Sherman's Food Adventures: Noah's Cafe

Noah's Cafe

Noah's Cafe is quite the interesting place.  One look at the menu and it has all the hallmarks of an izakaya, but at the same time, there are some minor elements of Yoshoku cuisine as well.  Whatever the case, they aren't the typical Japanese restaurant you'd find in the Lower Mainland.  That's a good thing because we don't have enough places like Noah's.  Now just be aware, don't try to bring a big group here (not that the current restrictions allow it), the place is pretty small.

Yes, be prepared to be sitting close to your neighbours but thankfully they do have plexiglass dividers.  Onto the food, we started with the Chicken Karaage with sweet ginger soy and yuzu miso mayo.  These were not greasy and lightly crispy on the outside.  As for the chicken leg meat, it was juicy and tender while sporting some inherent seasoning.  Dips on the side were good with the ginger soy having a mild sharpness.  The mayo had good acidity helping to lighten up the heaviness of the dip itself.

Onto something that was completely different in my mind than what actually was served - Squid & Chips.  This turned out to be delicate and tender squid fried in a light batter.  Served on the side was fried brussels sprouts with sweet ginger soy, parm and truffle oil.  I really enjoyed the sprouts as they were lightly crispy and completely wilted while retaining some bite.  Lots of flavour, but maybe a bit heavy with the parm.

When I saw Confit Ox Tongue on the menu, I really had no choice but to order it (I love tongue! Er...).   This consisted of tender slices of ox tongue that still had a buttery chewiness.  Good texture and due to the fat content, lots of beefiness.  The garlic butter soy and mirin mustard provided some sharp tang as well as saltiness and aromatics.  I thought that this was one of the better dishes of the meal.

Now something raw from the featured menu, we had the Scallop Tuna Crab Tartare with wasabi crab, yuzu nori tuna, scallops, lemon and capers.  Beyond the bright colours and appealing presentation, this dish was completely on point.  Lots of bright and fresh flavours combined with acidity, sweetness and a touch of background spice from the wasabi.  Saltiness was provided by the capers and yuzu.  Delicious.

From here, we moved onto some larger dishes beginning with the Scallop Risotto sporting Hokkaido scallops, salmon roe, lumpfish caviar, sea perch dashi foam and parmesan.  This could've been an awesome dish, but the risotto was completely overdone being mushy and wet.  It was really too bad since the rest of the ingredients really seem to be in harmony.  Flavours were subtle where we could really get the taste of the sea and natural sweetness.

Lastly, we had the Uni Creme Pasta with uni creme sauce, spaghetti, shrimp, baby scallop, parmesan cheese, grana padano, truffle oil and lumpfish caviar.  The pasta itself was al dente.  It was the beneficiary of the uni cream which made it bright and creamy.  They showed restraint with the truffle oil, but could've been less heavy with the cheese as it does overwhelm seafood pretty easily.  On that note, the seafood was prepared perfectly.  All-in-all, the meal at Noah's was good even with the mushy risotto.  I would come back and be interested in trying some other dishes.

The Good:
- Some unique dishes
- Appealing food
- Good service

The Bad:

- Very limited and tight seating  


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