At the red level that Waterloo region is currently categorized as, indoor dining is still allowed, but with each table restricted to four people and the entire restaurant to ten. Those places that choose to stay open under these restrictions are generally offering takeout as well.
Loloan Lobby Bar has a really interesting approach to this, in offering 3-course dinner boxes of mostly prepared items that you heat up and assemble yourself at home. They have a new combination each day. We tried it earlier this month.
Upon arrival, instead of just being handed a box and sent on your way, you are invited to sit at the bar. I would note that we were the only patrons in the bar area, all staff were masked, and the bartended was also behind plexiglass. So that felt OK.
The dinner kits include a cocktail, so she demonstrated for us how to mix those ingredients: butterfly pea flower infused gin, lychee and lemon juice, and ice. There was also a bar snack. The fun of the cocktail was that as you add the juice to the gin, it changes colour. The snack just had to be arranged on the plate and garnished.
We were then invited to partake of the demo. Being a little rusty on the whole indoor dining thing, we kind of chug-a-lugged and scarfed everything down somewhat quickly after removing our masks, as though we had to finish before hordes of germ-y people descended upon us. Staff were a bit taken aback and noted that, well, now we had to wait for our kitchen demo.
That’s fine, it wasn’t a long a wait. For that, we were ushered into the kitchen (past the only two indoor diners), where they demonstrated how to assemble and heat up (where relevant) the three courses. We were also given some documentation, and everything in the box was numbered to make it clear which garnish went with which course.
Back home, we managed to re-created the cocktail. Which was delicious, by the way! And the sweet/salty snack went well with it.
The appetizer required assembly only: It was a marinated seafood salad in caramel pineapple boat. The seafood was ceviche-style (except the cooked mussels), so marinated in citrus, which “cooks” it without heat. I found it quite nice except for the shrimp, which just looked too raw to me—I just skipped that part. The rest was great.
The main course was bison short rib slow braised in curry, with potatoes and greens on the side. We reheated the potatoes in the toaster oven; diluted the curry with water, add the bison, and heated that up on the stove top; and pan-fried the greens in a bit of oil to make them glisten. Then everything was assembled on the plate, with the appropriate garnishes. Everything was quick and easy and tasted very good. Only issue was having way more sauce that seemed necessary–not sure if I messed that up, or what.
(No photo! You’ll have to picture that course in your mind.)
Dessert was sticky rice with mango and coconut cream, so again, that was just assembly and plating. And it also tasted great.
We were full after this, but not uncomfortably so. And overall it was nice to get some interaction and dining out feeling without actually dining out.