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Restaurant Review: Diner Deluxe

Location: 104 – 350 Aspen Glen Landing SW
Website: http://www.dinerdeluxe.com/

I’ve been to this restaurant many years ago with my sister and cousins for Christmas.  We went to the Edmonton trail location and it was packed.  This was back when brunch wasn’t hugely popular, but novel enough that people were interested in trying it out.  I also believe that at that time, they didn’t take reservations, which is why it was so hard to get into in the first place.

Today, we were in the Aspen Woods area (headed to Color Me Mine) to pick up a pottery piece my sister had done and to do a piece with our mom as a late birthday thing, so we stopped by here to grab a quick lunch.  What I love most about going out with my mom and sister is that when we go out to eat, we share everything.

I had been waffling between getting the Fish and Chips or the Chicken and Waffles as I had been craving Fish and Chips for a while and Chicken and Waffles being my lifelong love.  Ultimately, I decided on the Fish and Chips, but found out that’s what my mom was ordering so I got the Chicken and Waffles because I know I can always pilfer some of the food from her plate.  My sister was undecided and went with what the waitress recommended, the potato rosti stuffed with Quebec cheese curds and sausage, topped with hollandaise and a side of extra crispy bacon.

These are honestly the best Chicken and Waffles I have ever had.  The batter on the chicken is so light, in fact, I’m 90% sure that it’s the same batter used for chicken karaage in Japanese restaurants.  The Waffle isn’t exactly what you’d expect from a typical breakfast waffle.  The waffle actually contains cheddar and jalapeno, which gives it a nice kick.  I have to admit, I was a little worried about the hot sauce coming out and tasting like Frank’s hot sauce, which is really not that good.  But luckily, nothing to worry about.  Their in house made hot sauce is actually really good.  And there’s just the right amount of heat.  Especially when you take into account the fact that the waffle is already kinda spicy from the jalapeno.  On top of all that is the maple brown butter.  It’s a whipped butter, which I prefer to regular butter because it’s much easier to spread and it is absolutely delicious.  Yeah, you can feel the pounds adding up with this dish, but I’m going to have to say that I don’t even care.  I think this is a personal favourite of mine because I love sweet and savoury combos because it keeps me from getting bored which almost always happens when I’m eating.

The Fish and Chips weren’t great, but they weren’t bad either.  Diner Deluxe uses mahimahi instead of cod, haddock, or pollock.  In the past I haven’t like mahimahi because it has a stronger fishier taste than cod, haddock, or pollock and I usually shy away from fishy tasting seafood.  However, that didn’t appear to be a problem today.  The nice thing about mahimahi is that it is a firmer fish and holds together much better than cod, haddock, or pollock, which made it easier when dipping into their house made tartar sauce.  Now, normally, I’m a huge fan of tartar sauce and I’m not saying that it’s not a good tartar sauce, I just wish it had more of a tang to it.  Conversely, my sister enjoyed this tartar sauce much more than she usually enjoys tartar sauces.  My sister enjoyed the fries, citing the crunchy ones as being the best ones, but I though they were flavourless and mostly limp…which is super unappealing.  The East Coast Slaw wasn’t all that different from the coleslaw that is typically served with fish and chips, only difference I could detect was that it was a lot lighter than coleslaw.   Another disappointment with this dish was that it claimed to come with malt vinegar, but that was not the case and my mom mentioned that the two lemon wedges that it came with weren’t enough to cut through the somewhat thick batter.  Her other complaint was that the batter, while not greasy, was a little on the dry side.  This was the first and probably only time I will ever see her use tartar sauce on her fish.

The final dish, Val’s dish, the potato rosti, was a dish that the waitress recommended without hesitation.  While it was delicious, it was very heavy.  I was very impressed by the cheese pull of the Quebec cheese curds, but there wasn’t very much sausage stuffed in it and I expected the rosti to be a lot more crisp along the outside.  The bacon was crunchy as promised, but when it’s like fried potato with cheese topped with creamy hollandaise and a side of greasy bacon…it’s nice to have a little bit of a breather from all that.

