Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Rock, Wood Fired Kitchen - Red Deer, Alberta

"My My Hey Hey"
Ive tried it numerous times since it has opened and "rocked" Red Deer. Every time I am left unimpressed and unsatisfied.

I've had numerous dishes from this place since it's opened (Only one photo, the most recent one):
"Get Back Mac", I was expecting some good ol comfort food. It was bland, not cheesy enough
"Classic Rock" Pizza, the basic pepperoni pizza. This wasn't bad, not overly greasy but not overly special. I can get the same satisfaction from Delissio.
"Flirtin With Disaster" Actually not bad, had a nice balance with the sweetness from the onions and a nice minor kick to it.
"Bourban Chicken Wrap" Just a generic wrap to me, nothing stood out in this dish verse a wrap at other restaurants
"Beer Battered Fries" Now this I believe everyone just loves,
"Chicken in a Basket" The fries were the only good thing about this. Too much batter on the chicken.
"My My Hey Hey" This was my latest meal @ the rock. It was bland, tasteless and boring. I was super disappointing since i was craving a creamy and rich pasta dish that day. I would have been more satisfied with sidekicks.

Sorry The Rock but the only thing that I would go to the rock for are it's drink specials. I feel like almost every dish I have is boring, tasteless and just doesn't deliver.

The Rock, Wood Fired Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bamboo Hut - Sylvan Lake, Alberta

I may be a little biased in my Review, but i love almost every dish at this place. And if you don't, we can't associate.

"Mango & Pineapple Cream Cheese Stack" Cream Cheese stacked between deep fried rice patties topped with coconut. This is different, i like it but it's not what I usually salivate over. Its essentially a unstructured cheesecake with asian flare, its a must try but i find that not everyone loves it.

"Deep Fried Bananas with Mango Ice Cream" If you meet someone that doesn't like this dessert... run.

"Salad Rolls"I usually never order these at asian restaurants, most of the time they are paired off with hoisin sauce topped with peanuts. I personally find salad rolls to be pretty boring. But the peanut sauce that comes with these are amazing, especially when its nice and warm... mm. The peanut sauce is the star of this dish.

"Spicy Fried Squid" I liked this so much, I tried remaking it at home.... didn't turn out the same way. Its lightly battered, perfectly crispy with a nice hint of spice to it.

"Spicy Wonton Soup" The name says it all. Nicely seasoned wontons with a spicy broth and lots of veg.

The Curries I've had almost all the curries except the Red Chicken and Pork and Pineapple Red Curry. All these curries carry a creamy coconut base balanced out with numerous spices. I love the green curries, it has the perfect kick to it to blend with the coconut flavor.

Noodle Bowls You can't go wrong with vermicelli bowls. They're light yet filling with their beautifully charred meat.

"Chicken and Shrimp Pad Thai" a classic thai dish with intense flavors. You get the balance of sweet, spice and sour. Its a tasty and savory dish that almost everyone loves.

Cashew Chicken
"Cashew Chicken Stir Fry" to me, this is a great comfort dish right behind the green curry. The bell peppers add a nice sweetness to this savory dish. This isn't one of my favorites but I love it non the less.

"Hot Thai Stir Fry" , this is one spicy ass dish. It really helped my heart pump, they were not kidding with the name. Personally, prefer my go to Green Curry dish for spice but when I want something more, I hit up Hot Thai Stir Fry.

"Coconut Pineapple Chicken" If you like pineapple on your pizza, your most likely going to fall in love with this dish. I love the sweetness the pineapple brings to such a savory dish.

"Sues Seafood Stew" "tangy coconut satay sauce" is the perfect way to describe it. It makes your tastebuds do a little dance and you may be tempted to lick the bowl. If you like seafood, this is a must try.
Hot Thai stir fry
Those are just a few quick notes on the dishes I've tried at Bamboo hut. I will one day, try everything on their menu... but it is hard. It's hard ordering a new dish when you just salivate over a favorite. Not saying you'll be disappointed but when you crave something...

I recommend anyone in the area to try Bamboo Hut or their other family owned restaurants Blue Dragon and Sophears in Red Deer. If you have a love for asian food, you will be left wanting more.

Bamboo Hut on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 31, 2014

First Julep Maven "Modern Beauty" Box

This is just a quick post about the "Modern Beauty" box I got! This took a lot longer then I expected to receive, they did send me a promo code for a free nail polish to apologize for the delay because I guess they realized it got sent out late. I was not sent this box, purchased it with my own money.

Each box has $40 worth of product, it costs you $25 dollars. I always passed on these boxes since I have no interest in nail polish. But I recently saw that they do offer make up products, so i decided to try it out. The "Modern Beauty" box comes with two full sized products each month.

