Myself and my best friend eat out alot. As such we decided to start providing reviews of the places we discover. The main reason for ME to do this is so I can remember which places are awesome for future reference. But also to share our viewpoint with people who are interested in it.

To this end we created a facebook page called Calgary Bytes (Link: Calgary Bytes! on Facebook ).

I’ll be reposting most of our reviews here as well. But if you want to become a fan, head over to our page.

So without further adieu. Our first review.

Spoonful, #105 6404 Bowness Rd. Calgary

Type of Cuisine:
Chinese and Thai with some Vietnamese influence
(Colin) – I love fusion of cooking styles and flavours
(Esher) – I love cold fusion reactors. Also, I like food.

Decor and Space:
(Colin) – Neatly combines oriental feel with a modern look, not over the top with patterns and textures. A comfortable space with cool colours, and nice stone topped tables.
(Esher) – The space isn’t exactly modern restaurant material. It’s better. It’s comfy, relatively small, but the darker theme gives it a nice atmosphere.

(Colin) – Our server was courteous and attentive. When there was a slight delay on one dish he was kind enough to let us know right away, and apologize for the inconvenience. Though I must note, it was only a minor delay and there was already food on the table to keep us occupied.
(Esher) – Honestly, the apology wasn’t necessary at all. We were already munching out on some delicious food. But this was a good trait in that he was managing the customer’s expectations very efficiently. His overall attitude was friendly and polite. He successfully gave us the impression that he was happy to be serving us. His attitude wasn’t fake. And that’s important to me. Nothing worse then judgmental pricks who pretend to like you, and make fun of you behind your back.

What we ordered/Dish reviews:
(Colin) – First take to note main dishes come on a large plate for the whole table. You have the selection of bowl or plate for personal serving, forks and knives are on the table, chopsticks are on request. Serving size for each dish is enough to split between 2-3 people, but don’t be afraid to order too much, you will want to take it home with you.
(Esher) – Also, I like food.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls – Quantity 4, served with Thai sweet n spicy sauce.
Esher- I’m generally not too fond of spring roles. They’re usually greasy, over-fried and generally unappetizing. But these set an excellent tone for the entire dinner experience. They were light, and tasted healthy. If you open with something heavy in grease, it tends to make the rest of the meal feel heavier because of it. So I was very happy when I tasted these. The order size in my opinion was not big enough to classify as a group appetizer, but for a single person, it’s fine. However, the other dishes we ordered were sized for the table rather than an individual, so I must wonder if these were intended in the same manner or not.

Colin- At first I was a little disappointed in the small size of these spring rolls. However they are quite tasty, and the sweet sauce with a mild kick of spicy heat works well. While deep-fried like other spring rolls they did not seem heavy with oil, an enjoyable appetizer.

Rainbow Noodles- 2 types of vermicelli (standard [rice] and clear [bean curd I believe]) cooked with BBQ pork, chicken, green and red bell pepper.
Esher- The overall theme for this meal was authentic (westernized) light food and this particular dish kept that theme going well. The consistency of all the components was near-perfect, the savoury flavor was well complimented by the peppers, and the meats were cooked perfectly.

Colin- Ohh So tasty, I’m coming back for this one. The flavour is quite savory, I had 3 bowls of it. In spite of being a big noodle dish, it is very light and does not leave you feeling bloated. I found the flavour balance to be excellent with no one ingredient over-powering this dish.

Ginger Chicken- Battered chicken, green and red bell pepper. In Szechuan ginger sauce.
Esher- One of my staple foods when ordering Chinese is Ginger Beef. Not because I like most places Ginger Beef, but because of my own holy grail-like quest. You see, I had once the best Ginger Beef -ever- back in the late 90s. It was at a place called Harbor City down in Chinatown. Since then I have been searching unsuccessfully for something that could compare and have never come up with anything. This dish however has given me great hope that my quest is finally at an end, and I’ll become an immortal godlike rogue with epic level daggers… wait, what was I talking about? Oh yea. Like the spring rolls, the ginger chicken was light. Seriously. Moreover, it had lots of sauce on it. I know. I was as confused as you are right now. But it gets better. Not only did it not feel heavy and layered with grease and MSG, but it was actually good. In fact it was really good. The near-perfect amount of crushed chillis, perfectly prepared sauce, firm but not chewy or rubbery, and tie fighters. Minus the tie fighters part.

Colin- I’ve had ginger chicken all over the city, this has got to be the first time I truly enjoyed it. Many other places I’ve been it’s tough from over cooking and the batter is soaked with oil. At spoonful, this was definitely not the case. It certainly had a much lighter presence than you would usually find in westernized-oriental food, that many have unfortunately become accustomed to. I found the spicy nature of this dish to be just right, it creeps up on you after the first bite, but does not quickly become the only thing you can taste. You have that time with each bite to really taste the other flavours before you feel that bit of heat.

Coconut Rice-
Esher- I don’t eat rice. At least not without a ridiculous pile of soy sauce. Until now that is. I can only guess at the demonological rituals completed to cook this rice, but whatever foul nether essence they used to make this dish turn out the way it did, worked. I literally could not put down the dish until it was finished. The coconut added the perfect accent to a jasmine rice that was not too sticky and mushy, nor too firm. And the flavour didn’t overpower the simplicity of it either. This was almost my favorite thing we had.

Green Tea Ice Cream-
Esher- zomg.. green tea and ice cream actually don’t make a nerve gas when combined. I know, crazy right? But it actually tastes damned good.

Colin- The perfect end, after the spicy ginger chicken. Presentation points here, a single scoop served in a wine glass, with a nice straw shaped cookie. I’ve had green tea ice cream at other places, but often found them either weak in flavour with too much sugar, or not sweet enough so basically all you taste is green tea. I found this particular scoop to be very well balanced.

Pricing: Bill $36.23 none too shabby for the tasty food. With a coffee and an ice tea.

Over-all rating:
Esher- I give it a cold fusion reactor.. Which is good.. I think. My only complaint is the group-oriented dish scheme. If I wanted to go for a bite to eat on my own, would I still be getting a giant plate of Ginger Chicken? I dunno. Also, they need better menus. Theirs were silly looking. (4/5)
Colin- I give it 3 rice bowls, a platypus and half a tasty spring roll. (4.5/5)