Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nice Meeting You Dim Sum- October 14th

For some yum cha (aka dim sum), we went to the Nice Meeting You Restaurant. We were a table of 10 hungry people. Even though it was only 10:30 in the morning, a lot of us haven't eatten anything yet. My aunt took the dim sum menu and ordered (because it was still early), and the food came quickly.

It seemed as though we had ordered the whole kitchen, as we received dish after dish. I'm not sure what these are called, but a lot of people like this. All I know is that it's deep fried taro with stuff inside. I don't like taro so I didn't touch it.

Behind the taro was something else that was deep fried with meat and things stuffed inside. I tried this. It was sweet and sticky after you got past the deep fried layer, while salty and meaty on the inside. It was pretty good, even though I tasted dried shrimp. The contrast of sweet and salty, crunchy and soft, and sticky and chewy was really appealing, but I could've done without the dried shrimp. Here's a shot of a bitten one.

Deep fried shrimp balls came next. These actually had crab claws! It's been a long time since I've seen them with crab claws. Oh, the memories. These "stuffed" crab claws were huge. Unfortunately, they tasted too seafood-y. Not just that, but I could tell the crab meat wasn't fresh either.

The shrimp balls didn't have the natural sweetness of the shrimp meat and crab meat. I prefer the ones in Ottawa, even though they don't usually have the crab claws. The lady butchered them, as she took scissors and cut them into pieces. Actually, because these were so big, it worked out.

We had other things like tripe, shrimp wontons, shrimp spring rolls. I think we also got rice cakes, but I'm not entirely sure what top two dishes were.

Of course, when you go eat dim sum you have to get siu mai and ha gao. We also got three kinds stuffed rice rolls (cheun fan): shrimp, pork and Chinese donuts (youtiao). I've never tried the chinese donut onces, because I've always thought that it would taste really plain. Oh, where were you all my life? These were amazing! I love Chinese donuts already, but when you wrap them in the noodle and pour some of that sweet soy sauce, it's a whole different thing. I'm definitely going to order this in the future.

You might wonder why I tried it. Well, the pork ones had a lot of water chestnuts, which I hate. I got tired of picking them all out, so I decided to try the Chinese donut ones. They were lying on the table all alone. I decided to introduce them to my stomach, and the rest is history.

Let's see what else we ordered. Here are some steamed beef balls with water chestnuts. Ewww... water chestnuts. Take a close look, and you'll be able to spot them. There's one of the rice cake things I was talking about. I'm sure there's no rice in it, but it's okay. I'll find out what they are, and tell you guys. In the back, there's some chicken feet. Yummy. To the left, you can see a pile of dishes that we've polished off.

Lucy's Note: Those rice cake things are actually steamed turnip cakes. They don't contain any turnips, but daikon radish.

I'm sure I've missed a couple of other dishes, but you get the point - we had a lot of food. The bill came to $80-ish for 10 people. Pretty good considering the fact that we were all full.



Nice Meeting You Restaurant
1177 Central Pkwy West
Mississauga, ON
(905) 896-8862
(in the link, the phone number given is: (905) 896- 2747)

Road Trip: Niagara Falls/Mississauga - October 13th

This past weekend, I went to visit Niagara Falls and Toronto with my family. The trip was mainly for my great aunt, who came to visit us from Paris, France, a couple of weeks ago. Since we were already going to Toronto, we decided to drop by Niagara Falls to take some pictures. Two hours there was spent walking in the cold, then walking in the Fallsview Casino, and of course, standing outside taking pictures. Pictured here is an interesting fountain located at the entrance of the casino. It kind of reminded me of the Disney movie Robots for some reason.

Here is the American Falls. We stayed around the area, so I couldn't get any good pictures of the Horseshoe Falls.

When we on our way to Toronto, we stumbed upon a Buddhist temple. We didn't even drive 5 minutes before we found it. Turning into the driveway, we were greeted by two intimidating statues. Yoikes!

Back off! Get your own pointy thing.

The bottom statue looks like it's dancing to the Spice Girls.
Stop right now. Thank you very much...

The temple itself was huge. I count 7 stories high. We spent some time here and then headed to Toronto.

We found dinner at the Sun Sun Chinese Restaurant in Mississauga.

