Having a tasting at Soft Peaks during dinner hours was both good and bad. The good was that we had the appetite to down several samples of their creations. The bad was that we weren't really satisfied since we never really ate an actual "dinner". Nora was pretty keen in grabbing a bite to eat in the neighbourhood and originally suggested Bao Down. I was mildly okay with that idea but was looking for more of a "sit-down" meal. Hence, we headed over to the nearby Sardine Can instead.
Seeing how we had 6 of us, we doubled up our orders starting with the Tostas de Sardinas or smoked sardines on toast. This was an appetizing bite where the crostinis were crunchy, yet not dense. On top, the generous portion of sardine was briny and nicely pickled. With an aggressive drizzle of olive oil, it added a buttery richness. The extra hit of acidity from the pickled onions put in over the top. One of my favourites was actually the second dish being the Gambas al Ajillo or spicy garlic prawns. These meaty morsels were tender yet still holding a light snap texture. Although I could taste the natural prawn sweetness, it was not the star of the show. Rather, the spices and garlic really came through with a spicy aromaticness accented by smoked paprika.
I wasn't sure what to think about the Chorizo con Jerez or full-flavoured chorizo sausage cooked in sherry. Sitting in enough grease to power a small vehicle, it didn't look particularly appetizing. I know many dishes are prepared this way, but this is just my personal bias speaking... Anyways, no complaints about the flavour as there was a pointed saltiness accented by a bit of tang. However, I found the texture to be too firm for my liking. What is tapas without Patatas Bravas? These roasted fingerling potatoes topped with garlic aioli and tomato could give the ones at Bodega a run for their money. Meaty yet still potatoey in side, the small wedges were graced with a creamy and garlicky aioli. The light tomato sauce was bright and lightly acidic and sweet.
Another solid offering was the Pollo alla Mora or spiced yogurt marinated chicken with pomegranate. Nicely seared, the chicken breast meat remained moist and tender. Although there was a definite impact from the spices, the real flavour came from the tart and sweet pomegranate juice. A quick dip into the side of spiced yogurt brought balance to the dish. Our last savoury item was the Bruselas (roasted brussels sprouts, mustard + jamon vinaigrette, garlic croutons). A touch soft, but still retaining a bite, the brussels sprouts were mildly seasoned with a balance of sweet, salty and tartness.
For dessert, we shared 2 dishes including the Terrina de Chocolate (Chocolate terrine with chili, olive oil, sea salt, toast). This was rather thick where it was a bit hard to spread. However, it paid off in the end because the smooth and rich texture was appealing. Moreover, the spice from the chili was a nice finish at the end. As much as this was good, I enjoyed the Flan de Dulce de Leche more. Texturally, it was on point with a silky firmness that was smoky and purposefully sweet. The only negative was the appearance of air bubbles. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves at The Sardine Can not only for the food, but also the attentive service.
- Solid tapas
- Attentive service
- Not exclusive to The Sardine Can, but it was a bit greasy
- Tight seating