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Review: The Press Gang Restaurant

5218 Prince Street – 902-423-8816 – Website

The Press Gang 01

Date of Visit: July 4, 2014

 

I was doing a general reconnaissance of the restaurants near to my hotel in downtown Halifax when I spied this place. The sign on the front advertised it as being an oyster bar as well as a restaurant and, fully intent on having fresh oysters at least once during my trip, I had to investigate further. Unfortunately, the place was not yet open but I was met just inside the door by a person I took to be an owner who advised me, almost apologetically, that service did not start until 5pm. He told me the selection of fresh oysters available that day and I promised to return. I did, that very same evening, and ended up having a terrific meal… Read more

Review: Minato Sushi, Halifax

1520 Queen St. Halifax, NS – (902) 420-0331 – Website

Minato Sushi 01

Date of Visit: July 4, 2014

On my recent trip to Halifax, I arrived to discover that I had a few hours to wait until my hotel room was ready and so I took a stroll around the nearby streets and came across this little place. It looked a promising place for lunch but, unfortunately, aside from the service, which was impeccable, the experience was not terribly impressive… Read more

Checking in…

Checking  In 1

Greetings All … I know I am supposed to be on blogging ‘hiatus’ at the moment but I couldn’t resist checking in with a brief update as to current events and a preview of a few things to come once I start my regular posts once again…

Anyway, part of my travels included a 12 day stay in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a Law Conference and visits with family and friends. The above view is actually taken from a gun emplacement at the Halifax Citadel, which was the main installation for the City fortifications back before modern weaponry made such things a little pointless. If you look closely, you can see another, smaller, fortification on the little island out in the harbor.

The brick building at the right is the hotel where I stayed and. From this vantage point, I could totally have wiped the place off the map… If I’d had, you know…powder and cannonballs etc. Actually, come to think of it, this particular gun emplacement didn’t actually have cannon like some did but, still, you’ll agree that the people at the hotel had a pretty darn narrow escape anyway…  Read more

A Blog Hiatus…

Blog Hiatus 1

 

Greetings folks … By the time you read this post, I will have embarked on a fairly extensive round of travels: In addition to some regular Court circuits, I have a week-long Jury Trial, a Conference, and then… VACATION. Naturally, I will be largely precluded from writing any posts (or doing any cooking) during that period and, after considerable thought, I have decided that, upon my return, I will continue my absence from the blogosphere and take an extended hiatus of sorts…

 

Over the past 2 and a half years, I have been devoting somewhere between 10 and 20 hours of each week to doing the various things associated with creating blog posts and, since starting my Chinese language posts some 4 months ago, that weekly average has increased quite considerably. This has been no end of fun, I will admit, but it has left me precious little time to do much else and, for a little while at least, it would be nice to… well, NOT spend 20 or more hours writing blog posts each and every week.

 

Anyway, I shall pretty much be going off-line for the next little while… I will actually still be doing restaurant reviews periodically (that’s how Sybaritica originally got started), but the regular weekly round of cooking and posting recipes will be on hold at least until the end of the summer. During that time, I will be giving thought to what I want to do with the blog after I return, and I will also be undertaking some culinary projects that should make for some interesting reading when I do return .

 

Please, everyone, keep following the blog so that you know when I am back and… Enjoy your summer!

Agedashi Tofu

Agedashi Tofu 1

An Agemono dish in Japanese cuisine is one in which the main ingredient is deep-fried. Age dofu (or tofu) is any preparation of deep-fried tofu, while today’s dish, Agedashi Tofu, is cubes if the fried bean curd served in a dashi based sauce. Our sauce today is essentially a Kakejiru (or dashi, soy, mirin blend) and we will be using a pre-prepared quantity of it in our recipe here…  Read more

Chicken with Broccoli and Mushrooms

Moo Goo Gai Pan 1

Today’s dish is a pretty good example of what often used to appear on westernized Chinese restaurant menus as ‘Moo Goo Gai Pan’. That name, or some variant on the spelling, is a rendering of the Cantonese words for ‘Button Mushrooms with Chicken Slices’. Generally, the mushrooms in most restaurants would be the canned variety and the basic ingredients would almost always be ‘bulked out’ with one or more additional vegetables. Today, I am also going to use canned mushrooms but I am limiting the ‘bulk’ to just a little broccoli…  Read more

Chimichurri Baked Chicken

Chimichurri Chicken 1

In my post about the Argentinian Chimichurri sauce for grilled meats, I noted that the preparation is also used as baste and marinade during the cooking process. Chimichurri is probably most closely associated with beef but the tangy-herbaceous notes also work very nicely with chicken. Today’s recipe would be terrific on the barbecue but, this not being the season in these parts, I am going to bake in the oven instead…  Read more

Steamed Pork Patty with Dried Squid

Steamed Pork with Dried Squid 1

When I was a law student, I shared an apartment with two other students, one of whom had recently moved to Canada from Hong Kong. Like many Chinese immigrants, he adopted a Western name for himself but his choice, which was Gordon, was rather a poor one as he couldn’t pronounce it. Accordingly, my other room-mate and I re-dubbed him ‘G’…

G. was not a particularly accomplished cook but he had learned a few basic dishes from his mother and, one of these, which he cooked on a regular basis, is the one I am preparing for you today. This preparation represents my earliest introduction to dried squid as a culinary ingredient and I have loved it ever since…  Read more

Culinary Chinese 101: Traditional ain’t Simple…

CC Traditional-Simple 1

Well, I REALLY, REALLY hate to do this to you… We were progressing so well in our culinary Chinese lessons and, now, I have to introduce a nasty new complication that is going to make our job that much harder…

Take a look at the two noodles bowls in the picture above. We encountered the left-most Chinese character a few weeks back and identified it as ‘miàn’, meaning the wheat-flour noodle of the ‘Chow Mein’ type. Well, as it turns out, the character on the bowl on the right is also ‘miàn’. In fact, it is the actually same character.

Well, sort of … Unfortunately, I now have to break the news to you that there are, in fact, two parallel systems of Chinese characters. We’ll take a look at the actual details of that in a moment but, first, you need to know a bit about the story behind the situation…  Read more

Beef with Eggplant and Onion

Beef with Eggplant and Onion 1

We frequently get long thin Asian eggplants as well as the fatter European variety here in our local stores. Unfortunately, the former always seem to be of poor quality after having made the long flight north. When I espied some nice ones this morning, I decided I would stir-fry them with beef…  Read more

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