Sherman's Food Adventures: Basho Cafe

Basho Cafe

High on top of Urbanspoon's "talk of the town" list, Basho has been on my radar for some time.  However, the stars never aligned where I could actually pay the place a visit.  Leave it to Whipping Girl as the positive influence I needed to push me in the right direction.  She wanted to treat me to lunch since I was helping her mount her large flat screen TV as well as build Ikea furniture.  Yes, I'm so handy a la Weird Al... Geez, I really should've asked for a more expensive restaurant!

Price is one thing, but when you have quality, it makes up for it.  Basho, on the surface, appeared to hit all the right notes... Starting with the Cheddar Green Onion Biscuit, it embodied the spirit of Basho in one compact package.  Simple, carefully-prepared and pleasing, the crisp exterior revealed a dense-fluffiness where the aroma of the green onion really came through.  Not in a raw-tasting manner, but as mildly herbed with the nutty-saltiness of cheddar.  We decided to try the Pumpkin Soup with a regular Biscuit as well.  Velvety to the tongue and creamy overall, the pumpkin soup was well-blended and balanced.  It did not have an overbearing pumpkin essence

Onto bigger items, we shared the Tuna Tataki Salad and the Teri Pulled Pork on rice.  With beautiful thin slices of nicely seared tuna and fresh crisp greens, this was a fine example of simplicity.  But that didn't mean it wasn't full of interesting and appealing flavours though.  We particularly enjoyed the grated ginger, green onion and shichimi atop the tuna.  It reminded us of the condiment served with Chinese poached chicken while exhibiting a kick from the shichimi.  As for the vinaigrette, it was nicely acidic and sweet.  Although the pulled pork itself was somewhat dry, there was an appealing vinegary teriyaki sauce (that wasn't too sweet) as well as a good amount of rice.

Of course we couldn't leave Basho without getting a bunch of their bakery items to go.  These included a Matcha Madeleine, Lemon Cake, Brownie, Matcha Shortbread, Matcha White Chocolate Chip, Matcha Chocolate Chip, Black Sesame Cookie, Almond Chocolate Cookie and Matcha Almond. The highlight for us was the lemon cake as it was moist and unmistakeable in flavour.  The cookies were crispy and light while mildly flavour where aroma dominated rather than sugar.  The Madeleine was a bit interesting as the texture was more firm and dense, but it was still enjoyable nonetheless.  As for all the matcha-influenced items, the taste was not overwhelming, rather it was complimentary.  As you can see from what we tried, the items were not overly complicated nor would it win any culinary awards.  Yet, as simple as this little place is, it does what it does well.

The Good:
- Cute little place with nice people
- Carefully-made items

The Bad:
- Limited menu
- Limited seating

Basho Cafe on Urbanspoon


holly said...

I love this homey little japanese cafe. Their matcha lattes are the best and I want to order one of each their pastries every time I come.

The only downside is that they're not open on weekends so I can't get my fix. :(