Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Twisted Fork Bistro

Too bad they don't sell their jams but not the pickles.  Some of the dishes they tried too hard to using the jams.

Marinated scallops served with caramelized onions, potato puree, local double smoked bacon and corn relish $12 4.5/5 - very well done.  Good quality and perfectly cooked scallops.  The creamy potato puree went better with this sauce than the lamb shank.  The in-house bacon was to die for.

Pound of mussels in cream sauce topped with fries $16.5 4/5 - The cream sauces was rich but not overly rich.  Went well with the complementary bread.  Don't leave the bread soaking too long or it would be too salty.  There were decent amount of mussels were tiny (thumbnail size).  I thought the fries were polenta fries (or a different texture than regular fries).

Chorizo and corn risotto topped with asiago cheese and fried jalapeƱos $11 4.5/5 - Perfect al dent risotto.  The sauce was a little oilier.  Comes with pickled corn.

Braised lamb shank with potato puree, French beans, pickled carrots, and lamb sauce $19 3.5/5 - Not a big lamb fan.  Very tender lamb shank.  The pickled carrots were very good.  Too bad they only sell jams but not pickles.

Caramel mousse with raspberry coulis, almond tuile, maple syrup ice-cream $8 4.75/5 - The mousse was lighter than regular mousse.  The maple syrup ice-cream was so special that none of us could recognize the taste until we checked the menu. I didn't like the raspberry coulis.  It was too rich and did not went well with the mousse.  It would be much better without it.

Ricotta cheesecake topped with a peach plum compote and fresh mint $8 3/5 - It was crumbly and not smooth at all.  The peach plum compote did not went well with the ricotta cheesecake.  We made our own chocolate cheesecake with the chocolate terrine.

Frozen dark chocolate with raspberry sorbet and almond tuile $8 3.5/5 - The chocolate terrine was super rich.  The raspberry sorbet helped the balance but not enough.

Portions were bigger than expected.  I thought they would be tapas size when I looked at the price.  At first they told us the wait was 30 minutes so we went across the street to check out the bakery.  The hostess said they could text us when our table was ready.

Twisted Fork Bistro on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

La Buca

Aperol Spritz $9.5

Ricotta and truffle tortellini with smoked prosciutto and sage butter $13.5 3/5 - I could barely tasted any truffle in the pasta.  much smaller than the risotto.  It only came with 3 pieces in the half order.

Lobster, scallop & wild shrimp risotto, fresh corn, fava beans $13.5 (half order) 4.5/5 - A little salty but still acceptable.  It had more scallops than the lobster and shrimps combined.  The risotto was cooked right (not too hard nor too soft).  I would go back for this.

Veal shortribs, lobster & spring onion mashed potato, spinach, heirloom carrots $29 3.5/5 - very tender.  Did not able to taste the lobster and spring onion in the mashed potatoes.  I thought it was just regular mashed.

Rockfish, Clams, Tomato Broth 4/5 $28 - simpler version of cioppino.  Clams were smaller but the broth was flavourful.  I wish it came with bread for dipping.

Crisp roasted Cornish hen, ragu of vegetables & gnocchi, chicken jus, olive oil, herbs   $29.5 4/5 - super crispy skin.  Came with lots of veggies.

Grilled rack of lamb, pesto crushed fingerlings, fried olives, spicy herb & garlic vinaigrette $31 3/5 - I'm not a big fan of lamb.  It was too gamey for me.  It was also the smallest portion of all (3 racks).  Keep that in mind that lamb is also a little more expensive.

Pork Chop, Corn Fritters, Peaches, JalapeƱo $27.5

Panna Cotta $8 3.5/5 - People were crazy about their panna cotta so I had high hopes for it.  It was sweeter than what I want (and most of the other panna cotta).

Olive Oil Cake $8 4.5/5 - better than expectation.  Most of the other olive oil cakes I've had were dry.  This was moist and the extra olive oil on the plate made it much better.  The heavy cream on the side was very smooth.

Zeppole $8 4/5 - 3 fluffy donuts with the right amount of cinnamon and sugar freshly made in-house.  It reminds me of the Lee's Donuts.

Flourless Chocolate Cake $8 4/5 - I thought this was going to be dense and sweet.  This one wasn't and sweetness was totally acceptable.

Definitely one of the better meals I've had recently.  I wasn't expecting much since I didn't enjoy their sister restaurant Pied-a-Terre.  Food was a little on the saltier side (I guess this is the signature of Italian food.)  Portions were acceptable and probably more than what the norm is.  It is located in an area where I would expect to find a decent restaurant.  I thought it would be dead after the stores are closed.  It was also a cozy restaurant where it could be noisy when it's packed.  It was a little noisy on a weekend with only 5 tables.

