Yet again circumstances resulted in our going out on a Friday night, kind of. The plan was to go to best cocktails and follow up with best late night Korean (late night= Friday night). I was wary of going out for cocktails at a much-hyped bar on a Friday evening. I was worried that BarChef would be packed and we would have to return again on a Wednesday at opening. We just about walked right by the place, it is easy to miss. The doorway is set back from the street and the windows have black curtains. Unless you know the address, this place is easy to miss. Which is probably why we were able to snag a table on a Friday evening.
I made an exception and ordered a drink, a super fancy modernist drink, as did Brent. It was a rather long wait for our drinks but once they arrived it was quickly evident why. The Mayan hot chocolate I ordered came with a bunch of little jelly blobs on the side and a few wine bubbles (one bite and your mouth was awash with late harvest vidal, it was so weird but cool). Brent had ordered the Sailor’s Mojito which came with a small bowl of dry ice, covering our table in “fresh lime and vanilla air.” It was hilarious and quite the experience. The Mayan hot chocolate was perfect, given it was freezing cold outside. The drink was prepared in such a way that it complimented the flavours of the alcohols used (chartreuse and mezcal) and neither one overpowered the other. It is too bad it was just the two of us, on the menu BarChef also features a punch bowl but the small is intended for 4-6 people.
Afterwards we headed out to Owl of Minerva for best late night Korean food. I was voraciously hungry as usual and I just so happened to be craving Asian food. Our plans were almost immediately thwarted by a gate in the mall. Turns out after Dragon City Mall is closed you have to use an alternate staircase by the elevators to get up there. Embarrassed we had to backtrack by the security guard who laughed and pointed us in the right direction.
It is no surprise that Owl of Minerva was voted best late night Korean food: they are open until 4am on weekends! (As the sign in the bathroom informed me).
No sooner had we placed our order, we were presented with an array of side dishes. I devoured the bean sprouts and have since been on the hunt for the recipe, they are addictive. We had barely started eating our side dishes when our mains arrived. I had ordered the sizzling beef stir fry and they weren’t lying when they said sizzling. I was presented with a steaming hot, literally sizzling pan of food. It was a lot of fun watching Brent eat his pork bone soup. For one he is not a big fan of soup. Additionally the soup had as promised: a giant pork bone in it. I could not stop laughing as I watched him tackle it. The soup was good, but nowhere near as delicious as the beef stir fry.
Owl of Minerva is open late, cheap and fast service. My only complaint is the hot glass of water, not sure what that was about. Boil water advisory maybe? Some ice would have been nice.