Saturday, November 29, 2008

Moby Dick's fish and chips

There's fish and chips, then there's Moby Dick's fish and chips. Everything here is big. The fish don't come in fillets, they come in slabs, served on a mountain of fries with a side of fresh coleslaw and a tub of their homemade tartar sauce. I think dill might be their magic ingredient in the tartar sauce. One other thing about Moby Dick's is they always give you one more piece of fish than you order.....and this information is not on the menu. Actually, since this photo was taken back in 2003. The plates have gotten bigger, and the extra real estate is filled with golden fries and huge chunks of deep fried fish.

Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 28, 2008

My BBQ's Great for Holidays and Special Occasions like Wednesday Nights

When people come to one of my bbqs, I make sure that they leave completely satisfied, craving nothing more than a lazy-boy and their saftey blankets. My philosphy for bbq is feed you till you die. Here are shots of two items that are commonly on my menu - back ribs and bacon-wrapped scallops.
The second one is a piece of cake - find the biggest scallops you can buy, then wrap them with the fattest bacon you can buy, thow them on the grill for a bit and start stuffing your face.
My back ribs are a bit more complicated, and I have to acredit my friend Eric with the recipe. First I boil the ribs in a vat of water, onions, garlic, olive oil, various spices (whatever is in the cabinet really) until the ribs are ready to slide off the bone. Then I carefully take the ribs and dip them in a chosen bbq sauce (eric used his own bbqs he made from scratch....I cheat and just add a bunch of stuff into an existing sauce base). Let them sit over night in the fridge so that once it cools, the sauce is the only thing keeping the meat and bones together. These ribs are then ready for the bbq the next day. I usually grill them for a about 5 minutes on each side on high heat so that parts of the outside are slightly crisp, all the while retaining a nice, gooy core that used to be called meat. They literally melt in your mouth and the bone always comes away so clean, you'd swear it was bleached.
I'll post some pictures of the finished products when I can find them

The Fallen Warrior

Our last morning in Japan was spent having Jay perform the most ridiculous thing....a curry eating challenge. It was the beginning of February, 2003 and we were all packed and ready to help my bro go back to Canada. We stopped in a CoCo Ichiban curry shop and let Jay ruin his day.

Let me give you a little background on Jay. At the time of these photos, he was probably about 133 pounds, but he could eat more than anyone we knew. This guy had eaten three prime rib dinners and one chicken dinner at the Keg, all in one sitting. He could easily eat a large pizza by himself. So, we figured, what's 1.3 kilos of rice with curry on top? Jay could probably do it twice.....but it was not meant to be.
He had 20 minutes to accomplish this feat, but his momentum began to fade around the 11 minute mark. and near the end, it was just pitiful. Defeated and shamed, we left CoCo's curry, never to return.

My brother the bachelor

Before my brother left home to teach English in Japan for a year, I had never known him to cook anything in his entire life. Maybe the odd peanut butter sandwich or can of soup, but that's about it.
When Jay and I stayed with him in his tiny apartment in Ishinomaki, my brother cooked for us regularly. To my surprise, he turned out to be a pretty good cook.
The first picture is of a creamy stew with vegetables and sausages. It was simple, but delicous when you drown your rice with it. The next one is some kind of mysterious meat product we got at the local grocery....possibly intestines which we mistook as chicken skin. Yes, you can get just chicken skin in Japan, and it's awesome. He also made mabo tofu, something my dad would regularly cook, and next was a plate of giant scallops, which were dirt cheap compared to the costs here.

Japanese, I'm not talking about ramen

This picture was taken in late January, 2003. My friend Jay and I went to Japan to help my brother move back to Canada. Of course we took a three week vacation, with a one-week stop over in Hong Kong to this.

Jay and I started on this trip with the intention of going with nothing, getting a couple empty suitcases in Hong Kong, then go to Japan and fill them with my brother's stuff so he could move back here. Things didn't go quite as planned. Jay and I got the empty suitcases in Hong Kong, but ended up filling them up with all sorts of man-crap and by the time we showed up at my brother's door, we almost had no space left for his stuff.

Anyways, all that is way off topic. This is a picture of my first sampling of pasta, Japanese style. The noodles were cooked el dente, something I had never had in Canada until only recently. The noodles are served in a clear sauce and topped with mushrooms, salmon, and ikura. It was an incredible combination that would probably never be reproduced here.

Business Class Airlplane Food

There is a common belief that airplane food could hardly be categorized as food, but when you're crammed into a tiny cabin with no where else to go, it tastes pretty good at the time. Here are a few shots of an experience I had with my brother. I was taking him back to Japan back in January, 2003. He was teaching there for a bout a year, came back for Christmas holiday and had to go back to finish off another month or so. We were lucky enough to get upgraded on the way out and here was some shots of the meals served.
I ordered the kaiseki meal and my brother ordered the western meal. Both were incredibly well put together and delicious. Even the butter was tasty....or maybe we were just really hungry.

