Sherman's Food Adventures: Tenen


Usually, when one spots a restaurant featured on Groupon, there are a few assumptions made - either it is new and trying to get the word out or they are not doing very well.  I'm sure there are other reasons too, but those are 2 of the most prevalent that I've seen.  So when I saw the Groupon for Tenan Restaurant in South Burnaby, I was mildly interested.  I just wasn't sure if it was worth a try.  However, at a recent wedding, someone at my table raved about the place and that prompted me to buy the Groupon.

I headed out with the family and kicked things off with the Traditional Meze Platter for 2.  Served attractively on a wooden plate (like an actual tree trunk one), there was more than enough for 2 people.  It included smoked pork loin, kulen, pork neck, katchkaval cheese, corn bread, ushtipci, kajmak and urnebes.  The best part of this was the fry bread as it was fluffy and light.  Eaten with the kajmak (cream cheese) and boom, it was all gone making us wanting for more.  Can't believe this was only $11.95.

Onto our mains, my son had the Pork Schnitzel with fries and coleslaw.  This gigantic hunk of pork was thick, yet at the same time, juicy and tender.  It was fried up crispy while not being greasy.  This was served with tartar sauce and lemon, where it was simple, but tasted great.  Underneath, the ample amount of fries were hot and crispy.  I can't imagine anyone finishing this and not feeling completely stuffed.  He gave it a try but came up short, only finishing 3/4 of it.  For my daughter, she had the Cabbage Rolls which were not the most attractive to look at.  However, they ate well with a tender cabbage exterior that still had some texture.  Inside, the pork filling was tender and mildly spiced.  I personally would've liked to see more sauce though.

Viv had one of their signature items being the Chicken Roulade stuffed with spinach and cheese while being wrapped with bacon.  I cannot stress enough how perfect the bacon was cooked as it adhered tightly to the chicken and was super crispy (no flabby bacon here).  This gave a salty smokiness to the otherwise mild-tasting chicken.  It was on the drier side, but was still good due to the cheesy filling.  For myself, I had the Serbian Signature BBQ with chevapi, chicken shish kebab, pork cutlet, chicken thigh, thick cut bacon and sausage with fries, kajmak and coleslaw.  Other than the pork cutlet and bacon, most of the other meats were rather dry.  However, I'm not surprised as most Eastern European meats I've encountered are not exactly juicy.  With that being said, I still enjoyed the plate as it was truly filling and hey, I love meat!  Now would I say the food was mind-blowing at Tenen?  Well no, but it was well-made and a good value with great service.  Let's just say I'll be back.

The Good:
- Large portions
- Well-priced
- Friendly service

The Bad:
- Meats a bit dry (but par for the course with Eastern European cuisine)
- Not a big place, must make a rez


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