Monday, October 20, 2014

The Fudgery, Banff (Canada) by Bureaucrat

With the glorious late summer sun, the Lawyer did the touristy thing and decided to amble up and down Banff following our dinner at Tooloulou's.

There's a couple of confectionery shops in Banff - and one of them is The Fudgery.  It's a narrow shop that has it's diabetes-inducing wares displayed by the window... taunting, tempting and teasing you to come in and be like Charlie Bucket.  If the visual display doesn't get you, then the oh-so-aromatic perfume of roasted pecans and caramel will definitely draw you in.

Inside, you'll find a range of fudge on sale (sold by per 100 grams), bear claws, toffee and candy covered apples and a range of biscuits decorated with a lot of chocolate, sugar and nuts.  We chose the pecan butter fudge.  A soft but chewy nougat slab, smothered in smooth fudge and absolutely covered with roasted pecans.  It's tooth-achingly sweet and sinful but we couldn't stop eating it.  It would have been better had we had a cup of tea to temper the sweetness.  And, dang it, we're on holidays, and everyone knows that holiday calories don't count.

Food – 7
Service – 6.5
Ambience – 7
Price – 6.5

You're inner child will love this place but your dentist may not.

The Fudgery
215 Banff Ave  
Banff, AB T1L
Telephone: (403) 762-3003

The Fudgery on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tooloulou's, Banff (Canada) by Bureaucrat

Having had the chance to wander through downtown Banff, we were able to pick a nice spot for dinner - Tooloulou's a restaurant with a Francophile-bayou vibe.

It wasn't hard to chose this place as the promise of deliciousness such as crab cakes, jambalaya and seafood was hard to ignore.

While it was easy to pick the restaurant, it took longer for us to pick our meals as there were plenty of options. 

The Lawyer picked the seafood and sausage gumbo - a rich seafood stew w shrimps, clams, scallops, Andouille sausage served over Cajun "dirty rice" (which is white rice cooked with a range of seasonings to get a dirty appearance).  It came with a nice slab of warm, fluffy cornbread and pickled chillies.  He loved this dish, although, it seemed to resemble jambalaya than a true gumbo (which is meant to be soupier).

To ensure that I ate some veggies during my trip, I chose the mile high stir fry but opted to get some blackened scallops as an extra on top.  To my delight, the stir fry was pretty damn good.  A great mix of different chunky veg (zucchini, broccoli, onion, caps and mushrooms) that were nicely al dente, fresh and flavoursome (it was tossed through a savoury sauce) and served over white rice.  The small but plump and plentiful scallops were cooked just perfect (not over cooked) and sweet.  There were far more than I thought I'd get for the seven bucks.  It also came with the cornbread, which was sweeter than I imagined cornbread to be.

Food – 8.5
Ambiance – 7
Service – 7
Price - 7.5

Really great food - pretty good serves, flavor and freshness.  If we had stayed longer, I'd definitely go back there for food.  The only minor quibble is the slightly odd staff who can be a bit standoffish with a hint of surliness.

204 Caribou St  
Banff AB T1L
Telephone: (403) 762-2633

Tooloulou's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 17, 2014

Gypsy & Pig, Melbourne CBD by Bureaucrat

One of my favourite places for a special but affordable meal is at Gyspy & Pig.  Big Fil took me some time ago (see his review July 2012) and I've loved it ever since.  It's classy Japanese that's perfect for something that gives a sense of occasion that you don't get from a run-of-the-mill sushi and bento box places but it's not so formal and over-priced that you couldn't go here more often than just for extra special occasions.

What I also like about G&P is that the food has been consistently above average each time I've been here.  For a girly gossip session, I took Mrs H, Ms W and Ms H to G&P.

We all had difficulty deciding what to order as each of us had several dishes that were tempting us.  Mrs H got the katsu curry- a lovely light, crunchy crumbed loin of pork w Japanese curry sauce and rice.  It came with a trio of side dishes and a serve of miso soup.

I forgot to note down what Ms H ordered but I think it was the ton katsu - deep fried strips of pork loin.

Ms W and I both got the shoga-yaki - pork strips marinated in soy and ginger.  It also came with the same trio of sides, rice, a mound of finely grated radish and miso soup.  Great flavour in the pork, tender and a nice amount of fat to add that delectable juiciness to the pork.

Food – 8.5
Service – 7
Ambience – 7.5
Price – 8

Love the place.  It's small but intimate.  Quality through and through.  I love the fresh pots and bottles of complex and very tasty dressings and condiments that's on each table which you add to your salads and rice.

Gypsy & Pig
Shop 3, 391 Little Lonsdale St 
Telephone: 9640 0731

Gypsy & Pig on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pad Thai Restaurant, Banff (Canada) by Bureaucrat

The impossibly pretty town of Banff is located within the Banff National Park.

Downtown Banff

With the Rockies right in plain view, our first meal was at Pad Thai Restaurant because it was closest to us and my blood sugar was running low and I needed to eat something fast.

Admittedly, I was skeptical as to how authentic the food would be here – after all, Banff doesn’t have a much of an Asian population and it is a tourist town.

As I was trying to save room for a big dinner, we chose an entrée and main dish to share between the two of us. The tom yum soup was nicely hot and sour; and was the better of the two dishes.

The pad Thai was okay – it wasn't really a proper pad Thai but more of a generic noodle dish. It was generous in noodles, but didn't really have that savoury pad Thai sauce; and it could have done with a wedge of lemon or lime and some more ingredients (more chicken, beanshoots, roasted peanuts) to make it more like how it should be.

Food – 6
Ambiance – 7
Service – 7
Price – 7

An okay place for a pit stop.  The serving size is above average, the food is passable if you’re craving a Thai fix in the middle of the Rockies.

Pad Thai Restaurant
110 Banff Avenue
Banff, Alberta, T1L
Telephone: (403) 762-4911

Pad Thai on Urbanspoon
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