Brunch at Nilu’s Kitchen – Bangladeshi Cuisine

This is Calgary’s first Bangladeshi restaurant.

   
 My hubby and I went there for breakfast. We ordered the following:

  • Paratha – (fried bread):  light, tasty and not too greasy
  • Roti – (non-fried bread); very good
  • Beef Bhuna – excellent beef quality, tasty and well cooked
  • Chicken Bhuna – good but cooked with pieces of whole chicken in spices
  • Chana Dall – excellent
  • Halwa – (made with semolina). This was light, non greasy and cooked with sultanas

Overall, we were impressed about the food: freshly cooked and tasty.

We ordered 4 parathas and 2 rotis as well as all the dishes above and it came to around $40.

I would definitely come back here whenever I crave for Bangladeshi food.

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Chocolate Croissant / Pain au Chocolat

 

Chocolate Croissant, Sidewalk Citizen
  
Sticky Roll, Sidewalk Citizen
 
 
Pain au Chocolat, Eclair De Lune
 

So I went to Sidewalk Citizen this morning to get a couple of sticky rolls (reviewed in an earlier post).

This time I couldn’t resist the chocolate croissant there. It was light, springy and buttery. The chocolate quantity wasn’t too much but was enough for a light sweet snack. On the other hand, the Pain au Chocolat from Yann Haute Patisserie was more rich and slightly more dense. It was more like a rich, buttery, chocolately dessert 🙂 If you prefer a a lighter, springy croissant feeling, opt for the one at Sidewalk Citizen. If you prefer a more rich, denser and chocolate pastry, go for Yann Haute.

The other Pain au Chocolat that I’ve tried was from Eclair De Lune. The pastry was incredibly light, but wasn’t soft or springy as the other two. In fact it was a bit dryer. The chocolate wasn’t rich either and was lacking.

I personally prefer a more richer chocolate pastry. Therefore my ranking of all of the chocolate pastries are as follows:

  1. Yann Haute Patisserie
  2. Sidewalk Citizen
  3. Eclair de Lune

THE best steakhouse in Alberta! – Longview Steakhouse

Longview Steakhouse
Longview Steakhouse
Waiting area
Waiting area
Restaurant
Restaurant
Chicken Pastilla
Chicken Pastilla
Chicken Pastilla
Chicken Pastilla
Sweet Potato and Pea Soup
Sweet Potato and Pea Soup
Lamb
Lamb
Filet Mignon
Filet Mignon
Rib Steak
Rib Steak (after being dissected)
Creme Brûlée
Creme Brûlée
Bread Pudding
Bread Pudding

After 6 weeks of being put on the reservation list, our steak dinner time was finally here! Yey! I’ve been here before (as mentioned in my previous post), but this time I brought my hubby with me.  The last time he had steak was in Calgary at a top restaurant and said it was the best he’s ever had.  Really, he didn’t know what he was “best” until he went to Longview.

Longview Steakhouse was previously in an old-ranch house in a small town in Alberta of around 300 people, located 70km south-west of Calgary. Now it has moved to a bigger house, located on the top of a hill, still remaining in that small town.

Reservations are required in advance; especially if you want to go on the weekends.  I remember in April, I only had to wait 2 weekends to go in for a meal.  Now it’s 6-7 weekends!  Perhaps this is due to its high popularity and online reviews such as by CN Traveller– voted as the “world’s best 15 steak restaurants” and by Huffington Post as “The Best Steak in Alberta).

Food

Starters:

For starters we both had the Chicken Pastilla in Phillo Pastry – This was phillo pastry with shredded chicken cooked in light spices and onions.  This warm pastry was dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon. My hubby said “now this is my type of food” 😀

Our steaks came with the soup of the day (you can have soup or salad with it). This soup’s flavour was sweet potato and pea soup.  My hubby said it’s one of the best soup he’s ever had (and he never eats soup): so rich and smooth and mouth watering.

