Dinner at Chef’s Table at Kensington Riverside Inn

This was my “baller” meal with K.  I have been meaning to try Chef’s Table for the longest time and used my Birthday as the perfect excuse.  There was actually another place that I had intended to try, but sadly things didn’t work out so I didn’t get to go there.  I have to say that not many restaurants in Calgary does a tasting menu, yet I love them b/c I think it’s a fantastic idea.  You get to taste a good variety of dishes at a set price and I think it’s a perfect opportunity for restaurants to showcase their talent! Anyways, I’m going to L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in November and I am SUPER pumped for it.  After that I still have to try the one at Teatro, Rush and Q Haute. Did I miss anywhere else?

Anyways, K and I both announced our plans to eat there on Twitter and Chef Duncan Ly tweeted us back and asked us when we’d be there.  He was at the restaurant that night for a private function but still came out from the kitchen to greet us.  It’s a very nice gesture that’s deeply appreciated.

Here are pictures and descriptions of their current tasting menu.  5 courses, including amuse and palate cleanser is priced at $98.  Wine pairing and supplement course is extra.

CT - Bubbly
Champagne compliments of the Chef 🙂

CT - Amuse

seared albacore tuna

Perfectly seared and chilled albacore tuna sitting in an apricot gelee.  I would want this tuna on my nicoise salad.

CT - Butter

Bread and Butter

Whipped butter in a mousse-like consistency served with an endless amount of soft baguette slices – one of my favorite restaurant starter bread and butter to date!

CT - Spot Prawn

Prawn and Succotash
prawn, popcorn grits, taber corn, summer vegetables, prawn bisque

It’s such eye candy to admire the beautiful plating of this dish.  Spot prawns are one of my favorite – raw or just boiled in a hot pot.  Hmmmmm it’s that time of the year too huh? 🙂 The prawn was cooked nicely, and then K said, should we suck the brains out too? Hell yeah, we’ll just do it discreetly 😉 It’s the best part!! The grits were savoury without being too salty while the corn mixture had a natural sweetness to it – they complemented each other very well in terms of flavors.

CT - Veal Tongue

Peas and Tongue
corned veal tongue, peas, radish, horseradish

I noticed that tongue is starting to gain its popularity on menus.  The tongue here was fatty, meaty and had intense beef flavors.  The sweet pea soup was amazing – the sweetness was a great pairing to the heavy meat to create a contrast of flavors.

CT - Fish

thai red curry, black rice, eggplant, peanuts

Perfectly cooked sous vide Halibut, then finished off on the pan.  The result is a buttery, flaky and moist piece of fish.  The black rice was very coarse and chewy in texture, and had spicy flavors to it.  The tofu, which was marinated in seafood broth, slightly reminds me of fermented tofu.  It was on the saltier side so it’s best to eat it with the rice.  I think for this dish you have to eat all of the components together, but of course we had to try each one separately as well just to see how they are on its own.

CT - Foie Gras (2)

Foie Gras – $18 supplement
apricot, peach, pumpernickel, cassis, pistachio, radish

As we both love foie gras, we had no problem paying the additional supplement to get this dish.  I have to say we were expecting the seared form but this mousse was lovely.  Rich, creamy, buttery – we can eat a lot more portions.  The peach papers were like fruit roll-ups, very interesting.  I love how colorful all the components on this plate were – it’s so much fun to look at and eat!

CT - Lamb

Lamb Loin
wild mushrooms, beans, celery, beets, hay jus

The heaviest course of the night.  The lamb was on the fattier side but it was seasoned very well and perfectly tender.  The vegetables still retained its natural crunch and the perfectly sweet jus brought everything together.  It’s good that this was served last as it ended the meal pretty nicely and we were modestly full at this time.

CT - Palate Cleanser

Palate Cleanser
granny smith sorbet

Refreshing, light, slightly sweet, slightly tart – a really enjoyable way to cleanse the palate.

CT - Yogurt

Yogurt and Summer Fruit
baked yogurt, canola oil cake, lemon curd, seasonal fruit

The yogurt was sweet and creamy and was beautifully garnished with cake bits, fresh and dehydrated fruits, lemon curd and meringue.  When I was looking at the meringue chips, I was thinking, this looks really familiar… and then it triggered my memory of the hibiscus ones I had at the FishSauce dinner.  I was like hm, I think Chef Duncan made those ones too, and indeed he did.  This pretty plating also reminds me of the one that Graham Elliot made on MasterChef, which I hope to be able to try one day! This was absolutely delightful, and makes me think it’s healthy to eat because it’s yogurt :p

Service was top notch from beginning to end.  The staff are very attentive and professional and they really take care of you.  Prices are high but on par for a fine dining restaurant, and you are definitely paying for quality here.  We both left modesty full and satisfied and couldn’t believe we waited this long to dine here! Do note that the entire tasting took about 2.5 hours so be sure to leave plenty of time to enjoy!

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