Since it was a pseudo-belated birthday outing for our mom combined with the fact it was a chilly fall day, my mom wanted the apple pie.  Just the thought of the buttery, flaky crust coupled with the heat of the cinnamon was just wonderful.  An apple pie is like an edible hug when done right.  Now, normally I would have gone a la mode regardless of whether it was blizzarding outside or not, but neither my sister or mom wanted it, so today I would do without.  I’m sure you’ve learned this if you’ve read enough of my reviews or know me well enough, but I’m really particular about my food.  I like my apples on the softer side (more like a melt in your mouth kind of thing) in an apple pie, the pastry should be warm, buttery, flaky, and with a little bit of crunch to it, and my ice cream, if I have it, better be made from real vanilla bean.  Well, it wasn’t any of those things.  The crumble was falling around the pan, the pastry was soggy and soft, the apples were very hard and you couldn’t cut through it and ended up taking a gigantic spoonful, and it was barely warm.  Two bites and I was done.

Let’s just say if I come back, it’ll be for the Chicken and Waffles not the Apple Pie.  I’m sorry to say this, but McDonald’s had better Apple Pies cold than this place.  Based on area and type of food they were serving, I can’t say I’m surprised about the price, but it is on the more expensive side for sure.  And while our waitress was really, super cheerful, there were times I found her attention to be lacking which was frustrating when we were trying to either order or get another drink/top up on a drink.

Based on today’s experience, I would recommend this place and I would definitely come back, but I would say that Vero Moderne Bistro would be my first choice for brunch.  It’s just more my kind of restaurant than this one was. I would give it a 3.75/5 based on the Chicken and Waffles alone.

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Restaurant Interior – Upper level

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Restaurant Interior – View from Table

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Fish and Chips

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Chicken and Waffles

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Potato Rosti

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Apple Pie

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Restaurant Review: Oriental Phoenix

Location: 105, 401 – 9th Avenue SW
Website: http://www.orientalphoenix.ca/

Seeing as this restaurant is only about a block away from my office, I thought after about 5 months of seeing it everyday, that I ought to try it out.  It was a kind of impromptu decision, but Alex made us a reservation the morning of and we were able to be seated fairly quickly (once they noticed us at least).

As with all restaurants, I like to look at the menu before and and the site stated that there was a slight chance that the downtown location could have a different menu with slightly different prices (aka more expensive because it is expensive to do business/rent a location downtown, plus all the “rich” business people working down there).  So it was a more general idea of what I wanted slash seeing if the downtown location had the things I had chosen off of the menu on their website.

I started off with the shrimp salad rolls, which I shared with Alex.  They consisted of A LOT of vermicelli and not much else.  Having grown up with making my own at home and stuffing it full of meat and veggies rather than vermicelli (even though I do love my carbs), this seemed to be very expensive for a roll of carbs served with hoisin mixed with a sriracha style hot sauce, topped with peanuts.  I couldn’t even figure out where the shrimps were!  The University of Calgary salad rolls from La Prep are even better than the ones here!

For our mains I ordered the Sate Beef Pho and Alex had the Grilled Pork Vermicelli.  When the dishes arrived I was both offended and delighted by the size of the veggie accompaniment (bean sprouts).  I’m used to going to Vietnamese restaurants that give at least four times that amount with a lime and basil, so offended was my first reaction, but then my sense kicked in because I don’t actually eat that much of the bean sprout and hardly any basil that it was probably better they didn’t waste it on me anyways.  I was still offended it was a lemon rather than a lime because it completely changes the flavour profile.  The other thing that irked me was that there was no dish for me to put my hoisin sauce in to dip the meat into and the spoon was way too small for me to be able to balance the food on and put on it without it slipping into the soup (so I eventually had to put it in the spoon and then grab the meat to dip it, but it was also annoying I had to pick up the bottle every single time I wanted some hoisin).  When it came to taste, I really don’t think it was sate; it was more like chili flakes in soup, but other than that the broth was really well developed and flavourful.  But just because it wasn’t sate didn’t mean it wouldn’t burn you.  At first it was like, oh ok, this is alright, but after a long time (since the soup is hot temperature wise and hot spicy wise), it gets to you.  Then of course my body likes to exaggerate (just like me) how spicy it actually is by full on crying and runny nose and make me look like I’m really suffering.  The other thing I really loved was the texture of the noodles.  Maybe it was because I was really craving noodles or they truly are superior noodles, but they were so good!  The presentation was interesting; I was intrigued by the bowl shape, but as usual, way too much soup.