Steaks:

My hubby ordered the Rib Steak and I ordered the Filet Mignon.  My hubby said that although he’s really tasted some great steaks before, but this steak was “out of the world”.

The Filet Mignon was made with Alberta AAA beef and the beef quality was excellent.  It was sooooo soft and oozing that you did not have to munch that much. The steak was cooked perfectly with the exact amount of rawness in it for a “medium” steak.  This was topped over with peppercorn sauce and bearnaise sauce (egg yolks, buttery herb sauce) that absolutely complimented the Filet Mignon.

The Rib Steak was much larger in width and had an “earthiness” feel to it.  My hubby chose this because it had more fat to it.  This was also topped up with a peppercorn sauce but had shrimps on it.  The shrimps were nothing special, but the meat was great.

Both steaks were layered over freshly sautéed vegetables; consisting of carrots, green beans, broccoli and baby potatoes.  Most likely these were all locally grown!

Desserts:

I had the creme brûlée – and it was one of the best that I’ve had (but not the best because the custard was not very thick, but it was thick enough to be a light dessert).  The golden crust was perfectly done.  However, the quantity was too small for me :/

My hubby had the Bread Pudding – the bread was thick, smooth, sweet, warm and topped up with cinnamon and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  He loved it!

Customer Service

Finally, I cannot conclude without mentioning about their exceptional customer service!

It’s a family run business and it seems to me that they all work great together as a family! The owner wasn’t here last night, but his son (who was working in the front) has the exact kind of humour.  My hubby and I have never had such a great service like this before.  They all were very warm, welcoming and the waiter even remembered me from my one and only previous visit that happened months ago! On top of that, to our surprise, the waiter complemented us with an amazing lamb dish (this was before we received our steaks).

For a service and food like this, it’s really hard to beat!  Price-wise, the the price has consistently been going up, but for the quality of the meat, cuisine and the service, it is well worth it.  A steak can now cost at around $42 (and it comes with a soup or salad).  They also service fish dishes too.

I will definitely be back and would also like to come in the summer (where I can sit outside and enjoy the views of the mountains!).

😀

Yann Haute Patisserie – Best French Bakery in Town!

Mango Beignet
Mango Beignet
Mango Beignet
Mango Beignet
Raspberry, Chocolate Croissant (with a vanilla filling)
Raspberry, Chocolate Roll
Bag of macarons
Bag of macarons
Macarons
Macarons
Chocolate Chip Brioche
Chocolate Chip Brioche
Raspberry Chocolate Pistachio Croissant
Raspberry Chocolate Pistachio Croissant
Raspberry Chocolate Pistachio Croissant
Raspberry Chocolate Pistachio Croissant
Héléna Cake
Cake
Moelleux
Moelleux (half eaten and warmed up)
Display
Display at Yann Haute

Macarons:

Yann Haute is located on 4th street, 23rd Ave, Calgary in a yellow building (that looks like a house!).  Its known for its macarons and its pastries.  I was never a big fan of macarons until recently; and these are some of the best that I’ve ever had.  Their macarons are made with high quality ingredients.  For example, their pistachio macarons have actual nuts in it and are very flavourful, thick (with enough ganache in them).  They have a very good selection of flavours; some of my favourites are: red velvet, pistachio, habanero chocolate and earl grey.  Their macarons are top notch and seriously addictive!  The only slight con is that sometimes their macarons are dry (probably 1 in every 6 I have) – but I guess it could be due to the dry weather in Calgary!

Cakes:

I have only tried one of their cakes (the Héléna cake).  This was a chocolate mousse cake with a pear filling and cream.  The pear and chocolate did not work for me, but I can’t say it was bad either.  I prefer a more rich chocolate cake.  Perhaps, I could try some of their other flavours next time.

