Dinner visit: Cafe Balzam

The plan was to take my dad to the hot springs and then go home for whatever meal we could make out of the fridge. We had dined out the night before and economically, I don’t like to do that two nights in a row.

But my dad insisted that he buy us a meal, as we had paid (by gift certificate) for the meal the day before.

And so, we thought – why not Café Balzam? It was on my list to try and we were already out there…

What a great decision this was.

When we walked in, it was pretty empty. This is always a slight concern because either A. People don’t like it or B. It could be awesome but not get enough clientele to sustain a business. Luckily, by the time we left there were quite a few tables in use and it was a Sunday night so I think my fears were pretty unfounded.

My husband and I each ordered small savoury crepes with sides. I had La Fine Bush (aged Canadian cheddar, sauteed mushrooms, smoked pulled wild boar, spinach, bbq sauce and a poached egg with a drizzle of house-made mustard) with pommes dauphines (pictured at the top) and I believe he had the L’Halloumineuse (smoked paprika inufsed squash puree, locally-made grilled goat halloumi, fresh greens, sweet gale and tomato jam, roasted pumpkin seeds and its oil) with salad. My dad ordered a grilled scallops salad of the daily specials board.

See: Full menu

All of us were blown away by our meals. They were interesting, well-executed and not really that much more money than you would spend at a chain restaurant in town, despite the amazing local ingredients involved in all the dishes.

I hummed and hawed about getting fries or pommes dauphines. I have heard the fries are fantastic (and the poutine as well) but when I couldn’t decide, I asked the server. Her answer was priceless – “The fries are great but I don’t think you can get pommes dauphines anywhere else in town.”

They were delightful. Fluffy potato puffs with a crisp outer shell, served with honey. They look like fritters, but I assure you they have a much lighter interior.

You rarely see desserts on this blog but we loved our meals so much that we couldn’t help but try one of the sweet crepes as well.

We opted to share La Fleur Bleue between the three of us. It’s a crepe with marscapone cheesecake mousse, fresh mint and blueberries, topped with toasted meringue, walnut granola and haskap berry syrup.

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And guess what? It was delicious as well.

It’s not cheap eats (and little in Whitehorse is) but it’s inventive, impressive and most importantly – tasty. Their commitment to local ingredients is notable, the space is cozy and the service was really good too.

Likelihood of return visit: YES – this will be where I take out of town guests to highlight all the Yukon has to offer

Recommended dish: All the crepes

Tripadvisor:#20 of 93 Restaurants in Whitehorse

Café Balzam: Km 10 Takhini Hot Springs Rd, Whitehorse, Yukon – At the Takhini Hot Pools

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