In my last post, I had a little teaser at the end for this one…
In today’s post I’ll wrap up some of the things me and my friend tried at the Taste of Calgary in mid-August.
The minute I saw the different things that Dumpling Lab had for sale, I definitely wanted to check them out. I was intrigued by the unique-sounding dumplings, and also to try a Calgary version of poke – something I’d tried in Hawaii a few years ago. I later saw that two other booths also had Poke – it must be a pretty trendy item right now (that and Empanadas… it seemed like everyone had empanadas…)
I started with the Pork, Spinach, & Ricotta Cheese Dumplings – and honestly… was kind of disappointed. They didn’t have a lot of flavour, and were very dry – as if they had been cooked and left too long. They had a sauce, but even the sauce wasn’t sufficient to moisten the dumpling. That being said, I can only imagine how difficult it is to not just have food ready quickly for a demanding festival customer, but then also keep it fresh and hot… so while I wasn’t happy with the dumplings, I still appreciate their flavour variations.
The three dumplings came with a side of soy beans, however these weren’t salted, so I didn’t really enjoy them a lot either. I like them hot and salted and these were neither.
Unfortunately, despite really looking forward to it, the poke was also disappointing. There was way too much oil and seasoning – it completely overwhelmed the flavour of the tuna or the mango. The minute my friend took a bite, she was ready to spit it out. I didn’t think quite that badly of it, but it did leave a bad taste in my mouth. I also thought the crackers it was served with were the wrong side – the cracker also really overwhelmed the poke…
One 18 Empire
Next up, we visited One 18 Empire’s booth. My friend wanted the roasted corn salad, and we both really wanted to try the Goat Cheese Cake with Salted Caramel.
First up – the salad…. I just had a small nibble and although I didn’t get any onion.. the whole thing tasted like onion to me. We both agreed that the corn didn’t taste “roasted” at all, and had way too much onion to be enjoyable.
The cheesecake on the other hand… was awesome! It didn’t even need the salted caramel drizzle on top – the flavour of the goat cheese was perfect in the cheesecake. It had the texture of cheesecake, with the flavour of goat cheese. The size was also good for a little bite – though I could totally have gone back for another if I had any tickets left at the end of the day!
While I was eating my poke, my friend went and bought sweet and sour chicken balls from the China Rose booth. These had very little breading and lots of chicken (good!) and the sauce was good, but they suffered from the same dryness as the dumplings above.
We didn’t get there, but I was pretty happy to see Sal’s Flatbread was there with a food truck as well. I really loved their kiosk at MRU, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for their food truck at events in the future!
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