Saturday, December 25, 2010

If You're Allergic to Waffles... Don't Go to the Waffle House

Cora's Breakfast & Lunch
360 - 5111 Northland Drive NW
After a late night at the work Christmas party, I woke up super early (By early, I mean 11:00... What? It's the weekend) the next day to hang out with my friend Amanda. We met up for brunch because well... I just woke up. 
We headed over to Cora's Breakfast and Lunch in Northland Mall and lucky for us the line wasn't ridiculously long. Yet. Only half way down the corridor towards the mall entrance. The 20 minutes went by quickly as we caught up on all the exciting things that happened since we last got together. 

We quickly browsed through the menu upon being seated. Each item came complete with a picture and looked as tasty as the item before. I settled on the fresh fruit waffle on page 1 and pushed the menu away. Looking any further would only prolong the time until I can stuff my face with delicious food. Leafing carefully through the pages, Amanda finally decided on the giant crepe filled with fruit. I think it's called Summer of 1969 or something. 

For some strange reason, our food arrived extra fast today. So fast that our server told us to never expect the same efficiency in any future visits. My waffle came with a mountain of fresh fruit - strawberries, watermelons, cantaloupes, kiwis, honey dews, grapes and bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S! It was massive. And tasty. I love fruit. The waffles were crispy and smeared with some sweet, oh so very sweet, custard. The fruit was pretty fresh, definitely didn't use that shrivelled up kiwi they had on the entrance decorations. I can't imagine watermelons being in season in the middle of December but it was sweet nonetheless.

Here's a picture of Amanda's crepe. It's massive. I had it last time and only got about three quarters of the way through. I was pretty impressed with Amanda's performance in devouring two thirds of this monster.

My humble opinions below:
Food: 7.5 out of 10. Super tasty. They have hot food like eggs bennies too.
Price: 9 out of 10. Amazing deal for what you get!
Atmosphere: 6 out of 10. Diner atmosphere. Very lively. 
Service: 6 out of 10. Decent service. 
Overall: 7 out of 10. Super busy. Allllll the time. We got lucky. In and out in about an hour. 

The time is now 12:27 AM on Christmas Day... This post is my gift to you... Merry Christmas to you all! Become a follower! That would be the greatest gift you can give me. Except maybe that Ferrari F430 Scuderia I've been eyeing... Just sayin'. 
Cora's Breakfast & Lunch on Urbanspoon

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Real OJ

Original Joe's
109 - 8th Ave SW

I meet up with some of the old Coop crew (Cole, Denny, Gina and Kathy) last week for lunch at Orginal Joe's on Stephen Avenue. We've all moved on to bigger and better things now but it was good to catch up and reminisce on the good and simple times. Special thanks to Kathy for taking the time to organize the event!

On a dare by Denny, I ordered the double dog. I've had pig head. What's a couple of hot dogs? Two pepperoni sticks... I mean charbroiled european wieners, were stuffed into a toasted baguette. To make it a little more interesting, I ordered it with cheddar cheese and bacon for an extra ninety nine cents each. Arteries clogged up. The life of a food blogger I guess. Who wants to read posts on garden salads? I can't say that it was super tasty. I used to be a huge fan of Original Joe's but this outing was pretty mediocre. Fairly average in terms of taste. My double dog, like the other burgers and sandwiches, came with two sides. I ordered fries and a caesar salad which remained mostly untouched the whole time. Not because it wasn't tasty but due to the lack of time since we waited over 45 minutes for our food to arrive. It was pretty ridiculous since it wasn't even THAT busy. 

The scores:
Atmosphere: 6 out of 10. The venue did not stand out.
Food: 6 out of 10. Mediocre food. 
Service: 3 out of 10. Food took forever. Not the first time. 
Price: 7 out of 10. Decent prices though. Comes with two sides. 
Presentation: 5 out of 10. Appears to be slapped together. Typical of pub fare. 
Overall: 6 out of 10. Fairly average. It certainly helps to be with awesome company though! 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Appetizers Galore

Ajisai Japanese Cuisine
750 1110 Panatella Boulevard NW
Opened only a couple of months ago, Ajisai Japanese Cuisine is yet another entrant to the (far) north west sushi community. Or the restaurant community for that matter. Choices are severely lacking up herrrrrrrrre

We were presented with the menu upon being seated. I leafed through the pages to find an unimpressive sushi list. A half page of typical cuts. Sashimi was offered in predetermined sets. It didn't come cheap either. How unfortunate. We picked a handful of our favorites. What they lacked in sushi, they more than made up for in their appetizer section. Offering two full pages of traditional and contemporary styled appetizers to choose from. I got a little trigger happy when we began ordering.

