Ten Foot Henry, Calgary

I’ve been meaning to go to Ten Foot Henry, especially after hearing that it’s in the top 10 best restaurants in Calgary in 2017 (link)
It was 5pm on Tuesday, when we suddenly decided to go.  However, weirdly as like most restaurants in downtown Calgary, they really had no available seating (except counter seat at 6pm).  We took it.
First we were greeted by the bartender who offered me unlimited free sparkling water!! Yes!! This made me so happy!
The menu was divided into “Vegetables”, “Fish and Meat” and “Pasta”.  Vegetables consisted of about 10-15 dishes, fish/meat about 5 and pasta about 3.
Looking at other tables, I noticed that people ordered vegetables and these were being served, one after another.  Each vegetable dish was shared by a number of people. Pasta and fish/meat weren’t so popular.
So I understood that I was meant to order a few vegetable dishes, but the problem was, my hubby doesn’t really eat vegetables so he ordered potatoes and pasta :/ Yup. So this is what we ordered:
Main dishes:
1) Marinated beets, picked pepper, hummus, dukkah
2) Fried potatoes, lime, herbs, jalapeño, green goddess
3) Yellow fin crudo, chimichurri, sesame, chilli
4) Spaghetti pomodoro
The beets came first. This was cooked as expected, but it was over a very light, creamy, lime hummus, topped up with pickled pepper.  I loved the slight crunch to the beet and the creamy light hummus base, as well as the lime taste.  This was refreshing.
 
Fried potatoes were very fried because the skin was thick and was almost separated from the potato itself.  I loved the lime-herb creamy sauce, but it wasn’t that spicy.
Yellow fin crudo was similar to sashimi.  The fish was thinner. I felt that the coriander, sesame, and chilli completed this fish.
Spaghetti was fresh, a la dente, but a little on the dry side.  Cheese didn’t melt but was very strong.
My favourite dishes from above were the beets and the yellow fin crudo.
 If you don’t like vegetables or don’t want to try them, then I don’t really see a point in coming here 😃
However, the vegetables aren’t your average type. For example, there was a roasted cauliflower dish on the menu with egg and garlic breadcrumb, which seemed very interesting.  It seems that Ten Foot Henry takes different kind of vegetables and spices it up with other herbs and natural flavours.
Desserts:
 
We ordered 3 to share.
1) Butterscotch pudding – the most raved about dessert in Calgary (I hear)
2) Raw chocolate truffle
3) Coconut cake
Butterscotch pudding was more like a creme caramel texture (eggy) rather than cake texture (such as sticky toffee pudding).  It was a little sweet, and yes butterscotchy 😀 but it was extremely salty on the top.  The topping was similar to a meringue but it was too salty.  To tell you the truth, I was a bit disappointed.  Maybe it’s the fact it was too salty or that I’m a Brit (high expectations with puddings).
Raw chocolate truffle – I assumed that these would be very chocolatey and rich, especially when it’s “raw” and a “truffle”.  It wasn’t sweet or light/creamy as I assumed truffles were; it had more of a nutty texture.  This was covered in pistachio and chilli flakes, and had a bit of salt.  I could not understand that why was this again more salty than sweet?  I had this with a decaf americano (which was really good!)
Coconut cake was to go.  Cake was very soft and there was a thin layer of coconut buttercream.  This was pretty much average for me.
Ambiance and Service:
It was like a posh cafe atmosphere, lots of plants, wooden floor and surrounding.  There were very few tables and many counter spots.  Service was very prompt and the bartender kept filling my glass with sparkling water! I am sure I drank about 2 litres of it!
Would I come here again?
I would come and try other vegetables. I found it very unique. Great service and relaxing atmosphere.  But I’m sure that my hubby wouldn’t as he wasn’t fond of the pasta.

