November 23, 2011

Dinner @ Mildred Temple's Kitchen

My foodie friend Mel and I wanted to go somewhere nice without breaking our wallets on a Friday night. So after browsing through the restaurant selection on Dining Date Night, I made a reservation to Mildred's Temple Kitchen. For $10, you can get 30% taken off your entire bill! I had eaten at Mildred's Temple Kitchen once before and I remember my dining experience to be quite pleasant.
We sat at one of these tables, and Mel fought me for the couch seating along the window. However, these white seats were actually very comfortable and offered great back support!
Mel and I really like the clean, industrial décor (see my first visit for a picture of the beautiful interior). Similar to my first experience, the restaurant never got too busy throughout the duration of our meal, which was nice, but also a little odd for a Friday night.
As per usual, Mel and I shared everything to optimize our experience. We started off with shrimp & crab cakes (supposedly a Mildred Pierce fave)- crunchy cakes with jicama, kafir and fresh cilantro, served atop a chili-lime emulsion. For $15, I was shocked at the size of this appetizer. Each cake was the size of a large scallop. In spite of the small size, the shrimp and crab cakes were quite tasty with that tangy chili-lime emulsion. However, I found it odd that the cakes had a springy bite to it, similar to Chinese fish balls. Perhaps that springiness came from the shrimps?
When our next appetizer came, I became a little worried that we weren't going to be full. We opted for handmade gnudi, made with ricotta cheese, egg, a little flour and a hint of nutmeg, served with creamy ermite sauce and crispy fried sage. I loved the aggressive cheesiness of this entire dish- from the pasta to the buttery sauce. Cheese-lovers will definitely enjoy this dish, but others might find it overwhelming. The gnudi were quite dense, unlike the light and fluffy ones that I had at Luma, but I actually enjoyed that texture. In the end, the small portion size was appropriate because it was a pretty heavy dish.
But my favourite dish of the day was hands down the risotto with caramelized squash, finished with chervil, sage, ginger and a spark of cinnamon. Mel and I, being great fans of squash, absolutely loved the dish down to the very grain of rice. It was delightfully creamy and the flavour combination of all the spices was incredibly tasty. I'm not an expert in risotto, so I'm not sure how the rice should be cooked. The rice in this risotto had a nice bite to it and wasn't overly mushy. Above all, I really loved the caramelized squash and would've gladly gulped down a plateful of it. That tiny hint of cinnamon was lovely and complemented the sweetness of the squash without pushing it over to dessert territory. I had to consciously remind myself to eat slowly, so I could savour every bite. As this was an actual entrée, the portion was a lot more sizable, and I was definitely full after devouring my half of the risotto.
We actually intended to have dessert elsewhere, but we couldn't resist trying their pumpkin bourbon cheesecake baked in a ginger snap crust, topped with sour cream and a little more bourbon. The addition of the bourbon was a nice twist to the cheesecake and made it unique. We also enjoyed the toasted pumpkin seeds, which provided a crunchy textural contrast to the cake. While Mel proclaimed this to be her favourite pumpkin cheesecake thus far, I had more reservations. I wished for more of the pumpkin filling and less sour cream and crust. Personally, I prefer the pumpkin cheesecake from Beast more.
Of course we wiped the plate clean!
We didn't order a terrible amount, but we still enjoyed some savings from the 30% Dining Date Night discount that more than offset the $10 reservation fee. But more importantly, the meal was wonderful and we had a great time!
Mildred's Temple Kitchen on Urbanspoon

6 comments:

  1. I'm SO in love with the risotto. I like this pumpkin cheesecake more just because of the pumpkin seeds, no lie. I love the roasted pumpkin seeds like on top of Tim Horton's pumpkin spice muffin.

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  2. I've been a few times when it was in their old location but have only had a drink at the new location ... well, it's been a few years so it's not so new anymore.

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