Friday, October 26, 2018

Superstore Portuguese Style Seasoned Whole Chicken

My mom had a sudden craving for BBQ chicken and fairly dashed out to Walmart for their 2-for-$15 800g chicken promotion, only to find out that the Metrotown Walmart didn't carry them at all! So she went to Superstore for their 1 kg chickens and bought just one.

It turns out the chicken is actually really rather decent. The main things I checked were the breast meat and whether the chicken was cooked through.

They probably brined the chicken because the breast meat was really quite moist and tender. Often poultry that hasn't been brined before being roasted ends up with breast meat so dry you need a soft drink or gravy to help you choke it down.

Whenever you buy one of these chickens from anywhere, I recommend you don't count on eating the whole thing at a picnic or other no-access-to-cooking space just in case some parts of the chicken turn out not-so-cooked.
With this particular chicken however, only the deepest part of the thigh showed any sign of being very, very, slightly undercooked, with a small section of slightly pink meat clinging to the bone. No blood and nothing chewy or raw looking.
Meat was tender overall -- enough for me to literally just pull out a thigh without cutting anything.

There's a decent amount of sauce/drippings in the package, and the seasoning here is only slightly spicy-hot giving a light buzz in the mouth IF you use a lot of the pan drippings. Predominantly, however, you taste a tangy lime flavour, which I find helps with appetite when you're slogging through a lot of meat.

Overall, this was a nicely done chicken and priced at less than a fast food burger combo for a lot more food.

2018-Oct-26 Superstore Portuguese Style Seasoned Whole Chicken

2018-Oct-26 Superstore Portuguese Style Seasoned Whole Chicken

2018-Oct-26 Superstore Portuguese Style Seasoned Whole Chicken

2018-Oct-26 Superstore Portuguese Style Seasoned Whole Chicken

2018-Oct-26 Superstore Portuguese Style Seasoned Whole Chicken

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Thanksgiving at Seasons in the Park

Seasons in the Park Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Thanksgiving Weekend, and I dragged my out-of-town friend to Seasons in the Park for dinner with a view.

So many things wrong with that.

First, the view. Yes it's there, but once it's dark out, the reflections on the window glass can obscure some of it. If you're not taking pictures, that's not a problem and there are the city lights and skyline to make for quite a nice view.
Still, I'd recommend not going before sundown if a view is what you are after.

Second, Thanksgiving dinner. You're not locked into the set menu with Thanksgiving turkey, but there's only so much they can do to the traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner that what will end up being special is likely to be the appetizer and dessert. In short, before you go to any restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner, make sure it's not going to be about the food. About the view, the ambiance, the service -- sure. For turkey dinner, do your research first.
Seasons served up a very traditional nothing-interesting turkey dinner plate and I passed in favour of the day's special, a delicious ravioli.

It was Thanksgiving so I couldn't secure a reservation for an earlier dinner so we had to settle for something almost at 8pm. There were still many occupied tables and larger parties, though. Service is good, friendly and not pushy. Very understanding about things if you spent your time chatting with your dining buddy instead of studying the menu -- which is much appreciated. And one of the reasons to go to Seasons if you want fine dining AND actually spending face time with your friends instead of eat-and-go. A pleasantly unhurried experience.

Complimentary Bread
  • Looks like exactly the same bread and butter as at their sister restaurant Cardero's, so it very well might be shipped in from elsewhere. Still it didn't seem at all like it had sat around too long, so can't complain. The bread it actually really decent.
Seasons Mushrooms ($14) crab, shrimp, cream cheese
  • Cream cheese stuffed mushroom caps. Light, creamy, very rich.
  • If they don't bring a spoon, ask for one right away. And maybe save some bread for the cream cheese mess you're gonna leave behind in the dish because it's that soft and creamy.
  • Simple, delicious, and fun to eat. But ultimately, it scores a FAIL -- because the menu indicated crab and shrimp and maybe the light was too dim but I really didn't detect them in sight, taste, or texture. If it were there in any significant quantity the cheese overwhelmed it.
  • If you don't mind this detail, it's actually a really nice appetizer and a goodly portion. They are not skimpy here with portion and a couple of appetizers carefully chosen could total a filling meal.
2018-Oct-8 Seasons in the Park - Seasons Mushrooms

