After the hostess called me to announce she had a table ready for us at Raudz, my partner and I wasted no time in scurrying over to the restaurant to secure our place. The atmosphere, while nice and modern, didn't harken impressions of a high end eatery. We were seated near the back corner of the room with a good view of the kitchen (although I was faced to wall). The service was fairly prompt and courteous, but mostly unremarkable. Upon laying eyes on the menu offerings though, I got excited. The dishes were modern and fresh, with an abundance of molecular gastronomy techniques tossed in.
We started with a few appetizers.
Seared scallops with green bean terrine, bonito flakes, black olive dust and some greens. Coming from an ocean location, I wasn't expecting much from scallops served in a landlocked city. And while the scallops themselves were quite good, there wasn't much spectacular about the dish aside from the black olive dust. I don't like olives. In fact they taste like poison to me in normal circumstances, but this dust was great. It was salty and vaguely smokey, with plenty of olive flavour retained.
"Crab Cappuccino" which was a thin crab soup with a milk foam, of course served in a large cappuccino cup. This is apparently Raudz signature dish. I only had a taste of this one, but it was very good. It was rich an luxurious without being laden with fats.
Octopus and snapper ceviche. To call this a ceviche is perhaps stretching the definition a bit. I was fish pieces stacked in a rectangular shape with shaved fennel and cucumber slices. Topped with a few lentil crisps, and garnished with cilantro gel and cilantro dust. The flavour of this dish was bright and delicious. The seafood tasted as fresh as could be, as it should in a ceviche. The cilantro gel was fantastic but the dust fell a bit short as, aside from the bright green colour, it was basically indistinguishable from dried coriander spice.
We concluded round one with a charcuterie board consisting typically of some cheese, meat, preserves and crostini before settling in with a few drinks before the entrees.
I ordered the duck breast, duck is one of my favourite proteins to order from skilled chefs. This particular breast was cured in coffee and served with green beans, pickled cherries, rhubarb jam and brioche croutons. The dish was very good, with the brioche croutons elevating the texture and taste beyond what I was expecting. The duck itself was succulent and cooked perfectly. I did have a couple of small gripes: The flatware on the table included non-serrated steak knives that were as dull as could possibly be. A minor annoyance, to be sure, but it did decrease my enjoyment of the dish. Also, some of the cherries on the plate were pitted, while others were not. Luckily I didn't bite into a pit, but I could see that happening to eager eaters.
All said, Raudz was a very enjoyable experience, and definitely recommended if one ever finds themselves in Kelowna BC with no dinner plans, but a few small details could have been improved. The food was modern and novel without being too intimidating, and the flavours were on point, although not mind blowing.