Thursday, November 16, 2017

Barley

Barley is new new NEW. So new that most people dson't even know it exists! BAM! Yes, I'm that cool. I knew it was opening before THEY knew they were opening. What do you think about THEM apples. Wow, I'm obviously getting overwhelmingly intense. Imma stop. I went for lunch-ish, last week, with ma girl, little Boo.
Barley is the new (and only) cereal bar in Montreal. It's located on Notre-Dame (what else is new?) and it is a huge space. HUGE. Think about the biggest thing you've seen, ever. Multiply that by 8 and you have Barley. Hihihi! Basically, you enter the place, you have couches and tables and comfiness and then you enter somewhat of another room and you have some more tables. There is also this meeting room surrounded by glass, which, I think, is there only to, like we say in French, nous faire parler. 'Like, what the f is THIS doing here'. THAT kind of talk. We weren't even certain that it was actually part of Barley's... I really dug (ya, I talk like a surfer dude now) the brick wall and the fact that there was a lot of greenery. I likes me some good greens! No, not THAT kind of green. Sheesh! 
At the far end (far, far, faaaar end), the cereal bar. The owner actually brought in cereal from many places, and a lot of them reminded me of my childhood. OK, not necessarily MINE, because my parents weren't really fond of us eating crap like fruit loops, or just any kind of cereal that was overly sweet. But I totes get the reminiscence. Hey, I remember my rice krispies like it was yesterday. They don't only serve up cereal, but also smoothie bowls, parfaits, chia bowls, and salad.
I started off with a white hot chocolate. Excuse me, homemade white hot chocolate. I specifically asked because I do NOT pay for powdered choco at a resto. I do NOT. I was uber happy to be able to order a homemade white hot choco. When do you get that? Well, not all the time, that's when. I took my first sip, getting ready for pure joy, and I got... pieces in my mouth. I was like 'what the f*ck is that?'. Little boo tasted it and, in 2 seconds flat she said 'it's coconut'. She is a coconut expert, see. I love it as well. I can't get enough of it. EXCEPT, when I'm getting ready to drink soft, velvety goodness, I get coconut flakes in my mouth. I would've loved for them to warn me so that a: I would not have been so surprised and b: I would've probably thought long and hard about actually having it IN ma drink. Apart from the coconut incident, it tasted lovely: not too thick, as if I were drinking a chocolate bar, and not too thin either. Also, it wasn't overly sweet. White chocolate tends to be just that and I was glad to be drinking a hot chocolate that wasn't on the uber sweet side-o-things. I'd go back for one of those ASAP IF I'd have the no-coconut promise.
We were there for lunch, and I hardly saw us having, like, a bowl of cereal on the side, as you do with appetizers in most restaurants. So, we both went for the smoothie bowls. The guy behind the counter told me it was thicker than most smoothies and it was more consistent, seeing as there were berries and grains and what have you on top. I had the Tassie Devil: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, avocado, tofu, acai, double chocolate granola. It was very VERY berry! I loved the fresh berries on top and although the acai added an extra crunch, they added TOO MUCH crunch. As in, if I crunch you one more time, my teeth will break. I am being very serious. I am ALWAYS serious when it comes to my poor little teeth! I liked how the smoothie was thicker than a usual one, but, let's face it, this was not a meal. I really don't know how I feel about this. I'm having a big internal dilemma. OK, here it is: even if I would've had this for breakfast, I would've STILL have been hungry. On top of it, if you're going to be open all day, perhaps add stuff to this dish that will make me full. Like a salad with protein or something. NOT a mesclun. Don't do that, because then I'll really be disappointed.
Le Tannery: avocado, baby spinach, pineapple, mango, banana, ginger and green hemp granola. I do give them props for two things: beautiful presentation and different granola flavors! I absolutely loved the ginger-avocado mix! It was fresh on top of fresh! The granola was good (better than mine) and the banana was perfectly ripe. The whole time, I was thinking DAMN I should've ordered this.

Basically, you go up to the counter and you order and they bring it to you. What we found a bit on the funny side was that the guy gave us a block with a table number 'in case' it got busy. We turned around, only to find a very empty (except for 2 patrons) restaurant. I think it took just a tad too long to get our food; just long enough for us to look at each other and give each other weird looks. He checked up on us which is always a plus.

