Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Four Mile House: Delightful Wings Wednesday!

Wandered onto the island for a mini-vacation with my parents just for this! (Well one of the main reasons) It wasn't very packed, but we seated ourselves and were provided with menus after a little wait.
Four Mile House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoRestaurant: Four Mile House Bar and Grill (visit their website here)
Location: 199 Island Highway, View Royal
Cuisine: Pub, American, Bar
Price range: $15-25

Date of visit: March 30, 2016
Atmosphere: 3/5
Staff/service: 4/5
Food variety: 3/5
Food quality: 4/5
Buck worthy? 5/5

So Wings Wednesdays meant-- YES half-priced wings! Super stoked, we ordered five pounds of them. But first, here's Elephant's Virgin Caesar ($2.95). Pretty good price for a drink! He says he always enjoys his caesars here every time!

Onto the main event: WINGS ($12.95/pound, half price on Wednesdays). All of them were cooked well, juicy inside and crispy outside.We ordered the BBQ wings, which I felt packed a strong smokey flavor. A little on the salty side, but sauce was just the right amount.

I chose the Lemon Pepper, which were dry wings. I didn't taste much of the lemon, but with the lemon wedges we got with another dish spritzed on them-- mm! There was some sweetness to the peppery sprinkles and although they were dry wings, the insides were still very juicy.

The Blue Moon was quite special, I'd never tasted anything quite like it. It's blue cheese with buffalo hot sauce, felt it was too salty and a bit spicy for me. However I liked the pairing of flavors as they literally burst in my mouth.

Fourth pound was Teriyaki wings, these were quite salty. Not very memorable to me as I felt they were a bit too saucy.

Last pound! Honey garlic! So much honey, not a lot of garlic. Although I thought it would be too saucy, it wasn't overly sweet and I quite liked these wings.

On top of that we ordered Cod Fish and Chips with an extra piece of fish ($16.65). The cod was flakey and moist, crispy outside. Didn't touch the fries much, but they were your average pub fries. Salad on the side was light and tangy, helped cut the fat feeling of all the wings we were having!

Had to try a pasta, so we got an Ocean Liner Linguini ($16.65). This had mussels, clams, wild salmon, cod, and shrimp in a white wine cream sauce. The seafood was very plentiful and fresh, the pasta was al dente. Sauce was a bit on the sweet side.

Overall our meal was very enjoyable, although it did take quite some time for our wings and food to finally arrive (probably cuz we ordered 5 pounds). Our server was cheerful and friendly. One thing I wish they could improve upon would be drink refills, our water was empty for about half the meal, but our server was not around for us to ask or offer us refills. I realize now that there's also other specials on Wednesdays (and every day of the week) but WINGS.

**Sorry for the poor photos, just got a new camera and adjusting to it xD**

Sunday, 31 January 2016

L'Abattoir: DineOut #3... Mini portions =(

Onto third and last Dine Out this year at L'Abattoir. Thanks for Adorables' connections were we able to get a table tonight! We sat at the back of the restaurant, which was quite cute but a bit chilly.

L'Abattoir Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoRestaurant: L'Abattoir (visit their website here)
Location: 217 Carrall Street, Vancouver
Cuisine: French, Canadian
Price range: $40/person (Dine Out)

Date of visit: January 31, 2016
Atmosphere: 4/5
Staff/service: 3.5/5
Food variety: 3/5
Food quality: 3.5/5
Buck worthy? 3/5

They had an option of bread service of $3 per person, but as we looked around and felt our tummies growl.. we decided to just wait for our dishes to arrive. For her appie GirlNextDoor decided on their Grilled Squid Stuffed with Pork and Herbs. I believe it was paired with a mint and cucumber creme sauce and squid ink. The plating was a bit bare, but neat and tidy. Squid itself tasted good and pork had lots of flavor, I had a giant grain of salt in my bite which was disappointing. Did I mention there were only 3 pieces of squid about the size of half a wine cork?

I ordered the Cauliflower and Boudin Blanc appetizer which was plated with foie gras, parsley, and crispy chicken chips. I feel this dish was quite nicely plated with the selection in the middle. The pickled cauliflower contrasted well with the fatty foie gras but was unexpectedly tart. Foie gras was rich and smooth, but not much flavor to it. I liked the boudin blanc, but it lacked texture besides being mushy. Strong chicken flavor! The chicken chips were great with the foie gras and boudin blanc, added some crisp to the soft items.

