Enorae Bistro

Neighbourhood: Academy
Address: 545 Academy Rd
Phone: 204-487-1872
Entrees: $11-$29

Chef Chris Stoneham’s popular neighbourhood bistro serves a dual purpose for denizens of the chic Academy Road district. Pronounced en‑NORA, the name stems from his background in karate; it translates to ‘relax.’

One half of the two-room space offers a casual cafe atmosphere where people read the newspaper or watch Chef Chris work the line. The other room is more decorative, with a spectrum of art adorning the walls, ranging from colourful cartoonish chefs to a serene hand-painted Japanese mural.

The multifarious menu echoes the bistro’s split personality. Described as Euro-Asian, the dishes focus on ingredients from healthy Japanese and hearty Mediterranean fare, often combining the two.

Start a meal with miso chicken salad, a truly inspired way to dress up lettuce. This herbaceous masterpiece crowns mixed greens with taut soba noodles, crunchy julienned carrots and bamboo shoots. Laced with a heavenly house-made peanut dressing (that simultaneously sweetens while adding heat) and fragrant pieces of moist miso chicken, this substantive salad is worth a visit by itself.

Chef Chris’ giant yakitori dwarf those served at many traditional Japanese restaurants. Spiced chicken skewers rest over a pool of vibrant mango salsa.

Vodka-spiked seafood curry pasta sounds enticing, but the expected flavours hardly surface in the thick cream sauce. The  dish  redeems itself with a generous topping of firm prawns and delicate slivers of smoked salmon. It is presented on a bed of plump Japanese udon noodles that serve as a refreshing alternative to fettuccine.

Wrapped in nori, the fillet of sole also gets an Asian twist. The toasted seaweed gives the panfried whitefish a saltwater tang, and a simple lemon/salt seasoning heightens the flavour. A half dozen of blushing tiger prawns make this dish a seafood treasure. Veal cutlet crosses cultures with its delectable preparation. The meat is dusted in a light panko coating and oozes with smoky-sweet roasted red pepper and cream cheese stuffing.

Heavenly bananas foster elegantly finishes the meal. Slices of the tropical fruit are caramelized in butter, cinnamon and brown sugar, and topped with house-made banana ice cream.

Enorae Bistro is open Mon-Fri 11 am- 10 pm; Sat 10 am-10 pm.