October 2006 Archives

The first sunny morning after the time change never ceases to amaze me and always bring fond memories from childhood (not unlike Christmas, actually). An extra hour given to you, for the cost of an hour in the springtime, to admire the morning shine you could be missing b/c of school or work. But soon enough, you understand why that hour was given to you...

(Hm, isn't it this year that we start changing the time a week or two early?)

Korean BBQ on Queen-Mary

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Went with Wee to a Korean BBQ/restaurant, a semi-block away from Metro Snowdon (which would be contributed towards this metro/resto map of Montreal). The lady told us that this place opened over a year ago already, but have been trying the all-you-can-eat concept for two months only. Of course, it wasn't surprising that the ownership is Cantonese Chinese, for it's an all-you-can eat.

While Wee didn't mind, I didn't think the meat tasted perfectly fresh. But with an iron stomach (usually) and an advertised price of $15, I only minded for about five minutes. We stayed for more than an hour and a half. Not only the meat could be refilled, but you could also eat your heart's desire of Korean entrees, and drinks. While the social value of the all-you-can-eat and the as-long-as-you-want-to-hangout aren't to be neglected in one's appreciation of a restaurant, the food definitely makes or breaks a place. The rice was too dry, and had amalgamated centres (signs of standing there for a while after cooking), the kimchi was not always crisp, and the meat had some fridge taste (unless it was a subtle Korean-style marinade - but I doubt it).

Small shallow bowls littered the table after the lady served us all of the appetizers and meats at once. But I was in a rather good mood, so it was pretty comical instead of pretty awkward.

The chilled sweetened chrysanthemum tea (with cubes of ice that don't have a bubble in them? how can it be?) is a hit throughout the restaurant, as the nice lady ran across the length of the restaurant to refill demanding glasses. Soothes the throat after all this salty grilled meat and sour condiments. No, really, chilled sweetened chrysanthemum tea can be as good as that.

One thing to remember is to never wear clean clothes to a Korean BBQ... $20 per person for an all-included meal. 5248, Queen-Mary (towards the West from the metro - not to be confused with another one up the slope). Name of the restaurant in French is an anonymous "Les Nouilles", but in Chinese, it's 大韓燒毀, or roughly "Great Korean Grill".

Live from the Nation's Capital

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Nation's Capital, depending for whom. In French, the Nation's Capital is Quebec City, whereas the place where I am is indeed "La Capitale Federale", but the Nation's Capital.

Ottawa is grey, and grey. I missed my bus stop upon arriving, thinking that the city's central bus station was downtown. It was a kilometer of walk from downtown, maybe 1.5 from Parliament Hill (which I'm going to take a look at in a minute). It was not a very long day, from 9:30 to 4, with long breaks. Our company is attending a trade show here, and my first ever as exhibitor. Lots of flier-folding and folder-assembling during the few days running up to the show, some running around for equipment forgotten (like, the lady at the Rideau Centre Sears says they *always* run out of glass bowls on conference/expo weeks, for some reason XD).

Later on, am supposed to meet up with Felix, who has a passion for public servantship, and has found himself a sweet position in Transports Canada.

I arrived at the bus station at 8:30, but it took only 20-something minutes to walk across downtown up to Centre Rideau, adjacent to the Ottawa Congress Centre. It is such a small city. You notice all sorts of small differences, like the local grocery chains (even if they're probably owned by the same conglomerate), the color and configuration of the circulation lights (yellow, suspended above streets); and the similarities, like the street names (so, Canadian cities only have a limited list of possible Politicians to name streets - and our uptown commercial street within a largely residential area Laurier street becomes Ottawa's main downtown commercial artery - but Metcalfe stays the relatively same north-south downtownish street, whoever this "Metcalfe" dude was).

Probably going to hit the Starbucks afterwards. I've been reading Murakami's short stories collection, which is an easy read. It is as light and fluffy as usual. What I'd like to find is the Yasutaka Tsutsui short stories collection that was recently translated to English (only work of his that was). He was the author of the book that inspired the Kon Satoshi movie Paprika.

