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Posts Tagged ‘restaurant’

Alimentum

Restaurant Alimentum

152 – 154 Hills Road
Cambridge
CB2 8PB
01223 413000

Last Saturday night Rob and I went to Alimentum, the new restaurant on the Cambridge scene. I had had been wanting to try it since I first saw the sign go up a few months ago. It is so great to see another independent restaurant in chain-riden Cambridge. Their website, which is mainly a blog by the owner, describes it as “modern French food with some Spanish and Italian influences”. The blog idea makes the website different from most other restaurant sites, but it is a really personal touch. Reading the blog entries made me feel I had a connection to the place and made me want to try the restaurant even more.

The service was great, which impressed me as often the nicer restaurants don’t pay much attention to younger people, who I guess they assume won’t tip well or can’t afford to pay the bill. We started with a drink at the bar, and because we had a late sitting (9:30), we were asked if we would like to order before being seated at the table to speed things up. At first I didn’t like this idea, but in hindsight it was brilliant. It meant that by the time we sat down, our starters were ready.

I found it very difficult to select only one starter as they all looked amazing. In the end I chose the Watercress & Endive with Pear, Roquefort & Caramelised Walnuts and Rob had the Ravioli of Chicken, Girolles with Iberico Ham both of which were fabulous. I had more difficulty choosing a main course, and although I’m sure they are all delicious, I went for the Sea Bass, Cannelloni of Crab, Fennel purée & Shellfish cappuccino. I wasn’t a big fan of the cappuccino, which was a foam on top, but the sea bass was perfectly cooked. Rob tried the Rump of Lamb, Confit of Shoulder Moussaka & Lambs Sweetbreads which he also really enjoyed.

I liked the decor, which is very modern, but Rob wasn’t a big fan. Most of the tables were nicely spaced but where we sat on the banquette I found it a bit too easy to eavesdrop on our neighbours who were very close to us. The menu was small but I hope it will get larger with time. I guess it’s safer to start out with a few dishes and do them really well than to try too many. There are some pics of the food at Kake Pugh’s flickr site.

I would definitely go back to Alimentum. It was more expensive than most of our Saturday night dinners around Cambridge but I thought it was worth it. The whole experience exuded attention to detail and a passion for food and service that you just don’t get in many other restaurants.

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Nicki’s Inn Chester

26 Pleasant Street
Chester, Nova Scotia
(902) 275-4342

Nicki’s Inn Chester is a fresh and vibrant addition to the Chester dining scene. Nicki Butler, who previously ran The Captain’s House in Chester, has built a new inn and restaurant in the centre of the village with tables indoors and out on the deck. Last Sunday night, we went to Nicki’s for the Sunday Carvery. There was a choice of four roasts: chicken, pork, beef or lamb (in fact, you could choose two!) that were served with roasted potatoes, parsnips, carrots, onions, horseradish and mint jelly. Between us we ordered the beef and the lamb and were very satisfied. Rob even proclaimed it was the best roast he had ever eaten, which is a big compliment coming from a Brit!

The servings were a bit on the large side, and the meal was definitely far from the low fat category, but the meat was very tender and the vegetables were roasted to perfection. The Sunday carvery also includes your choice of dessert, which was also yummy and huge, and was priced very reasonably.

We have yet to try Nicki’s Wednesday to Saturday menu (she’s closed Monday and Tuesday), but if the carvery is any indication, I’m sure it will not disappoint.

Reservations recommended.

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The Innlet Cafe Restaurant

249 Edgewater Street
Kedy’s Landing
Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
(902) 624-6363

This evening I went to The Innlet Cafe in Mahone Bay for supper with my dad and my brother. I have been several times before with my parents and it is always delicious. I have tried a few things on the menu, but the Vegetable Stir-fry with Tofu is my favourite and I often don’t even look at at anything else. Served with brown rice, toasted almonds and a deliciously light sauce that has just the right sweetness, this stir-fry is worth coming back for again and again. I’ll even admit that it is better than I can make at home, which is rare for a restaurant on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.

The desserts are also great and if you like desserts as much as my brother and I do, you’ll select your dessert before ordering a main course. Dad and I had the apple crisp with ice cream and my brother had the Creme Brulée, which I also sampled. Yum yum on both accounts.

This evening’s meal at The Innlet has restored my faith in dining after a few recent restaurant meals that were less than stellar. Since The Innlet is one of the few restaurants that are open year round on the South Shore, I can rest assured that my dad will not starve in the winter because he can always come for the Vegetable Stir-fry with Tofu. If you are in the neighbourhood, be sure to check this place out.

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The Rope Loft

The Rope Loft

Water Street
Chester, Nova Scotia
(902) 275-3430

Just off the plane from England where summer has been almost non-existent, I was keen to take advantage of Canadian summer weather, so my dad and I went to The Rope Loft, a dockside restaurant on the waterfront in Chester. Their website claims “Deck chair dining at its best” and the deck chair part is definitely correct. With plenty of beer on tap and great views across their marina to the Tancook Islands and Chester, The Rope Loft is a great place enjoy a hot, sunny day. If you sit along the edge of the deck you can watch the sea life and the tide come in. I like to order the rack of lamb or chicken wings and toss a few bones over the railing and watch for the crabs fight over them. Not many other places you can do that!

