Sherman's Food Adventures: Food Affare

Food Affare

With the end of the Covid-19 pandemic no where in sight, it seems like take-out, delivery and food prep services are becoming more popular than ever.  Personally, I don't think I've ever done so much take out and food delivery in my life!  So just like how I mentioned that food trucks have the right business model at the moment (since they aren't paying for dining space), I also believe prepared food ready for pick-up is also quite attractive.  Restaurant-quality food for a fraction of the price.  Why not?  Recently, I have sampled 2 pick-up orders from Food Affare in Richmond that was rather impressive.

For my first pick-up, there were a variety of items including the Baked California Roll (aka Sushi Bake) featuring sushi rice with citrus essence, imitation crab, tobiko, fried jalapenos, nori and bonito flakes.  This included 2 boxes of nori sheets as well.  The trick with this one was to bake it until warm and then add the toppings.  Scoop into the nori sheets and it becomes a tidy little bite.  Loved the crunch and spice from the jalapenos.

One of the more finely-tuned dishes was the Mushroom Ravioli on Buerre Noisette with blistered tomatoes, parmesan petals, reduced red wine couile, fried capers and truffle oil.  I kid you not, this would be right at home at any fine-dining Italian restaurant.  The pasta was thin yet firmly al dente.  The woodsiness was strong and the truffle oil was restrained.  Tang and saltiness was provided by the tomatoes and capers.  So good.

Last dish of this pick-up order was the Mentaiko Kimchi Udon with with crispy pork belly and onsen egg topped with katsuobushi and scallions.  Yah, this was also excellent with the brininess of the cod roe and the creaminess of the egg.  Loved the fusion where the kimchi added a light spice and tanginess.  Adding more body to the dish, the pork belly was tender and meaty.

On my next pick-up, there was a similar variety featuring a traditional Italian offering in the Rigatoni Bolognese.  The slow cooked meat sauce was full of depth and of course melt-in-my-mouth tender.  Flavours were apparent, yet subtle at the same time.  Saltiness was provided by the melted parm on top.  Rigatoni was on point being chewy, yet still tender.

Back to the Korean fusion, we found the Beef Bulgogi Spaghetti with sous-vide egg.  This was good with all of the sweet and meaty flavours of bulgogi accented by jalapenos and the silkiness of the egg.  Once again, the pasta was perfect and I loved how it didn't clump together despite being prepared in advance.  It really did feel like I was eating an Italian dish, but with Korean flavours.

Lastly, I had a traditional Korean dish in the Pork & Tofu Kimchi Jjigae with rice (and a small portion of XO sauce).  This was chock full of ingredients and the broth was impactful with moderate spice and plenty of acidity.  Of course it went well with the rice!  Consisting of mainly scallops, the XO sauce as a flavour bomb of spice and briny sweetness.  To be honest, I wasn't expecting the food to be so good, but it surely is.  Totally restaurant quality dishes at a reasonable price ready for take-out.  I highly recommend.

*All food was complimentary*

The Good:

- Restaurant-quality eats

- Reasonably-priced

- Fusion that actually works

The Bad:

- For now, only pickup is in Richmond (but there is available delivery with a surcharge) 


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