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Category: Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Hicks Weekly Dish: Drastic times, drastic measures, SkipTheDishes and Nara Chicken to the rescue By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, March 24, 2020

Two styles of Nara Chicken - Korean fried and soy-garlic - delivered by SkipTheDishes. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS EDMONTON SUN Nara Chicken and Tonkatsu 8712 150 St. 780-540-0088 narachicken.com Home delivery by SkipTheDishes.com SkipTheDishes – reliability and speed – 4 of 5 Suns Nara Chicken and Tonkatsu take-out food – 3.5 of 5 Suns SkipTheDishes-delivered Nara dinner for two, excluding beverages, tips and $4.49 delivery fee: Basic $30, loaded $50. Drastic times call for drastic measures. Like using SkipTheDishes restaurant delivery for a Weekly Dish review! STORY CONTINUES BELOW While those SkipTheDishes TV ads aired during Oiler hockey games (remember those?) are well done and star Mad Men’s Jon Hamm as a comedian, the usual restaurant experience is still as much about ambiance and socializing as it is about food. But there we were on a late-afternoon Friday, seven of us from two houses, self-isolated together but for visits to the grocery stor ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Royale Burgers - A temporarily unavailable near-perfect burger By Graham Hicks, first published EDMONTON SUN, March 17, 2020

The Royale Burgers' Big Cam burger, simple and elegant. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Royale(TEMPORARILY CLOSED) 10145-104 St. 780-504-1180 royaleyeg.com Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding beverages and tip:  Basic $25, loaded $50 As if -18C wasn’t bad enough, the wind was whistling down Jasper Avenue during the Friday, March 13 lunch hour. Restaurant after restaurant, while open at that point, were deserted. Downtown workers were on the cusp of realizing the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. One suspects closure, or take-out-only, will be obligatory for all restaurants. STORY CONTINUES BELOW Royale Burgers itself voluntarily closed its doors on March 16 because of the pandemic, until further notice. Restaurants were empty, until I turned the 104 Street corner and walked into the still-new Royale Burgers, with the intent of trying its Downtown Dining Week special (also since cancelled), being R ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks Weekly Dish: Underwhelmed by Biera By Graham Hicks first published Edmonton Sun, March 10, 2020

Biera's Korean style ribs were not exceptional. GRAHAM HICKS/Edmonton SunEdmonton Biera 9570 76 Ave. NW 587-525-8589 biera.ca  (reservations) Wed. to Sat. 11:30 am to 11 pm Sun. 11:30 am to 4 pm Mon. closed Tues. 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Food: 3 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding beverages and tip:  Basic $60, loaded $90 Was it the particular evening? An off night? Was Biera executive chef Christine Sandford absent? Did we simply order the wrong dishes? How was it possible for our party of four to be so underwhelmed at Biera? This, after all, is a restaurant consistently listed on reputable Top 5 dining out lists (reputable meaning not open to voter manipulation, not being “bought”). STORY CONTINUES BELOW In Avenue Magazine’s just-published Best Restaurants 2020 edition, an independent judging panel named Biera as Edmonton’s Best Overall Restaurant. For years, Chef Sandford has been devising ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks Weekly Dish: No fighting over this food By Graham Hicks first published Edmonton Sun, March 3, 2020

A Filipino Kamayan/boodle fight feast is a treat for the eyes and the stomach. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Kamayan/Boodle Fight Festival Filistix Restaurant (special occasion) 10621 100 Ave. 780-716-4708 11 am – 2 pm, 4 pm to 9 pm (seven days a week, closed Sunday evenings) filistix.ca Kamayan Feast food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Festival dinner: $57 per ticket When is a fight not a fight? When it’s a boodle fight feast. This rural Filipino tradition has been around for a very long time. Whenever an occasion so warranted, large, flat banana leaves would cover the tables, serving as a combination serving platters/tablecloths. STORY CONTINUES BELOW For what was originally known as a Kamayan feast, food (other than soup) would be dished on to the table centre.  Guests on either side helped themselves, using their hands and rice as utensils. The tradition evolved into a handy way of feeding the troops, somehow tak ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks Weekly Dish: No fighting over this food By Graham Hicks first published Edmonton Sun, March 3, 2020

A Filipino Kamayan/boodle fight feast is a treat for the eyes and the stomach. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Kamayan/Boodle Fight Festival Filistix Restaurant (special occasion) 10621 100 Ave. 780-716-4708 11 am – 2 pm, 4 pm to 9 pm (seven days a week, closed Sunday evenings) filistix.ca Kamayan Feast food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Festival dinner: $57 per ticket When is a fight not a fight? When it’s a boodle fight feast. This rural Filipino tradition has been around for a very long time. Whenever an occasion so warranted, large, flat banana leaves would cover the tables, serving as a combination serving platters/tablecloths. STORY CONTINUES BELOW For what was originally known as a Kamayan feast, food (other than soup) would be dished on to the table centre.  Guests on either side helped themselves, using their hands and rice as utensils. The tradition evolved into a handy way of feeding the troops, somehow tak ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Japanese Dining – one good, one bad By Graham Hicks first published Edmonton Sun February 25, 2020

