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Everything posted by Mooshmouse

  1. Mooshmouse

    Pigs' Feet

    Crispy Pata from the Philippines is one of my favourite dishes ever. Pork hocks are usually recommended, but I've also tasted it with both hocks and trotters. It involves slowly simmering the hocks in seasoned water until they're soft; some recipes call for marinating the meat before simmering. After the hocks have cooled in the fridge, they're then deep fried to crisp the skin while the meat inside stays tender. Crispy Pata is usually served with a dipping sauce made from cane vinegar, chili peppers, minced garlic and soy sauce. A porkstravaganza of goodness! Here are some different variations of the recipe for this dish: one from the Market Manila foodblog, one from Pinoy Cook and another two on ChileMasters [sic].
  2. Here's a link to last year's thread in which you'll find all the information that you'll need. Happy eating!
  3. Although it primarily deals with kids and comfort-food dining, this thread will probably have a few useful suggestions in it for you. I'd also add Ocean 6 Seventeen to the mix; our now-five-year-old son (holy crap, he's already five!) has always liked it there. Hamilton Street Grill is another one of my son's picks, as is Senhor Rooster. Edited to add a couple of my son's dining choices.
  4. Saveur: If you pronounce "ere" like you do in the word "were", then saveur is prounounce sah-VERE (accent on last syllable as Abra noted). Izakaya: It's a common word 'round these here parts as we have a plethora of izakaya restaurants in Vancouver. I've heard it pronounced EE-zuh-KAI-uh (primary accent on the third syllable, secondary accent on the first syllable).
  5. You don't have to wait until a Friday evening: the pheasant is now part of the regular daily menu. We were just fortunate enough to get a sneak preview before it was officially added. Just checked the weather for an event that we have scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, and it's looking mighty iffy. I'd recommend that you sit inside. Looking forward to hearing about your dinner on Sunday!
  6. Urgh. Still full from a two-day eating marathon. Thursday's lunch was at Japone with canucklehead and Vancouver Lee. Reasonably priced lunch specials; the menu featured their full complement of sushi and two bento boxes plus a build-your-own lunch thing where you choose your main and add on the side dishes of your choice. Much smaller selection than their dinner offerings but great food dollar value. Clean tastes, reasonably sized portions and fresh, fresh sushi/sashimi. I ordered the Chicken Nanban (battered, deep-fried chicken topped with a light tartar sauce) with rice, miso soup, spicy tuna sashimi, a Dynamite Roll and a Negitoro Cone. Chicken was great: light, not greasy at all and nicely seasoned. Thursday evening was a long-overdue girlie dinner with *Deborah*. However, her vehicle drove us to Parkside instead of the intended budget-conscious Gyoza King; we still managed to snag a table for two despite brazenly walking in there without a reso. I promptly mollified my parched palate with a Mojito while our intrepid designated driver stuck with mineral water until our wine arrived. Prior to ordering, Chef asked if we'd be willing guinea pigs for the new sous-vide pheasant main course that he'd be putting on Friday evening's menu. It took two magic words to convince us: prosciutto and truffle. Enough said. True to form, *Deborah* started out with her requisite Foie Gras Parfait. My starter was the Sesame-crusted Tuna Tataki served with Japanese mushrooms and wasabi-lime vinaigrette. Perfect blue rare in the centre, excellent sauce that enhanced rather than overpowered the fish. We vowed that three courses would be more than enough; however, a largish dish of linguine with pesto sauce appeared before us as an intermezzo and begged that we eat it. The pesto was bright and fresh, almost like having an herb garden in your mouth. The pheasant arrived while we were sipping on our bottle of Leroy 1997 Bourgogne. It was stuffed with prosciutto, sage and an insane amount of black truffle, served with a sauce Colbert and accompanied by baby carrots, haricots verts and a sunchoke purée. The sauce. The sauce. Dear God. Remarkably lush and rich, so much so that I had to forfeit at least part of the pheasant if I had any hope of making a dent in dessert. Michel talked us into ordering the Chocolate Nemesis, a flourless chocolate cake served room temperature with brandy soaked cherries, chocolate sorbet and whipped cream. Admittedly, not my favourite dessert, particularly when I still had visions of the previous chocolate ganache torte dancing in my head... just a bit too firm for my liking. The restaurant's last slice of Banoffi Pie did, however, more than adequately make up for