Sunday, May 22, 2005

Savoury Coast

Taking a break between inspiring talks at the Entheogenesis Conference on Hastings, I walked a mile or so over to Savoury Coast on Robson. It had been lovingly reviewed in the previous week's Georgia Straight, an entertainment weekly that used to be the fountain of counterculture in Vancouver. Would it be worth the rain-soaked walk? I climbed the stairs to find out.
I expected the place to be packed- 7:00 on a Saturday night in the trendiest part of town, but it was oddly empty. Well, more service for me. The Straight review had revelled in the potato and octopus appetizer so that was the first thing I ordered.
I'm learning things about potatoes I never knew. Soy beans slither curiously around my mouth like just evolved fish species. It tastes like octopus. It looks like octopus, but I'd never have guessed it was octopus. And the olives, like Lafayette joining George Washington to liberate the taste buds.
However, along with the bread (so cake-like, I longed for the years in the far distant past when I enjoyed sweets), the potatoes were just too filling, so I finished them not. The recommended wine, a Marcello Canyon Cuvee 03 which intertwines nicely with the octopus but runs into resistance with the olive oil.
I inquire about the Dungeness but cracking your own crab is hardly the reason to go to a restaurant. The crab risotto? Just what I don't need- more starch. Surely the tuna. It says rare but I tell the waiter I only eat fish that have been incinerated enough to appear on 6 Feet Under. I am promised a suitably seared tuna. Some sort of lentil thing comes with it. I await filled with anticipation, and the glass of Cuvee that was really too much for a tidbit of crab and a lot of swimming other things (the basil adds a nice faux seaweed touch) and the Blasted Church Rose, the somellier recommends for the Tuna, arrives far too soon. It and the Cuvee trade nasty glances. A cold wine does wonders for a hot piece of sea food. A room temperature whatever rockets away from its flavour potential, and you're left with dashed posibilities, and for an instant, an impoverished life. Yet they are attentive here. The chef checks in regularly to make sure each bite is to my liking. The waiter, and some other guy who flits in and out of the kitchen, are constantly seeking my approval. I await the tuna. It arrives.
Remember the old (?) Charlie the Tuna ads? Not a tuna with good taste, a tuna that tastes good? This is good tuna. It rolicks in my mouth like a small child in a large fair. Not a hint of sashimi. The truly dead salutes me. The lentils however, seem to have acquired a tank. They invade my tuna-trance like Patton invading the German fashion district. No pattern is spared. After the bread-cake flash to french toast last enjoyed when I was 12, to the potatoes smothered in oil of pressed mystery to the tuna of uncharted realms of goodness, although they mean well with their carefully chosen spices and ingredients and all, the lentils thrash about my tuna appreciation like a jilted Gulliver at a Liliputian wedding. The tuna is topped with 3 shiso leaves, one of my favourite Japanese edibilities. I tell the chef 6 would be better. Particularly with the highly flavoured tuna, not to mention its muscular lentil neighbour, something light, to extend the top note of the fish would be a good direction to consider going. The Blasted Church, which had a strong aftertaste of cognac, and thus a valiant fighter for priority in possibility with the tuna-lentil onslaught, was a worthy suggestion and the somelier is be congradulated, if I didnt do so already. I discussed my displeasure with the lentils amongst the chef and chief server and was told that the taste mix was for the rare tuna, not the severely seared sea creature I requested. The server assures me the tuna is of the highest quality, "used in sashimi" as if this were a category unfamiliar to me. For desert, I have a glass of sangria, which is essentially a glass of pineapple juice, with red wine implied. A sad concoction, but it reminds me of how I cook ahi. A combination of a Kettle of Fish (very good Vancouver fish restaurant) recipe, the Joy of Cooking and Fumiyo's old bbq pit we used to enchant our neighbours with in our home in rural Tokyo. Marinate Ahi in pineapple juice, soy sauce and oil in the fridge for 2 days. Grill. We've been doing that for 30 years. Ahi is not a stranger. It hangs with Don Ho.
I stroll the 2 km back to the conference leisurely and pleasureably sated.
There are more restaurants in Vancouver than anyone could possibly review but this is a start.


At 5:30 AM, Blogger FlashGordon said...

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At 5:46 AM, Blogger FlashGordon said...

Went to a singapore restaurant, Kams, or is it kIms? on Davie street . usually ,i dont know what to order, as i dislike spicy hot food or currys, but, the beef and vegies in black bean sauce had no 'red pepper' symbols beside it and i was convinced to order coconut rice wrapped in banana leaf.
i think im addicted now to the pina-colta type rice, and the thinly sliced beef, melt in my mouth without chewing.

