Pork Belly Braised at the Sabor Restaurant in Edmonton

Pork Belly Braised at the Sabor Restaurant in Edmonton

Pork Belly Braised at the Sabor Restaurant in Edmonton

I had this little appetizer at the Sabor Restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta. A few days earlier I enjoyed a terrific meal there but this particular item was not nearly as good and I feature it here as notable because it illustrates the pairing of two foodstuffs that have enjoyed considerable ‘fad’ appeal for some time now.

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Yellowtail Served Three Ways at Wasabi in Ottawa

Yellowtail Served Three Ways at Wasabi in Ottawa

Yellowtail Served Three Ways at Wasabi in Ottawa

There are quite a number of different fish known as ‘Yellowtail’, but one, also known as the ‘Japanese Amberjack’, features regularly in Japanese cuisine, where it is called ‘Hamachi’. At the now defunct Wasabi Restaurant in Ottawa’s Byward Market, their appetizer of Yellowtail prepared three ways was beautifully plated and all three preparation styles were excellent.

The first of these preparations was the grilled ‘collar’, or neck structures, of the fish, while the second, was a sort of wrap described as a ‘Taco’, and the third, a marinated Sashimi-style presentation. All three were very well executed and if you wish to see them in more detail, read on…

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Sichuan Preserved Vegetable Soup at the Jing Cheng Restaurant in Halifax

Sichuan Preserved Vegetable Soup at the Jing Cheng Restaurant in Halifax

Sichuan Preserved Vegetable Soup at the Jing Cheng Restaurant

I have previously mentioned the Jing Cheng restaurant in other posts, most notable the one featuring an appetizer I simply refer to as Killer Chicken at Jing Cheng. This little restaurant, now sadly gone, offered many dishes using ingredients not widely found elsewhere. The hearty soup you see pictured above was one of their specialties, and it was made with a Sichuanese Mustard Tuber Pickle you only rarely come across, even in most restaurants featuring Sichuan cuisine.

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Tonkatsu at the Izakaya Restaurant in Ottawa

Tonkatsu at the Izakaya Restaurant in Ottawa

Tonkatsu at the Izakaya Restaurant in Ottawa

Tonkatsu is a Classic in modern Japanese cuisine. It consists of a Pork cutlet that is deep-fried after being breaded, typically with Panko, although you do occasionally see non-standard versions where a light batter is used. The traditional serving is over a bed of shredded Cabbage, with a thick Japanese-style Worcestershire Sauce based preparation called Tonkatsu Sauce. There are variations, of course, and the version at the now defunct Itzakaya Restaurant in Ottawa really jazzed up the basic form.

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Oysters Steamed Three Ways

Oysters Steamed Three Ways at the Gain Wah Restaurant in Vancouver

The Gain Wah Restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown is a terrific place, and I have enjoyed many excellent dishes there on each visit. Their Steamed Oysters were, with but a few exceptions, the largest I have ever seen, much less eaten, and the restaurant offered them in three different styles. Not being able, or willing to confine myself to one type, I tried all three and enjoyed them very much. Read on for more detailed descriptions.

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Fish Maw Soup at the All Happy Family Restaurant in Edmonton

Fish Maw Soup at the All Happy Family Restaurant in Edmonton

I spied the All Happy Family Restaurant while on my way from the airport to my hotel in downtown Edmonton and I walked back later to check the place out. A few items weren’t bad, but I wasn’t overly impressed with the place on the whole, and their Fish Maw Soup was disappointing on a couple of levels.

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Killer Chicken at the Jing Cheng Restaurant in Halifax

Killer Chicken at the Jing Cheng Restaurant in Halifax

The now defunct Jing Cheng Restaurant in Halifax was a delightful little ‘hole-in-the-wall’ place run by a couple from Sichuan. I had a number of dishes there that were very memorable, not just because of the excellent quality of the cooking, but because they captured the fiery tradition of Sichuanese cuisine. The ‘Spicy Chicken Leg’ I was served there was a prime example.

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Pig Trotters at the Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa

Pig Trotters at the Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa

Pig ‘trotters’, being the foot of the animal, don’t have a widespread popularity in the west, although they are sometimes pickled in some regions, often being eaten as a snack with beer, like pickled eggs, or Pickled Herring, for example. The cut is widely appreciated in China, however, and the Soy-Braised variety served at the Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa were an excellent, and delicious, example.

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Squid Deep-fried at the Hong Kong Express in Ottawa

Squid Deep-fried at the Hong Kong Express in Ottawa

I recently published a post on the Pot-stickers at the Hong Kong Express and described them as being about the ugliest Pot-stickers I had ever seen, but also very tasty. The Deep-fried Squid Tentacles I was served there, and which you see pictured above, also fell in to the category of being not very pretty, but extremely enjoyable otherwise.

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Sichuan Pickles at Jing Cheng

Sichuan Pickles at the Jing Cheng Restaurant in Halifax

The Jing Cheng restaurant, during its all too brief existence, was a great place to sample interesting dishes prepared by a Sichuanese couple of the sort you don’t tend to get in the usual Westernized ‘Sichuan’ restaurants. Their Home-made Sichuan Pickles served as a, very large, appetizer had a very rustic, home-style look about them and were very good, if just a trifle fiery.

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