Saturday, January 27, 2007

My Review of Infinity Dining Experience

Dine Out Vancouver is on; an event that allows you to sample a three-course meal at upscale restaurants in Vancouver. I went to two others this month (Arroy-D and La Terazza) and was relatively unimpressed (small servings, and long waits, respectively) so I won't post those reviews. But tonight, HOO boy. Tonight was a cosmic tastebud adventure. Here is my review:

Which restaurant did you choose? Infinity Dining Experience
What date? Jan 26
What time? 8:30 PM

What did you choose? Butternut Squash Fondue, complimentary foccacia bread with garlic/shallot dip

How was it? The fondue was pretty good, but I think it was pushed out of the spotlight by the garlic dip. Our whole table was obsessed with the garlic dip, which was unlike any dip I ever tried. It was so good, we even put it on our steak, prawns, potatoes and mandarin orange garnishes. The prawn appy was also amazing, and so was the mandarin orange chutney that came with it. All the appies were thoughtfully and creatively seasoned.

What did you choose? New York Steak with Blue Cheese

How was it? Very good. I'd never think of putting blue cheese on steak, but it complimented the steak very well. The chips were also delicious, fried with red onion, bacon and herbs. The flavors of all the food are unexpected and surprising. Oh also they don't skimp on the size of the steak.

What did you choose? Pear Tarte with stilton fondant & a pomegranate syrup

How as it? Again, I was expecting something boring like a mini pear pie. But I was pleasantly surprised by the presentation.. very artistic, with a flat unsweetened triangle of pastry on the bottom, and thin slices of marinated pear strewn about on top. Served with a garnish of strong aged cheese. My bf snuck a taste of cheese, not knowing what it was, and he looked like he'd been hit by a truck. Strongest cheese ever.. but when you mix the salty, more bland crust, the sweet pears, and the aged cheese together, it's a really poignant medley of flavours.

I also tried some of the Jagermeister icecream that comes with the torte. It was subtle and good. The cornbread dessert was also great, served with a dollop of smooth mascarpone cheese. Some things we tried that aren't included on the Dine-Out menu: I highly recommend trying the homemade cola and ginger cola as well. Very interesting flavors. The Darjeeling tea was a great palate cleanser at the end.

OVERALL SERVICE? Perfect. The server was very quick and efficient. There was a clear emphasis on practicality and the food, rather than show. Our appetizers came out within 5-10 minutes. (La Terazza, hope you're taking notes! ) The rooms and decor are very simple, but that didn't really matter, because the lights were low, the ambience was good, and everyone was busy being wowed by their food.

5 out of 5 stars, with a cherry on top. This is the only Dine Out Vancouver I've truly enjoyed from start to finish. (Out of the five Dine Out dinners I've been to in the past two years). Also only $25 per person. This is the perfect place for Vancouverites to go if they are tired of boring food, and want a swift kick to the palate.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Inconvenient Global Warming

Those who live under a rock, or who are not from Vancouver, might not have heard that we are having the worst weather imaginable this winter. It's been rainstorm after windstorm after snowstorm, and sometimes rainy windstorms, though I have yet to see a windy snowstorm. We don't live that close to a firewall, but all the firetruck noise has been sounding like Korea's air raid siren test (except the siren switch is jammed in the 'on' position and they can't find the right wrench to pry it loose).

Today marks the fourth day this winter I've been without work. Two of the times were due to wind, two to snow. Yesterday the power was out at the Coquitlam school. Today I drove all the way to Guildford because the school wasn't closed, but when I got there, no students showed up, and driving back was all black ice, abandoned semi's that couldn't make it up hills, firetrucks and police. In fact, one farm vehicle on Hwy 1 got in an accident, the doors opened, and the cows were wandering the highway.

Stanley Park, a forested oasis for city-dwellers, looks like 'pick-up sticks,' with fallen trees mangling fences and bridges. BC Place, a stadium with an air-supported roof, deflated during the last windstorm. One family in Vancouver is still without power from the first windstorm we had a month ago... the one that caused most of the Lower Mainland's water to become muddy with silt for days.

The snow today not only kept me from applying for a job in New West, it also kept me from working today and yesterday, and will probably keep me from working the rest of the week, as the roads are supposed to ice over in the next few days. This weather has kept me inside watching lots of interesting documentaries though. An Inconvenient Truth is very worthwhile to see, and explains why the weather is wreaking such havoc.

For example, global warming causes the atmosphere to absorb moisture faster from the deserts, but then all that moisture has nowhere to go. So dry places get drier and rainy places (Vancouver) get inundated with the heaviest rainfalls ever recorded.

I also really recommend watching The Vice Guide to Travel and Who Killed the Electric Car?, two very amazing documentaries. The former involves people going to Chernobyl to find mutant animals, to a hidden munitions town in the mountains of Pakistan where handmade guns are produced at the rate of 5000 a day and bombs made from nuclear waste can be bought on the black market. The latter is about why the first electric car, EV1, is no longer on our streets today, and how a corrupt, oil-hungry US government allegedly worked to ensure it disappeared.

Also, watch Jesus Camp, a documentary on Pentacostal church camps in the U.S. that seems to be taking advantage of young childrens' emotions and teaching them to 'go to war,' and adopt the mentality of muslim suicide bombers. Can't find the documentaries? Ask me and I'll burn copies. Or get Julian to burn copies, since he's mastered all that technology stuff or whatever kids are using these days :P

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

My best friends.

Often I'm given 'homework,' aka essays from new students to evaluate, so we can assign them the right level. I thought this grade 4 student's essay was cute, so I typed it out:

My best friend is Nour. Because she is so pretty, and always good for me or every one. Me and Nour we're always play together. and another friend too.. I have two best friend too. (I like Nour better than they...) Jessica, and Amana. they're pretty good too! we're always play together. we also play tag. that my teacher ms. wood, she always said "you guys are always play together! It's like best friends!!!"

I like yellow hair and green, blue eyes. Nour and Jessica has it. but Amana don't have it... but I like Amana very very much in the world. Because she is so pretty and so good for everone! (It's like Nour!) I always teach my best friends. That is about korea. They're like to listen about korea. When sometimes, they're sick, that they can't come to the school... also Nour is always sick... that I don't like when they're so sick. I'm so sad... TT;TT

Nour like to eat korean snack, so I give to Korean snack to Nour, Jessica, and Amana! They said "thank you ~ Sally ~ " Then I'm so happy to see they when they're smile or feeling good! ( I like my best friends! <3 ) Jessica, Amana, Nour.