4 Comments December 04, 2011 | By Jonathan

finished_plateI got inspired by a video demonstrating how to use a sink full of hot water to sous-vide small portions of fish. Not having sprung for a SousVide Supreme yet, this was my only shot.

I wanted to emulate a dish they used to serve at Gastro Pod, a tempura salmon served with a wasabi sabayon and fennel risotto. It was very delicate and rich with the wasabi sauce.

So I bought some stunning wild spring salmon and used my sink to sous-vide it in small portions. The sous vide technique worked perfectly.  I quickly wrapped the salmon in nori and tempura battered and deep fried it for a very short time.

My first try at this, I experimented with two tempura batters, (before cooking the fish) a thick one with corn starch and baking soda and a whipped egg white, and a simple Japanese style batter of just flour, cold water and an egg, barely stirred. I went with the simple one and it was light as I had hoped.

I served it with wasabi creme fraiche and a fennel risotto. It was great for a first attempt, but I am looking forward to trying this again, cooking bigger pieces and taking it out of the bath a bit earlier, wrapping in less nori, applying more seasoning, and maybe … a SousVide Supreme.

For the risotto I tried a technique using the oven to finish, to give me more time to focus on the fish. This cooked it but it was much more of a tasty rice gratin than the creamy fennel risotto I was after.

I served the course with cold sake from Granville Island (Junmai Nama Genshu) and followed with strawberries, cheesecake and chocolate mouse from the market. Over all it was a lot of fun for a reasonably short cooking time. I will try this again, maybe with tuna and shiso.


1 Comment October 09, 2011 | By Jonathan


My favorite steakhouse in Mexico City has been around for more than 90 years. Before the Nazi Party it was called the Swastika, and after, La Tablita. More recently it became Loma Linda, along with a major renovation. In the 40s my grandparents danced there and today it is at the top of its game as the local steakhouse for an affluent area.

Like any fine restaurant in Mexico City, the staff is enormous. A small army of valet parking attendants whisk cars away and block traffic for customers. A grand awning leads through a charming entrance to a sprawling dining room. Waiters display a tray of the daily meat cuts available. They serve chicken too, but almost everyone is ordering beef, which comes in huge 300 or 400 gram portions.

Steaks resemble small roasts and come on a sizzling metal grill heated by coals, served a bit underdone so that they do not overcook too quickly. Accompanying salads are easily made superfluous by the sizzling meat. Some cuts are served with a choice of sauces, but the one on every table is the house specialty, and the source of my personal obsession: chimichurri.

We also ordered favorite guilty pleasures.  Queso fondido is a bowl of melted cheese that you spoon out and eat with tortillas. And the classic dessert, crepes de cajeta, which is caramel made with goat’s milk. After an afternoon at Loma Linda, another Mexican custom is easily observed, the siesta.











Comment? September 21, 2011 | By Jonathan


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Comment? September 21, 2011 | By Jonathan


Playing with the iphone app Paper Camera, right before guzzling Rob Roys, and scarfing their excellent burger. Paper Camera is the best $0.99 you can spend, worth one sip of cocktail.

4 Comments September 14, 2011 | By Jonathan

Photos from two wonderful, belly-busting omakase dinners at Sushi Kimura.







ling cod latka
spicy tuna on rice cake




Comment? September 13, 2011 | By Jonathan


Spotted by Alex at Chapters, check out this Ebi Nigiri pillow. Also available were Neopolitan ice cream and chicken drumstick pillows. For savory Dreams!

I found more over at theoriginalsushipillow.com, below.





Comment? August 31, 2011 | By Jonathan


I have never reviewed the Acme Cafe as it features prominently on my bias list, and frankly, I like it too much. I don’t want more people to go there, it is difficult enough to get a seat on weekends as it is. I usually go for dinner, but I will admit brunch is delicious at the Acme cafe.



1 Comment August 29, 2011 | By Jonathan


I stopped by the market event at Old Faithful in Gastown this weekend and was pleasantly surprised. I’ve never been able to figure out exactly what Old Faithful is, but they stock a lot of really cool, well-crafted products, usually of the classic variety and in the categories of home and grooming. And they have cool books. Their market event pulled in produce and baked goods from local vendors, which was arranged with the care of an art installation. I was terrified to touch anything! In the end I settled on a nice cactus aquarium.


1 Comment August 25, 2011 | By Jonathan


And the supply of Pemberton AAA aged striploin at Big Lous.


Comment? August 23, 2011 | By Jonathan

A couple weekends ago I got into some delicious sherry at Judas goat, an under-rated fortified wine undergoing a big revival of late. Which is exactly what I needed the day after. A cautionary tale: sherry is for the end of the evening, not the middle.

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