Tzin Wine and Tapas – Downtown Edmonton

Tzin and wine is a fabulous little restaurant in the heart of down town and makes for a great night out either with friends or with a date. The restaurant holds about 20 guests and has a very artistic vibe to it. The restaurant’s main website will illustrate that quite well. The staff are very friendly, knowledgeable, and have excellent recommendations for wines and food.

Karen and I ordered the mushroom tart and the seafood paella for two. The mushroom tart was phenomenal. Sauteed mushrooms and truffle were made to be paired together, but add a warm crumbly tart, melted Gruyere cheese, and a bed of crunchy spinach and you have heaven on a plate. You have to try this.

The seafood paella was loaded. Lots of huge tiger shrimps, scallops, and perfectly done mussels. However the rice itself was not that impressive. There was too much sauce making the rice overly soaked and wet. The rice in a good paella should not be this saucy and this mushy. We were a definitely a little disappointed with the paella. Unfortunately we did not order any other tapas, but seeing what other guests ordered looked delicious.

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Warm Wild Mushroom & Spinach Tart – Gruyere Cheese, with Merlot-Truffle Vinaigrette

 

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Seafood Paella for Two

 

This is a great little Wine and Tapas restaurant with great service, friendly staff, and very decent food. I will certainly be back again to give the other tapas a try and to pick out a few interesting wines that Tzin offers.

Service: 4.5/5
Food: 8.2/10
Atmosphere: cozy, artsy, lively
Price: $30-40 (food only)

Tzin Wine & Tapas on Urbanspoon

 ~Thomas

Tavern 1903 – Edmonton Downtown

 

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Tavern 1903 at the Alberta Hotel is the new addition to the famous Hardware Grill. They focus on a modern twist on traditional food. It has two feels to it. The bar side is bright and lively, while the dining room side is a mellow and comfy. Both sides are decorated differently and both sides catering to different crowds. This gives the restaurant a sort of black and white variation, which gives the restaurant uniqueness and character. My companions and I sat on the dining side, but we realized soon, that we would have rather sat on the bar side. I think the causal ambiance on the bar side matches both the personalities of the staff and the food.

We started with 3 appetizers to share: the pork belly, the cauliflower, and the crab cakes. Starting with the pork belly, it was done well, albeit slightly overcooked to the point where the meat portion was a little chewy. That being said, the pork belly was actually very good. It was rich and the combination of the of the smoked ribs gave it an extra kick. Of course the fatty part of the pork belly melted in your mouth and when it does, you get the full flavour of the pork that is so satisfying. I felt that the pretzel bun was out of place. It didn’t add anything to the dish that was not already in the pork belly. It was odd since it was difficult to cut into pieces to eat with the pork belly and even if you were successful, it didnt pair well with it. I think a soft steamed sweet bun would accompany this dish much better than the pretzel did.

Moving on to the highly recommended Korean Fried Cauliflower. The cauliflower was fried in a crunchy batter and covered with a sweet, sour, and spicy sauce. The sauce was great. It was a perfect balance of all those three flavours. Also, although had been soaked in sauce, it still remained crispy and very enjoyable. My only issue with this dish is that we were unable to taste the cauliflower despite a non-overpowering sauce.

The final appetizer that we shared was the crab cakes. I’m going to have to say I was disappointed in these crab cakes. They were devoid of flavour and worst of all, they lacked crab meat.

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“PIG-NIC” – Crispy Pork Belly, Hickory Smoked Ribs with Bourbon-Molasses Glaze, Shoulder Confit Style, Coleslaw, House Made Pickle, Pretzel Bun

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K.F.C. – Korean Fried Cauliflower, Sesame Seeds, Scallions

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BLUE CRAB CAKES – Corn Relish, Chipotle Aioli

 

After some good conversation over a bottle of red from their excellent wine list, our mains arrived. One of my companions and I ordered the short ribs and my other companions went with the crusted salmon and the chicken and waffles.

The fries were great. They were fried to perfection and flavoured with truffle oil to give it boldness. That was as far as I go in complimenting this dish. The short ribs were very disappointing. With my first few bites, I noticed that it lacked the flavour and moisture that I would expect from slow cooked short ribs, especially after trying the short ribs at Wildflower Grill. Here I was, constantly reaching for my glass of water to wash down the dry, bland beef. This dish would certainly benefit from more sauce and some seasoning for the beef. Even the accompanying vegetable medley which were seasoned with salt and pepper had more flavour than the beef.

