Sherman's Food Adventures: Food by Fanta (Brunch)

Food by Fanta (Brunch)

Brunch and Langley does not resonate with many people who do not live out in the burbs.  For some reason, many of my Vancouver friends feel there is some barrier that prevents them from leaving the city to search for good food.  Well, since I've lived in Vancouver, Coquitlam and Burnaby, I can safely say that there is indeed good food to be found by crossing a bridge or two.  Mijune and I have visited Food by Fanta out in Langley for a Thai feast before (run by the same owner as nearby Ban Chok Dee), but this time around, we were invited to try out their brunch menu.

We were started off with the Grilled Cheese Chicken Waffle with BBQ sauce, cheddar, mixed greens, avocado herbal mayo & microgreens.  So this was their take on chicken and waffles where they added cheese and coated the fried chicken in sauce.  In that respect, there was more flavour going on rather than dousing it in syrup.  The waffle itself was soft with a bit of crispiness on the outside.  Chicken was moist and the sauce was tangy and sweet.  Best to be eaten in one bite with all of the elements together.

We were presented next with beautiful Chor Muang Flower Dumplings filled with 2 x Chicken, 2 x Pork and 1 x Veggie seasoned filling with peanut, sweet radish, onion & cilantro.  Due to the similarities in flavour, it was mostly just a textural thing with the different proteins.  However, I enjoyed the vegetarian one the most where the filling was more harmonious rather than having some meat interrupt the crunch of the radish and sweetness of the palm sugar combined with the peanuts.

Onto something on the sweeter side, we had the Menagerie French Toast Brulée with pandan leaf custard & bacon bread, peach cream stuffed French toast with banana brulée, topped with coconut caramel sauce & syrup.  I liked how they didn't just make a standard French toast and went for it, especially incorporating Thai flavours.  The toast itself was soft and moist while seared evenly.  Lots of sweetness from the cream, custard, syrup and brulée.  Ate like a dessert and not that we were complaining...

Another mash-up was the Bechamel Taro Nachos with marinated tamarind prawns with avocado bechamel sauce served over fresh taro chips and mozzarella.  First of all, I love taro chips, so these crispy lattice versions were great on their own.  Well, these were topped with the aforementioned bechamel sauce as well as little nuggets of tangy prawns and cheese.  I think if there was some heat (spiciness), these would've been over the top.

One of the nicest-looking dishes was the Seared Mango Tuna with ginger marinated seared ahi tuna, served with fried taro strips, green mango salsa and avocado.  Yes, this ate as good as it appeared with tender rare tuna with a slightly crispy cornmeal crust.  The ginger did come through with brightness and the mangoes provided a nice crunch.  This was the entree version and more than enough for a meal.

Back to the sweets, we had the Soufflé Pancake with fresh fruit, topped with crème brûlée sauce.  With this dish, one pancake (the top one) was perfect and could rival many of the other ones in town.  The one on the bottom was a bit flatter and less fluffy.  So maybe this was just bad luck.  Anyways, as said, the top one was airy and light.  The sauce was sweet and had the richness of burnt sugar.

Moving back to appetizers, we tried the Ballerina Wings that were boneless and fried with tamarind-palm sugar sauce & tropical fruit salsa.  Being boneless, this made eating the wings much easier.  It also highlighted the crispy exterior even more so.  Inside, the meat was juicy and tender while the skin was semi-rendered.  Loved the sweet tang from the sauce as well as the extra sweetness from the mango.

We then went on to try some mains including the Sablefish Risotto.  Although the green sauce looked like green curry, it was quite sweet.  The risotto itself was overdone where it was soft and a bit gummy.  However, the sablefish itself was excellent.  As much as it is a forgiving protein to prepare, this was super buttery and flaky.  It was as fresh as it was prepared properly.  The charred lemon on the side was key to brightening things up.

Another dinner item we had was the Massaman Lamb Shank with hand mashed pomme purée, tamarind, carrot and broccoli.  So this was essentially a lamb curry and since they used the shank, it featured tender gelatinous meat.  The massaman curry was nutty and sweet which went well with the creamy potatoes.  Veggies were prepared properly being firm yet cooked all-the-way-through.

If you noticed 3 beautiful drinks in the background, they were part of the Rainbow Sangria Flight.  These were actually very light tasting and suitable for those who don't like strong drinks.  Onto the desserts, we were served 4 including the Mango Pannacotta Cheesecake with strawberry and raspberry.  This was my favourite because I like fruity desserts and also cheesecake.  This was a whole lot lighter but had the flavour of cheesecake.  Next was the Coconut Crème Brûlée made with coconut milk, palm sugar, egg and pandan leaf.  This featured a firmer custard that was aromatic and on the sweeter side.  Then we had the Poached Pear in red wine with crème Anglaise.  The pear itself was tender and full of wine flavour.  For me, it was a bit strong, but the crème Anglaise did help balance that off a bit.  Lastly, the Banoffee Crumble featured layers of banana, strawberry, cookie and cream crumble.  This ate like a parfait in some sense except with the egg custard.  But there was plenty of creaminess to go with fruit and crunch.  This was the sweetest dessert of the bunch.  So there you have it, a comprehensive look at Food by Fanta.  There is nothing quite like it in Langley and really, is there a Thai fusion brunch spot in Vancouver in general?   Definitely interesting and worth checking out.

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:
- Something different
- Thai fusion works in most dishes
- Cute spot

The Bad:
- Many dishes were on the sweeter side (I guess that would be a "good" for some people)


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