July 19, 2012

Summer traveling and Che Resto Bar

I am a mix of emotions right now because this weekend I am leaving for a HUGE trip. I will be traveling to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia for six weeks then to England for another two weeks to visit family. I am excited, nervous, scared, thrilled, happy, anxious and can't believe I will finally be going to Southeast Asia after daydreaming about going for so long. I also haven't seen my relatives in England in years, so I am excited to spend time with them again and see my favourite city in the world (that I've seen so far), London, England.

I've spent the last week trying to organize last minute details, shop for travel essentials and prepare myself for leaving the country for so long. In between shopping for backpacks, power adapters and clothes, I decided to stop and rest my legs at the newly opened Menchies in London.

I would consider myself a frozen yoghurt connoisseur by now after being a loyal customer of both YoYo's and Kiwi Kraze. But I had heard Menchies goes above and beyond regular yogurt establishments. They did have an impressive selection of yoghurt flavours and I ended up with a medley of cake batter, chocolate banana, butter pecan and caramel; not bad Menchies, not bad. My verdict: you really can't differentiate between yoghurt places that much--they offer most of the same selections-- but it's always a fun and tasty experience.

I've been reminiscing about our travels last summer and I've been meaning to write some travel posts about my trips, so I'm sure with this trip coming up too I'll have a lot to write about when I get back. Last summer we went to Peru and Ecuador for two weeks:

Besides the amazing scenery, wildlife and history, the food in South America was also memorable. We enjoyed many versions of their layered potato dishes (Causa Rellena), ceviche, salsas, fish and quinoa. Mike even tried "cuy" (guinea pig) and "antichuchos" (beef hearts) although I was not as adventurous. This was one spectacular meal we had at a seafood restaurant in Lima, Peru:

We obviously have to try a new restaurant every time Londonlicious rolls around, so this time we decided to relive last summer's travels by trying some Latin American cuisine at Che Resto Bar. Che offers a selection of ceviches and Latin American-inspired dishes, including Pork Adobo, Tiraditos and Empanadas. When we got there we were the only customers in the restaurant, but it was a Monday night, so I suppose it was a slow night in general.

We both started with the Classic Ceviche: fish in a leche de tigre sauce with red onion, habanero, jicama, corn and yam. The ceviche wasn't as bold or acidic as the ones we had in Peru. Perhaps they made it a little tamer for North American taste buds, but there was quite a lot of fish and the sides of crispy onions, sweet potato, corn and jicama were a nice addition to the salad and extremely fresh. I would definitely come back to Che to order a few drinks and some ceviche for an evening snack.

For the mains Mike ordered a Chimichuri steak with yucca fries, mojo and pico de gallo (basically, a tomato and onion salsa). The steak was huge! I don't normally eat a lot of fried food, but I tried one of the yucca fries and they were such an interesting version of fries that I "stole" a few more. They were a lot more dense and tasted more like a root vegetable than regular potatoes. The herbs in the steak spice rub were the perfect mix of tangy and spicy.

I ordered the Paella with shrimp, mussels, chicken and calamari. It said it came with chorizo as well, but I didn't find any in mine. Everything was plated with a beautiful tamale leaf (I think?) or it could have been a banana leaf. The rice was creamy and buttery, but perhaps a little on the salty side. The bowl was bigger than it looks, so it was definitely a good value with all that seafood goodness and rice.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to snap a picture of dessert, but we both ordered the Passionfruit Cheesecake. The other option on the Londonlicious menu was a Creme Brulee infused with Guava. Overall, the three-course meal for $30 was an amazing deal and I've been meaning to try the restaurant ever since it opened last year. I wish London had more adventurous and modern restaurants like this.

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