Candela Lounge – September 25

She said - The boy has been feeling a little slighted about his role in the blog, so we’re gonna do this entry a little differently. Last night we went to Candela for, you guessed it, TAPAS!! Throw in a fancy blue drink in a martini glass and I was the happiest girl in the world. We conveniently ordered six dishes, so we’ll each run you through three.

happiest girl in the world!

First was the tuna ceviche, which I apparently don’t understand at all (I was picturing some sort of raw fish salad?) Oddly enough, the raw tuna was the most flavourful part of the dish. I loved the taste of whatever the tuna had been marinated or cured in, but when combined with the other elements (the mayo, watermelon, and bland tomato salad) the dish fell a little flat.

We both had an overwhelming urge to eat this with chopsticks… all that sushi has us programmed.

Ooooooomg the beef short ribs. To die for. The meet was tender, juicy, and served in a delicious red curry sauce. To quote boy Ali, the dish had a “brown food” taste with the yogurt and naan bread that came with it, and though I didn’t feel the naan really added anything to the dish, I (naturally) ate it anyways.

Boy Ali wishes he could make an East Indian dish this good.

I mandated that we order at least one veggie dish to counter all the meat (the fact that we only tried one saddens me) and the waiter recommended the zucchini fritters. Being sheep, that’s what we decided to order. Getting past the guilt that they were fried, the fritters were the right combination of crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and mixed with the dried fruit and yogurt they really came alive (behold, my best attempt to sound like a real food reviewer).

mmmhmmm dried fruit in yogurt

He said – It’s about time I got equal billing and space on this blog, it’s pretty obvious most come for my wit and taste as it is, and AliSON’s comments are word vomits at best ;p (she said – rude). Anywho, we had seen Candela driving by one of our favourite Calgary neighbourhood’s Mission and as it looked new (and rumours are its run by people that also Own one of our favourite restaurants Alloy) it was a must try.

By far the best dish of the night was the unbelievably delicious calamari (see picture above). The calamari is worth a visit to Candela alone, the freshness, crispiness and that magic sauce were stunning. In fact, I’m salivating thinking about eating it right now, if only they offered take out, I feel the calamari would become a weekly fixture. Awesome!

After the calamari were the chicken tacos, which looked so good that I took a bite before Ali was able to take a picture (i.e. below), and it was pretty damn good. Though the pink cabbage wasn’t turnip (commonly found in shawarma’s) it felt like Candela’s version of the famous Persian dish, and it was definitely one of the better dishes we had. The sauce was light, but sweet, and I loved the soft taco shell. One I’d have again when I go back.

Poultry overload – making duckface while eating chicken tacos

The only real misstep of the night was the flank steak. I wasn’t a fan of the side chips (dry and tasteless), and the steak was nothing to write home about either. The “fixings” on top didn’t add anything to the meat, which wasn’t especially tender or juicy. A mistake on an otherwise tasty night.

Flank steak

Ranking -Location: 4 out of 5 “I Feels” (Who doesn’t love Mission?)

Service: 4 out of 5 “Yay Hurrays” (gotta love a waiter who admits there’s something on the menu not worth ordering.. though we could have guessed chicken liver was worth skipping on our own)

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 “Purple Shirts” (minimalist with funky, old world, Spanish feel. And I loved watching my cocktail get made at the island bar)

Nicheness: 3.5 out of 5 “Green Tights” (tough to say – owned by the same guys who run Alloy so that goodwill will spread fast)

Price: 3 out of 5 “Overstuffed Wallets” (the sad thing about tapas.. all those little plates add up. As do the $12 cocktails.)

Taste: 4 out of 5 “Jeepers” (Not the best tapas I’ve had in the city, but it’s definitely a worthy stop).

Overall: 22.5/30 (A nice tapas place, but they’re still a couple on this blog we would take over Candela for now).

Candela Lounge on Urbanspoon

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