Candela: Tapas at its best!

Finally, it’s open! I feel like I (and many other people) had been waiting for MONTHS for this new restaurant on 4th St to open its doors. Candela is owned by the gentlemen from Alloy, so it was pretty much guaranteed that the food here would be fantastic.

On a mildly unrelated note, I often wonder why such lovely ladies go for lunch with me. It’s a mystery, but I never ponder on that thought for too long…Anyway, my friend and actress extradonaire, Ksenia Thurgood, met me at Candela for some tapas and a catch-up. We laughed, we cried, we ate. All that good stuff.

The menu here is purely tapas, all dishes that meant to be shared. The items that are available during the lunch hour are exactly the same that are available in the evening. So, regardless if you’re lunching or dinner-ing (is that a word?), you won’t miss out on any of the plates.

There are around forty different tapas options to choose from, ranging from $6-$14 in cost. Depending on how hungry you are, anywhere from 2-3 small plates per person should fill you up no problem. We started off lunch with the scallop ceviche. A bright, zesty dish. The chunks of tomatillo gave the mellow flavour of the scallops a nice, refreshing boost.

Next came the calamari. It looked really good, so we started eating before remembering to take a photo of it.

We moved swiftly along to their seared quail dish. The bird came deboned (aside from the protruding leg bone), and the meat was moist. The brush of sweet and sour Asian-inspired sauce underneath the bird was a great compliment to the meat. I debated asking for another order of this one.

A surprising standout during our lunch experience was the Tunisian carrot hummus. A small bowl of the hummus came out, served with soft, grilled pita bread.

The hummus was rich, with a slight sweetness coming from the carrots. There was touch of star anise in dip, which was completely unexpected, but added an amazing exotic taste to it. I would never have thought to add star anise to hummus. Very interesting! I am now going to try this at home!

Last, but not least, we couldn’t leave Candela without having something sweet to finish off with. The bunuelos seemed like the perfect dessert to try. The best way to describe what these little cinnamon-sugar coated dough balls tasted like would be to compare them to mini churros. They came with a side of dulce de leche for dipping. I’m not a huge dessert fan, but I could have eaten 30 of these.

Alright, so five dishes down, thirty five to go. I can’t wait to head back to Candela again soon for another great meal!


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