First up was the ban ban ji (beaten) chicken. Thin slices of steamed chicken breast are topped with slivers of celery and bell peppers and served with a sesame miso sauce. Even though the chicken was super bland, the sauce had enough kick to spice it up. Very refreshing. I rolled up my chicken like a joint and gobbled up all the delicious sauce. 

Next to arrive was the ceviche. Thicker slices of salmon, tuna and scallop sashimi were drenched in a citrus marinade. Sprinkled with a variety of diced vegetables and slices of avocado, the crisp vegetables provided a distinct contrast to the tender sashimi. The sauce was very tangy. Very flavourful. No soya sauce was needed. It probably would have tasted funny if you had it with soya sauce. The rainbow roll arrived shortly after. The roll was fairly ordinary. There was a lot of green (Avocado) in this rainbow... 

The agedashi tofu was the next to arrive. 5 itty-bitty deep fried tofu sat in a giant bowl of hot tentsuyu broth. Top with daikon shavings and a couple slivers of nori, this bowl of disappointment pales in comparison to the epicness of Wa's agedashi tofu. There was no fiery wakame bursting from within the mountain of toppings like a raging wild fire. Just sayin'. Taste wise, it was decent but the presentation was pretty weak. 

The last appetizer to arrive was the wasabi prawns. Covered in batter, the prawns were then deep fried to the max and dipped in a wasabi aioli with masago (or possibly tobiko) sprinkled on top. It was decent. Prawns were lukewarm and pretty bland. I was initially a little skeptical of the highlighter green wasabi aioli. Like is this edible? This green is so unnatural! But it was not too bad, I was not crying like a 2 year old like the time I devoured a giant wad of wasabi. 

Our sushi was the last to arrive. The cuts were decently sized, pretty fresh. No noticeable funny tastes. 

And the scores:
Atmosphere: 8 out of 10. Soaring ceiling and simple decor. Despite facing north, huge windows lets in ample of natural light during the day. 
Cost: 6 out of 10. Definitely not cheap. 2 out of the 4 appetizers were the special of the day so that helped.
Presentation: 6 out of 10. Well put together but lacks its own unique style.
Food: 7 out of 10. Decent. Points for no funny fish taste. Lost points for lack of taste on many items. 
Overall: 6.5 out of 10. Meh.

Ajisai Japanese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nothing Wasted Right?

CHARCUT Roast House
899 Centre St S
Yet another post on CHARCUT. The original "plan" was to check out this new restaurant on Stephen Avenue. I used the word "plan" loosely here because no one believed me when I told them there was a new restaurant. As we strolled by CHARCUT and we decided we wanted some focaccia bread instead. Luckily for us there were still some seats available at the bar. SCORE!
Upon being seated in front of the severed pig heads... I mean, at the food prep counter, we were presented with a sample of... *drum roll*... pig head meat! And some other spicy meat (which is not nearly as interesting. Or disgusting, depending on how you look at it) on a rustic wore out cutting board. That's right. We had pig head. It tasted like ham. Ain't no thang. You're probably never going to look at ham the same way again. You're welcome. ; ) The meat was pretty fatty with pistachio nuts lodged into it. It's almost as if the pig had been killed via a firing squad. Excepts it was pistachios and not bullets. I can feel my arteries clogging up just thinking about it. Shaved into paper thin slices, the meat was served with a grainy mustard dip that was in its own mini cast iron pan. Total baller. Not gonna lie, it was pretty tasty. Very flavourful. Way better than that cooked ham I get Superstore. 

