Decadent Desserts, Calgary

 
 This is a long-established small bakery, located in the centre of downtown (8 St, 10 Ave).
I was really excited to try out this place, especially since it was within 20 minutes walking distance from my place!
So today on new year’s eve, I decided to grab some stuff.

Coconut cake

  • This was the most raved about item on the internet by various reviewers.
  • Although it was a large and flavourful cake slice, I found the cake itself to be a tad dry.  This was a sandwich type of cake i.e. there was a decent layer of buttercream in the middle of the cake and the cake was covered in buttercream all around it.  In fact, it was the buttercream that stood out: very smooth, creamy and not overly sweet.  This was topped up with lots of coconut flakes.
  • Overall, it was a tasty large piece of cake that was worth trying.

Lemon tart

  • This was another popular product of theirs.
  • A rather bland shortbread base had a a very rich, thick lemon filling on top.  This was extreeeeeeemely sweet for me.

Brownie cheesecake:

  • If you are a fan of the biscuit base cheesecake, this won’t meet your need as it does not have the regular graham cracker biscuit base.
  • Cheesecake itself was very thick and average; nothing “wow” to me.
  • Chocolate parts: quite bitter, creamy and rich to my liking. If you do not like bitter/semi-sweet chocolate that you would not enjoy this.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies 

  • Lack of buttery taste.
  • Very light and a bit soft (I’d prefer it to be baked a little more).
  • Chocolate chips were adequate and quite sweet.
  • Overall the shortbread cookies were not sweet.  Since I’m a person who does not like things “too sweet”,this definitely means something: that it’s hardly sweet! 🙂

After having all of this, I am sugar overload!  Would I come back here?  50:50 chance.  I would because of the location (easily accessible since I currently don’t have a car) but I found everything a bit overpriced.  Each item were around $3.50-$4 each and a bag of 6 cookies were around $9.

I have already tried out majority of the bakeries in Calgary and I know exactly which ones come to the top of my list 😉  I will tell you my secret shortly!

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Monogram Coffee, Calgary

Located in the south-west area of Calgary, this is a relatively new and popular coffee place. I couldn’t wait to try it especially after hearing that they’ve really skilled baristas!

Adequate car parking, but there was lack of seating inside.

Food: we decided to order some food since we didn’t have breakfast.  There wasn’t much of a choice: basically toast and some topping.

I chose the apple butter and cheese.  My hubby chose the dry beef and watercress.  It was more of a light snack and wasn’t adequate as a filling breakfast.

Drinks: I had the mocha and my hubby had the sweeteners condensed milk latte.

Mocha was made from valrhorna chocolate (good quality chocolate that comes from France). However the mocha was a tad sour despite adding sugar and I also could not taste the coffee in it.

The latte on the other hand was smooth, creamy but then again not that strong.

Although this is a favorite to many Calgarians, I wouldn’t visit again because it’s a little far, a tad pricey and would rather stick to Analog Coffee or the Roasterie.  It’s a worth a try though, but just for the drinks.

   
   
 

Monogram Coffee, Calgary

Located in the south-west area of Calgary, this is a relatively new and popular coffee place. I couldn’t wait to try it especially after hearing that they’ve really skilled barristers!Adequate car parking.

Ambiance: lack of seating, very loud, umcomfortable benches and stools.

Food: we decided to order some food since we didn’t have breakfast. There wasn’t much of a choice: basically toast and some topping.

I chose the apple butter and cheese. My hubby chose the dry beef and watercress. It was more of a light snack and wasn’t adequate as a filling breakfast.

Drinks: I had the mocha and my hubby had the sweeteners condensed milk latte.

Mocha was made from valrhorna chocolate (good quality chocolate that comes from France). However the mocha was a tad sour despite adding sugar and I also could not taste the coffee in it.

The latte on the other hand was smooth, creamy but then again not that strong.

Although this is a favorite to many Calgarians, I wouldn’t visit again because it’s a little far, a tad pricey and would rather stick to Analog Coffee or the Roasterie. It’s a worth a try though, but just for the drinks.

   
   
    
 

  
 

Tamarind East Indian Cuisine, Calgary

This has to be my favorite Indian restaurant in Calgary; located in the north west area.

This is apparently a popular place for British people like myself.  It’s more of what I’m used to: tender pieces of meat in thick curry sauce (and non greasy) and indeed very flavorful.

Ambiance is very calming with mellow lightning, comfy seating and very clean.

It’s not one of those restaurant that is over the top fancy, so I find it very comfortable to be there.

Service: always has been excellent, but it’s a tad slow for the food to arrive.

