Thursday, March 17, 2016

Lunch is different at Jane's at the Heights

Jane's at the Heights Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Jane's at the Heights is in a neighbourhood I very rarely go to. Wouldn't have gone today except Zomato sent me a voucher for one free main, so when I was catching up with a friend I suggested we try it.

It's a smallish diner with a very interesting and rather extensive east-and-west something-for-everyone menu.
TIP: The lunch menu is not the same as the dinner menu! Some items like laksa are composed differently when you get it at lunch and when you get it at dinner (according to the menu, if you look at it carefully).

The new owners are Thai, so there's a goodly amount of Thai items.

DISCLAIMER: As mentioned, I went to Jane's at the Heights with Zomato voucher. I didn't tell them at first, only after we ate and went to the counter to pay. Only one item (my friend's burger) was removed from the bill. Everything else we paid for.

Goong Hom Pha ($5.95) Crispy prawns with sweet chili dipping sauce
  • Looked interesting but turned out not so much.
  • Looked like spring roll skin wrapped around a prawn and the whole thing deep fried. The flipper/tail at the end is crispy enough to eat without having to peel off.
  • Strangely salty. Also quite oily, probably because the tail end is obviously not sealed.
  • Since there were only four prawns, this works out to around $1.50 per prawn. Yikes!
2016-Mar-17 Jane's at the Heights - Goong Hom Pha

2016-Mar-17 Jane's at the Heights - Goong Hom Pha

Roti Canai ($4.95 regular, $8.95 large) Malaysian flat bread with peanut sauce
  • Pictured below is the "regular" order, which looks like one big flatbread cut into six.
  • NOT normally available during lunch. I remembered seeing it on the online menu so I asked about it. The server said it was a dinner thing, but the owner was passing by and immediately jumped in saying it was okay to order. I offered to back out since I didn't want them to be inconvenienced but they insisted it was okay.
  • My western friend had no expectations and no nostalgia of eating it in her youth, so she liked the peanut sauce, which was sort of like a satay peanut sauce, without any curry spicy heat at all. Also quite thick, so it was convenient for scooping onto the roti. If you go in with no expectations, you may like this.
  • I'm a sucker for roti canai / roti paratha, so this was extremely disappointing for me. Where's my fluffy roti? And peanut sauce?! That's right down there with Banana Leaf's sweet coconut dip for their roti canai.
2016-Mar-17 Jane's at the Heights - Roti Canai (lunch version)

Chicken Laksa ($9.50) egg noodle in yellow curry base with chicken, tofu, and hard-boiled egg
  • NOT the same as their dinner laksa, which is "Heights Laksa" ($12.25) Malaysian style egg noodle in yellow curry soup base with chicken, tofu, prawn, squid, hard-boiled egg, bean sprout. The dinner one sounds way better.
  • Delicious sweet soup. Despite the chili flakes you see floating in it, there was very little spicy heat.
  • Token tofu and chicken. The chicken was shredded, so there may actually have been a OK amount, just hidden among the noodles, which had a tendency to clump together.
2016-Mar-17 Jane's at the Heights - Chicken Laksa

2016-Mar-17 Jane's at the Heights - Chicken Laksa

Heights Burger ($12.95) Canadian angus beef burger with cheddar, bacon, onion rings, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, mustard, and house mayo. Served with your choice of fries or salad.
  • Three strips of bacon!
  • Presentation isn't as tidy as most gourmet burgers. But the "chunky" cut of the fillings (like the thick-cut tomato and the onion rings) gives you texture in the mouth. Maybe that's what they were aiming for.
  • I didn't get to try my friend's burger but she said she could clearly taste the beef in the patty -- and this is something that you don't get with many burgers loaded with interesting ingredients. Sometimes those ingredients drown out the flavour of the patty itself.
  • Really decently done fries that were nice and long, almost as long as McDonald's fries. It sounds like a strange thing to point out, but I've been to so many places downtown where they give you a scoop of fries that might sometimes be really short stubs that look like leftovers or broken pieces. Yeah, potato is potato but it just doesn't feel nice to be given scraps. They could do something with those short bits like make mashed potato, right?
2016-Mar-17 Jane's at the Heights - Heights Burger (lunch version)

2016-Mar-17 Jane's at the Heights - Heights Burger (lunch version)

The current Thai owners of Jane's at the Heights are friendly and accommodating (BEFORE I presented my voucher). When I presented my voucher, they removed my friend's burger, which was the most expensive item we ordered! Typically offers and vouchers like this result in the least expensive qualifying item being removed.

No pressure friendly service. Street parking is not metered but allowable only during certain hours.
The restaurant wasn't particularly crowded during lunch today and I saw patrons really relaxed and taking their time for lunch and chatting after.

Overall, based on what I had today, the food's just OK for lunch. I suspect the dinner items will be better. Service and friendly vibe and chill atmosphere is also great and I'm tempted to give them bonus points for that plus the various little touches here and there. The variety in the menu is very useful for those times when you have a mixed group and no one can decide what cuisine to have -- it's all here in one place!

2016-Mar-17 Jane's at the Heights - lunch menu

2016-Mar-17 Jane's at the Heights - lunch menu

2016-Mar-17 Jane's at the Heights - lunch menu

2016-Mar-17 Jane's at the Heights - lunch menu

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