Alex’s Grilled Pork Vermicelli is her Vietnamese restaurant staple; one that she orders at every Vietnamese restaurant she goes to.  It looks like a typical grilled pork vermicelli, nothing special.  I watched as she poured on the nước mắm over the dish and then then that turned to horror when she grabbed the hoisin sauce and drizzled it all over her vermicelli and pork.  I’ve never understood why people put hoisin on there.  I probably should’ve asked, but the most logical answer would probably be “it tastes good,” but me being me, growing up on homemade nước mắm  and vermicelli it seems very odd and feels very wrong.  Also, it seemed weird that she wouldn’t mix it all up.  She just ate it, working from one side of the plate to the other, which is also not something I am used to.  So this was an interesting experience for me.  I wouldn’t say it was wrong, but it was definitely different.

We both ordered the iced coffee and unlike what I’m used to at Vietnamese restaurants, they brought out the already mixed coffee (I’m used to them bringing out the thing to drip the coffee into a glass cup that has condensed milk on the bottom of the cup and then pouring it over the ice myself).  I completely understand the reasoning why they would choose not to do this, the first being what a mess it would make and the second being that this is downtown and if they’re expecting us to pay them more, then they have to provide the service of a slightly higher class.

Although this place isn’t exactly wheelchair accessible from the entrance we entered in from, I’m sure there is a way to get in through the Gulf Canada building, but I don’t know for certain.

Overall, I would recommend this place and I would definitely come back.  The service was quick and the servers were polite enough, checking in at the appropriate times to make sure everything was to our liking.  I know that a coworker of mine came here last week, but didn’t have as great of an experience.  They went to lunch at their usual time, noon, ordered, but their food didn’t arrive until 12:45 and they had to shovel down their food.  She said that she got sick from doing that, but still thought the food was really good.  Based on my experience today, I would give this place a 3.75/5.

Salad Rolls

Shrimp Salad Rolls

Pho

Sate Beef Pho

Vermicelli

Grilled Pork Vermicelli

Restaurant Review: Without Papers

Location: 1216 9 Ave SE
Website: http://wopizza.ca/

After two months I finally got the chance to meet up with Carmen for dinner.  I usually let Carmen decide where we’re gonna go because of her allergies and since I had been craving pizza for several weeks, this was the perfect fit.

We had been planning this since June so I had time to look over the menu well in advanced.  On my initial perusal of them menu, I wanted to order the Shrooom pizza because I love mushrooms and truffle oil, but since buying that bottle of truffle oil, I don’t think I need to really order anything that contains truffle oil because last time I made something at home with the truffle oil, I got all truffled out and I don’t want to go through that again.  I’ll work on finishing the truffle oil I’ve bought before truffling myself out on restaurant food.

On the day we finally made it here, we had some trouble finding the restaurant because the sign wasn’t very prominently displayed.  Since we got there around four, the restaurant wasn’t very busy yet and we were promptly seated by the window.  I didn’t realize I had been here before, a few years ago, as part of a Jane’s Walk that was focused on visiting restaurants in the Inglewood and Ramsay areas.

It didn’t take long for us to decide on the pizzas we wanted.  Carmen ordered her usual, the Parma with mushrooms added and I decided on the margherita pizza.  The sound of fresh mozzarella gave me images of those large chunks of creamy, stringy, melty, deliciousness.  That’s what drew me to this particular pizza.  Well, that and the fact I had been craving a simple, but delicious pizza as of late.

