Sherman's Food Adventures: Meet Fan

Meet Fan

You know I go on and on about food costs these days...  This goes for groceries, restaurants and also the cost for restaurants to operate.  I understand and accept that food prices will and are going to remain high due to inflation, fuel and labour costs.  However, I'm always on the lookout for good value when it comes to dining out and I've legitimately found some.  The latest is Meet Fan out on Kingsway near Boundary.  They are primarily a takeout spot with a few seats for dine-in.  There are snacks, rice and noodle bowls that are reasonably priced and spoiler alert, they are tasty too!  Recently, we were invited to try out a good selection of their wares.

First off, we were presented with a selection of snacks including the  Mini Pork Floss Tamago Beignet Balls that were a nice little bite.  Encased in the soft and fluffy donut was a piece of tamago while the outside was coated with sweet mayo and a tonne of dried pork floss.  These had a salty sweetness to them and were quite addictive.  We also got an alternative variation of these in the Pork Floss Tamago Puff Roll, which in my mind, were even better.  The flaky and buttery pastry had an appealing softness to them.  Inside, the egg and pork floss provided texture and flavour that was akin to the beignet balls.

Continuing on with the same delicious pastry, we also had the Smoked Duck Puff Roll.   Again, the flaky pastry was a good starting point.  Inside, the smoked duck was tender and moist with plenty of smokiness and saltiness.  This was tempered by the julienned cucumbers that also offered up a cold crunch.  This was somewhat along the lines of a Peking Duck wrap, but just a bit different and much more fulfilling.

With all these things stuffed into pastry and such, it was by no surprise we also had a sandwich.  This was the Deviled Egg & Chicken Salad Sandwich.  As much as the ingredients are important, the use of brioche was perfect.  It was soft and slightly sweet while giving way to the savoury filling.  There was fluffy egg, tender chicken and crunchy cucumber that would've not looked out-of-place at a afternoon tea service.

For the next item, they ditched all forms of carbs and went just for the meat in the Grilled Chicken Skewers with wasabi mayo.  First of all, the use of dark meat helped ensure that the skewers wouldn't be dry.  Second, it provided more umaminess and body due to the chicken fat.  I liked how the chicken was completely marinated so there was plenty of salty sweetness.  The wasabi mayo was mild and that was a good thing.

Moving back to the duck, we had the Truffle Smoked Duck Salad.  Now I already knew how tender and buttery the duck was from the puff roll, so it was even more evident in this salad (since we were eating actual slices).  This was because they sous-vide the duck first.  There was a light smokiness to it while the truffle dressing was just right not being overwhelming.  We found spring mix underneath as well as some corn with imitation crab on the side.

My absolute favourite "snack" was the Spicy Mala Crawfish Rice.  Normally, I hate eating crawfish because it is so much work to gain access to so little meat.  However, they did the work here by putting a considerable amount of tender crawfish atop rice.  These were dressed in an impactfully spicy mala sauce that was delicious without hurting our tastebuds.  I could've gobbled this whole bowl myself if I didn't need to pace myself.

Onto the bigger items, we had the Garlic & Scallion Sous-Vide Soy Chicken Rice.   For $14.95, this was a good amount of delicious food.  Completely affordable in my books.  So back to the food, the chicken was super tender and the flavours had penetrated the meat.  To complement the soy flavour, the scallion sauce and fried garlic offered up brightness and aromatics.  Loved the addition of a ramen egg on the side.

Suspiciously looking like the same bowl of food, the Pesto Sous-Vide Soy Chicken Rice was completely different in flavour despite the using the same soy chicken.  You see, the pesto was quite apparent and created a non-Asian tasting concoction.  Sure it was still the same moist and flavourful soy chicken, but it suddenly tasted Italian.  Surprisingly good combination even though I wouldn't have expected it a first glance.

Here we are with the delicious smoked duck again in the form of Teriyaki Smoked Duck Rice.  The sauces were actually served on the side and that let us taste the duck all by itself.  It was really good with balanced smokiness and enough saltiness for effect.  With the side sauces, we could've made this teriyaki or truffle.  I tried the teriyaki as we already had the truffle.  Naturally it gave a sweet saltiness to the dish.

Now for our first beef item in the 24-Hour Slow Cooked Beef Rib Strips with black pepper truffle mixed noodle.  Oh I really liked this one as the black pepper sauce really made this dish sing.  In addition to providing a peppery kick to the tender beef, it made the noodles extra savoury and appealing.  There was this depth from the pepper as well as the truffle that made the al dente noodles addictive.

So another favourite of mine was the Shredded Mala Chicken Rice with lots of peanuts and nori on top.  Their mala seasoning is on point with a bite that is numbing to a degree but not really overpowering either.  The tender chicken soaked up all of the nutty spiciness and helped flavour the rice underneath.  Loved the crunch from the nuts too.  Also, those marinated eggs were nicely custardy in the middle.

A bowl with the same chicken but tasting completely different was the Shredded Chicken Shoyu Wasabi Rice.  This one was a Japanese-inspired creation complete with tobiko and nori on top.  The result was something quite creamy with a bit of saltiness, brininess and bite.  Definitely a 180 from the mala rice.  Really, that is the cool thing about Meet Fan.  They use many of the same ingredients (smart thing to do so costs are kept in check), but the dishes taste remarkably dissimilar.  Prices are reasonable and the portion sizes are good.  What's not to like about this place?

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:
- Affordable
- Super tasty with unique flavours
- Well-portioned

The Bad:

- If you wanted to dine-in, there are limited seats
- Repeated proteins, but it keeps the costs down and they really do taste different


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