Sugar Rush: Deconstructed Cheesecake at Wildebeest, Vancouver
The night I visited Wildebeest in Vancouver, the menu featured delicacies like smoked foie gras torchon with charred apricots, bison tartare with grilled tongue, veal neck with potato mousse, and blood sausage with heritage onions. Order omakase-style, and the chef will send out an array of dishes like these. Regardless of whether you dine omakase or a la carte, when it's time for dessert, you'll want to order Wildebeest's version of "Cheesecake" ($9).
The cheesecake is actually in quotation marks on the menu, as what you'll get is a deconstructed version of the classic dessert. It comes in a bowl, the base being the custard filling that's made with goat milk then poured into an iSi nitrous oxide cream charger to create a mousse-like texture.
Representing the cheesecake topping is a quenelle of raspberry sorbet. Its bold color contrasts well with the white whipped custard. The sorbet is rich in fruit flavor and slightly but pleasantly tart. As for the crust, it's a graham crumble that's sprinkled over the other components to provide textural contrast.
The Wildebeest Cheesecake is light and fluffy, and not overly sweet. Like flying through clouds at the end of a enjoyably long flight, eating this cheesecake is a delicious way to end a decadent, meat-heavy meal.
About the author: Jay Friedman is a Seattle-based freelance food writer who happens to travel extensively as a sex educator. An avid fan of noodles (some call him "The Mein Man"), he sees sensuality in all foods, and blogs about it at his Gastrolust website. You can follow him on Twitter @jayfriedman.