Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Marmalade Kitchen (February 1, 2008)

Two reviewers: ts and cw

Polderside Organic Farm Duck Confit Salad, with Poached Pear, Blue Cheese and Pecans
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Tandoori Chicken Skewers stacked on Yam Fries & Salad
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Cranberry Filone Crostini with Goat Cheese, Orange and Black Pepper Marmalade
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Dungeness Crab Tower with Avocado & Mango

Chicken - 5.5/10

I was torn between the so-called named "crab tower" and the chicken skewers. I finally decided on the latter, mostly because:
i.) the "crab tower" was wrongly named

ii.) I had just had sushi for lunch, so the crab & avocado combo wasn't very appealing afterall, and
iii.) I had a craving for the yam fries.

The chicken skewers weren't bad, except they were served to me cold. The seasoning was alright, but I wasn't impressed. They were stacked into a teepee formation, with the yam fries lined up beneath. the yam fries, like the skewers, weren't even lukewarm, not to mention that they were soggy and not at all crispy. I used my fork to eat the fries, and guess what, upon picking them up, the fries were actually droopy! no surpise there.

The chicken was all right. Tender. Not bad. But yeah, I don't know how long they waited before serving the food, because it wasn't hot.

Seared Pork Tenderloin with Apples, Persian Dates and Baby Potatoes
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Pistacchio Crusted Wild Salmon with Pomegranate Molasses served with Roasted Red Pepper, Feta, Capers and Preserved Lemons
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Marinated Venison Medallion, Roasted Eggplant, Sour Grapes & Tomato Compote served with Aubergine Caviar
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Organic Lamb Shanks slow roasted with Fresh Herbs, Zaffir Limes and Red Kidney Beans

Salmon - 6.5/10

The salmon itself was well-flavoured, thus fared better than the appetizer. However, it wasn't as tender as I had hoped. It was on the borderline between slightly tender and dry. Anyhow, we were given basmati rice, and this was disappointing. again, it was cold. Being Chinese, I like my rice to be steaming, with each grain to be fully intact and not falling apart. The basmati rice looked like it was microwaved and too much water was added during the process of cooking.

The presentation of this dish was quite strange. The salmon was placed on the left, taking up about 3/5 of the space, while the pepper with pieces of feta and capers scattered on top was placed on the right. The rectangular plate was too small for this entree. there wasn't any whitespace, so to say.

I had the venison. It was "OK." Not much to say about it (a shock, I know). Just average-blah kind of food.

And yes! The rice! Weird! I don't even think there was too much water added during cooking -- it seems like the rice was cooked already and then water was added to the cooked rice. That's how it seemed like. Not nice.

Chocolate Bread Pudding with Candied Walnut & Chocolate Chip
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Lotus Flower Filo Dessert with Orange Creme Anglaise, Lychee & Mandarins, topped with Candied Orange Peel

Filo - 3/10
Big mistake in ordering this, as it basically just eating filo. Perhaps I should have ordered the pudding.

I ordered the bread pudding. Again, "OK." Not good, not *too* sucky. The pudding didn't have enough custard covering it while baking, so the top part of the pudding was dry and tough (whereas the bottom part was the proper texture). The plate had chocolate sauce on it, but it was't real chocolate! It was a Nesquick-type chocolate sauce. Not good.

service - 5.5/10
One of the first things I noticed when I went into the restaurant was that the servers either looked unkempt and dirty, or were just inexperienced. For me, the second most important thing is service, the first being well-prepared food that was prepared under strict sanitary conditions (which is why i like the interior design concept where diners can view the kitchen area). I would feel especially queasy whenever I observe the servers are hardly pristine, whether it's sticking their fingers into cups, bowls, plates, etc., or just appearing as though they've just climbed from under someone's car hood at a garage.

ambience - 6/10
small restaurant, decor trying to be mod and trendy. however, a quick look around the restaurant the crowd it attracted was not so. the clientele didn't match the yaletown yuppie type of decor. anyhow, they tried to cram too much in too small a space.

would most likely not return.

All about the food, me. Mediocre at best. Disappointing. Won't return. Um, can I even give a rating... I guess same level as La Vallee (although, La Vallee had the nice bread and the poached pear). 3-ish/10.

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