Random Post of Stuff

Life has been happening and I’ve had to be responsible and engaged in said life activities so spending time here hasn’t happened.

But here I am! I’m here! If only just for a second. So what can I say about the food world that will tease and tantalize and make  you keep coming back here even when I’m not posting with regularity. (Have I ever posted with regularity? No. I don’t fool myself. But it was nice to say).

Let’s start with a Canada goose. It’s a bit off the topic of food (although I think there was a discussion somewhere at sometime about culling flocks of geese to help feed the poor) (did I dream that?), but I know for a fact, this Canada goose is enroute to Edmonton from Regina and is plotting a sneak attack on an unsuspecting friend. It’s a long story, and you really don’t want to know. Trust me.

This picture of my Mom (left) and Auntie Anna (right) makes me laugh because it reminds me of those wildlife cameras left in the woods and some woodland creature walks right up to it and checks out the lens. Another picture unrelated to food, but both family members are clutching glasses of wine, so on that count, it fits.

This is a fuzzy shot of our favourite sushi restaurant in Victoria (Japanese Village). That is the famous Sammy-san on the right. I was trying to be subtle about taking the shot, and that is why you have Michael’s shoulder in the picture. I haven’t the guts to boldly walk up to people and say, “Hey I want to take your picture”.

Last trip to Calgary brought us to Jelly Modern Doughnuts (as seen on You Gotta Eat Here). Here are some kid-friendly versions (in shadow for dramatic effect).

Above are the left overs of an afternoon tea-spread at Cally’s Teas on Whyte Ave. I can’t say enough nice stuff about this place. Michael and I both got our own little pot of tea – brewed to perfection and we did not have to fuss with the leaves, that was all taken care of for us – and we selected the most delicious raspberry jam tarts I’ve ever had. They were teeny and adorable and so delicious, we ate them without any thought to saving them on “film” for posterity. For the gents, this place is not all frilly and la-de-dah, and you will fit in quite comfortably with your hairy arms and dungarees (as you can see in the picture).

An important part of my life is about to step through the door at any moment, so I should prepare myself and channel my best June Cleaver. And so you don’t think I’m that domesticated, June and I are both saying the same thing, “I’ll cook, but you clean”. I want her cheekbones. (pause). June is not saying she wants my cheekbones. Just so we are clear.

And to keep this post with the theme of randomness, this picture has me laughing every time I see it.  So I’m posting it here so I know where to find it for future reference.

Japanese Village

Here’s some news I’ve been behind on. Our beloved Japanese Village on 100th Street downtown across the Westin, is CLOSED. But fear not! They have opened at a new location, nearer Red Deer, at:  2940 Calgary Trail South, phone 780-422-6083. Reservations are suggested for Teppan-Yaki dining (the floor show). Reservations are not accepted for the sushi bar, and traditional dining area.

The room has the grills throughout, as well as chairs surrounding the booze bar and sushi bar. The booze bar also has a number of tables for two for traditional dining, which Michael and I always opt for.

The first impression is the size. This location used to house a series of night clubs, and unfortunately, that feeling has remained. Other than a few token pictures on the wall, a piece of Japanese music on repeat over the speakers, and the dress of the cooks for the Teppan-yaki, there is nothing Japanese about Japanese Village. The focus of the gigantic room is the central bar, shown above. This would have been the perfect place to put the sushi bar, but alas, that got tucked to a back corner.

The good news is, because it used to be a nightclub the washrooms are HUGE. This is an improvement if you’ve ever had to fold yourself in half to use the washrooms at their 100th Street location.

The menu hasn’t changed, and our favourite, a grilled New York steak, which hasn’t appeared on their traditional dining menu for years, is still available on request. Michael and I still consider this to be the best New York steak for flavour and value in the city.

Today we went with steak in mind, and started with the wasabi tuna. You can see it above. It is raw tuna with a delicious wasabi sauce – wasabi mixed with their world famous steak sauce. The sauce didn’t disappoint us, but unfortunately, the tuna did as it was still frozen in the centre. We shrugged and renamed the dish Tuna-cicles.

Next up was the toe-curling delicious salmon bites. Tender and luscious pieces of cooked salmon in a teriyaki sauce.

The highlight, and reason we ever go to Japanese Village, is for the steak. We have not had one bad steak ever from Japanese Village. Always cooked to a perfect medium rare, still served, thankfully, on their old cast iron plates, along with a side of rice, and the delicious steak sauce. Above, is a pic of the steak sauce with a piece of steak taking a bath. Below, although dark, is the steak service:

Although we weren’t first impressed with the new location, we were comforted that the menu we’ve come to love is still intact. We missed seeing our favourite sushi chef from downtown, and our server who would scold us if we drank too much sake.

At the new south location, staff were friendly but appeared a bit strained, and ours only appeared to take our order or make a delivery. We were not asked if everything was okay throughout the meal, but felt we should have asked her if everything was okay instead!

For large groups, Japanese Village shouldn’t disappoint. The Teppan-yaki tables were busy, and we had two birthday celebrations in the time that we we there and everyone seemed to be having a great time – including my husband who felt he needed to participate in each birthday celebration by clapping and singing along.

The big central bar had people come-and-go, and were mostly those waiting for a Teppan-yaki table.

Would we go again? Of course. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Just be warned, don’t expect the peace, quiet, and gentle ambiance of the quiet sushi bar from 100th street. This place is loud, busy, and as the feel of a North American chain restaurant.

Japanese Village on Urbanspoon