And now, the scores!

Food: 7
Service: 7

Maybe I'll go back for a snack, but I hardly see myself going there for lunch or any other kind of meal.

Barley Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Cocoro

Ma boy was in between Asia trips (ya, he's, like, super cool) for work, so we had to hit up at least one resto. Cocoro is the new Asian baby on Parc. There are new Asian babies everywheeeere!!! I loves it, seeing as I AM half Asian. I'm not. I lie.
Cocoro is this small spot close to St-Viateur, with a curtain, nay, a noren, at the front, welcoming you. Well, thank you there, noren. Thank you. Don't worry, I'm on my way to the insane asylum. Right now. It's a very simple restaurant, except for the shelf at the far end of the restaurant with a big bonsai, some paper lanterns and other Japanese thangs. It looked a bit corny if you ask me. Come on, just ASK me. It's corny. The place has about 26 seats, and the tables were somewhat weirdly set up, but hey, who am I to judge? Well, I'm actually pretty well placed to judge. Hahaha. I ain't judgin' (I'm judgin').
We started with a very simple salad: iceberg and veggies. Iceberg, much like mesclun is not my fave kind of green. But the sesame dressing was silky and enhanced the flavours. There was a nice crunch to the lettuce which is 150% better than eating a wilted one. Bah.
We shared the octopus as an entrée. It was very tiny, but it was very good, too! It was sliced really finely with some pesto and a miso sauce. Weird? Yes. Good? Surprisingly, yes! It was pleasant to take a little sliver of octopus and dip it in both the pesto and the miso! There were raw onions in the dish as well, which brought in some texture and, well, hello, onions! I would've never thought of all  these components harmonizing so well together, but hey, miracles happen every day (they don't actually HAPPEN, ever. Don't be fooled.)! On top of it, it was such a beautiful plate! They always say that you eat with your eyes first! Argh, I just got a mental image.
Le ramen. the quest continues!!! I was quite excited to continue this life-long quest. OK, life-long is a bit exaggerated, but I do tend to do just that. The broth had a meaty flavor, which was right up my alley, but it wasn't thick enough for our taste. That's right, we like ours so hard, we can't put our spoon or chopsticks through it! In all seriousness (yes, it happens sometimes), I like my ramen broth with some consistency, not one with close-to-water thickness (or lack there of). The egg was perfectly marinated and the meat was actually one of the best ramen meats I've tasted: just fatty enough to convey great pork loveliness on my palate. The noodles were disappointing and overcooked, and I don't know about you, but I REALLY (REAAALLLY!) appreciate a homemade noodle. And these were no homemade noodles. I know it's a bunch of extra effort but it's approximately 150% better when they are. There were some sprouts on top which actually added a bit of heat, which was appreciated. Quite indeed!

Service was good: I had a very warm welcome from the waitress, we were seated quickly, she checked up on us and we had water on the table in 2 seconds (I totally counted). On top of it, it was very quick service, which is what you like during lunch time!

And now, the scores!

Food: 7
Service: 8

On to the next ramen restaurant! I swear, every week, Jer bear sends me a new one to try. I only have about 16 left to try in Montreal. This is an approximate number.

Cuisine Japonaise Cocoro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Nouilles épicées/Spicy Noodles

I was hungover. I needed grease. The restaurants under the building where I work are limited. I went for some noodles. Thank you for reading this review. Goodbye. But seriously, this will be short n' not-so-sweet.
 
Not very much looks good at Spicy Noodles. What? I gots to be real here. My stomach didn't need the healthy stuff from Eden, the bio source of Galléries du Parc. It needed bad stuff. Very bad.
Vermicelli n' shrimp. There were no veggies. OK, there were 3 bean sprouts. Approximately. On the picture, there were lots of them. Damn it! The shrimp that were actually present, and there weren't many, were tiny and overcooked. Whyyyyyy? I asked for it to be spicy and at least they delivered on that front :) One good thing was the egg. It had a great flavor and totally went with that spicy side of it.
 
And now, the score! I KNOW you've all been waiting for it.
 
4.5
 
Every time someone at the office comes back with take out from this place, it doesn't look too good so I just don't know what came over me. So, no, I won't be going back.

