Sherman's Food Adventures: May 2023

Osteria Povera

If you've even had Italian eats out in Port Moody, I'm sure you've come across Rosa's.  That place had been around for 22 years and was a favourite of many including local celebs and sports stars.  I had visited the place a few times and to be honest, as much as it was solid with generous portions, it wasn't my favourite.  Well, doesn't really matter now as Rosa has retired and in its place is Osteria Povera.  It is by the same people that run Originals Mexican down the street.  Eileen and I ended up trying it out for her birthday.

If we had known that they were going to serve us some complimentary Focaccia with tomato puree, parmesan, calabrese and spianata, we wouldn't have ordered so many appies.  But whatever, more food means more fun!  Also, that tomato puree was money being mildly tangy with aromatic depth.  The focaccia was also good with a crispy exterior giving way to a fluffy centre.  This was a great appie in itself (for 2 people), but hold on, we got way more...

That would mean more cured meats, cheese and you guessed it, foccacia. This came in the form of the Affettati e Olive Fritto.  We found mortadella, cacciatore, spianata, capacollo, calabrese and olives pan-seared in olive oil.  As you can clearly see, they were shy with the amount of meat and olives (this was only $19.00!).  Loved the warm olives (I love olives in general) as it went well with the cheese and foccacia.  Suffice to say, we didn't finish this.

You would think this would be enough cured meats right?  Nope, we also had the Prosciutto, Rucola e Burrata.  Gotta say that they give you your money's worth of cured meats here.  Although it wasn't the most expensive prosciutto, there was a lot of it (yes, we didn't finish).  It rested on a bed of arugula and a small piece of creamy burrata sat in the middle.  This was finished off with olive olive and a bit of pepper and salt.

We had one more appie with the La Bomba con Pane e Polenta.  This was essentially an olive spread with hot peppers, olive oil and other veggies.  This was served over the same foccacia as well as seared slices of polenta.  As simple as this dish appeared, it happened to be one of my favourites.  I loved the spiciness combined with the tanginess, saltiness and aroma of the EVOO.  The seared polenta was quite nice with a smokiness as well as the unmistakable texture.

Over to the pastas, we started with the Tagliatelle Ragu with ground beef and short rib.  Continuing the theme of generous portions, this pasta was not exactly huge, but much larger than many other spots.  It featured tender ribbons of tagliatelle that were just marginally al dente.  No problem with that as the mouth feel was good.  There was a good amount of meaty ragu that had natural beef flavours as well as a balancing sweetness to go with the savouriness.

Next we had the Fileja al Pomodoro Picante that featured Calabria-style pasta with a spicy tomato sauce.  This was essentially an Arribiata sauce with plenty of spice and tang.  I thought that they nailed the balance of flavours here where the spice was at the forefront but did not overwhelm the tanginess of the sauce.  Furthermore, the amount of cheese on top helped bring things down a few notches.  The pasta itself was al dente and clung onto the sauce well.

Last pasta was the Gnocchi e Filetto alla Parmigiana sporting a large breaded beef tenderloin cutlet atop gnocchi with a tomato basil sauce.  That beef cutlet was huge and super tender with plenty of parm on top.  Hence it was salty, nutty with the tang from the tomato sauce coming through.  Underneath, the gnocchi were tender and fluffy.  I would've liked a bit more bite, but they were still good nonetheless.  Sauce paired well with it.

Not to be outdone, we also ordered La Pizza Margherita with roma tomatoes, cheese and fresh basil.  This was a more Roman-style pizza than the Neapolitan style we find at most places these days.  Hence, the crust was a bit thicker and slightly chewier.  It was still soft though and nicely seasoned.  There was a good amount of tangy sauce and cheese on top.  I especially loved the ripe tomatoes as they were delicious.  The fresh basil also added aromatics and herbaceousness.

For dessert, we had both the Frittelle di Carnavale and the Grappa Tiramisu.  Unfortunately, the donuts were hard and chewy.  Too bad really, as they looked good.  On the other hand, the tiramisu was good with rich and creamy mascarpone and properly-soaked lady fingers. Overall, we found the food quite good at Osteria Povera. Sure, some of my favourite Downtown Italian restaurants are better, but this is good for Port Moody.  They completely renovated the place, so it is more modern and clean.  Seating is a bit tight, but that is the limitations of the building.  I wouldn't mind coming back.

