Sunday, August 16, 2015

Island Cafe & Bistro

After returning from my vacation, I spent most of my time attending food festivals or going to the farmers' market for new food finds. Then I started thinking, "it's been awhile since I've actually sat down at a local restaurant". Where could I go for lunch that is a local business and isn't too far to get to?

A photo posted by 🔹#YEGLocal🔹 (@yeglocal) on

I soon learned about an eatery I had never heard of before, named Island Cafe & Bistro. Thanks to YEGLocal for sharing this on Instagram! I think YEGLocal is a good Instagram profile to check out if you want to discover new Edmonton-based businesses. 

Island Cafe & Bistro.

I wasted no time checking out this fairly new eatery! Island Cafe & Bistro (9923 170 Street) quietly opened in mid-July in west Edmonton. There is plenty of parking space available too. 

The interior - lots of seating.
The interior.

The interior of Island Cafe & Bistro is quite spacious with lots of seating. The yellow walls with wood panels and the wood tables and chairs all add on to the "island vibe" of this restaurant.

The menu.
Appetizers | Western Delights | Asian Delights

Island Cafe & Bistro offers a fusion of Malaysian and Western cuisine, although I would say there is more emphasis on their Malaysian/south-east Asian counterpart. It is an eatery where east meets west. 

More menus!
Drinks and Snacks menu.

They also offer some snacks and bubble tea. Island Cafe & Bistro is actually open quite late (until 11:00 PM Sun-Wed and until 2:00 AM on Thurs-Sat) so if you need a late night bubble tea fix consider checking this place out! 

Banana Split Bubble Tea.

Now on to what we ordered! CJ got himself a Banana Split Bubble Tea ($5) which was listed as their Daily Special when we went. This drink is a combination of banana, strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla - pretty much all the components of a classic banana split. Unfortunately, CJ didn't really taste a banana split... when I gave it a sip, I only tasted chocolate and banana.

Avocado Bubble Tea.

The bubble tea drink I chose was Avocado ($5). This drink was made using powder so taste-wise it was just okay. I'm sure it would've been a lot better if the actual avocado fruit was used. I did enjoy how the drink was served in a cute mason jar though. 

Complementary crackers!

We were given these complementary crackers to start off our lunch. These had a satisfying crunch and were great to munch on while we waited for the main meal. 

Thai Style Green Curry.

It's been a long time since I've had Thai green curry. My favourite place for Thai green curry was T.H.I.S. Place cafe but I'm sad to say that they closed back in January (to be honest, I'm still pretty sad that they closed!). I decided to give Island Cafe & Bistro's Thai Style Green Curry ($12) a try and share it with CJ. The spicy green curry comes with chicken and shrimp, lemon grass, lime leaf, potatoes, Malaysian salad, and your choice of either rice noodles, steamed, or coconut rice. We went with steamed rice. The spiciness of this green curry was a lot more mild than what we were expecting, so we wished it was just a little more spicy! However, it's great if you're not really into overly spicy food. I also thought the flavours in the Malaysian salad helped to uplift the otherwise ordinary flavours of the chicken, shrimp, and potatoes. In my opinion, the pineapple was the best part of the salad - juicy, refreshing, and just the right amount of sweetness to contrast the spice. 

CJ and I would normally share T.H.I.S. Place green curry and feel *almost* full but still very satisfied. However, we both felt that Island Cafe & Bistro's green curry didn't leave us feeling satisfied enough splitting it between us two. While we thought the curry from T.H.I.S. Place was excellent for sharing, Island Cafe & Bistro's version is definitely meant for one person (as it should be anyways). 

Display case filled with desserts!

I can't leave without seeing what's available for dessert! Island Cafe & Bistro offers organic desserts made by Cupcakes by Xynn (the daughter of the restaurant owner I believe) who uses raw recipes. I'm not too familiar with raw cuisine, so it was nice to read a note above the dessert display outlining the benefits of eating raw foods. 

Dessert samples.

I was about to ask for a cookies and cream cupcake when we were given a plate of dessert samples! Yay! I'm always up for trying samples. The first one we tried was Nikkea's Living and Organic Chocolate Mousse Cake (pictured on the left). CJ and I both enjoyed the intense, rich chocolate and the nutty crust of the cake. The next sample was a Maple Mille Crepe Cake (pictured on the right). I thought it was really cool to see so many layers of both the crepe and maple custard keeping it in place. 

Raw Recipe Cheesecake.

The last dessert sample we tried was this Raw Recipe Cheesecake. It is made without any cheese or milk but it tasted just like a classic cheesecake! This one was my favourite dessert sample out of the three. Thank you Island Cafe & Bistro for all these delicious samples!

My experience at Island Cafe & Bistro was positive overall. The Thai green curry I tried made for a tasty lunch, especially with the addition of the Malaysian salad. Bubble tea could have been better - it would be nice to see an option of having it made with either powder (set at a lower price) or actual fruit. Service was quick at first, but I wished our server was more prompt and attentive towards the end of our visit. I also thought the pricing of their food items was reasonable, while the portion sizing of the dish we ordered wasn't too big or too small either. 

I think Island Cafe & Bistro is a great place to check out if you ever find yourself in west Edmonton. It's only a short drive north of West Edmonton Mall too. CJ and I visited on a late Friday afternoon, but we were the only customers the entire time. Hopefully they'll start seeing more customers soon though! I would love to give their authentic Malaysian style dishes a try in the future. Don't forget to follow Island Cafe & Bistro on Instagram (@island_cafeandbistro) and like their Facebook page. Also, give Cupcakes by Xynn a follow on Instagram as well (@cuppacakes_xynn). 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Stephanie! Thanks for the blog! I just came across this post about Island Cafe & Bistro and I am the owner's daughter who makes the cakes =) I'm glad you had a pleasant visit and thanks for mentioning us in your post! We have added new items to our menu and have improved many items,as well as more different flavors and types of desserts! We look forward to your visit again soon and we are always working to serve you better!