Tuesday, April 24, 2007
After a little confusion over drink we peer over the menu. Right away we were both blown away by the prices! Most of my favorite pieces were 99 cents! Tamago, inari, Hokki, etc. Cones didin't go over 2.20$! So we get to ordering I'm not very hungry and plus I didn't have my camera so I go light. 5 pieces: Tamago; shake; Inari, Unagi and masago. Right off the get go the shake was not all that fresh. I also noticed a lack of freshness with the masago. The unagi was small and a little too crispy(overcooked/burned) and the inari wasn't nearly sweet enough. How ever, the tamago was not overly sweet, which was nice, but it wasn't quite sweet enough either. It did not mix well with the shoyu. The ginger was pink as well...
The presentation on the other hand was amazing! KV got his on a glass dish, a small 1 roll green plater and his cone in a 3 cone holder which looked really nice and displayed it very well.
All in all I'm not particularly impressed but at the same time I'm not dissapointed. Taking everything into account I am going back to take picture. The price was right for the quality, and the portions were good. It's not a good place for a date but for a hungry man on a budget it will satisfy. I give this place a 6.5 out of 10. It looses points for quality but gains in price. It gets points for the set up and creative design, but looses points on freshness.
I'm also on the look out for 4 other local people who want to take a sushi class. Osaka offers a sushi class that cost 30$ all supplies included and you get to take home your entire tray(family of 6 style HUGE). If anyones interested leave me a comment containing your email address and I'll get back to you.
Till the next! Mata ne!
Monday, April 23, 2007
Alright, heres news. Most of you have probably walked 17th ave, and probably seen Kyoto 17 tucked away in the basement of that place on 9th. I decided it would be sweet to finally go check it out and I wasn't disappointed over all.
We started off with some egg drop soup, which was really good. The litle pieces of sweet corn really work with the broth and the large soft pieces of egg white. Made for a very nice soup.
We were then serve our tempura. Cooked just right, cucumber was still a little crunchy which is nice and the shrimp just slipped out of the tails. The
udon noodles where thick and neither slimy or undercooked. The broth left a little to be desired, but still very good.
And of course, the sushi. I have found a second place where I will eat the tamago! It was very nice, thin, but not over sweet and went very well with the soya. The guy was good, but a little tough. The Hokkaiki was very nice and the masugo literally melted in the mouth. I starting to lean towards the masugo more so then the toro. I was disappointed by both the inari and the shitake though. The inari was really leaky, tons of oil, and the shittake was way to sweet.
A special shout out goes to the beautiful cuts of salmon that they had! what a beautiful nice and faty piece of salmon *drool*
Lastly... pink ginger... oh well, what can you do!
All in all I liked this place. The atmosphere was nice and the service was amazing. The lighting was a little dim but thats ok if your on a date. The prices where a little all over the place, cheap items where cheapers than other places and the expensive items where more expensive than other places. The meals where well prices and had very nice portions. Goo dlocation, interesting set up, I will give this place a 8/10, points being docked this time for lack of wasabi on pieces, and some general discrepancies.
Till next time! Mata Ne
You will need
1lb skinless salmon fillet
1 lemon thinly sliced
1 cup of alfalfa/broccoli/ any small sprouts
1 cup of grated Havarti cheese
1tbs of black pepper
1 tbs of dill
drizzle of olive oil
1 cup of your favorite veggies. I used shanghai buk choy, tomatoes, asperagus spears and red peppers.
1 shot of sake or white wine.
And heres how we do it. Wash your hand thoroughly. Drizzle about 2 tbs or oil on a skillet, put to low heat(bout 3/10). Take the fillet and turn it so that the flattest side is facing you, rub half the dill on that side. Add to pan dill down. Add the pepper to the opposite side, top with lemons. While its cooking make the Dill Havarti cheese.
Add grated cheese and remaining dill to a small corning wear or along the lines, heat on low(no higher than 2/10). add dill, stir often.
Check on salmon, usually take about 8-10 minutes on each side. Flip, let cook for about 7-9 minutes on that side, checking the cheese often. once creamy and consistent lower temperature.
