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Little Donkey

Overall taste: 7.25/10 | 2017 | 505 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

We only ordered from their raw bar menu (scroll down for menus) and the ingredients they used were extremely fresh! However, we felt that the seasonings and sauces were overpowering. We’re more of a purist when it comes to raw seafood.

If you’ve never tried raw scallops, uni or ikura, for, example, this is definitely a good place to start since their seasoning completely covers the fishy taste. Also, we tried barnacles for the first time today! Read on to find out more.

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Adult chocolate milk – old monk rum, chocolate, milk, cinnamon ($11) [This was extremely watered-down and definitely needs more rum, chocolate and milk. Look at the amount of ice.]
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Brewed awakening – rum, amaro di angostura, maple, cold brew ($13) [We don’t particularly like our drinks to be strong, but we felt that the alcohol content of this drink was insufficient. It tasted like sweet coffee and if you concentrate hard enough, you may be able to convince yourself that this is a cocktail.]
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Ikura – wasabi, garlic soy ($18) [Ikura in itself is extremely, extremely salty. It’s hard to describe the taste but it tastes like the ocean, is fishy, and has a little salmon flavour. Each egg is surrounded by a transparent sac and the contents burst into your mouth with each bite. The texture is similar to a runny yolk. What boggled us the most is that they would serve ikura with soy sauce that’s even saltier than the already salty ikura. We could barely taste the ikura, and we’re not sure if there was any wasabi in it]
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King crab – louis dressing ($19) [This was good, but not worth the price in our opinion.]
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Percebes (goose barnacles)  – old bay mayo ($19) [We’re so excited to introduce goose barnacles to you! Out server told us this was very hard to acquire. It’s like a combination of geoduck sashimi and surf clam in terms of taste and texture. We both loved it!]
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Tuna poke – gochujang, pickled bean sprouts ($14) [This was pretty good, except I think they should correct their menu description to “non-spicy gochujang”.]
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Scallop crudo – umeboshi, shiso, beech mushroom ($16) [We love the taste of raw scallops, but you can barely taste it here because the sauce was so sour.]
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Santa Barbara uni – dashi, yuzu, chicharron ($19) [Santa Barbara uni is one of best uni in the world. It’s more buttery than Maine uni. It’s sweeter and less fishy than Hokkaido uni. Unfortunately, you can barely appreciate how good this uni was with their sour and salty sauce.]
 

 

Click menus to enlarge.

Hi B3ar

Overall taste: 7.5/10 | 2017 | 147 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134

Pictured above (clockwise from left): $6.95 each

Evil Berry – blueberry

Morning Call – coffee with chocolate chips

Monkey Lover – banana

It is quite fun watching them make the ice-cream in front of you. Unlimited toppings are also included with the price! Lynn’s personal favourite is their coffee with torched marshmallow.

Marliave

Overall taste: 8.5/10 | 2017 | 10 Bosworth St, Boston, MA 02108

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

We found another great french/italian restaurant and we’re so excited to share it with everyone!

We went to Marliave on Dine Out Boston Week, but the prices listed below are based on their regular pricing. Scroll down for menus and parking options.

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Oysters – choice of oysters from Duxbury, Wellfleet, Hollands Landing & Pleasant Bay ($3 each, but $1 each between 4-6pm & 9-10pm) [As you can tell from the picture, none of the oysters was plump. One of the oysters Jeff ate had gone bad and he had to spit it out. We wouldn’t spend $3 for these oysters but $1 is pretty cheap. Just make sure to order it during the listed times.]
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+++Duck liver ravioli – sweet-n-sour onions, brown butter, capers ($12) [Omg omg omg, this was fabulous! Okay, before you order it and tell us how much you hated this, we’ve to tell you that this isn’t for everyone. However, if you like that earthy, bitter and rich taste of liver, you need to get this!]
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+++ Beef carpaccio – ribeye, arugula, aioli, reggiano, sea salt, extra virgin olive oil ($14) [We L O V E D this. Raw beef is very mild in flavour and can be easily overpowered by strong seasoning. The seasoning here was simple, which brought out the taste of the paper-thin beef. If you’ve tried making your own beef carpaccio, you’d know that $14 is a small price to pay for the amount of pounding you have to do.]
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+++ Wellington – medium rare beef tenderloin, wild mushrooms, foie gras, pastry crust, red wine sauce ($37) [Do you like croissant, beef, and foie gras? Imagine having everything in a dish! This is another amazing course from Marliave, but the foie gras portion was tiny. There was only one small spoonful in there, and Lynn ate it assuming there would be more, only to leave Jeff in misery for the rest of the night….]
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 – – – Tuna – pan seared rare, fregula, baby kale, red wine reduction ($32) [It’s not obvious from the picture, but these tuna slices were extremely thick and lacked flavour. Jeff was not a fan of this dish, but Lynn liked the fregula with red wine reduction.]
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Pudding – butterscotch, whipped cream, candied ginger  ($9) [Lynn found it to be too sweet but still enjoyable while Jeff loved it.]
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Box of truffles – house prepared premium chocolate, cocoa powder ($7) [These were good, high quality truffles. We like that they didn’t have hard chocolate shells. We both enjoyed their chocolate hazelnut but found their dark chocolate to be too bitter.]

