Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Terracotta Modern Chinese Restaurant

Terracotta Modern Chinese on Urbanspoon

I dropped by Terracotta Modern Chinese Restaurant last Friday as part of the WonTon-sponsored 604 Social's mingler. Only about half of the ~70 people who RSVP'ed attended, which was a good thing because we'd otherwise have been over-full.

Terracotta is a pretty small space, but with an upstairs and a downstairs. The mirror on one side makes it look bigger than it really is -- I suppose that's why they have those mirrors there.

The online menu doesn't make any distinctions between small plates and actual meals, and you can't really tell by the price -- so you might want to ask first in case you get overwhelmed by what you order. For example, some people ordered the tasty Terracotta Short Rib Sliders that come in slightly sweet and chewy buns (Three Braised Beef Short Rib and Green Onion Sliders served in Golden Mantou Buns 10.00). This was really appy-sized, and you may feel it's a bit pricey for $10. They also ordered fried rice (I wasn't sure what kind) but it was a huge bowlful for approximately the same price.

I was grazing that night instead of having a full sit-down meal, and wanted to try the Terracotta Spring Rolls (Rare Tuna, Mango, & Red Peppers (Made in house) 7.50) and the Chicken Knees.

Yes, Chicken KNEES. It's not on the online menu but shows up in the in-restaurant menu. Something about deep fried chicken knees. Somehow, the order came back as Crispy Chicken Wings (Garlic and Green Chili Marinated Crispy Chicken Wings 8.50). Normally I'd send it back, but it was just the one run-ragged server tending to all ~35 of us all night, so I let it go and said I'd accept it.

The Spring Rolls were really quite disappointing. On the inside, the mango and tuna were quite separated, and in any case the whole thing was quite tasteless. Neither tuna nor mango came through for me. If it had any flavour it was because I dipped it in the sweet sauce.

The Chicken Wings came hot and very crispy. Salty enough to not need any sauce. A bit steep at 8.50 because I'm pretty sure there were less than 8 wings (I shared the plate and sort of lost count).

I got to try one of the Short Rib sliders, and it was pretty decent if you ate it hot and fresh from the kitchen. The brown bun is a bit chewy and sweet, which went well with the fairly thick chunk of meat you got. The "mantou buns" isn't exactly traditional. It had the right shape (squarish) but looked like your typical baked bun instead of white and steamed.
Except the Spring Rolls, I'd have to say the food was tasty and well prepared. A bit on the steep side, but that is perhaps not unexpected for Gastown. I'll have to go back for the Chicken Knees -- will report back on this blog if it is still available.

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