The Good:
- Solid eats
- Generous portions
- On point service

The Bad:
- Donuts were not good
- Seating is tight


Regal Mansion (Dinner Service)

So for all the times we've been to Regal Mansion for Dim Sum, we have never gone there for dinner.  As I've stated over and over again, the Dim Sum chef and dinner chef at a Chinese restaurant are usually mutually exclusive.  Hence, a Dim Sum service can be wildly different than a dinner service due to this.  Therefore, we finally made it out there for dinner to see if it stacks up to their consistently good Dim Sum.

We started off things with one of the Chef's Specials in the Dungeness Crab with Salted Egg Yolk (also added sliced rice cake to go with this).  I believe this is an absolute steal at $58.00.  The crab was of a good size and was meaty.  It was coated in a deliciously nutty salted egg yolk "sauce" that wasn't overly salty.  Rather, it was aromatic and had all the best elements of salted egg yolk.  The accompanying rice cakes were tender yet still retained their appealing chewiness.

Another Chef's Special was the Ling Cod in 2 Courses for $68.00.  I felt this was another well-priced item(s) where the first course was the Yau Choy with Ling Cod Filets.  Fresh and vibrant, the stalks of yau choy were still crunchy despite being cooked all-the-way-through.  They were the right ripeness where they had a crunch to them but were not chewy nor stringy.  There was plenty of tender flaky slices of ling cod to go with the vegetable.  The dish was mildly-seasoned, so the natural flavours came through.

The second course consisted of the Ling Cod Hot Pot featuring the head, belly and fin meat along with roast garlic and fried tofu.  I found that the batter for the fish was somewhat heavy, which meant that it became a touch gummy once it soaked up the sauce.  However, the fish itself was delicate and there was plenty of it.  Sure, we had to watch for the bones, but these pieces are some of the most tender parts of the fish.  Loved the fried tofu as it was tender and took on all of the savoury sauce.

Our last Chef's Special dish was the XO Vermicelli Hot Pot with Seafood.  I thought the preparation of the vermicelli was quite good as it was completely hydrated, but not to the point it lost its chewy texture.  It was fully separated and not clumpy while not greasy.  It had taken on the XO where it was briny and a bit spicy.  The one thing I didn't like about this dish was the lack of seafood.  When we did find some shrimp and scallops, there were super tiny.  Would've liked some prawns instead.

To keep up the meat quotient, we got yet another Chef's Special in the Wagyu Beef with Shimeji Mushrooms.  If there was any doubt this was Wagyu beef, one bite and we knew this was legit.  The butteriness of the meat as well as the beefy flavour was quite evident.  It had been wok-fried just enough that it was cooked to medium with all of the fats activated.  Seasoning was on point too with a mildly peppery savouriness.  Not merely a garnish, the mushrooms underneath were texturally appealing.

As much as it is a defaultish dish, we got the Sweet & Sour Pork as we always do.  This one was quite good with medium-size chunks of pork.  They were somewhat fatty, but not to the point where pieces were inedible.  I found the texture to be perfectly bouncy and tender with just enough batter on the outside.  The sauce was tangy with just the right amount of sweetness.  Loved the addition of lychee to the usual pineapple, onions and peppers.  This was also a large portion for the price ($26.88).

For our carbs, we got the Fried Rice with Scallop and Dried Scallop.  The good thing about this rice was the large scallops placed predominantly on top.  They were tender and sweet.  However, the rice itself had too much moisture.  So even with a good wok-fry, the rice was not able to be caramelized and nutty.  Furthermore, the rice could've used a bit more salt.  However, all of the other dishes were quite good and well-portioned.  Therefore, the dinner as a whole was quite solid and we would have no problem returning in the future.

The Good:
- Generous portions
- Generally well-executed
- Attentive service

The Bad:
- Fried rice was not dry enough

KR's Dessert Jars & Cookie Bars

Normally, this blog deals with eating out, typically in full service restaurants.  However, we all know food is everywhere in many shapes and forms.  Hence, I've intermittently included various other things like one-time pop ups to home-based operations.  Recently, I was contacted by KR's Dessert Jars & Cookie Bars based out of a commissary at Core Kitchen in Langley (available for delivery as well).   As their name suggests, their main products are dessert jars resembling trifles to cookie bars that are part cookie, part cake where a surprise filling awaits you.