the Chocolate Nemesis. Light yet creamy, brilliant as always. Friday's lunch with Kolachy Keith was at Rangoli. We each had a Mango-Pineapple Lassi and shared the Coconut Chicken Curry and the Masala Lamb Stew, two of my favourite dishes on their menu. Excellent, as always... curry really hit the spot on a rainy afternoon. I did manage to make it to Gyoza King last night, though, where Ian and I managed to work our way through a sizeable chunk of the menu while sharing large bottles of Kirin and Sapporo. Personally, I prefer Sapporo -- it's darker and lacks the slight bitter aftertaste that Kirin has. Tuna tataki in ponzu sauce. Salmon sashimi marinated in a shoyu vinaigrette and served with thinly sliced onion and cucumber. Negitoro with nori sheets and daikon. Shiitake mushroom tempura stuffed with ground chicken and served in ponzu sauce. Pork and chive gyoza. Scallops and Japanese mushrooms in garlic butter. And the evening's weakest dish: karubi or grilled beef shortribs. Not nearly as good as my last visit a month ago with db, canucklehead and HKDave just before his departure... too gristly and not very tender. Dessert was still at the forefront of my mind. Having missed the opportunity to partake of some of the city's finest sorbets, we trekked over to Parkside once again and planted ourselves at the bar, much to the amusement of both Michel and Chef Andrey. They started laughing as soon as I walked through the door. A perfect Gin Martini for Ian (three olives, of course) and a Ruby Slipper for me (some brilliant concoction with raspberry sorbet, vodka and sparkling wine among other things). A trio of sorbets: mascarpone, strawberry and passionfruit-banana. Such pure flavours. Feckin' brilliant. And, of course, the restaurant's second-last slice of banoffi pie... Ian finally understands the true measure of goodness about which I've raved so often. Now I need to go and hibernate for a week until my body successfully processes the ridiculous amount of food that I've consumed over the past couple of days.
  7. Canada Day barbecue here at our lakefront cabin on Salt Spring Island. Drinks to fuel the prep and grill process: Strongbow Cider and a pitcher of Mount Gay and tonic with lime wedges. Beef tenderloin steaks rubbed with olive oil, a garlic clove, coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper. Baby portobello mushrooms marinated in soya sauce, olive oil and garlic. And couscous in chicken stock tossed with some fresh basil and sliced mushrooms sauteed in butter and garlic. Dessert: chilled local raspberries on a platter with chunks of a 67% Scharffenberger espresso bar. Snacks on the dock at the harbour while waiting for the fireworks to start: chocolate-chip cookies and chunks of Australian candied ginger. Happy belated Canada Day!
  8. Vancouver Magazine June 2006 edition To Live and Dine in West Van: Long starved for choice as a dining destination, West Van has undergone a culinary awakening – "The Ocean Club follows a scheme of exciting décor that plays a restrained culinary hand: flavoursome food, but safe. Rare One is its diametric opposite: sleekly decorated but hardly avant-garde. Here the risk-taking is in the kitchen and the music is on the plate." (Jamie Maw) The Vancouver Courier Friday, June 9 edition Crave sets tongues wagging – The fare at Chef Wayne Martin's new Main Street digs is "unabashed, contemporary bistro: eclectic, modern tastes, soundly prepared by someone whose ability has been honed to execute plates above and beyond the norm with deliberate understatement. There's no pretence-just focused, often organic flavours that are thoughtfully conceived and pleasingly presented." (Tim Pawsey) James Iranzad "is gearing up to reopen the former Living Room space as an energized salute to hawker fare, with wide ranging, Asian small plates from chef Tina Fineza (ex Bin 942). Look for Flying Tiger to open in late June." "During the entire month of June, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts is offering a Senior's Discount Tuesday through Saturday... 50% off the 3-course lunch or dinner, and Seafood Buffet." The Georgia Straight Thursday, June 8 edition Best Eating: Papi's Ristorante keeps the Iaci name cooking – "Chef Ken Iaci has paid his dues in the restaurant business, which he entered at age 24. But he still works the stoves at Papi’s Ristorante Italiano every night." (Judith Lane) Travel softens crusty chef's many reservations – "Contrary to his obnoxious reputation, Anthony Bourdain remains humble when he travels the world, and tries new food without passing judgment." (John Burns) Uncorked: A six-pack of whites for a summer blender – "Not that there’s anything wrong with drinking Chardonnays, but creative blends that bring together different grape varieties for different flavour properties tend to be just more…interesting." (Jurgen