There was a sign that said that they served dim sum all day, and so we ordered some chicken feet, pork siu mai, and ha gao for Andrew. The chicken feet were nice and soft. The flavour was good too. The pork siu mai and ha gao was ordinary. We also ordered the chicken chow mein for my great aunt. I found that the sauce lacked flavour. The chow mein was missing the smoky flavour that makes chow mein dishes so good.

My noodles were surprisingly awesome. The amount of sauce they gave us was amazing! When we ask for extra sauce on my noodles, they usually don't put that much more than they normally do. This time, the noodles were practically swimming in the sauce. The sauce was also very flavourful. There was a nice smoky flavour along with a salty touch. My dad said it was a bit too salty, but I thought it was fine.

Dinner was only around $30 for 5 people too. Cheap and delicious.

As we were walking back to the van, my dad spotted a small place called Thanh Son Tofu, that was serving sweet bean curd?

I'm not sure what it's called in English, but in Cantonese it's called dao who fa. It's a soft tofu jello essentially. We got 4 small containers for only $7. The syrup was like the way my mom makes it - simple syrup with ginger. What a perfect way to end our dinner.

Lucy's Note: The dessert tofu is called douhua in Mandarin - literally "bean curd flower."



Fallsview Casino
6380 Fallsview Blvd
Niagara Falls, ON
(905) 354-7474

Cham Shan Temple, Ten Thousand Buddhas Sarira Stupa
4303 River Rd
Niagara Falls, ON
(905) 371-2678

Sun Sun Restaurant
888 Dundas Street East
Mississauga, ON
(905) 566-1886

Thanh Son Tofu
(Couldn't find the address, but it's a couple of shops down from Sun Sun Restaurant on the right side... not on the Oriental mall's side).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

And Th-th-th-that's All, Folks!

Whew, I've caught up on my share of the Thanksgiving posts! It was almost as exhausting as the eating itself!

Also, I didn't take any pictures because I'm an idiot and forgot to bring my camera ANYWHERE this weekend. All of the photos for Thanksgiving weekend are courtesy of Christine's camera.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Perfect Solution for Leftovers - October 8th

After a huge family dinner, we’re always left with a ton of leftovers. We are guilty of preparing waaaaaaaaaay too much food. The next day, it’s always a question of what we should do with the remnants. No one likes to eat turkey sandwiches everyday for a week or two. It’s just plain boring.

Our family has come up with three solutions: turkey à la king, turkey congee, and turkey broth (to be used as a soup base for pickled lime soup). It’s ingenious. Lately, we’ve been favouring the turkey à la king because it uses up the leftover vegetables as well as the turkey.

Here’s a list of ingredients we used this time. No measurements, just use whatever you have leftover.

leftover turkey and ham, cubed
onions, diced
carrots, diced
celery, diced
whole kernel corn (frozen or canned)
peas (frozen or canned)
potatoes, diced
mushrooms, sliced
cream of mushroom soup (lots and lots!)

I once wrote down the directions for my housemates, but I didn’t write it down for myself. I might come back and edit this post to include directions.

We first sautéed the vegetables (minus the potatoes) in some butter until soft.

Then we dumped in everything else and simmered it down for half an hour.

Here’s a shot of all the meat we had leftover from Thanksgiving. Yeah, that’s a lot of torn up muscle tissue in that pot.

Sometimes, we bake the turkey à la king with some pastry crust, thereby transforming it into a turkey pot pie, but this year, we just had it with fresh baguettes and leftover bread from last night’s festivities. The bread is semi-cooked and then packed frozen for our consumption. It can be found at Costco somewhere…. In any case, it’s absolutely genius. You can have fresh bread each morning for less than a dollar a loaf!

Annnnnnnnnnnnnd here’s me, serving my entire family. We had two large pots of turkey à la king, and managed to finish the first one in about 10 minutes. When I left after lunch, there was less than half a pot left of the second one. Crazy, eh? Our family is obsessed with food, tee hee.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Snacking on Lorenzo's Pizza

Most of us were hungry after that early Thanksgiving dinner - that is, around 11pm that night. We grabbed some bubble tea and ordered some Lorenzo pizza. This was our night snack, if you want to call it that. We got the extra large pizza special: an extra large pizza, 3 toppings and 3 cans of pop for $19.95 plus tax. That's really cheap.

