Downtown Regina's newest addition, Malt City Whisky & Beer, sets up shop in a Regina heritage building and opens their doors to bring a new experience to the city.
Of course, this is far from from being a food blog,. However, I do have a strong connection with food. In fact, ever since the beginning, food has been a huge inspiration to me. Sure, it's the stuff we eat every day to stay alive, but it's also much more than that. Once I realized working with food was a source of creativity for me, I eventually discovered the passion I now have for photography. It isn't much of a secret; most people just don't usually ask about where my inspiration originated from.
Once I developed the hunger for foodtography, I started sharing my creations through Instagram and connecting with the food world at large. Before long, people would identify me, quite awkwardly, as faultyflipflap. One of those people was Jackie Straub of local hot-spot Flip.
Dave and Jackie are the dynamo duo behind Flip Eatery, as well as Salt Food Boutique, or as I like to call it, the Carnivores' Candy Shop. For years, Dave, Jackie, and their team have been providing Regina's downtown with life, variety, and incredible food worth writing home about. When we were asked to join them to be a part of the soft opening, we didn't hesitate.
Staged in the Canada Life Assurance Building at the corner of Cornwall Street and 11th Avenue, Malt City is shrouded, ceiling to floor, in character. On the inside, vertically vast white walls feature tall narrow windows that nearly span the height of the dining room.
We sat at the bar and and reviewed the limited menu set for the evening and entered our drink orders. While short, the drink list was quite pleasing. I would not consider myself a bourbon-drinker, but after this, my preferences may change.
I had the Manhattan; Bulleit rye, sweet vermouth, and bitters. I was to find later, the ice contained an in-house pickled cherry. Next up, the Bourbon & Shrub: Bulleit bourbon, strawberry shrub, and soda, over ice. I instantly fell in love with this drink. It's been days now and I can still picture the fresh zest of the strawberry shining alongside the smooth sweetness of the bourbon. Definitely, a must-try.
The bar also boasts a full selection of local and classic beers on tap, and more available by the bottle. For the evening, there were two red and white selections for wine.
The bartending staff was abuzz with activity behind the bar, and everyone seemed to have their purpose; crushing ice to spec., preparing syrups and garnish, dishwashing, shining glass, and refilling the Bulleit Bourbon water bottles set at each table setting.
It was a smooth operation to observe, all while everyone had their drinks in-hand and having casual conversation. This is how it is supposed to be; efficient. It was very evident that each person in the restaurant had their own part of making the operation a success and that it couldn't be possible without teamwork, which obviously wasn't a problem.
Before we knew it, the food was starting to make its way to our table. The first course was miso-roasted eggplant with cucumber and peanuts. It was crunchy from the cucumbers and extremely smooth on the inside, while being full of flavor.
Next up, was the combination of the Friggin' Chiggin' and The Whole Hog. The chicken dish was chicken confit, breaded, fried, and served on a biscuit with gravy. Definitely noted the corn and its incredible flavor; half-corn, half-hickory stick. The Whole Hog featured multiple cuts of pork served on top of grains with cabbage, truly something any warm-blooded carnivore would be so lucky to eat.
Both plates, a joy to eat but I think I have to side with the chicken, quite spicy (the way I like it) and incredibly rich. Luckily, the bar mates aside from us offered a duck wing, garnished with cheezies. I declined twice before finally caving- in and indulging. An indulgence it was. Definitely, another must-try.
Lastly, it was time for dessert. I couldn't recall what the menu called for since I was so distracted by the Bourbon & Shrub, so it was quite the revelation to find Spudnuts come to our table. Potato doughnuts with maple syrup, five spice, and flat icing. Crunchy, yet firm in the middle; a consistency caught leaning somewhere between cake and doughnut.
All in all, it was a very fine evening out. We caught up with some friends, took in some friendly conversation at the bar, and enjoyed some of the best food and drink we have had in quite some time. Keep Malt City on your radar for their official grand opening, hopefully this week.