I was supplied a selection of their wares including the Sneaky, Limonetta and Mr. Nutty.  Aptly named, the Sneaky cookie bar featured a chocolate chip dough with a Mars bar stuffed inside.  Suffice to say, this had some ooey gooey caramel action going on, especially if you warm it up in the microwave before enjoying.  Possibly my favourite, the Limonetta ate like a lemon loaf with lemon curd inside.  It was the most cake-like in texture being moist while the lemon curd was tangy and sweet.  As for Mr. Nutty, it was obvious what was inside the chocolate chip cookie base - Peanut M&M's.  Loved the crunch and of course the nuttiness of the peanuts.

Also based on the chocolate chip cookie dough, we had both the Chunky Monkey and the Peanut Spoon.  The Chunky Monkey would be their most basic cookie bar being essentially a large chocolate chip cookie.  Outside was slightly crunchy and chewy while the inside was soft and almost cake-like.  The Peanut Spoon added Resse's mini-peanut butter cups inside that made it peanutty and sweeter.
Consisting of triple chocolate dough, the Oozing Lava featured a chocolate ganache centre, which oozed like lava when microwaved.  Yes, it was like a lava cake, but with a much firmer exterior.  This was very rich and chocolately.

Featuring the same triple chocolate dough, the PB&J was exactly its namesake with peanut butter and jelly inside.  One might think this would be really sweet, but it really wasn't.  The dark chocolate cookie was flavourful with just the right amount of sweetness.  Also encased in chocolate chip dough, Take a Break sports Kit Kat Ganache.  It makes the cookie bar a bit sweeter and offers a light crunch from the wafers.  Finally, the Birthday Cake bar is based on a white chocolate chip & macadamia nut dough with funfetti.  Due to the ingredients, this was the sweetest one, but definitely had all the elements of a birthday cake dessert.

Onto the dessert jars, we had Strawberry Shorty, Nocciola, El Chocomello and Blue Meow.  I think of these more like jarred trifles with layers of cake, custard, compote and other things.  I personally loved the Blue Meow the most as the lemon custard helped cut through the sweetness of the blueberry compote and moist vanilla cake.  Although it looked like it would be super sweet, the Nocciola was more chocolaty and nutty with hazelnut cream, hazelnut chocolate spread, custard and chocolate cake.  The same could be said about the El Chocomello as the caramel custard was indeed sweet, but the dark chocolate cake helped balance it off.  The sweetest of them all was the Strawberry Shorty with strawberry compote, vanilla custard and vanilla cake.

I'll post one more picture of the cookie bar with the insides exposed.  This one is the Sneaky with the Mars bar.  I didn't heat this one up, so the caramel would be more liquidy otherwise.  As you can see, there is quite a bit of filling, so the cookie bar will taste like its namesake.  In fact, I really enjoyed all of the cookie bars and would definitely be ordering some more in the future.  As for the dessert jars, I enjoyed them too, except they are on the sweeter side, so you need to have a sweet tooth.  I'm glad to be introduced to these products. Wished I tried them earlier!

*Products were complimentary*

The Good:
- Loved the texture of the cookie bars, soft and cake-like but also cookie-like too
- Interesting flavours
- These cookie bars are large!

The Bad:
- Enjoyed the dessert jars, but the Strawberry Shorty was a bit too sweet for me

Regal Mansion (Dim Sum Service)

Here we are with an updated post on Regal Mansion Dim Sum service since the original post about a year ago.  During that time, we actually have re-visited the place a total or 8 times, so I can confidently write an informed post.  I have introduced Regal Mansion to my parents and slowly but surely, we are weening them off Victoria Seafood Restaurant (which is their favourite restaurant).  They are all about the convenience and Regal Mansion has that in spades with validated 3 hour (not 2 hours as advertised) parking underground.