If you've had Lorenzo's pizza before, you know it's no Pizza Pizza. Three slices of Pizza Pizza's pizza is probably the equivalent of one slice of a Lorenzo pizza slice. Not only that, but the toppings we got also made it very heavy; pepperoni, bacon and donair. It's so meaty and salty. So good though. The crust of the pizza has a slight crisp on the outside while soft and fluffy on the inside. I just love when there's a bit of baked cheese on the crust. The taste of it is smoky and just awesome. When you're in Ottawa and want some Ottawa-style pizza, do yourself a favour and order from one of Lorenzo's locations.

Lucy's Comment:
I don't like Lorenzo's pizza crust as much as Christine does. I actually prefer a thinner, crispier crust. The thing that keeps me coming back to Lorenzo's is their sauce. It's homemade and full of herbs and flavour. Oregano, basil, tomato, and thyme. Those are the only ones I can identify with any certainty. I really wish they'd sell their sauce. I'd buy it for sure.


Lorenzo's Pizzeria
3007 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, ON
(613) 596-2222

Thanksgiving Dinner - October 7th

Our family puts a lot of time and effort into Thanksgiving. Here’s a shot of the mushrooms we chopped for various dishes. I think they went into the gravy and stuffing. Yummy.

Each year, my uncle makes a simple salad consisting of bell peppers, corn, and hearts of palm. This time around, he added sliced carrots. I’m not sure if I like it with the carrots, but the salad was superb as always.

Besides turkey, we also had a large roast ham. With a family as large as ours, we often have to include roast beef as well. Not this year, though.

We also had some Caesar salad, garlic bread, and mashed potatoes. Pretty standard fare for Thanksgiving.

One of my aunts made a coconut gelatine dessert. She poured different coloured mixes into the moulds and let them set for a few hours.

I think the rose was the prettiest. Normally we make some sort of autumn-inspired pies, like apple or pumpkin, for dessert, but this was a nice change.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Hockey Night - October 6th

Since a lot of friends were back in town for the Thanksgiving holiday, we decided to get together and watch the Sens kick some Rangers' ass. We all gathered at Local Heroes in time for the opening face off and ordered some food. I had pizza the last time I went there. The bottom of the pizza was slightly burnt and overall stingy. The pizza sauce was below average, there wasn't enough sauce, and there wasn't enough dough. This was more like a Pizza Pizza pizza. Hoping that that was a one time thing, VN and I decided to split a medium combo pizza. Once the pizza came I checked the bottom. Sadly, the pizza was slightly burnt again - but not as bad the last time. Come on people, it's not that hard to bake a pizza. In saying that though, we were at a sports bar so the food wouldn't be great.

As we mindlessly ate the pizza, Brendan's order 'The Original Sampler' came. I think he changed something, but I can't remember what it was. It was a typical sports bar platter, loaded with some chicken wings, chicken fingers, fries, etc.

Pat ordered the 'Spinach and Artichoke Dip'. "It was good in comparison to the other food at Local's, but nowhere near as good as the artichoke dip at Milestones!" he told me, when I asked how he liked it. (Pat doesn't work for Milestones... or does he?)

Jeff ordered the 'Garlic Cheese Bread', or as Brian called it, the"garlic cheese dead", while trying to decide if he wanted more food. Brian has obviously not seen the kind of pizza that we usually order at home. This was nothing compared to the artery-clogging, beautifully tasty slices of Lorenzo pizza.

In the end, I think we all had a good time. The Sens ended up winning 2-0 over the NY Rangers too. Oh, and for those who care, Pat doesn't work at Milestones. He just knows how to eat.



Local Heroes
15 Robertson Rd.
Ottawa, ON
(613) 721-7700

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Dim Sum - October 6th

For lunch, we decided to grab some dim sum. Yangtze wasn't that busy when we got there, then again we got there around 2pm. First up, we had some pork and shrimp filled rice rolls. Eating the rice rolls is so much fun. They're so soft that you can just slurp it all down. I've been guilty of doing that once too many times, but the down side to that is that you don't taste the pork filling. Sure, it's fun to slurp them down, but I get them because the dish, as a whole, tastes good. After learning my lesson, I chewed my rice rolls. I chew them good.

