Tag: Tapas

Biera – The Classy Gastropub

Biera – The Classy Gastropub

Biera is a local brew pub located inside Ritchie Market.  ( 95 Street and 76 Avenue) Blind Enthusiasm is the brand name behind the brews. Biera is where you can go to enjoy the beer as well as locally sourced and crafted small plates.

Ritchie Market also houses Acme Meat Market and Transcend Coffee.  These two wonderful local producers are used in the menu for Biera.

Not your normal “gastro pub”.  This is a great date night because the menu is based around plates for sharing.   They have won awards for “best new restaurant” on their first year and continue to win accolades. The team is passionate about their beer and their food, and it shows!

The ambience is a little higher class than a normal pub.  I love the funky, minimalist, up-cycled “industrial” feel of the decor.  It is a very community based atmosphere. It has a bit of a hipster vibe. Reservations are recommended; this place is popular.

Sample flights are available if you can’t decide what you want to try, or just want to try it all!

Chef Christine Sandford is the creative force behind the menu. Culina Mill Creek and De Superette in Belgium are a couple of the places where she used to create.  You can see the European influence on the Biera menu.

Locally sourced ingredients on the menu include: Prairie Gardens, Vital Greens Organic Dairy, Acme Meat Market, Bonjour Bakery, Effing Seafoods, Meuwly’s, Galimax Trading, Mo-Na Foods, Grain Works, August Organics, Seasons Harvest, Blue Hour Tea, and Color de Vino.

Good food that is locally sourced is going to be a bit more expensive.  Be prepared to shell out about $50 per person for a couple of drinks and food.  That being said, it is worth every penny! The presentation is absolutely stunning and the food is amazing and delicious.

The menu choices are a very unique selection of textures and flavours.  The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable with the beer and the menu.

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They have the best tartare that I have had the pleasure of eating in this city.  A blend of various cuts, including the heart to add texture, and flavour. It is made even more delicious by a ring of smoked, rendered fat around the mound of meat.  If you are a fan, try it! I hope that you love it as much as I do.

We also tried the Boudin Noir with Pink Lady apple, rosehip and oxalis.  This was also beautifully plated and delicious. It is a version of blood sausage.  This paired very well with the “ZestyZee” with banana and spice notes.

Dessert was Goat Kefir Curd Tart; with Elderflower meringue & pink lady apple.  It was again beautifully plated. This was a nice, light and not overpoweringly sweet dish.  The elderflower meringue offered a nice texture change and the apples gave it a bit of tartness. It was a pretty plate to end a taste experience.

Upstairs is the “Barrel Room” dedicated to melding beer with the flavors of wine and spirit barrels next to The Community Table, a room reserved for special events, with charities being a particular focus.

Located just blocks away, “The Monolith”, a brewery and barrel house designed from the ground up to create barrel-aged sour beers via spontaneous fermentation.

If you are a beer person like myself, this is an awesome place to enjoy some very creative brews!

Website:
https://biera.ca/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/BieraRestaurant/

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/Biera_YEG

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/biera_yeg/

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Kaiten Sushi Experience – Japonais Bistro

Kaiten Sushi Experience – Japonais Bistro

It was lovely to be invited to this event.  Sushi is my favourite thing in the world of food.

There was a Japanese fusion tapas restaurant that was located in Oliver Square, here in Edmonton several years ago.  That used to be the highlight of my week was to go for their incredible martinis and the tapas.  The “small plates” give you the option to have several taste experiences in one sitting.  I was very sad when they moved locations, and then disappeared.

When I was invited to a “Kaiten” sushi tasting, I admit I had to look it up:

“The term Mobile Sushi Bar refers to a mobile version of sushi conveyor belt. Food is prepared on site, in plain view of your guests by a skillful sushi chef to deliver the best quality sushi. Simply enough, you can either sit down or stand in front of the conveyor belt while different plates of sushi are whirled round and round. Take off a plate, eat the sushi, take another plate you like, and eat the sushi. You will never have to wait in line as the dishes taken are quickly replaced by new ones.

The mobile bar extends up to 16.5ft and can be installed quickly and conveniently without a large installation team congesting your premises. Rather a straightforward installation steps allow us to travel virtually anywhere you require our presence.”

When you get to Japonais Bistro there are cozy booths lining the walls. It is a nicely decorated environment with rustic brick walls and wood accents. Our host, Isaac, was friendly and welcoming as was the rest of the staff.  The sushi bar was spinning, and the plates were beautifully presented.  I was happy to see a couple of professional cameras there as I know my point-and-shoot will not do these plates justice.

Jalapeno Yellowtail - torched yellowtail with thin sliced jalapeño, cilantro, tobiko, yuzu kosho sauce and ponzu sauce
Jalapeno Yellowtail – torched yellowtail with thin sliced jalapeño, cilantro, tobiko, yuzu kosho sauce and ponzu sauce

The thinly sliced jalapeno peppers were perfect with the Yellowtail, just the right amount of zing!  Ponzu is a favourite of mine, I love the way it brings out the flavours of the fish without being salty like the regular soy sauce.

Sushi Pizza - Salmon, Avocado etc on a light tempura crust.
Sushi Pizza – Salmon, Avocado etc on a light tempura crust.

I can’t seem to find this one on the menu, possibly a new item.  Delicious nonetheless.

Shrimp Wrap - Shrimp, tempura bits, fresh mango etc wrapped in a Soy Bean paper.
Shrimp Wrap – Shrimp, tempura bits, fresh mango etc wrapped in a Soy Bean paper.

This one was also delicious.  The tempura bits and the mango slivers both gave the whole experience a beautiful taste and texture.  This was another item that was recommended but I could not find on the online menu.

Wild Salmon Carpaccio - wild sockeye salmon, red onion, arugula with wasabi cream sauce and citrus soy sprinkled with roasted garlic.
Wild Salmon Carpaccio – wild sockeye salmon, red onion, arugula with wasabi cream sauce and citrus soy sprinkled with roasted garlic.

Again, delightful!  All of the flavours blend well together.  The salmon was fresh and firm.  The ponzu and wasabi really brought out the flavour of the salmon.

Sushi Tortilla - Salmon and tuna on a crispy rice tortilla with avacado, red onion, tomato, cilantro, jalapeno and arugula.
Sushi Tortilla – Salmon and tuna on a crispy rice tortilla with avacado, red onion, tomato, cilantro, jalapeno and arugula.

This was another that Isaac recommended when he was describing the options.  Packed with flavour per square inch with fresh ingredients making all the difference!  A nice blend of salmon and tuna.

Matcha Creme Brulee
Matcha Creme Brulee

This is my new favourite dessert!  The caramelized sugar crust was perfect.  The matcha custard was smooth and not at all grainy.  Perfectly sweetened.

Cheese Tofu - Mascarpone cheese, organic silken tofu, honey strawberries and toasted almond
Cheese Tofu – Mascarpone cheese, organic silken tofu, honey strawberries and toasted almond

Last, but certainly not least, the Cheese Tofu.  The texture is smooth… literally silk on the tongue. Pairs well with the fresh strawberries. This one would be nice with mango as well.

Needless to say from my tasting experience, I have a new place to go for Japanese Tapas.  They have a lot of my favourites on the menu and they are easily accessible located in Downtown Edmonton with free parking in front.  They also have a patio if that is how you prefer to drink your Sake!

If you would like to have Kaiten at a private function, Japonais Bistro will happily discuss it with you and make your experience tailored just for you and your guests.  Please give Kaiten Sushi’s website a look for more information.

Japonais Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato