Janet Lynn's Bistro (Kitchener)

Location: Kitchener, Canada
Address: 677 Belmont Avenue West
Website: http://www.janetlynnsbistro.com/
Type of Meal: Dinner



Janet Lynn has a long standing reputation in the KW area.  I’ve never eaten at their Waterloo location, but their new site in downtown Kitchener is great.   The restaurant is one large open concept room where you can look into the kitchen situated beside the bar area.  Exposed brick and white walls gives it a modern feel, but the white linen adorned tables adds some polish and comfort to the environment.


Chef and owner Kevin Wong offers a varying menu of Asian fusion and classic dishes.  I wanted to try a bit of each so opted for the dumplings to start and the summer salad as a main.  The pork and shrimp dumplings ($10.95) may not look very traditional, with its plain triangular shape, but still tasted great.  Large pieces of shrimp and ground pork were mixed together with ginger, chives, tamarind and flecks of chili then sandwiched in a thin wrapper and pan fried.  Instead of soy sauce, the dumplings were served with a balsamic aioli which added a nice sweet, sour and savoury taste.  The filling was very good; I actually prefer the roughly chopped filling that doesn’t entirely bind together. 

My husband’s sweet corn chowder ($12.50) was thick, sweet and decadently creamy.  The soup was made with quite a significant amount of corn so it was wonderfully flavourful.  Pieces of fried shrimp topped the soup to add a bit of savouriness and texture to the otherwise smooth chowder.
After such a heavy appetizer, I thought the summer salad ($23.95) would be a good contrast as a main.  Kale was the dominant green, but there were also grilled zucchini & eggplant, fresh corn and tomatoes to add some additional flavours and colour.  A cherry tomato dressing was used on the salad, which was simply too light and didn’t add much to the tasteless kale.  Thankfully, there was sufficient sweet corn, grilled vegetables and salmon to make up for the lack of dressing.  The salmon was a generous piece and cooked well, but I would have preferred if it was just a little less done as was starting to get a bit dry on the edges.

On the other hand, my husband’s JLB Burger ($13.95) was extremely juicy and is certainly not a dish to order if you don’t want your hands messy.  The patty was very tender given it was made from short ribs. With tons of vegetables and a soft egg bun Janet Lynn’s burger is about as melt in your mouth as you can get.  My husband added gorgonzola cheese ($3) to the burger which gave it even more creaminess.  The JLB Burger was delicious and one of the better ones I’ve had.  The fresh fries were enjoyable and went well with the roasted sweet pepper aioli.


Despite being stuffed, my husband ordered the flourless chocolate cake ($8.95).  I couldn’t help but sneak a couple of bites and it was very chocolaty and smooth.  Janet Lynn gave quite a large portion of this dense cake so this is a perfect sharing dessert.  A scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream accompanied the cake and it was good (not too sweet and full of vanilla flavor).  However, it had an interesting texture, hard to describe but sort of crumbled in your mouth despite being smooth.  It wasn’t unpleasant, just unexpected for ice cream.

Although I’m not in the Kitchener-Waterloo area very often, I was glad I had the opportunity to try out Janet Lynn’s Bistro; it’s definitely worth a try.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


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Gastro World's Grading System
  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!



  
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