Sunday, April 26, 2009

Food and Maps

Frank, Dave Samuels and I were supposed to have lunch at the great little French place Casis next to Frank's office, but it was closed due to an absent liquor license this week. So we walked over to another nearby place Frank knew, only it was closed too. Finally we went into the largely deserted Tinteltown Mall to eat at a restaurant in their food court (I know that doesn't make sense) Wild Ginger, where I had some excellent tea before. Handed their cocktail list, we wisely kept to tea. Who would want a duck fart?

Frank had their special peach tea, with flowers that blossomed as the tea steeped.

Dave and I had the Black Rose Tea I'd so enjoyed on my first visit here. Still outstanding, but I think I preferred Frank's peach specialty.

Frank and Dave had lunch specials. I just had this big bowl of mushrooms. The one that looks like a liver is called an abalone mushroom, new to me and exquisite. Much better than the animal it's named for. The little black ones that look like brussel sprouts turned out to be straw mushrooms that Dave was familiar with. Also excellent.

Walking to the nearby Skytrain station, Frank pointed out the odd map globe outside the station. Instead of Cuba, Japan had miraculously moved into the Caribbean.

Nothing next to Korea, where Japan should be on an accurate map.

After walking around downtown for several hours (see previous blog post) with my camera, I made my way over to the Four Seasons Hotel. Their Yew restaurant (named for the wood above) was having a special No Passport Required month featuring the cooking of Japan, from the 4 Seasons Restaurant there. I was expecting something quite beyond what I could get in Japanese restaurants in Vancouver, and that is very good indeed.

King Crab Soup, Sake, Daikon and Shiso. Very crisp and refreshing. I asked the waiter if the mixologist could make a cocktail specifically for these creations. There was a sake pairing, but it was some local sake I'd had before and resolved never to have again. Even though Yew started out as a bar, with a restaurant growing around it, my request was repulsed. You'd think a mixologist at such a high end place would relish a challenge, but obviously he's not up to David Wolowidnyk standards.

Plum-glazed Kurobuta Pork Loin, Kabocha squash, Bamboo, Watercress and Lotus Root.
Looks better than it tasted. The squash tended to overwhelm the pork and other vegies. Very rarely have I had pork in Vancouver as good as one routinely gets in Japan. This was not one of those occasions.
Pink Grapefruit Parfait, Ginger and Vanilla Consomme, Almond Milk Caviar. Like a deconstructed cocktail.

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