The restaurant is actually kind of easy to miss in the dark; somewhat nondescript from the outside. Inside, the ambiance is warm, lively, and friendly. We were seated in the dining area, at a round table in the middle of the room. It was somewhat dark, but still open because of the windows. Unfortunately, they turned down the already low lights part way through the meal and it then felt like we were eating in a cave. The only way for us to really get a good look at the food we were served was when I took photos of it – we used the flash from the camera like a flashlight. We mentioned the inappropriate darkness to 2 servers, but apparently the manager didn’t think it was too dark because the lighting didn’t change. Even the table beside us mentioned the darkness to their server. The booths had spotlights above the tables so it wouldn’t have felt so dark at a booth.
I went out of my comfort zone (I’m a wine-o) and tried a cocktail. I’m not a fan of banana liqueur, but the server sold me on the ‘Banana Clip’ for $13. OMG – perhaps my new favourite drink. The toasted egg white was like meringue floating on a delicious cream pie. And the toasted coconut on the edge of the glass – yum! I’m sure I didn’t look very graceful as I licked the side of the glass!
There were three of us and we ordered 8 dishes from the various sections of the menu. By the end of the meal we were definitely full (however, we did find enough room to go to Village Ice Cream for dessert!). The server chose the order that the food would be served – she put in three separate orders and it turned out well. We waited a bit longer for our third set, but it flowed pretty well. Kudos to the kitchen.
1st – Spicy Salmon Tacos – $16. Awesome flavours, awesome crunch. The only awkward thing about them is how the taco shell crumbled and fell apart once you bit into it. Other than that, these tacos provided the best flavours of the night.
2nd – Lemongrass Brussel Sprouts – $10. Again, awesome flavours. Perhaps a little too charred and a little too much sugar, but super delicious. With chinese pork sausage, walnuts and the pickles, this dish provided the 2nd best flavours of the night.
3rd – Crispy Tofu – $14. Even if you hate tofu I think you’ll like this. The outside was very crispy and the inside was nice and soft. They were set on a bed of kimchi with a citrus mayo. The bits of crispy pork belly brought the dish up a notch.
4th – Oxtail Tortellini – $12. The meat was pull apart tender. Super delicious. My friend’s fave dish of the night. I found the dish a little basic, but the meat was really the focus of the dish and it was super good.
5th – KFC sliders – $15. These puppies were good. Nice and crispy, with a zingy hot sauce. Fresh buns, fresh veggies and good condiments. However, the kimchi potato chips hardly had any flavour at all, let alone spicy kimchi. Note: KFC stands for Korean Fried Chicken 🙂
6th – Nori Rolls – $12. We were told to use the lettuce to wrap the rolls; it didn’t really add much to the rolls, although it kept your fingers from getting too greasy. My opinion? Meh. Too much seaweed flavour. I also found the ground chicken inside to be rather boring. We asked for a spoon to serve the sauce so we weren’t all double dipping.
7th – Seafood Stew with rice. For me, this was probably the most disappointing dish of the night. There was a lot of good seafood in the pot, but I thought the dish was lacking in flavour. I felt like the broth was something I could easily make at home. Since the server told us the dish was pretty spicy, she was surprised when I mentioned it wasn’t so.
8th – Beef Fried Rice Stuffed Squid with Squid Ink Mayo – $16. This was an interesting dish. I liked the squid ink mayo with the calamari. The stuffed bits, along with the mayo, were quite rich. Definitely good, but not amazing. An awesome looking presentation, for sure!
We quite enjoyed our evening, and overall the food was delicious. The first few dishes were our fave. For a fun night out with friends or your partner, Anju provides some neat dishes with unique flavours. If you love food, you’ll enjoy this place.