Recently, I was asked to try out the Suika Me Silly Dining Package by VANEATS.ca. However, due to my hectic schedule and the fact I had just posted on Suika, I had to pass. However, I had promised to take on the next one offered up by them. So a month later, Viv and I tried out the Cheers Ebisu Dining Package by VANEATS.ca, which goes live from November 1st to the 30th. These "dining packages" are somewhat an alternative from those group-buy coupon sites which offer a discount of some sort. Instead of a set discount, we see a set price ($25.00) for an array of items which make of the "package". This particular one consists of an Izakaya-type focus and includes a pitcher of Premium Sapporo Draft. Viv and I struggled to even down half of this pitcher and were wondering if they really had to give us so much beer... Egads! I would have never said such a thing 10 years ago! Oh well, that in itself already made this package a fabulous deal even before the food.
Now for the food... The menu included 2 Cajun Tuna Tacos served on the same long plate as 2 pieces of Tiger Mayo. Nestled within the light crispy taco shells was seared fresh tuna & shredded mixed salad dressed with house ginger sauce. Despite the Cajun seasoning on the outside of the tuna, the taco was very light and almost refreshing. The ginger added a nice zing, yet the taco still could've benefited from more acidity (lime?). As for the Tiger Mayo, these were deep fried Black Tiger Prawns served with sweet chili mayonnaise dip. Prior to receiving the entire "package", we were erroneously served a full order of the tiger mayo (which suited us just fine!). We were really impressed with the quality of the prawns. They were fried up perfectly crispy while the prawn itself was meaty and sweet. The chili mayo had a nice kick to it and we appreciated that they didn't douse the entire order with it. Normally, we are pretty troubled by how ebi mayo is served with an obscene amount of sauce drizzled on top which resembles the conclusion of a cheap porno flick... Ew?
With those 2 items out of the way, we received the main platter of eats which included from left to right: Thunder Fries, Chikuwa Cheese, Chicken Karaage and Kansai Steak Sliders. The Thunder Fries were essentially sweet potato fries served with cajun mayo dip. Hidden within these tempura-coated sticks was one cheese and onion fry and one yellow pepper fry. Kinda random, but it did give a bit of diversity. The sweet potato fries themselves were thick-cut and cooked properly. They were soft while not becoming mushy complete with a light crispy coating. Moving along, we found more fried goodness with the classic Chikuwa Cheese. For those who are not familiar with chikuwa, it is a tube-like fish cake that consists of surimi and seasoning. In this application, the chikuwa were filled with cheese (mozzarella for this one), battered and deep-fried. As you can see in the picture, the chikuwa were finished off with mayo and sauce. These were pretty large and overall well-executed. The only thing I might have changed was to leave them uncut. The chikuwa cheese were cut on a bias which was good for presentation purposes, but not so much in terms for maintaining the melted cheese.
With the deep-fryer working overtime, we tried the Chicken Karaage next. These boneless pieces of dark meat were juicy and fried nicely. We found some parts to be rather salty, but then again, I much prefer that over being bland. Maybe a lemon wedge would've balanced the flavours out more. Finally, we got to the last item which was the Kansai Steak Sliders consisting of sauteed sliced beef marinated in yakiniku sauce sandwiched with avocado, onions, mushrooms & spicy mayo. These were saucy and quite good. We found the beef to be moist and juicy accentuated by the sweetness and crunch of the onions. The small piece of jalapeno actually added a nice bite to the slider. We could've used more actually. We found the bun to be perfect. It was soft while still holding together despite the wet ingredients. By now, we were pretty stuffed and I was woozy from the beer. Ack! I'm now a cheap drunk! The humanity... Anyways, the bottom line is that this package of all the items you have read about including a pitcher of beer only costs $25.00! This, in my mind, is a pretty good deal and can easily feed 2 people.