Ps: A friend at work just told me that once, she actually brought the food back and asked for a refund. Ya, that happened.

Spicy Noodle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Panthère Verte

La Panthère Verte is a vegan, environmentally friendly-responsible restaurant. I think they had one on the Plateau about 5 years ago and now, they have 6 locations AND a food truck. I'm just imagining the cells growing when a baby is developing in the womb: multiplying and multiplying. OK, this is a weird and somewhat creepy comparison. I shall stop this at once. All this to say that ma gym boy, Leo, invited me to the one on Mackay, right next to Concordia, where he is the new manager. I'm really liking one of his first decisions as new manager: invite me to eat awesome food.
You know how much I like getting invited, right? Of course you do. Hint: I love getting invited. tell all your restaurateur friends. And I THANK YOU. But enough about me. The place itself is very inviting. It seriously feels like you are entering a jungle when you step in: plants everywhere, wood, and more plants! And, by the way, I looked and I didn't find any panthers, which I think is a good thing. OK, that was a bad joke. Hey, if my friend in Egypt can see a jaguar in the front seat of a car, there's always a possibility I can see a panther in a restaurant. Am I right? Anyhoot, there are communal tables at the back and some at the front, including this cute booth right in the window. Yes, you feel like you're in it because you have to climb into it and you have to sit with your legs crossed. I liked the style. Oh, and the music. The music was right on! Actually one of the best I've heard in a restaurant recently. Jolene by Dolly Parton, Lana del Rey, CCR. It faintly reminded me of my friend Lena's awesome mixes in the early 2000s when we were young 20 somethings in the city. Yes, I'm old.

On top of having very cool music, la Panthère Verte is uber environmentally friendly. If I knew a word that meant more than 'uber', I'd put it here. They have a green policy! I shall explain. You bring your container, you get discounts. You don't have one, you pay a small fee for the compostable container. You can also pay a deposit of 1$ for a mason jar and when you bring it back, you get 1$ in your pocket. What I found wow is that La Panthère Verte does not have a garbage. QQQUUUUWHAT? Yep. They either have recycling or compost. You empty yo plate where it needs to go and then you leave it on the shelf. It looked like it was quite well managed: we all know that this kind of procedure is difficult to maintain and that this could easily become very messy. And finally, food is organic and local as much as possible. Basically, this restaurant is quite the model citizen.

Leo wanted me to gain 18 pounds on that day so he brought me almost everything on the menu. I tend to exaggerate, but not THAT much.
The EVERYTHING: Black bean noodles (VERY interesting!), lentil salad, mesclun (but it was uber fresh, so it was acceptable), white bean salad, coleslaw, sweet potatoes, falafel ballzzz and a falafel sandwich. I told you: he wanted me to gain 18 pounds. Well, I think the dessert was responsible for most of those, but this comes later. Lets begin.

I had the ginger and apple cider drink which was oh-so-fresh and had just the tang I wanted. I'm also a sucker for bubbles. Buuuuubbles! Talk about a refreshing drink!

The black bean noodles, although original, were not my cup-o-tea: they tasted a bit flat and lacked flavor. Wait, that's the same thing. You get it. The lentil salad had this mustard vinaigrette and I absolutely loved the mix! It was a bit on the hot (n' spicy) side, which I love. Y'all know I loves me some heat! The white bean salad had dill in it. If you're starting to know me, you KNOW I ain't a fan. Like, ever. WELL, this was actually nice. Yep, I'm saying it: I liked the dill (don't tell anyone!). It actually made the salad taste fresh and went really well with the beans. The mesclun. Well, it's freaking mesclun! In my book (and you guys know I have the BEST book), mesclun is bad after having it for more than one day. Yes, I'm a tough mesclun consumer. And damn proud of it. Anyhoot, there was a lovely vinaigrette on top of it: very herbal and full-o-flavour! This made the salad, of course. Mesclun never makes the mesclun. OK, I'm getting ridiculous now. The coleslaw was... meh. OK, it was alright, but it was nothing special. The sweet potatoes looked promising but they kind of felt short of delivering. They could've had more flava. They were perfectly cooked though, which was a relief, haha. Nobody likes an undercooked sweet potato.

The falafel. Ah, the falafel. Panthère Verte actually has an award winning falafel. Ya, it's happening. First, it was Marie-Claude Lortie that said that they were the best she had tasted and that she would go back time and time again. If you know who MCL is, you know she is difficult as all hell. All. Hell. And then they were voted best falafel in Montreal many years in a row in the Best of MTL in the magazine Cult MTL. And I'm sure they have some stashed 'Winner of the best falafel' trophies, somewhere. So herbal and full of loveliness. It was perfectly fried, not crumbly and nicely moist. I'm also ready to make it MY fave falafel. Change APPROVED! There was also the falafel sandwich and although it was the same awesomeballs falafel in there, the pita was a bit on the thick side for me. Just a ps, you have the option of having everything in that sandwich, on a plate, without bread. Perfect for peeps watching their carbs :)

The sauces!!! They have many. I just love a good dip, you know? My fave (and Leo's too!) is the Yogi: vegan yogourt with lots of herbs. It was so damn fresh! I also liked the Hippie: maple syrup (nothing can go wrong here), ginger and sesame. As I said, I likes me a good dippin'.
The dessert. Was I still hungry? Hellsss no. Did I NEED dessert? Absolutely not. Did I want it? Well ya. I needed to try it, you know, for the review. Tiramisu. Or Viramisu, because it's vegan. Hehe. This was a huge mother freaking piece. The coffee taste was quite faint, which is good for this non-lover of coffee. The frosting was good and thick but not too overwhelming. It was very moist (ugh, stupid word) and I think a part of it was because of the layer of chestnut cream in the middle.

Service was done by Leo, so it was perfect. He explained everything to me in detail and gave me a drink asap! He even sat with me to tell me more about what I was eating (OK, he was on his lunch break :p).

And now, the scores!

Food: 9
Service: 10

Leo keeps on telling me that I must try more food on the menu, so, you know what, I might be back sooner than later :)

La Panthère Verte Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

123 Bulgogi

A couple weeks back, it was bbbbbb-eautiful outside so I spent the better part of my day with Gigi, playing with Maya, the dog she was babysitting. Well, dogsitting. Anyhoot, we walked on the canal, we went to the dog park, we drank some fine wine (thank you, one litre dep bottle!) and then we went out to get some take-out. We ended up going to 123 Bulgogi, this new-ish place on Notre-Dame. As you know, I am Asian at heart, so this was right up my alley!
We had one order of fried dumplings and one order steamed. Hey, variety is key! The fried ones were very good but it felt like the stuffing was almost... not there. Kind of like looking for intelligence in Trump. OOOOoooh! DISS! Booya. BAM! I'm done. The steamed ones were perfect! Just the perfect amount of dough to stuffing ratio. Disclosure: my dumb*ss self did not even write down what kind of dumplings these were. I know they were vegetarian, and I know there was cabbage. AND I know I liked 'em!
On top of dem dumplings, we had the bibimbap. I looooves me a good bibimbap!!! I would do a lot for a good one: I'll spare you the details! Sadly, this one was quite the disappointment :/ First of all, it was cold. And I'm sure it was cold even when they put it in the container. The veggies weren't pickled in any way, shape or form and there was no meat. The egg was no good, and even if it would've been, the rest was cold, so... a cold egg on cold rice is, again, no good! But you know what, the rice was good. Au moins! 


And now, le score:

6.5, only because of the dumplings

I shant go back for the bibimbap (can you tell?), but I might for those dumplings :) You never know when I'll get a craving for a dumpling OR a cravling. Damn it, that is a bad mix. You get it.

123Bulgogi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, October 19, 2017

La Chilenita

What better way or time to eat some empanadas than a picnic in the park? I stopped by La Chilenita on a beautiful weekend afternoon and I was to bring them to Parc Jeanne-Mance, right in front of Mont Royal. Perfect, right? Mmmmya. I tend to do things the perfect way. That is such a lie. But I try.
They only had two kinds left when I got there and I wanted two, so that was the easiest decision I've made, like, eva.
The Chilena: beef, onions, egg and olives. Somewhat of a weird mix, at least in my head. Well, you know what, smack my ass and call me Judy, it was actually a pretty amazing combo. The meat was nice and moist and, the egg and olives went really well with it. Obviously, you KNOW I know onions go well with every damn thing on this earth. Except dessert. But even then :)

The Mediterranean: eggplant, red pepper, green olives and mushrooms. Mmmmm! I loves me some good veggies! This was also a great combo, but I was less surprised by this one. Veggie + veggie + veggie= YES!  The eggplant was good in all the right ways (ya, I'm sayin' that) and the mushrooms were tasty, not watery. The green olives added a salty side and the red pepper, a sweet side! The actual dough was good and not dry at all, as it tends to get sometimes.