Paprika - etc

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Paprika was just a very very entertaining film. A bit like anything Satoshi Kon made, one's never sure whether reality or dream don't intersect. Perhaps not how I conceive the universe, but it's great to inject some mysticism into your life.

Sometimes came across as the episode of an anime ("The adventures of Paprika, the secret agent of your dreams"), but the storyline certainly had the body of a full-length feature worth premiering and being part of the official competition at the Venice Biennale (of course, I'm sure it helps to be backed by Sony Pictures). The movie was a Canadian premiere at the Nouveau Cinema festival. Crowd was perhaps a bit less fanboy/girl than I'd expect, and a bit general cinephiles with eclectic tastes. You really had to look hard to know that this movie was going to be shown, b/c there's no mention of it in any of the news items on the fest that I've read. I suppose that it's simply b/c it isn't Fantasia.

(Probably noteworthy that Megumi Hayashibara does the main character of the movie...)


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Blew me away.

"Chinese Cuisine"

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Cuisine chinoise

The Hour

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It's a pretty daring thing to case it at 11PM, right after the National (when it's usually a re-run of the National or some Canadian movie). It's in front of a live audience too. It's a shame that my reception of CBC resembles a snowstorm. The Hour.

The MuchMusic credential is very interesting. As if Patrick Masbourian did a Radio-Canada host show during primetime.

(I updated the links since this was posted. They now point to the festival's official website. Already, I won't be able to see Invisible Waves or Peter Pan Formula, b/c of work. With one showing only, I think Paprika will indeed be a grab.)

- Paprika (Satoshi Kon).
- Invisible Waves (Pen-Ek Ratanaruang). Which is sort of interesting, b/c it has the same cast/crew than Last Life In The Universe.
- Tachigui : the amazing lives of the Fast-food grifters (Mamoru Oshii).
- Linda, Linda, Linda (Nobuhiro Yamashita).
- I don’t want to sleep alone (Tsai Ming-liang). And I'm probably a masochist, if I go see this.
- The Peter Pan Formula (Chang-ho Cho).

Six ticks for $50 ($8.33 per tick, versus the $9 student rate, or $12 adult rate). Tickets on sale next Saturday.

Satoshi Kon's Paprika

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Yesterday, we talked about Perfect Blue, and how it was shown at one of the first Fantasia fests (1997, maybe). The new movie, Paprika is coming out at various film festivals, and I'd hope at Montreal's Nouveau Cinema. It looks great. I see images that look familiar after seeing Spirited Away (I venture a guess that it's all inspired from Japanese folk stories). Now, I feel like watching Paranoia Agent again, the only anime series I watched in its entirety.

Edit, one min later: zomg, yes, the definite programme is not even out yet, but according to this press release, Paprika is coming to Mtl! And also, the new Mamoru Oshii.

Re: cake and cookies

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Never mind, I got over it. Made muffin cakes (a bit flat) and the cookies are going to the oven soon.

As for the "muffin", not enough flour, and comparatively one egg that shouldn't have been, would seem to be the problem. I had assumed (wrong) that 250g is a cup, which is true for water, but not for a powder. My muffins are more like rounded, high crepes. XD

It was my grandfather's birthday in Chinese calendar, exactly on Mid-Autumn, which is (still) tonight. For the occasion, my father made a full chicken stuffed with a mixture of sticky rice and its own meat, and usual condiments (mushrooms, I think, but I did not take note). I barely saw the chicken, b/c I didn't eat it live, as it came out of the oven. The rice was soaked with the chicken's juices, which was also kept together with the solidified meat/blood of the chicken (it isn't as bad as it sounds).

