Thursday, 19 July 2012

Wild Rice Review


My family was invited to dine here with some family friends and it was a nice surprise. Wild Rice is definitely not the place to go if you're looking for Asian cuisine, but they offered a more unique 'twist' on Asian inspired ingredients or cooking methods incorporated into their menu items. Since we came with a bigger group, which is something I strongly recommend, we were able to sample more dishes.



The setting is more of a relaxing bar sort of atmosphere where snacks or small meals are also offered.


Curried Lamb Potstickers with Pea and Cilantro Puree
Not knowing they were curried, I was expecting a normal gyoza made with lamb instead of pork. However, the curry flavor worked really well with the lamb, and it created a samosa-like filling. The pea and cilantro puree added a bit of sweetness to the gyoza, but the cilantro flavor didn't come through and the sauce tasted just like a pea puree. 



Smoked Tofu and Shitake Mushrooms, Turnip Cakes and Pickled Salad
This dish looked very nice coming to table, and it also provided a nice taste contrast. Because the turnip cakes were fried, the picked salad and pea sprouts on the bottom really helped cut through the greasiness and was a refreshing contrast and nice balance to the fried turnip cake. 


Sidestripe Shrimp and Pork Siu Mai
These siu mai were more flavorful than the normal siu mai in dim sum restaurants but the shrimp became lost in translation. The shrimp were chopped in the mix but didn't add anything in that form and it might have been better put to use as a whole shrimp topped on the siu mai. Although this dish was nice, it wasn't especially unique or exciting. 



Char Siu Bao
This is another typical dish that is offered at many if not all dim sum restaurants. The biggest difference, however, was the texture of the bun. These buns were less fluffy than normal buns but was more 'al dente' and was quite interesting. 

 

Seared Albacore Tuna, ginger shallot daikon, black vinegar reduction
For this dish, I actually found the ginger, shallot and daikon mixture to be much more exciting than the tuna on the top. The tuna was seared nicely but didn't have much flavor and really required on the ginger mixture to give it flavor. Out of the dishes, this was my least favourite. 



King Oyster Mushrooms, cashew ricotta, polenta fries
The mushrooms were nicely sautéed and was nicely paired with the cashew ricotta, which was slightly sweet and not strongly cheese-tasting. The polenta fries were a nice surprise as they had a nice crunchy outside and fluffy inside but not too oily. 



Steamed ling cod, ginger threads, baby bok choy
For me, this was my favourite dish as it was showcased simplistic Asian cooking with simple ingredients and flavors. The cod was nicely seasoned and the vegetables were nicely prepared. It was a simple yet well-prepared dish. 



BBQ Duck Breast with bok choy and rice
I was looking forward to this dish the most when the waiter introduced this as the special, but it didn't live up to my expectations. Although the skin was nicely done and not too oily, the meat was a little dry and lacked flavor. 



Chocolate and Taro Spring rolls, vanilla icecream, rooibos syrup
This was my favourite dessert since it provided an interesting contrast in both heat and textures. The dark chocolate mousse interior was done quite nicely, but I was slightly disappointed to find little to none taro flavor. The crunchy exterior paired with the soft mousse interior and the hot spring rolls paired with the cold ice cream made this a very nice dessert. 



Frozen Chai Mousse, caramel sauce, apple slices
The Chai mousse was very cold and creamy and was nicely spiced and not overbearing. The caramel sauce does add more sweetness than needed to the dessert but the apple slices do help to contain the sweetness and add a bit of freshness to the dessert. 



Water chestnut Streusel
This was definitely my least favourite dessert and it also felt the least unique and least Asian-inspired.  It simply felt like a muffin baked with water chestnut instead of walnut or any other filling. The sauce was nice but wasn't very exciting as well. 



Food: 3.75/5
Service: 3.75/5
Cost: $$$

Wild Rice on Urbanspoon



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