We sat down to a welcoming freebie dish of shrimp chips for starters. Bebe practically polished them off herself. Stomach ordered a drink, Sago & Gulaman ($3.95) that had tapioca, almond jello and palm sugar syrup. Bebe and I shared the Mango Slush Bubble Drink ($4.95) and our friends both had the Calamansi Drop ($5.95) which had absolut vodka, calamansi honey and apple juice. My mango slush needed to be sweeter; it was a bit flat in flavour. However, the bubbles were good. Stomach liked his Sago and Gulaman, which actually could pass for a dessert the way it was topped off with almond jello.
The waitress was friendly, helping to initiate us to the popular dishes which we decided to share. Among her recommendations were the Pomelo Salad, the lumpia (spring rolls) and deep fried calamari. My friend, Barf, who mentioned that he needed some roughage for a change, decided to try the Pomelo Salad. Stomach wanted to try the prawns with veggies. I had to order Bebe her noodles (pancit) and I wanted to try the Grilled pork belly. My other friend, Kobayashi, decided to try the national dish, adobo.
prawns with veggies
The dishes were all presented well and looked very good. I was a bit disappointed with some of the dishes. I had been to Rekados previously, about a year ago and I enjoyed the calamari. This time the calamari wasn't as flavourful. Served in a Chinese bamboo steamer, it looked good but it also tended to clump together. The coating on the calamari wasn't as crispy or well-seasoned as previously. The Shanghai Lumpia was good and it had a pretty shot glass for the dipping sauce. Barf's Pomelo Salad was good too; however I didn't think it was an exceptional dish. In fact I think most of the dishes were good, but none were noteworthy.
creme caramel with candied peanuts and pineapple
I was slightly disappointed with the creme caramel as it wasn't what I was expecting. Many of the desserts rely heavily on condensed milk as a base and the texture was creamy and smooth but almost dense like a cheesecake. Bebe inhaled her mango ice cream cone. From the few little bites she allowed us, we were able to discern that the base of the ice cream was also condensed milk. It must be a common ingredient in the desserts.
I don't know if the dishes at Rekados were indicative of Filipino cuisine; but they weren't unique in flavour compared to other Asian Fusion cuisines we're used to. My favourite Asian fusion cuisine is Malaysian/Singaporean for its unique national dishes. Kobayashi's choice of the national dish, adobo, should be telling, I think. He said it wasn't anything special but it was okay. Certainly Filipino food shares similar ingredients to the Asian food we're used to eating in Vancouver but it didn't strike us as unique enough to warrant rave reviews as a cuisine. It is a cuisine that isn't known for delicate flavours or preparation techniques but instead it relies on braising, stewing, grilling and frying.
Rekados is a nice casual place to visit and share appies and drinks. The decor is young, modern and fusion, as is the food; especially in its creative presentation.
RESTAURANT: REKADOS GRILL
ADDRESS: 4063 Main Street, Vancouver
PHONE: (604) 873-3133
PARKING: a few spots in the plaza lot; street
TOTAL POINTS: 19/24
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