Lunch at Carino Japanese Bistro & Wine, Treats from Cerezo Cafe & Bar

It was one of those days where K and I decided to hit up two restaurants in one visit.  We chose Carino b/c we had wanted to try their lunch entrees, and knowing that we probably won’t be full as the portions are not very big there, we safely picked a second place for snacks/desserts.  Cerezo then came to mind b/c it was on both of our wishlists and it was nearby.

Here’s what we tried today:

Carino - Salad

Mixed Baby Greens with Yuzu Vinaigrette

This comes with your entree.  Fresh greens and quartered cherry tomato with a very citrusy yuzu vinaigrette.  This was a pleasant start to our meal.

Carino - Lunch Mentaiko Pasta

Mentaiko Pasta – $15

This was K’s order.  I’ve had this for dinner and loved it – my review here.  I do have a question for my readers: does anyone know where you can buy mentaiko in Calgary??

Carino - Lunch Loco Moco

Kobe Beef Loco Moco – $14.5

The beef patty and soft and moist, but it’s missing sauce, or the gravy in an actual loco moco to bring everything together.  It’s a good dish for sure b/c everything else was flavored well.  I especially love the mushroom mixture as it was flavored and cooked perfectly – I wish there was more! The shredded red thingys… can you guess what they are?

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Red bell peppers.  That’s right.  We couldn’t taste it and had to ask the server!

Service as usual was polite and friendly.  Prices aren’t bad but it really sucks to leave a restaurant not completely full.  In retrospect we could’ve ordered more food but we were saving our stomach for our next restaurant…

Moments later we arrived at Cerezo and it’s a modified house.  You place your order at the front register and the cashier/server will bring your food to your table.  They have a lot of items on their menu, but I can’t help but feel that a lot of them don’t really belong in a cafe (aka lasagne).  I would like to see more Japanese (even fusion) style items on their menu.

Here’s what we tried:

Cerezo - Soy Braised Pork

Soy Sauce Braised Pork – $6

This was K’s order.  Thinly sliced pork belly with soy sauce flavor.  This was good but it was only lukewarm so the meat wasn’t completely soft.  Good flavors, and the streak of spicy oil added a burst of heat when we smeared the pork slice into it.

Cerezo - Miso Cheese Tofu Puff

Miso Cheese Tofu Puffs – $6

I thought this would be an interesting dish but it was not what I thought at all.  I thought the cheese and miso would be incorporated into the tofu puffs, but instead the miso paste is resting underneath the puffs, which is then topped with a slice of brie.  It’s not that it wasn’t good, but it was a strange combination for sure.  This dish was also only lukewarm.

Cerezo - Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake – $4.95

This was a soft and ultra creamy cake.  I like how it wasn’t overly sweet so it was very easy to eat.

Cerezo - Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart – $4.95

This plate for some reason reminds me of Christmas.  I always order lemon tart when I see it.  While it was good, it wasn’t great – the lemon curd was lacking flavor as it was very mild in taste.  I do appreciate that they took the time to decorate the plate though!

Cerezo - Apple Pear Muffin

Vanilla Pear Muffin – $2.35

I got this to go and had it for breakfast the next day.  I loved, loved, LOVED the crumble on top as it was crunchy and sugary, but the rest of the muffin just had light hints of vanilla and chunks of pear throughout.  I would totally go back for this (or maybe just learn how to make it myself).

Service was efficient and polite and the prices are reasonable.  I would definitely go back to try their other desserts.

Carino Japanese Bistro + Wine on Urbanspoon CEREZO cafe & bar on Urbanspoon

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6 thoughts on “Lunch at Carino Japanese Bistro & Wine, Treats from Cerezo Cafe & Bar

  1. You can get that mentaiko roe at the Asian market next to Sun’s BBQ. I saw it in their frozen section. I could have sworn I saw it at T&T as well.

  2. I know I’ve seen it somewhere. I’ll check for it and let you know. You need to check out this new asian market by my place. It’s way better than T&T.

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