A slight twist on Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese

Smoked salmon and cream cheese is a combo that's pretty common on crackers, bagels or sandwiches. I wanted to change it up a little bit so I rolled wasabi in the smoked salmon and let it sit on a bed of cream cheese and masago. The result turned out pretty tasty. This picture was taken on my birthday back in December, 2002. I was experimenting with a new camera and the flash really interfered with the image. By this time, I had cast aside the old Mavica and started using the Nikon Coolpix 4300. It's a simple point and shoot, but it produces half-decent pictures, even for today's standards. Eventually, I'll follow the rest of the lemmings and get an SLR, but not until I have a bit more cash to toss around.

Fried Chicken and can't go wrong.

Without a care in the world, my brother, our friends and myself would occasionally gorge ourselves on the worst possible combination of junk food.....Fried Chicken and Pizza. We would have events called wing night, or chicken night, or pizza night, but in reality, it was just get fat night. None of us were really grotesquely overweight, but not exactly healthy either.

Between the 3 or 4 of us, we would order two large Meat Lover's pizza from Pizza Hut, and 20 or so peices of fried chicken from L.A. Chicken in Richmond, and two buckets of their awesome gravy.
L.A. Chicken, formerly known as Lee's Chicken, has incredibly tasty fried chicken. Their fried chicken has the flavour of KFC, but the crunchy, chrispy style coating of Church's Chicken....the best of both worlds. L.A. Chicken also has the world's best gravy in that it tastes exactly like the skin/coating. It's like liquid skin......truly a beautiful thing. I have an image of my friend drinking this stuff and I'll post it if I can ever find it. We don't go there much because their hours are kind of wierd and there's only one location that we know of. Out of sheer laziness, we usually go to Church's. Anyways, again this picture is done with my crappy old Mavica so it's low quality. I think this image was taken on my brother's birthday, back in July, 2001.
L.A. Chicken has awesome fried chicken, no more needs to be said...
Actually, a side story on the aftermath of this event. We knew that we weren't going to eat all the food so in advance, we cut the pizza crusts off and put them aside. The next day, we took those crusts, chopped them up, and stir fried them in a frying pan with some chopped jalepenos. We threw them in a giant dish, crumbed some mozzarella chunks and poured the left-over gravy (that glorious liquified deep-fried-chicken-skin) on top of that - our own creation - Pizza-crust poutine.

L.A. Chicken on Urbanspoon

24 hr. Hot Menu

Wow, that wasn't so hard. Anyways, I want backtrack this blog to April of 2002. Why? Well, that's when I started taking pictures of food. The picture quality will be horrendous because I was using an old Sony Mavica, model MVC-FD7. This thing used floppy discs, never mind megapixels. The picture here isn't really of food, but of a vending machine. Actually, come to think of it, maybe I should give you all some basic background information. I was born in the 70's to immigrant parents and lived my whole life in a little place called Richmond, British Columbia. That's in Canada for those of you who don't know. Ok, that's enough for now.

The picture here is of a vending machine I saw in Japan. So, what's so great about a vending machine? This one serves hot food! And on a cold winter day in Ishinomaki, Miyagi-ken, hot food is from heaven. This machine served takoyaki, french fries, hot dogs, yaki soba, and a bunch of other stuff. The vendies that I was used to only sold pop, and coffee or hot chocolate in a crappy paper cup. This machine served hot food! I wanted to take it home with me.

My first blog

Well, this is my first experience with a blog. I've never even read a blog before so I'm not even sure how it works. My brother told me I should start one, but really had no clue where or how to begin, or even what to "blog" about. I have some ideas, but I thought maybe I should experiment and start off with something that wasn't too serious. If this blog goes well, maybe I can move on to something closer to my heart.

I've never written an article before, my writing skills are aweful, and I feel this would be a good place to practice. I have this incredibly great idea for a book which my friend and I came up with, but again, I have no idea where to begin, or how to finance that project yet. Still a beginner with lots to learn. Anyways, hopefully I can get some practice here and maybe one day it will turn into something people will want to read.

This blog is going to relate to everyone in the world, because we all have to do it......EAT. Yes, I know, how boring can I get with a brand new blog? Well, it's an easy subject, I've got lots of pictures, and I need to start somewhere, so it may as well be something I can easily talk about. I love to eat, what else can I say? Good food brings people together, it's there at family get togethers, it's there during important business meetings, and it's there when you take a girl out on a first date. They say that sometimes a way into a man's heart is through his stomach, but sometimes that's the way into a woman's. Sometimes the best of friendships start off with a good meal, and that is something I can say with confidence.

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