Once cooked, remove salmon lemon side down. wash hands, apply a layer of cheese to the dilled side, level cheese with knife or fork, top with a good number of sprouts, flip salmon fillet on sprout side.
Veggies. In separate or same skillet, heat up to medium low (4-5) add veggies and shot of wine. cover and let crisp for about 3-4 minutes. Add to plate in decorative and creative fashion. Serve.
As a side dish I also included a sandwich.
Kaizer buns(or any type os sandwich bread.
red onion sprouts and spinach.
In which even order you like. :D
Another dawn, seeping into oblivion
Raising its way to the heavens
Overcast and shadows make up this life
Yet also fill our rivers and light our lives
Beauty on the horizon, multiphasic illumination
On a panel of chocolate, speckled with milk
Dew forming on the cheeks of flowers
Blooming , releasing the heart ache trapped inside
Higher still, trapped behind heavens security gates
Large graying passing portions of pivotal proportions
Blocks us from believing in breeching boarders
Only when we fly might we truly see the sky
Rain is always to be expected, umbrella handy or not
Nature runs it’s own course much like the creek in the meadows
Flowing on and on, never stopping, unless we dam it
Beside the trickling torrent, flowers, trees and reeds grow.
Eventually all that comes must pass
Clouds may idle by and drift as the wind lets then
But nay, let us be the wind, the water
Let us erode a new path, one worth taking
A winding road besieged with perpetual flora.
Alright, this is going to be the second photo critique I have posted and I though I would start by explaining a few things. 1: I am by no means an expert. I like good food, I like photography and I especially like getting new ideas from the place that I go. 2. Most of the places I go to are going to be in Calgary. I will how ever be adding one or two extra-city restaurants in the next few months, namely e\Edmonton and red deer. 3. I like to stick to what I know. I've been studying Asia since I was young and am particularly interested in their cooking and their way of life. This doesn't mean however that I won't post blogs about other style of cuisine. I also love to hear about other peoples experiences with restaurants. So if any one has any good suggestions as to the next place I should try please please please let me know and I will give it a try.
Now that that’s out of the way, on to the photo blog! It took me two trips to the Shikiji to fully appreciate both the environment, the music that they played and their amazing food. Like a lot of places there were ups and downs. But by far this noodle house has more ups than anything. Its location is very well though out. It’s just a little off of the trans Canada Highway and on center St. N. This is a prime location, just a little off of the expanding china town but far enough away from any other reputable sushi places. Note also this isn’t so much a sushi place, their a noodle house that also offer sushi. The exterior is very nice. Plastic plants and bamboo blinds are very inviting. Passing the customary overhanging curtains on your way in, you arrive in front of their large drink and pay island in the middle of the restaurant. On the left and going back are a few small table and two bars, one facing the window and one right in front of their stainless steel kitchen. On the other side is a little alcove of tables. It has a very earthy feel to it, lots of plants and wood decorating.
Although this is apparently a Japanese establishment I highly doubt there are many Japanese people working there. Their service and attitude where excellent none the less and I do not hold the false advertising against them.
The first time there, we had just finished ordering when a small experimental sushi trial was offered to us. It was an odd kind of tamago roll. It’s the first time I’d been offered a sample or one of the chefs creations before.
I was impressed to see that the miso soup was not only very authentic looking but that it was also very much so home made. I could tell by the little pieces of fresh cut green onions. So far this has been the best miso I have tried. It took a long time for it to loose it’s cloudiness. This to me is a sign of a good mix of ingredients and proper cooking. If you over cook miso soup it can really ruin the miso.
We both started with a few pieces of sushi. Just the regular to try of course; Shake, toro, ebi, tamago, maguro and piece of inari. Inari, it’s a bean curd paste mixed with rice and then deep fried. A very tasty little piece that’s both sweet and oily while still having a firm texture. A must try. I was more than impressed with the maguro, more so than I was the toro. It’s a lot nicer and just melts in your mouth. The tamago was a little too sweet for me. It had a nice fluffy ness to it, but it still just didn’t taste right. All in all their sushi was par with an excellent selection and a great piece of maguro.
