Sherman's Food Adventures: Lion's Den Cafe

Lion's Den Cafe

Despite unwavering confidence in my own decision-making skills, Viv often reminds me otherwise. I suppose she is the second sober thought? Being a responsible wife? Or merely out to pull me back down when I'm too high on myself? Could be all three I suppose. Well, I must admit that it was totally an error in judgment that I decided to play hockey on Sunday morning. I was sick as a dog and really should've taken a couple of days off from work last week. But no. Being quite stubborn, I worked every day and decided to play hockey as well. It really wasn't too bad despite the throbbing headache. However, once the blood got pumping, the headache got worse and my play deteriorated. People were wondering why I wasn't moving. I was wondering why I was playing...

Oh it gets better! Having already missed an eating opportunity with Darina & Victoria at Les Faux Bourgeois on Thursday, there was no way I'd miss a meet-up with Kim, Karl, Jessica, Mark & Elaine at the Lion's Den. Yah, when most people would be in bed with plenty of cold medication, I decided to eat Japribbean food. Ja-what??? Yah that's right, a mix of Japanese and Caribbean food. Hey, why not? Trying not to contaminate my fellow bloggers, I tried to touch as few things as possible and ordered a ginger beer to hopefully calm my cough. We decided to share some dishes and started with the Jerk Chicken. It is really too bad we started with this dish since it was hands-down the best one of the meal. Everything else afterwards paled in comparison. The jerk chicken was really flavourful with plenty of heat; but not scorching hot. The meat was fork tender. The whole dish just worked.

Then, unfortunately, we were presented with the Curry Goat. It was completely bland comparatively. No heat, no body, no nothing. Although the meat was tender and a bit gelatinous, there was not even a whole lot of goat gaminess. Good for some I suppose; but I wanted to taste goat. The same could be said about the Oxtail as well; but for me at least, there was a noticeable sweetness to it and a richness due to the oxtail breaking down in the sauce (thus a bit gelatinous and full of body). The texture was right on as well, with fork tender meat with little morsels of fat. Hey, I'm a bit biased since I love oxtail. It's probably only second to my love for tongue. Replacing the rice for our Goat Curry was a side of Roti (filled with crushed yellow split peas). It looked to be nice and fluffy. However, it was quite dry and it was still dry even after dipping it into the curry.

There was a small gap between these dishes and our final one. We were warned that the Okonomiyaki would take 30 minutes. It probably took longer; but when you're busy snapping photos and yakking, we didn't seem to notice. We actually added pork to ours and it turned out to be the star of the dish. Large morsels of tender pork (which had a good "porky" flavour) were like buried treasures within the flour and egg "pizza". The okonomiyaki itself was a bit disappointing though. I thought it was a tad on the doughy side. Although the sauce tasted alright, the colour was quite strange. I'm more used to a darker okonomiyaki sauce. As we were leaving, the owner insisted we all crowd into the restaurant for the story behind the stuffed lion (yes, it's in the restaurant). I'm not going to retell the story; but let's just say he is one charismatic fellow who cares about his business and customers. And that is partly the charm of the Lion's Den, even though the food is just okay.

The Good:
- Reasonably-priced
- Friendly owner and staff
- Interesting menu items

The Bad:
- Food on the whole is quite average
- Very small restaurant, but didn't really matter in this case, we sat outside in the nice weather

Lions Den Cafe on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

thefridaylunch said...

Your quite the trooper, Sherman. I'm not sure I'd be chowing down on gelatinous goat and oxtail if I had the flu. Yikes!

Sherman said...

LOL, I like to eat, no matter what.

rachel said...

THANKS FOR SHARING !! Now I won't try the okonomiyaki tmr.. hehehehe :)