Gothe) Food of the Week: Jang Mo Jib (Angela Murrills) Drink of the Week: Bitburger Premium Beer (Jurgen Gothe) Straight Goods: Fuel – "Kudos to owners Bud and Dottie Kanke and the Joe Fortes team who raised $13,000 for the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund..." (Judith Lane) Straight Goods: Wine on – Since opening on May 31, there's been a steady stream of customers through the doors of Liberty Wine Merchants' new Granville Island location. (Judith Lane) Straight Goods: Grape spot – "With 20-plus wines by the glass, a tapas-only menu, a 4 p.m. opening time, and a handy location in the downtown core, Unwine’d (1180 Howe Street) might be just the ticket for after-work R&R." (Judith Lane) Saude – "Raise a glass of Gazela or port this June and toast saudé (“good health”) to the 40,000 Greater Vancouverites of Portuguese descent celebrating Portuguese Heritage Month." (Judith Lane) Fish on – Warmer weather brings with it summer hours for the fine folks at Go Fish, now open from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. (Judith Lane) Magnetic east – Chef Wayne Martin's Crave is the latest addition to Main Street's dining scene. (Judith Lane) Dilly deli – Newly opened Zako's Deli is West Broadway's newest purveyor of smoked meat. (Judith Lane) The Westender Thursday, June 8 edition (Lifestyles section) The man who came to dinner, all over the world – "Anthony Bourdain has described himself at various times, and always without shame, as an abnormally lucky man; a chef of considerable but not exceptional skill ("not Superchef") who acquired exceptional culinary fame despite having been an arrogant, reckless punk, a drug addict and, occasionally, a petty criminal." (Michael White) Shaky service disrupts Shiru-Bay's smooth vibe – "Yaletown's Shiru-Bay Chopstick Cafe has attracted a steady clientele with its inventive 'izakaya'-style menu and funky interior. Its service, however, is a work in progress." (Andrew Morrison) The Globe and Mail Friday, June 9 edition Maritime treat along the seawall – At Fiddlehead Joe's, Alexandra Gill samples the namesake fare and other dishes from Chef Jason Mallof's "magical spring menu of seasonal comfort foods, sourced from regional ingredients with an emphasis on sustainability."
  9. Fried chicken, potato salad and watermelon: three foods that were part of many a childhood picnic... and you're well aware that I'm far from being of African descent. I agree with Xando Head's comment on how this meal served to Vancouver's dining public seems fairly inoffensive in and of itself. No more so than Nick's Spaghetti House serving spaghetti and meatballs on red-and-white checkered tablecloths set with candle-wax-laden Chianti bottles.
  10. Do I get to be Squiggy then??????? ← Andrew Squigmont it is, then! Hope you'll answer to that the next time I phone you! Go, Deeb, go... you're in the home stretch, baybee! Wish I could've been dining with you this evening to close out your blog, but both my boys were demanding an evening of quality time and I knew you'd be in fine company. You know I was there with you in spirit!
  11. I like to think of us as the Laverne and Shirley of the Vancouver forum. The best thing about having a crack support crew is that they enable you to just sit back and eat while your minions take pictures for you. Smithy, I did photograph the ingredients for cassava cake and will be posting about it in the Pastry & Baking forum, either in the Dessert! thread or a thread of its own. It's dead easy to make which means maximum taste returns on the effort expended!
  12. As *Deborah* mentioned, Hapa Izakaya was our first choice, but Kitanoya Guu with Otokomae is the izakaya restaurant at which it's easiest to make reservations for a large group. Irashimasai! It was a Milky Guava: Calpico, guava juice and either vodka or rum... I can't remember which. And those are curaçao-spiked ice cubes that you see "jumping" in *Deborah*'s drink, hence the name of the cocktail. Referred to as Ton-Toro on Kitanoya Guu's menu. Garlic butter hotate, heavy on the garlic and served with mushrooms. Deb, did you take a photo of the Halibut Cheek Karaage? That's the only dish that seems to be missing. Two kinds of oshinko and some crispy fried wonton chips thrown in there for good measure. I liked Irishgirl's reference to okonomiyaki as resembling Japanese French toast.
  13. Abra, we stand at the ready for your next foray into our neck of the woods! You know, Db, I don't think that I'll be eating for at least a week after your foodblog ends. Holy crap, am I ever full. While we wait for our fearless blogger to post photos from our evening meal, I'll provide some pictures of the dessert that wasn't from last night's spot prawn extravaganza. Lo and behold, the second of two cassava cakes. And a glamour shot of the Lemon Almond Fig Torte.
