Friday, December 21, 2012

The Newly Opened Royal Punjab

The Royal Punjab opened its doors less than a week ago and tomorrow will mark the third day I am going there to order their amazing vegetarian platter. There aren't a lot of Indian restaurants in this neck of the woods, but I can confidently say that I found a really, really good one.

There are so many things I love about this place. The simple but elegant decor, the comical Italian paintings that I suspect were left behind by previous owners, the fact that the restaurant is across the street from my favourite bubble tea shop Popocha, the building's parking lot that is always empty, and above all other things, the delicious food that contains just the right amount of spiciness, creaminess, and heartiness.

The Royal Punjab is so new, they don't have menus, but never fear, the options that are available are so simple, reading material is unnecessary. The restaurant offers its customers individual platters containing small bowls of different dishes, such as curry chickpeas, spiced yogurt, vegetables, and classics like butter chicken (or in my case, butter tofu).

But I haven't mentioned the best parts about the meal yet. Naan bread is included, as is a small dessert, and the price is so inexpensive! My boyfriend and I went there together, ate far more than we should have and completely stuffed ourselves, and our combined bill at the end of the meal was only $23. Amazing!

People have the option of ordering the vegetarian version or the non-vegetarian version of the platter, or if they're in the mood for something in particular, they can order individual curry dishes. Someday I think I will order lots of the individual dishes when I go with a larger group of friends and we want to share, but for now the platter is the perfect thing for me to eat a variety of delicious Indian dishes.

Here are some photos from my latest visit, including the desserts we received at the end of our meal.

Butter tofu. I used to love butter chicken (really, who doesn't?) so this was such a treat for me.
Another dish that used tofu instead of meat. This one was a tad bit spicier, but so delicious.
These small desserts were deap-fried dough balls covered in syrup called "gulab jamun". I don't have much experience eating Indian desserts, but this one resembled a Tim Hortons "tim-bit" covered in syrup. At first they were a little too sweet and squishy, but after we had finished eating them, my boyfriend and I considered ordering more. Sadly, we were too full.

If you like Indian food and are looking for a place to eat it in the south end of Winnipeg, I highly recommend going to the Royal Punjab located at 2790 Pembina Hwy, just a few minutes drive from the University of Manitoba.


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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Review of Deer + Almond

Last Friday evening I had the chance to experience some really fine cuisine at Deer + Almond, a relatively new restaurant located in the Exchange District on Princess Street. The restaurant boasts high quality dishes made with fresh ingredients, all served at reasonable prices that range from $6-8 appetizers, to $10-30 entrees.
The waitress came to our table as soon as we had sat down and settled ourselves. She told us about the casual style of dining at Deer + Almond and recommended that we eat our meal tapas style since many of the dishes on the menu come in smaller portions that are great for sharing.
After we ordered our drinks she brought out a small bowl of popcorn and explained that everyday the kitchen makes a new flavour of popcorn as complimentary snacks for customers. Today the flavour was brown butter and honey, and it was a nice treat before our meal.
The first thing we ordered was a simple yet very delicious Avocado on Toast made with the focaccia the restaurant makes daily, topped with chucks of avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, and some freshly cracked pepper. Like I said, simple, yet very delicious.
We ordered the baked potato with melty cheese, sour cream, and green onions on top. 
We also ordered the Pumpkin Ravioli with parmesan cheese, greens, and mushrooms. I was really excited for this dish, and it was quite good, but I found the mushroom flavour to be a little overwhelming for me.
The Salmon served with pumpkin puree, cucumber, and various vegetables was well done.
Then we ate the Kale and Quinoa salad with mushrooms, snow peas, chickpeas, cucumber, radish, peppers, and quail eggs, served with a light vinaigrette dressing. This was a huge plate of food and it was well worth the $10 it cost. Perhaps with a little more dressing it would have been my favourite thing at the table that night.
The coconut creme brulee was by far my favourite dish of the evening. Rich, creamy, and with a distinct coconut flavour, this dessert wowed the entire table, until we realized how small the dish was. Unfortunately the bowl was only half a centimeter deep...perhaps less.
And then the Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Ice-Cream served atop a small brownie and chocolate mouse and topped with peanuts and salt was very good. I probably could have eaten an entire bowl of the mouse alone...or the caramel...or the ice cream. They were all so delicious and put together the flavours worked perfectly to create an outstanding dessert.
Overall the meal was done really well and our waitress was such a sweetheart the entire evening, giving us recommendations, checking on us frequently, and patiently waiting for me to take photos of all the dishes. I can definitely see myself going there again to eat, perhaps as an inexpensive way to celebrate finishing first semester of CreComm.


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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fresh "Meat" at RRC's Prairie Lights

Last Friday I went out to eat at Red River College's Prairie Lights with my mother and boyfriend. When we went, there was a new batch of students taking our orders and preparing our dishes, an experience I find almost as exciting as eating the meal itself. It's so much fun to ask them about their studies and get to know them as they work through the program over the year and take turns doing the different jobs at the restaurant.