The first "Modern Beauty" box comes with one pencil gel eyeliner and a small neutral eyeshadow palette. I thought the palette looked larger online, but its pretty small in person. Nice neutral tones, surprisingly pigmented. The pencil gel eyeliner was really smooth, I've never used gel liners in pencil form before but so far am impressed. Ill have a more detailed review on both these products later.

On the way to check out, they of course entice you to other items for a good deal. And I am a sucker for those promos, so I picked up the "Konjac Cleansing Sponge" for $6.99 where as the reg price is $12.00. First thoughts: I've used a cleansing sponge before, only from Saje. I loved it and was hoping this would be the same deal. Except this came already wet/soaked in a cleanser? Where as the one at Saje is a dry sponge that poofs up when under water. I also picked up the "Blank Canvas Mattifying Make Up Primer" for $13.99, where reg price is $28.00. Also have more detailed reviews on these products in the upcoming future.

At the moment, I don't see this box being worth $25 dollars a month or $20 /month for a 3 month plan. I only went for one month just to see the products performance by this company. I ordered this on October 2nd and I got it October 31, they did notify me and apologize that my package would be 2-5 business days behind schedule, they also offer tracking for each package, which comes in handy.

I'll keep you updated on product performance and my thoughts!

Size comparison in my hand.. 

Light swatches of eyeshadows


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nagoya Japanese Restaurant - Saskatoon, SK

Sorry for the lack of photos... was hangry!
I was craving sushi for a while and nothing beats all you can eat. There are actually quite a few choices for all you can eat sushi in this city and I no doubt, before I move, will try them all. At Nagoya Japanese Restaurant, they provide a chinese buffet part of the included price, which I found interesting and loved the concept. Foodwise on the buffet wasn't the freshest, you can tell its been sitting there all day.. most of the food tasted very dry - don't blame them though since I went at around 8pm and they close at 9 or 9.30 (Bad memory).

Buffet was around $26 and it included sashimi. In the past when i've been to all you can eat (Calgary + Red Deer), the usually don't include sashimi so I was happy they did here... but wasn't happy with the quality of it.

Its known for restaurants to freeze salmon etc to keep it from going bad/getting parasites but here you could tell it was definitely not fresh, it tasted still frozen... it just tasted like eating a cold half frozen piece of rubber. I was very disappointed.

The all you can eat menu was an adequate amount, they had desserts (Deep fried bananas + ice cream), appetizers, rolls, udon, etc. Their special rolls were pretty taste, dragon roll... I only tried a few. No regrets there.
Service was below average, we went too close to closing so they were pretty obvious in letting us know we should leave.

Overall, I think you can tell if a sushi restaurant is good dependent on their sashimi served. Sashimi is so simple yet so delicate. They lacked in that department and since there are a abundance of japanese restaurants in the city, I highly doubt I'd come back to this place.

Nagoya Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Aroma Mediterranean Resto Bar - Saskatoon, SK

Aroma! During my move to Saskatoon, I stayed twice at the Radisson and dined at their Aroma Restaurant conveniently located downstairs. I normally don't dine in the hotel and prefer to dine at local restaurants in the city but the first time I dined here, it was purely for the convenience and I am very happy I did. The second time I stayed at the Radisson, dining at Aroma was one thing I was looking very forward too! The food here is fantastic!

Since I've moved here, i have dined at a few restaurants in the city and spoken to a few people about local eats, I believe this is a highly underrated restaurant in this city. The service and food is exceptional.

 I had the same male server for both times I've been here (Can't remember his name :( ) but he was pleasant and observant, random side note: not a big fan of their uniforms, the long apron throws me off. I've had a couple of dishes here,

The first time, I had this unbelieveable pasta dish... looking at their current menu online, I don't believe its on there now :(. I'm usually avoid ordering pasta dishes from restaurants that don't specialize in it because I find myself with a very watery bland dish. This dish was amazing, all i remember is that it had truffle oil in it and I could not get enough of it in case you couldn't tell by my ravings. In the elevator, I was speaking to a gentleman and they were a little tipsy but was telling me how he just had fantastic pizza at Aroma... so of course when I was here, we ordered two as well. One being off the vegan/gluten free menu and the other being the Pig & Fig. The Pig & Fig had a great balance of sweetness from the onions and figs with the heaviness of the meat. They make the pizzas fresh by hand in the back of the restaurant.. pretty neat to watch. Most "wood stone fired" pizza's I find are easily burnt but these two pizzas were perfectly cooked. Both were pretty good, wasn't as great as the elevator guy made it to be... but then again he was a little under the influence and we all know how great food is at that stage.

