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Category: Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Hicks`Weekly Dish: Filistix reflects a new Canadian cuisine By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, June 11, 2019

Filistix's Nasi Goreng fried rice is a meal unto itself. Filistix 10621 100 Ave. 780-716-4708 Filistix.ca Facebook 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (11 p.m. Fri and Sat, 9 p.m. Sun), seven days a week Delivery pending, reservations by phone Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two: Excluding drinks and tip, basic $30, loaded $50 By GRAHAM HICKS Ariel del Rosario and Roel Canafrance had no grandiose business plan when they started selling Filipino-style barbecue skewers out of a food truck some 10 years ago. Yet Filistix has evolved as a textbook study in growing a hospitality business, culminating in the recent opening of its first sit-down, full-service Filipino/Asian fusion restaurant in the city’s downtown. Del Rosario and Canafrance are cousins — second-generation Filipino-Canadians raised on the excellent Filipino cooking forever emerging from their moms’ and lolas’ (grandmothers) kitchens. They were among the firs ... Read the rest of entry »

HICKS' WEEKLY DISH: Replacing a top chef is no easy business By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, June 4, 2019

The colours in Chartier's onion risotto and kohlrabi "steak" were a treat for the eyes. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Chartier #102, 5012 50 St. Beaumont 780-737-3633 www.dinechartier.com Reservations: Yelp.com No listed delivery service Tues to Sun. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Fri. and Sat. midnight closing) (Bread window, Tues. to Sun. 9 a.m. until sold-out) Closed Mondays Food: 3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two: Excluding drinks and tip, basic $50, loaded $80 Three years ago, the Weekly Dish visited Chartier, the then-recently-opened Franco-Albertan restaurant in the town of Beaumont – today just a few minutes drive south of Mill Woods. That meal was perfect – one of the few five out of five Suns ever rewarded in this restaurant review column. But perfection is either maintained, or it slips. And even the best of chefs, if they are not owners, tend to eventually move on. On our return visit to Chartier, the fo ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Spotlight truly shines By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, May 28, 2019

Spotlight's interior decor harkens back to the golden era of Hollywood. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Spotlight Cabaret Second floor, 8217 – 104 St. (elevator accessible) 780-760-0202 spotlightcabaret.ca 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week No listed delivery service Food: 3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $30; loaded $65 By GRAHAM HICKS Keep your fingers crossed that the Spotlight Cabaret, in the heart of Old Strathcona, is a roaring success. It’s a bold venture in what was the O2’s second and third floor bar and restaurant, and before that Chili’s Old Strathcona. Spotlight is modeled on those classic Hollywood and New York City fancy bars you see in late-night movies, but in living technicolour – nightly cabaret entertainment and full menu service is offered in the beautifully renovated room, complete with a real stage. On an Edmonton summer afternoon or eveni ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Noi Thai's simple yet elegant cuisine By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, May 21, 2019

While the broth colour was not appealing, the seafood and green curry tang worked well. Noi Thai Restaurant 10724 95 St. NW 780-423-3213 Noithairestaurant.com Delivery service: Skip The Dishes Tues. to Fri. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sat. and Sun, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Monday Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $30; loaded $60 By GRAHAM HICKS There is something alluring about Thai food and Thai restaurants. At its best, Thai cooking is delicate and clean, never oil-heavy, lovely colours, the aroma inevitably described as “fragrant.” The restaurant interiors are spotless and pretty. Servers are exquisitely polite. Lesser Thai kitchens haven’t the same intangible delicacy, somehow don’t come across as so “clean” in the food presentation. The spring rolls can be greasy. My attention was directed to the humble Noi Thai when WHERE Magazine, in an unusual de ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Turkish wine and food an unexpected delight By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, May 14, 2019

Sofra's roasted Turkish-style lamb chops, duck breast and tenderloin are simply fabulous. Graham Hicks/Edmonton SunEdmonton Sofra Authentic Turkish Cuisine 10345 106 St. NW 780-423-3044 Facebook No listed delivery service Tues. to Sun. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Monday Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $30; loaded $90 By GRAHAM HICKS Turkish food in Edmonton does not get the respect it deserves. Here’s a culture, an ancient civilization that cradled the Greeks and the Romans. It’s among the world’s most moderate Muslim nations … with a food pallet as attuned to western meat ‘n’ potatoes as anything in Greece and Central Europe. Another interesting anomaly: Turkey’s geographical location and terrain would suggest the country ought to be a major producer of wine. Turkey is all about grapes, not wine. Grapes as a fruit, dried grapes as raisins, distilled gra ... Read the rest of entry »

