Hartsyard – 28 May 2015

Hartsyard wasn’t a place that had popped up on my radar, however my brother wanted to go. I had no idea of its popularity, fame, or even the type of cuisine it served – in fact on my initial viewing of the menu, I wasn’t sure I’d like it at all.

However, I booked it anyway, and when I checked the menu again on the day, it looked quite interesting – which was a good thing – we needed very large appetites and stomachs for this meal!

The food menu is split into three parts – Seed (entrees), Feed (mains), Out to Pasture (dessert). For a party of two it was recommended that we order only three items from Seed and Feed as the servings were quite large. We opted for four, since I wanted to try pretty much everything.

First up was the chicken skin, which came in larger pieces than I expected, and that’s when I realised that the servings are quite large. These were served with togarashi, which had a great spiciness to it.

When I chose the crispy pig tails, I was expecting… little fried curly things. Instead, we received two fried balls with pickle garnish and a buttermilk sauce. Wow. It was an amazing ball of gelatinous goo stuff that was so good! It worked so well with the pickles and the sauce. It was so crisp on the outside, too! This was my favourite dish of the night.

Fried chicken was on my mind since I’ve been meaning to go sample some Mary’s fried chicken, but probably wouldn’t have the chance to. Instead, it was fried chicken here – and this was the one dish we shouldn’t have ordered. Not because it wasn’t super tasty, but because there’s fried chicken everywhere, and for the most part, are all equally delicious. This was just an issue of quantity. That cauliflower sauce made the biscuit (scone) taste so good, and that chicken had a great coating and was juicy on the inside!

We were struggling by the time the poutine came out. My brother really really wanted this dish, and I had no idea what it was. However, after a few bites, I loved this too! Who thought wet chips could taste this good! It was hilarious that we both liked the chips better than the beef shin, so we ended up consuming all the potato, but because we had to leave room for dessert, we had to abandon the tasty beef.

I think we were only meant to order one dessert, but we ended up ordering two. Definitely too much food! However, I can safely say this is the best tiramisu I’ve had. I’m not sure exactly why it tasted so good to me, but it probably had to do with the fact that it wasn’t overloaded with heavy mascarpone and didn’t have an overpowering coffee-alcohol soaked sponge. All the proportions were just right, and I liked that the coffee-alcohol flavour was instead concentrated in little blocks of jellies, and this was very delicious indeed. The shards of pulled caramel on top also added just enough sweetness to complement the dish!

I mainly wanted to try the fried apple pie dish because it contained apple and sorrel granita, and I love sorrel. When it came out, my brother and I were instantly reminded of a McDonald’s apple pie, both because of the smell and the look. It was tasty, but not mind blowing. We both liked the tiramisu better. The granita did indeed have a nice sharpness to it, but at the end of the day only one dessert is needed between two people, and the tiramisu wins.

So we had ordered 6 dishes instead of a recommended 4, and we left crumbs in the last 3 dishes. Funnily enough, with every 2 hour limit booking I’ve had this time, we’ve just made the time limit. Time wouldn’t have helped us anyway, since I doubt I could increase my metabolism on demand.

Either way, I was very happy for having dined here, since I would never have picked out an American themed restaurant if left to my own devices. There are definitely at least a couple of fantastic dishes here that I would come back for – if you’ve never had poutine before, come here to try it. If you like tiramisu, this is one that definitely looks different from all other tiramisus!