Wolf In The Fog, Tofino
It’s taken me a while to write this review because it dawned on me as I sat on it for a few weeks that I don’t know how to write about good food. Good, delicate, expensive, gourmet food. As someone who habitually spends less than $12 on eating out, and $40 a week on groceries, spending actual money on actual good food was out of my comfort zone.
As you may have already noticed, I eat a lot of trash.
Sometimes it’s tasty trash, sometimes it’s super trash, but all of it amounts to pure unadulterated garbage when compared to the dinner I had at Wolf In The Fog in Tofino.
Wow, that sounded harsh.
But honestly, their food was exceptional and I didn’t know how to put it into words.
A Pauper’s Will
Our entire trip to Vancouver Island was a pretty frugal one. To save money, we brought ramen and granola bars with us so we didn’t end up pissing money away eating out. Aside from gratuitous churro binges, we snacked on donated meat and Kit Kat bars.
I knew from the beginning that I wanted to go to Wolf In The Fog, and that it would be our one gastronomic splurge. But upon learning just how off the hook it was, and trying to book a reservation unsuccessfully (apparently 2 weeks prior was not enough,) I cried on the inside a little.
But alas, when I want something, I really wanted it. We arrived in Tofino and our first stop was to the Wolf In The Fog to ask about walk-ins. To our delight, the hostess informed us that there was a chance at an open table if we arrived promptly at 5pm. At 4:50pm, we were in line. At 5:10, we had gotten a table with a view.
Chili Squid & Pork Jowl | green papaya, cucumber, thai basil, and coconut.
When the plate arrived, I didn’t know what I was looking at. In fact, I had already forgotten what we ordered because I was too busy being distracted by the very good alcoholic beverage Collin had ordered. Which, by the way, is Hoyne Dark Matter (some sort of ale?) Apologies for my lack of knowledge in the beer department, I rarely touch the stuff because of how intolerant I am to alcomahol. All I know was it was hearty and flavorful, in a good way.
Now back to the appetizer — it arrived on a plate that looked like it came from grandma’s house, but this is not your grandma’s appy unless your grandma is a culinary genius. The mix of textures was just the beginning, the absolute clash of tastes was what made it amazing.
Imagine the snappiness of the squid in contrast with the most tender pork jowls mixed with gossamer thin sheets of green papaya drizzled with soothing coconut. While all of this is tickling your sense of texture and creating a dissonant yet harmonious concert in your mouth, the flavor kicks in. At first quite subtly as the squid and papaya are both relatively tame in flavor, but then the crescendo of that umami pork jowl really stirs up some emotions.
Yes, this appetizer made me emotional. As a human robot in most scenarios, I call that an achievement.
Baked Tofino Halibut | tomatoes, olives, zucchini, bread pudding, proscuitto.
Right, I said I hated sharing but our budget only allowed for a plate for two for… two, not one. One thing I’m not used to eating is fish. If you asked me what [insert fish name] tasted like, I honestly would have no idea how to answer if it’s not tuna.
Having no context to place halibut in, I went in with a beginner’s palette and was in for a treat. One thing Wolf In The Fog does well as demonstrated by that phenomenal appetizer, is mixing together contrasting flavors, textures, and temperatures. The Halibut was fluffy, light, and tender while the bread pudding was dense and crispy.
If there’s anything I love, it’s crispy. The bread pudding really grounded the cloud like halibut, and the proscuitto added a punch of salty and savory flavor to everything. Now, I actually have no clue what that sauce was made of, but it was maximum delicious. I scooped up every last bit of it just short of plopping my face onto the plate to slurp the rest of it up because for once in my life, I decided to dine like a decent adult.
Frozen Ganache | milk chocolate ganache, goats cheese ice cream, compressed apricots, olive oil sponge.
Raspberry Shortcake | tonka bean mousse, raspberry sorbet, sponge, white chocolate.
Of course, the most important meal within a meal is dessert! Some places have banging appetizers and main courses, but ultimately fall flat when it comes to dessert time. Not Wolf In The Fog. They did dessert so well that I felt like I had a spiritual awakening.
While having no idea what half the words on the dessert menu were, I went with the first thing listed — the ganache, while Collin chose the whimsically girly raspberry floral arrangement.
Even after I shoveled the ganache into my face, I still don’t know exactly what ganache was, just that it made my brain fire off all kinds of lovely happy chemicals because of its rich yet light yet velvety chocolate taste.
As for that blob of goat cheese ice cream? Let’s just say I can’t believe I’ve been wasting my time on ice cream made of cow cream my entire life! From now on I will only accept frozen dessert made from goat bits because cows are most definitely the inferior dairy provider when it comes to ice cream!
My eyes have been opened.
Now, I know we each ordered our own desserts, but we’d be straight up sociopaths if we didn’t share just a little bit.
Collin’s plate looked like something that would garnish a bridal party, and its taste can be best described as a sweet summer romance — refreshing, tart, with a happy surprise once we dug in. That little puffy shortcake exploded with a gushing sweet fruity center — it was amazing with just the right balance of sweet and sour, cakey and sorbet-y. I don’t know exactly what tonka beans consisted of, but it was definitely not toy trucks. It was nothing but happy sweetness.
My meal at Wolf In The Fog was out of this world. Nestled in the middle the whimsical town of Tofino was possibly one of the best culinary experiences I’ve had in a very long time. The price tag for this dinner was about 4 times more than what a usual meal of mine would cost, but it was worth every penny.
As an absolute pleb who had no idea what halibut tasted like, or what ganache even was, I have to say, I walked out of there with a belly full of new knowledge in taste, and a head full of pleasant memories. Wolf In The Fog is a must re-visit when I go to Tofino again.
If this review seemed a bit disjointed, it might be because I lack the vocabulary to wholly describe this stunning food. That and I’m writing this at 3am as I reminisce in a half dream state. Next visit, I hope I will have amassed a better set of words to write a better review. Next visit, I will order twice the dessert I did this time.Tags: gourmet, Tofino