A bunch of us from work gathered at Stella’s Tap and Tapas Bar on Commercial to celebrate the holiday season. I had never been to Stella’s before even though I drive by the one on Cambie all the time. I actually did not even know they served Belgian food until someone told me.
While we waited for everyone to arrive, Ned ordered a bunch of tapas for us to share. He had been there about a week before so he knew which tapas were the tastiest. We all really enjoyed the crimini mushrooms roasted with Danish blue cheese. The cheese was not too overwhelming and was just enough to give the mushrooms the extra kick that it needed. Since they were so small, I just kept on popping these in my mouth and ate more than I expected.
The Sambal and sweet soy tofu did not have any Sambal taste to it at all. However, as a braised soy tofu dish, it was pretty tasty although a tad too sweet. The fried lotus roots gave it an extra crunch and complemented the dish quite nicely.
The Korean BBQ beef short ribs tasted just like you would expect these to taste in a Korean BBQ house. My only complaint was that these were a bit fatty, but this often happens with short ribs.
The poutine was not your typical Poutine as the gravy was lightly seasoned with miso and was also sprinkled with green onions. I could not really taste the miso in the gravy but I enjoyed the slight crunch and herby kick from the green onions.
The sesame-crusted seared tuna was drizzled with a wasabi mayo and came on a bed of spinach. The sesame gave the tuna a nice crunch which contrasted with the moist interior but I felt that the wasabi flavour in the mayo was too mild and did not give this dish an extra kick.
By this point, I was already starting to get full from all the tapas but I somehow found it in myself to order a half pound of mussels and fries. I wanted to try something different so I chose the Orleans Moules, which had Andouille sausage, smoked corn, peppers, and Cajun cream. The mussels themselves were quite juicy and fresh but the cream-based sauce was too rich for my taste.
The fries were quite crispy and slightly brown, which is just the way I like my fries. The aioli was flavoured with some lime juice and had a citrusy tang which went very well with the fries. Similar to the mushroom tapas at the beginning, I ate more of the fries than I expected.
Overall, I quite enjoyed our outing at Stella’s. I was told that the food at the Cambie location is even better so I will need to drop by one day to try it out. If you are looking for a modestly priced Belgian place, Stella’s may be a place for you to try out.
1191 Commercial Drive, Vancouver