Unfortunately, I did not try the salmon nor the chicken and waffles. However the consensus was that the chicken and waffles lacked flavour as well. The salmon was more enjoyable. It was crusted well and paired well with the sauce, but my companion was not overly impressed by this particular dish.

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Short Ribs – Red wine sauce, truffled fries with Parmesan, corn, green beans, and mushrooms

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CHICKEN ‘N WAFFLES – Rustic Creamed Onions, Paprikash Sauce, Chipotle-Maple Syrup

 

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POTATO CRUSTED SALMON – Braised Spinach, Seed Mustard Cream

For the #2 rated restaurant of 2014 in Edmonton, I was not impressed. The atmosphere and the wine selection was great, but the food that we ordered was neither innovative nor satisfying. Their dishes lacked flavour and attention to detail. On top of all that, the prices were on the expensive side. With appetizers around ~$10-15 each, ~$30 main dishes, and $1 each for still water, we were looking at close to $50/head before the wine. This restaurant requires some major fine tuning before I can give out any recommendations.

Service: 3.5/5
Food: 6/10
Atmosphere: cozy/tradition, bright/lively
Price: $40-60

Tavern 1903 on Urbanspoon

 ~Thomas

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RGE RD – Westmount

Joined by tfung’s roommate, an avid foodie as well, and his girlfriend, we ventured out to the talk of the town: RGE RD. There was actually much debate about how this restaurant was pronounced, and in the end, we were told that it’s “Range Road”. Something I’ve seen pop up quite a bit out West are these amazing “Farm-to-Table” Restaurants. I’ve studied this form of business model in dietetics and how economically healthy it can be.

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We were promptly seated, right near the entrance, where we were given a good view of the whole restaurant. There was also a small window through which we were able to peer into the kitchen, which was a nice treat. The restaurant was decorated like a farm with wooden tables, chairs, and wall fixtures, which was perfect for its advocation in farm-to-table foods. In fact, there was a faux fur pelt where tfung was sitting (we made a joke that the pelt made him very fabulous).

Our waiter was very inexperienced. He stuttered and struggled with naming all the dishes they were offering (as some of them do change from day to day), and had to refer to his small piece of paper for notes. However, given the young age of the restaurant, I thought that was tolerable. He was very kind and checked up on us frequently, but not enough to be annoying.

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Wood-fired Apple-Fennel Sausages w/ Sweet Mamma squash salad, Brassica mustard

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Hunter’s Stew: wild game, mushrooms, gnocchi, tomato

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Roasted beet and Baby Greens Salad: cucumber, crème fraîche, maple vinaigrette

 We started off with three appetizers. It wasn’t too hard for the 4 of us to decide on which ones we wanted. The first appetizer was the apple-fennel sausage. The sausage was very succulent and fresh like it was prepared just as we ordered. There was a slight hint of fennel, but unfortunately we were not able to appreciate the apple. As you bit into it, the juices and the meat exploded from the restraints of the casing. Along with the sausage was a very nice mix of squash and greens, paired with a mustard seed sauce. The sausage was certainly made to order and tfung really appreciated how fresh it was. The difference between a sausage that had been prepared days ago and a sausage that was prepared hours ago is significant.

Our second appetizer is the hunter’s stew. In the dead winter of Edmonton, after experiencing one of the coldest weekends I’ve ever had, I thought this dish was very satisfying. It came with bison, meat balls, mushrooms and gnocchi. Everything was very hearty with rich flavours in a bold, meaty gravy. The bison was so tender and absolutely delicious with the gravy. The meatballs were certainly different. It was compressed meat with no fillers leaving them firm and rough, but were still enjoyable. The sauce wasn’t too salty or overwhelming and complimented the wild game very nicely. Overall, a very enjoyable hearty stew  from RGE RD.

As for our final appetizer, we had the beet salad. Honestly, I wasn’t so impressed with the beets. I generally enjoy large whole slices of beets, where I can get the texture and flavour of the beets as I bite into them. Here however, they served two dollops of beets that were diced and therefore losing the firm texture that I enjoy so much. That being said, the salad was quite good, and the vinaigrette was excellent – not too sweet and not too sour. What I was most impressed with was the crème fraîche in the cucumber, which was excellently displayed. It was extremely fresh, smooth and added that dairy that balanced the sourness of the salad.

