A few weeks ago P and I went for a cycle along the Union Canal in Falkirk and decided to take a detour into Canada Wood. Quite aside from that being a terrible idea (oh my god the hills. I do not do hills.) we did stumble across a new pub/restaurant place that I immediately wanted to try – Canada Wood Kitchen. We stopped in briefly for a drink and I had a glance at the menu, deciding to return as soon as possible for food. In the end, we showed up last week on Friday.
First things first. Usually, most of Falkirk isn’t exactly bouncing on Friday nights. People tend to go out in Glasgow, I think, so while there are a few notable exceptions, I wouldn’t normally bother to book a table for a restaurant, even on a Friday night. With Canada Wood Kitchen, this turned out to be a mistake. We arrived at around 19:30 and were told they wouldn’t have a table until 9 pm. Ouch.
Fortunately, they do have lots of seating outside so, rather than trek back to civilisation (bear in mind, this place is in the middle of nowhere and it took us about 25 minutes to walk to it) we ordered a beer and sat outside. In summer this would have been delightful. In September it was distinctly chilly. I will definitely book in future.
As it happened they managed to get a table for us within the hour and we soon warmed up in their lovely, cosy, lounge area. We ordered a bottle of the house red (which turned out to be an entirely too drinkable Sangiovese) and got to perusing the menus.
I ordered the haggis bonbons to start while P went for the tempura chicken, in spite of being a bit worried that tempura chicken can often be overly greasy. The bonbons were served with red onion, crisped seaweed (weird, I know, but it totally worked) and a gorgeous whisky cream sauce. I got five smallish bonbons, each taking about two bites to eat, and they were perfectly crisp and entirely delicious. Meanwhile, P’s tempura was served with a salad of watercress and celery and came with what was described as “blue murder” dip, but turned out to be two dips – one very respectably spicy hot chilli dip, and one creamy blue cheese dip. No complaints here.
Meanwhile, P’s tempura was served with a salad of watercress and celery and came with what was described as “blue murder” dip, but turned out to be two dips – one very respectably spicy hot chilli dip, and one creamy blue cheese dip. No complaints here.
For my main I decided to try their Oyakodon chicken, a dish that turned out to be very like a katsu curry, with sliced breaded chicken breast served with a flavourful, but not hot, curry sauce, steamed rice, pickled ginger and red onions, topped with a fried egg. Yum. The chicken was tender and the pickled ginger and red onions perfectly offset the rich sauce. The egg was possibly just ever so slightly overdone – I would have liked to mop up the yolk with the rice, but all in all, I’m a fan of this dish and would definitely order it again on a repeat visit.
Meanwhile, P chose the Canada Wood burger, one of the items on the Mibrasa oven menu. It turns out Mibrasa ovens are really more like closed barbecue grills. They burn charcoal, and you can see the smoke around the back of the Canada Wood Kitchen sometimes. Naturally enough, they’re ideal for adding a nice char-grilled flavour to burgers and steaks and so on and, just as naturally, P wolfed down his burger before I was halfway through my chicken. Good, (triple cooked?) crispy fries were ideal to compliment this pub grub classic.
On the previous visit I had spotted their impressive cake selection but, as tempting as dessert was, I couldn’t have managed another bite. I’ll just have to come back another time for some of that cake. Since I’ve now discovered that Canada Wood also serves breakfast, this could quickly become one of my favourite places.
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