Afterwards a drive through stanley park was in order and a few tokes at the lighthouse. God! vancouver is like diamonds from that vantage. So good to be in diverse, multi-cultural, cosmopolitan vancouver bc !

The rain was pouring down unusually cold and hard and
the bank machine at waterfront station turned up empty for both Bradley and I. There was nothing to it, but to hike up Granville to Robson to the trusty ‘Burger King’ near theater row.For less than a fin, we could fortify ourselves with junior whoppers with a salad garnish of lettuce and tomato and side of onion rings to share.

God,did it taste good! Shivering as we were, and gave us the energy to go spy in on Puff Pipes, upstairs around the corner, before double-timing it back to the Harvest Cup Hall in hopes of finding 14 vestal virgins with blankets to enrobe us with trays of hot cocoa, and hookahs of hash.

This afternoon while touring china town Bradley took me to an old haunt of his which is such a well kept secret that the soy factory/restaurant name in english "Superior Soy" is obscured by a boulvard cherry tree .

Although the Superior Soy products are seen on asian shelves everywhere the narrow long restaurant, well frequented in humble in its decor. The menu is simple and choices not many.

You can have soy pudding hot,or you can have soy pudding cold,along with your 'chinese donut' as long, as your forearm .

The choices come with the toppings, coconut, ginger sugar , herb jelly, and a few others including powdered sugar.
The soy pudding although in appearance not unlike cream puddings westerners are used to, is deceivingly filling.

The upward thumb within the chinese characters on the sign out front takes on its meaning.
The historic Eatery, in dire need for a fresh paint job, fades away, as conversation gives sway to contented slurping.

I enjoying the coconut milk and powdered sugar and Bradley the ginger spice sugared treat.

"Underground drug dealers may soon be peddling illicit Vitamin C and other dietary supplements, including herbs. Police may soon have the authority to break down your door and search your fridge for health food.
Health enthusiasts could one day be rounded up like prisoners of war and have their homes confiscated and their livelihoods destroyed, like marijuana users and growers... today, one-world government types are united in a new attempt to create an international ban on health.

The United Nations organization responsible for the proposed ban is called "Codex Alimentarius", which is Latin for "food code." The idea behind Codex seems benign: to create international standards for foods and drugs in order to make trade between nations easier. Unfortunately, like most free-trade style reforms, multinational corporations with fingers in the UN have hijacked Codex and bent it to suit their interests. The relatively benign food code has become a weapon to destroy the health food market and pave the way for pharmaceutical domination of the market.":

Wrote, Reverend Damuzi (23 Mar, 2005) in his article Herbal Holocost 2005

Bradley and I ,then were happy to still be able to shop the Chinatown herbal 'pharamacies to locate some of the cure-alls that have proven effective in helping people for century's at phenomenally low prices ,like those for a chocolate bar, for remedies Bradley has come to rely on ...

Of course there's nothing like a deal on 14 medium sized Pacific shrimp at 10.00 a lb for 5 bucks !

More of Flash's Foto's >>

Bradley and I rounded up 17 signatures in a matter of a couple hours cruising up and down Main street between king ed and 41st and at other end of my riding 41st and Victoria.

"The Reef" jamaican up from Main and King Edward/ 25th was perfect place to park it for a while and most varied and authentic Jamaican fare in town .The Rotis were GOOD! MON!

Bradley and I rounded up 17 signatures in a matter of a couple hours cruising up and down Main street between king ed and 41st and at other end of my riding 41st and Victoria.

"The Reef" jamaican up from Main and King Edward/ 25th was perfect place to park it for a while and most varied and authentic Jamaican fare in town .The Rotis were GOOD! MON!

Bradley and I rounded up 17 signatures in a matter of a couple hours cruising up and down Main street between king ed and 41st and at other end of my riding 41st and Victoria.

"The Reef" jamaican up from Main and King Edward/ 25th was perfect place to park it for a while and most varied and authentic Jamaican fare in town .The Rotis were GOOD! MON!

A visit to the Hotel Vancouver Lounge was nice for Easter but not as much fun as smoking up the Easter Bunnies at the New Amsterdam Sunday Club . H

Here's me with a real heather bee from Blain Washington

Saddly though our new kitten hasn't a bed of her own and is finding it hard to lay anywhere without being disturbed.

We really must find her an Easter Basket in which to sleep ...

Meanwhile, Blossom will have to share a bed with P2 and I ..

Krazy KatZ !]

At 7:16 AM, Blogger Elayne said...

So what you're saying is, you don't like raw fish. :)


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