And now, the score!

Food: 8.5

I loves me a good empanada so yes, I'll fosho be going back!

La Chilenita Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tsukuyomi

The ramen quest continues!!! Let's face it, it's my favourite kind of quest (hey, a blogger must have many quests). I was trying a newbie, Tsukuyomi, with ma main Asian connection, Jer bear. This is the new kid in town and it is very popular, especially with the business lunch crowd. I say 'especially', because I was there for lunch but I'm sure they get quite the amount of peeps in the evening as well.
It's a very cute, and I'd even say quaint restaurant, located on St-Laurent, near an array of new and cool spots. It has lots of noren (long curtains hanging from the ceiling) and lots of wood. The counter kind of goes around the kitchen and then zigzags into the room, which is quite original! Small lamps of different size hung around the room (you know, just hangin' out). They also had some Japanese music playing, which, for all I know, could be Korean or Chinese or Vietnamese. Ya, I'm clueless. That's just me. This is untrue of course. Or IS it? OK, I'm confused again. Dang.
We started with appetizers. Because starting with a main would just be stoooopid. It's not 2,1,3 or b,a,c, people! I hope that made sense to at least one person. Anyhoot, I had the Goma-Ae, cooked spinach with sesame. The spin (such a good word!) was cooked to perfection. On top of it, the sesame and the veggie were, like, a match made in heaven. Although the sauce was uber tasty, it was a bit thick for me, but Jer bear loved it. Jer had the octopus. It had wasabi and nori and it could not have been more fresh. They could have tried but they would not have succeeded. Mmmm, you just had to cradle a little piece of nori in your hand, add some uber tender wasabied octopus and a little bit of spinach and BAM, perfect little roll! This, while crying because of the fresh wasabi.
Le ramen. This is what we were here for. Duh. And the quest CONTINUES! This was said in a very deep voice, by the by. The stock was a bit disappointing in flavor and in thickness. I like a slightly thicker broth. The noodles weren't cooked enough and they looked more like spaghetti noodles than ramen noodles. The bean sprouts were crispy and fresh and adding a bit of chili oil did give it a nice taste. But this was far from saving the dish.
Service was not great. Water was lacking at some point, and it took quite a while for us to get our ramen. You know you have a big lunch crowd, you plan accordingly, no? Yes. The answer is yes. The assistant manager, whom I gave my card (yes, I'm a professional now) to after we were done, was really nice and efficient though. I actually feel a bit bad for writing such a sh*tty ramen review, or remen if you will. No, wait, raview. Bah. sounds the same anyway.
And now, the scores!
Appetizers: 8.5
Ramen: 6
Service: 6.5
The quest must go on! Goodbye Tsukuyomi, hello Yokato Yokabai (still the reigning champ).
Tsukuyomi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Da Fish Shack

