Friday, February 10, 2006

Raincity Grill (February 6, 2006)

Dine-Out Menu $35.00

Good for them for trying to do something a little different w the usual bread. The naan was all right, although it tasted a bit too flour-y. Also, perhaps because of the "flour-y" taste, they tasted a bit "bland" (pakla), and needed some salt. But then, the salt wouldn't really stick to the naan because there was no moisture on them. A plus, though: warm!!! 6.5/10

manilla clam & minted wheat salad, eggplant, cold pressed canola oil, yogurt

They spelled "manila" wrong. Anyway, I assumed that the items would remain the same as the menu posted online (which is what I'm copying & pasting for each food item), but they weren't! In reality, I believe it was something like this:

Grilled Albacore Tuna w/ (some sort of radish? or something else "salad") and something-dumplings in dashi/konbu broth

Presentation: The 2 pieces of dumplings were fried first, and then put into the broth. The broth/dumplings was in a separate small bowl, but on the same rectangular plate as the rest of the items. The tuna was grilled on the outside only (ie, rare), and rested on the "radish?" salad.

The dumplings were not bad, I guess. But I'm not really a dumpling person. The broth wasn't bad either. It was "earthy" tasting, actually, instead of seafood-tasting. So perhaps there was no bonito flakes in their version of dashi? Or maybe it was something else completely that they just called dashi. In any case, it wasn't objectionable or anything. Am not too big a fan of such "earthy" flavors, though.

The tuna was quite nice. I mean, it's tuna. I know it's the fashion to have it rare, but I would've preferred it to be cooked a little more because 1) the texture would've been firmer, as opposed to mushy, and 2) the tuna taste/flavor would've been stronger as well. I could really taste the nice tuna flavor on the outside grilled surfaces.

The "radish" salad: Basically there was a white one and red one; each "radish" was cut into thin strips (like angel hair pasta in appearance). They didn't really have that much flavor at all, but served as temperature and texture contrast (since they provided a little crunch). Also, I must reiterate, I don't know what they were! They didn't have a radish flavor at all, but radish seems to be the most likely candidate.

All in all, this was a pleasant enough dish. Although it may seem like I have a lot of "issues" with the dish from the comments above, I don't really have any complaints. I guess I'm not sure of all the elements go together well (ie, dumplings and broth accompanying the tuna). But then, when I eat, I usually take separate elements and combine them anyway. So it wasn't "weird" for me in this instance.

TUNA: 8/10

apricot brasied duck leg, garlic kale, turnip cake

Hmm, I think in this case the above was what actually came to the table. My comment: I should've gotten the beef instead!! I was trying to remember when the last time I had beef was. But then I thought, beef is common enough, so I should opt for duck, which one doesn't really find in normal places (ie, "casual" dining, or to buy and cook at home). Mistake.

Duck Breast: There were 3 small slices of duck breast. I asked for medium rare, but those 3 pieces were not. I think maybe medium well, their doneness was. Because of the well-doneness, the meat was very "game-y" tasting. Also, the skin wasn't crispy at all!

Duck Leg: Ugh!! I must say, "yuck"!!! I really hate this specific duck taste: the gamey-ness was strong! Basically it tasted like a Chinese dish where it seems the duck is boiled in soup. As Maria commented, it tasted like "leftover duck meat from those Chinese soups." So, not pleasant. I didn't finish the duck leg. And oh, as a note, I kept looking for the apricot flavor, but failed to find it. Maybe it's just me with my aversion to this specific duck taste, but, yeah, yuck! I have a feeling that maybe other people won't find it "yucky" like I did.

Garlic Kale / Turnip Cake: These 2 were good! I didn't know what the turnip cake was (again, I disregarded the menu altogether since I was counting on the online menu), but I knew it was good! =) I didn't expect it to taste this way, though. This "cake" basically had the texture/consistency of creme caramel, and the top even looked like the top of creme caramel. Also, the cake was slightly sweet. Very good. The garlic kale was great! It wasn't over-done at all. I really like the texture of it. These 2 elements actually saved the dish for me. Without them, the entire dish would've been a complete disaster.

(3 because of the kale and turnip cake. They by themselves would've actually warranted a higher rating -- perhaps 8/10 -- but then, this *is* a DUCK dish.)

whipped crème fraiche, fig caramel

Excellent! The chocolate part was actually a chocolate pate. The "hazelnut" part of the terrine was something so familiar -- I've tasted it before but I don't know what it's called! Anyway, it was very good too. The creme fraiche was nice; there was a tuile served with the dessert; the figs (sort of like stewed figs) were good too. Nothing was too sweet (well, maybe the figs, a little, but then, they *are* called "figs caramel"). Actually, usually am never impressed with desserts. In this case, however, the dessert was noticeably "good." So, good. Good end. 9/10
No complaints. I only saw the little corner in which we were situated, though.
Didn't even get to check the "facilities", hehe. =D We were at the corner window,

Rating: 8.5/10
Again, no complaints. But then again, I'm so low-maintenance. =D Water was refilled constantly (I was never wanting), so that's good enough for me! Oh, the food came in a timely manner as well.

Rating: 9/10 (not 10 coz I didn't really ask for much "service.")

Besides the "yucky" duck, everything went smoothly at Raincity Grill. So I guess the total experience was a positive one overall.

Rating: 8/10

Would you recommend this restaurant? (y/n) Yes

Would you return to this restaurant? (y/n) Yes. I would want to try the rest of the items in their regular menu. Although, I guess I'm not dying to go back right away.

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