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Posts tagged ‘tapas’

Restaurant Review: Anju

Location: 344 17 Avenue SW
Website: http://www.anju.ca

Another night on the town enjoying great food with great company. Tonight I had dinner here with my best friend, Julia. I’ve wanted to come to Anju for a long time and tonight I wasn’t disappointed. The menu is new and different as fusion food often is.

We ordered four dishes and one side which turned out to be completely unnecessary. The Spicy Buckwheat Noodle Salad was the first to come. When I hear “buckwheat noodles,” my first thought is of soba, but these were not that; they looked more like instant noodles. The dish was chilled, hence the salad served with grilled pork belly. The salad consisted of the noodles, kimchi, cucumber, carrot, daikon, nori, and half an egg served on a bed of shredded romaine lettuce, but the daikon was kind of hard to find in everything. The choice to serve it with grilled pork belly was a good one. The sour spiciness of the kimchi serves to counterbalance the richness of the pork belly. And deciding to simply grill it without the addition of a lot of seasoning was a good contrast to the aggressively seasoned noodles. The next dish that arrived was the Spicy Salmon Tacos which are tacos with salmon mixed with spicy mayo on a sesame slaw topped with avocado mousse and seaweed and lime wedges on the side. The taco shells are made of a wonton wrapper, giving it a much need crunch. I’d have to say this is my favourite dish of the entire evening. Not only is it fresh tasting, there are a variety of textures that make it so much more interesting to eat. Though the menu stated that there’s masago on it, there wasn’t any tonight. It didn’t taste as though anything was missing, but it would have added another level of depth to the dish. The Poutine For Your Seoul came next with the kimchi (the side we ordered). Had I known how many dishes contained kimchi, I wouldn’t have ordered this as a side. The poutine had cheese curds and fresh cubed tofu, drizzled with Kabayaki Gravy, topped with dehydrated Kimchi. This one was primarily chosen because of the punny name. Julia loved the name so much and I thought why the heck not, it made me laugh, so let’s give it a try. It was a good dish, but so heavy. It really could have done with some citrus accompaniments. The last dish to arrive were the KFC sliders. I think this item is a modification of one of their existing menu items (it’s not on their online menu). They are buttermilk fried chicken topped with two sauces: a mayo one and a Gochujang sauce (spicy fermented bean sauce), served with kimchi flavoured chips on the side. After all that kimchi, these chips didn’t taste of much. This one was as heavy as the poutine and by this part of the meal, all the carbs were really getting to me, so much so that I had a hard time getting down my allotted one and a half sliders.

This place, like all tapas bars, are pricey. Now I know that going to a tapas bar with one other person is a no-no. Next time I’m bringing at least two other people as the serving sizes are a better fit for parties of three or four. Next time less kimchi and fewer dishes of carb heavy ingredients.  I don’t think I can eat kimchi for the next few weeks and feel as though I’ll be full for a long time to come. There are still so many things that i’d love to try out on the menu. I would definitely recommend this place and i would most certainly return here. Based on today’s visit, I’d give this place a 4.25/5.

Anju Exterior

Anju Exterior


Anju Exterior

Anju Exterior


Anju Interior

Anju Interior


Open Concept Kitchen

Open Concept Kitchen


Spicy Buckwheat Noodle Salad

Spicy Buckwheat Noodle Salad


Spicy Salmon Tacos

Spicy Salmon Tacos


Poutine For Your Seoul

Poutine For Your Seoul


KFC Sliders with Kimchi Flavoured Chips

KFC Sliders with Kimchi Flavoured Chips

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Restaurant Review: Cork & Fin

Location: 221 Carrall St
Website: http://www.corkandfin.ca/

This is my first time going to a bar/pub/drinking establishment in B.C. One thing I didn’t know was that we’re required to present two pieces of ID. One must be government issued like a passport or driver’s licence. The second piece is used to verify identity, so something like a university ID or credit card. Under normal circumstances I don’t drink because I don’t hold my alcohol well, but one drink caught my eye and I thought, why the heck not. I ordered myself a Sherlock & Co which was cucumber, mint, pimms, and something else, served in a champagne glass. The friend who recommended it said it was like champagne and as far as I knew, it should have been pretty light. However, it wasn’t and after a couple sips I was ready to give in. My friend, a B.C. local had a Moon Session Lager which was surprisingly not bitter and disgusting like I find of most beers (can you tell I’m not a beer person?). My sister and her friend both got a Lime in D’ Coconut, the girliest cocktail on the menu at the recommendation of the waitress. You could taste some of the alcohol, but it was far milder than anything I’ve ever had.