Weekly Dish: London Local can teach the Brits how to cook By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, May 7, 2019

London Local owner/chef Lindsay Porter (foreground) and sous-chef Leslie Tannahill are bringing English cuisine back to life! Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN London Local 2307 Ellwood Drive SW 780-752-2244 London-local.ca Delivery: Doordash Tues. to Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (11 p.m. Friday) Sat. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sun. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Monday Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $35; loaded $70 By GRAHAM HICKS It’s no secret. The food at the “English-inspired” London Local is consistently delicious because the kitchen doesn’t believe in shortcuts. The sauces – Ketchup-style, HP-style, tartar, relish – are originals, conceived and made from scratch by owner/chef Lindsay Porter. The meats are ground/cured/tenderized in house. Even veggies get special treatment. Porter’s brussels sprouts are sautéed in a house-created ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Meuwly makes magnificent meats By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, April 30, 2019

Behind the Meuwly kitchen counter blenders, through a ghostly glass, primal meat cuts are being cured. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Meuwly’s 10706 124 St. 587-778-7615 meuwlys.com No delivery listed Mon. to Sat. 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Sat. to 5 p.m.) Closed Sunday Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience:  3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Lunch for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $17.50; loaded $30 By Graham Hicks In the good ol’ days, foods weren’t gussied up with  trendy names. “Charcuterie” was simply called cold cuts. “Prosciutto” was cured Italian ham. “Salumi” was salami. But in the good ol’ days, cold cuts were limited to Schneiders garlic sausage, Maple Leaf baloney and vacuum-sealed slices of wet ham. While the butcher who makes cold cuts is now a “charcuterie master” and any small independent food processor is an “artisan”, what’s available today by way of locally-mad ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks Weekly Dish: The re-birth of Revel By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, April 23, 2019

Revel's roasted cauliflower arrangement reminded this reviewer of the Game of Thrones' Wall. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Revel Bistro & Bar 9802 Jasper Ave. 587-524-3333 Reveledmonton.com  (reservations as well) No delivery listed Tues. to Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. (12 a.m. Friday) Sat. 4:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. Closed Sunday and Monday. Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4.5 of 5 Suns Service: 2.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $40; loaded $80 STORY CONTINUES BELOW By GRAHAM HICKS The Weekly Dish recently commented on very fine chefs working in Edmonton with little, if any, public profile. Here’s another one: Kunal Sawhney, now six months at the Revel Bistro + Bar as executive chef. A dinner at Revel – in the historic Alberta Hotel across from the Edmonton Convention Centre – was worthy of 4.5 out of 5 Suns for the food. Every Sawhney creation was a pleasing, exciting culinary a ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: The king of the green onion cake is back By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, April 16, 2019

Siu To has green streaks in his white hair. If youíre making green onion cakes, he reasons, then be the green onion cake. GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUNEdmonton The Green Onion Cake Man 9312-118 Ave. no website, no phone no delivery service (take-out counter at the restaurant) 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (closed Monday and Tuesday) Green Onion Cakes: 4.5 of 5 Suns Rest of Food: 3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $15; loaded $25 This is not about going to a restaurant. It’s a pilgrimage to a shrine. Not to the Green Onion Cake Man eatery itself. Heck, it’s only four months away from its first anniversary!! STORY CONTINUES BELOW Siu To’s new restaurant capitalizes on his reputation for making the best green onion cakes in Edmonton. No, the bricks and mortar are not the attraction. It’s to see, live, in person, flipping those green onion cakes, a human Edmonton shrin ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: The old and new in Vietnamese eateries, Pagolac and XO Bistro By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, April 9, 2019

XO Bistro's pork and shrimp grilled combo was everything you could ask for in a Vietnamese rice bowl. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Pagolac (Downtown) 10566 97 St. 780-425-1540 pagolacrestaurant.com Delivery: SkiptheDishes.com 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (9 p.m. Fri. + Sat.) Closed Tuesdays Food: 3 of 5 Suns Ambience:  3 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns XO Bistro + Bar 10236 103 St. 780-761-9696 Delivery: SkiptheDishes.com, doordash.com Tues. to Fri. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (1 a.m. Fri.) Sat. noon to 1:30 a.m. Sun. noon to 11 p.m. Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Both restaurants, dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $30; loaded $45 STORY CONTINUES BELOW By Graham Hicks Is it ‘make new friends, but don’t forget the old?’ Or ‘out with the old and in with the new?’ It’s an interesting choice these days with Vietnamese restaurants. The style is long-established in Canada. Canadi ... Read the rest of entry »
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