I've blogged about the college's student run restaurant many times before, partly because for a long time I considered entering the Culinary Arts program before I discovered the Creative Communications program. If you'd like to read my posts on all the amazing food I have eaten at Prairie Lights (and boy, are there a lot), simply click here, here, and here.

As always, the lighting is very dark in the restaurant, so the photos are often a little dimmer and out of focus than usual as I try to increase the amount of light in the photos by playing with random settings on my camera. I'm sure with a professional camera (and perhaps a little knowledge of more advanced photography) my pictures could look better.

Hmmm, perhaps I should contact my friend Braiden from braidenwatling.com...

So here are some photos of the meal that I had last Friday. Above is a photo of the Corn Puree with Ginger Lobster and Chili Oil.
Here is the Tandoori Tofu with Chickpeas, New Potatoes and Tamarind Sauce served with various vegetables.
And my favourite part of the evening, The Lavender Creme Caramel with Caramelized Oranges and Blackberry Ice Cream.

As always, if you would like to make a reservation to eat at Prairie Lights or would like to see the menus the students have created, click here; or if you'd like to learn more about the Culinary Arts program at Red River College, click here.
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Monday, October 29, 2012

MFB's "Divinely Deseo" Coming in 1 Week!

Shortly after the last Manitoba Food Blogger (MFB) gathering that took place a few weeks ago at Segovia Tapas Bar and Restaurant, the MFB group went ahead and quickly organized the next meet and greet. What great news! 
I sincerely love the MFB group for bringing lovers of food together for wonderful evenings of eating, wine tasting, and discussions about how awkward it feels when you get weird looks from your date as you bring out your camera to snap about 50 photos of your beautiful plate of gnocchi. Yeah, that topic is often discussed, along with complaints on the low-lighting in pretty much every restaurant you want to review. Ahh, the life of a food blogger. 
All the lovely information about the next event "Divinely Deseo" taking place on November 6th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm is in the photo above. I'm especially excited about the "Surprises to follow" that are mentioned! As well, I have put a map of where the event is taking place at the end of this post. 
If you would be interested in buying a ticket, click here. I hope to see you there!


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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Eating Vegetarian at Smoke's Poutinerie

So last week a classmate and I decided to walk over to Smoke's Poutinerie to grab a quick bite to eat before our next class started. What's that? You say you've never heard of this beautiful place? Well never fear. I was like that too once. Thank goodness I put an end to that sooner rather than later. I already feel sad enough having never heard of the place until this school year, I can't imagine how depressed I'd be if I hadn't eaten at Smoke's Poutinerie until after I graduated. 
This was my first time going to the restaurant devoted to serving specialty poutine and I was so excited.
As soon as I stepped in I was immediately impressed by the interior design, a throwback to old-fashion diners. The menu was equally impressive. From Traditional poutine to Curry Chicken and Philly Cheesesteak, Smoke's has a wide selection that will satisfy any poutine craving. They even have a few vegetarian options for people who can live without bacon, such as the Veggie, Veggie Deluxe, and the Veggie Nacho. 
My friend got the Bacon poutine (clearly she is not one of the people I mentioned above).
And I ordered the Veggie Deluxe poutine, which comes with sautéed onions, mushrooms, and green peas, along with the classic gravy and cheese curds. 
I thought the poutine was delicious and I am definitely going back to try their Veggie Nacho which comes with salsa, guacamole, jalapeños, and sour cream. My friend and I both ordered the small sizes of poutine, and at first I was a little worried it may not be enough and would leave me hungry again later in the afternoon, but it was actually a struggle to finish the entire box. I'm really glad I played it safe, because it would have been a horrible tragedy to waste such delicious food.
If you'd like to visit Smoke's Poutinerie and taste some of their different poutines, they are located in the Exchange District at 131 Albert Street.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

The MFB Gathering at Segovia

Last week I was lucky enough to go to a fun and entertaining event at Segovia Tapas Bar and Restaurant. The Manitoba Food Bloggers group held their monthly gathering at the stylish eatery just off Osborne St. last Tuesday from 6pm-8pm. Segovia has been in the news recently after Macleans released a list of what it believes to be the top 50 restaurants in Canada and Segovia was listed as one of the two best restaurants in Winnipeg (the other was Pizzeria Gusto). If you'd like to see the other restaurants in Canada that made the list, click here for the original article.
The event was amazing. The restaurant's interior invited people to relax and socialize with its warm tones and dim lighting, and the food was some of the best I had ever had. The event was titled "Time for Tapas", "tapas" being Spanish for "appetizers", so the evening was filled with an endless supply of delectable one-bite morsels coming from the kitchen. Along with the tapas that were being walked around the restaurant, there were small wooden boards placed on each table containing various cheeses, different types of salami, olives, nuts, and fruit preserves. If you'd like to take a look at Segovia's menu, click here.
I'm excited to announce that I have finally tried blue cheese! I didn't like it though. Even though I loved how smooth and creamy it was, the sharp aftertaste wasn't all that pleasant. I also had the opportunity to try many other things for the first time while at Segovia. Scallops, octopus, sardines! It was both amazing and nerve-wracking. A little warning: octopus is really chewy.
It was also really great to see other food bloggers from Manitoba last Tuesday. Colin from cenquist.com, Adrian from adriantrimble.com, Courtney from The Fig Tree, and Destini from The Healthy Wife were all there, and I also got to meet some new folks too.
If you'd like to learn more about Manitoba Food Bloggers or would like to attend some of their future events, go to their facebook page.
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Waffle Guy in Winnipeg!

