Whitehall

Yes, this blog is still alive, sort of. I took hubby out for his birthday dinner about a month ago to Whitehall. I was looking for something different; and a modern take on British influenced cuisine fit the bill. Whitehall has been around for a couple of years and I’ve always been curious about it. It’s a restaurant that has a Michelin starred touch, thanks to its chef.

I enjoyed the decor; “The Other Room” sign was hung over the entrance to well, the other room. Service was very good, with the attention to  detail that could be expected of a place with such a pedigree.

After a lot of thought, we both decided to go with the Chef’s Tasting menu as shown in the pictures below. The whipped pork rind was topped with chili which added a nice pop. The butter tasted like, well, butter.

I do like fine food without the pretentiousness of fine dining. This place fits the bill. The bread was served fittingly in a paper bag.

Whipped pork rinds, cow butter

The salad course came with an interesting twist. Stilton snow. I’m not a big fan of Stilton cheese, but the snow added a hint of subtlety to tone down the flavour.

Salt baked pickled shallot and beets with stilton snow

Hen of the Woods mushrooms are a British thing. My husband told me so. They are also a Japanese thing, known as Maitake in the Land of the Rising Sun. This dish is a nod to the Japanese influence, with the tartness of the yuzu complimenting the earthiness of the mushroom.

Maitaki (Hen of the woods) mushrooms with pickled ginger and yuzu sauce

The risotto was my least preferred dish, through no fault of the chef. Each of the previous dishes had one bold flavour with a supporting cast. The main act didn’t come out in this dish, but perhaps that was the intent.

Toasted barley and watercress risotto with cured salmon

This course was by far my favourite. The potatoes were crisped in a rich, buttery skin. I could have ate them all night long. The lamb was done to a perfect medium rare. The kebabs were herby spicy and the chutney complimented the lamb sirloin nicely.

Lamb sirloin and kebabs with cucumber pickles, mint chutney and fingerling potatoes

The pine parfait was interesting. The undertones of pine flavour matched well with the richness of the chocolate.

Pine parfait with pine oil cookie crumble, chocolate wafer and cranberry coulis honey crackle wafer

I really like the bold flavours which takes a cuisine not known for boldness to another level. Hubby would love a return visit.

Poppy seed parmesan biscuit

Whitehall Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Deane House

I took hubby out for a late birthday dinner at the end of September. I was looking forward to visiting Deane House again. The last time would have been many years ago. How fortunate that the restaurant had only just opened a few days prior to our visit. We stopped by for lunch.

We were seated in the former patio area that is now enclosed. The decor is sort of a modern-rustic-country charm. Comfortable seating with a touch of country. The staff were new and they were still greasing the wheels. The food was fantastic. The service had some hiccups, but could be forgiven seeing that they were only open a few days.

Their menu is local/regional inspired cuisine.  I enjoyed my grilled albacore tuna.  It was nicely seared on  the outside and the beet dashi complimented it nicely. The pear frangipane tart was divine with the notes of sweetness cut with the sharpness of the ginger. The coolness of the ice cream finished off the bite nicely. I had a bite of hubby’s chocolate pate. It was super rich, without being drowned in sweetness.

The service was quite prompt and attentive to start, but towards the end of the meal, the lunch rush got busier and the our server was nowhere to be found.  They also have a limited non alcoholic beverage selection which I hope they will improve upon. Grizzly Paw soda from Canmore would make a great addition.

 

Deane House
Deane House
Wood Fired Grilled Albacore Tuna
Wood Fired Grilled Albacore Tuna Charred Brussels Leaves, Herbed Spaetzle, Beet Dashi
Pear Frangipane Tart
Pear Frangipane Tart
Theo Chocolate Pate
Theo Chocolate Pate

Deane House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cliffhouse Bistro

I was up on Mount Norquay to try their via ferrata a month ago.  A via ferrata is a hike, but a harness is used and clipped to a cable on steeper sections. Ladders are used for the vertical sections and it has elements of rock climbing. Also a very narrow suspension bridge. What fun!

