Reader. Writer. Romantic.

Archive for March, 2016

By My Side

I’ve told you all my problems
Spilled out my very soul
I’ve pored over each an every insecurity
And expressed to you my anguish

Yet you still stay
To listen to my pain
To promise to be there
No matter what happens

Despite all these things
Designed to push you away
They draw you in closer
They make you love me more

You’re more a man
Than I ever gave you credit for
For though you have seen
All the damage done to me
You persist

 

Just Another Poem About Love

Every once in a lifetime
We meet someone
Who’s heart sings a song incomplete
Waiting for ours to answer back

Every once in a lifetime
We hear a heartbeat
A song that we will never tire of

Your song was more than beautiful
But it was not my time to dance
And so I passed you by
Like nothing more than a summer breeze

But love
And time
Have a strange way of working
For what would have been right
Was then wrong

I may not have loved you then
But I love you now
And though those words have become empty lies
I’ll prove it to you
Time and time again
Through the things I will do

For the most beautiful things in life
Are the moments we share
And nothing
And no one
Will ever take those away from us

Restaurant Review: Mamak Dang

Location: A-4604 12 Street NE
Website: http://www.mamakdangfusion.com/

In Calgary, there aren’t that many Malaysian restaurants. This is the second one I’ve been to, the first being Banana Leaf (not to be confused with the one in Vancouver, which is also amazing). Unlike Banana Leaf, which is more well known, Mamak Dang isn’t and therefore a lot quieter. It’s nice after a long and hectic day at work to sit down for some hearty, soul-warming Malaysian food. Tucked away in an industrial area, when we first pulled up, I had no idea where we were and completely missed the restaurant. When we walked in at about 6, the place was completely empty with the exception of the staff. We were promptly seated and presented with the menu. Though the menu isn’t extensive, it has plenty of options. My dad decided we were going to go with the dinner for four option. This allows for us to choose two appetizers, three mains, four bowls of rice, a choice of soup or salad, and two desserts.

We didn’t have to wait long for the appetizers to arrive. The first to come was the chili cheese fries, an appetizer the waiter had recommended. This defied all my expectations for chili cheese fries. In my mind, chili cheese fries are a take on poutine: fries with either chili powder or actual chili (like the bean and meat thing) doused in a creamy cheese sauce. This was not that. When the dish arrived I thought they looked like McCain crinkle cut fries sprinkled with chili powder served with mayonnaise, I couldn’t find the cheese anywhere. It turns out that it was a powdered cheese and chili seasoning mix sprinkled on the mayo and fries and was better than I expected. The curry fish balls arrived shortly after and they were as I expected. Curry fish balls are a staple street food in many Asian countries and these met my expectations, but didn’t exactly blow them away. The curry had just the right amount of heat and there was a good sauce to fish balls ratio. We had just finished the appetizers when the mains, soup, and salad arrived. First impression was that the mains were very small, but as I would find out it was more than enough. There had been four dishes to choose from, so we chose one of each type of meat: Rendang Beef, Coconut Pork, and Curry Chicken. The beef and chicken “curries” had full bodied flavours, but the pork was my favourite (because I absolutely love coconut). A fair warning though, if you don’t like onions (green, fried, white), this place probably isn’t good for you because there were onions in nearly every dish and the onions in the coconut pork dish were partially raw (which I didn’t mind because it provided a nice bite to the dish). The salad was overdressed with what tasted like ranch dressing. The pork bone/tonkotsu broth was fantastic. It’s creamy flavour is one of the best I’ve had. It could have done without the fried onions as they didn’t add anything to the dish. As for rice we chose to get two bowls of coconut rice and two bowls of saffron rice. The coconut rice was much more fragrant than it tasted, but still not bad though it could have done with a few coconut flakes mixed in for texture. However, the saffron rice was just a disappointment because it was more like the rice served with Hainan Chicken Rice than it was saffron rice (the rice was actually yellow but due to the lighting in the picture it looks white). Desserts were red bean and condensed milk rotis, also recommendations made by the waiter (we were gonna go with the coconut, but maybe it was a good thing we didn’t otherwise we’d end up with coconut overload). Both were sweet, but not overbearing. I preferred the condensed milk one over the red bean because, though I like red bean, it’s way overdone in Asian desserts. I also had to deal with cascading red beans falling out of the roti which was annoying. Although the condensed milk wasn’t much better as the viscous liquid kept running down my fingers.

I would say I’d definitely come back to this place to try out the main menu items like the Laksa, which I’ve fallen in love with after my trip to Vancouver and having tried it at Deer Gardens. Portion sizes are not to underestimated and price was decent. As far as accessibility, I’d say its doable, but the parking lot was a bit bumpy and could be annoying to traverse. I’d rate it a 3.5/5.

mamak dang exterior

Restaurant Exterior

mamak dang interior

Restaurant Interior

chili cheese fries

Chili Cheese Fries

curry fish balls

Curry Fish Balls

rice, soup, salad, beef, pork

Coconut Pork, Rendang Beef, Pork Bone soup, Salad, Coconut Rice

rice

Saffron Rice

Chicken

Curry Chicken

desssert

Left: Red Bean Roti Right: Condensed Milk Roti

Crystalline Sunlight

It’s beautiful the way her face lights up when she talk about you
She’s like personified sunlight
Dancing on crystallized dew
She loves you for your heart
And cares for nothing more than afternoons spent in your warm embrace
I can see in her eyes
When she thinks of you
That you are not only her greatest pain
But her greatest pleasure.

