The Highwood: Searching for Excellence

Early this year, a group of us 11 friends found an excuse to dine at The Highwood, a restaurant staffed by SAIT’s own Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management students.

Overall, we had some great experiences and will definitely go there again to eat.

Believing honest opinions are the best tool to teach and help these SAIT students to learn, I have taken some time to review all the dishes I had and also share some of my friends’ views. We actually did some around-the-table reviews of the dishes right after we had them so I wrote my review here with aid from those immediate impressions.

Of course, as in any reviews, it is ultimately my personal takes on things. I am no expert in food but I do write restaurants reviews as if I know something about food. (smile) Feel free to check out my recent reviews of Calgary’s “Open Sesame” and “Globefish at Kensington (with an interview of master chef and co-owner Masa Ota“.

Here is the menu and my “Pretty woman” moment. (smile)

Following are some pictures of the various creations with my reviews (accessible by clicking on the photos).

Here are two desserts,

As I said, we all had a wonderful experience at The Highwood and would go there again for sure. But does it mean that there are no room for improvement? Absolutely not. In fact, I have been quite justifiably harsh on some of the creations. And in fact my main course was sent back to the kitchen.

But you know what? Customers that care enough to complain are the ones that a restaurant needs to treasure because these customers are the necessary helpers for a restaurant to get on its own journey of “Relentless Pursuit of Excellence“ (best showcased by my all time favourite — the one and only one “Yung Kee” in the world).

It should be noted that I don’t have a bias of food from different cultures, it is “Yung Kee”‘s desire and insistence in its “Relentless Pursuit of Excellence“ that earned its special place in my heart.

I wish the SAIT Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management students all the best and I look forward to my next excuse to visit there and may be do some more behind the scenes reporting inside the kitchen and chats with the student chefs.

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Jan 9th, 2013 update: With regrets, I am afraid “Yung Kee” is not same in recent years since the owner (and especially the owners’ son) struck it rich with the real estate that the restaurant now is located. My foodie friend in HK has stopped going there and I have also stopped making a special trip to it when I visit HK.

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