So this will include some dishes from several visits including the usual Ha Gau (Regal Shrimp Dumplings).  Continuing the trend in offering up five dumplings rather than the traditional four, it almost seems like you are getting a bonus one (but you are actually paying for it or they are smaller).  I like this number as it is luckier than "4" (LOL) and makes it easier to share with a table of 10.  These are actually quite good with a medium-thick dumpling skin that has appealing elasticity.  The shrimp filling is moist and buttery with the desired snap texture.  Seasoning is mild but the usual white pepper and sesame oil do come through (as well as the MSG).

Now we go back to four dumplings with the Lobster Dumplings.  I'm sure they took away one dumpling because they charge the same price for these and the shrimp dumplings.  In reality, these were actually shrimp dumplings with some lobster added to it.  Therefore, they ate exactly the same as the shrimp dumplings in terms of texture and almost taste except with the unmistakable aroma of lobster.

I have to say their Truffle Siu Mai (Steamed Pork Dumplings) are consistently topped with too much black truffle sauce.  Well, never enough of a good thing right?  I'm not sure because in my mind it is a bit overwhelming with too much woodsiness but then again, I'm sure those who love black truffle will disagree with me.  Beyond that, the siu mai here are comprised mainly of bouncy shrimp with only a bit of pork to compliment.  I find the pork more of a binding agent with the same rebound texture as the shrimp.  Hence the dumpling eats lighter and requires less chewing.

By virtue of so many visits to the place, we've tried a variety of their Rice Noodle Rolls including Salty Donut, Prawn, Beef and Mushroom.  I would say they are fairly consistent with the rice noodle sheets ranging from thin to medium-thickness.  Texturally, they have been the same with a soft butteriness while having elasticity (so they don't fall apart on contact).  My favourite filling is the prawn as they are large and have the classic snap texture.  The mushroom is pretty darn good too where they completely overload the noodle roll with a variety of them.  I find that for the beef, they put too much onion in it for my personal tastes.  It takes away from the buttery tenderized beef and it tastes mainly of green onion.

If you dine-in and order before noon, you can get the Clay Pot Rice at a discounted price.  You have the choice between Sparerib & Chicken Feet and Cured Sausage.  We usually go for both because the kids love rice and also it makes for great leftovers.  Although the rice isn't cooked until it has a socarrat, it is usually fairly dry and nutty.  In terms of toppings, the sparerib version has much more than the cured sausage.  The ribs are tender with a nice rebound while seasoned well with garlic black bean.  I would like to see more cured sausage because it never seems to be enough for the amount of rice.

On that top of Chicken Feet, we often get another order since 2 of them in the claypot rice is not nearly enough for everyone.  This generally is a consistent dish except for one time where some of the skin was hacked up.  Other than that, the chicken feet are medium in size and somewhat plump.  The skin is tender with soft cartilage and fat underneath.  Seasoning is on point with equal parts sweetness and savouriness with plenty of garlic and a touch of spice.

Of course I can't do without the offal and their option is the Tendon and Tripe.  I find that most times, it is more tendon than tripe.  In terms of execution, the tripe is tender and buttery soft while still having a good chewiness.  They are usually medium-size strips which makes it easy to pick up and substantial enough for a few bites.  I find the tendon to be usually on the softer side with portions falling apart.  Not a big issue because the alternative would be chewy tendon.  Flavours are similar to the chicken feet except being a bit sweeter with lots of garlickiness.

One of my Dim Sum favs is the Bean Curd Skin Roll featuring a filling of pork and some veggies.  The one here is quite good with properly fried bean curd sheets that were soft but still retained plenty of that appealing chewiness.  I also thought the colour was right as some places fry it too dark or too light.  Inside, the pork filling had the same rebound texture found in the siu mai.  There was also some shrimp, carrots and celery in the mix.

Normally, the Deep-Fried Eggplant with Shrimp Paste is a dish that consists of four pieces.  Not here though as they take a whole Japanese eggplant and cut it lengthwise and stuff it with shrimp paste on both sides.  The last time we had it, the Thai chili sauce they put on top of it was a bit too sweet.  Best to have it served on the side.  The eggplant itself was tender and the shrimp paste has a good rebound.