Next I had a soy ramen with bbq pork. Right off the bat I will say that their cut of pork was far from lean, which is good because it offers a lot of taste to the soup, but on the flip side, fatty pork also makes for grisly pork. I could not finish the pork because of the amount of fat in it. The broth was great. It’s a lot more similar to the ramen broth I make at home. Not as strong as Hibiki’s, and I really liked it. The noodles were great, not over cooked at all. They still had a good strong consistency to them. The topping were great. A half piece of baby bok choy and some chopped green onions. The taste of the broth was really absorbed into the bok choy. It was very enjoyable.
Next item on my list was the bento box with sukiyaki beef, mixed tempura, home style salad and teriyaki chicken. Of course eating salad with chopsticks would seem weird to everyone else but I feel that since they didn’t offer a fork I would muscle through it and still have a little fun. I swear their salad dressing had a little bit of miso paste to it. It was a very unique sauce with lots of taste that really accentuated the fresh ripe tomatoes carrots and cabbage. The sukiyaki beef was a little stringy. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would other sukiyaki places. There was less sauce than others I had tried which left it dry. The onions how ever were very nicely caramelized. The BBQ chicken was beautiful. Nice lean pieces, the onion very much bringing out the bbq taste.
As a side note, they used a lot of onions in their cooking. I even had onion tempura which is ten times better than onions rings in my opinion. I really like onions so having a full meal with onions was delicious. The tempura was very well done. Shrimp and squash with onions. Although the onions were all bunched together, their taste was still amazing, just required a little work to break them apart.
Christy had the Shikiji style soba noodles warm. The broth was very similar to the ramen that I had last time, but with a little variation. It was a little sweeter, that might be due to the little pieces of sweet soy that was scattered in the dish. The buckwheat noodles were very good, firm and not sticky.
Both time were very pleasant dinning experiences. It’s a little one the pricy side but it won’t break the bank. I would definitely recommend this place to any one wanting to try some “Japanese style” noodles. We all enjoyed ourselves and will probably make a return visit to have some sashimi.
This has been another food blog by moi. Mata ne!
Till the next!
Today I'm giving you a recipe for a sand witch. you will need:
-1 whole zucchini cut into 3/4 inch slices
-1tomatoe sliced thinly
-1 carrot shredded
-3-4 pieces letuce folded
-4 pieces of Multi Grain Bread
-a little lemon zest
-mixed salad seasonings (oregano, basil, savory, etc)
Heat frying pan to high, add 1 tbs of olive oil. When hot enough fry zucchini with seasonings.
Fry carrots sepperatly with lemon zest (on either side of the pan works well)
Make your sadnwitch while these cook by adding the rest of the items in any order as long as the two pieces of bread are on the opposing sides of the topings. Add both carrots and zucchini evenly. Put together, cut and serve.
Tip: You can add sprouts, mayo or salad dressing to give it a little extra something. Buttering the bread can also yeild good results.
- 2 1/2 cups rice (basmati long)
- 4 3/4cups water
- 1/4 onion cubbed
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 handful carrot shavings
- 1 handful Cellery
- 1/4 cup of peas
- hand ful of mushrooms well cut.
Throw it all together in the rice cooker let cook.
Next You need the Noodles
- 1 pack of noodles (shanghai, rice, egg etc)
- Soy sauce
- 2tbs oil
Noodles are pretty straight foreward, thaw them in warm water (or low on the stove) drain them off. Add some oil to your wok, heat to about a 6-7 on your stove, throw in dryed off noodles, add soy sauce and fry till it browns a little. After, put them aside.
Next the veggies. I used quite a good variety of veggies to compliment my dietary choices. Heres what I used but you can use your own assortment of veggies. You should have about 2-3 cups of assorted veggies when your done.
- snap peas
- sprouts (Added cold after wards)
- a tbsp garlic
- a tbsp ginger
- buk choy
Take your assorted veggies and quickly fry the fragrant ones in some oil (onions garlic ginger etc) add the rest with a few tbsp of water and then cover your wok. Let crisp on low for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and put aside.
For meat I used tofu. It has protein, iron and a few vitamins. It also has very little fat. I marinaded the cubes in tamari soy sauce, coarse pepper, garlic powder and sesame seeds. Fry them on high with quite a bit of oil. Fry them. Let them brown on most sides before taking them off the heat and putting them aside.
