The moment I walked into Ulla restaurant on lower Fisgard street at the edge of Victoria’s Chinatown, I was certain I was in for a wonderful experience. Dave has been to this lovely restaurant once before, and he was excited to share it with me.

I was instantly taken by the clean modern lines of the restaurant. I especially loved the large birds nest light fixtures, the wall of cookbooks (many that Dave also owns) and the robins egg blue and white simple menus.

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The menu itself is small but complex, taking care to highlight local ingredients and classic fine dining techniques. Dave and I wanted to choose three courses to get the full experience at this lovely restaurant. My first choice was a no-brainer for me. I love beets and hazelnuts as a combination, so I was thrilled with the plate of beet variations with fresh cheese curd, hazelnuts, rasberry and watercress. When my plate arrived, I gasped it was so pretty! The highlight of the dish for me was the beet sorbet – such an intense and fresh flavour!

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Dave started his meal with the 64 degree celcius egg, grilled pork, endive, smoked cheddar, endive and mustard. The dish was warm and comforting, with smoky flavour that he totally enjoyed.

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Thrilled with the presentation of the first course, I was really looking forward to our mains. My plate of rock cod, with black hummus, grilled cauliflower, pecoras, cucumber and curry was an interesting take on Indian cuisine. The cod was cooked perfectly, and the black hummus and blackened chickpeas were really tasty (even though I felt like it looked like squid ink… it didn’t taste like it!). The small pecoras and curried cauliflower were probably my favourite parts of the plate.

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Dave loves lamb, so he chose the lamb rotating cuts, porcini gnudi, mushroom puree, turnips, kale and navarin sauce. Dave’s favourite lamb cut was ribs – he basically licked his plate clean and left no meat on the bone!

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We rounded out our meal by choosing the final course based on our tastes. We also chose a couple of great after dinner drinks. I had a tawny port in the cutest glass I have ever seen, and Dave ended his meal with a barrel aged boulevardier.

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I like savoury and Dave prefers sweet. So, I chose the dish of local gouda, crackers, almond praline and raspberry jam. Dave ended on a high note as well, and he loved the apricot cake with apricot compote, strawberry cream and crumble with an apricot sorbet.

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This meal experience was exceptional! The service was attentive, knowledgeable and lovely. The plates arrived looking beautiful and well-balanced, with fresh aromas and intense flavour. A lovely meal we will remember!

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