Sunday, March 31, 2013

Oriental Aroma Restaurant (Saskatoon, Sk)

My husband and I decided to try out Oriental Aroma Restaurant located here in Saskatoon on the corner of Clarence and 8th St.  We've driven by there constantly when they were renovating and were curious to see what this restaurant was all about.  So far it's gotten good reviews on UrbanSpoon, my trusty source for restaurant reviews, so we went there for lunch on Easter Sunday.

We were a bit late getting our butts in gear as it was around 1:30 when we arrived but there were still a few customers present. While waiting to be seated we noticed the roof was leaking in a few spots in the center of the room which I felt bad for the new owners but it didn't affect the service nor the food.  Upon reviewing the menu, it was obvious they served traditional Chinese dishes like fish head, pork belly, tripe, pork intestine and many more that I haven't seen in other Chinese restaurants in Saskatoon.  Near the back of the menu was additional appetizers and main meals that catered to more Western style Chinese food.  We ended up ordering: Hot and Sour soup ($6.50), Crab Rangoon ($6.50), Shanghai Noodle ($9.95), and Kong Pao Chicken ($12.95). The Crab Rangoon came out first and they were big in size, probably the biggest I've had and definitely tasty - my new favorite location to get them in Saskatoon.  Next came the Hot and Sour soup which definitely could have served 4-5 people instead of just my husband and I.  Temperature wise it was hot but it could have been a bit better in flavor as I'm used to this type of soup having strong hot (spicy) and sour flavors to it.  Still not bad.  Then came the 2 dishes, Kong Pao Chicken and Shanghai Noodles.  I loved the flavors of the Kong Pao Chicken as it had a bit of kick to it and incorporated peanuts and black beans in it.  It went well with the rice we were served.  The Shanghai Noodles were also good but by now I was getting full. We definitely had a lot of leftovers to take home.

Overall I was pleased with my first visit to this restaurant.  While parking can be a bit of a pain, as they are located in a small strip mall type setup with limited parking (I assume if they were busy, people would have to park around the block on the residential streets), the atmosphere was pleasant and clean - which is what you would expect from a new restaurant.  It was obvious they take pride in their dishes as the shrimp was deveined, which you don't see too often in Chinese restaurants, and even though we had 2 dishes that had chicken in it, they were prepped differently instead of using the same chicken twice and wasn't dry.  Next time we'll probably be more adventurous and try a more traditional Chinese dish as our meal today is a testament of their quality of food.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Weczeria Food & Wine (Saskatoon, Sk)

A couple days ago my husband took me out for supper at Weczeria Food & Wine located on Broadway Ave here in Saskatoon.  My husband had eaten there previously in the week for business and enjoyed the menu so much he wanted me to experience it for myself. It definitely did not disappoint.

We didn't have reservations that night and sat at the bar which we didn't mind doing so. Talking to the bartender, we learned the restaurant recently (a couple months ago?) hired a new chef, Chef Todd Clark, who was raised in Regina but studied overseas in Paris for approx. 6 years. As we had eaten at Weczeria before, we could definitely taste the difference in terms of portion control, flavors and textures.

I started off with a sangria that was presented in a mason jar and John ordered a bottle of wine to share. For an appetizer, we started off with gnocchi in a rich parmesan cream sauce served on top of braised bison - it was so flavorful . We couldn't pass up the opportunity to sop up the leftover sauce with the bread provided for us as it was that good. For the main course, I ordered the beef that was cooked medium rare with potato croquettes and a vegetable puree. It was cooked to perfection, pan fried and finished in the oven. John ordered the curry tortellini stuffed with eggplant and cream cheese tossed with radicchio. Hands down this was the best meal we've had in a long time in a restaurant. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone who appreciates quality food.

Curry tortellini 

Beef with potato croquette and puree