As the waitress indicated, all the pizzas are thin crust, like actually thin crust, which I was really happy about.  The unfortunate thing about the pizza being so thin is that it cools really quickly and this pizza is not good cold (although I do enjoy cold, leftover pizza most other times). The pizza itself was a little sparse and I did not get the ooey gooey fresh mozzarella as promised in the menu description.  Carmen’s pizza was less sparse and if I had liked prosciutto and it wasn’t so overloaded with arugula, it would’ve been a delicious pizza.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy arugula, but I don’t need a salad on my pizza (totally exaggerating, but you know me).

Despite all my “complaints,” I really would order from here again.  I can’t stress how much I loved how thin the thin crust is.  However, returning to the restaurant is a different matter altogether.  The flies constantly buzzing around our food was one source of vexation, but the second was the level of service.  Here, at Without Papers, I did not experience the same level of hospitality as I expected to be accorded at a restaurant.

Unfortunately, this place is not wheelchair accessible since it’s at the top of some fairly steep stairs.  Carmen had mentioned that she had ordered in from here several times, so for those who want to enjoy this from the comforts of their home, that’s an option available.

Based on my experience, I would rate this restaurant a 3.5/5.  The score is high because of the quality of its food, but also low because of the quality of its service.

Restaurant Interior

Restaurant Interior

Parma

Parma with Mushrooms

Margherita

Margherita

 

Restaurant Review: Pampa

Location: 521 10 AVE SW Calgary
Website: http://pampasteakhouse.com/calgary/

This was my first time going to a Brazilian Steakhouse, and I have to say, I will definitely be coming around more often.  While it is amazing it is also very pricy, so I’m really glad that one of our cousins, Tanna, had the sense to purchase a groupon for the event.  While this place does have a salad bar (for all the sides you might want to go with your meat), Tanna has the right idea grabbing just the cheese bread (pão de queijo) and a smallish bowl of soup.  Since it was Sandra, Cynthia, Val, and my first time here, we got a little more from the salad bar than was probably recommended which we would all regret later.

For those who haven’t been to a Brazilian Steakhouse, it’s essentially servers walking around with giant skewers of meat to which you can have as much as you want.  They will stop once they see you flip your card from green (yes, please) to red (no, thank you).

We started off with drinks.  Sandra, Cynthia, and Tanna didn’t order any drinks, Val had the Brazilian Lemonade and I had the Brazilian Shirley Temple.  The Lemonade consisted of lime juice blended with condensed milk, topped with ice and the Shirley Temple used guaraná, (an Amazonian berry) orange juice, and grenadine.

On this evening they had their usual ten meat skewers:

Beef Top Sirloin
Beef Rumpsteak
Beef Garlic Steak
Chimichurri-Basted Beef Tri-Tip
Pampa Pork Sausage
Parmesan Pork Loin
Rosemary-marinated Pork Shoulder
Bacon-wrapped Chicken Thighs
Marinated Chicken Drumsticks
New Zealand Leg of Lamb

As well as four seasonal ones:

Coconut-Lime Shrimp
Slow-roasted Beef Ribs
Caramelized BBQ Pineapple
Marinated Chicken Hearts

I didn’t try the marinated chicken hearts because I’m not usually one for offals and I did try a little bit of the leg of lamb.  The gamey taste of the lamb was very mild, but it still wasn’t really for me.  Of the ones I did try, the bacon-wrapped chicken thighs, parmesan pork loin, Pampa pork sausage and chimichurri-based beef tri-tip were my least favourite.  The bacon was soggy and limp, the pork loin was dry, the sausage was nothing special and the chimichurri, which amazingly tender, was way over salted and the texture was more like a stewed beef (which is nice, but also not my favourite preparation of beef).