  14. Okay, okay. I'll 'fess up. *Deborah* and Zucchini Mama had one scone a piece and consumed half a ramekin of clotted cream between them. I had one scone and demolished an entire ramekin of cream myself. I'll second Zuke's vote on the scones. We Vancouver eGulleters have waxed poetic about a number of high tea experiences on our "Sweets And The City" thread, but this one takes top marks in my books. I'm a sucker for egg-salad pinwheels, so it was those, the smoked salmon, the scones (with cream and jam, of course) and the mini lemon-strawberry tarts that made me swoon. The cassava cake was the only thing that came out of my oven; alas, I can only take credit for bringing the torte over to *Deborah*'s house. Junior Mouse had a playdate earlier that day, and his friend's Mom used us as guinea pigs for a dry run of the torte -- it was her first time baking it. I'll see if I can finagle the recipe out of her and PM it to you. She mentioned that the ingredient list called for olive oil, so I'm just as intrigued as you are, Smithy!
  15. Second that suggestion. A selection of baked oysters from Ya-Ya's Oyster Bar. Mix it up: a half-dozen of this, a half-dozen of that. Bottle of white wine. You're set.
  16. There were six of us in total: Deborah, canucklehead, the Mouse family and Grandpa Mouse who's visiting us from Victoria. As is usually the case with any meal where canucklehead and I are involved, there were piles of leftovers. Not one iota of room left for dessert courtesy of the Mouse family which was a lemon/almond/fig torte and the second of two cassava cakes that I had baked yesterday. And the beautifully chilled bottle of Sancerre was sitting on the table looking plaintive. I was hoping to crack that open but I was too busy eating! Db, you forgot to mention the seasoning for the geoduck: hot oil, ponzu sauce, green onions and julienned ginger. Spot prawns were the obvious standout. Gigantic and beautifully sweet. Junior Mouse was absolutely fascinated with them and was just as interested in examining their physiology as he was in eating them. Char siu was absolutely delicious... brilliantly caramelized. And Green Village was a good choice for the noodle dishes that Mr. Mouse picked up on his way over; the crispy noodle shredded pork chow mein was some of the best I've tasted anywhere. I remembered to bring home all my condiments, Deb, but I forgot to grab the steamer.
  17. What, no photos of the buffet spread? It was a mighty impressive array of eats. Urgh, that was a helluva lot of food. I'm still full... and, for me, that's saying a lot. You know, the recipe for cassava cake is frighteningly easy. If I ever give it to you, you'll end up making it weekly. With your eyes closed. I've still got one whole cassava cake left... would you like me to save you seconds?
  18. However, esoteric we are not. The subject matter of our conversation went straight down the toilet in record time. I'll be over in three minutes.
  19. I was the wise one who saved the last three bites of my dessert until just before we left... velevety deep chocolate goodness! It's a wonder that you were able to get us out the door just after midnight as I would've happily camped out on your kitchen floor, fork in hand, until every last morsel of that torte was gone.
  20. There are simply no words to describe how ridiculously delicious your red wine and port reduction sauce was, db. Between that and HKDave's beurre blanc, it was a veritable sauce-travaganza! We were a tableful of fortunate guests indeed; from the Smoked Albacore Tuna all the way through to the last course (which I won't divulge until you do), dinner was stellar. The meat was absolute perfection. I hope you fried up some of those insanely delicious potatoes as Bubble and Squeak this morning. Bring on the dessert!
  21. Great minds think alike, Abra. I purchased the ingredients today and am all set to bake cassava cake on Sunday morning! Ann, that's because you haven't tried Halo Halo with all the right stuff in it. Contrary to popular belief, beans are not a prerequisite and can easily be subsituted for goodies that are far more tasty.
  22. Yeah, but what it really means is "fried rice noodles." I love the simplicity of the names of dishes in Malaysia and Indonesia. ← This I do know as Filipinos name a good number of their dishes in a similar manner; however, I was largely doing a cut and paste from Pondok's menu descriptions on their website. Gracias, though, for the clarification. Moosh, does that happen a lot in Vancouver? In New York, it sometimes isn't enough to speak the language and ask for it very, very hot! And then there are other restaurants that serve it right without one needing to do anything but order. A lot of times, that depends on the location -- not only how close the restaurant is to an area where lots of Asians live, but sometimes, how much off-the-street business it gets and whether it attracts a crowd that's there for a date scene and not primarily for the food.... ← In this instance, the lack of heat was likely largely my fault since I dug in for the meat without scooping up a lot of the sauce. I was too busy eating to check what my dining companions' palates were telling them. As far as Pondok itself goes, it's usually quite good at notching up the heat meter; the Mouse family dines there on a semi-regular basis and they've served us some dishes that have had me reaching for my water glass. Your take on restaurants' dumbing-down of the spice level is interesting. Like New York, Vancouver's cultural diversity generally points toward a fairly savvy palate when it comes to ethnic dining. Thus, the times that I encounter a quenching of the flames, so to speak, generally occur when I'm ordering more mainstream-oriented dishes from a menu. Another instance is when a restaurant, in its efforts to do the pan-Asian-fusion thing, tries to be too many things to too many people. Gimme simple, authentic and spicy any day.
