Aug. 13th, 2006

Hanoi

Aug. 13th, 2006 07:59 am
chickenfeet: (fishy)
Last night [livejournal.com profile] lemur_catta took me out for dinner to celebrate my advancing old age. We decided to try a place that's been open for maybe a year called Hanoi. (Gerrard and Broadview for locals). There are lots of Vietnamese restaurants in Toronto but this is the only one (AFAIK) that claims to serve northern Vietnamese food. Unlike most Vietnamese restaurants, the menu is short, maybe forty dishes including variants of pho etc. The owner/chef is really friendly and very happy to talk about the menu and help diners pick dishes he thinks they will like. Truth to tell, there are really only a handful of dishes that seem distinctive enough to excite any real interest but at least two of those are very good indeed.

We started with two appetisers. The first was a salad of minced clams flavoured with fresh turmeric, scallions and chillis (at least!). It was served with sesame rice crackers which made for a great presentation and a lovely contrast of textures. As [livejournal.com profile] lemur_catta remarked, it would be a perfect dish for a place doing tapas type dishes in a fusion or pan Asian style. The fresh turmeric provided an unusual and quite delicious note. I've seen fresh turmeric occasionally in local markets so I may experiment some more. The second appetiser was a lotus shoot and shrimp salad. The texture of the lotus shoots was interesting and there were enough fresh herbs in the salad to give it some zing but it wasn't much different from a zillion other SE Asian salads.

The first main was the house signature dish, grilled fish. This turned out to be big juicy medallions of some kind of firm white fish marinates and grilled and served over rice vermicelli with shredded vegetables and herbs. It was really, really good and the most expensive thing on the menu (C$9). The other main was a grilled pork dish similarly served. It was good but not exciting. All the mains (except the 'meal soups') are served over the vermicelli/veg mix which suggests they are more set up for the lunchtime and solitary diner crowd than for a more formal dinner. That's a bit of a shame but I guess given where they are and the unfamiliarity of the food probably a sound business decision. With a beer for me (totally forgettable Saigon), taxes and tip, the bill came to C$45. Lunch for one with a beer would be about the C$10 mark. For that kind of money the food was good to excellent and I'd recommend it. I don't think I will be going back often because there just isn't much on the menu I want to try. I'll probably give the pho a shot one lunchtime but that's about it. It is though definitely worth a visit for the clam salad and the grilled fish.

X-posted to [livejournal.com profile] gastrogasm
chickenfeet: (ruck)
Canada 56 - USA 7. France here we come.

[livejournal.com profile] lemur_catta and I caught the anthems before the game in the bar at Fletcher's before wandering back to watch the Nomads second team game. I have no idea who was singing the anthems (She did all three. Apparently Newfoundland has a national anthem. Who knew?). It was perhaps the worst singing I have heard since the last time I was on a bus coming back from a game drunk. I think the point was to demonstrate that not only is Newfoundland half an hour adrift from Canada but a semitone flat too.
chickenfeet: (bears)
via [livejournal.com profile] liadnan

The birthpangs of a new middle east

Blair to overthrow himself

Stay away from the soda when watching these.
chickenfeet: (right)
Gacked from [livejournal.com profile] a_d_medievalist

Go here and look through random quotes until you find 5 that you think reflect who you are or what you believe. Alternatively find your own five steenking quotes.

We must make an idol of our fear, and call it God.
--Ingmar Bergman, Sceenplay for The Seventh Seal

For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he; and therefore truly, sir, I think it's clear, that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government.
--Colonel Rainborough, Putney 1647

Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty - a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture.
--Bertrand Russell, Philosophical Essays

Ignorance is an evil weed, which dictators may cultivate among their dupes, but which no democracy can afford among its citizens.
--William Beveridge, Full Employment in a Free Society

The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.
--Karl Marx Theses on Feuerbach

fn1: HW and FG Fowler, The King's English

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