Beautiful Birthday flowers from hubby :)
For my actual Birthday, I had intended to take the full day off work to go try out a bunch of places on my wishlist, as well as hit up a few farmer’s markets. Well, things ended up getting really busy at work so I voluntarily checked myself in for a few hours. I was thinking, I’ll treat myself to a nice breakfast, work for a few hours, and then go for lunch and see what else happens from there. Had hubby been in town I might’ve scratched that idea, but he was just as busy and didn’t come home until the evening.
Breakfast at MONKI
MONKI had been on my wishlist for quite some time. Last month my brother and his coworkers came to Calgary for a conference and asked me where’s a good place for breakfast. I told them to check out MONKI. My brother thought his boss wouldn’t like it, but the entire group ended up LOVING it. I have to keep up with my reputation as the go-to person for good restaurant recommendations :D
Since it was Friday, I didn’t think the place would be busy, and it wasn’t. Recent reviews on Urbanspoon have been a bit negative on service issues, yet I received nothing but excellent service that day. Although where I sat was a bit out of the server’s view, I was in direct view of one of the cook’s and every time he noticed that I need something, he would send a server over. I appreciate him attending to me right away rather than just let me sit there and wait.
Banana & Frangelico cream cheese-stuffed french toast topped with nutella & condensed milk – $15
I don’t usually eat something so sugary and carby for breakfast, but heck, it’s my Birthday and I’ll eat what I want to – just for a day! I definitely did not regret my choice. This was so good. Omg. Yes, I know nutella is the exact opposite of nutritious but I hardly eat it anyway (and no, I don’t own a jar of it either!).
Inside view. Gooey, check. Delectable, you bet. Delicious, like over-the-top! I love the creaminess of the banana and cream cheese filling and the bread was light and soft in texture. I also love the abundance of nutella covering the french toast as I dipped my fruits with it – kind of like a fondue! The only thing I would change is… drizzle it with way more condensed milk! They can leave the bottle on my table and I’ll help myself ;)
Overall, a fantastic breakfast and I will definitely return! I still have so much to try on their menu and I know hubby and my brother will be happy to join me.
Treats from Yann Haute
Since I still had a bit of time to kill (I wanted to take advantage of the $5 parking special at James Short on Fridays), I drove to Yann Haute to pick up some macarons, as well as a treat.
Salted caramel mousse covered in white chocolate ganache – $6.95
Let’s call this my mini Birthday cake. It looked so pretty on the display that I had to ask the staff what it was, and when she said salted caramel I was pretty much sold on the spot. Anyhow, I ate this at work and as I opened the pretty packaging, my boss and a few of my coworkers came to admire it. I love that this pastry was heavy on the salted caramel flavors, yet light on everything else. It was just the right amount of sweetness so it didn’t feel heavy eating it. This has to be my favorite pastry I’ve tried to date from here!
Assorted macarons – $1.90/pc
I really like the macarons here b/c of all the different flavors. The texture here is usually quite spot on – light, airy, chewy, soft with just the right amount of filling and prominent flavors. I was making small chat with the staff and asked, why do some people call these macaroons? She said she doesn’t know and think people are just confused. For those who don’t know the difference, please go visit this link. We both agreed that it is a huge pet peeve of ours when people keep calling them macaroons. Yann Haute remains as one of my favorite Patisserie’s in the city (my other one is Ohh La La Patisserie – review to come!) and I’m always happy to drive 30 minutes just to get to them.
I actually thought working on my Birthday was really going to suck b/c I was really burnout from the day before, but my coworkers kept cheering me up and making me laugh, and oh, made me watch this:
Unfortunately I’ve had the actual song stuck in my head for days now and it only happens when I sit at my cubicle, so it may be a while before I can forgive my coworkers.
Lunch at Kanpai on 8th
After a final rush at work, I got that never-ending contract as finalized as I can and went to my next foodie destination. I was starving at this point and of course I had to eat sushi! I chose this restaurant b/c it was in downtown, and it looks like they’ve been getting some great reviews. Menu shows a huge variety of dishes at reasonable prices.
Served with lunch bento boxes
Standard miso soup on the saltier side.
Deluxe Sushi Combo – $18.50
I ordered this b/c it was cheaper than to order individual pieces. I also didn’t want just the boring salmon, tuna and red snapper combinations. I thought for the price, the selection of nigiri was quite decent. Each piece was very well made and fresh – the uni was ultra sweet + creamy and the toro was very melt-in-your-mouth buttery. However, size wise they are on the small side. I can fit the entire piece into my mouth with ease.
Box Box – $11.50
I wanted some hot food as well and since they have daily lunch combinations, I decided to get this bento box which includes teriyaki chicken, beef and tempura plus soup, salad and rice. When the server brought both of my entrees out, she though she made a mistake. I know not many people order two entrees but I was expecting to pack leftovers. I could almost hear the servers whispering about how much food I ordered, though I really couldn’t care less. This was the cheapest way to sample a few items! Once again, the portions are on the small side. Without eating the bowl of rice, I finished everything without trouble. The meats were cooked to tender with a teriyaki sauce that wasn’t overly sweet. Tempura was light and crispy with a small bit of grease.
Overall I think the food is decent, albeit small portions. Service was ok – zero interactions but attentive otherwise. If I’m in the area and I’m craving for sushi, I wouldn’t mind returning.