Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Helm


Dodo came back from Ottawa again, this time with bf Ka. We were planning on trying tapas at The Helm with my LivingSocial voucher. According to the voucher, we could get 2 free signature sparkling cocktails if we visited on a weekday. Unfortunately Dodo only had time to go downtown on Saturday, so we were quite sad that we'd miss the chance to try the cocktail :( But our server was super nice, and offered to give us the drinks anyway! And he got the bartender to split the drinks into 3 glasses, so that we could all try it. It was sparkling champagne with raspberry puree. So good! Even Ka liked it, and he's not usually into alcoholic drinks.


When we saw stuffed dates ($3) on the menu, we wondered how many dates we would get since it was so cheap. The server told us there were 8 of them, so we were like, "Let's try it!" The dates were stuffed with cheese, and I found the combination quite... unique. The date was sweet, while the cheese inside was salty and savoury. Ka really liked it, but I think the taste takes some getting used to.


I ordered the smoked albacore tuna tartare with blood orange and cucumber ($12). This was a smart choice because the tuna was really fresh, and the cucumber and onions on top were seasoned very nicely. Everyone liked this dish, even Dodo who doesn't like raw fish other than salmon sashimi.


Dodo wanted to try the charred octopus with parsley, celery, and garlic croutons ($12). This dish turned out to be really bad... The octopus was tough and dry; the garlic croutons were mushy as they were drenched in green sauce that was supposed to be made of parsley and celery but tasted like neither. The dish was pretty much flavourless aside from being really salty.


Ka wanted yam fries, but they only had chickpea fries with house-made ketchup ($6). We were all curious as to what chickpea fries were like. They were much larger than regular fries, and the inside was slightly mushy. Dodo said they reminded her of fried tofu and I agreed with her.


For dessert, I suggested pavlova with Meyer lemon curd and preserved berries ($7) since Dodo and Ka haven't had pavlova before. I was worried that it might be too sweet, but it was just right especially with the tartness of the lemon curd to balance it out.


One of the servers told us the place turns into a night club after 10 pm, so we had to finish our meal by then since our table would be moved aside to make space for a dance floor. Despite being a little bit rushed, the service was wonderful and most of the food was good. We liked all of the dishes except for the charred octopus. I will definitely come back for tapas and drinks when I have the chance.

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