Whitehall Sunday Roast Lunch 

My friends and I always look forward to each other’s birthdays because although it means we’re getting older, it also means we get to pick a restaurant to celebrate at. This year, I decided to check out Whitehall’s Roast Sunday Lunch. It was a nice change from dinner and who doesn’t love to get dressed up and enjoy an exquisite lunch? Their Sunday lunch menu is an exceptional value in my opinion. You get to choose either two courses for $38 or three courses for $45. 

Our server bought along some bread and butter to start. The oval sphere on the left is whipped pork fat and if you’ve never had pork fat over anything; well then you’re missing out. The pork fat had a light whipped texture and my inital taste was of a light toasty flavor. However, subsequent bites after that was not as flavorful. The butter was on the cold side and did not spread easily. The bread was too hard and dense for my liking as well. 

For a while now, I’ve been ogling over Instagram pictures of their famous cheese soufflé so I was definitely getting that as my first course. No doubt about that. However, we wanted to try the chicken liver pate as well and got an order to share between the four of us. The Double Baked Cheese Soufflé certainly lived up to expectations. The souffle was fluffy, light and had excellent cheese flavor. The creamy sauce around the souffle put it over the edge. I basically licked the plate clean. This was the best souffle I’ve tasted in Calgary and definitely a dish that one must try. 

We were really look forward to trying the pate; mainly because there was shaved foie gras over top. The chicken pate was smooth and creamy. The pickled cherries were just the thing to provide a hint of seeetness and to cut the richness. It came served with toast; however we all agreed that it would’ve tasted better on toast points or toasted baguette rounds. 

The main course is served family style so our server recommmed that everyone order the same dish. This was not a problem for us considering that we all wanted to try the beef. The Dry aged Alberta beef was cooked to perfection and incredibly tender. It was served alongside Yorkshire pudding, dripping potatoes, kale, red wine sauce and horseradish creama. Everything was delicious and definitely hit the spot. Our only complaint was  that we wished for more vegetables as an accompaniment. 

We were all pretty full after the two and a half dishes but decided to share dessert anyways. What’s a birthday celebration without dessert, right? The treacle tart with mascarpone ice cream provided a sweet ending to our meal. The tart was a tad too sweet for my liking although the crust was very well done. The mascarpone ice cream was just perfectly creamy. 

We all enjoyed the Sunday lunch and would return in a heartbeat. Personally, I would skip dessert next time as British desserts are not to my liking. I’ve recommended their Sunday roast lunch to many friends and family because it’s truly not to be missed out on. 

Whitehall Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dumplings, Potstickers or whatever you want to call them

If there’s one thing you’ll always find in my freezer is a bag (or two) of dumplings. It’s something that I must always keep on hand for a quick meal or snack. My favorite are meaty dumplings with a fair amount of visible vegetables. Why? Well, because then I feel like I’m eating my portion of vegetables along with the meat and carbs. Win-win, right? 
I don’t know about you but I’ve noticed how pricey those freezer dumplings have become at my local supermarket. The quality has also gone down. Don’t get me wrong; those will do in a bind but they’re definitely not my first choice. 

What’s my first choice? Homemade, of course. How can you beat that? So when I have some extra free time I’ll make 200-300 and freeze them so I’ll always have some ready to go. My go-to is always ground pork with a healthy dose of whatever vegetables/greens I can get my hands on. Spinach, bok chiu, mustard greens, kale, watercress, cabbage. Seriously, they all taste great in dumplings. The key is to ensure you blanch them, squeeze all the water out of them and then finely finely chop so you get any stringy bits. 

To ensure you get the proper texture for the meat you’ll want to add a fair amount of water to the mixture and stir, stir, stir with a pair of chopsticks. I also like to add shaoxing wine for added flavor. Now, that’s how you get a tasty and moist dumpling filling without it being dry. 

Have you made your own dumplings? What’s your favorite filling combination? 

Sushi Bistro Anzu

Do you ever have instances where your eyes are bigger than your stomach? It happens to me a lot especially if I want to try multiple items on a menu. Recently, I had lunch at Sushi Bistro Anzu and that’s precisely what happened. Halfway through the meal and I already felt all the food settling in my stomach and that feeling of a satisfied tummy setting in. However, being a true foodie I powered through and finished the meal. After all, Japanese is my favorite and I just can’t let all this food go to waste. 

The aji (horse mackerel) fry was just delightful. It was crispy with a light crunchy coating and the aji was cooked perfectly. It came with a worchestershire dipping sauce which was perfect to cut the richness. 

I’ve never had stingray before so this dish of roasted stingray fin immediately appealed to me. I loved the charred roasted pieces because they were so flavorful and savory. When it first arrived at the table, the pieces were warm and had a slight crunch to them. Once cooled, it was much chewier and tasted quite similar to the Asian squid jerky snack. I definitely preferred them when they were warm so if you do order this dish then eat them when they’re still hot. 