Some of the other beef dishes were also quite salty, but I had expected as much.  The deliciousness of the cut made up for the over salting.

I will say, that this place is not for the faint of heart.  There is a lot of food and it’s very easy to overeat and go into a food coma.  Especially since the groupon comes with dessert.  For dessert we got a passionfruit mousse, a chocolate mousse, a coconut flan, and a orange roulade.  The mousses were served on top of a pao-de-lo cake/sponge, which absorbed the compotes and made them soggy.  I felt as though there was a little too much liquid on the plate from the compotes and that the mousses themselves were amazing and would have been even more amazing if the sponge had not been drenched with sauce.  The coconut flan was the most ordinary dessert we had.  It’s flavour was very light and delicate, making it very easily overpowered by the tastes of the other, more decadent desserts.  The orange roulade was my least favourite.  I had expected an appetizing orange flavour that would aid in the digestion of my dinner (as Chinese often have orange peel in their desserts as a digestive), but that was not the case.  It was fairly dense and sweet and after one bite I essentially gave up on eating it.

As I said, I would definitely return here without question, but not alone and not without a groupon. I would rate this place 4.5/5.

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PAMPA!

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Interior View 1

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Interior View 2

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Yes, please!

Brazilian Shirley Temple

Brazilian Shirley Temple

Brazilian Lemonade

Brazilian Lemonade

Meat 2

My plate with way too much food (and a piece of Chimichurri-Basted Beef Tri-Tip in the corner

chicken

Chicken Drumstick

Pampa 1

Beef Top Sirloin and Garlic Beef

pineapple

Pineapple and Sandra

Escape Room Review: Escape60

Location:1638 10th Avenue SW
Website: https://www.escape60.ca/

*NO SPOILERS*

I’ve never done a review on an escape room, but don’t worry.  If you’re intending on trying this room out, I will not spoil it for you.

We (as in Val and my cousins Sandra, Cynthia, and Tanna) came across this escape room after finishing a different escape room.  Originally, after doing the first escape room, we were left hungering for another adventure and stumbled across this one when googling “escape rooms near me.”  Unfortunately, we were one person short and couldn’t make a second escape room adventure happen that day.

Upon further exploration on Escape60’s website, we discovered that they had a Harry Potter themed room!  From that moment on, that became my point of fixation; I had to do this room!  Due to the popularity of the room, however, we were unable to book in a time until August (we had been intending to go since July, but there were no rooms available until now).

The Harry Potter room is their only premium room (they’re intending to come out with more, but it probably won’t be until later this year) at the moment, so it is slightly more expensive than regular escape rooms ($35 rather than $25).  But, of course, since the room is more expensive/premium, it is a little bit longer (75 minutes rather than the traditional 60 minutes).

Unlike traditional rooms, the Harry Potter room did not feature any of those classic number, letter, or directional locks.  These were much more unconventional, which was nice in the sense that it was really creative, but that also made for quite a startling experience.  There were times we completed the puzzle, not knowing what to expect or where to expect something from and screamed.  There was even a moment where I actually just bolted and had I not remembered  that the doorway was slightly lowered, I would’ve smoked my head on a wall.  As funny as that might’ve been, I luckily did not do that.

In the end we did manage to escape with five minutes to spare, which I would say was pretty good considering that this is one of their hardest rooms or one of the hardest rooms we’ve done (the rating on this room was extremely hard, most of the other places use stars to indicate difficulty and the hardest we did to date was a 3 star at Exit Calgary, which had an escape rate of like 25%.  We also did a 2 star at The Locked Room, which had an 18% escape rate and we got out of both of those).

We had opted in to get Butterbeers after we completed the room.  If we hadn’t gotten out, they would’ve been consolation Butterbeers, but since we did, they were celebratory Butterbeers.  This place offers two types: alcoholic and non-alcoholic.  Both of them are the same price, $9, so if you drink, obviously, the alcoholic choice is the better one (this place has a licence to serve alcohol, so you are allowed to purchase drinks and bring them into the room with you, as long as you’re careful not to spill anything anywhere).

