Posted in General, Travel

Vancouver Bound

Vancouver Bound 1

By the time you read this, I should be one day into my yearly conference trip. I have a few days to spend in Ottawa, which I always enjoy, and then it will be off to Vancouver. It has been over ten years since I last visited that city and I am really excited for the culinary adventures I have planned. Indeed, when I booked my trip, I eschewed the accommodations available in the conference center and chose a place just about a block away from Vancouver’s excellent Chinatown. I foresee many dim sum excursions in my future, as well as other culinary pleasures, and I will be recording and publishing my experiences in due course.

In the meantime, I have been doing a fair bit of travelling recently , all work related, unfortunately, but I have made a few passes through Yellowknife of late and had a few interesting meals along the way. In the next few days, interspersed with my usual posts, I will be featuring a couple of reviews I did. As for my Vancouver trip… look for the first of my posts beginning next month…

Posted in Foodstuffs, General, Travel

Going Oystering

Going Oystering 1

The bridge you see in the background of the above picture runs over PEI’s Pinette River, a small estuary about thirty minutes’ drive from downtown Charlottetown. This summer, the National Criminal Law Conference was hosted in the island’s capital and, as part of the program, the organizers had arranged a number of tours for attendees to choose from during our ‘free’ afternoon of the week.  A few were simply sight-seeing drives, one involved kayaking, whilst another, which definitely appealed to me, was called ‘The Oyster Lover’s Experience’.

By the way, the boats you see in the foreground above have nothing further to do with my story (indeed, I think they may actually be lobster boats); rather, our tour took us to the home of John and Jackie Gillis, not much more than 500 yards from the bridge. John harvests oysters from a small leasehold on the estuary and, together, he and his wife regularly offer a three hour ‘experience’ during which small parties can learn a little about the business of actually fishing for oysters( and, just as importantly, get to sample their fill of the freshly shucked article). If you are interested in attending one of these ‘experiences’, Jackie maintains a Website providing contact information, and I can heartily recommend you do so if you get the opportunity. I learned a lot and really enjoyed myself, as you can see, if you read on.… Continue reading “Going Oystering”

Posted in Nunavut, Restaurants, Travel

Thai Food Comes to Iqaluit!

Thai Food Iqaluit 1

There is a tiny little establishment here in Iqaluit known as the Grind & Brew which, besides serving coffee, also has a small menu and a few tables for dining. Thus far, however, I have only eaten their pizza as a delivery order but, not long ago, we received a flyer, in the form of a new, improved menu, indicating that Thai, and a few Chinese dishes, are now available. It took a while, but last night, feeling a bit too lazy to cook, my wife and I finally got around to trying a couple of their Thai selections…

We ordered 2 main dishes: The Shrimp in Red Curry sauce (on the left) and the Beef with Pepper Paste and Ginger. The selections both came with a single portion of steamed white rice and were supposed to be accompanied by vegetable spring rolls but these were forgotten. Having missing items on delivery orders is a recurrent and very annoying reality here in Iqaluit but, in this case, I was a little taken aback at how such a small and simple order could get messed up. The restaurant definitely loses points for this omission, in my books.

As to the quality of the food, I can fairly state that it was very tasty. The ‘chili’ heat was what I would describe as mild to moderate and the vegetables, chiefly peppers and onions, were nicely crisp-tender  as they should be. On the whole, though, there really wasn’t any of the complex flavor of a high-end Thai restaurant, (no hint of lemongrass, or Galingale, for example), but for all that it wasn’t bad at all. The food is, I should say, is Thai ‘fast-food’ rather than traditional but, given the Arctic location, it is very welcome.

My only real quibble, other than the sloppy delivery, is the portion size. The meal was about $53 with delivery charges, which is not out of line with other northern restaurant meal costs, but there really wasn’t a lot. For the same amount of money, the Navigator, our only other local source of Chinese cuisine, would provide enough for my wife and I to have leftovers for a second meal…. here, it was just one plate each.

Anyway, I am glad to see a little bit more variety coming to the local food scene and, sometime soon, I will investigate the menu, and the premises, a little more fully and do a more thorough review…

Posted in Nunavut, Travel

Waiting on the weather…

Weather Waiting 01

Well, this was pretty much the view I had from my accommodations in Hall Beach for 6 days of this past week… last year’s pack ice and lots of fog. The only change, from day to day, was the amount of ice (which varied with the wind and tide), and how much of it could be seen through the ever present ground-mist.