Another Grand Cayman review! I could get used to this. Fo realz! Maybe I should just move there. Fun fact: I was in Cayman for 13 days and I stopped counting the times that Rachie would whisper, in a very creepy way: 'You should move here'. If I could, you know, work from home, from Cayman, I would jump on that sh*t in 5 seconds. Imagine, instead of my view on the Mont Royal, which I must say ain't so shabby, well, it would be on the freaking Caribbean sea. Ya, I'm down. But before this happens.... Rach and I went for lunch at Da Fish Shack, located right smack downtown Georgetown.
It looks like your run of the mill restaurant... you know... with a view on the freaking sea. Argh, it was so ugly. I can just hear Rach whispering the same thing in my ear. You enter the restaurant and there's a big bar and then there is the terrasse overlooking you know what (I'm writing this, waiting for my flight home in Miami, and I literally want to cry). There was a huge mother f*ckin fan that was very VERY loud, so we had some trouble hearing each other but at least we got to practice our lip reading. It was a tad grey yesterday, with intermittent showers, but this view is always breathtaking!
We started with some breadfruit. I had never ever EVA eaten this! It's so much fun eating new things, isn't it? That sounds like a trap parents used to use when we were young. Breadfruit is very akin to a potato, in flavour and also in texture and appearance. Basically, it's a god damn potato, yo! Our waitress gave us an enormous amount of butter (I don't think I use this much butter in a full year) to put on the breadfruit. It was nice and crispy and SLIGHTLY dipped in butter and a bit of salt, it was a feast! I'm totes ordering more of this when I go back!
I ordered the Bammy Rundown. What is that, you ask? I had no effin clue before I ordered it. I actually wrote 'bambi' instead of 'bammy' on my phone. Bammy is a fried (because, when you can fry it, why not do it) Jamaican flatbread, made from yuca. It felt like I was eating polenta. It had absorbed all the yummy flavours of the broth and it was so easy to eat! Hello, calories! The snapper was fried and was looking at me with all its sharp teeth. Quite scary indeed! But man, that fish was gooood! Basically, it is cooked down with carrots, onions, okra and other veggies, so it literally was falling off the bone(s). I absoluely loved the okra, which we all know can be slimy if not cooked well. Mmmm, sliiiiime. Bah. You know me and textures! The veggies were cooked to perfection and oh so tasty. The broth was made with coconut milk, although it didn't taste like it. Rach told me that Caribbean cuisine uses a lot of coconut milk, but not necessarily for the flavour: her mom cooked rice and beans (yuuuuummy!) in coconut milk and we could detect it at all.  Anyhoot, this was a winner of a dish! AND it was cheap. Well, it was cheap in Cayman standards.

Service was great throughout the meal: we were greeted with a smile, seated right away and we got water and water refills in a timely manner. We also got our food quite quickly!

And now, the scores!

Food: 9
Service: 9

Do me a favour and go next time you're in Grand Cayman. You know, next time :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tortuga

I've been aching (yes, that bad) for some good Jamaican patties and I knew I was gonna get some awesome ones here. Cayman is only a one hour flight away from Jamaica so it's no surprise that lots of food (and people) from the land of Bob Marley have made their way to Grand Cayman. And I am one happy camper!

Tortuga is a place where dreams come true. OK, I'm exaggerating. You know me. They make rum, rum cakes (apparently the best in the world) and they make patties. What else can a girl ask for? Nothing. NOOOOTHIIIING!
Beef patty. I love me a good beef patty! I have a Jamaican restaurant not far from my place in Montreal (I'm international now) called Boom J's (if you live close to Verdun/Pointe St-Charles, please GO!) and they make freaking to-die-for patties. This one was perfect. Mmmmmmm!!! I might just bike there today and get me more of that heavenly goodness. The beef patty was everything it needed to be. It was soft, it was flaky, it was moist, it was hot, it was a bit on the spicy side and the dough was just perfect. I hate big fat patties that have a sh*t load of dough and then the corners are all hard and unpleasant. Well, this was nothing like that! I could've eaten 8 but that was, you know, exaggerated. Let's calm down now.
We also bought a chicken patty, for good measure. It's always nice to compare! The dough was good as well but the chicken was a bit on the dry side. Don't get me wrong, it was still good. But it was no yummy beef patty.

And now, the score!

Beef patty: 9.5
Chicken patty: 7

Don't even try asking me if I'll go back. I'm hopefully coming back to visit Rachie poo and Carl in March so I'll be buying a beef patty (or 17) as soon as my plane lands!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Over the Edge

