Dinner at Carino Japanese Bistro & Wine

Foie gras. My husband calls it the evil meat.  Oh wait, or was that veal? To be honest I never was that big of a fan with foie gras due to the high cholesterol content, but then I figured… YOLO!!!! Ok no… I’m sure all the other things I’ve been eating are probably way worse than me eating a slice of foie gras once or twice a year.  Anyways I know how foie gras is made… so no need to lecture me on it.  I’m all for banning it, along with sharks fin (which I’ve definitely voluntarily stopped consuming) and the likes!

So my friends C and O suggested that we should get together for dinner.  The original plan was to do hot pot at their house a couple Fridays ago, but then we just changed to eating out instead.  She asked me to pick a place since I’m such a foodie ^^ and I decided that it was time to try Carino.  I called a couple days ahead to make sure I could reserve a table on Friday, and luckily… I was able to! As most of you know, they took over what used to be AKA Winebar, which I had an awesome brunch at.  Still sad that they closed… where am I going to get my pork belly eggs benedict from now?

Anyways, back to Carino.  I’ve never seen the concept of Japanese and Italian/French fusion at work before.  As you know by now, I love Japanese cuisine.  I also love French cuisine.  I don’t dislike Italian but I tend not to eat pasta due to the high carb content.  But tonight, I’m here for the mentaiko pasta.

Here’s what we ordered tonight:

Seared Foie Gras – $15.00

A nice slab of seared foie gras over a chunk of daikon, sitting in a very light dashi broth.  This was absolutely delicious and I polished it in no time.  I dipped the bread in the broth, as well as slicing a chunk of foie gras on it and ate it that way as well.  The foie gras was very smooth and fatty and seasoned well.  Hmmmmmmmm… I want more!

Crab Cake – $14.00

O and hubby both ordered this.  When our server set this down, he said we have no rules in this restaurant except for one – you must eat the crab cakes with the little chunks of jelly (made from dashi and white balsamic)! The crab cakes were served piping hot and was very tasty with chunks of crab meat.  I had a taste of it and really enjoyed it.

Frites  & Aioli – $6.00

This was C’s order.  Apparently she loves fries! I’m not sure what the aioli was made of but she really enjoyed this.

Lamb Ribs – $19.00

This was hubby’s order.  Tender lamb ribs with creamy mashed potato.  This was absolutely delicious and hubby nearly licked the plate clean!

Gnocchi with Pork Belly – $8.00

Hubby ordered this as a side.  He had no idea what gnocchi was and wanted to try it.  I couldn’t tell what the sauce was as the flavors were quite light.  The gnocchi was nicely chewy with small chunks of pork belly.

Stuffed Pork Cutlet Milanese – $21.00

This was O’s order.  He was deciding among a few dishes but decided to go with this because he really wanted risotto, and he commented that it was quite cheesy (in a good way… if you like cheese).  I thought the presentation of the pork cutlet was pretty interesting.  I didn’t ask to try his dish but he definitely enjoyed this.

Mentaiko Pasta – $21.00

C and I both ordered this! Spaghetti topped with scallop, prawns and a lot of mentaiko (marinated pollock roe), which I felt there was a bit too much.  However, I’ve always wanted to try this and thought it was executed well overall.  The pasta was cooked to al dente.  C wouldn’t stop praising it and said she really liked it.  I would definitely come back just for this.  I don’t think I can get this anywhere else for now!

Chocolate Cake – $9.00

How can one leave without dessert? Hubby wanted creme brulee and I wanted this, so we each got our own.  C and O also got another one to share, whereas I shared with my toddler.  The chocolate cake was very sweet but not dense.  It was perfect to eat with the vanilla ice cream and and the brulee banana pieces – it helps to even out the sweetness of the cake.

Creme Brulee – $9.00

This was a very standard creme brulee topped with fruits, and hubby was happy with the large portion.  I sampled a bit of it and liked it.

The four of us really enjoyed our meal here at Carino tonight.  We liked the fusion style and the food was delicious and prepared well.  I went on their website today and saw that they now have a lunch menu which I would love to try.  I would also love it if they can introduce new items from time to time!

Carino Japanese Bistro + Wine on Urbanspoone

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6 thoughts on “Dinner at Carino Japanese Bistro & Wine

  1. Looks good! I’ll have to try it sometime. The restaurant must be pretty dimly lit as the pictures look a bit dark and it’s hard to see some details in the dishes.

    • Hi Jimmy – I think you’ll enjoy it. I’m not sure if it maybe similar to the place you told me about in Montreal but the Japanese/Italian/French fusion really works! Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures. The restaurant was very dimly lit and you can guess who fell asleep in my arms so I only had one arm to work with!

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