Adorables ordered the Roast Pork Belly with Crackling that included turnips and salsa verde. This looked like a messy dish with just veggies slathered over it, but the pork itself was rich, a bit heavy, but so flaky and melted in my mouth. Crackling needs more more crackle to it, but it wasn't the worst I've had.

I tried their Braised Veal Shank Tagliatelle with squash, chimichurri, and crispy shallot. GirlNextDoor got the same dish but hers was plated much nicer. Mines looked like someone attacked it and attempted to place it back on the plate. Pasta was al dente and the veal was tender, moist, and flavorful.... to the point where I found the whole dish too salty. The portion was very small as well. I'm pretty sure if I counted, there were approximately 7-8 strands of tagliatelle. Chimichurri was wasted as it was only there to decorate the plate and barely detectable. Didn't quite notice any crispy shallots on my dish-- maybe they forgot it.

MaCherie had the Saffron Crusted Pacific Salmon paired with lobster sauce, fennel, and pepper condiment. This was one of the better dishes of the evening, the salmon was lightly seared on the outside, with the inside being semi-raw and felt like smoked salmon. Crunchy on top, the saffron added flavors to the fish, and the lobster sauce sealed the deal. Delish!

Onto desserts, GirlNextDoor ordered the Lemon Tart with Raspberry sorbet and lime meringue. This was so pretty! I loved the tart flavors, it was creamy and not too sweet. The meringue was crunchy and light, great with the tart raspberry puree.

Adorables and I had the White Chocolate Cheesecake with graham crumble, caramel, and nougatine. This was a beautiful display, they looked like tiny mounds of white on a backdrop of the caramel. The cheesecake was smooth and creamy, couldn't taste the cheese strongly. Nougatine and crumble added some nice extra texture to the cheesecake. Yummy!

MaCherie ordered their Dark Chocolate Mousse with mandarin and chocolate cake. Basically it looked like... loose poop (excuse my lack of a better description). On the side was a chocolate crumble, sponge toffee, and a "spongified" mandarin orange slice. The mousse was smooth and rich, not very fluffy like the typical mousse.

We enjoyed each others' company this evening, but some dishes were disappointing, not to mention all of us left unsatisfied from the small portions. GirlNextDoor mentioned that the regular menu had much better portion sizes and quality. Kinda stumped that we paid $40 for this =( I liked how they served us all at the same time though (had two servers carrying two dishes each to serve all four of us at the same time).

Monday, 25 January 2016

Sushi Aria: Generically acceptable sushi

Craving sushi and saw this new place nearby, so we decided to give it a try! There's lots of street parking, both paid and free 2hr parking nearby. I wasn't noticed for a while before being seated, but did get a seat eventually (it was near empty) and the waitress was friendly.

Sushi Aria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoRestaurant: Sushi Aria
Location: 4018 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi
Price range: $10-15/person

Date of visit: January 25, 2016
Atmosphere: 4/5
Staff/service: 3/5
Food variety: 5/5
Food quality: 3.5/5
Buck worthy? 4/5

Similar to other Korean-operated Japanese restaurants, the menu offered reasonably priced sushi and I didn't expect anything super fancy. There were quite a few special rolls, and I saw others order it-- looked pretty good! I was debating between udon or rice, but the server recommended the rice, so I got their Al Bab ($6.95). It was rice in a hot stone bowl topped with tobiko, masago, pickled veggies, carrot, cucumber, and seaweed mixed in a light soy sauce. The bowl was hot and they mixed it for me, taste was interesting, never had something like it before but felt it wasn't as "delicious" as she sold it as.

Next to arrive was the Sashimi and Sushi Combo ($9.95) which had two pieces salmon and tuna sashimi, and one ebi (I swapped it to ika free of charge), tuna, salmon, chopped scallop, and masago nigiri. I was quite happy with the ika, it was gooey but had some spring to it. The others were equally average. Disappointment was the mushy tuna sashimi and "tendonous" (veiny?) salmon sashimi. Good portions though!

Last thing was a Deep Fried California Roll ($3.75). Considering the price, I shouldn't have expected much. It was crispy on the outside and topped with a tangy sauce + spicy mayo. The insides were average imitation crab and creamy avocado, but it was too warm and made it quite heavy. Adorables did not approve of it.

They give cotton candy instead of candies here! Fun =D

Overall it was hard to get service when you wanted it, but I guess it provides some level of privacy if you wanted it. They were good in making rounds to fill up our tea, and generally welcoming.