Rachie poo and I were on our way to Rum Point, a very popular beach on the other side of Grand Cayman. I went there last year and had loved it so, hello, we had to go back again. On the way, there aren't that many open restaurants, especially on a Monday. We stopped by Over the Edge, this resto on the side of the Caribbean Sea. No biggie. The view was excruciatingly wonderful. Ugh. can I move here already?
The place itself was half bar, half restaurant, with a beautiful terrasse out back. Wow. Wow. Woooooow! I cannot say that enough. Wow! OK, that was the last one (in this paragraph). Being a Monday and not busy... at all, we sat at a prime spot on the terrasse, overlooking the Caribbean Sea in all its glory. F*******ck! Wow! OK, sorry, that was the last one.
Just had to show you another view from the restaurant. DAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN!!!
The waitress brought us some fried bread before we ordered and sh*t f*ck sh*t (sorry about all the swearing, kids), they were AWESOME!!! I'm gonna call them little bubbles of happiness. Yes. I'm gonna do that. With a bit of butter, holy f*ck sh*t f*ck man that was good. I hope I'm making myself clear here. Wow. So good and soft and... bready? Hahaha! But seriously.
We started with the best: conch fritters. When I first visited Rachie poo and her husband Carl, I ate some good conch fritters and was aching to eat some more! The fritters were awesome: very moist, and actually tasted like conch! You know, when sh*t is fried, sometimes it doesn't taste like much. They served them with somewhat of a tartar sauce that was oh-so-tasty and just a bit sour, going perfectly with them fritters. All I's gotta say is YUM!
We are on a mudslide quest, judging which one is the best on the island... like last time. Mudslides are everywhere, and we must taste ALL of them. This one, I believe, won the vacation. It was very alcoholic (hello!), the whipped cream was perfect and hello, chocolate! Yum AND yum! One would even say 'DANG'. In caps, of course, because it's THAT good. 
The main: cod and ackee, a Jamaican staple. The plate was HUGE and fully loaded. The potatoes were perfect and plentiful, to say the least. The rice and beans (a BIG staple in Jamaican cuisine), was perfect: rice was cooked to perfection and the beans too. Such a nice dish!!! The plantain, well, hello, it's plantain!!! I have never had bad plantain. Maybe because I love it so much! The ackee. Oh, the ackee. The ackee, the national fruit of Jamaica, was good. It was good. But it was mixed in with reeeaaaally salty and fishy cod. Ugh. I had the taste in my mouth for 3 days. Not good. NOT good.

Service was good: the waitress was very nice and fast but didn't ask us if we liked our meal. Meh.

And now, the scores!

Food: 6.5
Service: 7.5

Who knows, we might go back next time I come to Cayman, but I will FOR SURE not be having the ackee, you best believe it!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Luca

This is my second time on Grand Cayman. I came here last March to visit my old roomie, Rachie, who is from here (one of the 12 people that are actually FROM here), her husband Carl and their little one, Nini! One of the things I remembered the most fondly was Boozy Brunch. OK, 'remembered' is a big word. Basically, they give you mimosas until you drop. And I did drop. When we got home, I passed out on their beach for 2 hours and got a huge sunburn. It was like, 'what is that, a tomato? NO, it's Marie'. Ya. Anyhoot, I really wanted to do that again so we settled on Luca's!
Luca is located right on Seven Mile Beach, in a building that comprises of long and short term luxury condo rentals. We had a table indoors because it was oh-so-hawt, but the view from outside was just jaw dropping. Well, pretty much everywhere you go in Cayman has jaw dropping views. I wanna live here. I wanna live here so bad. But enough about my moving day. The restaurant is quite big inside and has a big terrasse as well. It's a bit on the dark side indoors, with lots of dark wood and dark ceilings. It's a good thing I was wearing my hot AND sexy (ya, that's right) dress because the hot girls started pouring in right after we were seated. I say 'it's a good thing' like I was gonna hit that or something. I wish. I. Wish. 