I also used prawns. I boiled them, shelled them, then fried them in soy sauce pepper and a dash of lemon juice.
I personaly served them all seperate kind of a mixed asian meal, but for those who like fried rice. fry up a scrambled egg in the wok and while it's still a little runny add a bunch of the rice and let fry for a few minutes, stirring every so often. till it starts browning.
If you would like you can add the rest into the wok at this point to to heat them before serving and making a stir fry with noodles, fried rice, beggies tofu and shrimp. Enjoy :)
Achromatic Attention to Detail.
By Jeff Rodier
“Black and white ideas of time
Pen and ink live like caricatures
Simple shading made of lines
Life in general, but no real ventures
One step in front of the other, keep going don’t stray towards the gutter
If you’re your not going to wonder, at least have the courage to bother.”
In a monochromatic world, much resembling our own, black and white men and women go about their day. Wives rushing to the store in their shades of grey dress and make up. husbands collecting colorless cheques. Constant crossing guard confusion over traffic lights. Livid news programs on the television, with their dreary hosts, recounting the events of a ashen day.
A young boy, of not yet eight, would go about his picturesque life, sitting in-front of the black board, re-writing his teachers chalky words into his plain note book. Usually being treated to vanilla ice cream after his bland supper of potatoes, gravy and roast. Little did he know a small paint ser would set off a sparkle in the young mans eyes. Not for it’s grandeur or for his passion for art, but instead, for the first time in his life he would see a marvelous display of ; brilliant blues, everlasting yellows and gorgeous greens.
Every color imaginable, the kind that he had never even been able to imagine or come across in him average day to day, but alone in his room, he could find solace in, solar shades of orange and red. Majestic magentas of a sunset of a mountain. Deep hues of leafy forest green with hints of icy blossoming blues. Pearl highlights and porous pinks. They were all within his spectrum of enlightenment now. Solitarily covering his canvas, he took as much time as he needed to find his color. No matter how much mixing it would take him. Every minute detail would take hours out of his minutes.
He would spends days, covering canvas after canvas, never giving up, sparing only few moments to sleep. Using many a brushes and even more pallets, filling up his rooms with stretched fabrics, and entirely covered and fully finished paintings. Every part of his day was devoted to the art, shading and color charts spun around in his sleep, so that during the day he could apply the vibrant chromatic paints at will. Even once he had finished every last one of his canvases, he had little to contemplate. He picked up his brushes and continued on to the walls.
He painted a large mural, starting somewhere new everyday. A dragon sneaking into his window, a princess in a tower in the far end. A space ship fighting off aliens battled along the ceiling and multi-national peoples shook hands in the corners. The world as he had always seen it was developing everywhere around him with or without what some would call talent. When the mural was done and the landscape had been filled in. Countless stories from his earlier childhood sprawled along the inexistent boarders and leaped out directly from his memory.
While there were still a few drops to use he started giving his chair more lively hood, though he soon ran out. Noticing that his entire room, and most of the furnishing in it, had been transformed. Every part of his childhood had at least a spec of chromatism to it, but the world outside was still bleak and colorless. He felt so much shame and guilt for being so selfish. Every part of his being now set upon the task of showing this wonderful new agent of youth to the world.
He made his way down to the store once again, speeding up a little every time the excitement grew. Rushing into the store he asked the man about the paint set. He begged and pleaded with the clerk to get him some more of those wonderful colors. Pastels, inks, water color, oils, chalks. Anything, he howled, both tearful and angry that the clerk wouldn’t acknowledge his request.
The clerk simply smiles a tight smile and said with a hint of remorse, “I’m sorry son, we don’t have anything of that nature. I don’t think we’ve ever carried anything like that, and to tell you the truth, I’ve never heard of such thing as color.” He ended sadly. The boy couldn’t believe what he had just heard. He began to even question his own ideas of color.
