Tap Restaurant – Surrey, BC

It feels like ages since I’ve sat down to write a review here. Nine months to be exact. I’m not sure what happened or why it took me so long to get back into the swing of things and enjoy writing again. It probably has something to do with life getting in the way, or the multitude of changes that have occurred recently. Since moving my entire life to British Columbia, attempting to settle in to a new job, new home and make new friends, my passion for writing has been put on the back burner. That completely changed when I visited Tap Restaurant. The spark was reignited and I am once again excited to share my experience of what I think is an outstanding fine dining establishment.

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My parents were so generous in giving us a gift card to Tap Restaurant for Christmas which allowed us the freedom to choose freely from the menu without worrying about how our wallets would judge us later. The menu is reasonably priced, considering the quality of the locally sourced ingredients and the time and passion that goes into creating their dishes. I would have no issue forking out (get it?) a few extra bucks of my hard earned money to dine here again.

Tap Restaurant is located in south Surrey, tucked away in what seems to be a nice, quiet residential area. They have a beautiful patio that I can’t wait to enjoy in the summer.

We made our reservation for 7PM on a weeknight and there were only a handful of tables occupied during our visit. We were immediately welcomed by most of the staff, including the chef as we walked through the doors and were sat by a beautiful, warm fireplace to enjoy our meal. The dining area is small and cozy with tasteful modern decor which created a warm intimate dining experience. It also features an open kitchen concept so you can watch the cooks work their magic.

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We began our meal with the parmesan risotto with white truffle oil. During our drive to the restaurant, I was looking over the menu and had my heart set on this as a starter. I’m incredibly glad we did. The risotto was every bit as creamy as you’d want a risotto to be, cooked perfectly, piping hot with freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top. We opted for some fresh pepper on top as well. I’d been craving a good risotto for a while, and this sealed the deal. It was also a perfect portion for sharing.

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An interesting section on their menu is the puff pastry tartes flambees. We settled on the Alsace puff pastry with double smoked bacon, caramelized onion and Gruyere cheese. Although not flambeed, the puff pastry was incredible – unlike any puff pastry I’ve had. It was warm, flaky, indulgent, drizzled with a balsamic reduction, a delicious white sauce and topped with shallots. Another great dish to share.

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My main of choice was the Rossdown Farms chicken with rosemary and thyme veloute, wild rice and a side of kale, carrots and green beans. The chicken was incredibly juicy, hot with a perfectly crispy skin. The veloute worked perfectly with the rice and vegetables. The carrots were incredible and the kale was to die for. I even stole some from my partners plate. The vegetables were clearly fresh and the beans had a wonderful crunch.

After our two starters, the portioning of this dish was perfect.

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My partner had the beef tenderloin with an olive oil herb potato pave and same delicious vegetables that eventually made their way to my plate too. My boyfriend is great at sharing! The beef was beautifully cooked, tender and succulent with prominent  flavours and beautifully seasoned. I was fortunate enough to grab a bite and the meat simply melted in my mouth. I’d never had potato pave before and to my delight it was seared in butter and had the perfect balance of crisp edges and a soft potato center. Additionally, flavours of thyme and rosemary elevated this dish wonderfully.

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I struggled with what to order for dessert. Each option sounded even better than the last so I narrowed it down to a final two and asked our waitress for her recommendation. It was between the poached pear or lemon cremeux. On her recommendation, the lemon cremeux was the winner. This was a sweet and refreshing way to finish the meal. The meringue was delicious and perfectly toasted and the lemon cremeux was sweet and tangy. The raspberry caviar was a fun and sweet visual addition to this dish.

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My better half chose the lava cake which he described as rich and indulgent – decadence at its finest. Obviously I had a bite or two, for research purposes. The cake was warm and gooey, wonderfully cooked and just the right size. The side of creme anglaise made this dish even more indulgent than it was on its own. It’s the perfect way to complete your dining experience, especially if you’ve had a lighter meal.

Tap Restaurant has amazing staff, beautiful ambiance and the plating and presentation of their dishes is creative and inspiring. The people who work here bring everything together perfectly and you can tell they are proud to work there

We can’t wait to come back and enjoy more of what Tap Restaurant has to offer and sample from their large wine selection for our next date night.

Most importantly, I’m looking forward to bringing my family here during their visit from Ontario for my 30th birthday.

Tap Restaurant is located at 101-15350 34th Avenue, Surrey BC.

-Rach

 Tap Urban Cafe & Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Warm Asparagus and Corn Salad with White Wine Vinegar

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I recently had one of those nights where I knew I had barely anything left in the fridge for a proper dinner and was too lazy to go out to the grocery store (it was probably a Monday). Luckily, I knew I had some fresh veggies kickin’ around. I grabbed what I thought would work well together and settled on making a vegetable salad. So, with some asparagus, corn, onion and red pepper I created a delicious, comforting, warm vegetable salad on a whim. What’s great about this dish is how well it re-heats the next day. Just under two minutes in the microwave will warm the vegetables up just enough and keep their crunch.

