Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rekados on Main St.

There seems to have been quite an internet war raging over this young, little Filipino restaurant, but that doesn't interest me. I went; I don't know Filipino food; and I liked it quite a bit. I'd happily go back to Rekados Grill (4063 Main Street, between 24th Ave and King Edward Ave, 604-873-3133). This restaurant is going for a more refined experience, with it's modern decor, pretty bathroom, and more modern plating. From what I've read, the handful of other Filipino restaurants around town offer a more casual, hole-in-the-wall experience geared towards Filipino customers, while Rekados is totally accessible to the uninitiated (with all dishes well explained in the menus). I just visited Rekados the one time and it was great fun to experience a cuisine that is totally new to me (even if it is tweaked for Western palates) and I found the place cosy and friendly. Portions were generous, and quite well-priced in my opinion. The menu explains that Filipino cuisine is a fusion of Spanish, Chinese and Malay cuisine. I needed warming up that day, and had a pot of their honey orange tea. I also had a great big clay pot of a vegetable soup with a sour, spicy broth and hearty chunks of eggplant, bok choy and other veggies. It was well under $10 and would serve two generously. I followed that up with a nice grilled fish dish (tanigue, or kingfish) with a chunky fresh salsa-like topping piled high over it, which was about $10, I think. This really felt like good value. I personally like my fish a little underdone (and the time I went it was very thoroughly cooked), but it was still a tasty dish with the salsa. I ordered some rice too. I don't remember the Filipino names for the dishes unfortunately, but the menu is filled with all sorts of small plate choices, stirfried noodles, grilled meats and seafoods, simmered coconut dishes and hotpots, as well as desserts. I think I remember a martini or cocktail list too. They also serve lunch from Tuesday to Friday. The service was fairly attentive, but probably a bit on the slow side. This really didn't bother me at the time though, as I was happy to unwind in the relaxed warmth of the restaurant that day, and prefer that sometimes to being rushed out of a place (they even offered me another pot of tea with the bill). I was in the mood for an ungreasy, light meal that day and was able to get that quite easily with the light veggie soup and the grilled fish, but I think I would like to try the heavier stewed and fried dishes next time. I really like that sort of variety in the menu. Come with an open mind and compare this restaurant only with other restaurants in the same price range. It can be a really nice comfy-casual spot to fill you up and try something new. My visit was a few months ago. Let me know about your experience if you have visited.

Hotpots come out simmering over a flame at the table.

Nice Orange Honey Tea

Grilled Tanigue (Kingfish)

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