I’ve been ordering a lot of delivery of late; the latest foray was to Saffron Mantra last month. The concept sounded intriguing; a fusion of Indian and French cuisine. We started with the tandoori chicken tikka. It had layers of complex flavours which blended together well. The taste was sweet, smokey and spicy. For my entree, I had the Himalayan lamb burger which was spicy, yet creamy with the citrus mint aioli. The dressing for the house salad tasted of Indian spices and citrus. Hubby had the chicken fritter burger. I thought about ordering the wicked ghost pepper burger for him, but thought better of it. Someday, I will visit to dine in.
We went to The Himalayan a couple of months ago, on the recommendation of a friend. It’s hidden away in a strip mall by the Westbrook LRT station. Easy to miss. It looks like a family run operation, and a busy one at that. Seating is limited, so best to go in the off peak hours. Hubby and I went early on a Saturday for their lunch buffet.
They have a good selection of vegetarian dishes, along with some meat. Everything was extremely tasty. Some of the things I tried included: pappadam, saffron rice, dal, butter chicken, Everest lamb and chili tofu. They also had a salad bar and a few desserts. The mango pudding, fruit salad and halwa were good. They also serve naan on the side.
The service was prompt and friendly. Well worth a return visit.
I think I started this post in June. Now I am finally finishing it. I’ve always roasted chicken in the oven. Time to try it on the BBQ. Bird to bird cook off. For ease of cooking, and less mess, BBQ wins hands down. When it is too hot in the summer to use the oven. Another win for BBQ. Taste wise? Quite similar, actually. Both go quite well with sides of grilled red kale and mashed potato with cheese, green onion and bacon. I do like the brown skin on the BBQ chicken.
For the oven roasted bird, I used a version of Thomas Keller’s roast chicken recipe. For the BBQ, I used the following recipe, which is a meld of several approaches I found on the web.
Roasting Chicken on the BBQ
3-4 lb roaster chicken
Freshly ground black pepper
Potatoes, carrots and oil if desired
This recipe uses a cast iron pan.
Take the chicken out 30 min before BBQing to allow to come to room temperature. Rinse if needed. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Tie the legs together. Get a large cast iron pan. Arrange the chicken, breast up and tuck wings under. If there is room you can add a couple of potatoes brushed with oil. If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, you can insert an oven proof one at this time in the thickest part of the thigh.
Preheat the grill on indirect heat on high. If it is 3 burner grill, leave the middle off. When it reaches temperature, put the skillet over the middle burner. Close the lid, turn down the heat so the temperature is about 350-375F. Roast for 1 hour, 30 minutes. Use an instant meat thermometer if you have one in the thickest part of the thigh. Temp should be 170F.
Remove from heat when done, tent with foil and rest 15 minutes before serving.
Continuing my search for unique food in Banff, I stumbled upon Nourish, which serves vegetarian food. I ordered the nourishment bowl, which was packed with textures and flavours. It was surprisingly substantial.
I tried their vegan cheesecake for dessert. It was pretty good, made with coconut milk. A warning though, the dessert is a bit on the expensive side. If you like good quality vegetarian food, Nourish is for you.
Hubby had a conference in Banff last month. We arrived on a Thursday night, hungry and looking for dinner. Looking for something completely different, we decided to try Tooloulou’s, a Cajun and Creole restaurant. It was nice to go to a place in Banff and avoid the crazy weekend crowds.
We shared the Boudin balls to start, which was a tasty mixture of meat, veg and rice deep fried. I ordered the seafood and sausage gumbo. It was flavorful with a medium spicy heat. The cornbread was pretty good too. It was a good sized portion. Hubby had the Creole jambalaya which he thoroughly enjoyed. It was nice that the chilies were served on the side, so you could control the additional heat.
We shared an ice cream sundae for dessert which hit the spot as it served to cool down our spiced taste buds.
Their menu is quite extensive, including many breakfast options. I will have to come back and try their breakfast someday.
Continuing my search for good grub in Toronto, we decided to try Scaddabush, on my sister’s recommendation. Apparently, it is well known for its stuffed meatballs. Somebody was hungry post half marathon so we were looking for something substantial. Hubby helped himself to the spaghetti bolognese. I went straight for the stuffed meatball. The meatball was the size of a baseball and stuffed with pepperoni and mozzarella. Their pasta is also fresh made in house. It was pretty good; the portions are deceiving filling. The tartufo made for a lighter finish to the meal.
Living in Calgary (Cowtown), I haven’t really learned to appreciate really good vegetarian food in restaurants, other than in Indian restaurants. Until I tried Fresh, on a recommendation from a friend. I had the Energy bowl, which had a coconut curry sauce with vegetables on top of soba noodles. It also came with marinated tofu, which had a rich flavour, with undertones of vinegar. It was quite large and substantial. The flavours were rich and satisfying. I would highly recommend it, even for non vegetarians.
I was craving some ramen when I went to Toronto last week. Since I’d already been to Kinton, my sister suggested Kenzo on Queen West. This is a relatively new location; she had been to the original location and enjoyed their house made noodles.
They had a nice variety of ramen on the menu. I ordered the ji su men, which had a thick broth due to the addition of egg. My sister commented that the noodles did not taste the same as their original location. I thought they tasted suspiciously like Chinese egg noodles. We asked our server, and she said they did make their own.
Their gyoza, however was really good. There was a good quantity of meat inside and they fried it in flour paste water.
The service was quick and friendly. With so much to choose from in Toronto, it’s not likely that I will visit the same ramen place again.
We were in Canmore a few weeks ago, and visited Chef’s Studio Japan. We tried to get in on Friday night but they were full. So we made a reservation for the next night. We started off with the tempura fried cheese. It was quite an interesting combination that worked. It was served with a thousand island like sauce on the side. Hubby had the beef tataki followed by some assorted sushi rolls.
I treated myself to a hot pot. It came with a seaweed and salad and miso soup. The hotpot had an appropriate quantity of seafood, with tofu, veg and noodles. The broth was tasty and came with a side of spicy sauce. The service was a little slow, but the staff were friendly and they spoke Japanese. The food is worth coming back for.
Reader’s Garden Cafe certainly can’t be beat for atmosphere. This is a return visit, as I was originally here last year for my birthday. The food was good last year, but simply out of the ballpark this year. Thanks to a change in chefs.
We started with a complimentary appetizer from the kitchen. Popcorn mixed with flowers and herbs from the garden. A nice way to wake up the tastebuds. My friend and I split an order of eggplant soup and tomato & watermelon salad. The soup was flavourful and smooth. The salad was out of this world. The sharpness of the granita went well with the coolness of the watermelon. I could eat it all day. Hubby had the smoked salmon salad. It was beautifully presented. There were these tiny cucumber balls, and a mysterious olive shaped fruit. Hubby thought they were tiny watermelons, but I’m not sure what they are.
Onto the entrees. My lamb was succulent. It was nestled in tasty garlic broth. The cabbage rolls filled with lamb were delightful. My friend also enjoyed her lamb and hubby found his chicken tasty.
For dessert, we all shared the beet root mouse. I found the taste unique, and enjoyable. The meringue and sesame seeds added a nice contrasting texture.
I still love that their veggies and flowers are from their garden. I love their food even more now and expect to return.