  23. My pleasure. We can have tuna casserole another night. I'm just glad that my handyman husband was able to help you level your 650 lb. behemoth of a Wolf range without giving himself a hernia in the process! I take comfort in the knowledge that, should some natural disaster level the Mouse house, we can all come and take up residence in your stove without too much difficulty.
  24. You've just been through a whole raft of photos, so I'll help you out with menu descriptions from Pondok's website. Junior Mouse had his requisite glass of guava juice, while Mr. Moosh and I tippled our way through three or four bottles of Tiger beer. Jasmine tea for you, right db? An order of Krupuk and Rujak Asinan were our starters: the salad consisted of pickled cabbage, jicama, bean sprouts and pineapple served with peanuts and topped with palm sugar sauce. Junior Mouse's favourite chicken dish is Ayam Panggang: BBQ Chicken marinated with Indonesian style sauce. I think he mowed through three pieces on his own. The noodles were Bihun Goreng: vegetarian pan-fried rice vermicelli. For a vegetable dish, I chose Buncis: green beans, prawns and tofu sautéed and served in a wet sauce of dried shrimp, chilies, garlic, and shallots. And our finny friend was Ikan Rica Rica: fried tilapia in a succulent bed of tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and chilies. Though we ordered the fish three out of three peppers on the hotness scale, it didn't seem all that spicy to me. Last but not least, dessert was Pisang Gulung Manis: fried banana wrapped in phyllo, served with caramel sauce and topped with vanilla ice cream. Despite your and Mr. Mouse's claims (except mine, of course) that you were too full to eat dessert, the bananas and ice cream disappeared in one hot second.
  25. The Vancouver Courier Wednesday, May 17 edition Beaumes' dessert wine more of a spritzer – "The steep pitches of Beaumes de Venise are home to vines that produce Cotes-du-Rhone's most recognized dessert wine." (Tim Pawsey) Sweeping concessions – "A new report approved by the parks board May 1 recommends changes to the way Vancouver's waterfront concessions are run, including the complete privatization of food operations on the city's beaches along an 'entrepreneurial' system." (Sandra Thomas) The Georgia Straight Thursday, May 18 edition Best Eating: Local farmers markets get bigger and better – "The cycle begins with tiny salad greens, continues through virile asparagus and juicy peaches, and concludes with dried walnuts. If you’re in a thoughtful mood, a year in the life of a farmers market looks a lot like a fast-forward version of life." (Angela Murrills) Food of the Week: Mistral – "Well, it’s not the Promenade des Anglais (more the Promenade des SUVs), but lunch on the recently opened patio at Mistral... does inspire Southern French fantasies." (Angela Murrills) Straight Goods: Sweet art – ChocolaTas chocolate-design contest closes to entries on May 19.(Judith Lane and Angela Murrills) Straight Goods: Enough to drive one to drink – Gastown's Moonshine has a new alias in Six Acres. (Judith Lane and Angela Murrills) Straight Goods: Fiddlehead fix – "If you’re jonesing for fiddleheads, this wild veggie is in season now and all over the menu at Fiddlehead Joe’s..." (Judith Lane and Angela Murrills) The Westender Thursday, May 18 edition (Lifestyles section) 'The Big Five' lead Vancouver's cocktail renaissance – "Each of the following restaurants come stocked with visionary bartenders who have been given the freedom of a long leash to dream up swoon-inducing drinks that are built to sip and savour, dispensing sage benedictions by the glass. I only wish there were more of them." (Andrew Morrison) London's bartender to the stars teaches the world the cocktail art – "Ostensibly here to extol the virtues of Bombay Sapphire gin, for which he is 'global brand ambassador,' [Jamie] Walker... passed through the city recently also to discuss the evolving art of the cocktail, and his status as one of Britain's most famous bartenders (or, so his peers increasingly prefer, 'mixologists')." (Michael White)
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