Pastries:

These are one of the best I’ve ever had (in Canada and the UK).  Firstly, the Raspberry Chocolate Pistachio Croissant is really rich, buttery (and soft on the inside) with a pistachio creamy filling on the inside. The flavours really work well together.  Another one I loved was the Raspberry Chocolate Roll.  The pastry was very stringy and soft on the inside; and crunchy on the outside; it was so buttery rich, yet light! Each layer had a thin, light layer of vanilla fresh cream.  Amazing and so satisfying!

Beignets are french type of “doughnuts”.  Normally, with doughnuts, they are heavy, super sweet and make you feel sluggish.  However, these are less sweet and not too heavy.  You can tell that they’re French! 😀 I’ve had the apricot and the chocolate flavours, but I must say that the mango ones are the best!

Brioche: very buttery, slightly sweet bread.  This one had chocolate chips in it.  It was too large to finish by myself.  I just wished that the chocolate chips would be bigger 🙂 but that’s because I prefer richer chocolate pastries.  Bread rolls were top notch – no complaints.

Finally, there are moelleux.  The chocolate ones are similar to lava cakes: gooey and rich on the inside.  They are a perfect companion to tea!  Other flavours also exist.

Overall, I’d have to say that I’m glad that Yann Haute exists in Calgary; because without it, I would probably be missing Montreal even more! Haha! 🙂

Sidewalk Citizen – Bread and Sticky Buns!

Sourdough Wholewheat Bread
Sourdough Wholewheat Bread
Sticky Buns
Sticky Buns (3/4 eaten)

Although I have stuffed myself on Friday with pizza and pastries, I could not resist going back to Sidewalk Citizen for bread and something sweet!

This time I reached there at around 10am and they had many more items than when I went last time in the afternoon.  In fact, they ran out of other items such as sunflower whole wheat bread and other pastries, so it’s a good thing I went there early!   Why?  Well the sticky bun was the best “cinnamon” type of roll that I’ve ever had.  If you like sticky toffee pudding, this bun is a cinnamon roll, but with a sticky toffee gooey pudding on the top.  It was amazing!  If you don’t like cinnamon; no need to worry -it was just a hint; and not overpowering as the usual rolls.

As for the bread, it was pretty standard for a fresh bread.  Yes it was crunch on the outside/soft in the inside and was quite sour (as the name suggests).  Next time however, I’d like to try other types of bread.

I’m glad I went there in the morning; looks like I’ll have my morning 25 minutes walk every weekend for these treats 🙂 oh and for my “Roasterie” cuppa coffee too which is 2 minutes walk from the bakery – Perfect! 🙂

Mango Shiva Indian Bar & Restaurant, Calgary

IMG_4682 IMG_4683

Thali (with goat curry)
Thali (with goat curry)
Menu
Menu
Chocolate Chai Mousse with Rose Ice-Cream
Chocolate Chai Mousse with Rose Ice-Cream
FullSizeRender[1] copy
Mumbai Sev Poori
Desserts
Desserts from the lunch buffet

Mango Shiva has been voted as Calgary’s Best Indian Restaurant in 2014.  Honestly, my first experience a few months ago was not that great. I ordered a thali (which contained 3 really small curries and rice) a starter (Sev Poori), nan and a dessert.  Yes the decor was really nice, but the food was not that tasty as other Indian Restaurants that I’ve been to in Montreal and the U.K.  I found out that the main dish had lack of salt and the goat curry did not have that lovely aroma that you normally get out of a goat curry. The Sev Poori was very nicely presented, but the taste wasn’t mind blowing (as I’ve had better but in pretty average restaurants in England).  However, the desserts were very unique.  I’m not a big fan of rose water, but the ice cream did not have that strong rose smell.   The best dish I had to say was the Chocolate Chai Mousse; creamy and rich with chocolate with a hint of spice!  With a bill of $40, it was a bit of a suprise to me (this meal was already cheaper than usual because we took a food festival discount).  I guess part of the price went towards the decor and the ambiance (which I must say was absolutely stunning, vibrant and modern!).