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Pilatus Farm Bison | hazelnut spätzle, grainy mustard, charred carrots, white currants

For me, I ordered the bison as my main. Having had the hunter’s stew, it already foreshadowed that the bison would be delicious. And it definitely was. I had it cooked medium rare, and the balance between tenderness and chewiness was absolutely amazing. With each bite of tender and rich, perfectly aged bison, I was excited for the next! Underneath the bison was a bed of spätzle, which is a type of egg noodle/dumpling in a small uneven ball shape, that originates from central Europe. It was an extremely interesting texture, that added the starch that was needed for the dish. The charred carrots were very sweet and done so that they were just perfect.

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Four Whistle Farm Duck breast: roasted onion dumplings, beets, onion liquor

Tfung had the duck breast, which in my opinion was not as enjoyable as the bison, but still good. It had bold duck flavour and a hint of smokiness. However, the duck was lean and therefore a bit too tough to chew. The beets were much more to my liking in this dish as they were in whole pieces and were roasted to perfection! Interestingly, the onion dumplings were almost like a gnocchi, but a little less starchy and had more of an onion consistency. It was very bizarre and we didn’t know what to make of it. It was an odd pairing in a dish like this, but certainly nothing to complain about.

Overall, we thought that the food was fantastic. I also love the fact that they take produce and meat from local farms, promoting good farming practices. The service can be improved, and I’m sure that with time, the staff will be more comfortable with the menu. I can certainly see why this is rated as Avenue Edmonton’s #1 restaurant of 2014. If you are a carnivore like myself, like a cozy relaxed environment, and love great food, give Edmonton’s newest addition, RGE RD, a try.

Service: 3.5/5
Food: 8.9/10
Atmosphere: cozy, farmhouse
Price: $40-60

Rge Rd on Urbanspoon

~ kehwon

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Modern Milk – Uptown 17th Ave

I’m going to start off by saying that if you live in Calgary, you must book this place for Sunday Supper at once. I don’t think I’ve been so pleased with a meal in a long time! I say this because not only was the food mind-blowing, the price extremely reasonable, but it was so much food we had to pack some home! This is a true mark of an excellent restaurant. Not to mention all the other things that make a restaurant, like impeccable service and interesting decor.

DSC_0132   So this was actually our last stop in Calgary. We had planned it so that we’d make it to Sunday Supper, which was recommended by the reviews that tfung had found. Everytime we mentioned Model Milk to someone around the Alberta area, they responded with “My friend went there and they thought it was fantastic!”. We didn’t really think much of the menu at first because it really didn’t appeal to us. But we were sure glad we took the plunge in the end. He had already made a reservation, which I highly recommend, and the doors really didn’t open until 5:00pm. At 5:00pm sharp, we walked in, and were promptly seated. We were situated in a cozy corner, where we got a good view of the whole place. There were two sort of mezzanines between the bottom and the top floor (which were both for seating). The lower mezzanine was the bulk of the tables, and was where we sat. The higher mezzanine was where the kitchen was. You were able to somewhat see their quick yet controlled bustle around the kitchen to get our orders out. Sunday Supper is a set menu for everyone that night. It changes every week, which is a great marketing idea. Firstly, a new menu every week is enticing to foodies that reside in Calgary. Secondly, the fixed menu for everyone makes it easy for them to streamline production and serve in a timely and orderly fashion. Thirdly, it allows for a slightly reduced cost due to the purchase in bulk, and the streamlined labour and preparation. Absolutely brilliant.

Smoked trout with Potato Salad

Smoked trout with Potato Salad

Smorgasbord

Smorgasbord

For us, our starter was a Smoked trout potato salad and a Smorgasbord of wonderful things. The smoked trout was nice and pink, done very well, so that it has the full texture of the trout, with just a hint of smokiness. It was great for me, especially because I am not a huge fan of the smokey flavour, but do appreciate a small amount of it. The potato salad was out of this world! They had perfected the salad dressing and the firmness of the potato completely. The julienned onion made it more visually appealing, and actually made for a longer crunchy break between bites of the potato. Obviously the green onion was a must as well. As for the amazing Smorgasbord, which was served on a fitting milk bottle-design plate, it housed a fairly extensive variety of food. There were devilled eggs, with the yolk whipped quite nicely, with a bit of bread crumb to add crunch. They also served beets and cauliflower in a tiny mason jar, which was incredibly cute. There was 4 small “grilled cheese” stacked. They are not real grilled cheese, as they substituted bread for brioche, and the cheese is Jarlsberg cheese.  Adding some meat on the plate, there was bison charcuterie, served with a mustard seed mixture, which was very tender and flavourful. To finish it all off, there was some sort of cracker that I forgot the name of. It tastes like a perfected version of fortune cookies. Everything on the plate was done extremely well, and completely balanced in every way. And the beauty of this is, there is no “front” or “back”, making sharing amazing! Every time you turn the plate, it’s a new visual experience! Moving onto the main, there were two dishes:

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Swedish meatballs with Fermented Nappa Cabbage and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Steamed Cod with Butter Sauce

Steamed Cod with Clams and Butter Sauce

They steamed the cod with clams and butter sauce in a parchment paper package, which we’ve seen once before in a Japanese omakase restaurant. The parchment paper retains the white colour of the fish, and retains the hydration of the fish. Coupled with the flavour of the clams and rich butter sauce, it was quite enjoyable. Unfortunately it was overshadowed in flavour and power by the Swedish meatballs.

First off, there were 4 gigantic meatballs on the plate, which we split evenly. The meatballs were delicious. Fully loaded with big flavour. Secondly, though we’re used to the flavour of nappa cabbage, we’ve rarely seen it fermented in such a way leaving a sour, acidic taste (it tastes like kimchi without the spiciness). Thirdly, the garlic mashed potatoes. Holy cow, these were amazing! I have nothing but good things to say about this dish. The meatballs were fat, meaty and juicy.

What I believe is meant to accompany the steamed fish is a beautiful pilaf that was served separately in a rice bowl. Unfortunately we have no picture of it, but let me tell you, it was hella delicious! It was the fluffiest, airiest rice I have ever had (and the two of us has had a lot of rice…)! We’re not sure of the specific broth they used, but they did it with such balance along with the herbs, we couldn’t resist packing this home (as we were unable to finish it). From this amazing experience, we will soon be experimenting with making pilafs, though we’re unsure whether we’d ever get it to taste like this…

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Apple Fool

To end the meal, they presented a very simple apple fool in a small mason jar, with cinnamon sprinkled on the top. The apples were baked to a consistency that agreed with me; not too mushy, retaining a slight bite and even crunch to it. The cream part of it was done very smoothly, with a bit of flavour, and paired with the apple, it made for a (seemingly) light dessert to end the meal, without it being too bland.

The whole choreography of the meal was absolutely amazing. Some things that would have been labeled as sides did not take a muted presence. Instead, these “sides” were just as interesting as the “main” ingredient of the dish. I love that every bite was something to be excited about. I truly haven’t been so excited to eat since San Francisco!

Although they used a lot of potatoes in the entirety of the meal, it was done in a way where each time we had it, the potatoes were done differently, so that the texture and flavour was not similar. That is the true mark of an excellent meal. It’s all about the contrast in flavour, texture, colour and presentation. I will not hesitate to make another reservation as soon as I know I am back in Calgary, because Model Milk is PHENOMENAL!

Service: 4.5/5
Food: 9.3/10
Atmosphere: industrial, open, bustling
Price: $35 for sunday supper

Model Milk on Urbanspoon

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OEB (Over Easy Breakfast) – Renfrew

To start our second day in Calgary, we decided to go to OEB (Over Easy Breakfast), on tfung’s researched recommendations. We had looked at the menu before, and boy was it extensive! Since I live in Montreal, I wasn’t too excited about the brunch in Calgary. I’ve just had such good experiences in Montreal, and I didn’t want to be too disappointed at OEB.

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When we got there, the line seemed fairly tame. I estimated that there were about 3-4 groups ahead of us. Was I wrong! They actually take phone numbers, and will call the people on the list by order of when they arrive to put their name down. Both tfung and I thought this was an awful system for such a busy place. They waste 15-20 minutes calling people, and having them drive back over, or perhaps they don’t even show up at all. And that’s exactly what happened. We saw a table that was free and set up, thinking we were likely close to getting seated. We then saw that one of the waitresses who was previously serving get phone duty to call the people who had left their numbers. We were standing near her, so we were able to see that she dialed a total of 4 numbers, all who had said they will not be coming. This took roughly 20 minutes. Then another 10 minutes later, we were seated. It just feels a little unfair to the people who wanted to stay there to wait because we value the food there. Either way, we only waited an hour, which was significantly shorter than the subsequent couples that came just after us (1hour 45min wait).

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After taking many photos around the restaurant while waiting, we were finally seated. Obviously, I was starving at this point, and felt that I could take on a good amount of food. As a result, we ordered the Gold Digga, which is part of the box’d menu, and the 2 cracked hen breakfast with the maple banger.