You get in and before even entering the restaurant, the dessert table is there to tease the hell outta you, and when you get in, dang, there is, wait for it, a plethora of platters filled with seafood (hello!!!) and breakfast fixings and fish and meat. Oh my! Basically, everything that is good on earth (except mr unaffordable lobster). I am MADE for all-you-can-eat buffets: I totally prep my stomach for it. You know, like the people that enter pie eating competitions? Like that. The stomach is a muscle, people! The trick is I eat a bit less the day before and in the morning, I'll eat maybe an egg and a fruit. That's it! You get there and you eat slowly so that your stomach doesn't fill up so quickly. Follow me. Trust in Marie.
As soon as my ass hit the chair, we were asked if we were going to go all the way (with the mimosas, not with the waitress). The answer to this question is yes. Always yes! Don't even think about it and just nod in the right direction for bottomless mimosas!
My first plate was...seafood! Just FYI, most of my plates were seafood. Why? Hello!!! I want to have my money's worth, I eat the expensive stuff. Sheesh! I put some crab legs in there, shrimp, mahi mahi ceviche, lobster salad, and a devilled egg, because I likes me a good devilled egg. I don't even know what to say about the crab: it's crab... it's the second to best piece of seafood you can eat. With butta. Oh, the butta! I had crab on every subsequent plate. The shrimp were good, you know, your normal shrimp. They had like 4 sauces to go along with the yummy shrimp. The lobster salad, although very flavourful, was a tad on the squishy side. Meh. Hey, at least I had like 3000 more things to choose from! The mahi mahi ceviche was damn good. DAMN good. Which is why I had it at least twice more. The flavours were right on and they weren't overpowering either. Very citrusy, which is what I like, Nay, love. The egg made me laugh because who makes devilled eggs this way? My friend Little Boo, that's who! I had to send her a picture. For all you non-makers of devilled eggs, you usually cut it the other way, so that the egg is longer and more stable on the plate. It was good but not the best.
Oysters!!!! As some of you know, I used to hate oysters. Ugh, just the thought of having something slimy go down my throat was enough to make me gag. It's a good thing those days are over and I am able to fully appreciate those bad boys. I've eaten some from the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean... and my next words were going to be 'but never from the Caribbean' (she says with a big smile) but my friend has assured me that they probs got em' from the States. Damn YOU Donald Trump! OK, he has nothing to do with this, but...any chance I get...#FUdonaldtrump Point is, they were oh-so-good and juicy and just briny enough. Mmmm, just add a bit of tabasco and lemon, and you've got yoself a partay!
The salmon tataki had some cumin on it and was rather sweet, but not too sweet. It was really good. This, coming from a girl who used to be an expert at tataki (yes, I am many things). The tuna with sesame was good but not as good as the one we used to prepare at Sushi Taxi.
The meat! They had a table with a rather good looking man, serving up manly meat. I'm not straight, I swear it! Anyhoot, I had the rack of lamb and the ribs. The beef Wellington wasn't ready yet. As soon as I got back to the table, Carl asked me why I had taken the really REALLY fatty ribs. My only answer was that it is automatic for me to have the ribs. I see ribs, I want to eat ribs. But they were on the fatty side and not uber tasty (my life is over!). The lamb saved the day: juicy, tender, perfectly cooked and full of flavour. I was pacing myself so I had only taken one piece but man, I could've gone for at least another 4 (or 8). I saw someone bring the beef Wellington (not pictured) to the table and I may (or may not) have tripped, trying to get there faster. I gots to say, it was very good. BUT the dough around it was a tad on the undercooked side. 
The duck carpaccio. It was really really good. With a bit of sweet mango on top, this hit the spot. You know, THE spot. Nothin' else to say but YUM!

Not pictured is the beef carpaccio, with some wasabi butta, man! That butter made the dish, and then some!

The winners for me were the craaaaaaab (mmmm, put some clarified butta on that sh*t) and the mahi mahi ceviche. Mahi mahi is not a fish with much flavour, so koodos for making it so damn tasty!
Let's not forget dessert. As you can attest, I did not go overboard (taps herself on the shoulder). I had a tiny lemon tart (how tiny can one be?), which had just the right amount of lemon without being too tart, the sweet brownie with crunchy chocolate on top, the cheese cake with soft berry mousse that was just melt-in-your-mouth awesome and the meringue pop on a stick that was just so cute! Well, it was good too: crunchy and sweet as a meringue should be!

Service was 150% on par the whole way. We got seated in a second, got water and drinks in a minute. Our mimosas were filled every couple minutes which made for a very happy (and drunk) Marie. We could hear them opening prosecco bottles left and right. That is the sound of heaven, right there. They took our plates away as soon as they were empty. Now THAT's service, my friends!

And now, the scores!

Food: 8.5
Service: 9.5

I really want to say that I'll be back but, let's face it, I don't live here. Sadly. And with roughly 115$CAD (including tip) a pop, I can only do one boozy brunch per visit. Last time was at Agua, this time at Luca's, next, we're heading to the Ritz baby!