Looking at the menu, I was torn between the steak salad and the feature lunch (Tuna melt with mushroom soup, fries and cookies). I love steak anything. But I also love (like LOVE) CHARCUT's focaccia bread. And yeah. You can easily guess which one won -

I can't say that I'm a super huge fan of tuna melts. It's not that I don't like tuna. I like tuna sashimi... tuna in a can... tuna tataki... Tuna with mayo and cheese some how doesn't appeal to me. It sounds heavy. It was very heavy. But I ordered it anyway. Because I love the focaccia bread and mushroom soup. CHARCUT's doing something fancy with their focaccia bread. Last time I had it, it was made with some cheese. This time around, there was some sun dried tomatoes or something. It was neat. Pretty good. But I liked the original (with spices only) and the cheese one better. Just sayin'. The bread is then stuffed with some tuna melt ingredients such as tuna, cheese, mayo and diced pickles. It wasn't quite what I was expecting. The sandwich and fries were a tad to the lukewarm side. The mushroom soup was very creamy and topped with a slice of crostini and an at-one-point-was-crispy strip of bacon. 


So tasty. So flavourful. Mmmmm... Mushroom soup. Mystery bag in the back contained two chocolate chip cookies.

And the verdict:

Atmosphere: 8.5 out of 10. Raggedy towel. Rustic yet contemporary decor.
Cost: 9 out of 10. $15 lunch + free pig head meat appetizer. 
Food: 7.5 out of 10. Sandwich was lukewarm.
Presentation: 10 out of 10. Fence post turned rustic cutting board plus mini cast iron pan scores a perfect 10 in the presentation department.
Service: 8 out of 10. Decent service. The place was hopping.
Overall: 8 out of 10. -2 points for lukewarm sandwich. It's ok though. I still love CHARCUT : )

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tried and True

Rasoi Kitchen
101-2215 33 Avenue SW
Dinner with my best friends this week, haven't seen them since our last outing at Rouge. The locale for our latest get together was Rasoi Kitchen in Marda Loop. Cruising along 33 Avenue in rush hour traffic, it did not occur to me that Rasoi was on the other side of the road. With what seemed like an endless series of cars heading in the opposite direction, making a left turn would appear to be impossible. And we weren't going to find out. My friend Hazel and I pulled up to some house across the street and parked there (No sign = free parking right?). We then tried to jay walk across the busy street. Not happening. But then someone pressed for the lights at the crosswalk. With all the vehicles stopped. My friend and I scurried across the road. 
Upon entering the warm restaurant, my friend Andrea was already sitting waiting for us. Alana and Steve arrived shortly after. Steve was stripping off his jacket before even entering. I'm pretty sure it was something along the lines of -20 out that night. So I'm not entirely sure what was up with that. All this was happening as Andrea almost had a sip of her water. The pungent smell of cucumbers nearly caused Andrea to vomit (Kidding). When the waitress returned, she kindly asked her for a glass of regular water. It is interesting to note that after that hilarious episode (for the rest of us), the waitress began to ask everyone if they were fine with cucumber soaked water. Ohhhh Andrea. 
The menu offered a variety of traditional Indian dishes with a twist and Indian inspired items. For my entree, I decided to go for the tried and true dish of butter chicken. Can't go wrong right? Right. In addition to the butter chicken, I decided to go for the tiger prawns which I believe is one of those Indian inspired items. Upon placing our order, a piece of folded papadum was brought out for us to nibble on. Papadum is a paper thin Indian flatbread. It was very crispy but really greasy. Topped with a bajillion spices, it was super tasty and I licked all my digits clean.

My tiger prawns arrived shortly after. "Jumbo" tiger prawns were soaked in a bowl of Turmeric coconut curry and a side of delicious naan bread. The tiger prawns were a little bland and of the not jumbo variety. The coconut curry, on the other hand, was uber amazing! So fragrant. So amazing. I devoured every single last piece of memory foam-esque naan bread and almost drank the left over curry like a soup. I refrained myself because that would have looked really stupid. 

Steve ordered the Karma dinner. A three course dinner for $30 with the proceeds going to a project called Nilgris Child Support program in India. For his appetizer, he had the pani puri. Hollow light bread shells are stuffed with chickpeas, tomatoes, chutney and raita. It was decent. A little cold. Definitely didn't see that one coming. My naan bread was better. Steve reminded me that his meal is supporting less fortunate children halfway around the globe. He was clearly jealous. 

The entrees began to arrive shortly after our server removed our appetizer plates. The aroma of butter chicken filled the air. Several of us ordered the same thing. Tried and true right? Who doesn't love butter chicken? Tender chunks of chicken were soaked in a tomato cream curry. Seasoned basmati rice were served in a separate bowl with a giant stack of naan bread piled on top. I wish I kept my coconut curry. The butter chicken was very flavourful. The spiciness of the curry was manageable. Definitely not a "my-mouth-is-on-ma-f***ing-fire" spicy. Ginger shavings were sprinkled on top of the curry. Not sure what the purpose of it was. The chicken was very tender but didn't really have a chickeny taste to it. 

I was pretty much full at this point but I decided I wanted dessert anyway. I studied the menu and opted for the kheer; A saffron rice pudding topped with rose petals and fireweed honey. It was super thick and pasty. Pretty stuffed by the time I finished it. Steve had the sponge cake for his dessert which tasted like a squishy Timbit. More talk of helping less fortunate people ensued. 

Here's what I thought of it:
Atmosphere: 7 out of 10. Neat little place. Can't help but notice the massive exposed duct work above. Damn those mechanical engineers. 
Costs: 6.5 out of 10. I'm pretty sure this is the first "Indian" place that didn't have a buffet.
Food: 7.5 out of 10. Certain parts of it were pretty amazing. Other parts were not. It wasn't bad or anything. Just not as amazing.
Service: 7 out of 10. Our glasses were constantly topped up. Andrea had her own little jug of non-cucumber laced water.
Overall: 7.5 out of 10. It's fusion Indian. If you're looking for hardcore traditional, this is not it.

Rasoi Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Kinda Cooked

Raw Bar
119 12 Ave SW
A while ago, my good friend Alana sent me a link to They were offering $50 vouchers to Raw Bar for a mere $25. What?! Yeah. That's what I said. Pretty frickin' amazing deal! So amazing, in fact, that I got two and signed up to receive updates on more amazing deals! For those that have not heard of this site, it's basically random deals that last about a day or so. Sometimes its got great deals, like $50 vouchers for $25 to Raw Bar, other times (like a few days ago), not so much. $99 for 18 units of Botox. No thank you.
So anyway, I gathered the troops from work last Friday to check it out. We arrived at the restaurant at noon and was greeted by the hostess. I didn't even have tell her I made reservation. "Hello, your table is ready. Right this way." I felt like a VIP. Located inside the trendy Hotel Arts on 12th Ave SW, Raw Bar is kind of shoved in the back, off to the side, behind the outdoor pool (which was, unfortunately, closed that day. I was really looking forward to going for a swim after). 
I had scoped out the place already the day before, to confirm the legitimacy of these vouchers and make reservations (The hostess probably remember me from then but I still felt like a VIP). And yeah. It's probably not located in the greatest spot. Basically, you enter the main entrance of Hotel Arts, hang a left to the reception area. Through the dark hallway with a giant sign that says "Saint Germain" and a smaller sign that says "Raw Bar". Make a right when you get to the entrance of Saint Germain and follow along till you hit Raw Bar. Despite their obscure location, it was pretty busy. 
Trendy looking red microsuede couches surrounded our table. Super comfy. Once settled, we were presented with the menu and served a glass of fancy water with a wedge of lemon and 2 cranberries. I ordered the angus flat iron steak sandwich with the feature soup. 

Thin strips of medium rare steak and Portobello mushrooms topped a toasted slice of bread. The steak was decent, a little tougher than I would have liked but combined with the soft tender mushrooms gave it an interesting composition. Very flavourful. At least they were cooked to medium rare this time right Russ? The steak sandwich came with a single lonely onion ring with an aioli dip and a celery root puree. The soup was uncharacteristically sweet with a hint of celery flavour. It is then topped with some fried shavings of onions or something. It was an interesting taste to say the least. Wasn't a super huge fan of it, not to say that it was bad or anything. 

