Sherman's Food Adventures: La Amigo Restaurant

La Amigo Restaurant

What's in a name?  If one was to think of the restaurant La Amigo (or Amigo on the awning now), what type of cuisine does it conjure up?  Mexican? Spanish Tapas?  Nope.  Try an elevated Hong Kong-style cafe in the same genre as former Bauhinia.  That is, in addition to the usual stuff, we see Lobster Thermidor and Filet Mignon. We decided to check the place out after our softball game despite the fact, I had already visited Richmond earlier in the day for Dim Sum and Pineapple Buns from Lido.  I think it is pretty obvious I have this sadistic secret love for Richmond...

And about that Lobster Thermidor...  Hey, go big or go home right?  For a whopping $35.95, the meal included Lobster Chowder (with garlic toast), which I started with.  This was more like a cross between a bisque and a cream soup that featured a few nuggets of lobster.  It was somewhat aromatic and mild, but was enjoyable nonetheless.  And here we go...  the Lobster Thermidor with spaghetti and veggies.  This version was more like lobster in a creamy sauce baked with some cheese.  I didn't taste cognac, but whatever the case, it was yummy.  The pieces of lobster had a bouncy chewy texture where the natural flavours stood up to the cream and cheese.  The mushrooms were a nice complimentary flavour.

Miss Y went for something more normal (especially after a softball game) being the Brisket Soup Noodles.  The egg noodles were sufficiently al dente while bathed in a fairly salty broth.  Although the chunks of brisket appeared to be rather dry, this was not the case.  In fact, they were super tender and moist.  I liked the ample amount of baby bak choy to balance out the saltiness.  Boss Woman was pretty disappointed that there was no scrambled eggs & shrimp on the menu (does she eat anything else???), so she opted for the Curry Shrimp Fried Rice instead.  This had the necessary wok heat so that the rice was dry and nutty.  There was only a mild curry flavour while the small shrimp were scattered here and there.  With the fried egg on top, she did end up with some form of shrimp & eggs...

Bam Bam and Pebbles ended up with the same set meals as I did but with different entrees.  Bam Bam decided on the Walnut-Crusted Filet Mignon with peppercorn demi. The steak was prepared a beautiful medium-rare (closer to the rare side), subsequently being moist and buttery soft.  He really liked the aromatic walnuts as well as the mushrooms.  Best of all was the demi as it was flavourful and impactful.  Pebbles went for the Homemade Smoked Sablefish with jambalaya rice accompanied by veggies. I was able to get a sample and the fish was on point.  With a sweet smokiness, the sablefish was fatty and flaky.  Although it was an interesting take on jambalaya, it was good with firm rice and a zesty tomato hit.

Gyoza King ordered the Spaghetti Bolognese, something that he usually avoids.  So fate would have it, he should've never deviated from the usual because he didn't like this one very much.  Nothing wrong with the spaghetti, but the sauce was far too salty.  So much so, he wanted to stop eating it (but he ate it anyways).  On top of the saltiness, there was very little meat for a bolognese sauce.  With a considerably different red sauce, Bear had the Baked Pork Chop Rice.  This was more on the sweeter side, but he liked it.  The ample amount of pork chop was fried nicely where it was tender.  As a whole, the dish worked.

Chill tried to do his best impersonation of me by ordering 2 dishes beginning with the Sauteed Shrimp.  The shrimp were cooked just enough where they exhibited a buttery snap.  As much as I was expecting tarragon rather than basil, the flavours worked as the sauce was creamy and complimentary to the sweet shrimp.  For his main, he had the Curry Fish with Rice.  Consisting of a pan-fried Basa filet with potatoes in a curry sauce, the dish worked.  I found the fish to be moist with a crispy brown sear on the bottom.  The curry itself was creamy (with coconut milk) while being quite mild.  It had a nice consistency to it.

Onto some creamier concoctions, Milhouse and Dark Helmet had the Baked Fish with Cream Sauce on Rice. With the same type of preparation, the fish filet was moist with a crispy sear.  It was smothered in a creamy mushroom sauce which was mild with a hint of cheese.  It was pretty decent.  Judes went for the Baked Seafood with Spaghetti in Cream Sauce.  The flavours were very similar to the aforementioned dish except for the addition of seafood.  Most of which were prepared just right except for the squid which was chewy.  Overall, for all the variety of dishes we tried, the food was pretty good at La Amigo.  It had to be though because the prices are appreciably higher than most of the competitors in Richmond.  I found that they really nailed the non-Asian dishes.  A bit surprising, but tasty nonetheless.

The Good:
- More refined and carefully crafted than other Hong Kong-style cafes
- Non-Asian dishes surprisingly good

The Bad:
- Appreciably more expensive than other restaurants of this type 

La Amigo Restaurant 雅谷餐廳 on Urbanspoon