Click menus to enlarge.

Parking: It’s impossible to find parking here. You have 3 options: (1) Uber/public transport (2) Ruth steak house valet parking for $21 (3) Kimpton Nine Zero valet parking for $28. The Marliave restaurant receptionist suggested that we use the Kimpton Nine Zero valet parking and incorrectly quoted us the price of $19.

Capo

Overall taste: 6.5/10 | 2017 | 443 W Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

We had a blast last night at Capo with Dining Playbook hosts, Billy and Jenny. Dining Playbook airs on NESN every Saturday at 9a.m. (replays every Sunday at 9p.m.). Follow their food adventures on TV!

We were invited for a complementary meal, but we try to stay objective in our review. For the dishes we could find in their online menu, we’ve included the price below.

Pictured above: Salami & formaggi – chef’s selection of artisanal cured meats and cheeses ($16/$28)

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+++ Short rib arancini – pulled short rib, fontini, herb aioli ($8) [We couldn’t really taste the short rib and didn’t know it was in the ingredient until we read the description. Nonetheless, they were delicious and reminded us of potato croquette.]
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+++ Ricotta crespelle – honey comb, pea shoots, white truffle powder [This was our favourite dish. The ricotta was subtle and not overpowering. We would prefer it if they used truffle oil.]

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Pappardelle – lamb and mushroom ragu, pecorino cheese ($12/$23)
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Cauliflower ravioli – sage, butter & cauliflower crumb ($11/19)
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– – – Monkfish picatta – lemon, butter, capers ($21) [We are picky about our fish and do not like it overcooked]
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Baked broccoli

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– – – Grilled pork chop – white bean & mushroom ragout [The pork was tough and dry and was not particularly flavourful. We didn’t like the beans underneath as well.]
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Espresso creme brulee [Lynn likes this but Jeff prefers regular creme brulee]
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Polenta cake [Jeff likes this while Lynn finds it average]

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Chocolate terrine

Taza Chocolate

Taste: 7.5/10 | 2017 | 100 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02108

This is located at the Boston Public Market. We always park here whenever we go to North End. Did you know parking is only $1/hour (up to 3 hours) as long as you make one purchase from the Boston Public Market?

Pictured above: Taza-tella – 40% dark chocolate whipped up with house ground hazelnut butter [We tried this twice and it was average the first time and really good the second time, so we decided to go for an intermediate rating. We recommend getting it hot as the chocolate do not fully melt when it’s cold; you can feel bits of small chocolate pieces.]

Menton

Overall taste: 8/10 | 2017 | 354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

We feel that we’d give Menton a higher rating if we ordered from their regular menu instead of their Dine Out Boston menu. This review is based on their 2017 Dine Out Boston selection only (see menu below). We went for their 3 course menu for $35pp.

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Yellowfin tuna crudo – eggplant, za’atar, olive [What distinguishes this from other dishes is their amazing accompaniments. We loved the eggplant and the sauce around it. The seared tuna itself was kind of average.]
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– – –  Chicory salad – trufflle, parmigiano, focaccia [We love truffle and focaccia, so when this come out, we were extremely disappointed. There was barely any taste of truffle oil. The focaccia, while beautiful, wasn’t that tasty and was way too thin. We never liked spring mix but this spring mix was more bitter than usual.]
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+++ Prime beef ribeye – malt, salsify, pearl onion [Again, where is the ribeye cap?! Do people in Boston not like the best part of ribeye? Apart from that, this was our favourite dish. The beef was lightly seasoned, allowing us to enjoy the full flavour of the meat. The accompaniments were extremely enjoyable as well.]
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Cappelletti – parsnip, almond, pancetta [We like that the pasta wrap was more firm than usual. We didn’t like bacon bits around it; they were very tough and dry.]
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Apple spice cake – sultana, cinnamon, walnut [This was very average.]
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Chocolate praline tart – blood orange, hazelnut, espresso [Jeff is not a fan. He thinks that the coffee flavor was too strong. Lynn likes it since she’s a coffee fan.]
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Assorted mini macaroons  (complimentary) [Aren’t they the cutest?!]