There’s nothing she wouldn’t do
Nothing she wouldn’t give
To see you smile
To see you laugh
And she thinks she’s the luckiest girl in the world

 

Restaurant Review: Tango Bistro

Location: 6920 Macleod Trail S
Website: http://www.tangobistro.ca

After much debate, I finally decided on this tapas bar for dinner with a friend. I had been here almost ten years ago and the only thing I remember was my dad complaining about how small the portions were and how expensive everything was. At the time I would have had to agree, but knowing what I know now (and the fact that it is a tapas bar), I think it’s quite normal. I’m all about giving places a second chance and having been so long, I expected things to be different from what they were when I first came.

Now, I am by no means a big eater (though at times that may seem questionable), so we decided to go with four dishes: the chorizo sliders, tuna tataki, cajun chicken egg rolls, and hibachi steak poutine. The first to arrive was the tuna tataki. Based on the presentation of this dish, I had expected something along the lines of a poke, but this is not what I got. My first impression was that it was nothing like a tataki; it reminded me more of a tartare. The tataki was served with a ponzu sauce, wasabi aioli, and egg roll crisps. The egg roll crisps had black and white sesame seeds baked into them making it a bit of a mess to eat for each bite sent them flying in all directions, occasionally raining down into my lap. The crisps were a bit hard (like very crunchy) and I could have done with something a little easier to bite into to pair with the tuna. The flavour of the tataki itself was fairly good. The green onions provided a variation in texture and taste, but they were not enough to lift the dish to the level of freshness I expected. The aioli caught me by surprise because I didn’t really notice it until I got a large dollop on a slice of avocado. Typically I’m not a huge fan of wasabi, so while it was not as strong as having wasabi straight, it still packed a punch. There was a bit of a spicy sauce on the side which I would have liked to see more of, but I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. Next came the Hibachi Steak Poutine. As small as it looked, it was awfully filling (because potatoes…). I was disappointed that a pile of cheese curds sat atop the dish unmelted. As I bit into them I hoped that they’d be the squeaky Quebec cheese curds that are typically used in poutines; they weren’t. My first thought was that this dish was pretty salty, but it’s a poutine, so I didn’t expect others. The hibachi sauce was a nice contrast to the traditional gravy and the steak and shitake mushrooms were a nice addition to the poutine (because come on, it doesn’t get more classic than mushrooms and steak). The flavours were good, but the fact that it had me constantly reaching for and draining my water, was not. Next came the sliders and the egg rolls, almost simultaneously. Chorizo is typically a dry sausage, but this was not that. It was more like a patty with lettuce, avocado, tomato, and pickled onion. Though the menu claims to have roasted jalapeno, I couldn’t detect even a hint of it. My friend mentioned that his slider was a bit dry, but perhaps I didn’t notice because of all the other ingredients on it or that I had expected chorizo to have been much drier than this slider was. I’d have to say this was one of my favourite items of the evening. While the slider was one of my favourites, the egg roll that followed was not. Alone the roll is quite bland and is really nothing special. The flavour comes entirely from the dipping sauce. In a way this is good because it prevents the dish from becoming overseasoned, but in another, it makes it flat and two-dimensional. As this dish uses the egg roll wrapper, it’s heavy and very filling.

By the time we had finished these, I wasn’t sure if I could eat more, but I really wanted a dessert. So we decided on the dessert sampler. It consisted of four dessert shots and three raspberry chocolate truffle pops. In my experience, dessert shots are fairly small (like you could eat the whole thing in one bite), but these ones turned out to be bigger than I expected. The four desserts were an oreo mousse, mascarpone mint, rocky road, and apple cinnamon cheesecake. As always, I prefer the mousse. Especially as a dessert because it’s light and perfect after a meal as heavy as the one we had. The cheesecake is always the hardest for me to eat because of its richness and this particular one had an overload of cinnamon. While it was good, I couldn’t eat more than a bite (I ended up eating more of it, but I was kinda just nibbling at it). The rocky road was overly sweet and I’ve never been much of a sweet person so this was just too much for me (caramel, thick ganache like chocolate, marshmallows) and I just don’t like mint in desserts or as a tea, so that was just terrible for me. Plus it just tasted like a mint cheesecake because of the mascarpone. Chocolate and raspberries are a classic, so the raspberry chocolate truffle pops were exactly as I expected with one exception: nibbling is probably not the best way to eat it because the crunchy/hard chocolate exterior has a tendency to break and fall apart all over you, so you may have to shove the whole thing into your mouth. And if you do and you’re mouth is anything like mine, by the time you get it to fit in your mouth you can’t close it or chew it.

I never realized how oily everything we ate was until after when I had to clear my throat every few minutes just to be able to talk. Since neither of us had any drinks tonight, the bill came to a decent price. Our waiter was kind and attentive and made sure we had everything we needed during the meal. I also appreciated that each time he came by when I didn’t have food in my mouth so I could answer. I would definitely love to come back, but next time I think I’ll go for the small plates just to see if they’re a little smaller and therefore are able to have a greater variety of items off the menu. And while I’m on that note, maybe I should bring more people. For tonight, I’d rate it 3.75/5.

tango restaurant interior

Restaurant Interior

tataki

Tuna Tataki

poutine

Hibachi Steak Poutine

sliders

Chorizo Sliders

eggrolls

Cajun Chicken Egg Rolls

dessert shots

Dessert Shots with Raspberry Chocolate Truffle

Perfection

Perfection is not
Each night spent on the town
Spending extensive amounts of money
For food
Wine
And entertainment

All I ask
Is for time with you
To curl up
Next to you
Watching  you play the games you love

I want to lie there
In your lap
To close my eyes
And feel your warmth
Knowing that I’ll be safe

That is perfection

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