Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Poor Man's Pizza / Flatbread

What do do when you need a snack?
I ran out of pasta sauce so I subbed ketchup. Recommend you use much less than I did if you want to taste your cheese more.
Chili flakes optional for some buzz.

2017-Mar-10 poor man's flatbread

2017-Mar-12 poor man's flatbread

2017-Mar-12 poor man's flatbread

2017-Mar-12 poor man's flatbread

Monday, March 13, 2017

Ten Ten Tapas Bobby Bacchus Night

Ten Ten Tapas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Gave Ten Ten Tapas a try on one of their music nights. Sunday it was the personable crooner Bobby Bacchus singing familiar favourites. Ten Ten Tapas has no shortage of events, not just keeping evening wine and music alive but intriguing painting classes as well as singles' events (for gays too!).

Bobby Bacchus Sunday started a bit later at 7pm, and shortly after 7pm the room was basically full. Being a cold, rainy day, the patio was of course closed and the restaurant dining floor being smallish felt even smaller with the tight table spacing.
Spacing for each diner was thankfully NOT tight though, and with the evening dark and dim interior lighting, you are likely to not really notice.

The smaller room also means that for live music night, if you are probably going to be a boisterous social group, you really ought to reconsider. They can kind of seat you in the back, but no matter where you are, the noise of 6+ people is gonna carry. It's not really fair to people who are actually there for the live entertainment.
And their rigorous reservation policy really does help to ensure a full house as, if you make a reservation through OpenTable, it'll ask for your credit card and after a cutoff period a few days before the dinner date, you will be charged $25 per person who doesn't show up.
No, they are probably not gonna kick your party out, and they can compensate somewhat by turning up the music (which could just make your table start speaking even louder to compensate) but still, be aware and considerate if you can, maybe even choose somewhere else.

Full house also seemed to mean slow kitchen. I guess if you're focussed on Bobby Bacchus and there for his full set, pacing things out actually isn't so bad (if you even notice at all). If you powered through your meal then you're stuck with the possible awkwardness of justifying your existence when you've really had enough to drink and don't want to order more, while still wanting to stay to listen.

On to the food!

In Vancouver, tapas is pretty much synonymous with small plates that feed like an appetizer and cost like a main. No point complaining about price for portion and the price is no secret on the website.

A LOT of gluten free choices. Really handy.

For my orders, I went with something I could hopefully have a point of comparison with: truffle fries and fried cauliflower. I wanted to stay flexible for my budget depending on how those starters went.

Tea ($3.25)
  • A step up from places that don't even take the tea bag out for you and just give you the satchel.
  • I thought it was a bit odd they didn't put the bag into the pot to steep right away, but instead in the cup; but that's probably just me.
  • Careful with this pot -- tip too far to pour out the last of the water and the lid is likely to (as it did in my case) fall off right into your cup.
2017-Mar-12 - Ten Ten Tapas

Truffle Fries (GF, $9.10) hand-cut Kennebec potatoes, chopped rosemary, truffle oil & Grana Padano with lemon mayo
  • Under "Shared Plates" so the portion is meant for sharing, though looks like not for more than two persons.
  • Where's my truffle? OK it's not quite so bad but I think it was kind of concentrated in the middle and you might not get even a whiff on some fries. Sadly, that happened to me, but not to the person next to me.
  • Price for portion... My experience at Joe Fortes has still been the best of all truffle fries I have had anywhere in Vancouver.
  • If they were hand cut, then honestly I expected much fewer very small lengths, that presentation-wise gave the impression of scraps. Even McDonald's recognizes the impression that long fries gives. Don't serve me scraps.
  • I don't expect the fries to be piping hot, but still... can they be hot when they hit the table? That gives the impression that they are fresh and weren't sitting around getting cold till a server got to them.
  • Other than that, the coating of rosemary and parmesan on the fries looked really quite even and thorough.
2017-Mar-12 - Ten Ten Tapas