Click to enlarge menus.

 

Misono Grill – Super88 Foodcourt

Overall taste: 8/10 | 2016 | 1095 Commonwealth Avenue #207, Boston, MA 02215

Pictured above: Okdol bibimbap with beef galbi ($11.25) [This is a gem located in the super88 foodcourt! I love how crispy the rice was. The beef was tender and well marinated. I like mine with lots of Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang) and they provided more free of charge. My only complaint was there wasn’t enough beef.]

Ginza Sushi Marui (銀座寿司処 まる伊)

Overall taste: 8.75/10 | 2016 | 3 104 0061, 3 Chome-8-16 Ginza, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0061, Japan

We love this place! This is located in Ginza and we waited around 30 minutes to get in. They provide an English menu so it’s perfect for tourists. We found this better than the food we had in Tsukiji fish market. That being said, we didn’t try any of the famous restaurants in Tsukiji that would have taken hours of wait to get in.

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Tokusen Nigiri – assorted special sushi, 16 pieces (Yen 1,800) [This is so good. When people tell you the sushi they had in Japan was much better than the ones they tried anywhere else, they’re telling the truth. The rice tasted a lot better and the proportion was just right. And look at how well-marbled the tuna was (top left)!]
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Dukeana chirashi-zushi – assorted lean tuna and coger eel (anago) on rice (Yen 1,500) [This is the first time we both tried anago. It’s similar to unagi but the meat tasted slightly sweeter and the texture was more fish-like.]

East Ocean City

Overall taste: 6/10 | 2017 | 27 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

We went there in February 2017 and when we checked today, Google indicates that it’s permanently closed. We weren’t able to verify if it’s true.

In general, their dishes were very oily and the ingredients weren’t that fresh.

Pictured above: Clams – Sweet & spicy thai sauce ($15.95)

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Fish maw soup ($13.95) [We liked the overall taste but their fish maw was on the fishy side.]
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– – – XO sauce duck tongue – flowering chives ($22.95)

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Steamed live fish ($30) [We really like steamed fish but this was overcooked.]
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Steamed surf clam – garlic and vermicelli ($22 for 4 pieces) [It tasted good but the clams were not fresh and tasted a little fishy. It was also on the oily side.]
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– – – Fried garlic spareibs ($13.95) [We think they did not fry it long enough. This was not crispy and was dripping with oil.]

Oishii

Overall taste: 7/10 | 2016 | 1166 Washington St #110, Boston, MA 02118

We came here during the 2016 Dine Out Boston week. We thought that the food had great presentation but the taste was pretty average.

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Choice C: Gyu Kaku Donburi ($20) – Miso soup & salad. Grilled beef & onions on top of rice topped with sweet garlic sauce [It tasted good, and the beef had great flavor but it was quite tough]. Icecream [We thought their green tea icecream tasted a little artificial and would prefer it if they used more matcha powder].
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Choice D: Kaiseki Lunch ($30) – Green salad & sesame dressing. Fresh lobster wild mushroom risotto [This was tasteless, like white rice with a little bit of sauce, and we couldn’t taste the lobster at all]. Crispy rock shrimp lemon aioli [Despite it’s name, it wasn’t crispy. It was fried way before it was served and the shrimps were too tiny]. Oishii crab cake [Not that oishii]. Seared wild king salmon with ikura. Spicy tuna salad in a cucumber handroll. Grilled miso black cod. Sake & rocky sushi. Hamachi & maguro sashimi. [The rest were pretty good, but the hot dishes were already cold by the time it was served to us.] Ice cream.
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Choice E: Pork Belly Ramen ($20)Green salad & sesame dressing. Ramen noodle soup [It was quite bland and we would have preferred more pork flavour in the soup]. Pork belly. Napa cabbage. Fresh egg. Icecream