One of the best BBQ Pork Pastries can be found at Regal Mansion.  We've had quite a few in the Lower Mainland and this one is our favourite.  On our last visit, it would've been the 5th time we've had the dish and it was consistent.  The buttery and fairly light pastry encased a considerable amount of lean BBQ pork that was sweet and savoury.  The fact they use hawthorne meant it was sweet, but had a nice tang to it.  Delicious.

Like we always do, we get at least one order of the Garlic Shrimp Spring Rolls.  These were good as usual with an overstuffed roll with cold water shrimp that were bouncy and had a moist snap.  They were well-seasoned without being salty with plenty of garlickiness.  The rolls were wound not too tight, but tight enough to be uniform in size.  They were crunchy while not being overly greasy.

One item that we weren't necessary fond of was the Fried Black Swan Taro Dumplings.  Essentially, these were the classic deep fried taro dumplings except with black colouring (squid ink I believe) and swan heads poked into the body.  We found the mashed taro quite dry, possibly in need of more lard (can't believe I said that, but it is true).  Other than that, the pork filling was fine being flavourful and moist.

We normally do not order the Steamed BBQ Pork Buns here, not because they aren't good, but there are just many other things to eat!  Well, we had it the most recent time and it was textbook.  The bun itself was split nicely, revealing the filling.  Texturally, it was fluffy while not being too soft.  The filling was quite sweet with a thick glaze while the BBQ pork consisted mostly of lean pieces.

It isn't very often we order the Lo Bak Goh (Pan-Fried Daikon Radish Cake) because we would rather order the XO Lo Bak Goh.  Well, we've had the latter many times and it is pretty good.  Therefore, the pan fried version would be good too since they are essentially the same cake.  As you can see, this was nicely seared and none-too-greasy.  The cake itself was on the firmer side, but still soft.  It was seasoned well with little nuggets of cured sausage strewn throughout.

Getting to some bigger dishes, the Fried Halibut with Supreme Soya Sauce was very good.  Featuring large pieces of meaty halibut, the dish featured very little filler.  The flaky and moist fish was fried just enough.  Hence, even the outer layer was still tender.  Each piece soaked up the sauce where there was not any left on the plate.  This ensured the dish didn't eat too wet.  The soy sauce was nicely balanced by enough sugar to keep it from being salty.

Now one of our favourites is the Pan Fried Crystal Noodles with Prawn and BBQ Pork.  We seem to get this every time and it is for good reason.  The last time we had it, it was consistent with plenty of ingredients to go with the noodles.  These mung bean noodles were soft, but plenty chewy (in a good way).  Wonderful mouth-feel and not overly greasy.  The marginally-cooked bean sprouts added crunch.
Another excellent noodle dish is the HK Style Fried Seafood Noodles.  We had this last visit and it was expertly prepared.  The wok deep-fried noodles were crispy and nutty (yet not too greasy).  They were topped with a starch-thickened sauce that yielded yau choy, scallops, prawns and squid.  These were cooked to perfection with buttery scallops, snap-textured prawns and vibrant vegetable.  Sauce was flavourful enough without being salty.

Of course we would have the Baked Macau Egg Tarts because that is a must-order for Dim Sum. These were also quite good were the puff pastry tart shell was baked enough so that it was flaky and buttery with a bit of browning on the edges.  However, the egg filling itself was missing the usual charring found in a Macau-style egg tart.  Despite this, it still ate well and was silky and creamy. 
The best dessert here must be the Golden Sweet Egg Twists coated in a honey (and maltose) sweet glaze and topped with coconut.  I've had these at several restaurants that actually serve it and this has to be the best of them all.  We had it last time and the egg pastry was light and crispy as always.  Even though the glaze itself appeared to be sickingly sweet, it really wasn't.  Very addictive dessert.  In all honesty, we had more items than this over the many visits, but I just didn't want to put all of them in here because this post was getting a bit long.  You get the gist of it though.  The Dim Sum at Regal Mansion is pretty solid and they have a nice dining space.  I guess this is our regular spot now.