Veggies, shishito peppers, and braised ribs on the Gyu-kaku Edmonton table grill. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ 10404 Jasper Ave. 587-416-0957 gyu-kaku.com 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Fri. and Sat. to 11:30 p.m., Sun. to 10 p.m.) Reservations, Open Table Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding gratuities and beverages: Basic, $30; loaded $50 STORY CONTINUES BELOW Kobachi Japanese Cuisine #125, 200 Festival Lane, Sherwood Park 780-570-5858 kobachi.ca Dinner, Wed. to Sat. 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Sun. to 8:30 p.m.) Lunch, Wed. to Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Closed Monday Reservations by phone Food: 2.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding gratuities and beverages: Basic, $50; loaded $75 Two Japanese dining experiences, with paradoxical outcomes. One was a long-awaited treat that was disappointing at best. The other restaurant was entered with low ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Japanese Dining – one good, one bad By Graham Hicks first published Edmonton Sun February 25, 2020

Veggies, shishito peppers, and braised ribs on the Gyu-kaku Edmonton table grill. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ 10404 Jasper Ave. 587-416-0957 gyu-kaku.com 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Fri. and Sat. to 11:30 p.m., Sun. to 10 p.m.) Reservations, Open Table Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding gratuities and beverages: Basic, $30; loaded $50 STORY CONTINUES BELOW Kobachi Japanese Cuisine #125, 200 Festival Lane, Sherwood Park 780-570-5858 kobachi.ca Dinner, Wed. to Sat. 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Sun. to 8:30 p.m.) Lunch, Wed. to Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Closed Monday Reservations by phone Food: 2.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding gratuities and beverages: Basic, $50; loaded $75 Two Japanese dining experiences, with paradoxical outcomes. One was a long-awaited treat that was disappointing at best. The other restaurant was entered with low ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Pe mitso! Let's eat! By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, February 19, 2020

By GRAHAM HICKS It was the simplest of ideas, taking much work. Mackenzie Brown — a young Cree artist/musician/activist who describes herself as having a “moccasin in both worlds,” was chatting with food entrepreneur Brad Lazarenko in his Culina To Go within the lovely, fully re-invented Oliver Exchange retail/hospitality centre. Why not, she suggested, an evening of First Nations food, culture and stories here in Edmonton, introducing the wider community to a rich culture that has always been here, but usually presented within a political context rather than pure cultural enjoyment. Lazarenko, being Metis himself, thought this a splendid idea. Planning for Pe Mitso — Cree for “let’s eat” — began in earnest.  Two other indigenous chefs happily joined in, the renowned Shane Chartrand of the River Cree Resort’s SC Restaurant, and a newcomer to the Edmonton culinary scene, Scott Iserhoff of Pei Pei Chei Ow Catering. He ... Read the rest of entry »

Weekly Dish: My word, Ma chef offers tasty food By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, February 11, 2020

Ma chef Korean Restaurant's "Rocky Mountain" bulgogi is a sight to behold! Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Ma chef Korean Restaurant 5818 111 St. NW (Lendrum Place Shopping Centre) 780-757-8889 Mon. to Thurs. 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Fri + Sat to 9:30 p.m., Sun to 8:30 p.m.) Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tip and taxes: Basic, $30, loaded, $60 Food: 5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns No, that is not a typo. The Weekly Dish’s food rating for Ma chef Korean Restaurant is a perfect five Suns out of five. STORY CONTINUES BELOW From this clean, cheerful Korean restaurant,  in the Lendrum Place strip mall just up 111 Street from Southgate,  you’d expect comfort food for sharing with family and friends. Ma chef is that … and waaaaaay more. All six diners in our party were flabbergasted at the superb quality of the dishes coming out of chef/owner Jung Ho (Jacky) Lee’s open kitchen. ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: May Bistro Praha go on forever By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, February 4, 2020

The best steak tartare in Edmonton, at Bistro Praha. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Bistro Praha 10117-101 St. 780-424-4218 bistropraha.com No delivery service listed Parking in Scotia Place Parkade Mon. to Thurs. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fri. 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sat. noon to 1 a.m. Sun. 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tip and taxes: Basic, $30, loaded, $100 Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Many restaurants in this town have been around since the 1970s. There’s a list below. STORY CONTINUES BELOW But none wear the years so well as the downtown’s Bistro Praha – 32 years in its original location in Rice-Howard Way until the Kelly Ramsay Building burned in 2009, re-opening two years later in the Empire Building, on 101 Street north of Jasper. When Bistro Praha re-opened, it was an exact copy of the original with better washrooms: The same sturdy wooden tables and chairs, the same giant European count ... Read the rest of entry »
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