Monday, July 28, 2014

Tasty lamb ribs at Tuc Craft Kitchen

Tuc Craft Kitchen on Urbanspoon

The deceptively small store front hides a deep room with upstairs party seating as well. Still, definitely make reservations because it was busy when I got there for a 7 PM reservation an it was still packed around 9 PM when we left the restaurant last Friday.

Trust me, you want the lamb ribs--Unless you're vegetarian, in which case there really isn't much reason to go to Tuc Craft Kitchen, which sports just the one veggie starter and one veggie main.

albóndigas ($8) beef & pork meatballs, vodka roma sauce, sheep’s milk pecorino romano
  • Three fat meatballs, each slightly bigger than a ping pong ball or golf ball.
  • Tasty. Firm and moist. Good but not "wow" -- but that may be in comparison to the wonderful ribs we'd just had.
pork belly crackling ($8) gelderman farms, star anise red wine reduction, coarse salt
  • In some places "pork crackling" gets you just the super-crunchy fat. Here you get crunchy fat plus a bit of meat.
  • Pretty tasty, but seems like a very small amount for your $8 -- about a cupful.
orange glazed lamb ribs ($9) australian lamb, jalapeno pepper, candied orange glaze
  • So popular they ran out shortly after 7 pm, and the next batch wasn't going to be ready for about an hour.
  • Just three meaty, fall-off-the-bone ribs per serving. You will probably want two rib per person.
  • Make sure you have a spoon at the table. The ribs came without a spoon, which was ridiculous since the super-tasty glaze had melted down to the bottom of the deep-dish cast iron pan. You definitely want that glaze back on the meat.
  • Eat it while it's hot. And it comes so hot the honey-like glaze is still bubbling/simmering at the bottom of the pan. If you let it cool the meat gets tougher and drier.
chicken confit ($18) fraser valley free run chicken, wilted kale, basil pistou, biscuit, consommé
  • Fall-off-the-bone chicken as touted by our server, but strangely on the dry side and I think that really ruined the experience.
    • Could have been a one-off fluke, though, considering how well everything else had come out.
    • Could also be intentional as you are provided with consomme, which they recommend you use as you eat rather than drown the chicken right away.
  • Huge amount of kale. If you don't like three cups of kale on your plate, ask for a substitution early. Sure it's a superfood -- but there's a heckuva lot of it so I hope you love it.
farmer’s crop pot ($15) green lentils, butternut squash, spinach, garlic béchamel, potatoes au gratin, arugula
  • The one veggie main. Sounds more complex than the actual presentation, which was very similar to baked beans except using lentils. Tasted similar too.
  • Overall tasty but nothing to write home about except that maybe it was too similar to baked beans that $15 starts to look pricey.
  • Portion for price also seemed a bit low, but being heavy on the lentils it was quite filling.
caramel popcorn ice cream ($4) popcorn infused house-made ice cream, caramel sauce, popcorn
  • I always complain about restaurant ice cream being a couple of scoops that cost the same as a small tub at Superstore. No different here, except the price point is happily low when restaurant desserts generally run at $8 nowadays.
  • Intense caramel popcorn flavour as advertised. Go easy with the sauce provided as it can smother the flavour of the ice cream.
  • If you order the chocolate brownie napoleon ($7), the same ice cream is used there so you can taste both in the same order, but you don't get the caramel sauce.
You may also be lucky to be served by the one lovely server with the most unexpectedly sweetest voice ever.

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