Today an amazing thing happened. During my first class this morning I looked out the window to discover that The Waffle Guy was parked out on the street! Normally this trailer can be found on one of the streets by the University of Winnipeg, but due to popular demand from Red River College students, The Waffle Guy journeyed to our campus for the week.  
As soon as I got out of class, a friend and I walked across the street to get ourselves some Belgium waffles for breakfast. A plain waffle with one fruit topping was $6.00, and then after that each extra topping was $1.00. My friend decided to order strawberries and whipped cream on her waffle, and I opted for strawberries and ice cream on mine, both costing $7.00.
This was the first time I had ever eaten a Belgium waffle, and it was amazing. So sweet and crispy, and deceivingly small, this waffle was able to satisfy both my sweet tooth and my grumbling stomach.  A small warning to folks who order ice cream or whipped cream for their waffles, you can't tell in the picture, but the waffles are piping hot as they are made fresh to order. As well, the fruit that comes on the waffles is fresh and never frozen. At the time I couldn't believe that the gentleman was actually bringing out a cutting board, knife, and container of fresh strawberries, just for our two waffles!
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Giant Sandwich at Mondragon Bookstore & Coffee House

Today was another crazy day at the college, but at some point during all the running around, I managed to eat one of the best sandwiches I have ever eaten at a restaurant. Ever!
It all began with a group of us handing in our assignments early and leaving the school to wander for a while during our break. Eventually we decided grab a bite to eat, and this gave me an opportunity to write a blog post about one of the city's strictly vegan restaurants, Mondragon. 
Contrary to what I thought when I first heard the name, this restaurant does not serve Chinese food. Instead, it is a bookstore and coffee house with a small organic market at the back, and a wide selection of vegan dishes you can order at the front counter. There are so many items on the menu, it's actually quite overwhelming for a vegetarian like me who is used to only having three options to chose from when going out to eat.
The photo of the menu board above shows just how many things the Mondragon serves. Not just soups and salads, but sandwiches, burgers, quesadillas, burritos, samosas and pupusas, nachos, and even breakfast food. And if you're in the mood for something to drink, they have different types of smoothies along with caffeinated beverages.
One of the girls in the group ordered the daily soup special with bread...
...and one of the guys ordered the quesadilla. 
I was feeling a little peckish and ordered the roasted vegetable sandwich with soup on the side.
Wow, this was a really great sandwich. I can honestly say I've never been served a sandwich so full of fillings. There were roasted vegetables of every kind, including soft, melt in your mouth sweet potatoes, and the whole thing was covered with a white sauce and large pieces of avocado. The truth is, I couldn't fit the sandwich into my mouth and had to cut it in half and eat it like an open face sandwich. How amazing is that?
If you're interested in eating at Mondragon, it's located at 91 Albert Street, just a short walk away from City Hall.
 
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Kay's Deli, a RRC Student's Dream

This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to grab a quick bite for dinner at Kay's Deli. I was stranded at the Red River College as I waited for the first The Projector meeting to take place at 5:00pm and quickly discovered that the school's food corner had already closed. So I whipped out my handy ipad and used the urbanspoon app to find a place near the college to eat dinner. Other than a few Chinese restaurants down the street and a Subway around the block, there was really only Kay's Deli. 
So off I went in search of a good meal, and along the way I kept running into people who were heading back to the college after eating at Kay's Deli. And they all said similar things. "Really good food", "I love that place", "if you're a vegetarian, you'll have no problem". By the time I reached the shop I was super excited for my meal. But then I saw the sign saying that the shop closed at 4:00pm...and it was 3:55pm! Nooooooo!
Luckily, the lovely people who work at Kay's Deli took my order as soon as I walked in and handed me my food to go. Great success! While I was waiting, I snapped a few photos of the place. 
So after I was served, I walked back to the college to eat my meal in the cafeteria. The food I ordered was a Roasted Vegetable Wrap which came with portabella mushroom, zucchini, eggplant, red onion, fresh lettuce, and goat cheese. The wrap alone was $7.50, but I asked for a bowl of soup as well, so my total was $11.50.
I'm not sure what the soup was, but I believe it was a split pea curry soup.
The food I ate from Kay's Deli was really delicious and just what I needed before going into the meeting. I know I will be going there again soon because there are still so many vegetarian options I have yet to try. If you're interested in going to Kay's Deli, they are open from 9:00am-4:00pm Monday through Friday, and are closed Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays. Catering is available on Saturdays though!

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