Even though I enjoyed this on a cold winter night, this salad is sure to go well with some chicken or fish at your next summer barbeque.

Servings: 6 (as a side dish)

Total time: 30 minutes

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 – 2.5 cups fresh or frozen corn, if frozen: steam
  • 1 bunch of asparagus spears, ends trimmed, cut into large pieces
  • 1 sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup Spanish OR red onion, chopped
  • Small bundle of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1.5 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Steam corn and set aside to cool. Heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan on medium to high heat. Once oil is hot, add the asparagus and red pepper. Cook and stir frequently until tender but still firm, about 3-5 minutes, depending on how cooked you prefer your asparagus to be. Transfer into a large bowl.

In the large bowl, add the steamed corn, parsley, onion, parmesan cheese, remaining olive oil and white wine vinegar. Toss gently to evenly coat the vegetables. Sprinkle with paprika and Italian seasoning and toss gently again. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm and enjoy!

Recipe: Grandma’s Hungarian Green Bean Soup

This is the perfect soup to make on a cold winter day, or any day for that matter. Just be prepared to set aside half of your day to make this flavourful, indulgent soup. This recipe has been handed down to me from my Hungarian grandmother. I’ve attempted it only twice in my life since recently sitting down with her to record the recipe for myself. Everything about this soup brings back wonderful memories of visiting my grandma and grandpas place when I was younger. There’s nothing better than the smell of dill that fills the air when this soup is on the stove. Hungarian green bean soup (Friss Zoldbab Leves) combines fresh dill with green beans and sour cream to make a creamy, full bodied soup.

You’ll need:

  • 3lbs of green beans (ends cut off, and halved)
  • 15 cups of cold water
  • 1 extra-large pot
  • 1 bundle of fresh dill (stems removed, slightly chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of lemon pepper

Roux:

  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 5-7 tbsp of bacon fat
  • 6-8 tbsp of flour

Sour cream mixture:

  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 1 500ml container of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of cold water

1. Prep green beans by cutting off the tip of both ends and cut into halves. Rinse well under cold water.

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2. Fill your extra-large pot with cold water (approx 15 cups). Make sure that the beans are fully covered with water. Add in the garlic cloves, dill, bay leaves, bullion cubes and salt. Stir to combine and boil on low to medium heat for three hours.

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3. When there’s approximately 40 minutes left, begin to prepare the roux that will be added to the soup. In a small sauce pan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, set aside. In a small, deep metal frying pan, melt the bacon fat at medium temperature.

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4. Once the bacon fat has melted, gradually add 6-8 tbsp of flour – stirring constantly. Continue to stir until the roux turns a dark orange colour and the consistency is like smooth peanut butter. At that time, slowly add the boiling water and continue to stir until all lumps are gone and the mixture is smooth again. Slowly add the roux to the soup, folding it in.

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5. Prepare the sour cream mixture. Empty the sour cream into a medium sized bowl. In the empty sour cream container, combine 3 tbsp of flour and  1/2 cup of cold water- mix until blended. Add to the sour cream and combine.

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6. Slowly add the sour cream mixture to the soup. Stir well.

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7. Add 5-6 tbsp of vinegar and 1 tbsp of lemon pepper to the soup. Continue to boil for an additional half an hour.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!

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This is by far one of my favourite soups to make at home. It’s an enjoyable, relaxing experience and it fills your home with enticing scents. This recipe makes about 4 liters of soup.

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That’s a lot of soup! I like to jar some up and give them to my family and friends to enjoy. I also save some for my grandma of course. Her recipe will live on in our family for years to come. I hope your family will enjoy it too!

Happy eating!

-Rach

Recipe: Easy, Cheesy Bacon Chicken Bake

This is my first time creating a recipe from only what I had available in the kitchen. This chicken bake is refreshing, delicious and indulgent. With 5 simple ingredients, it’s easy to make and in no time, you’ve got a satisfying dinner. You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of basmati rice
  • 1 (796ml) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
  • 1tbsp of Italian seasoning
  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 2 large)
  • 1 package of bacon (cooked and chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dried parsley flakes for garnish

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a 9×12 baking dish, combine the diced tomatoes (with juice), rice and half of the Italian seasoning. Place chicken breasts on top of tomato mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and remaining Italian seasoning. Cover with tinfoil and place in preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, based on size of chicken breasts.

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Check the chicken once or twice to be sure that it is fully cooked. Also check to see that the rice is fully cooked from the tomato juice. If not, add a 1/4 cup of water and cook for another 5 minutes.

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Once fully cooked, sprinkle shredded cheese and chopped bacon on top and return to the oven until the cheese has melted and started to lightly brown. Approximately 5 minutes.

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Garnish with dried parsley flakes. Serve immediately.

I served this dish on its own as it was pretty filling but a fresh salad or grilled vegetable would be a great addition. The tomatoes bring a juicy freshness, combined with the gooey cheese and crunchy, salty bacon, it’s to die for!

Try this out and give me your feedback in the comments below!

Happy eating!

-Rach