We were at the place at around 5:30, in the middle of happy hour so we got some appies since they were kinda cheaper than normal: wings and tacos. The wings were lightly breaded, seasoned and drizzled with what looked like ranch dressing. There wasn’t many and they weren’t all that good. I didn’t think that I’d like the Albacore Tuna Tacos as much as I did. Though it wasn’t all that flavourful and my hand slipped with the tabasco sauce, it was decent and much better than the wings. 

Once the appies were out of the way, we could focus on ordering mains. We debated about getting chef’s table or getting some of the individual dishes, which the waitress described as tapas. They were nothing like tapas when they came out. For me and several others, they constituted a meal. We started with one round, three of us didn’t make it beyond that. My sister had the mussels and fries, her friend had the veal cheeks, I had the gnocchi, and my friend had the ceviche. The mussels were impressive. I could understand that they would be finished off very quickly if shared, but for one person, it was a meal. The mussels were served in a miso broth and garnished with bacon bits. On the side was a basket of fries and a garlic aioli. I loved how crunchy the fries were. The garlic was light and the aioli smooth; it was a delicious combination. The one piece of mussel I did have was actually pretty good. I don’t like mussels, clams, and oysters because they can have a very strong fishy taste, which I dislike, but that wasn’t the case with these. The veal cheeks were melt in your mouth flakiness. The seasoning on them was fairly light, as with almost all their other dishes, which was good because I hate nothing more than something overseasoned and having me reach for my water glass between every bite. The cheeks were served on a creamy bed of mashed potatoes and topped with crunchy potato chips, giving it a varied texture, which I appreciated. In the one bite I had, I could understand how overwhelming it could become for one person to finish it all because it was pretty rich. My Parisian gnocchi was way overcooked. The gnocchi could barely maintain its shape and was kinda a pocket of mush rather than heaven. It melted in my mouth, but not in a good sort of way. It wasnt too salty, which was good because the pancetta was pretty salty on its own. The good thing about this dish was that the ratio of peas and asparagus to  gnocchi was just right. The addition of the peas and asparagus complemented the gnocchi, making the gnocchi the star of the dish, as it should be. The ceviche, as described by my sister was legit. It was marinated long enough in lemon juice that only the surface “cooked” while the inside remained raw. The shrimp was served with tostadas and garnished with microgreens and what looked like chopped cilantro. The bit that my sister had didn’t really have much of a bite to it, but it would have been nice if it did. My friend was the only one who got a second round, a steak tartare served with what looked like nori chips. My friend really enjoyed it, but my sister absolutely hated it. I don’t do raw, so even if I had tasted it, I wouldn’t have known if it was good or not. 

We finished the night off with a salted caramel ice cream and I had an Earl Grey for myself. This was my first time having salted caramel and as my sister’s friend remarked, it was a lot like taffy. 

The inside of the restaurant was gorgeous and cozy. From our vantage point we could see a series of seats on the balcony. It’s obviously not a place to go with your parents, but it certainly is a nice place to go with friends after a long day or for an intimate date.

Price wise, it is a little on the expensive side, but it’s kinda like a tapas bar, so what can you expect. The service was good and it was clear the waitress really knew her stuff. I’m not sure if I’d come back to this place, but I would still recommend it. I’d rate this place 3.5/5.

 

Cork and Fin Exterior

  

Flower at our table

  

Moon Session Lager

  

Lime in D’ Coconut

  

Drink: Sherlock & Co, Wings in foreground

  

Albacore Tuna Tacos

  

Prawn Ceviche

  

Parisian Gnocchi

  

Mussels and Fries

  

Braised Veal Cheeks

  

Beef Tartare

  

Earl Grey Tea Ensemble

   

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

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