Date night! L asked if we could go somewhere different from our usual rotation of restaurants. What? He doesn’t want to go to Full Circle for three nights in a row? Fine. I decided to humour him as he was picking up the bill. I thought of Cerezeo as my friend Jaimie recommended this cute spot before she left for a life of leisure in Kamloops.
The Japanese cafe is located in an older, well-kept bungalow style house. I liked the hardwood floors, large windows and cute little nooks and crannies in the house. We sat outside in the patio. Since we were the only ones dining in the back, we felt like we were our own private backyard.
We received a complimentary amuse-bouche. I think the dish consisted of a citrus aioli, crispy tofu and a lip-smacking dashi sauce.
L ordered a European draft beer ($7), in a frosted glass. For an extra $1.00 more, we received a bowl piled high with fried mushrooms. The quartered, button mushrooms made for an addicting snack. We thought we could taste soy sauce and something sweet. The batter melted on your tongue. A little salty though.
My sangria ($5) was refreshing and fruity without being too sweet. An inexpensive cocktail and it tasted better than the version I make at home. I would order the sangria again.
Next up was the chicken karrage ($8). The chicken wasn’t as crispy or battered as other versions in the city. L enjoyed the seasoning, sesame seeds and the flavour of the marinated chicken. I found this dish a bit salty.
We shared the foie gras rice bowl ($23). The rice was perfect, firm and with a bite to it. I liked the sprinkle of green onions and the generous amount of shredded black seaweed. The foie gras was rich, smooth and creamy. One of my favourite elements of the dish was the deep-fried shiso leaves and the duck sauce soaked rice.
The ikameshi was beautifully presented on the plate ($17). The squid was nicely charred and tasted of the grill. The combination of seasoned rice, tobiko, homemade mayonnaise, ginger and citrus was unique to me. I did find this dish heavy-handed in the salt department.
All the food we ordered was tasty and filling. We will return and try some of the other non-fried dishes, like Ton Toro ($16), Hotate Enoki ($16) and Toro Sashimi ($17). I’m going to try to persuade my office family to check this place out for lunch, as I have my eye on the Gyu Suji Beef Curry Rice ($16). Office Dad’s birthday is coming up and there are a few places I have in mind for his lunch. Cerzeo, Roku and my go-to favourite places, Pure Contemporary Vietnamese and Full Circle Pizza are all possible contenders.