Panissa, weird pudding bread
At Tuc Craft Kitchen.
Originally, I was not going to write about my lunch at Tuc Craft Kitchen since I only sampled 3 items off the lunch menu. Everything was tasty but initially I wanted to return for dinner to offer a more comprehensive post (occasional multi visits is my blogger quirk).
However I found myself researching the “bread” I ate at lunch and thought my fascination with Panissa must be shared.
First off, I’m happy to announce that Tuc Craft Kitchen has air conditioning!
Lunch started off with 2 appetizers: the Pork Belly Crackling and Oxtail Rillettes.
Everyone drools and fawns over Pork Crackling in general, but I was slightly disappointed with the dish at Tuc Craft Kitchen. Why? It reminded me of leftovers. Let me explain. In the days of yore (I realized I’m old enough to say that with a straight face), my parents would re-heat leftover Chinese roast pork by stir frying it with green onions. The result was slightly dried out pork with kind of crunchy pork rinds.
Albeit, there were no green onions in Tuc Craft Kitchen’s dish, the pork bits had a similar texture. The sweet tangy star anise red wine reduction dipping sauce saved this dish from being a meh to a good dish for me. The sauce helped balance off the fatty pork while adding a contrasting flavour.
The Oxtail Rillettes was not at all what I expected as I thought it would be a coarse chunky pate. Instead it resembled confit shredded meat that was rich in flavour. For a complete bite, combine the provided olives and pickled veggies, the rillette and the “bread”.
I initially thought the “bread” was just plain piece of toasted focaccia but it had a nice firm custard-ish inside. It turned out it to be Panissa and I really liked its taste and novelty. Similar to polenta, Panissa instead is made with chickpea flour instead of corn meal.
It’s soft texture worked well as a platform for the appy as you could push the oxtail and accompaniments into it for a solid bite. In addition, since it’s made with chickpea flour, Panissa is gluten free.
Overall, the oxtail rillettes was full bodied and hearty. The olive and pickled carrots help offset the richness of the rillettes. It was a very excellent appetizer.
The Panissa returned in my Steelhead Trout Salad. The trout was infused with vodka and beets. I didn’t taste any alcohol but the trout had an extra sweet flavour outside of the normal umami taste that I expected from the pink fish. The fillet was thin but was cooked so that it was still moist. I would have liked a bit less of a cook but it wasn’t a deal breaker.
The fennel and apple salad was nicely dressing and went well with the trout. I liked various flavours (sweet, tart and herby) and textures of the salad greens. This was a great light lunch entree (it’s available at dinner as well).
Overall I liked the flavours of the 3 items I ate for lunch and have definitely have Tuc Craft Kitchen on my “Need to go for Dinner” list. Plus, did I mention it had air con?
Tuc Craft Kitchen
60 West Cordova Street
Telephone: 604 559 8999
Instagram & Twitter: @TucCraftKitchen