I’ve tried the Lamb Vindaloo, Beef Rogan, Chicken Tikka Masala and Begun Bharta.  All excellent and no complaints. 

Although they’ve a good selection of vegetarian food, I suggest that if you come here go for the chicken or lamb curry dishes.

P.S: on weekdays between 4pm and 6pm they offer special deals, so check it out.   
 

Vietnamese subs, Calgary

   
    
Subs at Saigon Deli:

   
Calgary has a few vietnamese sub places.

I’ve been to 2 and I have not been disappointed at all! – Banh Mi Thi-Thi in Chinatown and Saigon Deli in the SE of Calgary.

Vietnamese subs are french style buns that are toasted and that contains various fillings such as beef satay or chicken.  I prefer beef satay since it is a tad spicy.  I love the combination of the crunchy/soft textures; soft marinated beef topped up with with crunchy grated carrots, cucumbers, coriander leaves and chillis. The ones at Saigon Deli also had a layer of peanuts in its sub.

For a price of around $6 (Saigon Deli), it is probably the cheapest (and fresh) lunch item, yet filling.

I am hooked!

Brunch at Mango Shiva, Calgary

   
    
    
 
Having been to Mango Shiva for its lunch and dinner, we decided to go there for brunch at the weekend. Reason? Well they had very unique brunch menus (a kind of American/Indian fusion).  

We chose:

– Butter chicken waffles (name says it all; butter chicken with waffles)

– Eggs Benedeep (we chose the duck rather than kale.  This was serviced with fenugreek hollandaise, cardamon biscuits, potato masala hash and fruit).

I really liked the fact that they chose to make breakfast on a different level: dishes that we are used to (waffles and eggs benedict) but in an Indian version.

Butter chicken waffles:

– The butter chicken was spicy and not so creamy/bland (which is normally), so I quite liked it!

– Waffles were average (a tad sweet), but felt fresh.

After a few minutes though, the waffles turned soggy so this dish had to be eaten quickly!  The portion was very small – only 2 x 1 bite size pieces of chicken!

Eggs Benedeep

– Duck was really good (more like a pulled duck)

– Biscuit was very small but delicious

– Potato masala hash is basically like an aloo bhaji cooked with curry leaves.  This was quite spicy, but perfect for me!

– Poached eggs – was not so perfect on the other hand.  It was not soft, but rather firm.

Masala Chai

– Not to creamy and thick (as Indian chai is normally), so I liked it!  The chai spices were perfectly balanced.

Service – good as usual.

Would I come here again for brunch?  This has to be a one-off for me, especially since the portions were so small and the dishes were not cheap.

Overall, a good experience and I would recommend anyone to try it out. 

Casbah Moroccan Restaurant, Calgary

Located in downtown, this is an authentic Moroccan dining place in a lower level area.

 
    
   
I chose Casbah because I thought it would be the perfect place for a special girls night out!  I loved the ambience and privacy  (to some extent)at each table.  Each table area had comfy seats and cushions and was divided by windows and curtains.  The colours were gorgeous.  Food was absolutely delicious.  I ordered the couscous with aromatic sauce of tomatoes, garlic, saffron and chickpeas.  You can add a meat-on which costs extra; I chose the merguez (spicy moroccan lean beef sausage). The sausage itself was not spicy, but the couscous was.  Although the plate looked small, in fact, it was really filling.  My friends chose the Couscous Sahara (couscous with caramelised onions, figs and pecans) with the meat sampler.  Meat sampler contained chicken breast, merguez, lamb and prawn. They said it it was absolutely delicious, sweet and the dish was cooked with whole spices.

Everything was fantastic and I was SO sure that this would be a regular place to dine to (especially since I live so close) …until…I was appalled by their service.

When I brought the surprise cakes from the car and surprised my friends, the waiter (or probably the owner), said “Outside food is not allowed”.  I explained that I baked them myself, but then he said “I’ll charge you $4 a plate”.  I then said, “It’s okay. I’ll keep my main dish plate and won’t waste any plates of yours”.  Despite that, he did not accept it.  Before the cake, we were about to order some desserts and teas from the menu to enjoy the rest of our evening, but his attitude ruined the atmosphere.  So we decided to leave and enjoy tea and desserts elsewhere.  

Having grown up in a restaurant, I know exactly how customer service should be: the waiter should be helpful (especially when being asked about some items in the menu e.g. difference between the teas as we are not familiar with moroccan food) and should be respectful towards its customers

The food was excellent, but I’m utterly disappointed about the service.  Just because of this, I shall not come back again; or at least until they improve their customer service.