Walking home his mind was filled with doubts and confusion. The clerk had to know what he was talking about, why he had been working non stop for what seemed to be weeks in the same clothes. He couldn’t be bothered in changing often. Once every few sleeps at least, though, even that didn’t happen to often. He must have been covered from head to toe. Glancing at his hands from every angle, under and over, and the sides too, he couldn’t see any trace of anything but gray’s. Not a speck of color could be found. Not a single different hue that was not a shade.
As fast as he could he ran towards the closest automobile, which, as popular as they where they were scarce. Peering into the looking glass he gazed in bewilderment at his own, spot less, black face. He was shocked, and his face was contorted. The face no longer held its features of youth, his eyes were sunken and wrinkles buried themselves in the trenches. His hair had faded, and his teeth had darkened. Even the once prominent twinkle of hope had dimmed and disappeared as the world of color shifts away with time till all that remains is a glimmer.
The Plaid Tongued Devils live at the IronWood Restaurant and Bar in Inglewood, May 5th 2006.
PTD, an old school, new age, upbeat bohemian sound that, I hope, will never disappoint. I haven't been yet, and highly doubt it is even possible. With their interesting mix of instruments, I'm hardly surprised to see them playing at the popular IronWood In the heart of Inglewood, a prestigious artistic community. No matter the stage, be it the Epcore Center, Princes Island Park or a well broken in bar, their sound quality is phenomenal. Their timing, jovial behavior and energy is that of true artists and great friends. That’s what makes this 5 man band(plus a dancer every so often) A great show for all, friends, family, dates. You can even go yourself or with a dance partner and enjoy the night just as much.
The lead vocalist, Ty Semaka, with his hair suitingly fashioned into two horns on either side of his head, booms out at the audience with his fast passed singing, his witty lyrics and his amusing banter. Backed, though not secondary be any means, by his neo-klezmer band of gypsy rockers, each bringing their own talent to the mix. Jonathan Lewis, who has played the violin for over a quarter of a century, does well at dazzling us with his precise and fluid music on his 5 string violin, moving the crowd with his multiple solos and sheer enjoyment of the music he puts forth. Allen Kolodziejzyk on his interesting 8 string guitar, that he says "Is like a 12 string, but it's missing 4 strings". Moving quickly between open chords and bar chord, all across the fret board, to give way to a folkie sound that blends amazingly well with the rest of the band. On drums we have John McNeil, busting out an amazing solo near the end and really pounding away, feverishly almost, on his skins all through out the night. I doubt even a heavy metal drummer could keep up with John as he makes it look almost easy. Last but not least, on the 5 string fretless bass, Kaley Kinjo, working his art and getting the crowd going with his suprising jumping routines with Allen while still keeping a strong baseline. Together the shook the establishment all the way to the far front bathrooms, where the music came in as clear as if you were on stage.
PTD have toured for quite a while. The band, whom have been together for over 14 years, have been a great success over seas, and no matter what always draw a crowd from their home city of Calgary. This group even has their own musical production called "In Kleskavania" which made its debut in 1998 and was back last year, selling out night after night. Their most recent CD, Monsteroma, is also quite the success, evident by the fact that most of the songs played at last nights soiree were from that CD. Other CDs of theirs are Belladonna, Tongue and Groove and Running with Scissors.
All in all this band has more energy, love and talent(not mentioning the near century of musical experience in the group) makes this band one of my top five. Trying to get away from the main stream and more following their own style gives this band the most points though. I doubt you would be able to find anything close to this style of music anywhere short of your public library, under folk/bohemian/Jewish. Which, surprisingly is exactly where this band found their inspiration. "Hava Negela" The Jewish Folk song from my understanding, drew quite the crowd to the dance floor. As a giant oval encircled up to two pairs of dancers in the middle the sweat and fun where just dripping. Their high energy music though doesn't stop there though, with their slight touch of Ska influence, they bring a new life to the estranged polka. Though really, premiering two new songs, was what that night a night to remember. It's not everyday that you get to hear one of your favorite bands newest creations.
I highly recommend this band to anyone who knows how to enjoy good and different music. If you want more info you can check out their website at www.thedevils.com or you can always drop Ty a line, or subscribe to the newsletter at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you feel like seeing their next show it will be on Canada day at Princess Island Park, their set will commence at 5pm.