Tag Archives: scallop

The Kitchen Cafe doesn’t disappoint

Before the name Chef Hugh Matheson mean anything to me (he won the 2009 IACP award for community service), I met several people who spoke reverently and enthusiastically about The Kitchen Cafe in Boulder. Well before it was trendy to do so, The Kitchen Cafe supported local farmers and producers, serving organic and seasonal food wherever possible.

There’s a proper restaurant downstairs, and a more casual, loungey atmosphere at The Kitchen [Upstairs]. Well, I headed [Upstairs] in search of tasty food and the promise of happy hour. From 5:30-6:30 pm each day, they feature a three-course prix fixe for $26 ($34 with wine pairings). Now, that’s not a cheap dinner, but it’s incredible value for amazing food and wine in a beautiful room.

First course was a rustic bruschetta with basil pesto (thick, rich and unctuous), mozzarella (clean, fresh and delicate), red onion (sweated and sweet), and radishes (crisp, without their customary bite) on top of toasty bread. Garnished with olive oil and parsley, this appetizer was really well-composed. All the flavours worked well together, and – more importantly – complemented each other. This was paired with a 2007 Ochoa Viura-Chardonnay from Spain (nice and light, with notes of roasted pineapple and mango).

Next up was a dish of seared scallops, sauteed romaine, roasted potatoes, and anchovy dressing. The dressing was to die for: rich, creamy and salty. The scallops were sweet and seared, the romaine kept its texture and sweetness, and the potatoes were perfectly cooked. It was an exercise in the perfect bite: the acidity and tartness of the dressing, met by the sweetness and crunch of romaine, mellowing to the sweetness and texture of the scallop, all on top of a solid foundation of potato that actually tasted like potato. It was paired with a 2001 Tempranillo from Ramirez de la Piscina that was a bit too tannic on its own, but mellowed out nicely with the food.

Dessert was a Knickerbocker Glory, which was so insanely delicious but simple. In fact, I’m going to steal it and say I invented it. You can too: here’s how. Start with a large, bulbous glass – a Chimay glass, if you want to be exact about things. Put in a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream, creamy and fragrant with real vanilla. Top it with softly whipped chantilly cream and crumbled meringue bits. Add a few sliced strawberries, some berry syrup, and a drizzle of Chambord. Serve with a spoon and watch people swoon with delight as they eat a very grown-up ice cream sundae.

Even better, serve it with R&R Naughty Sticky dessert wine, all coy with its honey and toasted almond flavours. Naughty and sticky, indeed.

And because no meal is complete without chocolate, Rick the bartender let me try a homemade chocolate bar: 72% dark chocolate with walnuts and sea salt. This was not a demure salted chocolate. The salt was front and centre. But then it stepped aside to let the walnuts – all nutty, tender and crumbly – shine. And then the 72% dark chocolate brought its bittersweetness to the table.

I have my doubts as to whether Rick really wanted my “professional opinion,” because he knew that it was delicious. But hey, I’m happy to oblige.

The Kitchen Cafe and The Kitchen [Upstairs]
1039 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO
303-544-5973
The Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Go Fish!

I popped into Granville Island this afternoon to investigate a new chocolate shop, and ended up at Go Fish. For some reason, I thought they were closed during winter. I’m pretty sure that the fish tacone that I had today proves that theory wrong. It’s $5 for one or $9 for two fish tacos wrapped in soft flour tortilla, with fresh homemade salsa and nutty coleslaw. (Sadly, the coleslaw is not so good on its own.)

Be prepared for a wait. Even on a cold, windy day it took 15 minutes  for them to cook our food. Which, if you think about, is how things should be.

(P.S. The scallop sandwich is amazing. I would trade my first-born child for a scallop sandwich from Go Fish.)

Go Fish
1505 1st Avenue West
Vancouver, BC
604-730-5040‎
Go Fish on Urbanspoon

Chinese turnip cake

My mom dropped off a turnip cake for Chinese New Year, and it’s delicious. Turnip cake symbolizes prosperity and fortune.

(I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to my other posts about symbolism in Chinese food, but there’s a lot of food that symbolizes some combination of prosperity, fortune and wealth. No wonder the Chinese like to eat so much.)

Anyway, turnip cake is a cross between a cake and a pancake. It’s made of daikon (a long, white, Chinese turnip), rice flour, Chinese sausage, and dried shrimp. My mom also throws in dried scallops and cilantro. The mixture is pressed into a cake pan and steamed.

Then it’s delivered to my house, where I cut it into pieces and panfry them until they’re crispy on both sides. Yum.