The Best Thing I Ate All Week: Marrow and Octopus at Juniper

Two risky ingredients come together for a tasty take on surf and turf.

February 9, 2017

By Jessica Barrett

Bone marrow and octopus can both be tough sells. That home truth was evidenced by my dining partner’s alarmed expression as we consulted each other on our choice of starters at Chinatown’s Juniper Kitchen and Bar. But I’ve never been scared of cephalopods—at least not in food form—and I love that marrow is making an appearance on more menus, thus normalizing a taste the bone-crackers among us have been heretofore hiding in shame.

Both ingredients, however, can easily go awry—there is nothing worse than rubbery, overcooked octopus or the iron-y aftertaste of ill-prepared off-cuts. Yes, I knew my pick from Juniper’s reinvented menu under chef Josh Gale was a risky one. Thankfully, this take on surf and turf delivered desired results in tender, perfectly grilled octopus escorted by slightly briney sea beans that formed an unexpected complement to the buttery marrow, which I happily spread on the ample pieces of crusty peasant bread. My only criticism was that with so much going on, the crispy potatoes seemed like a bit of an afterthought on the plate. But they too were perfectly done I so didn’t mind their mildly confusing presence.

Nor was I bothered when, after one tentative bite of marrow, my dining companion definitively declared it wasn’t for her. Just as well, since I wasn’t really up for sharing a dish this delicious anyway.

Marrow, $19, junipervancouver.com

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