Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tzin and Brian Jungen

This past Friday evening we were excited to check out the new Brian Jungen exhibit at the AGA, and with both of us already downtown at work, we planned the night before to check out another spot that had been on the list for some time - Tzin.

With the AGA event beginning at 7:30, we made a reservation via Open Table the evening before for 5:30, which would give us time to enjoy a few food items and couple glasses of wine. Unfortunately we arrived a little late for our reservation, but we were greeted immediately at the door, our jackets were hung and we were led to a table towards the back of the small space, right next to the bar.

A pillow lined banquet, deep red walls, a small, open kitchen and only a couple windows create a pretty cozy space (especially during cold evenings) and I think we probably could have stayed all evening with a bottle of wine. The two servers that evening were incredibly friendly and helpful, pairing wine with our food and suggesting glasses they thought we'd enjoy. Eventually we both ended up with a glass of Gine Gine, a red from Spain... that's about all I can remember. Food wise, we went with the mushroom crostinis ($13), golden halibut cheeks ($19.5) and chicken sausage and chorizo strudel (~$18).

The one and only food picture of the evening - mushroom crostinis. The cozy space meant sparse lighting, so we put the camera away.

Our food came out fairly quickly just as we got into our wine and we were left to enjoy. The mushroom crostinis were fantastic - rich crimini mushrooms, crispy baguette and flavourful garlic and red pepper aioli were a perfect start to the evening. We also enjoyed the sausage and chorizo strudel, which combined a moist, spicy filling with a satisfyingly crispy exterior. The halibut cheeks, our 'splurge' item, didn't quite live up to expectations. Breaded and slightly overcooked, the pieces came out a little dry, and we had to rely a little too heavily on the ginger-sesame-soy sauce on the side to provide necessary moisture and flavour.

I have no doubt we'll be back to Tzin. While we weren't necessarily 'wowed' by the food, we certainly enjoyed the majority of our dishes. The space and friendly service easily make this spot one of the most welcoming we've ever ventured to and that's definitely enough to warrant many return visits.

TZiN Wine & Tapas
10115 104 Street
Hours: T-Th (4-11pm), F-Sa (4pm - midnight), Su-M (Closed)
Tzin Wine & Tapas on Urbanspoon
*There were quite a few parties turned away throughout our stay, so if your heading to this spot, I'd suggest making a reservation.

Brian Jungen was thoroughly enjoyed. Definitely check it out if you get a chance. We also bumped into Isabelle and her husband which was great. Since this post was without food pictures, here's a few from the exhibition instead... I know, not quite as appetizing.


Isabelle said...

Nice pics! Hilariously, we have still not looked at the Jungen. We decided to skip it that night since there were so many people. I'm looking forward to it though. Nice to see you too!

Marianne and Charles said...

Thanks! That is hilarious! Understandable though - I think the installations will be far different amongst fewer people. I'm going to head back during the day over reading week when it's quieter and check things out. Enjoy when you do go!

Leslie Holmes said...

Love Tzin- I agree with you about the food. I find it expensive too. But I love the service there and the atmosphere. I've had plenty of lovely evenings there. Glad you liked it :)