Posted by: J
Monday, October 26, 2009
Posted by: J
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Location: Vancouver (Downtown)
Friendly, although it took (at least) a good 15 mins. for the creme brulee to arrive (which was already made to order, no idea why it took so long) and another 5 more mins. for the churros...(although this was more understandable since they were made fresh to order.)
It was about $15 for the three items - which isn't too bad. Not worthy of any praise or complaints, given the quality of their products and the location of the place.
The pleasant-sounding, soft, Spanish tunes in the background suits the ambience of the cafe well. They also offer free Wi-fi service.
Yay: A great deviant from the usual dessert locales people often frequent, e.g, True Confections, Death by Chocolate, Cheesecake Etc. Dulcinea also offers an extensive array of varied desserts - chocolate cheesecake brulee, apple and cinnamon bread pudding, sugar cookies...even a cheesecake wrapped in fried tortilla!
Nay: I don't know if it's in the culture, but I think they have to make their chocolate just a tad sweeter. I know, it sounds silly, but the chocolate here just lacks the sweetness factor that you would minimally expect!
** Interesting note: Dulcinea is pronounced as "Dool-See-Nay-Ah" meaning something-along-the-lines of "sweetness" in Spanish
Posted by: J
We started off with a Spinach Gomae. It held its own, however, it did not have the same great peanut-y texture as many other Japanese restaurants such as Kiku (Burnaby). Next came the Spicy Tuna Sashimi. This was great – although not “to die for” (as I’ve read from other reviews.) However it was easily the best dish of the night - loaded with a tasty dressing and sprinkled with sesame seeds – this was definitely a knight in shining armour since it saved this restaurant’s review (you will see why as you continue reading). It is also important to note that most sashimi dishes from other restaurants do not include a salad, whereas this restaurant did. In fact, it came atop a nice spinach salad. (You can’t go wrong with extra greens!)
Next in line was the Marinated Beef Salad. Now let me tell you, there was definitely no hurry for this dish to budge the line. The beef was the best part of this dish as it was nicely marinated and tender. The salad was mediocre. What kind of restaurant uses iceberg lettuce for a salad? There is absolutely no elegance in using iceberg lettuce. The dressing for this salad had a slight zing to it and almost tantalized my taste buds… almost! The Salmon Sashimi was fresh, which is always a plus!
Nice and efficient!
$10 - $20 price range. The rolls are relatively cheap considering their ginormous size (but that’s only if you prefer huge rolls.)
Awesome! Authentic-like even though it is Korean-run. I love the Japanese atmosphere. From the private rooms to the fountain with the bridge (see picture), it was a nice ambience indeed. Plus, it was clean!
All in all, this is a very solid Japanese restaurant. Due to my low tolerance level for gigantic sushi rolls, 7.5/10 would’ve been way too high of a rating if it weren’t for my 2 knights in shining armour ie., the Spicy Tuna Sashimi & Pizza Roll. Thank you to my knights :)
Posted by: Scoe
*J's perspective: I agree with the 7.5 rating Scoe gave to Akari. Akari was pretty much overall, a solid restaurant taking all things into consideration - food, service, ambience, etc...EXCEPT for certain rolls that were just too darn big (and unappetizing!) We are avid "special rolls" (atypical sushi rolls) hunters and have tried lots of different special rolls at various Jap. restaurants. We love the fusion between ingredients-that-you-would-never-think-of inserted into a maki roll (e.g cream cheese, kiwi, mango, papaya) or even different types of sauces drizzled on (black sesame sauce, chili mayo), but there are certain ones that just go overboard with the size and amount of ingredients they put in! (e.g the Butterfly Roll here at Akari.)
There are about 10 things on my list that you must, must, MUST try (e.g Phnom Penh's butter beef, Chambar's Mussels Congolaise) and the rest that are just one degree less of being a "must, must try!"