Soon after we got them, the "ha gao, siu mai" cart came around. Shrimp and pork siu mai soaked in a mixture of Yangtze's soy sauce and sriracha sauce. Man, do I need to get me some of their soy sauce. Then all the dim sums I eat everywhere else will taste a lot better. The shrimp ones were real, uh, shrimpy (yes, shrimpy). Gotta love it! The pork ones were not shrimpy, but porky. Porky with little explosions of green onions. I didn't eat any ha gao, but I'm sure they were tasty.

We got some deep fried shrimp balls too. I don't know what they used for the outside, but they used too much of it. The outside of the shrimp balls were a bit too powdery - they aren't supposed to though. Despite the slightly powered, but crunchy, outside layer, the insides made me so happy! The insides were juicy and shrimpy. It's sad that some people can't eat shrimp. They're missing so much!
The steamed chicken feet cart came around and we got some. They were flavoured well and were pretty soft. Sometimes I eat the tendons, but most of the time I just eat the skin and the meat I can find.

Oh, here's a joke: Why did the chicken cross the road? So he could keep his feet! Muhahaa! Well, the second part of the joke is told by Lucy. As a teaser, I'll tell you all that the chicken got its revenge. Oh, sweet revenge....
We also took some goodies home for Henry and Andrew. Here's a look the cute packaging. Mmm yummy!

Lucy's Comment:
This part is going to sound really gross to those who don’t enjoy eating chicken feet, so heed my warning: TURN BACK NOW! 

In any case, when I eat chicken feet, I usually bite off the toes first. This time, for some reason, I only bit them off to the first knuckle. Big mistake. As I was eating, I thought it was strange that I left the last part of the toes attached to the rest of the foot, but I dismissed it. I went to bite the spongy part of the foot (I guess that would be the ball of its foot or something) and suddenly felt something massaging my gums. It was the toes!!!!!! GROSS!!!!!! When I bit the spongy part, the toes hit my teeth and slid into my gums!! It felt like a dentist was in my mouth!!!! Very much disgusted, it took me a long time to finish the rest of the chicken foot. I had to will myself to eat it all.

Chicken feet used to be one of my dim sum favourites, but from now on, I think I’ll pass on them FOREVER. 

(Update: After two years, Lucy finally gave chicken feet another chance.)


Yangtze Dining Lounge
700 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, ON
(613) 236-0555

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Not-So Pho-n Adventure - October 5th

The moment we arrived in Ottawa, Christine suggested that we all go out for pho. We drove to Pho Mi 108. I like the soup there because it contains less sugar than the places in Chinatown. I really hate a sweet soup.
(Christine here...) The soup is different at Pho 108. Not only is there less sugar than the places in Chinatown, but there's more flavour. When I make pho at home, you'll taste the cloves and star anise right away and taste a bit of cinnamon, unlike the Chinatown places. When you eat here, you can taste the cloves and star anise and smell the cinnamon. I like to think of this soup as a hybrid of my homemade soup and the places in Chinatown. It's so yummy!

I don’t remember the name of what I ordered. It had two types of noodles: rice noodles and egg noodles. There was char siu, fish balls, shrimp balls, and crabstick. It was topped off with fried shallots, coriander, green onions, and bean sprouts. I didn’t ask them to not add bean sprouts because they had given us a plate of toppings on the side (bean sprouts, Thai chili, Thai basil, and limes). The soup was pretty good, compared to some of the places in Chinatown. It was really savoury and flavourful.

The only thing that shocked me was the “fried shrimp pancake.” I thought this would be a fried pancake with minced shrimp filling, and not a WHOLE SHRIMP!! It was so weird having the shrimp watch me as I tried to eat its crispy encasing. Sigh. I had expected something noticeably tamer-looking than what was served. It wasn’t bad, though. That said, I don’t think I’ll be ordering the shrimp pancake again. I’m not sure I enjoy having my dinner look at me as I devour it.

Everyone else ordered pho, with a variety of different meat combinations. This included meat balls, rare beef, tripe, tendons, slightly fatty beef, brisket, and well-done beef among others.
The final bill was below $35 for four people. It’s so hard to resist such a cheap meal!

~ * ~

Pho Mi 108
3825 Richmond Road
Ottawa, Ontario
(613) 596-0760

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Turkey Weekend!

