Syrahs of Jasper
I always research the restaurant’s I want to go to before I go them and very rarely do I stumble upon one in the high street, especially when going abroad. I think it’s because I love looking at menus, restaurants interiors and the area of the place I want to go to beforehand, probably so I can get a bit excited. Sometimes though, it’s nice to be surprised so we decided to not research Jasper’s restaurants and instead, stumble upon. Syrahs of Jasper is situated in the lovely little town of Jasper, surrounded by other cute little restaurants, shops and bars. It’s a lovely little town and full of very, very friendly people and situated in the middle of the most beautiful of surroundings with mountains in every direction.
Standing looking at the menu, a man approached Mark and I and said that Syrahs was ‘the place to go to if you’re looking for the best’ and if you know me, a recommendation like that is always worth its weight in gold so in we stepped.
The interior is totally warming. A brown-and-orange colour scheme can sometimes be seen as old and desperate for banishment but for me, it screams welcome and warmth and this lends itself to cleverly tucking in to a lovely smart restaurant. The tables are nicely laid and with a view of the bar, you’re never far from an eager waiter or waitress happy to help, in any regard.
We went in blind and the surprise was pretty darn special. We were given a set menu which is fine with me as long as there is a very varied choice and sadly, as a pescatarian the fish is almost always cod and the vegetarian dish is almost always risotto. However, the choice was fantastic. The great thing about a set menu such as this is you know exactly how much your experience is going to cost but sometimes a set menu offers a few added choices for a little extra which is great as it provides you with a varied choice and a chance to over-indulge if you so wish. (Obviously, we did).
For my starter I had the Caramelised Onion Tart. The sweetness that comes from onions often tend to be grown in areas that have a fairly high rainfall and because we are talking about Canada here, where rain is fairly common, the onions are going to be packed with flavour. Cheese and onion is a match made in heaven and that flavour combination has and always will work for me, either in the most basic of ways or in a deep flavoursome way such as a tart. Marrying a tart of caramelised onions with a melting cheese is perfect, especially if the cheese is blue cheese with a hint of garlic. It was delicious, fairly chunky in size and the pastry was crumbly and delicious.
The balsamic could have been brought back a touch, though to allow for the natural flavours of the onion and the blue cheese to marry up.
We were treated to a little amuse bouche, a toasted hot buttered scone and a between-course palate cleanser which is always a crowd pleaser but I can tell you now, that palate cleanser was out of this world delicious. This delicious maple whiskey sorbet that hits the back of your throat sharply and then oh so sweetly was gone in seconds but will forever remain in my memory as a delicious little happy moment.
On to the main, I almost always go for a fish dish but on this occasion, I went for a different approach and tried the Wild Mushoom Loaf which was full of local mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and Canadian cheddar and served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, caramelised onion gravy and grilled vegetables. Heaven on a plate. Loaf is almost always very stodgy and often a bit bland. It is easy to overcook and often very dry and dull in flavour but the loaf was moist, the mash buttery and full of a tangy garlic flavour that cut brilliantly with the mushrooms and the added onion gravy brought a touch of sweetness to the dish.
But now we move swiftly on to one of the best desserts I have ever, ever had. You’re going to have a very huge appetite after reading about this…
Syrahs ‘La Fin’ dessert is $18 and the best $18 you’ll ever spend. It’s a sharing platter although Christ knows why I shared it with Mark. There’s only two restaurants I’ve ever been to before that make me want to travel abroad just to go back and eat that food again. This and a restaurant I went to in Copenhagen. This little treasure though is a sharing platter of Goat cheesecake, double chocolate blondie and home-made ice cream. All on one plate. Served with warm Sortilege and a Syrahs “Pick Me Up”. The goat cheesecake is like nothing I have experienced before, a decadent New York style cheesecake made with white chocolate and goat’s cheese. Topped with blackberry chocolate sauce (and lots of it may I add), followed by their hugely popular chocolate blondie which is a creamy warm white brownie with chunks of white and dark Belgian chocolate, salted caramel sauce and Frangelico whipped cream followed by a beautiful glass of maple sortilege which is a unique blend of Canadian whiskey and maple syrup, created from the richness and authenticity of the Quebec countryside.
Basically – this place is a secret heaven on earth.
Syrahs is a delight. It’s humble, it’s honest good food and it’s hugely popular with travellers worldwide and local residents. The service is second to none and our waiter was fantastic, he answered every question we had, talked to us about the food and made sure we enjoyed every second of our stay. The music is nice and relaxed, fairly folky and the restaurant is wrm, welcoming and intimate in size. It’s the perfect place to enjoy fantastic food, followed by a lovely stroll around the little neighbourhood whilst you take in the stunning mountain views. It’s a fantastic fine dining experience but because it is so small, I’d hugely recommend booking ahead to ensure you get to taste this fabulous food.
606 Patricia St, Jasper, AB T0E 1E0, Canada