Our next entry into the green onion cakes odyssey takes us to XIX (Nineteen) in Terwillegar.
To say that I was excited to try the green onion cakes here would be an understatement. Chef Andrew Fung had created a Charred Albacore tuna “taco” where the “taco” was actually a green onion cake!! WHAT!??!
As I already knew what I was having, I sat impatiently as I watched my girlfriends hum and haw over the menu. Chicks are the worst. Finally, decisions were made!
Me: “I’ll have your green onion cake thingo please.” I was eager.
Waiter: “Ummmmm. We haven’t had that on the menu in like forever.”
Me: “What!? Then why do you have it listed on your website menu?”
Waiter: “Dunno. Maybe they haven’t updated it. But it’s been like 6 months, so… Dunno.”
Me: “BUT THAT’S THE ONLY REASON I CAME HERE!? WHY WOULD YOU HAVE A MENU ITEM LISTED ON YOUR WEBSITE AND THEN NOT HAVE IT?? I NEVER WOULD HAVE COME! WHAT IS THE POINT OF HAVING A WEBSITE??? THIS IS RIDICULOUS! I CANNOT.”
I was having a tantrum.
Waiter: “I’ll mention to my manager that we should update our website.” *shrug*
Ya. He actually shrugged. Shrugging is the WORST. I was furious. It really doesn’t take much.
We went back to reviewing the menu. I was frowning. But… what was this? I watch as a chef begins a slow but deliberate march to our table. Chef Andrew Fung TO THE RESCUE!
I try to explain who I am (I may, in my hysteria, have called myself “the green onion cake lady”) and why it is so important for me to have a green onion cake from XIX. I may have been crying.
Chef Fung is sympathetic. He tells me that despite what the waiter had told me, they only recently discontinued the dish. He had submitted the menu change to their web guy, but it just hadn’t been uploaded yet. But he MIGHT be able to find the necessary ingredients laying around the kitchen to whip a couple up for my friend and I. AMAZEBALLS!!!!
I felt like a celebrity. Ordering off menu is so hot right now. My girlfriends were suitably impressed. Especially when THIS arrived:
Beautiful! A fried green onion cake topped with a variety of shredded root vegetables (radishes, carrots, maybe parsnips), rare tuna slices and fresh cilantro smothered in a spicy miso dressing. Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Edmonton fusion! But, how to eat it? It’s called a “taco”, right? I go in straight with my hands. Impossible. The green onion cake was too firm to bend. I looked up to see my friend laughing at me. She was well into hers. With a knife and fork. Her first question: “Does this really count as a green onion cake?”
I leave that existential question dangling and dig in. This creation is delectable. The tuna was fresh and cool which was a nice compliment to the spicy dressing. But if you like your food neat and tidy, this is not for you. It’s messy. Delicious, but messy.
But what of the green onion cake itself? Was I just being distracted by all the accoutrements? I am thrilled to report that I have found my first 5 star EGOC! It was crispy, flaky and perfectly seasoned. Almost pastry-esque. I would love to try one just on it’s own. Chef Fung should be congratulated on creating an EGOC masterpiece. This one has led me to consider changing my rating scale to a 10 star system so I can give it more than 5 stars! I hope this dish serves as an inspiration to other Edmonton chefs to step up their green onion cake game.
What a pity it’s now off the menu. Perhaps a petition is in order?
5 stars out of 5