Since I'll be heading back home for Thanksgiving, Christine and I will probably do joint posts of this weekend's feasting festivities.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

All Caught Up

Yay for me! As of now, I'm all caught up with my posts. I definitely thought I had less pictures. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed them all.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Moon Festival Feast - September 25th

According to Wikipedia, its called the Mid-Autumn Festival. Same thing. As usual, our whole family gets together for a big lunch and dinner. It's a custom to pray to our ancestors and offer them food and drinks. So once everything was cooked and on the table everyone prayed with lit incense sticks. Then we went outside and burnt joss paper.
My uncle chopping up some BBQ pork. The end piece is MINE!

On one side of the table, there was chow mein, and plates with BBQ duck, BBQ pork, roast pig, soy sauce chicken, shiitake mushrooms with bamboo shoots.
In the middle of the table, there was nappa cabbage soup in a hot pot. On the other side of the table, there were plates of stir fried snow peas with carrots and a plate of meats. I looooove chow mein with BBQ pork drizzled with the BBQ duck sauce.
Well, actually, we had 2 plates of everything. I lied. So sorry.
I could never get enough of it as a kid. What am I talking about, I still can't get enough of it. After filling up, everyone sat around chatting while sipping on tea and nibbling on moon cake. I don't really like moon cake. It's too pasty for me.

Oh, we also watched the Sens play the Flyers on TV. Although it was only preseason, it was still exciting to see the Sens play again. I know its a food blog, but I have to tell everyone that I'm a huge hockey fan. I love playing hockey and I love watching it. I fall under the Canadian stereotype that all Canadians love hockey. I cheer for the Ottawa Senators, but I'm a hockey fan first. That means that I call it as it is, even if it's a nice goal against the Sens or a dirty hit dished out by a Sens player. I've followed them pretty closely for the past couple of years and have grown more attached. I'm so excited to see the first couple of games. Woot! Leafs suck!

Pho-antastic! - September 14th and 15th

September 14th:
On a sunny Friday, my cousin, JT, and I went to
Pho Bo Ga LA for some lunch. This was her first time having pho. Sure, the soups at the restaurants aren’t as good as my homemade version, but that doesn't mean it's not good. It's good in their own sugary and msg way. I didn't get a picture of the bowls, cause I was too busy gorging. It was good. Real good. I was full, but not omg-I'm-about-to-pop!-Here’s-my-last-wish... full. JT liked it, but preferred a different kind of noodle and soup with a deep fried shrimp pancake (from Toronto). I can't remember what it was called, but I'll find out and tell you guys. (Update: The dish she prefers is called Hu Tieu.)

We went to
Bubblicity for some drinks afterwards. I got the almond bubble latté. It tastes like the fake almond jello. JT got the lychee bubble latté. It tastes a lot like lychee, but she said that it's better in Toronto. I'm not surprised. The food scene in Toronto is so much better than Ottawa's. There's no doubt about it. I wonder when Ottawa's food scene will pick up.

I was kind of bored and decided take random pictures. Look at how many tapioca balls I have left. But don't look directly into its eyes.

Oh no. Now you've done it. Now it's looking back at you.


September 15th:
Hehee, this was one of those rare days where I got to eat out for two nights in a row. Guess what we were going to have for dinner? Pho. Mmm... fff-oooooh. This time, we went to
Pho Thu Do - the place right beside Pho Bo Ga LA. My friend, Vanna, told me that the spring rolls were the best (in Ottawa) here. We ordered spring rolls and our bowls of pho. The spring rolls were small and stubby. I found them a bit bland.

The pho itself was the same as the other pho around Ottawa...

I find that most of the pho places in Ottawa that I go to all taste the same - a sweet soup with some cinnamon warmth. I can never taste the cloves or the star anise. Do they even add any? The one thing that's annoying is that when I order the "medium rare beef", it ends up being almost fully cooked. I wish they just put the raw slices of meat on a plate, like they do with the herbs and bean sprouts. Ah well. 

The place that serves soup that tastes a lot like my homemade version is Pho Mi 108. But I'll blog about that later. That way it gives me an excuse to go out and eat pho again.



Pho Bo Ga LA
763 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, ON
(613) 233-2222

730 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, ON
(613) 230-8833

Pho Thu Do
765 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, ON
(613) 235-7116


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