We were looking for lunch after our experience and decided to try the Cliffhouse Bistro before we went back down the chairlift. This is a restaurant with a view. It offers the same menu as their day lodge cafe. It wasn’t super busy, but it’s obvious that it also attracts tourists just for the view. It’s located at the top of the chairlift on Mount Norquay.

Via Ferrata on Mount Norquay
Via Ferrata on Mount Norquay
Mount Rundle
Mount Rundle

We started with the butternut and feta dip. I found that it was quite salty, but that’s kind of what a need for a hike in the mountains. Hubby had the prime rib sandwich with a side of beet chips. He loved the beet chips and the sandwich was also tasty. I enjoyed the Cobb salad with grilled pork belly. Mmm… pork belly.

I thought that the lunch was fairly elegant for being up on a mountain. The service was good and the views are even better. The cafe is open seasonally, so check before you go.

Butternut and Feta Drip Finished with Lemon Olive Oil and Sea Salt. Served with Croutes
Butternut and Feta Drip
Finished with Lemon Olive Oil and Sea Salt. Served with Croutes
Shaved Prime Rib Sandwich Roasted Roma Tomatoes - Arugula Horseradish and Honey Marscapone - Beet Chips
Shaved Prime Rib Sandwich
Roasted Roma Tomatoes – Arugula
Horseradish and Honey Marscapone – Beet Chips
Cobb Salad Baby Iceberg Lettuce - Duck Egg Avocado - Pork Belly Beefsteak Tomato Blue Cheese Dressing - Herb & GarlicToast
Cobb Salad
Baby Iceberg Lettuce – Duck Egg
Avocado – Pork Belly
Beefsteak Tomato
Blue Cheese Dressing – Herb & Garlic Toast

Cliffhouse Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Naina’s Kitchen

My birthday is coming up soon, so I asked hubby to take me to Naina’s for lunch. I’ve always wanted to pay a visit, except life got in the way. This seemed like a good time to go.

They were located in Ogden for the longest time, but have just moved to their new home in Victoria Park. The restaurant has been open for five days and plan to have their official opening on Friday. I love the decor. Black and charcoal. Modern and rustic, yes. Oh my gosh. The food. Yes.

Naina’s is known for their stuffed burgers. I need to get out of my Safeway deli rut courtesy of my recent trip to YVR. So I went all in and ordered the daily special, the stuffed jambalaya burger with a side of the soup special, turkey and barley. The beef was flavourful and done to a turn. My first bite was a of creamy, molten cheese. The second bite was sausage with spicy rice. It’s like alarm bells went off in heaven. There was a sauce that complimented it nicely but I totally forgot what it was. Mayo maybe? Who cares… back to the burger. The soup was nice and comforting on a rather chilly day for fall. Hubby had the eggs benny stuffed burger with a generous 1/2 portion of poutine. I had a bite of the poutine. The fries were clearly home fries. Nice and crisp and there was ample brown gravy to go around.

Ok, because it’s my birthday, I’m going for a splurge. I tasted their ice cream of the day, spicy apple with candied bacon.  Delish. This is the best ice cream I have ever tasted. Smooth apple with hints of cinnamon, sugar, notes of candied ginger and bacon. Hubby wanted just one bite but he ate half of it. If they end up selling this, I’m going to buy it by the truckload. As if stuffed burgers weren’t enough, Naina’s has recently gotten into the house made ice cream business. Watch out Calgary.

The place was empty. Long weekend, pride parade coupled with a newly opened restaurant. Great for me. Service was top notch.  The  back of my server’s tshirt said “Get stuffed”. How appropriate.

 

Jambalaya stuffed burger with turkey barley soup
Jambalaya stuffed burger with turkey barley soup
First bite of the stuffed jambalaya burger
First bite of the stuffed jambalaya burger
Second bite of the stuffed jambalaya burger
Second bite of the stuffed jambalaya burger
1/2 poutine
1/2 poutine

20160904_131930

New decor
New decor

Naina's Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Native Tongues Taqueria

Hubby and I were in the mood for something different on date night. So I decided on Native Tongues Taqueria, to investigate their take on Mexican street food. I’ve been to Mexico once and sampled the street food in Loreto. There are so many styles of Mexican food; I’m not saying that this is even a fair comparison.