2. Chambar’s Mussels Congolaise - (see photo to right)
(for Scoe, it's the Mussels Vin Blanc)
3. Cru’s Cellar Door Caesar
4. Panago’s Steak Mushroom Melt
5. Medina Café’s Fricasse
6. Sanafir’s Naan with Humous
7. Fuel’s Fraser Valley Free Run Lamb
8. Japadog’s Teriymayo
15. Le Crocodile’s Roasted Fraser Valley Duck served with Pan-Seared Foie Gras
16. Go Fish’s (Halibut) Fish & Chips
17. Fraiche’s Dungeness Crab Cake
18. Kingo's Miso Black Cod
19. Grounds for Coffee's Cinnamon Bun (with extra cream cheese icing!)
20. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Caramel Apples (the almond-crazy-coated one!)
31. Habit’s Sweet Carrot & Brie Perogies
32. Secret Garden’s High Tea (esp. their scones w/ devonshire cream & jelly) - (see photo to right)
33. Vij’s Lamb Popsicles
34. Purdy's Ice Cream Bar (white chocolate as coating, almonds as topping)
35. Crystal Mall’s Szechuan Beef Noodle Soup
37. Cactus Club’s Bandura Salad
38. Cactus Club’s (specifically, Rob Feenie’s) Butternut Squash Ravioli
39. Chada Thai’s Red Curry
40. Juicy Lucy’s Tuna Melt (open-faced, topped with with sliced tomatoes and melted cheddar cheese)
41. Greedy Pig’s Arugula & Bison Salad
42. Bacchus’s Lobster Rolls
43. Joey Tomatoes’ Ahi Tuna Tacos
44. Joey Tomatoes’ Baked Apple Pie with maple walnut ice cream
Posted by: J
Friday, October 9, 2009
Location: Vancouver (Point Grey)
We started off with a wonderful Antipasto Di Mare which consisted of "scallops, prawns, clams, and mussels steamed in white wine, garlic, lemon, herbs and tomatoes". 'Twas excellent The fabolous brothy concoction was perfect and perfectly suitable for my palate - with just the right amount of garlic flavour and esp. when you dip and smother bread into it...oh my. Now, if you didn't know, I'm a saucy kinda girl (haha). (Well, we're both very saucy people - literally - we LOVE sauce). All in all, a lovely start indeed.
My main entree was the Wild Mushroom Ravioli (in the very same praise-worthy brothy sauce noted above) and it did not disappoint...at all. It arrived hot and the portion size was very generous (I couldn't help but compare the portion size to what you would get at, say, Cactus Club, or Joeys). This dish had at least a good 12-14 pieces of ravioli (vs. the 6-8 range of ravioli you would get at CC or Joeys), without skimping on the quality. Couldn't quite complain about the wonderful shavings of asiago, either ;)
My dining companion had the Eggplant and Boccocini Lasagna and as expected, quality of the flavours were very consistent with the other entree and appy, as well. Although the portion was not as generous as the ravioli, the flavour and wonderful tomato sauce made up for it.
Nice, prompt and genuine service.
At $18 for the ravioli entree and $15 for the lasagna, I wouldn't complain!
Nice and cozy. Great little "gem" of a place if you're in the neighbourhood.
Yay: Great place for french and italian flare if you're wanting a nice, quiet bistro-like setting.
Nay: Perhaps it's not exactly the best place to hold parties for large groups?
** Interesting note: I thought this location was better than the (Provence) Marinaside one. Quality of food is a tad better, perhaps given the size of the restaurant, and thus, more focus is placed on the execution in the quality of the food?
Posted by: J
Monday, October 5, 2009
Started off with 3 appies: Vegetable Samosa w/ Mango Chutney, Onion Bhaji (rings) as well as the Garlic Chicken Wings - all 3 of which were fantastic.
Vegetable Samosas - 2 per order; stuffed with potatoes and tasty esp. with the accompaniment of the mango chutney
Onion Bhaji (rings) - nicely battered, good portion size
Garlic Chicken Wings - lovely; marinated and drowned in nice, thick, curry - it was a pleasant surprise
The appies fared well in our books, but the real highlights of the night were the entrees. We ordered the Butter Chicken and the Shaki (lamb ) Korma. Both of which were sublime - excellent flavours, ample portions and they both came out piping hot! :) The latter deserved an extra 2 brownie points in our books as dishes are typically served hot, but never piping hot. Yes, it makes that much of a difference! We had also ordered rice and naan bread separately.
