gracecheung604 | write on time: March 2016

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Trying the Classics at Longtail in New Westminster

Despite all the hoopla about Longtail, I'm ashamed to say that I haven't made a trip out to New Westminster to give them a try. Well, I finally rectified that recently. Because they are a bit far for me, I made sure I was starving so I could sample as much as I could in one go. I think we made a good dent in the menu...we spent close to $80 in total, since Sherman paid, I guess the next meal overload is on me!   
As suggested by everyone, I had to try the Chicken Wings, which has been compared to Phnom Penh's and proclaimed just as amazing. They were delicious but aren't comparable at all. 

The ones from Phnom Penh are garlicky, salty and crispy with a deep-golden fried goodness. These ones are fried with a light crispy coating, but there the similarities end. The ones here are less fried, so lacking a bit of crunch (though they did reheat well the next day in the toaster oven), and there was a lack of garlic flavour. Also, the light sprinkle of sugar gives the wings a whole different flavour profile. 

I didn't really use the sauce since I like to keep my wings crispy but after eating the skin, I did try it with just the wing, and it did have a very pleasant tang. I can see why people say this is a "must-try".       

In continuing with the deep fried theme, we decided to get the Crispy Oysters with Nam Jim Sauce. These were juicy, with a nice crunchy exterior. I didn't care much for the sauce but it gave the oyster a tarty perkiness. I prefer to eat oysters raw, but this is probably the only other way I would eat it other than the Giant Oyster Pancake from Phnom Penh.
After the two deep fried starters, we decided that something healthy would be in can you go wrong with Stirfry Gailan (er, with Pork Belly). Truth be told, there wasn't a whole lot of pork belly in the dish, but its contribution was noticeable in the slightly overly oiliness to the dish. The gailan was sparkling with the pork fat, and the pork tucked within was flavourful with a nice briny saltiness. The crispy garlic chips helped too!  Longtail Now, onto the carbs! The Chinese Sausage Fried Rice is reminiscent of the Phnom Penh version, but this one had a lot more Chinese sausage. The rice was nice and loose, showcasing the hot fiery wok-styling of the kitchen. Add a fried egg to make everything creamy and you've got a definite winner. The heat from the wok was unmistakeable, even after the few minutes it took for us to take the pics. Despite the Thai cuisine being featured at Longtail, I keep finding myself comparing their dishes to a Vietnamese restaurant...I'll stop now.   Longtail Our next carb dish was the Pad Se Ew with Beef. I do love me some flat rice noodles. It's a classic Hong Kong cafe dish, however, there was a different flavour profile here...not as salty as the Chinese version, and less saucy. My biggest complaint about rice noodles usually is that they tend to be overcooked; it was the opposite here. They were slightly undercooked when I actually would have preferred it softer to serve as a complement to the beef. Nevertheless, this dish was good; this was one of the few dishes we polished off.  Longtail Let's keep going with the carb fest! We tried Mama Cheung's Laksa. This was really good. I'm not usually a fan of coconut but it was very subtle in this dish was pleasant. There was plenty seafood to make it worth the price and the noodles were a bit more well done than in the Pad Si Ew...probably because it was still cooking in the coconut broth. At $12, I'd say this is a solid lunch choice. You might even have leftovers. Longtail Okay...we're getting to the homestretch now...Our final dish was the Chiang Mai Noodles with Beef. I was so full at this point, I don't know if I had meat sweats or carb overload, but all I could do was to take a few sips of the soup, and a few bites of the noodles, the beef seemed overwhelming. The red curry broth was spicy, but not mindblowing. The noodles were better than the laksa...not sure why? And according to Sherman, the beef was tender, but I didn't actually try it myself...well, there's always next time! 

If you are ever in the area, it's definitely worth a visit. It's a casual food court atmosphere and the staff are very friendly. 

Longtail Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Rangoli...lots of Lamb!

Last month, my sister and I decided to visit Rangoli (deciding for forego a possible wait at Vij's). And to be honest, we couldn't have been happier. We went for lunch and a few dishes to share. First item to arrive was the Lamb, Beef and Lentil Kebabs. The meatiness was plentiful, and the spices were well-balanced. There was heat, but not blow-your-head-off heat. Subtle but definitely packs a punch. 
For me, I am not satisfied with Indian food unless there is naan involved.So our next dish was the Tamarind and Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken served with rice and naan. Despite the appearance in the picture, the chicken was surprisingly moist. I think the marinate really did its job, overcoming the high heat used to cook the chicken. The basmati rice was light and fluffy, perfect to soak up some of the curry sauce. And the naan, I could have had three servings of this. It's not heavy, and has a nice chewiness to it.   
The last dish we tried was the Lamb in Cumin and Light Cream Curry. The curry was delicate and sweet, but with a punch of heat that hits your as an afterthought. The veggies are tender with a slight bite. The rice and naan are perfect to soak up the curry sauce. I could do without the salad, but I say that about all my meals. 
Service was fun, casual and very jovial. It's a perfect place to spend an afternoon catching up with friends. Oh, and be sure to give the Mango Lassi a try! 

Rangoli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Get to Pronto...Pronto!

Sometimes the best meals take place when and where you least expect it. I decided to meet up with a fave eating buddy (purely because he has big cameras and an even bigger appetite), Sherman

We left my place without a clear idea in mind as to what we wanted to eat...Pho? Dim Sum? Sushi? All bets were off...and then he decided that we should check out a little restaurant he wanted to revisit on Cambie. And that's how we ended up at Pronto.Despite their small size, they have an incredibly diverse menu. There are pastas, sandwiches, various appetizers and pizzas too! Something for everyone, and at fairly reasonable prices.

We ordered four things to share, and allowed the kitchen to serve up whenever each item was our first course was the Tagliatelle Aglio e Olio. Most of the pastas are handmade, and this one was as well, simply made with garlic and smoked pancetta. The dish was rounded out with some sliced tomatoes, a just a touch of chili flakes, all topped with a showering of Parmesan cheese. The freshness of the pasta was undeniable. The pancetta gave the dish the needed saltiness, and the fresh tomatoes really freshened it up. It's plenty for one person, but it's also a great starter for two people. 
Feb 2016 food 2 
Untitled We noticed that there was Porchetta on the menu, and it's something we cannot turn down, ever. The bun was warm, but not crunchy, and the pork was mild in flavour...could have used a bit more seasoning or some salsa verde to perk it up a bit. However, no complaints about the skin...I've had chips less crispier than this. It wasn't fatty, just with a great crunch. I had to take some of mine home and it reheated very nicely. Always an important note if you order more than you can eat. 
Feb 2016 food 2 Two carby dishes down, and more to come. We really wanted to try their pizzas, and decided on the Genoa. A 12" pizza that's more than enough for two to share (even if you didn't have a pasta and sandwich beforehand). How can you go wrong with salami, tomatoes and red peppers. The cheese melted perfectly, and it wasn't overly topped. The crust held up well to the toppings and this was a winner in my books. It's fresh, light and tasty, and for $15, a great deal. Pronto Caffee Pizza Our final dish was actually listed as an Antipasto, but it was okay with us that it came at the end. After all the heavy foods we had, the light Prawns wrapped in Pancetta was actually quite a good way to finish lunch. It is a really good blend of the sweet prawns and the savory saltiness of the pancetta. At $12, I think this is a bit pricey. The sear on the pancetta is solid and this is a fun dish. I guess just adding one more prawn might have made the value a bit better, but that's just a minor complaint. Untitled Pronto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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