For a foodie, the lunch bento box is like a dream come true allowing me to try a variety of items without having to order full sized portions of everything. This lunch set included grilled mackerel, assorted tempura, 4 pieces of sashimi, salad, side dish, miso soup and rice. Honestly, a steal at $13.95 considering how filling it is. They have a variety of different lunch sets but the grilled mackerel always calls my name everytime. 

I find the food at Sushi Bistro Anzu to be very enjoyable and their lunch sets to be of an amazing value. The quality is outstanding and you will no doubt leave satisfied with a full belly. Have you tried them before? What’s your favorite menu item? I would love to hear your feedback and perhaps try out some of your favorite menu items next time. 

Sushi Bistro Anzu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pork hock and tomato noodle soup 

There are certain days when you just need something warm and comforting. Maybe it’s the weather. Or maybe it’s just one of those days where you need to make yourself feel better through the comforts of food. On those days I tend to turn towards noodle soups. I’ve been craving for banh canh lately which is a Vietnamese thick noodle soup characterized by its chewy noodles. Since I didn’t have those noodles on hand I made a similar broth with pork hock however I added diced tomatoes to the broth to change up the flavor and served on top udon noodles. I always have a stash of frozen udon noodles in my freezer for my noodle cravings. They’re great for noodle soups or noodle stirfrys. I added some toppings of green onions and fried shallots to round out the flavor and viola dinner is served. What’s your favorite type of noodle soup? 

Cucumber and pork stirfry

I always love a quick stirfry for dinner; especially when its filled with umami and a perfect pairing with rice. Many of you probably have not tried stirfrying cucumbers before but it’s always been a favorite of mine. I love the sweetness and slight tender crispness it yields. In order to achieve that you must salt the cucumbers in advance to exude some of the liquid so your dish does not turn watery. Before I do anything else, I deseed then slice the cucumbers and place into a bowl with a heaping 1/2 tsp of kosher salt. Give it a small massage then I allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes while I prep the rest of the ingredients and my meal. Here I’ve stirfried it with ground pork, Chinese sausage, green onions, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, dark soy sauce and light soy sauce. It’s a perfect dish paired with rice. 

Long’s Chinese Food

Peaches and I were debating on whether to have ramen for lunch or go to Long’s and we both decided we wanted to spicy food.  None of the staff here speak English but thankfully we were able to skate by since Peaches was able to speak some Mandarin and communicate with the server.  Upon stepping foot in the restaurant, I immediately noticed how cold it was in there and Peaches commented on that too.  But it’s definitely for the best because once you start eating spicy food, your body warms up and you wouldn’t want to be uncomfortably hot and sweaty.


We started off with the complimentary spicy pickles and these were perfect for whetting the appetite.  The pickles were spicy and sour and had that numbing affect from the Szechuan peppercorns. I was tempted to ask for another serving.


The Cold Spicy Jelly Bean Curd Noodles ($8.95) arrived shortly thereafter.  Initially, I thought the dish was on the sweet side but it got spicier as we continued to eat it.  I wished the noodles were firmer though as they were a tad too soft for my liking. Overall, flavors were great – spicy, sweet, salty and a tad vinegary.


I really wanted to try the Deep Fried Chicken with Chili Peppers ($15.95) and convinced Peaches to do so even though she can’t handle as much heat as I can.  All I can say is WOW!  This was definitely my favorite dish!  The chicken was incredibly flavorful, well seasoned and fried to a nice crisp.  I’ve tried this dish before at Szechuan Restaurant but was less than impressed as the chicken was flavorless and not even spicy.  Now I finally understand why this dish is made with bone-in chicken pieces.  The bone-in pieces really add extra flavor that you wouldn’t get with boneless pieces.  What was really interesting were the pieces of biscuits throughout it.  I assume they’re put into the dish to break up the heat and I can’t put a finger on whether I like them or not.  This dish was spicy but not as bad as you think because it’s more of a numbing spice.  I am completely and utterly addicted to this dish and cannot stop thinking about it to this day.


The Eggplant in Soya Sauce(?) ($11.95) was another winner.  The problem is I’m assuming we ordered the Eggplant in Soy Sauce and not Garlic because the translation in English does not match the Chinese description at all.  This eggplant dish is cooked in a sweet bean sauce and was perfect eaten with rice.  The eggplant was tender and creamy and soaked up the sauce.  I will definitely be ordering this again.


We found the Steamed Sliced Pork Belly ($13.95) to be a bit disappointing considering how flavorful the other dishes were.  The dish was really salty and the flavor was a bit one dimensional.  I couldn’t even taste the sweetness from the mui choy.  The pork belly was cooked well and was tender and the broccoli was also steamed to perfection.