La Buca on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Kessel & March

Whole Roasted Sardines and Radish and Herb Salad 3/5 - largest sardines I've ever seen.  Probably my first time eating a whole sardine but there were lots of bones.  Too much work for me to have my other 1/2.  1.5 gigantic sardine per person.

Piri Piri Cornish Game Hen, Roasted Potatoes, corn, green beans 2.5/5 - Chicken was okay juicy but was not super juicy.  The sides were also okay but nothing too special.  You get 1/2 a hen each, with 2 corns.

Pastis de Nata (Portuguese egg custard tart) 2/5 - totally different from the ones you get from T&T.  The crust was more like a biscuit.  It was thick and hard.  They were sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar.  Luckily, they weren't too sweet but the custard was only 1/2 full in the shells.  You get 2 tarts per person.

I thought Kessel and March are known for their Wednesday family suppers.  So we decided to try the Portuguese night on Wednesday.  Dinner was scheduled for 7pm but we had to wait until 7:30pm because a couple was late.  They ended up sitting at the bar then why did we have to wait in the first place.  Food was okay but the portions were a little bigger than expected.  The chef came out and checked on us a few times.  He also told us where he got the ingredients from.  I would suggest this place if you want a good deal but not a place for foodies.

Kessel & March on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Smart n Save Cafe

Egg Sandwich 4/5 $3 4/5 - Soft sliced white bread but they were not toasted (at least they didn't ask me if I want them toasted.)  Can I also have the option to add cheese please?  The egg wasn't as thick as what was shown on their Facebook.  I would say they used 1.5 eggs instead.  I thought it says $5 with a hot milk tea but they charged me the original price.  (Still haven't learned the check the bill!)  Not sure if it was a take out.
Hot Milk Tea $2.5 3.5/5 - the tea is a little bitter and less evaporated milk than what I like.

Mozzarella Deep Fried Shrimp Ball $4.5 4.5/5 - I really liked this.  Melting cheese in a shrimp ball.  It's also a little pricy for 1 piece at $4.5.  Can you get them frozen so that I can make them at home?
Fake Shark's Fin Soup $3 3/5 - too thick/gluey with too much cornstarch.  It didn't come with any vinegar, pepper, or sesame oil.  I thought they are must haves for the soup.  Luckily I could find some, otherwise it was bland.  I could Chinese mushrooms and shredded pork in it.  It was only 1/2 filled too.
Iced Lemon Tea $3 4/5 - It didn't come with any sliced lemon but you could definitely taste the lemon in the tea.  This is good because the sliced lemon will make the drink taste bitter.

pretty good for a new small business but some advice:
-food is definitely good but in a bad location.  I'm sure they will have more business if it is located in the Aberdeen food court of something.  I hope they can stay in business.
-they posted their daily lunch menu on their fb page without saying what time it's being served.  Is it an all-day lunch?  They just have one lunch special per day which is smart but adding some more choices would be better if they have enough business.
-They also need to post a copy of the menu on Facebook.
-He told my food will be ready in 10 minutes.  It wasn't ready and I had to wait for another 10 minutes.  So I had a little chat with one of the people working there.  He said it's pretty quiet after lunch time so they might need to do something to attract business.
-Afternoon tea hours is 2:30-5pm.  Maybe extending it to 5:30pm may help.  It closes at 6pm.
-Since they are the same owner with the Smart N Save Grocery Store in Landsdowne.  They can provide some discount if you come after shopping or something.  I'm sure some people will drop by if you promote that at the Grocery store.
-There are more seats than enough so far.  Part of the area could be used as a mini grocery store.  People working in the area can drop by to grab some biscuits, candies, chips, instant noodles, and etc.  There is nothing like this in the area yet (with T&T coming soon).

Smart n Save Cafe on Urbanspoon

Friday, 18 July 2014

Yakinikuya Japanese BBQ Restaurant

Salmon Tataki (Thinly sliced Salmon sashimi lightly seared and served with mixed vegetables) $8 4.5/5 - salmon were okay fresh but what I liked was that it came with dressing already.  No soya sauce was needed.

Rainbow Roll (Salmon, tuna, ebi, and avocado on california roll with unagi sauce) $12 3/5 - It was okay but nothing special.  The rice was a little softer than what I wanted.