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Gold Digga

Gold Digga is essentially a Eggs Benedict and poutine mix. It comes with a poached egg, herbed potatoes, cheese curds, pork belly, black truffle and brown butter hollandaise sauce. The egg was quite nice, although I thought that the way they did it left a rubbery texture on the egg whites. The yolk held an orange colour, clearly indicating the fresh feed that the chickens were fed. OEB advertises for their eggs coming from their own hens, which is wonderful and fits the farm-to-table category of restaurants. It was clear in the colour and the richness of the yolk that this was true, and that it certainly paid off. The pork belly was a little on the dry side, which might have been better anyway, as the dish itself was already very fatty. As such, it provided a nice meaty buffer to the oily goodness of everything else. The herbed potato wedges in place of fries in the “poutine” made it quite interesting, and less saucy. The black truffle obviously added a richness and classiness that only truffle can add (even when eaten out of a chinese takeout box!).

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2 Cracked Hen Eggs with maple banger and honey oat toast

The toast was a little thicker than what I’m normally used to, which may be because you get one piece of toast. I had the honey oat option, and also asked for some jam. I thought that the fried eggs with black pepper on them were absolutely delicious, exactly as I like them. They were not fried to the point where the thin crust is created, but instead, well-oiled so that the egg whites remain white. The yolk was perfectly runny, and again of golden orange colour. The maple bangers were very delicious according to tfung. I’m not a big fan of sausages, so I won’t comment on that. As a whole, this dish is very traditional, which is sometimes exactly what you want.

The fact that we had to wait an hour really made the brunch less enjoyable. There was barely any waiting space, so I was constantly smelling someone else’s hair, which was very disgusting. Furthermore, any time you want to speak to any of the waiters/waitresses while waiting, they make you feel like the most annoying person ever. Though I understand it must be stressful to deal with so many people waiting, They really need to calm down and realize that everyone there is quite civilized. No one is trying to weasel their way into jumping the line, and we all just want to be informed. The food overall was quite good and very fresh. The price was a little on the pricey side, because honestly, I can make this if I was given the same ingredients. But either way, it was a fairly enjoyable brunch  and I enjoyed the fresh foods, but thought it didn’t quite hit the spot. Perhaps it was the unsatisfactory service.

Service: 3.5/5
Food: 8.3/10
Atmosphere: busy, bright, fresh
Price: $10-16

OEB Breakfast Co. on Urbanspoon

~ kehwon

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Teatro – Stephen Avenue

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Walking into the restaurant, it looked grand. The ceilings were high with amazing moulding, the pillars were big and there was nicely placed large pieces of art at each of the main walls. The kitchen was open, with copper-coloured steam vents which was even more visually appealing. The bustling sound of people working at the kitchen made us excited to try the food there.

The waiter who was serving us promptly came to greet us and asked us about drinks. Soon after, he had came over and due to the fact that tfung had kindly alerted the restaurant previously that it was our 3rd year anniversary together, champagne was brought over to us! The champagne was quite good, not too sweet and not too dry, the bubbles rose quickly, evenly, and in one very straight column.

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As we looked at the menu, the choice to me was obvious. For appetizer, it was either the calamari or the beet salad for me. We ended up just sharing a calamari appetizer since we were going out for drinks after (and maybe some snacks). The calamari came in this very cute newspaper cone, with some aioli on the side. The batter was done with rice crumbs, which made it extra crunchy. The calamary was fresh and had that seafood crunch as you bit into it. The aioli could have been a little more flavourful, as in they could have added some sort of extra flavour (garlic, truffle) to it. The one thing I have to complain about was that the calamari was way too salty. It felt like my mouth was burning from the salt. Next time, it’d be better if they had brought the salt down a knotch, and perhaps offered some table salt if the patrons so please.

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For our mains, I ordered the seafood lasagna, and tfung ordered the Alberta lamb. My seafood lasagna was quite good. It came searing hot, and there was copious amounts of baked cheese and tomato sauce surrounding the lasagna itself. It was topped off with some microgreens, a large scallop and Prawn on the top. The lasagna pasta was quite soft and was to my taste, a little overdone. But due to the fact that it was smothered in sauce, it wasn’t surprising. The ratio of the cheese to pasta to sauce of the lasagna was quite good and to my liking. There was quite a good amount of seafood in it, but you could tell that some of it definitely was not fresh. At $39 for this lasagna, I really expected fresh, high quality seafood, which I did not get. The taste was very ordinary and there were no surprises.

