Vegetarians should run, hide and cover your eyes before going any further with this blog post. The Tenen Restaurant is for serious meat eaters only.
The first dish (pictured above) is a chicken breast, pounded flat and then rolled and stuffed with mozzarella cheese and spinach. Sounds pretty good right?
Well how about you wrap that chicken breast in bacon and then bake it?
Yes, that is how they serve a wrap at Tenen Restaurant, a new Serbian place located in South Burnaby.
To start we ordered a main course of their baked bean stew to share. A stew of plump little beans slow cooked in a tomato sauce with other root vegetables. Of course with that much vegetable matter in a dish, you guessed it, there were two beautiful sausages floating on top of the beans in the dish.
The sausages were the heavy and dense meat sausages like the ones I used to get when I was a kid and I would visit my Mennonite grandmother. A wonderful start to our meal.
In order to get to know as many items from the menu as we could, each of us ordered a different main course with the intention of sharing tastes of each meal.
Of course one of those meals was the chicken roulade, as described above. The roulade only got better as it rested on the plate. The mozzarella cheese firmed up a little making each slice a perfect slice of chicken, bacon, mozzarella with a hint of spinach. Beautiful.
Another one of the main courses was the lamb shank. Although lamb did not photograph as well as I had hoped, it was loaded with lamb-goodness.
Sasha, the owner, told us that his philosophy is to never hurry food; the lamb is braised and allowed to develop flavour and tenderness so that it falls apart at the touch of a fork.
The sides of mashed potato, rice and a wedge of tomato were a welcome respite from the rich and fully developed flavours of the lamb shank.
The third dish, the one that I chose, was the 10 ounce gourmet burger. On the menu it says it is a 10 ounce burger patty with bacon and cheese cooked into it.
I was thinking of the typical North American burger and when I asked about what came with the burger and what was on it Sasha got a kind of perplexed look on his face and was trying to explain what the burger looks like. He then said, he could make it any way I wanted.
Realizing that this was not going to be just a burger, I told him to have the kitchen make the burger the way they always do so that I could experience their burger their way.
Once it arrived at the table I completely understood what he was trying to say.
The 10 ounce burger patty was almost 6 inches in diameter. There is no bun, no matter how heroic, that could hold that beast of meat.
What I ended up doing was cutting bite-sized pieces of the burger patty, adding a little bit of the two dips, the cheesy feta and roasted red pepper dip onto beef and eating it, bite by bite with my knife and fork.
Just like the chicken wrapped in bacon and the lamb shank, the burger was a total flavour sensation.
The burger meat was full of rich and smoky flavours. The bacon and cheese worked and then cooked right into the beef gave it a smoky and very strong flavour.
The chicken breast and the burger both came with fries. Their fries are like what we might call steak-cut fries. Massive but cooked right through and seasoned with just hint of paprika and cayenne. Like all the meals we sampled from the menu, the fries were full of flavour.
As well as fries, each plate comes with a little pile of coleslaw. This is some finely grated or sliced cabbage with a very light vinegar sauce. It is a perfect companion to the strong flavours of the meat.
Although we were all very full from the meals that we shared, we couldn’t help but try a dessert. The Baklava was a lovely dessert of phyllo pastry, honey, walnuts and hazelnuts. More pure goodness
On the day we visited the kitchen had prepared a special dessert, some kind of a sour cherry and custard cake that was another flavour delight. Rich, creamy and bursting with goodness.
The Tenen is a welcome addition to the food scene in South Burnaby. We will definitely be returning here and sampling more items from the menu.