I haven’t had a dosa in a long time. So when a friend of mine mentioned that Madras Cafe was having a dosa festival, I just had to go. They had a special menu that featured 100 dosa and dosa variants.
We started off with the podli idli. Idli is a savoury rice and fermented black lentil cake that is steamed. This version was subsequently fried and mixed with spices. It had a tang of heat and the fried onions added a nice crunch. I ordered the mix vegetable dosa for my main dish. It came with a side of soup and a couple of dipping sauces. It was quite tasty. Hubby asked the server for his recommendation. Our server, who I assumed was also the owner had a thick accent that I found difficult to decipher. Hubby accepted our server’s suggestion. It was a vegetarian dosa, bursting with vegetables and flavour.
I love hole-in-the-wall family run places. This is the sort of place that I would come back to, if I found myself in the area again.
I was in search of brunch with little to no lineups. It’s quite a feat in Calgary to avoid weekend brunch lineups. Which brought me, to the Fine Diner in Inglewood. The restaurant was full when we arrived. We were third in line; the estimated wait was 15-20 minutes. They took my mobile number and would text me when a table became available. No sooner then did we cross the street, I received the text. It turned out the the party ahead of us didn’t show up for their reservation. We were seated in separate dining area in the back of the restaurant. It was nice that they had an overflow area. It was quiet, with just a few tables.
Hubby ordered the croque madame and I had the stuffed french toast. Hubby really enjoyed his dish. It came with a side of fruit and roasted potatoes. Both of the dishes used house made brioche which was delicious. The french toast was stuffed with orange marmalade and cream cheese. I found the first half delightful, but was wanting some relief from the sweetness by the time I finished. It was served with caramel sauce and whipped cream. The only knack was that our meal took a little longer to arrive, and the kitchen apologized for the wait.
We enjoyed our dining experience and we will be returning.
I’ve always enjoyed the food from CRMR and was less than happy when they vacated The Ranche. I finally made it to The Lake House where they have set up shop. I really wanted to see the view of the lake, but having dinner in late fall means none of that. The dining room is decorated in Rocky Mountain style, complete with the antler chandeliers. The dining room has a nice, romantic ambience, complete with a wood burning fireplace.
Back to the food. The charcuterie platter was my favorite at The Ranche. They have reincarnated here, complete with the pickled melon which I adore. The half platter was more than enough for the three of us. I had the black cod for my entree. It was done to a turn, fork tender and full of flavor. The shiitake mushroom and bean stew lent an earthy flavour to the dish. The raspberry tiramisu was a light and refreshing finish to the meal.
The service was good; attentive, but not intrusive. The next time I come back, it will be during the day when I can take in the view.
I went to the Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus for brunch a while ago, it has taken me this long to follow with the post. When we arrived, it was a Saturday around lunchtime. As expected, the place was fairly busy. I ordered the herb butter pannenkoeken. It made for a substantial meal. The side salad was a nice fresh accompaniment to the substantial pannenkoeken. Hubby preferred mine over his Mediterranean.
The icing on the cake (literally!) was the Black Forest pannenkoeken. It was big enough for three or four people to share, after the main meal. It came with a cupful of liquor in a chocolate cup! Good thing I was driving home, as hubby had it all to himself. It was definitely a chocolate and cherry lovers dream. Need to go back…
Continuing on my tour of new places in Kensington, I stumbled upon Pie Cloud. I love pie. All my dreams have come true; I can now take out fresh pie whenever I want! I decided to try their luscious lime pie. It’s sub-lime, if you know what I mean? Everything is made fresh daily, right down to the freshly squeezed lime juice. The velvety filling is layered on a crispy gingersnap crust. Topped with pillowy whipped cream and freshly grated lime zest. Heaven in a pie tin – they even customize their tins!
Better get there quick, the luscious lime is their most popular and I got the last one of the day.
They also serve breakfast and savoury pies as well. On my to try list is their apple pie milkshake.
It feels like it has been ages since I’ve been down to Kensington. Oh, it’s probably been just over a month now, but since then several new places have opened. One that I have been eager to try is Ikemen Ramen Bar. It has been open for about three weeks now. They were still putting the stickers on the windows.
I love ramen. Traditional, fusion, and even my homemade attempts. All good. Ikemen has sprung up where the old Tandoori Hut used to be. They have a small selection of traditional and fusion ramen. We started with the age dashi tofu and gyoza. I had the green curry seafood ramen and my sister-in-law the dynamite roll. The tofu was simmered in a delicious broth. Our server asked us to to describe the dish as she had not yet tried it. I said the broth was rich with overtones of dashi and bonito. With the bonito flakes blowing in the breeze.
I really enjoyed my ramen. The green curry was a tad on the medium spicy side, but full of flavour. They could have been more generous with the seafood, as it came with a whole shrimp, mussel and a couple of scallops. SIL had the dynamite roll which was beautifully presented. For dessert, we shared the organic corn ice cream which was on their daily special board. It tasted of sweet corn and vanilla. An interesting combination. Worth a return trip!
Looking for dinner one night, hubby, MIL and I went to The Block Kitchen and Lounge. It’s located on a section of 4th St. NW somewhat known for its turnover in restaurants. I would say it has the potential to become a nice neighborhood restaurant. We went early on a Sunday night, as expected the place was just about empty.
We ordered appetizers to share. The charcuterie was tasty. There were homemade bread and butter pickles and lap cheung. It also came with date jam, honeycomb, grainy mustard, cured meat and bread. We also had the sweet potato perogies. They tasted hearty and delicious.
I had the lobster pot pie which stayed steaming hot throughout my meal. Hubby enjoyed his steak and hubby’s mum, her burger.
Dessert was lovely. I had a rich butterscotch pie and Hubby the s’ mores crème brulee.
The service was a bit slow to start, but we mentioned we were in a hurry as we had a sitter at home. Our serv was appropriately quickened. Our server was nice and friendly.
I had a chance to go out with my family for lunch. Five of us went to 303 Fusion Kitchen. I’ve always been interested in trying the few Taiwanese restaurants in town. This one caught my attention as a friend seems to visit frequently. Chinese food isn’t just one thing; there are many different areas in China with a subculture. Taiwan is one of them. My parents had visited Taiwan long ago, and still hold fast to memories of being there.
First up was the yam fries. For the sauce, a plum sauce from Taiwan was used. Crsip and sweet, the sauce went with the fries quite well. Next came the calamari, equally crisp and with a nice change up: tentacles instead of rings.
I wondered what the crystal dumplings were. They were pork and ginger potstickers pan fried in a flour paste to make the bottoms look extra crisp.
The oyster pancake was soft and fluffy with a rich gravy over top. Mom recalled that the oyster pancakes in Taiwan weren’t sauced, so this must be the fusion aspect.
The fried tofu with salted pork was really nice. I love how tofu can be accented with the taste of anything. The pork belly rice was full of flavour too.
All of the above were their specials. Next time I come back, I’ll have to try the beef noodle soup.
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.