Alright, the scores:
Ambience - 8 out of 10. Nice decor. Comfy couches. Not the greatest location though.
Costs - 7 out of 10. Decent. The bill was only $80 for the six of us. The vouchers covered the entire bill. Sweet!
Food - 7.5 out of 10. Decent.
Service - 8 out of 10. A little slow but bonus points since the hostess recognized me right away. 
Overall - 7.5 out of 10. Pretty neat experience.

Raw Bar on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wanna 'Spoon?

Aida's Mediterranean Bistro
2208 4t St SW
Night out with some ‘spooners last weekend. The original plan was to check out Calabro but someone forgot to make reservations (I swear it wasn’t my fault!). Some quick phone calls were made and we ended up going to Aida’s for dinner. 
Driving like a mad man, we arrived at Aida's in less than 5 minutes. We also scored sweet parking just steps away from the door. I'm pretty sure it was -20 something out that night so I was pretty stoked about my find. Upon arriving, we were seated at a table by the door. Every time someone entered, we were met with a brisk of cold air; Which happened quite often. Unfortunately. I guess crappy weather doesn't dissuade people from eating delicious food. There was a vestibule with a second set of doors. Except the top was open. So it didn't really do anything. 

Once settled, we were presented with the menu. We ordered a hot fragrant "tea" made from orange blossom or something to warm ourselves up. The tea was clear and had no colour to it but the flavour is very strong and sweet. One would not have expected this flavour explosion just looking at it. 

Anyway, to start, we ordered the veggie mezza which is a giant platter of stuff. What kind of stuff you might ask; Well, let me tell you! There were 3 dips - Hummus (Made with chickpeas), baba ghannouj (Made with egg plants) and mouhammara (Made with red pepper, walnuts and pomegranate juice) and an endless plate of pita bread. Of the three dips we got, my favourite was the mouhammara. I stuffed my face with pita bread smothered in the  delicious dip as we waited for our entrees to arrive stopping periodically to devour one of the many appetizers that accompanied the platter. Fatayer (Spinach filled pastry), rookaak (A spring roll looking appetizer that is filled with a blend of cheese and olives), grape leaves (Exactly what it sounds like, stuffed with rice), falafel (chickpea "patties" with tahini dip. They were more like balls) and tabbouli salad (Chopped parsley and mint leaves in a olive oil and lemon dressing). My favourite was the falafel balls, a little fluffy, a little crispy and ALLLL delicious! Wasn't a big fan of the grape leave rolls though. The leaves and rice were really gummy and sticky and a little too sour. Maybe I should have smothered it with some mouhammara. 

For my entree, I ordered the shish kabob. Speared with a cocktail stick, giant chunks of beef tenderloin alternated with wedges of green peppers and onions. The string of deliciousness is then grilled to a well done consistency (Is that the right word to use? Consistency?). The skewers is laid on a bed of rice and served with a side of roasted zucchini and potatoes; and green beans in a tomato sauce. The green beans were super mushy but really good. Very flavourful and probably my favourite part of the dish. The meat was decent. Perhaps a little too well done but I'm pretty sure that's what it's suppose to be cooked to. I don't think I've seen many blue rare shish kabobs...

I didn't order any desserts as I was stuffed (from all the pita bread I had before the meal), lost pretty much all respect from my peers. : (

Anyway, the scores:

Atmosphere - 7 out of 10. Beautiful decor. I mean check out that ceiling! Total boss. Points deducted for the open vestibule.
Service - 8 out of 10. Our server was very knowledgable of the foods.
Food - 8 out of 10. Food was really good.
Cost - 8 out of 10. Decently priced. $200 including tip for 5 of us. Appetizers, entree, dessert and wine. 
Overall - 8 out of 10.

Aida's Mediterranean Bistro on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our Little Secret