The newest (Bengali) resto in town – Calcutta Cricket Club

This is an upscale Bengali resto, located on busy 17th Ave SW that just opened last week!
Given the fact that my fave Nilu’s Kitchen (Bangladeshi resto) shut down last year, I was curious to find how this was!
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Waiting Time:
They don’t take reservations. We got in at 8pm and put our name down (waiting time was about 45 mins and they call you when the table is ready).
Food
  • Papri Chat (semolina crisps, spiced potatoes, yogurt, onions, chickpeas, mint, tamarind, chat masala, sev and pomegranate) 
    • At first glance, this looked a bit dry compared to what I’ve had elsewhere.  However, as I dug into it, there were more potatoes and crips than anything else.  Yogurt was adequate but a little on the drier side.  Pomegranate – barely any!  Taste and texture – the crisps were extremely crispy (i.e. fresh), yogurt wasn’t bitter and I loved that mint was added into it.  However, i’d prefer a little more pomegranate and more yogurt sauce.  I wouldn’t choose this again mainly because potatoes were on the heavier side than anything else; and I don’t  like to fill my stomach with potatoes before the main meal.  However, would be good to share between 3 people.

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  • Kati roll (tandoori spiced chicken, onions, lime and green chilli wrapped in paratha)
    • The paratha was relatively thin, soft and a little crunchy. Chicken breast was very tender and cooked, but it was a bit spicy due to fresh chills.  If you were to choose this dish on its own, it would not be enough. Order 2 kati rolls.  This is definitely something I’d have again.
  • Gunpowder Broccolini (charred broccolini with garlic-ginger ghee, red chilli and sprinkled with spice)
    • I love broccolini and I’ve only ever had it boiled! So I definitely needed to try it “charred”!  This was only slightly charred, but it was deliciously cooked with a very garlicky ghee.  In fact, it was too garlicky and a tad bit sea-salty! Although it was cooked with dried red chilli, it wasn’t that spicy.  This is a MUST HAVE dish; especially if you love green veg…just be mindful that it had a lot of ghee in it (but the ghee smelt like butter and not the bad kind of ghee that you buy from an Indian grocery store!)

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  • Chicken Rezala (a royal white curry with whole spices, yogurt, cashew, poppy seed and saffron)
    • This was the most surprising dish of all because of the quantity.  The total amount of chicken pieces looked as if they came from an equivalent of 2 chicken thighs or 2 drumsticks. The white curry was very thin (almost a water consistency rather than a cream/yogurt consistency).  The taste was the usual – similar to what I had in Bangladesh.  Therefore for a price of $15, especially with the small quantity, I felt that this was a “miss”.

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  • Lamb Shank Kosha Mangsho (slowly braised lamb shank served with traditional mishti pulao with cashews, saffron and raisins)
    • The lamb shank was cooked well with adequate amount of sauce to poor over the rice.  The sauce itself was a bit on a tangy side (more tomato paste and less spices to what I’m used to) – in fact, I felt it was a bit similar to moroccan style cooking.  At a price of  $38 for the rice and meat, it is reasonable for Calgary.  However, given the fact that I personally cook lamb shanks pretty well, I wouldn’t have it next time 😃

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  • Garlic Nan
    • We initially received a very well cooked piece of nan bread.. in fact, some parts of it were too crispy.  The waiter kept coming by to see if everything was okay, and I just had to tell him that the nan was overly cooked.  Within minutes though, he served softer nan.  The nan wasn’t that thin, but it was light.  The garlicky butter on the top was a bit dry – would be better to have more of a moist coating on the top.

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  • Chai
    • Masala chai was more on the watery side and the spices were overpowered by its sweetness from the sugar.  I personally would not order this again because I prefer less sweeter, and more thicker milk; but then again, the price of $2 per glass was reasonable.

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  • Mango Payesh
    • This was a cold rice pudding served in a bowl in the middle of mango sauce.  This was refreshing and not sweet as most Indian desserts are (definitely not as sweet as the chai!).  Quantity was enough for 2-3 people.  I would definitely have this again.

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Ambiance
The decor was absolutely stunning! Seats were very comfy! Music was mellow and the restaurant was fully packed.  Hubby and I sat there for hours talking.  This is one of the nicest, comfortable restaurants that I’ve been to.
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Service
Initially the service was fast and we were served by this 1 guy.  Later, it got a bit slow and it took a lot of time to get our bill and our dessert, even though many of the customers had already left. However, the waiter apologised and said that this is the first week of opening.  He was very polite and apologetic and therefore, I give this level of service a very high rating.
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Would I come here again?
Definitely I would! It’s really a great place to catch up with anyone. I would mainly come for the small bar snacks/rolls rather than the heavy main dishes.  The bar snacks and rolls prices range between $3.50 to $12 and were really good in terms of taste/quality/price.  The ambience is unbeatable.