The butter chicken was, undoubtedly, one of the best I’ve ever tried, and the lamb korma (under the recommendation of a friend) did not disappoint. ** Note: Shahi Korma: Lamb cooked in a milky, creamy gravy of spices.
Mango Lassi - Great, haven’t had a disappointing mango lassi...yet.
Fuzzy Navel (cocktail) - Good but nothing special. Didn’t skimp out on the alcohol or anything (a lot of places tend to do that)
Good. Average service. Nothing to rave about although the owner did come by a few times to check up on things. He was friendly and approachable.
3 drinks, 3 appies and 2 entrees = $65 sans tax and tips. Definitely worthy of your money given the fine quality of the food. Portion sizes were ample and relatively generous (compared to other indian food establishments) as well.
One of the first indian restaurants that also served as a “lounge”. It definitely had that loungey-feeling: dim lighting, loud -but reasonably volumed- music, as well as several spacious booths, although I would say about 50% of their patrons were families.
Yay: Definitely a go-to/must-try if you're itchin' for some REALLY go indian food...esp. butter chicken....*drool...
Nay: For us Vancouverities, Mahek is relatively far - a good 20-25 min. far - but definitely worth the trip :)
** Interesting note: Mahek was listed in the Vancouver Eating & Drinking Guide as one of the few restaurants in Surrey worthy of a visit.
Posted by: J
Mahek was a phenomenal experience! The food was delivered promptly and to my liking - it was flaming hot (and i LOVE flaming HOT foods!) like a Flaming Moe from the Simpsons. Firstly, the flavours in every dish were very exquisite and mouth watering. It was like a bhangra in my mouth. In additon, the Indian music and environment fired off a nice ambience. From the pats on the back to the jokes, the service was very upbeat and friendly. They even recognized me from my first visit! Furthermore, it was not too expensive. I still had a nickel to floss my teeth with. I had gone to Mahek twice in one week and in both instances, I was VERY VERY satisfied, if not, over-satisfied. Overall, I give this restaurant a 10/10, as I believe it is the best Indian Restaurant in the Lower Mainland!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
First up were tender little morsels of Chicken & Lamb Satays, accompanied with a very lovely (and nutty) peanut sauce. The sauce was excellent, the satays were very good (because if the sauce is good, it just makes everything 10x better). Next up was the Green Papaya Mango Salad. It was pretty solid (almost on par with the one from Sawasdee but with mangos, therefore, you get more of a zing!) The third appy was the Malaysian Calamari. Now at first when i tried it without that Malaysian calamari sauce, i thought it was nothing special, then I later dipped a piece into it (the sauce) and oh my god, was it ever phenomenal! So phenomenal that it was hands down, my favourite dish of the night! (That's how much of an impact great sauce can make!) Our last appy was an order of Roti Canai which was very good too. It was very filling and the doughy texture tasted really good in my mouth. J also loved the Roti very much.
We decided to order one entree to share, as well, (as there were just too many appies we refused to not order, lol) so we ended up picking the Malaysian Style Chicken Curry. It had a Malaysian-style taste to it (not as much coconut milk compared to how the Thai make it) but with a little more spice. It was a solid dish esp. with crunchy beans and potatoes! Although it wasn't that spicey, it was very flavourful.
*I also wanted Jumbo Scallops in Curry Sauce but they were sold out :(
Excellent - fast and nice
$8 - $15 range per dish, ended up paying ~$60 for the above
Crowded, very "happening", dim lights, very nice atmosphere, with Malaysian music playing in the background. Make sure you call ahead to make reservations as the space between tables are quite cramped (my biggest pet peeve) where you're practically touching people you don't know and you can hear their conversations so clearly (you don't want that). We know this is because they originally thought we did not make reservations (and almost gave us those crowded seats)but luckily they found our reservation and placed us in the more spacious corner seats.
The crowdedness/non-spacious environment & not having jumbo scallops lowers the rating for me a bit, but still gets a solid 8/10
Posted by: Scoe