#FULCRUMFOODREVIEW

Fauna triumphs after two-year wait

Photo by Marta Kierkus 

The past couple of years have been quite the battle for Fauna. The restaurant was plagued by legal disputes and other unforeseen circumstances that prevented them from opening as far back as fall 2012.

Located on the corner of Bank and Frank Streets, the restaurant finally unveiled its beautifully renovated interior for its opening night Sept. 8. My dining companion and I sat inside the bustling and warm atmosphere of friendly staff and eager diners, admiring the elegant industrial space and stylish suspended lights.

Our waiter was deftly trained, aware of my allergies beforehand (noted when I made the reservation), and offered her expertise in beer suggestions. I enjoyed a smooth, clean Stiegl, while my companion adventured with an Earl Grey Marmalade Saison, a slightly more bitter wheat beer with aromatic tones. Instead of serving the usual bread starter, a bowl of lightly spiced chickpeas with just the right chew was given to every table.

Fauna’s menu consists of reasonably priced small plates meant for individuals or groups to enjoy a variety of contemporary offerings.

We started off with a refreshing peach and fennel salad, with the sweetness from the fruit and granola balancing perfectly with the savoury Tomme cheese and volcanic salt. We then dug into tender duck breast, which tasted superb with kale, kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage), and spaetzle (egg noodles). But the real treat of the night was the mushroom inari—thick slices of fried tofu topped with flavourful mushrooms on a bed of sweet fried rice—accompanied by a delightfully light, smooth, and nutty-toned edamame spread.

All three plates combined such different ingredients to create unique flavours that lingered throughout the night, making us wish we could try all of Fauna’s creations. We were fully satisfied with our meal, though their dessert menu did tempt us with squash pudding and a milky chocolate dessert.

Fauna emphasizes the local food movement, sourcing as much food as possible from local farmers—and seafood sourced through sustainable means—to really bring the freshest tastes possible to your table. As different foods come into season, it is likely that Fauna will alter their menu to reflect this change.

Although Fauna is considered pricier for the everyday student budget, it offers an experiential journey of delectable tastes, perfect for a celebratory dinner, an impressive first date, or for a drink and small bite before hitting the rest of town for the evening.