One thing I was impressed with, is that one member of our party is vegan and they offered a separate menu for her which made it super easy to pinpoint the delicious dishes available for her. The second time I went, I ended up with a dish that was a chuck part of the meat (Also not in the current menu it seems), it was pretty good, very tender.
We also had a few appys as well which were of course, very appetizing.

Everyone that I ate with here, enjoyed their experience as much as I did.

I love the fact they offer little Hors D'oeuvrs before the entree. One is a antipesto (we got this both times), the second time we were offered an extra one but I couldn't remember what it was, what I do remember was that it was equally amazing.

I apologize, but I didn't seem to take photos of my first experience... must have been too hungry.

Overall, I have quite enjoyed both my experiences at Aroma and it is currently my favorite restaurant in Saskatoon. One thing this city does not lack is restaurants, shopping on the other hand... well thats another story. I love trying new restaurants but when I want a good experience and know I will be served delicious food, I will of course make my way to Aroma Mediterranean Resto Bar in the Radisson. 

Aroma Mediterranean Resto Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Poached Breakfast Bistro, Saskatoon SK

I went here on a whim on a Sunday morning. It was the only breakfast place we could really find that was open on a Sunday morning in the downtown area. We were told a 40 minute wait... I was starting to assume it might just be one of those "current" restaurants that don't actually have food worth waiting for. We were all pretty hungry and didn't feel like waiting forty minutes.. especially since there was no where to wait except a open Starbucks a couple blocks down. I do wish they were able to put a bench out or something, but I guess that's up to the city.

We decided to go to drive around Saskatoon in search of another open restaurant but actually ended up getting lost and ended up close to downtown. By that time, the forty minutes would have been up by the time we parked and walked back to Poached so we decided on that. One thing is, I do appreciate they call the wait list customers when their table is ready. I've been to a couple popular breakfast joints in Calgary where they just take your name and they expect you to wait around in the crowd outside the door for your name to be called... many asian restaurants follow that concept as well. 

They have good food set at a pretty reasonably price. We had the Blueberry Bagel French Toast which was served with whipped yogurt, I believe. Rhubarb crepe with whipped yogurt and poached eggs on crab cakes with a side of Potato Croquettes. Don't quote me on these dishes, I couldn't find their latest menu online.. I do believe it changes per season!

Overall each dish was pretty good, all very well balance! The potato Croquette's were delicious, it had a nice crunchy outside with a creamy potato center.
The Blueberry Bagel french toast was an alright dish... nothing special personally. The whipped yogurt was a good touch, with some fresh blackberries on top. Good balanced plate, nice tartness with the fresh blackberries and sweetness with the whipped yogurt.
If you like crab, the poached eggs on top of the crab cakes with a side salad, I'm sure you will enjoy. Like the potato corquette's it has a nice crunchy outside and the side salad provides a good balance to the seafood. 

I am glad we ended up getting lost and got a chance to try this bistro. Expect a long wait time especially the later you arrive (While we were dining around 10:30 there was around an hour wait time), it is a small restaurant with really only three front of house staff. One host, one server for the front of the restaurant and one of the back. The service itself is alright, not really sociable or attentive but not unpleasant either. 

I would highly recommend this as a breakfast choice for anyone in the area to give it a try. I wouldn't mind eating here again and try many of there other appetizing items on their menu. Just got to be ready for the wait time and not mad hungry.

Poached Breakfast Bistro on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 11, 2014

Famoso - Red Deer, AB

Oh Famoso, everyone in town was super excited when you were opening a year ago. A year later and I'm still not a fan.  I've had a few bad experiences, chalked up to the first month or so they were open and no business will run smoothly without any mistakes when they first open.

In the beginning, I found that they were overstaffed and there was a lack of communication between the staff. I have many examples of what i find demonstrates this but that was then.. this is now. And the most important aspect of a business is of course, the food.
Everytime I go here, I always find my pizza a little burnt... I understand that its flat bread and its pretty hard to cook/keep it consistent. But because of the couple burnt pizza's I've had, I'm not really a big fan. Overall, the apps, the pizzas and the dessert's I've had aren't anything special to me...
The desserts, most of them are overwhelming sweet. Definitely can only handle a couple bites, but they are pretty good to look at and good to share... especially with other women when its a certain time of the month ;)

Overall, I'm not a big fan of Famoso, on a recent trip there was hair in the pizza. Working in the restaurant industry, I know these things happen but personally just from when they first opened and the mishaps I've had with them... it's not a place I frequent when I'm dining out. Side note, other then the first month or so of opening, the service is consistently friendly and the owner is usually always there and is very genuine in knowing how your meal went.

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria (Red Deer) on Urbanspoon