Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dwarf No Cachette: 3.9/5

Kawaii Moe Moe
Special Beef Burger

Score: 3.9

Platter: $15.95

There’s a new restaurant in town with Dwarf No Cachette opening in the heart of St Boniface at 157 Provencher Blvd in the former Step'n Out location. At The Dwarf Hideout you can enjoy Japanese street food with a heaping side of Kawaii.

I was intrigued by the handmade scrapbook menu listing half-a-dozen burgers with unique toppings like egg salad and teriyaki sauce, but Maid Café night clinched the deal – Burger Club had to go! Taken from Japanese subculture, on Tuesdays servers wear maid and butler costumes to wait on and entertain the “masters of the house.” Your evening includes games  and dance performances - all for a $2.50 advance ticket. If you enjoy anime and Cosplay – you'll want to put Dwarf No Cachette on your list. Upcoming events and special menus are listed on their Facebook page.

The Maid Café night menu doesn't list a burger - it’s different from the regular Dwarf No Cachette menu. Of course we're Burger Club so owner Yasuko offered to prepare us the “Kawaii Moe Moe Special Beef Burger“ with two topping choices. Our group of seventeen pre-ordered so our two hour seating wasn't rushed.

Hello Kitty reigns supreme in the gift shop with a collection of all that is Kawaii. At one point in the evening there was a door prize draw and lucky Dani won a watch. Ashley (aka Ichigo) asked if we'd “like our food to taste better” and offered to perform a magic trick. Of course the answer was “Yes!” and she taught us a rhyme that ended with hands forming a heart.

The highlight of the evening was the dance performance when the two maids performed their carefully rehearsed choreography. Kitten battle was the best! It was a unique experience for me – I confess I am not part of Cosplay culture, but our group was made to feel welcome and invited to play along. You can watch the dance performance here.

The meals were beautifully presented on a variety of rectangular dishes. The burgers were wearing their bun-hat tilted so you could admire the toppings along with the two colourful sides. The beef patties were gigantic – easily 12 oz. and ball shaped. I haven't had their regular menu burger so this may have been generosity for our group with the off-menu burger. The patties were well cooked – moist, not dry – and seasoned with onions and herbs. Not salty or spicy – more of a home-style patty.

Geoff summarized nicely “I can't say I've ever been to an evening such as Dwarf No Cachette offers with the servers dressed up as maids. Very kitchy décor, gnomes galore. The experience was full of firsts for Burger Club: first meal with Edamame beans as a side, first burger with chopsticks as the only utensils, first burger with teriyaki sauce as a topping, definitely the first meal augmented by Manga-style dance routines. The burger was hefty, 1 2/3 inches thick in the middle but cooked throughout. It didn't stay together very well, the sesame seed bun was tasty, but woefully unprepared for its duties.”

It didn't take many bites – no matter what your grip - before you were juggling the broken remains of your sandwich. The store bought sesame seed bun just didn't hold up. Iceberg lettuce, slices of tomato and mayo made a slippery base for the burger ball to roll around on. If you asked for cheese, your stack included a slice of processed American cheese ($1). April handled her burger like an athlete: “There was a condiment landslide happening as I ate. The tomato escaped completely, but I was able to rebuild it from pieces to finish the meat.”

There was just the right amount of teriyaki sauce on my patty to add sweetness without dominating the flavour. The mild tomato salsa was flavourful and added moisture to the assembly. Nicole noted “Burger was really tasty! Patty was huge and cooked/moist all the way thru. Spice mix was great. Bun was a little flimsy and fell apart halfway thru. Patty could have been squished a little to better fit the bun and my mouth. Edamame was unsalted - it was nice. Yam tempura fries were delicious!

Some people were expecting a fried egg (Aussie style) and were surprised at the dollop of egg salad. Nadia wrote “Egg salad on burger is really interesting, also the teriyaki sauce. Meat patty is very soft, mixed with onion. Lovely. Meat patty is too big for me though.” Brad scrawled: “Had egg salad on burger - most unique flavour ever. Yam fries with teriyaki sauce was to die for. Burger patty was huge and juicy, almost too big.

The potato salad side was a scoop of fine mashed potato served in a ramekin. It was cold (as expected with a salad) with just enough cucumber to conjure up memories of a summer picnic. The Edamame were fresh and bright on the plate. Everyone loved the tempura coated yam fries. They were light, crispy and delicious. Maureen observed “Yam fries fabulous with tempura coating. Edamame were refrigerator cold with no salt.”

Dwarf No Cachette's dessert menu lists Parfaits for $55, $66, $77 and $88. We asked our butler what you got for $88 but he couldn’t tell us. I opted for the $6.95 “Berry Berry”. It was spectacular and lined with  … corn flakes of course!

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