Restaurant Review: Cerezo Cafe & Bar

>> Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It’s amazing how much information is available at our finger tips these days. At a blink of an eye news will travel around the world and back. So it’s no surprise that in the restaurant industry, hidden gems only stay hidden for so long. Bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase, if you build it they will come. Which I find to be the equivalent of if you make good food, they will come. Such is the case with Cerezo, when I saw the amazing dishes posted online at various sites. It was only a matter of time before I made my way over to try it out for myself.

Atmosphere: Quaint and homey, the restaurant has a charm derived from the juxtaposition of old world western and new world cuisine.
Price Range: Mid $10s
Food: We ordered off both the tapas menu and the daily special menu. There were a good selection of choices and I was so tempted to order one of each. Although, I did find my restraint and decided on the following, starting with the Bang Bang Chicken which is steamed chicken with a spicy sesame dressing over a bed of lettuce. It was a very light dish and perfect for those looking for a healthier option.  The only thing I would have changed was to either grill the chicken or lightly sear it to provide that crispy texture. I really enjoyed the spicy sesame sauce and almost wish there was more of it, but then again. It wouldn’t have been nearly as light. A nice refreshing start to the meal.
Next we had the Salmon Sashimi which was a special plate that evening. It was fresh slices of Sockeye salmon served with wasabi, cream cheese and yuzu. The salmon was very flavourful and it was a nice change dipping it in to the yuzu instead of the typical soy sauce. The slight sweetness of the yuzu enhanced the flavours of the fish making it another light and healthy dish to start our evening.
The Ton Toro was a special feature which was BBQ pork jowls (the fatty portions of pork near the neck region of the pig) served with a side of creamy potato salad wrapped in romaine lettuce. I did find the pork to be a bit tough and could have used a more seasoning. The potato salad was tangy and extremely velvety, where the texture was similar to mashed potatoes providing a boost of flavor to the dish overall.
My favorite that evening was the Ikameshi or grilled squid stuffed with rice.  When the plate arrived, it was beautifully presented and quite striking.  The squid itself was perfectly cooked, not chewy and stuffed with nicely fragrant Japanese style tobiko infused rice which reminded me of eating sticky rice.  The sauce was a perfect combination of sweet and sour with a side of spicy togarashi mayo to add that extra kick. I am still drooling over this dish as I write this blog.
But that’s not the only thing that had me drooling. The Blueberry Parfait was also amazing.  Layering jello, cake, yogurt ice cream and blueberries with blueberry ice cream and whip cream on top. It took my breath away. For those that know me, know how much I love ice cream. I could imagine ordering these every day and never get sick of them. Helps that they constantly change the parfait features as well ranging from green tea to blueberries, strawberries to chocolate, and the combinations are endless.
We decided to walk by the dessert display and couldn’t walk away without ordering something and landed on the Strawberry Shortcake.  Layers of light white cake with whipped cream and fresh strawberries throughout. It wasn’t overly sweet and very well balanced. It made me wonder what all the other desserts tasted like. Guess I’ll just have to make my way back again.
My Picks: Ikameshi (stuffed grilled squid), Any dessert but specifically the parfaits
Overall: Like all information, sometimes they’re right, often they could be wrong. However they masses were right with this one. The food and service at Cerezo was amazing (especially the desserts!). I think I’ve found my new dessert hangout, maybe I’ll also grab a couple to go as well!
Cerezo Café & Bar
1002 Edmonton Trail NE
Calgary, AB
(403) 250-8897

CEREZO Cafe & Bar on Urbanspoon


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