The porridge is: hot and delicious! Carino is a gem of Japanese/Italian fusion cuisine. But make sure to phone ahead for reservations, the place is small!
Carino Japanese Bistro is a modern little restaurant that serves Japanese cuisine with Italian and French influences. A few of us decided to have dinner there on Sunday night and were glad we had reservations because the place filled up very quickly. Carino has a simple one-page dinner menu with a more extensive wine list and also some specials.
French Kiss (Seared beef tongue)
I used to be really afraid of beef tongue but I have an Aussie friend to thank for introducing me to beef tongue through yakiniku(Japanese barbeque). (She’s also the one who got me addicted to sea urchin - not a cheap item to be in love with… but thank you, Holly!) We found the name “French Kiss” to be a slight turnoff but Carino’s grilled organic beef tongue was delicious. It was not too chewy with a mild flavor that went perfectly with the lemon garnish and salad.
Teriyaki Kobe Beef Burger with Mixed Mushroom and Mayo (Side of salad)
I tried a little bit of this and found the burger to be a bit disappointing because it was sweeter than I would have liked. The rice bun was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, similar to a hash brown!
Crab Ravioli with Mentaiko Sauce
Oh the scallop, just look at the scallop. The scallop was seared to perfection and creamy. The ravioli were packed with flavor, I just wish there were more of them! Sweet and fresh pollock roe and prawns added a nice variety of textures.
Duck! Duck!! Duck!!!
These two plates were one dish - Seared Foie Gras, Confit Leg, Consomme, & Braised Daikon. I feel slightly conflicted writing about this dish because of the foie gras but I will just talk about the taste today. Everything, from the foie gras, the well-seasoned daikon, to the meat that slid easily off the bones of the confit leg, was absolutely delicious.
I loved the blackberries and blueberries that came with this! Yuzu is a citrus plant from east Asia that is similar to grapefruit and very fragrant. This tart might be slightly too sour for most people but I liked how you could really taste the yuzu flavor in the custard.
Panna cotta made with matcha green tea? Yes, please! This was creamy and refreshing at the same time. The strawberries and matcha power on top were a great complement. I love green tea and really enjoyed this.
We had a great time at Carino and loved almost all the dishes. (Sorry, Kobe beef burger!) They have a different lunch menu that includes ramen which I can’t wait to try. Until then, Carino!
Carino Japanese Bistro
709 Edmonton Trail N.E