Sunday, January 26, 2020

Burdock and Co.

Burdock & Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Caught up with a dear friend over Sunday brunch and Burdock and Co. was her pick. Busy busy busy but they take reservations! Table spacing is tight AND the tables are light and not bolted to the floor, so don't bulldoze your way around.

Didn't get a non-alcoholic drink menu right away so ask about it. Coffee and tea available of course but also a small selection of Fentimans.

Risotto ($17) biodynamic aged rice, sunchoke, walnut
  • Looks deceptively simple and therefore can look initially disappointing.
  • Even if you overlook the biodynamic aged rice portion of the item, it is actually surprisingly tasty thanks to the flavourful oil.
  • Portion may seem small compared to whatever your dining companion is getting but it's not very watery so it works out to be a decently filling portion.
  • Not overly sweet, interesting flavour, and strangely very little aftertaste.
My friend had the rather hearty-sized looking chickpea tagine that comes with two wedges of toasted bread. From the taste I got, I felt the spicing of the stew was rich and promising.

Price overall felt steep probably for the popularity of the restaurant but what they do make is tasty. If you prize quality over quantity the price should look okay. Either that or I lucked out ordering the most intriguing brunch menu item.

White Spot (Cardero) Beyond Burger

White Spot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Ended up at White Spot for a friend's birthday party. Been absolutely ages since I was at any outlet. Maybe I remember them a bit too fondly but for what I got, price felt outrageous. Even their french fries were so disappointing my mom said not to reheat them and just throw it out for the birds (no really -- she actually suggested that).

Crispy Cauliflower Bites ($10.49) glazed in sweet chili sauce and served with mango herb salsa over cilantro sour cream; toasted almonds.
  • Taste is quite decent although prone to being covered up by the various sauces and flavours on the plate.
  • Not even remotely crispy.
Avocado Beyond Burger™ ($17.49) Chargrilled 100% plant-based Beyond Meat® patty with fresh avocado, pickled onions, roasted corn, lettuce & tomato. JalapeƱo ranch & edamame hummus. Comes with choice of Caesar Salad, The Spot's Salad, or Creamy Coleslay and Endless Signature Kennebec Fries.
  • Mediocre tasting burger. Not even particularly big. At $17.49 it is charitable to say what you get is disappointing for the price.
  • I isolated a good chunk of the Beyond Meat patty to try, and it was actually really rather good. The look of the texture inside wasn't meat-like at all, but it was juicy, taste was good (though not really in a way you could positively identify which animal it's supposed to be), and the texture in your mouth was also ground burger patty like.
  • They charred some of the patty, which is fine as that can give a nice flavour on its own. However I felt there was a bit too much charring such that it dominated the burger overall.
  • I opted for the Creamy Coleslaw and Endless Signature Fries. If you substitute the fries for something else, it's not endless anymore.
  • Coleslaw used sunflower seeds, which made it different and interesting, but at the same time the coleslaw didn't have a crisp, sharp, refreshing bite that coleslaws often have.
  • The fries were limp. One step away from outright soggy. FAIL. I thought that might have been a fluke, so I asked for more fries (since it's endless, right?) and was careful to tell them I wasn't in a hurry and if I could get a freshly prepared order. Result was the same. FAIL.
Overall score would be a fail for such an expensive yet disappointing main. However, White Spot does have some non-food related redeeming qualities, such as being able to host large groups and unlike many restaurants, not being anxious about how long your party is there. Our largish party of almost 20 persons did not get a pre-calculated tip added to the bill.

Bonus point for our server Fergie who brought me my order of fries in a takeout box. It had apparently taken the kitchen long enough to fry up another batch and by then our party was almost ready to disperse. So bringing it to me in a takeout box was the correct move.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Basil Garden Pho

Basil Garden Pho Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Bright clean place that looks suspiciously like a Freshii outlet. Decent-to-good food at a rather good price for mains. Price for portion is actually rather good and they aren't skimpy with ingredients like the chicken in my chicken curry.

46. Basil Garden Chicken Curry (with choice of Vermicelli or Rice; $12)
  • This was a pretty big bowl for what you get. Obviously the curry soup is a part of what you get but they weren't skimpy with the chicken.
  • Sweet potato made this a bit more interesting and gave the soup a slight sweetness. Not especially hot-spicy.
  • Chicken pieces looked dry, unfortunately, but of course there's curry soup all around. Otherwise pretty decent bad and the price for portion is rather good.
1. Garlic Butter Chicken Wings ($12.50 - about $1.60 per wing)
  • Came piping hot, juicy, crispy on the outside. But it was also the last item of our order to come, despite being an appetizer.
  • Overall pretty decent. I think I would have liked the butter and/or garlic flavours to be more pronounced however.
33. Grilled Pork Chop and Lemongrass Chicken on Rice ($13)
  • My friend's order and I didn't get to try it, but I snagged some pics anyway.
I felt service was so-so... Order of dishes, amount of napkins they gave (not really enough), didn't clear dishes from our table. And the dilapidated menus really could be refreshed. But price for portion is really decent.