KFC… Krispy Fried Cauliflower (GF, $9.10) French beans, toasted almond, chili flakes, Grana Padano & fresh citrus
  • Under "Shared Plates" so the portion is meant for sharing, though looks like not for more than two persons.
  • Strangely didn't come across as crispy or even crunchy.
  • Liked it more as a salad, to be honest. The chili buzz (pretty much very, very, mild heat only) and citrus made this light on the tongue.
  • The smaller ingredients like toasted almond are totally wasted unless you work on it by cutting up the cauliflower into a manageable bite and then scooping up some of the bits to go along. Can't really do much with the beans except eat each strand/pod, and thankfully they are nicely seasoned all on their own.
  • As far as this being a "crispy" fried cauliflower dish... if that's what you're looking for give it a pass. BUT if you want a decent small salad without the usual leafy greens, it's a notch above average.
2017-Mar-12 Ten Ten Tapas - krispy fried cauliflower

2017-Mar-12 Ten Ten Tapas - krispy fried cauliflower

Antipasto Platter (GF option; single $18.10 double $29.10) selection of artisan meats & cheeses, with grainy mustard, fruit compote, pickles & dark rye toasts
  • If you go to a tapas place and this is what you order, you need to eat out more. I mean, c'mon you can get this anywhere.
  • Gluten-free bread available.
  • For $18? Nope. Pictured below is a "single" order for $18.10.
2017-Mar-12 Ten Ten Tapas - antipasto platter

Calamari (GF, $12.10) pan-seared with pomodoro sauce, capers, chili & parsley
  • Not my order and I wasn't fast enough to get a photo before they dove in. I would have been more interested if I realized from the start what they ordered. Thought they ordered a soup...
  • The "calamari" Share Plate looks more like a stew, so know this before you order since "calamari" as an appetizer or share plate is typically synonymous with a plate of fried calamari in a Greek restaurant.
  • Icky about double dipping utensils? Make sure you get a sharing spoon.
  • I passed on tasting it so this is just a head's up that what you're gonna get might not be what you're thinking of.
2017-Mar-12 Ten Ten Tapas - calamari (after someone dug in and took some)

Dessert Trio ($12.10) three mini versions of our popular desserts; fruit tart, chiffon cake, & dark chocolate marquise
  • The desserts sold separately are:
    • seasonal fruit tart ($9.10) sweet vanilla tart with lemon curd; glaze seasonal fruit & baby herbs
    • dark chocolate marquise (GF, $10.10) for serious chocoholics, with white chocolate gelato, praline brittle, & lemon balm
    • chiffon cake ($10.10) with caramel corn & grapefruit sorbet
  • Price for portion works out to approximately $4 per sample--depending on how much you like each dessert it's not so bad.
  • Of the three, I the chiffon cake comes off as probably the least interesting, followed by the fruit tart which is helped immensely by making sure you have some of the lemon curd with each bite.
  • The firm crust on the tart means you are probably best picking it up and doing it in two bites rather than risk the whole thing falling apart trying to cut it.
  • The chocolate marquise is the best of the lot. The chocolate portion is made interesting and more tasty with some saltiness.
  • Move quickly on this! Gelato and sorbet start melting right away and it's just gonna be a mess on your plate.
  • You might want to ask for an extra spoon to help you scoop together the gelato and sorbet instead of chasing it around the plate with one spoon or using your finger.
2017-Mar-12 Ten Ten Tapas - dessert trio

Amuse bouche. Complimentary. Can't remember what it was (didn't want to conspicuously take notes -- sorry. Bad enough I was documenting the whole meal in pictures while trying to stay undercover as a blogger).

2017-Mar-12 Ten Ten Tapas - amuse bouche

Overall the items I tried were passable, which means sub-par for the label "tapas" and for the price they command--So don't order what I did. Try something else.

That said, as a live music venue... When the singer is just a few meters from you, is careful to make eye contact and work the whole room whether his audience is near or far, and walks about at intermission to socialize... Ten Ten Tapas turns its small space into the advantage of intimate and interactive and embraces you with a cozy ambiance.

2017-Mar-12 - Ten Ten Tapas