My First Ever Visit to  Waitrose Supermarket 

I couldn’t help but write a post about Waitrose; especially since this was the first time I ever went!
Friends and colleagues, back in the days, used to tell me about this “fancy” grocery chain. However, throughout my 20+years of living in the UK, I never actually came across one. If I had to go to one, I’d have to actually make the trip!
As a bigger foodie than before, I decided to go to Waitrose in Westfield, Stratford, London as I was visiting there.


I spent a couple of hours looking at products that I’ve never seen in other grocery chains!
Some things that caught my attention and that I tried:

*Waitrose Greek Yogurt – this was actually made in Greece! So I needed to try the real thing. And I gotta say, it was the best Greek yogurt I’ve ever have (in the UK and North America). Although, a Greek friend long ago, did mention that Greek yogurt from Greece is nothing like what we have in our supermarkets. This one though felt like a dessert: so creamy, naturally sweet, thick..I couldn’t stop moaning to tell you the truth.


* Cartel Sticky Toffee Pudding – Most puddings that I’ve tried were very light, floury and soaked with the syrup. This one was heavy, sticky (had more dates) and very rich. Just few spoonfuls satisfied my craving! I had my pudding with a spoon of clotted cream.


* Rhokett Belgian chocolate cheesecake – this was probably one of the best cheesecakes I’ve had in my life. It was thick but light enough to eat after a heavy meal. There were solid chunks of milk chocolate (slightly crunch and soooo good) and a thin layer of biscuit base



* Green & Black ice cream
– If you’ve heard of Green & Black organic chocolate, Waitrose actually sells their range of ice cream!! I tried the dark chocolate flavour; which was bittersweet, very rich and thick. Although it didn’t feel that milky/creamy; it was more rich in dark chocolate. One little pot of this would got my chocolate and ice cream cravings away!


* Chocolate Torsade
– this had to be the best pastry ever. This is similar to a croissant, but it was a twist of a buttery pastry base with a vanilla paste and semi-sweet chocolate chips. This one in particular was buttery, so moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside. The choc was bittersweet and extremely rich (compared to M&S which uses a “milkier” chocolate). This was so good that I immediately had to buy another one straight after eating one!



* Yeo Valley Ice cream-
this range was also exclusively sold by Waitrose! I love their yogurt, so I supposed this ice cream would be good! I didn’t get the chance this time; but surely next time I will!

I’d love to try more items next time I make a trip to England and specifically to Waitrose
For anyone who wants a decent dessert, I’m sure you would find something delicious here; better than most other restaurants!

Duck and Waffle, London

This restaurant that’s located in a high story building just off Liverpool street station is not only known for its all day duck and waffle dish, but for its amazing views of London! 

Duck and waffles anyone?

I’ve tried chicken and waffles before (elsewhere)and quite liked the combination! So I thought why not duck and waffles? After all I love each item.. however, I just didn’t know how the maple syrup (that was served with it) would work with those items? I wondered whether this dish was considered a savory item or sweet?


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Most of the seats were located near the window; especially where there were table for 2’s and table for 4’s. Therefore, you get a good view of London.  I think that if you’d go in a larger group, you would have to sit in the middle of the restaurant; therefore not having the fantastic views of London.


Menu

The menu was basic and reasonably priced. I just went ahead with the most rated dish “duck and waffles”, which was served within 20 mins of ordering!

Duck and waffle – yey or no?

I gotta say that it was the most amazing waffle (non-liège) that I’ve ever had. It was soft (light but moist cake like texture on the inside) and a slight crisp on the outside (well-cooked I must say).


The duck was cooked similar to a porteguese chicken method. Cooked slowly until the meat was superbly tender. The maple syrup was just pure.

Let me tell you how I enjoyed this dish.  I first had the duck with half of the waffle (as a savory item to start with).  Then as a sweet ending, I had the remaining half of the waffle with some maple syrup. Personally I didn’t like the syrup over the duck as I wanted to taste the duck more.

And the views?

Wow, I couldn’t expect anything more!


Would I come here again?