We really enjoyed our meal here and I’m already trying to think of when I can come back to try more dishes. If you enjoy spicy food then be sure to check them out.

 Long’s Chinese Food

1448 17 Avenue Southwest
Calgary, AB T2T 0C8

Long's Chinese Food on Urbanspoon

Li-Ao Sushi


Ever since Peaches raved about Li-Ao I’ve been dying to go try it out.  However, since the restaurant is on the other side of the city I’ve just never made my way down there.  Hubby and I wanted to have sushi one night and we could not agree on a place to go to.  Hubby wanted to return to a restaurant that we’ve been to before cause he’s very weary of having bad sushi.  I wanted to try some place new and suggested that we drive down to Li-Ao.  I promised him it would be good (I have faith in Peaches recommendations) and he agreed.

I had called to make reservations but was told they don’t take any so we just took a chance in the hopes that the restaurant wouldn’t be full.  Luckily, the restaurant was only about a quarter full when we arrived so we easily obtained a booth seat.  For parents out there they do have high chairs but not the stand alone kind – the kind that straps onto a chair so just a heads up.

There were a lot of different things we wanted to try so why not order all of them.  We could always enjoy the leftovers as a late night snack and I really don’t know when we would come here again.  One thing we noticed while browsing through the menu were the prices.  I couldn’t believe how reasonable everything was – why don’t we see prices like this in the NW?


A complimentary dish of Deep Fried Tuna Gyozas were brought to our table and we munched on these while waiting for our order.  The gyozas were tasty – deep fried to golden with a lightly spicy filling of tuna that was barely cooked through.  They sat on a bed of what I assume was an avocado sauce of sorts.  Even hubby enjoyed these even though he’s not a huge fan of tuna.


We started with the Teriyaki Chicken ($5.95) and enjoyed both the sweet and savoriness of the dish.  The chicken was still moist and the steak sauce was really flavorful.


I ordered the Assorted Sashimi ($18.95) as I’m always in the mood for the raw fish and was shocked at the huge platter that was placed in front of us when it arrived at our table.  This was definitely a great deal!  15 pieces of assorted sashimi for only $18.95 – wow!  And there was actually an assortment of seafood not just salmon and tuna.  I enjoyed all of it with the exception of the tuna and salmon because I just thought they were cut too thick.  It was literally like eating chunks or slabs of fish rather than silky pieces of sashimi.


I cannot go without Scallop Special Sushi ($2/pc) whenever I’m out for a sushi meal. However, Li-ao’s version fell short of my expectations. There was far too much mayo and that completely masked the sweetness of the scallop.


I also enjoyed the Seared Scallop Roll ($9.95).  The scallops didn’t appear to be seared but it did have a smoky seared taste to it – perhaps they had lightly torched the tops?  I was surprised that the balsamic vinegar didn’t overpower but complimented the other ingredients.  I also appreciated that the roll wasn’t packed with rice but just enough to hold the filling together.


I had ordered the Teriyaki Beef Combo ($12.95) for my toddler and although the flavors of the dish was good the beef slices were really chewy and tough.  That was a bit disappointing as it made impossible for our toddler to eat.  Next time, I’ll order the appetizer portion with a bowl of rice for him instead.


Hubby ordered 3 rolls and could only finish half of what he ordered.   Mainly because two of the rolls he ordered were of the giant variety and I was already pretty stuffed from my order so I wasn’t much help.  The Spider Roll ($9.95) was pretty standard but done well.  The soft shell crab was fried well and the roll was quite ‘meaty’.


The House Special Roll ($9.95) was filled with salmon, tuna, shrimp, avocado, crab meat and tobiko.  Honestly, this roll isn’t very different from any other house special roll out there but the ingredients were fresh and hubby really liked the fact that the roll didn’t just fall apart as you picked it up.  That seems to happen a lot with these giant rolls and makes it quite difficult to eat.


The Seared Tuna Roll ($9.95) was definitely hubby’s favorite since it had a slight kick to it from the jalapeno.  The tuna was lightly seared with a smoky taste and the crab meat filling was creamy and moist. The presentation was a bit sloppy with this roll and since it wasn’t terribly busy the chef should’ve taken some extra time to ensure the pieces were arranged in a neater fashion. Sushi is a bit of an art form in my eyes and we eat as much with our eyes as we do with our mouth.

Service was pretty average, not outstanding but not bad either as the server did get us everything we needed.  The prices are indeed very reasonable for the portion sizes so it’s very easy to over order but I guess that’s just an excuse to try as many menu items as possible.  I only wished that this place was closer to home so we could frequent more often.

Li-Ao Sushi

#231, 2335 162 Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2Y 4S6

Li-Ao Sushi on Urbanspoon