Monday, June 24, 2013

Cardero's Restaurant

Last month Sam took me out on a "Oh God I'm sorry I wrecked your heels, threw up a little on you and cut your night short" dinner date. I would drag his half comatose body home anytime,  though next time perhaps not wearing high heels. But it was very nice of him to take me out either way.

We settled on trying Cardero's in coal harbour. Its in a nice location nestled right along the water. This was back in May, the sun was out but it was still a little too cold for patio. When we went inside we were greeted with an assortment of rustic marine decor and an open kitchen. It was super busy so I refrained from taking pictures.

What was really cool was their system of calling people when their table were ready. Instead of names or vibrating coasters you are given a card with your flag on it. When your table is ready they will actually raise your flag and ring a bell to notify you. We didn't actually get to participate in this though as we made reservations ahead of time. No waiting for us!

After placing our order we were served up with bread and the cutest butter I've ever seen. The butter is labeled!! How cool is that!? Or maybe I'm just easily amused.

Once again I had forgotten to take my camera out with me. But with good lighting, the iphone camera doesn't do too shabby of a job. We started with a dozen oysters and we happily slurped them down while chatting over amusing oyster anecdotes. When it comes to oysters, I generally just like mine with a dash of tabasco and lemon, but the sauce that accompanied these worked very well as well. 

Sesame Crusted Albacore Tuna
I ordered the tuna. See I guess this is why I should blog more recently as I've already forgotten what it tastes like. It was served up a wasabi dressing. It was very good, but clearly not memorable.

Sam had settled with the scallops. Look at how big they were! I'm never one to settle on scallops as an entree when it comes to deciding on what to eat, but these were quite nice. They were light charred on both sides and cooked to perfection on the inside. I actually wonder how chefs do that, because you can't exactly stick a thermometer into a scallop. I guess its just a watchful eye and timing.

After dinner we walked along the seawall and went to search for dessert. However the couple of places we thought of were already closed (!?) and after wandering around we went into this little Peruvian shop in Gastown. The food in there actually smelled really good, but we were just there for the finale.

Cardero's is a great choice if you want some place nice without breaking the bank. I used to recommend a lot of guests there without ever having tried it. Glad to know I didn't do them wrong.

Cardero's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mother's Day at E.B.O.

For certain unofficial holidays, I always found it kind of silly how people feel the need to congregate, fight for reservations and dine in loud, over packed restaurants all for the sake of celebrating an individual on that specific day. Holidays that come to mind are Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day. I believe I can celebrate their importance any day of the year. 

This actually works out in my favour, as my mom is so busy and has an unpredictable schedule we didn't get to celebrate anywhere during the M-day weekend. Instead on the spur of the moment a week later when I caught her and my entire family free, I took them out to have dinner at E.B.O. Restaurant. 

This is also why I did not have my camera on hand, which I am quite devestated by because it was an amazing meal and I really wanted to blog about it. But now all I have are these mediocre iphone photos. Guess this just means I will have to visit again. 

E.B.O stands for experiences beyond ordinary, when I first heard that I thought it was kind of corny, but it does grow on you.

When we arrived we were seated in this lovely corner of the restaurant that had a round table and some translucent curtains to give a little more privacy. The restaurant is very pretty, not something you would really expect to find in Burnaby. The upside to waiting out the Mday rush is the restaurant was relatively quiet that evening so we had super attentative service and dishes being served in a timely manner.

I forgot to mention that my mother is so hard to please. Whenever I take her out to dinner I feel kind of anxious, because probably 50% of the time, she is not impressed with the places that I take her to. I think I had inherited my picky palette from her.

Roasted Scallops

For our appetizer we started with roasted scallops. They were cooked perfectly and I like how it was seared on both sides. However upon the first bite, it was so salty I wanted to spit it back out. With the first course already being a slump I was like 'oh god. Mom will not like this experience.' We had a rocky start but it was totally forgiven with everyone's entrees. 

Roast Rack of Lamb

A lot of the menu items looked so good and I was torn between what to order. I ended up ordering the rack of lamb, the portion was quite generous and it was delicious. I've never had lamb cooked so tenderly before. I convinced Eunice to have a bite, as she never eats lamb and even she found it good, there wasn't a gamey taste to it what so ever. The round thing was polenta, with what I believe to be egg whites on top. It was interesting, though I think I would have preferred the good ol' mashed potatoes. 

Slow Cooked Fraser Valley Chicken

 My mom ordered the chicken, which I think had the prettiest plating. The black smudge is what I believe to be squid ink. It was served up on a bed of risotto. The chicken was amazing. I never knew chicken could be so impressive, it was cooked to perfection and the flavors melded so well. The risotto was just right, with a good balance of flavor and it wasn't too heavy. Mom loved it. Because of that it wouldn't even matter if everyone else was served up with burnt food, Mom enjoyed it. EBO wins. Everyone did enjoy their dishes as well.

Seafood Linguini 

Seafood linguini was loaded with an assortment of seafood. Once again the scallops were too salty but since it was accompanied with the linguini it was okay. I believe it was squid (or maybe octopus) ink mixed with the pasta that gave it that colour. I thought it was pretty cool!

Can't remember which cut of steak this was...

Cured Salmon

Winston just came from another dinner so he ordered two appies. I think I labeled them properly. Ugh seeing these pictures makes me want to kick myself. The plating was an artwork on its on and I am not doing it justice!! 

Basil Cheesecake
For dessert we had the Basil Cheesecake. The portions were tiny but we were so stuffed by then, only a couple of us even went for it so it worked out. It was very interesting, the cheesecake flavour is light and you get a hint of the basil. There are plops of different sauces you can plunge your cheesecake into, I liked the raspberry plop the most, it was super tart but it made a great contrast with the cheesecake. The basil leaves are pressed with sugar, and it was so cool. They melt in your mouth and its sweet and you get a taste of the herb. Dessert wasn't a hit with everyone but I thought it was very unique. 

Overall, we had a great time at EBO. Avoided the mother's day crowd, had a lovely evening with my family and most importantly: Mom was impressed. Any restaurant that will treat my mom well is a winner in my books. I definitely will return again and this time armed with a real camera.

EBO Restaurant on Urbanspoon