My colleague and I arrived in Hall Beach on the Friday and interviewed court-bound clients over the weekend. The plan was for the rest of the court party to arrive on the Monday, conduct court for two days, and then de-camp for Igloolik to repeat the process for the rest of the week. The Court party managed to land, during a brief respite in the cloud cover, but then, after we finished court, as scheduled, we waited (and waited… and waited) for the fog to clear enough to complete the rest of our circuit. It never happened…  Continue reading “Waiting on the weather…”

Posted in Nunavut, Travel

Court Circuit to Pangnirtung (Pt.2)

Pang 2 - 1

In part one of this post about my recent court circuit to Pangnirtung, I opened with a photograph of the entrance to Auyuittuq Pass, which is part of the unique scenery visible from town. Here, you can see a slightly more distant shot of the pass which, by way of contrast, shows the same view in summertime. The building pictured in the foreground has the rather ‘totalitarian’ name ‘People’s Community Hall’ and is where Court is held… Continue reading “Court Circuit to Pangnirtung (Pt.2)”

Posted in Nunavut, Travel

Court Circuit to Pangnirtung (Pt.1)

Pang 1 - 1

My colleague and co-defense counsel, Tamara Fairchild, just posted an nice article about our recent court circuit to Pangnirtung, a little hamlet on the east coast of Baffin Island. For those of my readers who haven’t still had a look at her blog, which I posted about yesterday, please go and have a look and (leave a welcoming comment, perhaps).

Anybody who has ever spent any time in this very scenic location will have the above-pictured scene forever etched in their memory, as it has been included in thousands of photographs, paintings, prints and tapestries. The view is of the entrance to Auyuittuq Pass and the odd tip-tilted mountain top on the left is so uniquely memorable that I could instantly recognize it in a rudimentary pencil sketch from 50 feet away.

Anyway… Tamara beat me to the punch in posting about our trip and I see that she has chosen to do her post in two parts. I’ve decided to do the same so that I don’t duplicate anything she writes, and also so that I can maybe supplement what she has to say with some other pictorial views and a different perspective…

Continue reading “Court Circuit to Pangnirtung (Pt.1)”

Posted in Travel

Travel: Home safe and sound…

Ottawa Thingie 1

Well, another culinary adventure to Ottawa has come to an end and, as always after my travels, I must apologize for all the comments that have gone unanswered and blogs unvisited.

As for the picture of the curious, almost alien-looking thingie, if anybody recognizes what it is, please feel free to shout out the answer (don’t be shy)… for the rest of you, all I will say for now is that I came across this interesting item at the Kowloon Market in Ottawa and will be featuring it in a little more detail shortly… just stay tuned.

Naturally, whilst away, I visited many restaurants and reviewed the same during my week in the capital, and I also picked up quite a few interesting products for culinary experiments back here at home. Just before I left on my trip, I did a slight reorganization of the Sybaritica blog menu that involved collecting a number of food related topics, (‘Experiments’, ‘Restaurant Reviews’, etc.) under a single heading entitled ‘Culinary things…’. A new topic has been added, which I call ‘Notable Noshings’, and this index will feature interesting dishes and prepared food and drink that I experience outside my own kitchen. The curious item you see in today’s picture will be covered under this heading in due course.

On a final note, readers of my blog will recall that my trip to Ottawa was not purely for pleasure, but was also for the purpose of visiting an orthopedic surgeon. It seems, following that examination, that I may be going back to Ottawa in the New Year in order to lose the top two joints of the ring finger on my right hand. Luckily, I have been reliably informed that I will still be able to scratch myself, and, best of all, will still retain the ability to ‘flip’ people off…

Posted in Nunavut, Travel

Travel: Home from Kimmirut

Well, today’s post will largely be about nothing in particular…

For those who follow my little blog, you will recall that I just had a less than enjoyable experience on court circuit to Kimmirut this past week and was more than happy to get home when I did. What I neglected to mention in my Thumb-twiddling in Kimmirut post, was that, as a further impetus to come home (in addition to being three days in the same clothes) was the fact that my wife’s birthday fell on the Thursday and I almost missed it. Naturally, I had to commemorate the date with something special and the lobster tail with shrimp and pasta that you see pictured  above was what I came up with… Continue reading “Travel: Home from Kimmirut”

Posted in Nunavut, Travel

Travel: Pond Inlet (not Winnipeg)

Well, just a very short post today… Yesterday, the wife left for another conference in Winnipeg and, tomorrow, I will be heading back to my old home and stomping grounds of Pond Inlet for the quarterly Court sessions.

It struck me, as I was looking at my photo albums, that I have very few pictures of Pond Inlet taken in summer (which, I suppose, is not that all that surprising given that there is very little summer up there to photograph). The view you see above was taken from the living room window of our house in the last few weeks of February after the sun made its first appearance.  If you look very closely, you might be able to just faintly make out a dog team tethered on the sea-ice in the middle ground of the picture…  Continue reading “Travel: Pond Inlet (not Winnipeg)”