July 4, 2011

Pig Roast @ Marben

Marben hosts a pig roast every last Sunday of the month. Who doesn't love succulent, slow-roasted meat? I certainly could not resist.
We were seated at the chef's table which gave us a direct view of the kitchen. It gave me a good chance to eye the different dishes and see what looked good.
Sitting right in front of me was a large tray of roasted pork! I almost wanted to reach forward and steal a few pieces!
On the way to the washroom, I spotted a large dining room in the basement, which I presume is for private events. This room was a lot more spacious than the upstairs dining area, because the restaurant is quite narrow.
Even though I was here for the pig roast, one of us just had to order the burger that I've heard so much about - John's Burger, with Branston pickle, braised ribs, aged cheddar, coleslaw, fries.
My first impression of the burger was that it was strikingly small, particularly in comparison to the heaping portion of fries that it came with. Even though the fries were delicious, I would have gladly traded all of my fries for a bigger burger!
This burger is definitely in contention for the best burger I've ever eaten! I really hate dry, bland, and overcooked patties, and this was anything but! The patty was divinely juicy and flavourful, and I loved how the juice soaks into the bun. I also appreciated that the cheddar was completely melted over the meat, as unmelted cheese really bothers me on a burger. I ate a quarter of the burger, but I wanted a full one all to myself!
The pig roast feature included the roast and two sides. Again, I was disappointed with the small portion of pork. I had expected slightly more given that it was $25. The meat itself was very similar to Cantonese-style roasted pork (燒肉), minus the crispy skin.  I enjoyed the fatty, flavourful meat a lot (but then again, I always loved Cantonese-style roasted pork). In addition, the homemade BBQ sauce was very tasty.
Similar to the fries, the sides to the pig roast came in heaping portions! I chose creamy coleslaw with sunflower seeds and grainy mustard and braised kale with kennebec potato and roast drippings. I was very happy that the coleslaw delivered its promised creaminess. On the other hand, the braised kale tasted like a Chinese type of veggies that my mom always use in soup. I couldn't detect any flavours from the roast drippings. If the pork didn't fill me up, the sides certainly did! I had to take home leftovers of both the coleslaw and the braised kale.
Evan's warm apple pudding was indisputably the best bread pudding I've ever had. All the components- the Bailey's caramel, dolce di mascarpone, maldon sea salt- were scrumptious! The dolce di mascarpone was creamy and delectable, and the pinch of salt teased out the sweetness and richness of the pudding. It was a wonderfully decadent dessert to wrap up the meal.
All in all, I enjoyed my meal here quite a lot. The food was very tasty and satisfying, though I wish that there were more meat and burger and less of the sides. Nevertheless, I'm really looking forward to coming back and having the burger all to myself! Hopefully, I'll be able to make it to one of the sausage league nights that they're hosting every other Wednesday. 
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