Fried Artichokes ($12) tempura battered, lemon tarragon aioli
  • I don't often see artichoke on the menu so obviously I had to order it for science.
  • Up front they tell you it's tempura battered so it's hard to fault when it comes out fresh but oily. It's oily because they didn't let it sit around too long trying to get the oil sponged out with a kitchen towel. So, definitely use the aioli provided, which is rather tasty.
  • Don't worry about overdoing the aioli because the artichoke doesn't have that much flavour. The texture, however, is interesting, for being very meaty without actually being meat.
2018-Oct-8 Seasons in the Park - Fried Artichokes

Squash Ravioli special of the day ($29)
  • Can't remember what the server said about this but it was a slightly lighter plate (which was nice as I had the two appetizers, and in total a rather full dinner with no room for dessert) and rich and tasty.
2018-Oct-8 Seasons in the Park- ravioli special of the day

2018-Oct-8 Seasons in the Park- ravioli special of the day

Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner ($27 as part of prix fixe three-course Thanksgiving dinner)

2018-Oct-8 Seasons in the Park- Oven Roasted Turkey / Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner

Pumpkin Crème Brulee ($6 as part of prix fixe three-course Thanksgiving dinner)

2018-Oct-8 Seasons in the Park - Pumpkin Creme Brulee

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Cardero's Restaurant

Cardero's Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Walked in to Cardero's shortly before the start of their happy hour. Basically there for a snack and a break in between my friend's sightseeing. Given the hour being firmly between lunch and dinner I didn't really think anyone would necessarily expect us to be there for either lunch or dinner. Restaurant was pretty quiet as expected, with maybe three tables occupied in total.

Nevertheless we got a pretty condescending server who seemed to look down on us not ordering drinks (neither of us were drinkers) and ordering only lightly (no I wasn't there for either lunch or dinner). God knows what sort of attitude we'd have gotten if we arrived later and asked for the Happy Hour menu. Obviously that's for cheap people, right? In any case, the more attitude I get the less I'm inclined to order.

And speaking of the Happy Hour menu, I saw an avocado salad (?) on it that wasn't on the regular menu so I asked about it. And got a pointed reply that it was only on the Happy Hour menu, which was at the bar. Honestly I didn't see what the big deal would have been in a practically dead quiet time for the restaurant to get us a salad from the bar along with the other things we ordered.

Italian Meatballs ($14) roasted roma tomato sauce, grana Padano, fresh basil
  • The price may look daunting but if you don't blink at ordering a burger for the same price, you're getting more than the meat and just none of the fluff of a burger for the same.
  • Meatballs were nicely tender but not so much as to fall apart. Strong on spices to make it flavourful and not too salty. The sauce wasn't too salty either.
  • Ask for a spoon right away so you can get at the sauce. And save some of your complimentary bread for it too.
  • Overall, pretty decent and if you're a really light eater, call it your main and don't share.
2018-Oct-3 Cardero's - Italian Meatballs

2018-Oct-3 Cardero's - Italian Meatballs

My friend got a Mediterranean Salad ($15) of moderate portion size. Said it was good. I didn't try it.

Dessert of the day ($9.50) - Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • Mediocre. Nothing special here, so save your $9.50 and either get something else or go get a whole pie or cheesecake from your local supermarket.
  • Toffee (?) swirl on the plate tasted very watery thin.
2018-Oct-3 - Cardero's - Pumpkin Cheesecake

The complimentary bread. Not toasty warm when it hit the table but the bread itself is really decent.

2018-Oct-3 Cardero's - complimentary bread