Thursday, 21 November 2013

Bent

I'm generally not a fan of Asian Fusion, but my friends and I were really looking forward to Susur Lee's Bent. So on a dark rainy night, we made our way to 777 Dundas Street West to try it out.
Bent
Bent-O menu!
Menu

Lobster Bisque with Shrimp ravioli
Lobster Bisque with Shrimp Ravioli
A cute petite cup of lobster bisque. The soup was not as thick and creamy as I would have liked my lobster bisque and it was heavily spiced. I wasn't a fan of the shrimp ravioli which was more like a shrimp wonton.

Bent-O
The Bent-O for two
Clockwise from the left: braised beef bao, Peruvian ceviche shooter, kale and tofu salad, tuna and watermelon ceviche, oysters Rockafeller gratinee, Susur's jerk spiced octopus and two sushi pieces
As quaint and pretty everything was, it wasn't a particularly filling meal. It was a lovely (and expensive) tray with all the seafood components, but nothing particularly stood out to me except the jerk spiced octopus which I thought was too heavily spiced and which my friend found very spicy. 

White Snapper with coconut curry and goji berries
We topped up our meal with white snapper in coconut curry with goji berries
The fish was crispy and flaky and the coconut curry was delicious. I just wasn't wow-ed by it.

Overall: Bent delivered Asian fusion, but I wasn't a big fan of it (maybe my tastes are simpler). It was a relatively expensive meal considering the portions we were given and while the food was interesting and had some nice playful elements, I wasn't really impressed overall.

Bent on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Paisano's Italian Garden Cafe

It's been a while since I've been to Paisano's and I remember it as a reasonably priced Italian restaurant serving large portions of traditional Italian cuisine.
Paisano's 

Grilled Salmon
Grilled Salmon
The plate was so big that it made the portions of salmon, rice and vegetables look small.
The salmon had nice grill marks on it and was cooked well.

8oz. steak special

8 oz. Steak Special
The steak was a little charred around the edges and was a little overdone for medium. 

Grilled Chicken Pizza
Grilled Chicken Pizza
The pizza was really good: large strips of grilled chicken breast, sweet roasted red peppers, diced tomatoes and tons of cheese all on a thick crust - Yum!

Veal Parmigiano
Veal Parmigiano
Now this is what I remember: huge portions for a decent price. The breaded veal cutlet was about half an inch thick and smothered in tomato sauce and baked with cheese on top. It was delicious! The sauce was fresh and the veal was tender. 

Overall: It's exactly what I remembered - a nice family style Italian restaurant with reasonable prices and good portion sizes. 

Website: http://paisanos.ca/index.html
Paisano's Italian Garden Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 10 November 2013

La Carnita

Tacos! I'm glad I finally had the chance to try out La Carnita, it's been on my list since it first opened last year.
La Carnita

IMAG3666
The Menu (in really bad lighting)

Beef Cheek and Tostada de Ceviche taco
Beef Cheek taco and a Tostada de Ceviche taco
The beef cheek taco was amazing with braised tender beef cheek topped with a lime avocado sauce, cabbage, shallots and a hint of spice with jalapenos. It was a perfect blend of tangy sweet melt-in-your mouth yummy. 
The tostada de ceviche was different from a typical taco as it was served on a crispy hard tostada shell. It was piled high with cubes of swordfish, guacamole, tomatoes, cucumbers, habanero and coconut milk to balance it out and slightly tone down the spicy kick. 

Carnitas and Fish Taco
Top tacos are In Cod We Trust and bottom tacos are Carnitas
The cod tacoes were so pretty with the red cabbage, cilantro and fried cod. I liked the combination of flavours and textures with the hint of lime, pickled cabbage, crisp apple slivers and crunchy & flaky cod. 
The carnitas had confit pork, jalapeno sauce, mango salsa and queso anejo cheese topped with cilantro. These had quite a kick to them with the spicy sauce - definitely not for the faint of heart.

Lime pie paleta
Key Lime Pie Paleta
Prior to this, I had no idea what a paleta was. All I heard from the waitress was key lime pie and I was sold. It was good (but not as satisfying as a real key lime pie), the ice pop was creamy, tangy and sweet and quite a refreshing dessert after that spicy taco meal. 

Overall: The tacos were really pretty and yummy. I'll definitely be back for more of the beef cheek taco...yum!

La Carnita on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Delicious Seafood & Steak

We saw the advertisement in the Chinese newspaper for Delicious Seafood & Steak restaurant on Highway 7 and they were offering a special promo: half-price meals from 4pm onwards. 
Delicious Seafood and Steak IMAG3651
The Fish Soup and Hot Pot menu
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The entree menus
The entrees seemed like a really good deal: you get salad, soup and a main dish.
Garlic bread and Salad
The garlic bread that came with the surf and turf meal and the salad
IMAG3657
Lobster bisque soup
The bisque was thick, heavy and bland with a slightly burnt taste to it - there was a hint of lobster flavour but it wasn't very appetizing at all.

Sea Bass Platter
Sea Bass in Cream Sauce Plate
The sea bass in cream sauce was decent even if the portion was a little small. The fries were the weird part of the dish, when are fries ever a good side dish to a fish dish (unless it's fish and chips)?

Surf and Turf Platter
Surf and Turf Sizzle Plate
The tiny portion of meat in the small lobster was completely overwhelmed and covered by cheese (maybe the cheese was there to secretly hide the fact that there was barely any meat?). The steak was okay, but it was definitely a lower grade of beef. The fries were rather bland and soggy.

Mixed Sizzling Platter
Delicious XXL Mixed Sizzle Plate
Unfortunately, it wasn't sizzling - some of the meat was barely warm. There was a lot of stuff on the plate, but none of it was tasty or any good. It was the most random assortment of meats I think I've ever seen on a platter: shrimp, sausage, chicken, beef, bacon, onions and it was all topped with a gravy sauce on a bed of fries.

Overall: The food wasn't very good even though it was cheap. The service was atrocious; they were great at seating us and taking our orders since we got there before the dinner rush, but they were terrible at serving us and getting the bill because they were so understaffed. Even if there's a great promotion like 1/2 price on the meals, I wouldn't go back.