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Thomas’s Alberta lamb was even worse. We expected larger pieces of lamb, cooked medium rare, but we got tiny cubes of overdone meat. Furthermore, the whole dish was extremely salty, which meant you cannot taste any flavour of the meat, making us think that this lamb may not be of top quality. Again, at $35, I would not expect this. The vegetables were mixed in, which meant that there was no plating. At a restaurant where they emphasize that they are fine-dining, this lack of plating is absolutely unacceptable. I would not pat $10 for this dish.

The evening started off quite well, and ended in disappointment. I felt terrible that for our 3 year anniversary, we didn’t eat amazing food. Oh well, I will not be coming back here ever again. The food doesn’t match up to many of the places we’ve been to and the price is almost triple of what we pay for elsewhere. Although the decor and the service is quite nice, I don’t go to a restaurant solely for that and have the food taste bad. Maybe for a lounge or bar, that would be acceptable (that the drinks are not tasty), but not for a seemingly high quality Italian restaurant.

Service: 4.5/5
Food: 6.5/10
Atmosphere: fine dining, romantic, open kitchen, grand
Price: $50-70

Teatro on Urbanspoon

~ kehwon

Lili co. – Plateau Mont-Royal

To celebrate our end of midterms, me and my girlfriends went to eat at Lili Co, situated on Mentana which is a short walk from Station Mont Royal. I had been here before for brunch, which was phenomenal, but hadn’t tried their dinner. I had actually made a reservation by email, and interestingly, the waitress who served me and Wangfood for brunch last time had remembered me! We had told her that we wrote food blogs, and I guess she remembered my post. So props to you, Lili Co!

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Anyway, after deciding on some wines (which the waiterss was very helpful with), we were explained the menu, as two of us were not fluent in French. I definitely had trouble with some of the less common words, and it turns out that they were organs very uncommonly eaten at restaurants.

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Honey-grilled lamb testicles with roasted garlic, lemon zest, smoked tomatoes and soft wheat

We shared a testicle (yes, testicle) appetizer to start. Obviously we were intrigued when we asked what “animelle” was. Turns out, it was the male genitalia of the lamb! Fun! Honestly though, it did sound delicious. And was it! The testicles were very soft and tender. The texture is like a more fluffy hot dog weiner. The same homogenity throughout the organ, yet very airy, fluffy and soft on the inside. It was very fragrant due to the honey. It was accompanied with a delicious mix of soft wheat, tomatoes and some greens. Lastly, they finished the plating with some plain yoghurt. The three went together perfectly. The yoghurt balanced out the organ-taste of the testicles, while the veggie mixture added the bite that you need.

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Grilled salsify, blood orange syrup, dulce de leche butter, pumpernickel bread crumbs, fleur de sel

This dish was very visually appealing. All the colours and the placement just makes you want to take a picture (and we did). The salsify was something I’d never even heard of, but she told us that it was similar to Jerusalem artichoke. Cutting into it, it was quite firm. The salsify root vegetable itself doesn’t have a lot of flavour, but paired with the pumpernickel bread crumbs and the blood orange syrup, it was quite interesting. The first appetizer was definitely a more flavourful and rich dish, where as this was a lighter one. They played more with the colours and the different textures as opposed to punch of flavour.

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Roasted Duck with braised artichoke, white beans and chorizo butter

For my main, I ordered the magret duck, which is duck with the skin on, and cooked to a medium rare to medium degree. Obviously the duck was done quite nicely. It was a little more chewy than what I’m used to, but I didn’t mind. The artichokes were quite soft, balancing the chewiness of the duck. And the white bean and chorizo butter sauce was quite interesting, with a gritty yet fragrant texture and taste.

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Miso grilled pompano, bacon dashi, mushrooms and chickpeas

My two friends both ordered the miso grilled pompano which is a white fish. It was bathed in this miso soup-sauce, accompanied with clamshell mushrooms and chickpeas. They commented that the dish was WAY too salty, and that it burned my friend’s lips. Such a shame because I think this dish could have had a lot of potential to becoming very tasty.

Overall, I thought that their appetizers had the wow factor and captured your interest, and the mains were not up to the quality of the appetizers. Given the price, I did expect a little more to eat. We weren’t full after the meal, and ended up hitting another place to grab some much needed food after our battle with exams. The service was very nice and you feel more tended-to since they are a smaller restaurant. I think I will be continuing to come back for brunch quite soon, but may not be back for dinner for a while.

Service: 4.7/5
Food: 8.4/10
Atmosphere: masculin, cozy, open kitchen
Price: $40-60 (with wine)

Lili Co. on Urbanspoon

~kehwon