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Saturday, 23 June 2012

Restraunt Review: Silver Inn Resturant - 75%

I have had a serious jonsing for ginger beef lately, which is odd, since it is one of the Chinese dishes I've never really been fond of, even before my celiac diagnosis. The usual Chinese restaurant I've went to since learning I'm celiac doesn't office gluten free ginger beef, so that wasn't an option.

Enter Google, a celiac's best friend.

I actually live in Airdrie, so it was nice the apparent "Home of Ginger Beef" was on Centre Street North. The German is always up for anything battered, deep fried, or salty, so he was in.

From the outside, it looks like the typical old neighborhood Chinese place. A little run down, but that usually leads me to hope that they spend more time on the food, and less time on appearances. We were seated very quickly and had our drink orders taken right away; Coke for him and water for me.

Now, at the other gluten free Chinese place I've been to, items that can be made gluten free are clearly marked on the menu. At Silver Inn Restauraunt, however, they are not, which was slightly disappointing. We ordered ginger beef, sweet and sour pork, and the crunchy chicken filet in sweet corn sauce. I was trying to find some dish with a little bit of greenery in it, but after naming two or three different veggie dishes, and being told they couldn't make them gluten free without omitting the sauce, we gave up and just stuck with our three dishes and steamed rice.

I asked for gluten free soy sauce to go with my steamed rice, but the waitress told me they only had regular soy sauce and told me to bring my own from home next time. I was really surprised and disappointed by this. Gluten free soy sauce isn't hard to find (VH is GF for goodness sakes).

Our beef and pork dishes arrived fairly fast, along with our rice, but the chicken was a fair bit delayed for an unexplained reason.

First and foremost, the ginger beef was - literally - out of this world. If I hadn't been with my boyfriend and surrounded by strangers, I might have just started shoving handfuls of it into my mouth. We were told the batter is made with cornstarch, and I'm wondering if that is the secret. Very light, crunchy even when covered with sauce, it doesn't remind me one bit of the incredibly chewy and tough ginger beef I remember from Chinese smorgs past. The sauce was perfect, not overpowering at all, with just the right amount of chili. If you come to this restaurant and don't order the ginger beef, I pity you!

A-MAZE-ING Ginger Beef!

The sweet and sour pork was pretty good too, although the coating on it wasn't nearly as good as that on the ginger beef. The sauce was nice though, not too vinegary like I remember a lot of places being. Nice chunks of onion, carrot, and green pepper (so I guess I got a little vegetable in me by the end of the meal) but no pineapple! That wouldn't stop me from ordering it again though! 

Pork on my fork, please!
Our crunchy chicken filet in sweet corn sauce was strangely good, a combination I never would have thought of before, but otherwise unimpressive. It was basically breaded chicken covered in creamed corn. My boyfriend was quite impressed by it (he also eats frozen pizza and beefaroni several times a week) but it was just too starchy and heavy for me to be anything else than a novelty.
Is there such a thing as the "starch sweats"?
All things considered, it was not a bad meal at all for $50 including tip, and I would like to head back some time in the future and try a different variety of dishes to hopefully find a new favorite. As good as the ginger beef was, I would be hard pressed to drive 40 kilometers for one dish unless I was having a helluva craving.

But hey, that's how I got here in the first place!!

Overall, I'm rating the Silver Inn Restaurant as follows:

Atmosphere 8/10
Service 8 /10
Presentation 6.5/10
Taste 8.5/10
Variety of Gluten Free Dishes 7/10
Value 7/10
Silver Inn on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I agree on the ginger beef. Amazing stuff. I don't believe this place is the first choice for gluten-free, since a lot of dishes have soy sauce that is not gluten free, but if you carve some specific western-chinese food, you might find something very neat here.

    "The German"