Armed with a WagJag voucher, Hitman and I hit up Magda’s Restaurant on Fraser as Hitman was very interested in trying authentic Latin/Venezuelan food and looking up reviews, that seems to be the case here.
Magda’s certainly has a very warm family restaurant feel to it. The servers were very friendly although not very helpful with explaining the menu. We depended on Google for that. In the end we decided on an Empanada and Arepa each, plus the Beef Tongue dish to share.
I chose the Shredded Beef (Carne Mechada) Empanada ($3.95). The Empanadas were very different from previous ones I’ve tried, even the ones from Chile when I visited South America a while ago. The shell seems to be made from corn flour as it was moist and mealy, not flaky and pie-crusty like the ones I’ve had before. Now by mealy I didn’t mean it in a negative light, it was actually quite chewy. The shell itself was bland tho so it depended on the filling and the provided sauces (a garlic one, an avocado based one, and a VERY spicy one) for more flavor.
My Shredded Beef filling was very tasty and flavorful. The beef was not at all tough. The shell was also very freshly deep fried so it had a very nice crunch to it.
Next came my Arepa sandwich ($7.95) which was a “100% corn flour bun grilled and baked”, filled with your choice of 2 fillings. I chose Roasted Pork (Pernil), Perico (Venezuelan Scramble eggs, minced tomatoes, onions, red pepper, salt, pepper), plus Avocado for an extra $1.50.
It definitely came overstuffed (which is probably why they suggested 2 fillings only). The eggs and avocado were very good, but the roasted pork was very dry, tough, and tasteless. I ended up picking those out and not eating the pork. The Arepa itself certainly was unique. It was moist on the inside and crispy on the outside from being grilled. I found I still needed to put sauce on it though.
Hitman had filled his with Cheese (Queso Amarillo) which is a yellow Venezuelan cheese, Shredded Chicken (Pollo Mechado), and also Avocado. It was better. The chicken was not tough nor was it bland either. The cheese just tasted like a mild cheddar cheese to me… Hitman says it tasted slightly different though… Pfft~
We both picked soup to go with our Arepas. When I asked the server what type of soup it was, she just said “It has vegetables…” =/
So it had chopped cobs of corn, tomatoes, potatos, and probably shredded pork and maybe shredded carrots. It was yummy enough and tasted homemade. It certainly looks it.
Last came the “Beef tongue in wine sauce with mash potatoes and vegetables” ($12.95). I found it interesting that despite it being on the “Magda’s Traditional Dishes” part of the menu, its name wasn’t in Spanish.
The menu says “with mash potatoes and vegetables” but instead it came with a sort of coleslaw-type salad plus fried bananas/sweetened plantains and rice.
The tongue itself was so tender and yummy, and the sauce was very fragrant of wine. I really enjoyed this dish a lot.
All in all it was a nice dinner, great friendly service, but it won’t be a restaurant where we’d go out of our way to visit again. Food was tasty but still lacking in the flavor department. Prices were reasonable though so if you’re in the neighbourhood and would like to try some authentic Latin fare, give this place a try~