Definitely, yes!!! I’d do it all over again! After all, it’s around £15 for the best waffle dish and an amazing view (as well as the service).

Dishoom, Kings Cross, London

Dishoom is a Bombay upscale cafe with vintage decor. They’ve a few locations in London, but the one I went to was the Kings Cross location.

My first visit was for dinner on a weekday! Well, I happened to get there at 6:30pm, but there was almost a 2 hour waiting time! My friend (whom I was meeting) brought a big bag of snacks to eat while waiting in the queue. However, the employee at Dishoom eventually recognized that my friend was pregnant and was very kind to let fit 3 of us in after 15 mins of waiting!

So people, if you’re going to Dishoom for dinner, bring snacks and be prepared to wait in line (unless one of you are pregnant; then maybe there’s a chance)! No, they don’t take any bookings for dinner.



DINNER


We ordered:

  • Okra fries – very unique, lightly spiced and crispy okra!
  • Black dall – so creamy and filling; this is definitely a must! The ultimate comfort food.
  • Chicken tikka – succulent tandoori chicken breast peices
  • Nihari – roasted lamb dish with the option to add lamb brain. This was a big portion but really comforting. This one dish would be enough to fill you up
  • Keema Pau – minced lamb curry with home made bun
  • Chocolate chai – now this had to be the best tea ever!! There was melted dark choc mixed with their regular chai, topped up with frothy milk. Wasn’t too sweet for me, which was a bonus! And didn’t have that powdered or condensed milk smell (I suppose they just used fresh milk). I knew after this that I had to come back again! And I did! With breakfast!


BREAKFAST 



I first ordered a regular chai (cuz I wanted the choc chai for dinner)..this chai was a bit peppery with cardamon taste.

For food, I ordered the Kejriwal (fried eggs on chilli cheese toast). This was a toasted slice of fresh bread topped up with a mixture of cheese, chilli (not spicy), coriander leaves. Broiled well. Then topped up with fried eggs. This was broiled again with some grated cheese on top! It was delicioooous!


Hubby ordered Keema Per Eedu (chicken keema with chicken liver) topped up with runny eggs and crispy thin fries. The keema was a bit spicy, but I personally didn’t find it different compared to standard Indian restaurants. The livers were cut into huge chunks rather than small pieces but it still absorbed the Indian spices.

We also ordered a nan roll (one of Dishoom’s popular breakfast items), but we ordered the egg version (fried eggs in nan).

Overall, Dishoom had a lovely ambiance with a relaxed atmosphere; service was excellent despite how busy they were; food was reasonably priced and quite unique from any other restaurants.  

This is really a great place to catch up with friends or anyone because they don’t kick you out!! Yes….friend and I were talking for about 4-5 hours (even after finishing our food) and yet we didn’t get kicked out! 😄

I’d definitely come here again; especially for the chai!

Sucre Patisserie, Calgary

Sucre is a French bakery that recently opened up in downtown, Calgary.


Since I was working next to that building, I had the opportunity to try their food and drinks every single day for the week! 😃


If it’s your first time, you’ll be greeted by a proud staff member who says something in the lines of “All our products here are made in our kitchen. Our coffee “Matchstick” comes from Vancouver…”

All the products are nicely presented as shown here:

So here’s what I tried and what I think of them!

Drinks:

Vanilla Latte – They use real vanilla beans and you can see the seeds floating! This was probably the most delicious vanilla latte I’ve had. Although with whole milk, I’d expect the liquid to be a bit thicker (as it was a thinner consistency). This was slightly sweet so you didn’t need to add any additional sugar.


London Fog – My colleague (who generally loves London Fog) said that this was really good as they put vanilla seeds.

Cappucino -The Matchstick coffee is so dark, strong but not bitter! This made the cappuccino so tasty. I’d expect it to be a bit thicker consistency and a bit more frothy though. Nevertheless, it was one of the best cappuccino I’ve had in Calgary!


Food:

Almond Croissant/ Butter croissant – This was so buttery and delicious! No complaints.

Caramel Scone – A bit dense with nuts, slightly sweet

Pain au Chocolat – The croissant dough part was not sweet at all (same as the butter croissant). The chocolate was very dark so a tad bitter. Overall, it was an okay pastry for me. I had better elsewhere.

