean with a piece of the very excellent bread from Fry’s bakery in Victoria – which I did).
Our entrees offered up the best of Spring. My husband thought he had died and gone to heaven with the lamb dish, braised and roasted to perfection, accompanied by local asparagus. My creamy fresh asparagus risotto combined with wild mushrooms and fresh spinach was no less enticing. We both needed more bread to sop up the few remains that were on our plates.
Desserts were nothing short of heavenly. My husband ordered the Peruvian chocolate pudding, served in a small mason jar with a cookie, praline and cream. I managed to get one small taste of this decadent offering before he devoured the rest. All I can say is it was the best chocolate pudding I have ever had the pleasure of consuming.
My dessert was most definitely in tune with the season – a short-crust tart filled with lemon curd and topped with seasonal rhubarb and strawberries. It arrived encircled by a pool of not-too-sweet caramel sauce that was a nice complement to the tartness of the rhubarb and lemon.
Although service was a little on the slow side it was nonetheless excellent. I am sure that by now, almost five months in, that the staff at Wild Mountain Food and Drink have those glitches sorted. And I notice that the menu has evolved to highlight the bounty of the late summer and autumn months. It might be time for another trip to Sooke!
Further information on Wild Mountain Food and Drink can be found at the website:
Price rating: $$
Wild Mountain Food and Drink is located at 1831 Maple Avenue South, Sooke
GPS co-ordinates are:
Lat. 48.369942 Long. -123.728064
N 48 22.197 W 123 43.684