Sunday, February 28, 2016

reLiSH Gourmet Burgers (Commercial Drive)

reLiSH Gourmet Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Other than the food, there's lots I actually like about reLiSH on Commercial Drive:
  • First, for a fast-food joint, service is actually really ace. The main person manning the till (the South Asian manager?) was really friendly, patient, and helpful. He brings your order to where you are sitting. He checks in on your meal each time something new is brought. Also I noticed he made sure to see all patrons off with a good-bye sendoff when they leave. This is sit-down restaurant level service that is better than some sit-down restaurants!
  • The space is open and seating feels spacious and private. Unlike their neighbours Jamjar and Cabrito who are super busy but also pretty packed like sardines. One of the reasons we went to reLiSH tonight was because we wouldn't be squished and we could have a relaxed time and conversation over dinner.
  • Vegan option. It's not a "real" vegan option in that you make it happen with substitutions. But at least it's possible. What you do is:
    • Ask for lettuce instead of bun, since bun making involves egg here.
    • Look at veggie topping selections and omit non-vegan items. For some, you are basically only omitting mayonnaise.
What I didn't like:
  • The food. This part is complicated -- see below when I go through my food experience in detail. I tried the February special burger, onion rings, and coleslaw. After a promising introduction at reLiSH on Davie as part of a Yelp event, this was a huge letdown.
  • I was initially put off by the minimum recommended tip of 15% you are presented with when you pay at the till. Nevertheless I can see how people are inclined to not leave any tip at all if left up to them to leave a tip on the table, and tipping for fast food is also not really the norm. So if left to convention, they wouldn't get any tip at all. 
  • Didn't get napkins right away with the burger sent to our table. Napkins were also far away at the condiment station. I recommend napkin dispensers at every table.
Lots of lost points on the food makes this a sub-standard place when it could be superlative thanks to spaciousness and excellent service.

February burger, "Red Monkey" ($9.96) sweet + sour pineapple, cucumber, green onion, onion frites. Your choice of patty (I went with vegetarian). Poppy seed and sesame bun.
  •  The notice board indicated "sweet + sour pineapple". Only after my meal did I notice that the digital noticeboard read "sweet + sour pineapple SAUCE". Just sauce. Not chunks of pineapple. I'm almost tempted to call this a cheat.
  • The toppings indicated were token, especially the all-important pineapple, which was just a smear.
  • The cucumber was in large chunks that liked to fall out of your burger.
  • I went with the veggie patty, which was on its own really decent -- not-overpowering curry flavour. However, it was very prone to crumbling, so if you are not clever with your burger it's liable to be a mess.
  • Because of the curry, the patty overpowered everything, including the small amount of pineapple. This is partly my fault because I wanted to go veggie tonight. I admit I was recommended either the beef or turkey patties. Whenever you get the veggie patty at reLiSH, remember you're getting a clear curry flavour with your burger that doesn't go with a lot of stuff without either clashing flavours or flat out overpowering them.
2016-Feb-27 reLiSH (Commercial Drive) - February burger

2016-Feb-27 reLiSH (Commercial Drive) - Red Monkey Burger and side of onion rings

2016-Feb-27 reLiSH (Commercial Drive) - Red Monkey Burger (inside)

2016-Feb-27 reLiSH (Commercial Drive) - veggie patty closeup

Beefeater Onion Rings ($4)
  • Absolutely horrified by the puny portion of onion rings that came with my burger. For $4! Remember that they may look big, but they are rings so they only looks big in volume.
  • Strangely, when my friend ordered another side of onion rings -- also for $4 -- she got more! Huh? Was it because they saw me taking photos?
  • Very crispy exterior and no flour flavour, which sometimes happens with onion rings. We're talking crunchy and hard crispy here. Plus, it stayed crispy even when cold. Really, really decent.
  • We were only later offered a dipping sauce (no, not Heinz ketchup available at the condiment station). Wouldn't have known about it otherwise. Anyway: TIP -- Ask for dipping sauce right at the start, and lots of it.
  • When my friend's subsequent order of onion rings came, it did not come with any more dipping sauce. Huh? Is the sauce standard or not? If not... why did we get it?
2016-Feb-27 reLiSH (Commercial Drive) - onion ring side order

Coleslaw ($3)
  • Not what you are thinking. This is more like a "salad" of plain white lettuce and a smallish amount of "coleslaw dressing".
  • Coleslaw dressing is really rather good, with a sweetness and also a gingery flavour. Ask for more to go with your boring lettuce salad "coleslaw". Or even just ask for some to go with your burger or onion rings.
  • Without the dressing, this is an overpriced waste of time.
2016-Feb-27 reLiSH (Commercial Drive) - coleslaw dressing
2016-Feb-27 reLiSH (Commercial Drive) - menu

2016-Feb-27 reLiSH (Commercial Drive) - faux candle at bar

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