Monday, September 19, 2011

Calabash Bistro

Calabash, jamaican me bananas...

 Food:


Delicious, authentic, hearty and affordable.  So glad a 'Reef' contender has finally popped up into Vancouver's mainstream restaurant scene.  My dining companions and I were thoroughly impressed with the wonderful food and ambience experienced on our first visit - so much that we decided to embark on another Calabash adventure a few weeks later.

We arrived to a full house on a Friday night, sans reservation.  Somehow the thought of calling to see if they took reservations had somehow bypassed me (for some reason, I thought they didn't take resos).  We were told it would be a 45 minute to an hour wait and thus, trekked a few blocks north to Vera's for some drinks to pass time.  An hour later, I still had not received a call from Calabash and so we decided to walk back to check up on our pending table.  After another half hour wait, we were finally seated. Though tummies were grumbling and moods were mostly dissatisfied, we were happy to hear that old school music (my fave) would be playing later on that night.

On our first visit here, we had the Mango and Goat Cheese Salad, Fried Coconut Dumplings, Roti and dip, Ginger Plantain Gratin, and the Goat Curry.  I won't delve into the specifics of each but will say they were all delicious with the Ginger Plantain Gratin being the standout and most favourite of the night.

On this night, I had my eyes set on one thing and one thing only: the Chicken and Ribs.  It was a special for the week and a special it was!  I thoroughly savored the nicely charred and wonderful aromatic flavours of the jerk chicken and especially the guava, coco nib and Appleton rum glazed ribs.  The ribs were fall-off-the-bone tasty.  The chicken was soft and tender.  Accompanied with jerk fries and a mixed green salad, I had no complaints there!

Chicken and Ribs
Aside from the wonderful appetizers and entrees we had experienced on our first visit, the dessert was what really had us longing for more.  Conveniently titled the "Banoffee cake" (banana + toffee), I felt like I had gone to heaven and back after experiencing this indulgence the first time.  Fast forward a few weeks later and I find myself back here longing for that cake once again.  To our disappointment, it was served not as a slice, but rather in a ramekin (what creme brulees are usually served in).  The portion had certainly gotten smaller.  Not only that, but the crust was a lot more crunchier than what we had remembered.  So crunchy and hard that we could hardly break it into pieces!  I had expressed my disappointment with the server when asked how it was and thankfully, was compensated for the dessert.  Still, I'm hoping that the next time I come here, the dessert will be just as memorable as the first time.

the 'Banoffee' cake...*drools...

Service:

Pleasant and responsive


Value:

Good


Ambience

Very 'happenin' towards the end of the week.  Lounge downstairs. Live performances weekly


Overall: 8/10

Yay: Come here for great authentic Carribean food and drinks.  Relaxed and unpretentious environment.  Large rum selection.

Nay: Long waits come Fridays and Saturdays

Calabash Bistro on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

jo said...

Love Reef, I'm going to try the chicken!

Greg said...

Hi ,

Your first posts just appeared on Urbanspoon! Check it out:
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Greg said...


Thanks! I just approved your blog claim. Now your Urbanspoon profile picture is displayed on your blog page. You can upload a blog-specific photo if you prefer, and can change a few other blog settings there. Also, if you vote for a restaurant that you've reviewed on your blog, we now show your vote next to your post everywhere on our site.

http://www.urbanspoon.com/br/14/11950/Vancouver/this-little-oinky.html

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Greg

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greg(at)urbanspoon(dot)com