Strathcona—(September 12, 2016) The Le Tigre team and Executive Chef Clement Chan unveiled their new fall menu for the year-old Torafuku ("lucky tiger" in Japanese) modern Asian eatery—already fixture on the North end of Main Street near Chinatown.
Torafuku also showcased their brand new head bartender Chelsea Rose Schulte fresh off her people's choice win at the annual Made with Love cocktail competition last month. In particular, the Welcome to Bollywood (with rye infused chai spice, vermouth, and orange zest) was a winner coming off as a sweet, dessert-style take on the old fashioned.
As for the dishes, I found the Get in My Belly sushi handroll (with pork belly, mustard compressed kohlrabi, furikake, and crackling) fairly delectable in its meaty composition and crisp flavour. It was delightfully paired with a Tokyo Drift cocktail (with yuzu, gin, sake, and house cassis) was on point for its sweet and refreshing taste
The Miso Corny hickory flavour corn (with miso butter, togorashi, and popcorn) was fairly simple yet appealing and quite tasty as a minor appetizer. I was less ecstatic but still satisfied by the next trio of plates. The Peaches and Cream (heirloom tomatoes, star anise infused peaches, crisp cucumbers, torched burrata cheese, and orange buttermilk emulsion) was a sweet, fruity, and flavourful mixture of ingredients.
The Rabbit Food wild kale salad (with gem tomatoes, Jinhua ham, shaved parmesan cheese, crispy quinoa, lemon essence, and anchovy ranch dressing) was a nice palate cleanser and source of veggies. I was not quite feeling the Quack Attack duck spring rolls (with enoki mushrooms, scallions, carrots, crispy capers, chili oil, and plum sauce) purely for the strong combination of flavours.
The Hokey Pokey tuna and octopus poke handroll (with cucumber, onions, and house made spicy sauce) was easily a highlight for its delicious mix seafood and spice. I could have eaten a handful of these tuna rolls in quick succession.
I quite enjoyed the decadent Give a Dog a Bone roasted bone marrow (with beef luc lac, pickled greens, market veggies, and crispy potato noodles) for its juicy, meaty, and fatty mix. It was altogether pleasing and well-prepared paired with a Spice Girls cocktail (with Añejo rum, plum, lime, and 5-spice syrup).
The Uni Corn house made fettuccine (with green uni, Okanagan corn, sorrel, Sungold tomatoes, and velouté) was particularly substantial, filling, and tasty. I greatly enjoyed the diverse mixture of ingredients coming together in the saucy pasta noodle dish.
The Calamari 2.0 crispy squid (with corn, foraged mushrooms, wax beans, local plums, nero aioli, and "angry tiger" sauce) was very appetizing and full of complementary flavours.
Torafuku continues to experiment and play with ingredients, flavours, and culinary styles. Its pan-Asian cuisine and fusion elements often take the best, most playful elements of different dishes and remixes them in new, interesting, and mostly delicious new ways.
More | YVArcade / 2015 / Foodgressing / Sherman Chan