The dining however, could be better. My dad and I have both been here on other occasions and while the food and service remain consistent they both lack flair and attention to detail. The service is typically Maritime, friendly but not quite polished, and the china is rugged and institutional. But don’t get me wrong, if you are looking for a laid-back lunch on a sunny day or just want to enjoy a beer or two, The Rope Loft is the place to go in Chester for seaside atmosphere.

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Wright Bros Oyster & Porter House

11 Stoney Street
Borough Market
London
SE1 9AD
020 7403 9554

We went to Wright Bros in Borough Market on Saturday night for my friend Shufan’s birthday. It is a small place and the menu is mostly seafood and oysters on the half shell. I had oysters on the half shell with bacon as a starter but unfortunately the bacon overpowered the taste of the oysters. I swapped one with Shufan who had Oysters Rockefeller and it was much better. For the main course I had Moules Mariniere and they did not disappoint. They were small and tender and almost all of them had opened. We ordered a variety of dishes including the Harissa Lobster, Petit Fruit de Mer platter, Traditional Fish Pie and a Steak and Guiness Pie. It was all very good, but not everyone was full up and they only had strawberries and cream or chocolate truffles for dessert. There were other things on the menu but they must have been sold out. It was a good meal, but I must say… nothing beats Malpeque oysters from Prince Edward Island.

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Matsuri St James’s

15 Bury Street
London
SW1Y 6AL
020 7839 11014

I took my mom to this great Japanese restaurant for her birthday. She’s eaten Japanese food all over the world, including in Japan, and she said it was some of the best she had ever tasted. Matsuri St. James is one of the two Matsuri Japanese restaurants in London (the other being Matsuri High Holborn) and has a sushi counter as well as Teppan-yaki grills. We arrived early since we were heading to the theatre afterwards and were seated at an empty Teppan-yaki grill. Perhaps a bit of a novelty, Teppan grills are apparently a new addition to Japanese cuisine. They consist of a large stainless steel grilling surface with a small eating surface (like a bar counter) surrounding it. The chefs cook your meal right in front of you and entertain with quick flipping and chopping of the meat and vegetables before transferring their finished masterpiece to your plate. Some chefs seemed more friendly than others, but all in all, a trip to a Teppan-yaki grill, especially for a first-timer, is an experience that will not disappoint.

We each ordered one of their set menus that consisted of about seven little courses. I had Mikoshi with Rib-eye steak teri-aki and my mom had Wakana with grilled tofu and exotic mushrooms. It definitely wasn’t cheap, but the food and service were both impeccable. My mom and I were both well impressed and would definitely go there again.

Lettuce Roll Sea lettuce maki… one of our many courses.

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Saki Bar & Food Emporium

4 West Smithfield
London
EC1A 9JX
020 7489 7033

I went to this restaurant a few weeks ago with some of my colleagues and future colleagues from Goldman Sachs. The selection on the menu was huge and it took us a long time to decide what we wanted. In the end we mentioned to the waiter a few things we really wanted and asked him to sort out the rest. Several large sushi and sashimi platters arrived shortly after ordering as well as tonkatsu, grilled aubergine with red miso and many other delights. Saki has received several awards for its sushi including Restaurant Magazine‘s Best Sushi award in 2006 and I must say they are well deserved. Although this is the kind of place you might want to save for when someone else is paying, it was very, very good and well worth the price. Not to mention the extra fun we had changing the windows in our private room from clear to opaque with a switch on the wall.
Saki wins its first trophy from the Restaurant Magazine’s prestigious awards

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Fleur de Sel Brasserie

#2, 2015 4th St SW
Calgary, Alberta
T2S 1W6
(403) 228-9764

Finding a good restaurant is always a treat. Calgary is not the place where one would expect to find a charming and unpretentious little French restaurant, but in fact Fleur de Sel fits that description perfectly. I haven’t been there since my dad and I visited in December 2003, but we bought my brother a gift certificate for his birthday in 2004, and he also thought it was amazing. This is a small restaurant with a clientèle of regulars and is well worth a visit.The staff provided an exceptionally high standard of service along with fine food and wine in a very comfortable atmosphere. Check it out and sit at the counter for something a little unusual in a dining experience. Reservations are advisable and can now be booked via e-mail.

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Seasons Restaurant

Herenstraat 16,
1015 CA
Amsterdam
31-20-3303800

Rob and I stumbled across this restaurant in summer 2006. We had chosen a different restaurant for dinner that night, but when got out of the taxi we realized it wasn’t open. We wandered around the neighbourhood a bit and discovered Seasons Restaurant. With delicious food and a friendly owner, this small restaurant was a welcome respite from the craziness that was Amsterdam during Pride Weekend. We would have dined there the next night as well, but it wasn’t going to be open because the owner said there usually wasn’t much business on parade day.

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