This is #DishingIt – where we give you the inside scoop on what’s new and downright finger lickin’ good in on the culinary scene. As tricky as it can be to achieve, we like to believe that maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet is all about balance. And though we like to top you up with tips and tricks that’ll help you achieve optimal wellness, we love sharing about one of our favourite hobbies: eating all the things. If you like trying different cuisines and discovering the next best hole in the wall as well as gourmet meal, than let’s get to talkin’. Oh, and make sure to dish your dining suggestions right back to us in the comments.
While spending an extended weekend on Salt Spring Island, an island just off the shores of Victoria, BC, we had the pleasure of dining at Mateada, an eclectic restaurant where you feel most at home listening to local artists, and surrounded by nothing by good vibes.
The Vibe at Mateada:
The moment you walk in Mateada you feel as if you’ve been swept up in a dream. The restaurant’s focus is to create a space of human connection where artists of all kinds contribute to the greater good of the place. With its welcoming atmosphere and chill vibes, dishes effortlessly float out of the kitchen, eccentric drinks are poured and laughter is felt throughout the place. The vibe here; is all about chilling out as you have a little island fun.
From the chef to the manager, and everyone in between, there was a combined desire to share in all the good the island and restaurant have to offer. The staff was extremely attentive and took the time to share their knowledge of the culinary journey we would be going on that evening. Creating craft mocktails and featuring their finest dishes, the Mateada team welcomed us with open arms while they prepared for a full house that evening.
Chef Josh was all smiles sharing about how each dish was created. We were simply in awe knowing that all of their produce is sourced locally (or as local as Vancouver Island), and that the team creates and refines their dishes frequently to master their craft. The small plates Chef Josh and his team creates are designed to share as Mateada is a place where you can sit back and relax with your besties, as a funky local band strums all night long.
As we wanted to dive into the favourites on the menu, the manager, Janna, brought out all of their local favourites.
First things first, we started with the Salt Spring Island salad rolls paired with a 13 ingredient house made Thai peanut sauce. Chef Josh explained that the dip took a lot of trial and error in creating it, but they have found their secret sauce, and we loved every bite of it. The salad rolls were light and crunchy and the best way to start off a full tapas style dinner.
Moving our way through the menu we dove into the devilish eggs (their silky and light take on deviled eggs) and moved onto the best potato and leek soup. The subtle local leek flavours in the soup warmed our souls as we dove into the bowl and scooped up every last drop with Francis Bread focaccia.
The chicken sliders and mini hamburgers on brioche buns from Francis Bread were unreal. The house made slaw on the chicken sliders added a delicious crunch to the dish, and paired nicely with the perfectly seasoned organic roasted chicken thighs.
Ending on a light note, the seasonal organic greens bowl captivated our senses as each bite invited us to take in the flavours of the island. As the title of the dish suggests, the organic greens vary based on the season, and that is something we love.
After the meal, our bellies and hearts were full.
The intention behind Mateada is to create community, and sipping a yerba mate or craft cocktail is the way to anyone’s heart on Salt Spring. When talking with the bartender, we wanted to do things a little differently this evening and had asked for a few mocktails to start the evening off – the bartender took our ask and ran with it. Using island flavours like peach and mint, the Yuzuku mocktail was a favourite of ours.
What many people lean towards while at Mateada is their flight of yerba mate. If you’re new to it, it’s a naturally caffeinated drink brewed from the rich, emerald green leaves of holly trees from South America. We tried a variety of earthy-flavoured mates and loved the feature, the ginger and elderflower kombucha. The subtle hibiscus, mint and traditional mates we tried all elevated our senses as we enjoyed an evening out with our new island friends.
When you visit Salt Spring Island you may just never want to leave. The best part of that plan is that Mateada will become your new local spot. If that’s not a reason to check out the island then we don’t know what is.
Last modified: November 4, 2022