Monday, 20 October 2014

George Ultra Lounge

Lamb bacon salad (House cured lamb bacon, radishes, endive, bourbon vinaigrette) 3.5/5 - The lamb bacon was a little salty but fine eating with the salad.  The seasoning was something special and more than just pepper.
Local autumn squash bisque, Truffle oil, fresh micro greens 3/5 - I could not taste any truffle oil!  The bisque was fine but a little to dull without the truffle oil.  The micro greens were fresh though.

Local autumn squash bisque, Truffle oil, fresh micro greens 3/5 - I could not taste any truffle oil!  The bisque was fine but a little to dull without the truffle oil.  The micro greens were fresh though.

AAA flatiron steak (Citrus & mild chili marinated & grilled, pineapple chorizo sausage fried risotto, tomatillo puree) 2.5/5 - Our server did not ask me how I wanted my steak.  She told me the chef prepared it already when I asked her.  She said it should be between medium and medium rare but it was between medium and medium well.  She said it would be rubbery when it was undercooked for this kind of cut.  The sauce was decent.   The risotto was undercooked/quite hard.  The pineapple reminded me of Chinese pineapple fried rice.

Heirloom tomato tagliatelle (Roasted artichoke hearts, fresh basil, grana padano, sundried tomato hazelnut pesto) 3/5 - The pasta was salty.  It was cooked just right but with a weird texture.  It reminds me of the Chinese egg noodles.   (Have you seen the trend by now?  I'm wondering if there is some Chinese influences in the menu??)]

Brome lake duck breast (Maple bourbon honey glaze, freeze dried blueberries, duck confit succotash) 3.5/5 - Cooked just about right.  I could take it a little rarer but still okay.  It wasn't overly oily.  The duck confit succotash was amazing.  It was way better than the duck breast itself.  It reminded all of us of the filling of a Chinese lettuce wrap.  I hope they could put this onto their regular menu.

Local Ling Cod, Saltspring mussels, tiger prawns, autumn vegetables, coconut red curry

Vanilla bean panna cotta, Sour cherry compote 3/5 - Creamy, lots of vanilla bean in the bottom.  The sour cherry reminded me of umeboshi (Japanese dried plums).  The gooseberry was one of the sweetest one I had for a while.  Someone commented it was the best dish of the night.

Passionfruit tart, Lemon Chantilly, meringue, raspberry coulis 3.75/5 - better than my expectation.  The passionfruit was strong and the tart was nice.  The coulis matched perfectly with the tart too.

Service 2.5/5 - There were 20-30 minutes between each course and another 20 minutes waiting for our bill.  I felt bad reminding her about this again since she was one of the two servers running around.  She had to run to the back, the bar, and the patio.  Our server was not really nice answering our questions on the menu.  She expected us to understand the Italian words on the menu.  Our bread and drinks came after our appetizers but the others got their drinks right away at the bar.

George: Ultra Lounge & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Homer St Cafe and Bar

Eggs Benedict, cured ham, roasted tomato, hollandaise sauce $16 4/5 - I really like the eggs!  The eggs were more flavourful than normal eggs.  I thought they might be organic eggs.  Maybe that's why the hollandaise sauce was rich and creamy too!

Baked steelhead trout kafteji, chorizo, fresh herbs, fried egg $14 3.5/5 - It was served on an iron cast.  There was less kafeji (vegetables) than expected.  The edge of the fried egg was cripsy and dashed with pepper and spices.

pork sausage and pork belly, 2 eggs, potatoes, choice of rye or sourdough $14 3.5/5 - Juicy sausage and crispy pork belly.  I thought the eggs were organics.  They were darker than regular eggs.  Potatoes were flavourful and they went well with ketchup.

Service 2.5/5 - We got there about 2pm and they ran out of the maple chicken and beef brisket.  We asked to take a look at the menu while waiting for our seat.  The server asked us to walk up there to see the hostess instead of just giving us a copy.  We asked for a different table when we got one next to the kitchen (it was very hot).  It took some time before we got another table when it wasn't packed at all.  Waited another 10 minutes for taking orders...Service was a little slow.  We saw our food sitting at the counter but nobody went and served us.

Homer St. Café & Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, 17 October 2014

Morocco West

Zaalouk (Eggplant spread with house-made bread) $7 3/5 - very salty.  You will need more bread for this (+$2).

Bouillabaisse (Seafood medley with house-made rouille) $13 4.5/5 - very creamy.  I w

Moroccan-braised chickpeas (slow-braised with raw-el-hanout) $5 3/5 - nothing special.  Chickpeas in tomato sauce.

Merguez Sausage Samosa (Moroccan-style with smoked tomato chutney) $11 4.5/5 - very good and tender.  Matched with the tomato chutney sauce.   My only complaint was too little meat.

Chicken Bastilla with Moroccan raisin demo-glaze $12 4/5 - chicken baklava with cinnamon and icing.

Chicken Bastilla with Moroccan raison demi-glaze $12 4/5 - chicken baklava with cinnamon and icing sugar.

Duck a l'Orange with red wine braised cabbage $15 4/5 - tender, not gamey at all.  The orange jus soaked right into the duck breast.  Red cable was good.  Not salty at all like the other red cabbage.

Chicken Kebab, saffron rice, sweet pepper coulis $11 2.5/5 - Juicy but nothing special.  I could taste the saffron in the rice.

Seafood Sampler $16
Emrozia Cod with chermoula lava beans 4/5 - I like the texture of the cod.  It was not overcooked and mushy at all.
Chermoula Prawns with cilantro pesto butter 3.5/5 - All I could taste was sour because it was sitting on a slice of lemon.
Pipita-crusted Wild Salmon with basil tomato pilaff 3/5 - the salmon was a little overcooked.  Nothing memorable.  The spices were not very strong neither

Beef Kefta with parsley pesto and olive jus $10 4/5 - juicy and tender with Afghanistan spices.

Award-Winning Lab Couscous (Ras-el-hanout braised lamb, root vegetables, chickpeas, onion confit, raisins, Moroccan jus) $24 4/5 (very high for a lamb dish for me) - tender and not gamey at all.  Fluffy couscous.  The vegetables were a little undercooked.

Meat Sampler (Beef Kefta, Ribs, Quail) $15
Ribs 3/5 - tender but nothing remarkable
Quail 5/5 - reminds e of crispy chicken.  Not gamey at all!

Moroccan Salade a l'orange, orange blossom, rosewater, honey, cinnamon, mint $7 3.5/5 - Someone said it tasted like soap water but it was fine by me.  The orange blossom was stronger than the rosewater.

Honey Lavender Panna Cotta (wildflower honey, lavender, fresh fruit) $8 4.5/5 - Light but could not taste any lavender.

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie $9 3.5/5 - creamy, not overly sweet.  The chocolate covered most of the pumpkin flavour.

Cherry and Ricotta Strudel, Cointreau, fresh cherries, mixed berry coulis $9 3/5 - nothing memorable at all.  It is the most boring dessert of the night. 

Couscous Brûlée, Apricots, prunes, raisins, cinnamon, creme anglaise $8 3.5/5 - I had high expectations for this.  Couscous texture with a layer of brûlée.

Automatic 18% gratuity for 8+.  Food was a little slow but still acceptable for a big group.  Music was not ethnical.  One thing I really like about this place was that most of the meat were not gamey at all.

Morocco West on Urbanspoon

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 jalapeños $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