Lettuce Set $3 - comes with sliced garlic, sliced green chilli pepper and korean chill sauce.  The chili sauce was quite salty so remember not to put too much.  We could have ordered another set.

Sakura Combo $44 (Korean Style Kalbi 180g; Special Kalbi 120g; NegiTan 120g; Pork Belly 120g; Pork Jowl 120g; 4 Side Dishes; 2 Miso Soups; and 2 Steamed Rice) 4.5/5 - There are about 6 pieces each except the pork belly came with 4.  The pork were too fat for us.  I wish we could ask for leaner ones.  More than 50% were fat.  It looks like every table ordered this combo.

Pretty good value for the quantity and quality of the food.  They forgot about our soup and rice.  The first bowl of rice they brought was much bigger than the second one they brought.  So I would say the combo rice was about 60% of the regular priced one.  The quality of meet is much better than Gyukaku.  Gyukaku has dropped much when you compare it when they first started.  I only go there during happy hour now.  You also don't get to pick the sauce of your meat.  It didn't bother me because they tasted very similar.

I've made a reservation for 8:30pm and there was a walk-in couple waiting.  When they had a table available, we thought that the table should be ours.  The owner explained because the other party was there first.  Then what is the purpose of making a reservation?? Service was okay but they kept forgetting some of our order.  We ordered another BBQ dish which never came.

Finally, special thanks to pinkmashmellows for her 10% off on Japanese BBQ.  The owner decided to give us 10% off everything.  However, I only found out after that they did charge me $2 for two bowls of rice which should be included in the Sakura Combo.  This special is still valid for another week.  They also have a 50% off happy hour Sun-Thu after 9pm.

Yakinikuya Japanese BBQ on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Amay's House Burmese and Asian Cuisine

Squash tempura 4/5 – They were deep fried in a thicker batter (more like a fish and chips than Japanese tempura).  I love the housemade spicy sauce.  They said it was made in house with garlic.  Normally I don’t like garlic but it was not too strong.

#11 Pickled Mango Salad (pickled mango, onions, fresh cilantros, and roasted sesame seeds) 2.5/5 - the pickled mango was very sour.  All I could tasted were the pickled mango and the onion.

#8 Myanmar Tea Leaf Salad (fermented tea leaves, tomatoes, and cabbage) 4.5/5 - A little too salty then what I wanted.  I really liked the crunchy broad beans.  I could taste more of the tea leaves than the  ones I had at Bo Laska.

#6 Chicken Keema Prata  (prata stuffed with ground chicken, onions, and traditional spies) 4/5 $5 – Crispy and not too oily prata.  My only complaint was that 90% of the filling was chopped onion and only 10% chicken.

#15 Seafood Glass Noodle Salad (Assorted seafood and glass noodles mixed in Thai tom yum flavor topped off with lime leaves) $8 4/5 - reminds me of the Xiamen Style Fried Vermicelli with Tom Yum.  I would call this a Hot and Sour Fried Vermicelli.

#18 Mohinga Fish Noodle Soup (Rich moodles in a catfish broth with lemongrass and banana tree root.  Garnished with sliced lime, fresh cilantro, and fried garlic) $6 4.5/5 – very flavourful catfish soup but the noodles were a little overcooked.  Cilantro and fried garlic were not too strong (how I like it to be).

#23 Chicken Curry (marinated boneless chicken slowed cooked with traditional spices, served with steam coconut rice) $8 4.5/5 – The chicken was juicy and tender.  The curry could be a little spicier.

#24 Lemongrass Beef Curry (marinated beef slow cooked in lemongrass with traditional spices, served with steam coconut rice) $9 3/5 – Curry was not spicy too.  Mild to strong lemongrass flavor.  The beef was too chewy. 

#36 Danbauk (Burmese style biryani with roasted chicken leg and basmati rice, seasoned with saffron, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaves) $9 3.5/5 –  The chicken leg was more tender than the ones in the Chicken curry. Lots of saffron in the rice. 

#34 Pork Sausage Fried Rice (Jasmine rice, onions, egg, carrots, peas, green onions, corn, cilantro, cucumbers, and sliced pork sausages stir fried in special blend of sauces) $8.5 3/5 – Fried Rice with Chinese sausage.   The same as what you will get when you order this in a Chinese restaurant.  The rice were a little too wet and they were stuck together.

No dessert on the menu =( but we were offered watermelon.

Great service!  The owner offered us free squash tempura.  There were only 1 other table when we were there on a Saturday evening.  I like this place and I hope they can keep in business.

Amay's House Burmese and Asian Cuisine on Urbanspoon