In my opinion, this was not how I imagined Butterbeer at all and not in the best way, but since it’s from a fictional universe with no recipe book to accompany it, it’s pretty much left to anyone’s imagination.  Based on how Butterbeer was described in the Harry Potter books, I always imagined it to be something like a butterscotch concoction that was rich and creamy and I always imagined it to be a hot beverage that could be enjoyed in both summer and winter, but better suited for winter as a drink that would warm you up.  At Escape60 their Butterbeer is a root beer float topped with whipped cream, jelly beans, chocolate sprinkles, and three roasted marshmallows on a stick served in a Moscow Mule mug.  The marshmallows, having been roasted by a blowtorch, don’t have the same delicious flavour of ones roasted over a camp fire.

Even though this place is a little more out of the way than the other escape rooms we’ve been to, with the exception of The Locked Room escape rooms, I would definitely come back and would recommend this place to others.  It’s a small business and they’ve only been open for 7 months, but they have ambitious plans for the future (another Harry Potter room, a Star Wars room, and a Jurassic Park room).  They also host a Harry Potter paint night which I would love to attend some time. Overall, I’d give this place a 4/5.

Escape 7Escape 5Escape 6

Butterbeer

Butterbeer

Restaurant Review: Point Sushi

Location: 116 2 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0B9

Point Sushi is located right where the Sakana Grill in downtown/Chinatown was.  Upon walking in to the slightly aging building, the sterile smell of bleach or something like bleach assaults your nose just as before.  After getting past the sterile smell of cleaning products, you venture in to an equality sterile looking environment.  The place is clean, almost too clean, making you question what they’re trying to hide and you feel like you need to look for a spot that they’ve neglected to clean, but you find no such thing.

Despite giving off the feeling of sterility, the place is actually quite nice.  There are three rows of booths seated next to a dual bullet train track, one upper and one lower.  When you first enter the restaurant, you approach the cash register which in many Asian restaurants also doubles as the host/hostess station.  You’re given the bill, a barcode that is linked to your table’s iPad.  Once seated, everything is ordered via the iPad.  All table settings except the chopsticks are placed above the bullet train tracks; the chopsticks are on the table next to the hot water faucet.  As we learned during our first time here, all food and drinks will come by bullet train except for those which either don’t fit (which I haven’t seen any that don’t) or are prone to tipping over (like a Shirley Temple).

Each time before your dish is about to arrive via bullet train, a message will pop up on the iPad screen alerting you to its arrival.  Maybe it’s because I’m easily entertained, but having my food delivered by bullet train is seriously the best thing ever.  It’s also really nice if you want to minimize the amount of time talking to people for whatever reason (anxiety, just too tired to talk to people, so introverted that talking to people literally drains you, etc.).

I always forget that this is not an all you can eat and sometimes get a little carried away (which is then reflected on the bill).  The menu still has stuff from when it was Sakana Grill, but it’s a more streamlined menu.  It’s good in the sense that the chef doesn’t have to know how to make or waste time making hundreds of different dishes, but they took off one of my favourite dishes from Sakana, the Sashimi Wrap.  No matter, they still have a fairly large selection of food and I’ve discovered just how much I love Inari (sweet bean curd).  The other thing I like about this place is that the rice ratio in their nigiri isn’t disproportionate to the fish/topping, which is nice because when I go out for sushi, my goal is not to fill up on rice.

I would definitely come back to the place again and again.  Sure it’s a little out of the way for me, but I think the food and mostly self-service is worth the effort. I would give this place a 4.25/5.