Sura Korean Restaurant
2320 4 St NW
Located in the north west community of Mount Pleasant, Sura is a quiet little restaurant serving up quality Korean dishes. Mount Pleasant is not exactly known for their partying culture. There's a pub across the street but the streets ain't hoppin' on a Saturday night. We arrived half pass noon to find 2 occupied table and no staff in sight. A few minutes go by before someone emerged from the kitchen to seat us. They then promptly returned to the kitchen to prepare the meals of the other diners. I got up to grab a menu. Service was severely lacking. A few minutes later, a frazzled woman burst through the doors. It was the waitress, I guess she was late or something. She quickly gathered herself to take our order and answered my millions of questions and giving us great advice like "You don't want that one. This is more authentic," and "The portions are pretty big so it should be enough but you can always take it home right?"
Upon placing our order, a million (slight exaggeration) banchan (side dishes) were brought out for us to nibble on. I will now attempt to give you the low down on each one.
Alright, starting with what I know -
Kimchi - A traditional fermented Korean dish. Usually consist of cabbage and pretty much used in everything. Soup, stew, rice, the whole shabang. I'm not a super huge fan on kimchi (And yet I'm eating at a Korean restaurant. It's crazy! Right?), but I had some anyway. It was okay. Not too spicy.

Going in a clockwise direction, we have Gaeran Mari (I'm not totally sure of these names, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong in the comments below). A rolled omelette with green onion and ham grilled to a golden brown colour and cut into the half inch wide wedges. Super tasty. It's a shame there was only two of these.

Next up, we have Kongnamul which is soybean sprouts. And some seasoning. Annnnnd that's it. Simple but delicious. Not spicy. Thumbs up to that.

Continuing on, we have the marinated fish cake. I have no idea what this is called. In fact, I didn't even know what it was until I asked our knowledgable waitress. I'm glad I did because I probably would have described it as "some marinated strips of stuff with green onion sprinkled on top" (Mad street cred would have been lost! Probably go into the negative). It didn't taste like chicken that's for sure. The fish cake was quite soft and squishy. Very flavourful.
On a side note, does anyone know what fish cake is made out of? It's probably something along the lines of 2% fish, 8% fish parts and 90% other stuff. Did I mention it was tasty? Because it was extremely tasty. Not to discourage anyone with all that talk of fish parts or anything. Just sayin'.
Next up, we have the sigumchi namul which is seasoned spinach. Nothing too fancy about this dish.
Mu namul is julienned daikon or white radish in a sweet vinegar sauce. It is then seasoned with some cucumbers and black sesame seeds. The daikon was really crispy. A little vinegary but pretty tasty.

Oh man... I can't believe I'm only on side dish number 6. I feel like I've been typing for an eternity. Alright, number 7. Myulchi Bokkeum. This little dish consisted of dried anchovy seasoned to perfection with sesame seeds sprinkled on top. Super crispy. Very flavourful. Probably one of my favourites out of the gazillion side dishes we got.

And to round out the side dishes, we have this bean type dish (More street cred lost). I'm not too sure what type of bean this is. Despite being fairly hard, it was pretty decent. The sauce was very flavourful.

So there you have it! All the side dishes we got to try. It's almost like a full meal right there. By the time I was done taking picture of all the banchan, the main dishes began to arrive. Here is a shot of everything with our seaweed soup. The soup was pretty amazing. Very light, refreshing. The wakame didn't have the nasty taste of the sea to it. There was two token mussels for additional flavouring for the soup. It is interesting to note that the soup came out in a very shallow bowl. It was really difficult to scoop up every last drop of this delicious soup.

The first official entree to arrive was the seafood pa jeon. Pa jeon is a Korean style pancake made from an egg, flour and green onion batter. Our pa jeon had giant chunks of seafood (Shrimp and squid? Or maybe octopus). Grilled to perfection, the aroma of green onions filled the air when it was brought out. Super crispy with a spicy dip for that extra kick. Sooooo delicious. And massive too, about the same size as a medium pizza. 