The place was packed on a Sunday night. The atmosphere was loud and lively. As first timers, we needed some help with the menu. Our server was very helpful. We went with her recommendation, the tacos al carbon. This translates to “tacos grilled over charcoal”. We ordered the barbacoa de cordero. It was fall-off-the-bone slow roasted lamb neck. The homemade flour tortillas and the flavourful sides of salsa, roasted onion & pepper complimented the dishes perfectly. We could ask for more tortillas and we did.

To start, the taquitos were a nice amuse bouche. We finished with a couple of decadent desserts – the tres leches cake and the flan de chocolate. The tres leches cake was good, except that I was a little disappointed that the pineapple was raw. I mean it would have tasted fantastic charred over the grill and caramelized.

Tasty indeed.

Taquitos potato & sheeps milk cheese, salsa de ajo, crema, queso fresco
Taquitos
potato & sheeps milk cheese, salsa de ajo, crema, queso fresco
 BARBACOA de CORDERO slow roasted lamb neck, salsa verde & rojo, coal roasted cebollas, agua chile, white onion, cilantro
BARBACOA de CORDERO
slow roasted lamb neck, salsa verde & rojo, coal roasted cebollas, agua chile, white onion, cilantro
Sides for BARBACOA de CORDERO
Sides for BARBACOA de CORDERO
 TRES LECHES CAKE horchata soaked cake, whipped cream, pickled fruit
TRES LECHES CAKE
horchata soaked cake, whipped cream, pickled fruit
 FLAN de CHOCOLATE chocolate flan, salted caramel, coconut, almond
FLAN de CHOCOLATE
chocolate flan, salted caramel, coconut, almond

Native Tongues Taqueria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Spaghetti Cafe Prairie

I keep a low profile as a food blogger. Only because I don’t have much time these days to pursue my passion. I was surprised to receive an invite from the restaurant owner to visit his cafe. I couldn’t visit in person, so I ordered from Skip The Dishes.

Food trends come and go all the time. Some have staying power, like ramen. Noodles for me are always a classic, never out of style.  Asian cuisines doing a take on western cuisine is not new. But this is the first that I have heard of Japanese spaghetti. Intriguing. I’m all for fast, good quality and affordable food.

I ordered the Japanese chicken spaghetti, with a salad and the carrot and lemon zest soup. The spaghetti tasted like roasted chicken with a slightly asian style soy sauce flavour. Like home cooked food. The carrot and lemon zest soup had vibrant flavours and color. Pasta was done al dente. Hubby had the spaghetti carbonara. I had a taste, it was good. The portions are really generous and it is good value for the price.

I could see my old, super active self hitting this place after a session at the climbing gym or day out in the mountains. Now I can see myself halving the portion and saving it for lunch the next day.

I like it. I’ll be back. Thanks for the invite, Takeshi!

Spaghetti Carbonara
Spaghetti Carbonara
Japanese Chicken Spaghetti, Carrot and Orange Zest Soup, Salad
Japanese Chicken Spaghetti, Carrot and Orange Zest Soup, Salad

Spaghetti Cafe Prairie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Adobo Experience

Fact. I’ve never tried Filipino food. Ok, maybe once, when a friend brought over some cassava cake. Neither have three of my friends. So we all went down to Adobo Experience to give it a try.

We went early, around quarter to 6. The place wasn’t busy and our server was eager to take our order. We needed more time. To explore this exotic to us cuisine. We finally went with his suggestion of crispy pata which is deep fried pork hock to share as an appetizer. Mmmm, crispy pork skin. Three of us choose different versions of adobo, which is a meat stew. Hubby was the odd one out and went with the kare kare which is a peanut sauce based stew. The food was tasty. They also have a meal for a large group called Boodle Fight Experience. Google it. It’s now on my bucket list.

