Side Dish Restaurant
1008 Langley St.
E: Strange. In a region that was once known as Persia, I would expect the food to include the exotic. I’m fascinated with the ancient culture because of the sun god Mithras. His secretive religion is as mysterious as the restaurant that does not bear his name.
At Side Dish, I was fascinated with the baklava desserts offered and that’s what I should have picked up instead of one of their traditional dishes. As colourful as it was, I wondered where did the flavour go? I have to agree with what another fellow blogger, Your Restaurant Sucks, wrote about the quality of service and the food. As colourful and simple as my dish was, I wondered where did the flavour go? Was the pomegranate fruit forgotten or the sumac spice not applied?
There's nothing wrong with the freshness or simplicity of the meal. But I think visiting this place will be seasonal in order to get the best in what the harvest can offer.
J: The kabobs looked as about exotic as National Geographic cut-outs on the wall of an office cubicle. The kebabs were processed lines of meat. I couldn't laugh, my meal faired no better.
E: At least James' meal looked like it should belong in a garden, which might be true to the region back when its known as one of the possible locations for the fabled Garden of Eden. The multicolored saffron rice made for a nice presentation. All I got were specs of orange than an all out green and red.
It was a simple meal which needed a bit of an extra oomph. That is, my taste buds did not pick up on any use of added spices to give the meal some extra flavour. I really did love how the charred tomato tasted. It was different.
J: The chef's specialty was a chicken leg cooked in tomato saffron and lime. I couldn't taste anything but the tomato sadly. I was given the heated tomato sauce in a side dish. I poured it liberally over the saffron rice to take away the dry taste. It helped slightly.
And I consider a salad something a little more than two pieces of tomato and cucumber on two leaves of lettuce. That's more suited as a salad for Peter Rabbit.
E: The salad dressing helped. It gave that part of my meal that exoticness I was craving. Had the pomegranate been in seasaon, I'm sure that would kicked that part of the meal up by a notch.
Like I said before, the next time I stop in here for a bite, it'd only be for the baklavas instead of anything else.
J: The Side Dish is a cozy and clean restaurant. For me, that's important but foodwise, they haven't convinced me to make a return visit. Maybe if they start by presenting an appetizing kebab, this place would feel different.
3 Blokes out of 5