Updated: 6th Jan 2011; This restaurant had been closed according to Urbanspoon.com.
I must admit. It had been a horrid week at work last week. Fresh from a successful roll out of one project, I had been plonked right into a distressed project which had been millions over budget, months overdue and the scope loosely defined. That goes without saying that team morale is not particularly high. I had to virtually reset the project plan and that resulted in 10-12 hour days. At the end of the week, I was totally drained and what I wanted was just forget about work and go out for a drink and a meal.
Of late, we had quite a lot of recommendations for places to try. Maria suggested that we check out Howie’s in Burnaby. I checked Howie’s website and decided that this is exactly what I wanted. Since Suanne was around Kingsway on errands, we made plans for a nice dinner and drinks … just the two of us.
Howie’s Bistro and Bar is located on Lougheed Hwy and Bainsbridge Ave.
We were there just after five and we found that we were the only customer there. We love the setting. It was really well maintained with everything arranged so carefully. They even have a stage and a dance floor. It was after seven that the crowds began to turn up. Apparently, they have nightly events and tonight was a dance night. Suanne and I are not into the dancing scene and we were quite surprised to see how many people actually come by for a dance. They even have karaoke on Thursday nights.
My mind was fixated on a nice drink. This was perfect because Howie had quite an extensive drink and wine menu. We took our time and just ordered the drinks before we figure out the food. For all I care, I wanted to take my own sweet time and forget about work!
I ordered the Howie’s Com’n Gold which is described as “aliz? gold passion, peach schnapps, lychee liqueur, mango & raspberry”. I had no idea what it is but were told that it is like Bellini … fruity and all but with a Howie’s twist. It sounded good to me. This one is $7. This gave me a severe brain freeze when I took my first sip too fast.
Suanne does not (officially) drink alcoholic drinks. So she tried to choose something from the puny 1 page non-alcohol section. There were nothing quite exciting except for the “Nordic Non-alcoholic Beer” which is basically a Molson Exel.
The drinks came and Suanne took a sip of my cocktail and a sip of her “beer” and decided that she likes my one better. She kept the drink. Midway through the meal, she kept on asking me, like for a trillion times, if her face is red. How can I tell, I told her … the place is not exactly very bright. She also kept on telling me her heart is beating like mad. Oh yeah … she likes it alright.
In my dating days with her, I would have gotten her a couple more of this … get her drunk … and then … oh … I digressed. Back to food. LOL!
We next got ourselves a couple of appys. The $8 Coconut Shrimp was awesome. The prawns were huge and very fleshy. The orange marmalade sauce in the middle was the perfect dip for the shredded coconut battered shrimp. I highly recommend this one for an appetizer.
We did not count on the second appetizer being so large. When they brought it to our table, it smelt so wonderful. We were told that this is coated with some Japanese ingredient called “panko” to make the batter lighter.
Although this is called the Hot and Spicy Calamari it is not hot except for the jalapenos which was quite mild. This apparently is a popular one because we overheard the customer who sat behind us immediately ordered this even before they sat down. For $8, it is quite a huge dish … more like an entree sized serving if you ask me.
The bread came next and it was warm and chewy, just the way we like it. I wished that the butter they served were not so hard (perhaps just out from the fridge). Thumbs up.
For the mains, I ordered the Chicken Oscar. It consists of a chicken breast topped a very creamy hollandaise sauce …
… but what I love most is it is also topped with lots of crab meat. I enjoyed this tremendously and am glad I selected this. This is $18. For a cheap person like me, I find it a tad too expensive although I must say it did not disappoint me.
Suanne ordered the Linguine with Prawns. It was beautifully garnished with green onions, don’t you think? Suanne felt that the white wine lemon sauce is too light to her liking but I thought otherwise. The thing we both agree is that the springy prawns were great with the pasta. $16.
I wanted to resist desserts but Suanne insisted on it. I know she is as full as I was but I also know she cannot pass on dessert. You know, I think desserts are girl things … I am not sure why but most girls I know get very delighted with dessert.
We ordered the Banana Foster ($6) which has a delightfully crispy crepe wrapping ice cream with thinly sliced bananas on it.
It was sinfully awesome and we dripped the dessert everywhere (it was kind of hard sharing a dish across the table).
All in all, we totally enjoyed the meal and a total diversion from work. If you are around Burnaby, I really think you should check this place out, especially if you are into dancing as it seems like a very popular event.
This is a good recommendation, Maria and exactly what I needed. Thanks a bunch.