Today however, I decided to give another try: for the lunch buffet at $22!  There was a large selection of food available:

  • All kinds of salads – I had the baby spinach salad which was good.
  • Vegetable Pakora – I could not taste the actual vegetables; perhaps they were cut too thin.  These were more like chips rather than “pakora” but they were very crunchy.
  • Aloo Peas – Peas with Potato was very tasty.
  • Tandoori Chicken and Butter Chicken – Pretty average, but no complaints.
  • Tilapia in Coconut Milk Curry – Tilapia itself was very dry (I think it was fried and left out to dry for too long before being put into the curry sauce).  The sauce itself was creamy and tasty though
  • Rice – Both the Basmati Pilau Rice and the Vegetable Rice was very good! Perfectly cooked.
  • Nan – Really tasty; just a bit dense rather than fluffy.

As for desserts, there was Rashmali.  This was a dessert made with flour and cooked in rich, sweet cream/milk.  In this case, it was the first time I did not enjoy it because it had a strong dairy and rose water smell.  Probably it was cooked in a unique way, but me having grown up in an Indian Restaurant and experiencing Indian food everywhere, I have never come across something like this 🙂  Carrot Halwa (carrots cooked with ghee, milk and sugar) was not sweet enough and again had something added to it which made it taste a little different from what I’m used to.  Finally, the Cheesecake Fruit Pudding was good – it was more like a mango rice pudding with fruits in it.

Overall, I would visit this place again because of its ambience, good service and the variety of dishes they provide for the lunch buffet.  It’s close to my work and a great place to hang out.  I would also like to try out the unusual Indian/Western style brunch menu at the weekend!

Vero Bistro Moderne, Calgary – Upscale, classy, fusion restaurant

Baby Calamari & Artichoke Fritti - CHERRY TOMATOES, ARUGULA, HOUSE MADE KAFFIR LIME AIOLI
Baby Calamari & Artichoke Fritti –
CHERRY TOMATOES, ARUGULA, HOUSE MADE KAFFIR LIME AIOLI
Vero's Signature Sweet Potato Gnocchi - MAPLE SYRUP, GORGONZOLA, WALNUTS, AGED BALSAMIC
Vero’s Signature Sweet Potato Gnocchi –
MAPLE SYRUP, GORGONZOLA, WALNUTS, AGED BALSAMIC
Grilled Clams (off the menu)
Grilled Clams (off the menu)

It was quite hard to find a restaurant in Calgary where BOTH the decor AND the food were exceptional.  This was it.  Chef Jenny had explored many parts of Europe in which she created dishes with flavours from different countries.  I realised that the dishes had a combination of Spanish, Italian and a French twist.  The calamari was very fresh and not greasy; but for me this was pretty standard from what I had in Italian Restaurants in Montreal.  The Gnocchi was very different – it was not the usual one served in a tomato or creamy sauce, but this had a Canadian twist (with maple syrup!).  And instead of the regular potatoes, it was freshly made with sweet potatoes! What a genius! Sweet with that sweet glazed touch and a walnut crunch! Certainly, it was one of the best gnocchi that I’ve ever had.  Clams were fresh and I admired the bed of crunchy, juicy salad and the sauce that it was served with; certainly not to be missed.

Steak and Frites was mine and my hubby’s main dish.  In fact you didn’t know, we both eat out together: Mrs and Mr Foodie I must say 🙂 My hubby (having just moved from Montreal) said it was the best steak that he’s ever had. Well me: I’ve lived in Alberta longer, so I’ve had more experience with “Alberta” beef (Yes Alberta is known for its beef!).   I can’t say it’s the best steak because I’ve had steak from other parts of Alberta (such as the filet mignon which is softer).  This was a new york steak that had a slight chewy texture.  Nevertheless, I agree that it was one of the best I’ve had!  The truffle parmesan fries was certainly above average.

Overall, this restaurant is highly recommended!  For a meal for 2, it could cost at around $130 with 2 starters and mains.  Slightly above the standard meal price in Calgary.  However, I came here for a special occasion and it was well worth the experience!