Lancaster Taphouse – Regina
The Lancaster Taphouse is a fairly new restaurant in Regina’s also fairly new Grasslands/Harbour Landing area. Looking at its dark pub-like exterior with prominent coat of arms signage, you would expect standard pub food. The fresh, original and eclectic menu is a wonderful surprise.
Dave and I likely wouldn’t have gotten past the pub exterior if we hadn’t sampled the Yakitori Tuna at the recent Fantasy Food event. We instantly loved the yellowfin tuna, green onions, fresh avocado and sweet n’ spicy Yakitori sauce, served over wonton crisps. Of course, at our first visit to the restaurant, we had to have it again. It was just as wonderful as we remembered, and this appetizer serving was incredibly large with even larger chunks of fresh tuna. Yes, it is raw tuna, so you would have to enjoy sushi to go for this dish. Luckily, we do.
As we looked at the menu beyond the beloved Yakitori Tuna, we decided to try out two appetizers and two small plates, rather than go for an entree each. The appetizers are actually larger servings than the small plates (which makes sense, as appetizers are made for sharing). As we saw others around us receiving their entree plates, we noticed entrees are also very generous. Good value for the money here.
Our second appetizer were the mussels. We haven’t had that in quite a while, and it was a bit of an homage to my nine-year-old niece, who (strangely for a kid) absolutely loves mussels (but has a decidedly less adventurous palate outside of seafood). The mussels were also a very generous portion, in a garlic and lager broth with roma tomatoes, carrot, parsnips, zucchini and green onions and pistachio rosemary bread. It was very aromatic and the broth added great flavour to the mussels.
Stepping out of the seafood category, Dave and I chose steak and chicken for our small plates. The servings are smaller for these aptly titled small plates, and would be perfect for a light lunch (I plan on returning for that very soon). My Casablanca Chicken was perfectly seasoned for me – medium spicy skewers of chicken, with a refreshing garlic citron yogurt dressing and tabouli and quinoa salad. I wanted to lick the small bowl of yogurt dressing clean, it was that good.
The one misstep of the dinner was Dave’s medium rare steak and tiger prawns with Chipotle Gorgonzola compound butter, roasted red pepper and basil mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Overall, everything seemed a bit bland and under-seasoned. Dave likes things on the spicy side, and he couldn’t taste the chipotle that was promised.
Overall, our experience at Lancaster Taphouse was really enjoyable. We got a table in a quieter back corner away from the windows, which had just the right amount of light and alternative rock music at just the right level to compliment the experience. Our service was attentive and exceptional. And the beer was great!
We both took the opportunity to have beers on tap that we had never tried. Dave had a darker amber ale (that I sadly can’t remember the name of). But the beer star of the night was the Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc blonde ale. This is what the more widely available Rickards White wants to be. A pale cloudy light beer with a hint of citrus orange for a fruity taste (without the need to add an orange slice), but also with a bit of coriander and cloves. I know it sounds weird, but I fell in love with it… enough to run out to buy a six-pack of the stuff for our fridge the very next day.