On my second morning in Canada, I was amazed at how much greenery I saw and the beautiful little violet flowers (probably some kind of weed) growing in the lawns of some the homes I passed by. What also impressed me was how satisfying a bowl of pho noodles and a tall cold glass of Vietnamese coffee can bring. This was comfort food at it's best. The breakfast of champions.
Pho noodles, full of brisket, flank steak, tripe, and bean sprouts
Vietnamese coffee, really strong stuff
I saw these two Japanese comedians waiting for the same flight back to Japan at Vancouver airport. They're famous but I can't remember their names.
I asked if it was okay to take their picture...in English.
Nami and I went to Le Petit Bedon for lunch before I went to Vancouver. This restaurant is where you can get "casual" French fare. (Bistro Pachon is for bistro food and Restaurant Pachon is for high class dining.)
This was what I ate.
This is a terrine made from pig ears and set in herby aspic. It was crunchy, refreshing, and good. Now, maybe you're thinking, "pig ears?! gross!" but it was good. Actually, Sursur Lee makes a terrine from pig ears that looks like a wonderful French chocolate cake. (I'm a big Sursur Lee fan now. Bought his book.) The sauce was a red wine reduction vinegrette.
This was good! Quail stuffed with foie gras with a champagne grape sauce. Delectable! Wonderful! The square thing was potato galette. I tried to make this with chicken for my parents and brother when I was in Vancouver except I didn't have foie gras so it didn't taste the same at all.
We got to choose three desserts from the dessert cart. So I picked a triple chocolate mousse cake, creme caramel cake, and Calvados sorbet. I love Calvados. I take a bottle as a Christmas present. Bistro Pachon uses Calvados in the their apple jus for the the roast pork that they serve. So if you try that then you know what a different it makes. (I would also like a bottle of Kirsch, please.)
I'll talk about Nami's choice another time.
On this trip to Vancouver, I went to Granville Island. It is heaven for any chef, the place where you can get anything fresh produceand fruit, meat, spices, herbs, and other interesting things.
This was one of the things that I found by a company called Maison Cote.
I taste a black cherry balsamic vinegar and raspberry balsamic vinegar. They were both so good but I thought I should control myself and just bought the raspberry balsamic. I also bought a bottle of white truffle oil. It tasted so much better than the stuff from Takashimaya and cheaper too!
The store person told me that the producers make all their balsamic vinegars the traditional way. The only difference is the type of starting material. Except for something like the white truffle balsalmic vinegar, I think it's a blend of white truffles and grapes. Actually, the acidity of the balsamic base overpowered the flavor of the white truffle. But you could detect it in the finish, it was this pungent fill-your-mouth kinda thing.
I went back to Vancouver for friend's wedding and I had the chance to eat and do alot things that I used to eat and do. It was so nice to be back. I forgot how big the sky was in Vancouver. There's the feeling that there is so much space.
The mountains were as beautiful as ever but there was still snow on the top, very unusual. This summer it's be cooler than usual. It's about 22 in the daytime on average and about 18 in the morning. This is good though because I bought some chocolate from Chocolate Arts in Vancouver and this termperature is perfect.
I'll talk about what I bought, ate, and saw later.
I didn't make the welcome lunch that I planned to.
The day before the welcome lunch, my small group and I made an appreciation lunch for the pastoral staff at TBC. It was fancy. We had a menu for adults and one for children.
Anyways for the children, one of the dishes was chicken strips. It was so good that Nami and I decided to make it for the welcome lunch. (Okay more like Nami decided, I kinda had my heart set on the Nicoise Salad but I agreed in end. They were good.)
We served chicken strips with a green salad with sherry vinegrette and baguettes made with natural yeast. Those baguettes from the Hillside Pantry were so good. The dressing was good too, if an Italian guy comes back for more salad, then it must be good.
This was actually very simple to make, just three ingredients plus seasoning in the batter. Three points which made this turn out so well. One, I used cold water to make the batter right before frying and when I was using the batter then I put it in the fridge. Two, a mixture of olive oil and canola oil for frying. Three, dijon mustard in the batter.
Look at this! That chef was taller that me. I think this would make anybody smile if it was at a party.
These are the pictures from L'Apperitif Francaise held at Roppongi Hills Arena. It was very cool to see so many chefs there and to see some famous chefs. There was so much foie gras at this event, they must have had an flock of ducks or geese.
Surprise de Foie Gras en Chaud Froid Gelee de Porto by Restaurant Pachon
Beautiful presentation and concept but a little lacking in balance. The alcohol was a little too strong, I think they should have reduced it.
Galantine de Pintade au Foie Gras, Truffes et Pistaches by Restaurant Pachon
This was good, a very nice appetizer to serve cold. The beet chip wasn't so crispy but I'll blame that on the humidity that day.
Boeuf Rotie et Pomme Frits
Perfectly done, this was a great appetizer. And it was warm! This was so good that it stuck out in mind even until now. It goes to show that you don't need a lot of glitz and glam to impress. Food that is well cooked let's the food speak for themselves.
Terrine de Foie Gras sur des Charbon by Petit Bedon
The best foie gras dish I tasted at the event. Yum! The aspic perfectly balanced the richness of the foie gras. It's so good that I'll forgive the fact that the tart shell it was in was slightly stale (humidy) and it didn't match the terrine in my opinion. (Look like trying to put a square peg in a round hole.)
Gelee de Boeuf
This was the most interesting appetizer. The name says it all, beef jelly. It screamed BEEF! There was bits of shredded beef in it too.
Poulpe de Sasebo et Puree de Broccoli au Kinome
Light and refreshing, just poor in serving it, they didn't give me a spoon so I ate it like a jello shot. But due to the difference in density and consistency, I got the aspic out well but had to try and lick out the broccoli puree at the bottom.
Mousse de Saumon Fume Norvege
The most disappointing appetizer I have ever tasted. When I saw the word mouse, I was thinking of something light and airy but I received what felt like smoke salmon flavored mayonnaise. It was thick and heavy and not enjoyable to eat at all.
Tomates en Gelee by Trois Gros
Trois Gros is amazing. From the two appetizers that I picked, both were great. This was the best appetizer that day, it captured an essence of refreshment that was quite fitting for the beginning of summer. Perfectly balanced and flavorful. I think they used tomato water for the aspic.
Fraicheur de Crabe, Pana Cotta au Yuzu by Trois Gros
This was also good, it wasn't heavy at all and surprisingly light. Real crab meat.
Terrine de Pinatade de tofu de Feve en Gelee
I like this. It was a nice eat anytime for any occasion appetizer. The cornichon balanced out the heaviness of the terrine.
At the end of the day.
I ordered tickets to go to this event, Aperitif a la Francaise. I'm excited.
Basically, it's a lot of Japanese French chefs showcasing there hors d'ouerves to the public. There's also a couple of well known French chefs like Andre PachonThere's also a lot of displays about France's products.
Food and Cookery
The Written Word
Le Cordon Bleu
Travel within Japan
Just walking around