Monday, September 29, 2014

Gluten Free at Kessel & March

Kessel & March on Urbanspoon

Despite having been warned away by someone who had tried one of their Wednesday Suppers and rated it "nothing to write home about", I still gave Kessel & March a go, and with a gluten-intolerant friend no less.

The location looks like a dilapidated industrial zone everything-closed-after-5pm neighborhood, but Kessel & March and other nearby eateries were doing surprisingly well, and were pretty packed after around 7.30pm last Friday when even the nearby coffee shop was closed.

It's a small looking space, but two-tiered. It would be pretty cozy except for the traffic noise outside. Go a little later on a weekday and that should die down after 7.30pm or so. Some interesting products are also available in the mini-market, including perfect rice and drinking balsamic vinegar.

As usual I asked hopefully for fresh-squeezed juice. No fruits ready to be juiced downstairs, but they do carry the locally produced Cyoni bottled juice and the grapefruit juice was fresh-tasting and intense. Nothing watered-down tasting here. So far the best bottled "fresh squeezed" juice I've had.

After some confusion with the menu, we got sorted out on what was gluten-free and what was not. On the regular menu posted online (as of 2014-September), the only items which were not gluten-free / did not have a gluten-free option were: the pasta items (Ricotta Gnocci and Macaroni & Cheese), the Lava Cake, and the Sticky Toffee Pudding -- Which totally ruined my plan to order all three desserts.
They have gluten-free bread available, so items indicating "toast" can still be gluten-free.

Sardines on Toast ($11) salad cream, celery & radish salad
  • This was one of the reasons I was so curious about Kessel & March. I mean, who has the audacity to charge $11 for sardines on toast?
  • Just ONE slice of toast. Sardines are fresh, not the firm tomato-ed ones from a can.
  • Basically fresh sardine with some salad on top. Tasty salad. Overall the flavour was on the bitter side.
  • Is it worth $11? I think it's kind of on the edge of that. For $12 you can get a burger in a restaurant, and with only a 50-50 chance it will come with a side of salad or fries.
Duck Leg Confit ($16) lentils du puy, sherry vinaigrette
  • Tender meat, crispy skin.
  • I didn't like this too much because I thought the duck was seasoned a bit too much on the salty side. Didn't care too much for the lentils either, but that's personal preference and it was stated on the menu that it came with lentils.
  • My dining companion did seem to like it rather well and did not feel it was so terribly salty.
Saffron Black Truffle Macaroni & Cheese ($16) gremolata, black truffle shavings, parmesan
  • This did not have the same cheesy richness as other macaroni and cheese dishes I've had. Which is not necessarily a bad thing since too much dairy richness can make for a tiresome meal. Overall I liked that this turned out to have a lighter feeling.
  • Lovely truffle flavour, standing out but not overdone. I'm not a big fan of too much truffle, so this was surprisingly good for me.
Pavlova ($7)
  • Light, not overly sweet, and topped with fresh fruit. Nice light dessert to finish a meal.
  • Size of a medium burger. Seemed like good price for portion.
Except the dessert, portion for price seemed a low, but the food was interesting and the macaroni and cheese definitely worth a try.

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