The food came reasonably quickly. But after that, the service fell down. The restaurant got really busy and it turned into Chinese style service. Where you play hail the waiter. If they see you. We decided to share the halo halo dessert which is more than enough for the four of us. It was pretty tasty. But it took a long time to order and then to arrive. Food is good, service not so much.

Crispy Pata
Crispy Pata
Halo Halo
Halo Halo
Kare Kare
Kare Kare
Traditional Adobo
Traditional Adobo

Adobo Experience Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Red’s in Ramsay

Feeling hungry after a session at the climbing gym, hubby and I decided to check out Red’s in Ramsay. It is really hard to find a brunch spot on weekends in Calgary, but Red’s uses the NoWait app which piqued my interest. It worked out really well for us. We arrived; we were seated ahead of a few other parties that were waiting. I wish that busy restaurants would use this more often. You don’t have to be at the restaurant to reserve your place in line.  It’s real time, unlike Open Table.

I dug into one of the specials of the day, turkey and bacon on marble rye with creamy chicken and vegetable soup. I found the food pretty average, but it was enough to satisfy a climbing appetite. Service was friendly, but a little spotty as they were busy. Nice location and definitely a neighborhood eatery.

Turkey and bacon sandwich with creamy chicken and vegetable soup
Turkey and bacon sandwich with creamy chicken and vegetable soup

Red's in Ramsay Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Umami Noodle Bar

I had a craving for ramen. It is a craving if I always want ramen? I dropped by Umami Noodle Bar to try their wares. First thing I noticed. The stroller parked in the foyer. As a MoM (Mother of multiples) family friendly restaurants now interest me.

The aroma of full bodied ramen broth was wafting through the air enticing me like Pavlov’s dog. The space was small, but not crowded for a midweek lunch. The server was very friendly and helpful. I like that.

The ramen arrived in short order with a head of steaming broth. The broth was rich and had a full flavour. Noodles were  chewy firm; the way I like them. The chashu buns I ordered to go. I reheated them as a snack later and they tasted pretty good. I think I will return.

Chashu Buns
Chashu Buns
Tonkotsu Original Ramen
Tonkotsu Original Ramen

Umami Noodle Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Modern Steak

I was looking for a restaurant for date night on a Sunday. My first choice wasn’t Modern Steak, but I was enticed by a 1,000 point reservation on Opentable.

I suspect that this was the former location of The Muse, as I remember the multiple levels and uniquely shaped downstairs dining area. We were seated downstairs, in a quiet corner. So far, so good. Hubby started off with the steak tartare. The beef was assertively spiced and the chips were nicely crunchy. Anticipating the meat fest ahead, I ordered the wedge trio salad. The salad looked massive; containing three quarters of an iceberg lettuce. All the dressings were house made. I especially enjoyed the green goddess dressing.

Hubby had the 10 oz Wagyu striploin for his entree with a side of brussels sprouts with maple and bacon. He thoroughly enjoyed his steak. I ordered the 7oz Ben’s filet. It was done to a turn (medium rare) and was flavorful. I had asparagus parmesan with a poached egg on the side. I also ordered Bearnaise sauce. It was rich and velvety.

We shared the crème brûlée for dessert. It was traditional and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The service was attentive, but not disruptive. The decor is modern and I do prefer that to the traditional 70’s wood paneled steakhouse decor.

Definitely recommended for that special occasion dinner.

Beef Tartare
Steak Tartare with dijon, caper, gherkin, farm yolk, truffle oil and chips
Modern Wedge Trio with 1000 Island & tomato, blue cheese and bacon, green goddess and red onion
Modern Wedge Trio with 1000 Island & tomato, blue cheese and bacon, green goddess and red onion
L-R 10 oz Wagyu New York Strip, brussels sprouts and bacon, Bearnaise sauce, asparagus parmesan with 63 degree egg and 7 oz filet
L-R 10oz Wagyu New York Strip, brussels sprouts and bacon, Bearnaise sauce, asparagus parmesan with 63 degree egg and 7oz filet
Classic creme brulee
Classic creme brulee

Modern Steak Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato