Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A must stop in Whistler, Aura at Nita Lake Lodge

Located at Nita Lake Lodge resort, Aura is an elegant lakeside restaurant, which the moment you step in, radiates  a warm, cozy vibe and a stunning view of nature.  We settled in cozily for the Saturday's brunch during a quiet mid day. Since it was off-season, the area was really secluded and so the whole place was pretty much ours to enjoy for the moment.

 Now, it's rare that I would say this, but the service was just outstanding. We were warmly greeted and the staff remained proactive, professional and attentive throughout the service. It was a stark comparison to our later dinner service at Alta.

Aura offers a west coast inspired menu made with local ingredients. We discovered that pretty much anything that came out of the kitchen was wonderful. It's no coincidence either. This restaurant puts in an effort to ensure consistency and quality for their customers, something I'm sure many 'high end' resturants can learn from.  Each week, all the staff gathered and relayed customers' feedback about the food to the kitchen and improvements are made accordingly. That is how they stay consistent, offering the best of the best. Being proactive and reactive are keys to success.

 When our server suggested the Mimosa for $5 and caesar, there was no way we could pass on the offer.  We have a thing with caesars, kinda like an addiction.  Aura uses their own ingredients and special recipe for the concoction, even using their very own pepperoni.  It's got a big kick to it, the way caesars should be.
Here's what we ordered;
Salmon Benny--two perfectly poached eggs over salmon and potato pancakes, was by far the best version of salmon benny I've come across.  The hollandaise sauce was a light, delicate foam.  Forget the smoked salmon, these salmon pancakes had golden crispy breadcrumb crust, similar to croquettes, and were so dangerously delicious.
Followed by regular Eggs Benny; 2 eggs served over English muffins and Kessler ham with seasoned potatoes.  Although they were just as delicious, I wish we could replace the ham and English muffins with more salmon cakes...MMmmmm
Do you like sunny side up with runny yolk? Because if you do, you would fall in love with this pulled pork hash.  The house pulled pork was so tender and flavourful, carmelized onions, *gulps, and crispy roasted potatoe nuggets with sun-dried tomatoes.  Quite the comfort food it was. 
The fresh baked quiche with a side of refreshing Lakeside salad was so good we told our server we needed to order another one.  I truly despise it when I bite into rubbery, eggy texture in a quiche, but this one was cheesy, fluffy with a crumbly crust. 
One of the best dishes there was the simple berry pancakes.  Warm pancakes topped with ripe, juicy berry syrup and a side of sausages.  A phenomenal brunch at this portion (5 pancakes, 2 sausages, a load of berries) for only $9!
Needless to say, I had a very pleasant first time experience at Aura and truly admire their continuing efforts for great customer service.  

Food: 4.5/5
Price: $$$
Ambience: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Value: 4.5/5

Aura Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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