The Good:
- Solid Dim Sum
- Validated parking downstairs
- Fairly good service

The Bad:
- A/C is a bit weak (They did say they are fixing it though)
- Elevator leading up to the place is too small and takes forever

Spice Club Indian Cuisine

It seems like there are a whole lot of new Indian Restaurants (predominantly Punjabi cuisine) opening up these days.  There are a couple of things they have in common though.  Firstly, they are located in Surrey in and around Scott Road.  This is no surprise as Scott Road is the Indian equivalent to #3 Road in Richmond (in terms of Chinese food) and North Road in Coquitlam (in terms of Korean food).  Secondly, they are much more bougie with beautiful decor and usually a fancy bar.  One of the newest is Spice Club Indian Cuisine, you guessed it, on Scott Road at 96th.  This used to be the location of Mehfil Indian Buffet, which closed many years ago.

We were invited to try the place out and for our first starter, it was definitely fusion with the Indian-style Nachos.  To be honest, I wasn't expecting very much from this, but it completely blew me away.  The bed of tortilla chips were evenly topped with ooey gooey melted cheese, crispy papdi, spicy paneer, beans, onion-tomato salsa, yogurt, cilantro chutney and sweet chutney.  The combination of cheese, spice, sweetness and creaminess was addictive and we dusted this off quickly.  We could've done with another order but there was more food to come.  Texturally, the chips were crunchy while the amount of toppings made every chip fulfilling.

One of my personal favourite starter dishes is the Fish Pakora and the version here was exactly how I like it.  The fairly big chunks of fish were moist and flaky.  They were coated with a well-seasoned batter that was light and crispy.  There was enough seasoning that these could be eaten by themselves without any other condiments (however, it did come with green chutney).  The flavours were a bit spicy, some earthiness and sweetness.

Another really good dish was the Chicken Momos that were deep-fried and served with red chili chutney and tomato chutney.  I really enjoyed these as the dumpling skin was fairly thin and lightly crispy with an appealing elasticity.  Inside, the chicken filling was savoury and somewhat zesty.  It had some spice and sweetness while the texture was moist and tender while being a bit loose.  Loved dipping this into the tomato chutney as it was creamy, sweet and aromatic.  The red chili chutney had more spice and was also tangy with some sweetness.

We had 2 more starters in the Golgappa and the Butter Chicken Poutine.  Served on a long metal plate, the puri were ready for us to puncture a hole into.  We filled it with the side of potato and chickpeas first and then poured in the theeka pani and khatta meetha pani.  I personally love the khatta meetha pani due to the use of sweet and tangy tamarind extract.  However, the mintiness of the theeka pani was good too.  As for the butter chicken poutine, it featured starch-covered fries (appeared to be Cavandish) that were crispy and held up well with the creamy butter chicken sauce.  I found the sauce quite balanced with equal parts creaminess, tanginess and sweetness.

Since we couldn't decide on which item we wanted from the tandoor, we had the Tandoori Mix Platter as well as the Tandoori Prawns for good measure.  The mix included chicken tikka, tandoori chicken, seekh kabab and tandoori fish.  I thought this was well-prepared with large pieces of meat that were nicely-charred and flavourful from the marinade.  The chicken was tender and moist while the fish was flaky.  The seekh kabab was also moist with plenty of flavour including the usual earthiness from the cumin.  As for the prawns they were meaty with a snap texture while lightly charred on the outside.

We then ordered a good mix of mains that included some vegetarian items including the Eggplant Bharta.  I don't get to order this enough, but it is one of my favourite dishes as I love eggplant.  This one was prepared well with tender cooked-down eggplant that was tasty with the sweetness of onion, tang from tomato and a background smokiness.  Of course we also got ginger and garlic notes as well as a touch of spice.  
Jess decided to order the Dal Makni and honestly I have a love-hate relationship with this dish.  I love the buttery creaminess of the sauce (due to the use of butter, cream and ghee) as it goes wonderfully with garlic naan.  However, it is so rich and sinful.  This one here was all that and was delicious.  It had background spice and earthiness as well as the natural sweetness.  The lentils were tender and delicate without being too soft.

We also had the classic Palak Paneer and this was textbook.  It featured tender cubes of paneer bathed in a smooth spinach sauce that had the usual garlicky gingery notes as well as some spice and sweetness.  Sticking with the same main ingredient, we went for the Paneer Tikka Masala as well.  However, this was completely different not only because of the sauce, but since the paneer was cut up into bigger pieces, the texture was firmer with more body.  In terms of the sauce, it was tangy with good spice and a touch of smokiness.  Even though it was rich in its own way, it had bright flavours.