Chocolate Obsession cake – This was a layer of light mousse, with some caramel layer and a little chocolate biscuity layer. Overall, it was a light chocolate cake and not chocolatey to my expectation. I found that the chocolate torte from Gravity Bar in Inglewood was much more dense, and bursting with pure chocolate flavour and smell.


Chocolate/Pecan cookie – This is probably one of the best cookies I’ve ever had. The texture was soft (doughy), with heaps of milk chocolate chunks and some nuts.


Overall, this is a great bakery to visit as there is something for everyone!

Anju, Korean Restaurant, Calgary

This Korean upscale resto is located on 17th Ave of Calgary.
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I gotta say, this restaurant is now definitely one of my favourite!
As a first timer. the waitress advised us to try a number of small sized different dishes.
Hubby and I ordered the following:
  1. Oxtail Tortellini (Soy Sauce, Truffle Oil, Grana Padano)
  2. Fois Gras & Tofu (Smoked Bone Marrow, Steam Bread, Plum, Pistachio, Sesame)
  3. Beef Short Ribs (Sweet Garlic Soy Marinade, Cucumber Kimchi)
  4. Korean Beef Sliders
  5. Squid Fried Rice
  6. Dark Chocolate White Truffle Pâté (Black Vinegar, Orange Compote, Chocolate Gochujang Ice Cream)
  7. Fuyu Persimmon Cheesecake (Stewed Dates, White Chocolate Curry Crumble, Kaenip, Lemon)
Tortellini was so fresh with a “a la dente” texture of the pasta.  Oxtail was tender with a hint of spices.

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Fois Gras & Tofu was out of this world.  Normally I find fois gras too strong, but this was blended with tofu and was so creamy and light; topped up with crumbled pistachios.  Portion was more than enough and it was served with steamed/toasted thin slices of bread.

Beef short ribs was as expected (from any decent Korean place), but the cucumber kimchi that it was served with was mouth watering (salty, spicy and a bit sour).

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Korean Beef Sliders – beef on toasted bread with melted broiled cheese, spring onions and sesame.  Moist, tender beef filling on a slightly crunchy/soft bread.

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Squid Fried Rice – I normally go for plain rice whenever I’m at a restaurant because I don’t like my rice to be greasy.  However, when the waitress described it as “extremely spicy rice”, I knew I had to go for it!  It was the best fried rice I’ve ever had – the rice was the black kind (arborio style).  It was cooked with a lot of dry chilli peppers, but the heat wasn’t all that.  The rice was tasty on its own (with its own blend of spices).  My hubby normally can’t take the heat, but he found it tasty and couldn’t resist it.  In terms of “heatness”, if you are used to Asian spicy style food, then you would be able to bear this heat.  For me, I didn’t find it that spicy!

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Dark chocolate dessert.  This was the most unusual dessert that I’ve had in my life!  There was a chocolate torte like cake (thicker than mousse), very rich in chocolate.  However, I found that the truffle oil was so overpowering that I could hardly taste the chocolate. Yes I love truffle oil, but I think a tad less of it would do the job.  I couldn’t taste the sweetness of the chocolate.  Moreover, this was served with chocolate ice cream that was in fact very spicy! I found it a very weird combination.  It was also served with a chocolate meringue, which seemed to be a bit dry.  The black vinegar was only a drop, so it did not influence the taste overall – the truffle oil and the spice already took over!  At the end, I could not finish the cake because it was too filling.  I’d rather go for a sweet dessert rather than something spicy after a spicy meal 😃

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The cheesecake was very light and creamy; and very refreshing indeed. This cheesecake had hints of lemon everywhere and was definitely satisfying after a spicy meal.  It was topped up with stewed dates, but to me, the dates tasted a bit like raisins.

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Conclusion
Service – The waitress described everything perfectly.  For example, when I asked her to describe the chocolate dessert, she didn’t read from the menu.  Instead she described the texture and taste as close to reality.  From what I’ve seen, this is a skill that I don’t see much here in North America, but see a lot in Italian/French restaurants in Europe.
Ambiance – Comfy sofas, low lighting, dark furnitures, mellow music.  It was perfect for making conversations (unlike other loud restaurants).
Food – Impeccable.