Thursday, July 28, 2016

Seattle Restos: Pig Iron BBQ; Slims Last Chance; Westward, Din Tai Fung, Golden Beetle.

Pig Iron BBQ

The best thing about BBQ here is the cole slaw, perhaps the best cole slaw i have enjoyed at any BBQ joint! Now, I am not totally dissing the BBQ here. The turkey was reasonably moist, but not enough smoke. The Brisket was ok, but not enough smoke. The sausage was very good and comes sliced in a tomatoey/onion sauce and the ribs were overcooked and not smokey enough. The just slid off the bone. Rib meat, when you bight into it, should easily peel off the bone but not fall off. The BBQ beans were very good with a nice bight, a thick, well reduced consistency and pleasant smokiness.



Slim's Last Chance

Slim's funnily enough, has the same proprietor as Pig Iron BBQ! But this saloon mainly serves chili, and WHAT CHILI!! For me, I must say that this may have been among the very best places I have enjoyed chili anywhere. What distinguishes chili here as each different chili dish has it's protein with the perfect protein particle size best enjoyed with its dish. Also, each dish has it's own degree of heat, well appropriate for the ingredients and other spices in the dish so that the layers of flavour are slowly revealed on your palate as you enjoy each spoonful.

Brisket and bean chili: Coarsely chopped slow smoked brisket, coarsely ground beef with fire roasted tomatoes and red beans.


Chili verde: New Mexico green chilis, tomatillos and slow simmered finely ground pork. 



Texas red chili: traditional all meat chili made with coarsely ground beef and surrounded with an very pleasing, intensely flavoured sauce. 


My fave, Turkey and white bean: Coarsely ground turkey, white beans and serrano chilis bathed in a very rich turkey broth.

Side by side Pig Iron BBQ and Slim's Last Chance Saloon.

Westward

Initially the service was attentive, but quickly declined to virtual ignoring! the dime between dishes near the end of our meal was up to 35 minutes!!

The wood fired oven.....fortunately, NOT for making pizzas!! Most dishes made in this oven.

Grilled octopus, with a perfect, consistently tender texture and a very pleasing slightly smokey flavour from the wood oven, accompanied by taramasalata, chili, charred fennel bark and chili oil.

Wood fired gigantes beans, presentation.


The beans were perfectly cooked with a slightly soft, mashy texture and were in a tomato sauce with marjoram and feta and all topped with breadcrumbs. A very richly flavoured, slightly smokey dish that was truly delicious. 


Perfectly cooked clams with fire toasted bread. The sauce was richly flavoured and had a wonderful mouth feel. 


Don't waist your time ordering the potatoes. Although they were supposedly flavoured with lemon and oregano, those flavours were lost, they lacked the nice smokey flavour of the wood fired oven. Further, They lacked the rich flavour of the other dishes and were not cooked to proper doneness. 


Pan roasted black cod with smoked oyster sabayon, caramelized leeks, oyster root chips and squid ink vinaigrette. A nice dish but not a standout like the other dishes. 


This was to have been our final dish, wood oven roasted rainbow trout. This dish was supposed to be accompanied by meyer lemon segments, marcona almonds and sage brown butter. While we were ordering all our dishes, this dish was brought to a neighbour but I noticed it was floating in butter. So, when we ordered the dish, we asked for no nuts and no butter as the fish itself looked very moist when we saw our neighbour peel the skin. but, not only did it take about 35 minuted to come, but came with nuts and butter sauce and since we were told it would take at least 20 more minutes to come, and since we had already been at the resto for almost 3 hours, we cancelled the dish. This is a photo taken of the dish at another neighbours table. I am sure it would have been great and if we were here in Seattle long enough, we would have returned and enjoyed just this dish.


A very refreshing buttermilk panna cotta topped with elderflower gelee all accompanied by poached rhubarb and oatmeal streusel. 

Din Tai Fung

Din Tai Fung is a chain of restos throughout asia and north america. There is a Din Tai Fung in Markham, Ontario, that may be a branch.


 Making dough and noodles.


Cucumber salad, steamed with soy sauce, was quite delicious.


Seaweed and bean curd in a vinegar dressing.


Sweet and sour spare ribs.


Steamed kale with garlic.


Vegetarian noodle soup.


Pork and crab xiao long bao. Yes this is just one order.


Vegetarian dumplings (1 order).


Vegetable and pork won tons with spicy sauce.


Golden Beetle

Golden beetle serves organic Mediterranean inspired cuisine. The chef, Maria Hines, has won the James Beard award and has been featured on Iron Chef. The food was good for what it was, but it was not exceptional Mediterranean cuisine. I never write about restos I do not like. This resto is a good alternative to other local cuisines.

Crispy Moroccan shrimp roll, savoy cabbage brix dough, spicy red pepper puree. 


Muhammara  with walnut, pomegranate molasses and olive oil, accompanied by wood fired flat bread.


Spicy hummus with garlic, serrano pepper, tahini and olive oil, served with wood fired flat bread. 


Pide, Turkish style pizza, topped with foraged roasted mushroom puree, smoked cauliflower puree, sunflower seeds and macerated apricot.


Wood fired mussels and clams with anchovy-parsley butter, chick peas and scallions accompanied by wood fired flat bread.


Well done, very crispy, sumac spiced french fries, fried in beef fat accompanied by harissa aioli.. 


Bulgur lamb meatballs on a bed of baba ghanoush pin nuts and topped with date puree.


Herb infused felafel made from fava beans, accompanied by cabbage slaw and tahini.









Thursday, July 21, 2016

Yasu Sushi, Toronto

The sushi at this resto is, for a Canadian experience, is typically of exceptional quality. At it's best, I consider Yasu to be one of the 2 best sushi experiences in Canada.

Grating fresh fresh wasabe.


Assembly.


Assembly: scallops.


Quebec scallop sashimi.


Boston fluke.


Japanese stripe jack.

Cod sperm sack from hokkaido, Japan, in nori, topped with spicy daikon and scallion. Creamy and delicious!


Boston sea urchin. Perfect!


Amberjack.


Nova Scotia snow crab.


Assembly.


Salmon roe with fresh yuzu on nori.


Marinated Norwegian mackerel in shaved daikon with ginger and scallion. This was the first unexceptional fish experience.....but still pretty good.


Red Snapper.


Boston monkfish liver with shiso and daikon.


Spanish bluefin toro, just ok quality today.


Spanish blue fin toro, a different cut, much better!


Hay smoked Spanish Mackerel from Florida, before presentation.


Hay smoked Spanish mackerel from Florida. A very tasty morsel.





Making sea eel and cucumber hand roll. The eel was just ok.


The roll.


Black sesame ice cream.