Onto the non-veg, we had the classic Butter Chicken with a pat of melting butter on top for good measure.  Since we already had this with the poutine, we had an idea of how it tasted already.  However, since we were eating this with naan and rice, it ate completely differently.  With more of the sauce, I could see that it was even more flavourful than in the poutine.  It really was balanced with plenty of creaminess, tanginess and sweetness.  There was a touch of spice and of course the earthiness of cumin as well as gingery notes.  They used chicken thighs here and it was tender and in large chunks.

If it were me, I would've ordered a lot more lamb, but we only had one in the Lamb Curry.  This featured fairly tender cubes of lamb where some were a touch dry.  The curry itself was pretty concentrated with strong fall spice notes such as cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.  Hence, this had considerable body and earthiness.  There was also a cooked-down tomatoness to the curry where it was not sharp tangy, but tangy with depth.  I believe that this was reduced to the point where the salt content was a bit higher than the rest of the curries we had.  It wasn't a huge problem since we were eating it with naan and rice.

One of the table favourites was the Coconut Chicken that featured chicken breast that had been fried first.  Hence, the chicken was still plenty tender and moist even though it was sitting in a hot (temperature-wise) coconut sauce.  About that sauce, it was aromatic due to the coconut but it also featured honey, lime juice, garlic, ginger and asian sweet chilli sauce.  Therefore, it had many different layers of flavour including sweet, tangy and some spice.  Yet all of this was muted due to the creaminess of the dish.  Went well with rice.

Trying to get a variety of proteins, we had the Masala Fish cooked with coriander seeds, cloves, nutmeg, cassia, cardamom and spices.  This had a surprising amount of spiciness, but that was completely welcomed due to the mildness of the protein.  The fish itself was in large chunks like the pakora.  It was equally flaky and moist.  With all of the spices listed on the menu description, the cloves and nutmeg came through giving the dish a fall-type flavour profile.  Of course, the coriander added the usual earthiness while the onions provided sweetness.

For our carbs, we had Cumin Basmati Rice as well as Green Pea Pulao Rice (not pictured).  They were nicely textured and mild, perfect for being the blank canvas.  However, we also wanted a flavoured rice in the form of the Prawn Biryani.  This was also texturally on point with a dry chewiness, yet at the same time having enough moisture.  It was flavourful with a touch of heat and benefited from the slight brininess of the prawns.  Once again, due to the ingredients, there was a fall-type earthiness to the dish as well as some nuttiness.

For our breads, we got both the Butter Naan and the Garlic Naan.  These were fluffy on the inside with a nice chew with elasticity.  On the outside, it was crispy and nutty with plenty of butteriness.  Although not evident on the topside of the naan, the bottom (portion that is slapped on the surface of the tandoor) was beautifully charred.  As for the garlic naan, there was plenty of fresh garlic to give it delicious aromatics.

Onto dessert, we chose the Gajar Halwa,
Kulfi Bar and the Cheesecake Trio (more on that later).  Absolutely loved the warm shredded carrots of the gajar halwa.  They were texturally appealing (cooked-down, but not mushy) and was purposefully sweet with cardamom notes.  As for the kulfi bar and ice cream, it was pretty sweet, but had the classic flavours of cardamom and pistachios.
Our last dessert was the Cheesecake Trio consisting of
Chocolate, Mango Lassi and Red Velvet.  I loved the mango lassi the most as I have a bias towards fruitier things.  However, this was just sweet enough and tasted like its namesake.  The chocolate was quite rich, but smooth and also just sweet enough.  Red velvet featured some cake at the bottom underneath a semi-rich cheesecake cream with 2 cubes of cheesecake on top.  As you can see, we tried a boatload of dishes and it was a delight to see nearly all of them were on point with a few surprises.  I really didn't think the nachos would work, but I loved them.  The curries were on point as well as the starches.  Solid eats, good portions and reasonable prices considering the whole package.  Spice Club Indian Cuisine is another excellent addition to the food scene on Scott Road.

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:
- Solid eats
- Nice decor
- Reasonable pricing

The Bad:
- A few items were a bit salty, but they go with starches anyways

Search this Site