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Shirley Temple

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Peach Soda

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iPad and empty bullet train

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Retrieving Food From the Bullet Train

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Unagi

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Hotate

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Shrimp Tempura

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Background” Salmon Sashimi, Foreground: Inari

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Shrimp and Veggie Dumpling

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Chicken Yakisoba

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Cowboy Roll

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BBQ Pork Bun

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Black Sesame and Vanilla Ice Creams

Restaurant Review: Japanese Village

Location:  317 10 Ave SW

From the first time Val went, she was raving about the steak sauce.  She even bought a bottle of it at Christmas for my ex, Braeden (who unfortunately let it go bad without even trying any…what a waste of money).  I knew that if she had liked the steak sauce that much, I had to try it.  After all, Val and I have similar tastes and if she really like this place, it must be good.

We made reservations here for 6:30, but since I got off work at 3:00 and Val ended up finishing up her meeting thing at 6:00, but the restaurant was a three minute walk for her, we both ended up there super early.  We waited for a while before they said that they could seat us.  Although neither of us checked our watches or phones for the time, I’m pretty sure they seated us earlier than 6:30.  We were seated at the remaining two seats next to a party of five.  It took some time, but our orders were taken and our chef appeared.  He clearly had a showman’s persona and that level of involvement with a character like that, that close and personal made me a little uncomfortable, but I’m not the kind of person to judge before trying something out.  The meals we ordered came with soup, salad, rice, green tea, and a dessert.  Being unsure that there’d be enough food (since I’ve never been) and never passing up the opportunity to eat squid, we ordered the ika karaage.  The dish was quite small, expensive, and honestly, not that good. I’ve definitely had better.  We were first served the soup, which was an egg drop soup.  It was nicely flavoured and the temperature was just right, but it wasn’t anything special.  It was followed by a salad that also wasn’t that special.  The only thing I remember is that it was high acidic, which made me pucker a couple times at how sour it was.  All the while, we watched and listened to our chef crack jokes and throw his cooking utensils around.  I became especially uncomfortable when I was looking down to finish my salad and the minute I looked up he shoved a gigantic block of softened butter in my face, saying something to the effect of have some vanilla ice cream.  My mouth fell open in shock and the only thing I could do was pretend to eat it.  It was too late.  There was no recovery from that.  It did make the people at the table laugh, so I guess not all was lost.  Slowly, we started getting served food.  Shrimp with yum yum sauce (not really sure what that is…) and a lot of veggies (that I didn’t end up finishing).  The highlight of the evening was, of course, the onion volcano (unfortunately I have to upgrade my WordPress account for me to post the video.  I tried to post it on Facebook, but Facebook says the file is too small).  Both Val and I ordered steaks, which are cut into cubes for us, but the seasoning wasn’t really all that special.  That’s where the steak sauce came in.  The chef had already put some into the dishes in front of us and on our rice if we wanted, so I had tasted it.  I couldn’t really put my finger on what it was exactly in the sauce that I didn’t like, but there was something in it I didn’t like.  Val said there was a lot of onion, which I’m going to take her word for because she’s really good at discerning components of sauces and other mixed foodstuffs.  After the meat, I was pretty much full (hence I didn’t finish my veggies), but there was still tea and dessert.  The green tea was tasteless; it was like drinking coloured hot water.  And the green tea ice cream isn’t creamy and matcha-y like I’m used to.  There were parts of the ice cream where you could literally crunch on ice crystals, which isn’t really a quality I look for in my ice cream.

Overall, I’d say I wouldn’t come back here again, but I’d say that it’s something that everyone should experience once and decide for themselves if this is something they would like.  I know that the birthday girl in the party of five next to us said this was her favourite restaurant and she has come back repeatedly, but I wouldn’t.  I just want to enjoy my meal in peace without having someone heckling me every few seconds and cracking jokes that I’m forced to laugh along with.  But the experience wasn’t all bad.  It was nice how considerate they were of the dietary concerns of the person sitting next to me.  She had celiacs and they were constantly checking in with her to make sure everything was okay and if she wanted them to prepare something separate for her in the kitchen so that it was guaranteed to not contain gluten.

Unfortunately, I would have to rate this experience a 1/5.  Not because the food was particularly bad or the service was lacking, but because I don’t feel like this dining experience was one that I enjoyed or was comfortable with.

 

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