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.
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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.

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!

Charcut Roast House, Calgary


Today for lunch, I decided to have just dessert. Yes..it’s cuz I had double breakfast!

This was the salted caramel chocolate crunch pudding. For $12, I expected it to be a bit bigger. I normally think of pudding to be warm, but this was cold.


The pudding was delicious, I can’t complain! A light layer of salted caramel sauce over a thick layer of chocolate cold pudding (a bit of a jelly consistency). I assume it has gelatine.  Personally, I’d prefer it without gelatine. The chocolate crunch and wafers on top made it a decadent dessert. 


Tea was $5. At that price, I’d expect a pot of tea. However the Le Creuset teapot of tea was so tiny (just over a tiny cup of tea). Basically you pay for using the pot.

My colleagues on the other hand had a lunch meal of the day. This consisted of a sandwich (although today’s one was pork), fried in Parmesan, soup and a bag of 2 delicious choc chip cookies all for $15. They enjoyed it very much.



Would I come here again?

Dessert and tea were overpriced. The teapot’s too tempting though. However, the lunch was a bargain and wouldn’t mind trying it out if they have beef/chicken options!

What I ate during my B day weekend!

Eating out on my birthday meant that I had the choice to eat whatever I wanted (even even hubby didn’t want to!).

Gravity Espresso & Wine Bar, Inglewood

I’ve been craving for Cornish pasties for a while! I could not find one in Calgary nor in Montreal; until I saw a Twitter post from these guys!  So this was my first mission on that weekend.

The pasty crust was not bad, but not as springy and soft as I’m used to in Cornwall.  The filling normally comprises of beef cubes, swede, turnips, onions, potatoes and pepper.  There was only 1 lump of beef which was extremely hard to bite through. The turnip was hard, too. In fact, the filling was all too dry. I thought at the time “I seriously gotta learn how to make Cornish pasties!”. It was worth the try, but it could not compare at all to the authentic Cornish pasties that I’ve had in the past.


What surprised me was the dark chocolate (gluten-free) torte cake.  It was incredibly rich and satisfying (I could not finish the slice because it was rich!) It wasn’t too bitter; more like semi-sweet. The texture was relatively creamy, although a little crumbly.  To date, this was the only decent rich chocolate dessert I have found in Calgary that satisfied my chocolate cravings!


This cafe was rather nice and I would definitely come here for desserts.

The Coup

Coup is one of my favourite restaurants because ingredients are fresh and food is tasty/wholesome.  My current favourite dish on the menu is the Beach HotPot (coconut Thai broth with vegetables such as lotus roots, edamame etc).  I just add tofu for my protein. So this was my real birthday meal!


Our Daily Brett


This was my first visit to Daily Brett. Firstly, the cost kind of surprised me as it was quite pricey! However, I when I actually tried their salads (cost determined by its weight) and pain au chocolat, I felt so much in peace.  I tried their beet salad with chevre cheese (devine), bean salad and trout cakes! All were really delicious! I think 2 trout cakes and a bit of salad cost me around $15. The pain au chocolat (at $3.50 each) was so fresh, and crispy (and soft in inside), with 2 strips of dark chocolate. It was the first pain au chocolat I’ve had that wasn’t loaded with sugar! So if sugar is not your thing, this is fantastic.

What I liked about the store was that all their ingredients for each of their product (e.g. pain au chocolat) were clearly displayed. They promote themselves as good, honest food.



I personally believe that if food is local, fresh, well-treated (e.g. grass fed beef), then the food itself is actually very tasty and satisfying.

 

Pulcinella, Calgary

Located in the trendy area of Kensington, I heard that this was a great “Italian” pizza place. However, it did not meet my expectations to real Italian pizza.

We ordered the truffle cheese pizza.  There were pieces of truffles on it, but it made the whole pizza taste bitter and smelly. I wasn’t sure if the truffles were actually burnt!  I have always had truffle on pizza and burgers, but it never tasted this bitter.  On top of that, the pizza cost $30 and was enough for 1 person.

Calamari was great (tomato-ish and not crispy), but for the price of $18, I had expected more.

Ambiance was romantic, chill-out atmosphere. They were super busy on a Saturday night. Tables were small.

Would I come here again? No. It cost us around $80 for 2 people: 1 calamari, 2 pizzas and a bottle of sparkling water.  For that price, I would expect the food to be above average.

Alloy Restaurant, Calgary

This elegant fine dining restaurant is located off Macleod Trail.  We decided to go to this “highly rated” place since it was a special day for us.  Luckily it was within the car-2-go area since we didn’t have a car and it was out of downtown!

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Appetizers

  • Truffle Gnocchi – this was probably the best gnocchi I’ve had outside of Italy.  I felt that it was so fresh and almost melting in my mouth. It was served with sauted mushrooms, cream and parmesan.  Definitely one to try

  • Lobster Tempura – served with lime aioli dressing and fennel slaw – not bad but nothing to stand out

  • Alberta Beef Tartare – cilantro and sriracha with qual eggs and crisps.  It was sweet and a spicy dish (more on the sweeter side); and was probably the largest appetizers out of the 3 we tried.  The others were tiny!  I didn’t like the crisps on it though


Main Dishes

  • Pacific Halibut – served with shrimp risotto and sauted kale.  The fish was a bit dry (more meaty) and didn’t have much seasoning it.  Despite adding some hot sauce to it, it still didn’t live up to the expectations.  The risotto was a bit overcooked and the arborio rice was smaller compared to others.  Shrimps were the tiniest ones you can get and didn’t make a big difference.  Kale? I cant remember seeing the kale much. I think there was a leaf or two.  For $45, this was disappointing. I’d rather have a tasty bit of fish from Red Lobster, Macleod Trail in Calgary!

  • Beef Tenderloin – I didn’t feel that “wow..mmm Alberta beef” feeling as I did in other steak places. Served with mushroom ragu, it was good and complemented the baby peeled potatoes, but the sauce lacked a bit of salt.


Desserts

  • Flourless Chocolate Cake – I heard that this was to die for, so I had to order it.  It was a huge disappointment; perhaps because I’m from Montreal and got spoilt with the likes of Juilette et Chocolat and Cacao 70….or perhaps cuz I’m a baker myself!  It was a bit hard and dry (i’d expect it to be soft since flourless cakes are more “eggy”).  This was served with vanilla ice cream and berry syrup

  • Mini Doughnuts – Served with dulche de leche cinnamon sugar and toasted pistachio.  There were about 8-10 warm mini doughnuts in a bowl.  I felt it lacked sweetness (was more light).  I couldn’t taste much of the dulche de leche or cinnamon taste.  This also didn’t meet my expectations.


Overall, the appetizers and main dishes were quite small and the desserts were huge! I would expect their sizing to be more consistent with each other.

Ambiance – Very good, no complaints.  The environment is more of a classy feeling.  Customers were dressed really well and they were much older.

Service – Very good, but was extremely slow towards the end (because the restaurant was packed!).  Ex: it took around 20 mins for the desserts menu to come to our table, then another 20 mins to receive the desserts.  The waitress, however, apologized and gave one of the desserts for free!

Since the price of food is quite high, I’d have expected the food taste to be really good!  However, none (except the gnocchi) met my expectations.

It’s a nice place to come for a special occasion (due to the ambiance), but I wouldn’t come here again.