This was followed quickly by the dolsot bibimbap. This put the wannabe bibimbap I had at Cafe HK to shame. The rice was sizzling in the intense heat of the stone bowl. The rice is topped with zucchinis, carrots, mushrooms, soybean sprouts, spinach, marinated beef and onions placed in equal "quadrants" (Yes I'm aware there are 7 things) with a sunny side up egg in the middle. Depending on how crispy you want your rice, you can either eat it right away for a softer texture or wait till it gets super crispy. I mixed a little bit of everything together along with a small dab of hot sauce. Soooo amazing! The light flavours of all the toppings complimented each other really well. The rice was crispy on the outside and soft inside.
There's also a complimentary soup which I did not get a picture of (The seaweed soup was better). There was so much food but we were still managed to finish most of it. Only half a pa jeon left by the time we were finished which we got packed up (Those who know me will know this is a big deal as I hardly get leftovers packed up, but it was amazing!). Our waitress was impressed. But not impressed enough to offer us a free meal unfortunately. Not that it was super expensive anyway. In fact, I thought it was a pretty amazing deal. We normally spent almost twice that for lunch. Wicked deal!
The scores:
Service - 6 out of 10. Service was pretty slow initially. For the longest time there was only the lone chef in the back cooking and bringing the food out. 
Atmosphere - 9 out of 10. Lots of room. Very spacious. Unlike Seoul Korean BBQ. 
Food - 10 out of 10. AMAZING!
Cost - 9 out of 10. Only $37 + Tip. I had to double check my bill just to make sure I didn't read it wrong.
Overall - 8 out of 10. Don't be telling everyone. This is our little secret. 

Sura Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Update: We went again this week for dinner and it was just as amazing! Check out these sweet pics!

First up with have the beef hot pot.

Bulgogi (Korean BBQ) Trio- A combo of beef ribs, chicken and pork.

Ginseng Chicken.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

You Going for Seconds?

Home Food Inn
5222 Macleod Trail S
Went to Home Food Inn for lunch last Friday. After giving Super Nat a hard time about her driving the whole trip down from the office;
"What's up with the gap between the car? You can parallel park 3 cars in there!"
"That's my reaction time!"
"That's your reaction time? I'm gonna need another seat belt for this!"
"You guys wanna listen to some Michael Jackson?"
"Hey! Both hands on the steering wheel! Eyes on the road!"
We finally came to a complete stop at the parking lot shortly after noon. In one piece too!
Upon arriving, we were quickly seated in the dinning area. No "party room" for us. Once settled, we headed to the buffet area. A decent selection of "Chinese" food sat in heated pans. I checked out all the counters before making my selections. Starting at the dim sum, I lifted the lid over the preserved meats with sticky rice. A vile stench filled the air. I nearly vomited in my mouth. I quickly placed the lid back over the untouched rice dish. Noooo thank you! I then moved on to grab some noodles. Three different types. The stir fry beef ho fen, Singapore noodles and e-foo noodles. I then topped off this mountain of noodles with some calamari, mushrooms, dry ribs, stir fry string beans with beef and bean sprouts for my daily veggie intake. 
The food was mediocre at best. Lets start at the peak of my all you can eat mountain - Bean sprouts. Decent. A little bland but that's okay. The stir fry string beans with beef was super greasy. Very flavourful though. Probably one of the better items I picked that day. Stir fry mushrooms and dry ribs were decent. But the dry ribs had massive bones. Pretty sure the meat to bone ratio was something along the lines of 1 to 10. That's not a good ratio. My calamari was lukewarm. The batter was a little soggy from sitting under the light and the meat was hard and stale. E-foo noodles were a little tasteless. Singapore noodles were leaning to the cold side of lukewarm. Very flavourful though. The stir fry beef ho fen was just plain bad. The noodles were hard and tasted like leftovers from 2 weeks ago. I didn't even bother eating it. Sick.
We made our way back to the buffet counters to check out the desserts. An decent selection of ice cream, jiggly jello, fruits and pastries. Two passes around the counters was in vain. Nothing appealed to my (apparently) snobby taste. Maybe it was the floors. Because they were super sticky. It's like they mopped it with sticky glue. Maybe to provide better grip for their patrons. Don't want to be dropping your plates now do you? 

The Scores:
Service - 5 out of 10. It's a buffet. I gotta get my own damn food.
Atmosphere - 5 out of 10. The "party room" was already taken.
Food - 3 out of 10. The preserved meat with sticky rice killed it. 
Cost - 7 out of 10. If you don't care what your food taste like then this is a sweet deal!
Overall - 4 out of 10. I guess I got a sweet review out of it. Sooo...
Home Food Inn also offers recipes on their website for some classic Asian dishes such as wonton soup! It looks pretty simple to make with 3 ingredients - boiling water, vegetables and pre-made broth. 
That's right ladies and gentlemen. Wonton soup does not in fact include wontons. Common misconception. 

Home Food Inn on Urbanspoon