No, instead I visited Tania after work, and she made improvised strudels. I have been on a last sprint over the book I got from Karen, Jeffrey Steingarten's "The Man Who Ate Everything" (to be properly reviewed at a later time). In every chapter, the man just raves about a particular topic of gastronomy, from things as banal as mashed potatoes, or shattering preconceptions over the presumed goodness of raw veggies. One of the recent chapters I went through was about fruitcakes, which I love to hate. I, like a lot of people, it would seem, cannot stand some elements of fruitcake, whether it be the dryness of it, or the unusual taste of the candied fruits (perhaps I am confusing it with the Italian cakes that people also eat during the Holidays).

In any case, the chapter made me think of making dessert again. I have *said* that I'd try my grandmother's recipe for cakes. Now, I've read about cookie (thanks to the chapter on box recipes) and fruitcakes recipes, and it makes for even more material to push me to get my act together.

The problem is probably that I don't have so much of an urge to make dessert. Our household doesn't typically make dessert. Only my grandmother (dad's mom) does, and the rest of my father's side (but they live in France). If I made dessert, it'd be useless - therefore, without the urge, or the sweet tooth (today, I went to buy myself an overpriced slab of Lindt 70% cacao during the lunch break), dessert would end up in the garbage can. So no.

OTOH, Tania had frozen Pillsbury croissants dough, and some apples. The dough started as a mess. From dough pieces the size of a large egg, she flattened them with a bit of flour, and closed the sides back over a right amount of apples fleshly cut. A little bit of cinnamon sprinkled on the top, and you've got one of those super easy recipes fresh out of the oven in less than 30 minutes.

It may or may not not have been the first dip below zero of the season. It will be a beautiful sunny weekend nonetheless, just a terribly cold (3C now at 8AM) one come nightfall and early in the morning. Could it be one of those years where the Été Indien gets skipped?

Drinkable chocolate

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I was walking on St-Viateur after missing the 55, and stopped at Chocolaterie Geneviève Grandbois. There was an undecisive chocolate newbie in front of me in the two-people queue up. I was however already sold on the hot chocolate drink offering.

Judging from the sign at the door (a recto-verso "hot chocolate is served / hot chocolate is out") and from the small coffee thermos they serve it from, I think that only small quantities are made on a daily basis.

Surely, hot chocolate sold by a chocolate shop must be great - and it was. Not the syrupy sort of richness or sweetness, but rather what fine chocolate made into a drink would taste as. Sipping it on my way to the stop for the 80 Du Parc was heaven. And I don't know what it was, but by the time the bus reached the Georges-Etienne Cartier statue, I was almost in trance, admiring the usual unperceivable slope before Avenue des Pins that gives the Plateau Mont-Royal its appelation of "plateau". I think it must've been the single best hot chocolate I had in my life until now.

I kept the flyer for their collection of chocolate by the piece, which includes exotic choices that contain fleur de sel, hot pepper, and lemon.

$2.75 + tx for the tiny (4 to 6 oz) of chocopleasure.

Went to eat at the Uighur Restaurant in Chinatown with Wee tonight. The yan rou chuan (lamb skewers) are best spicy, and their usual self, which is very excellent (especially the fat pieces), but the other dish was sort of, well, bloating. It was a large dish of a chicken stew with potatoes, red peppers and a mix of spicy sauce reminiscent of the curry prepared in the southeast, quite a bit further away from the steppes of Central Asia.

Speaking of Southeast, it appeared that I once asked him what Malaysian cuisine was (other than the laksa noodles, which I first recognized in HK, at a restaurant between Wan Chai and Admiralty). And this would be a link to vast amounts of food pics.

Some of it reminds me of that festive evening at that special hawker centre on the Esplanade in S'pore, b/c it is after all in the same geographical area. I have yet to find anything Malaysian or Indonesian at a reasonable price in Mtl (the only place is trendy Nonya), but I have not looked very hard, nor asked a lot of people. You find elements of these regional cuisines in Indian, Sri Lankan (I know there are quite a few in Mtl - C-d-N and Parc-Extension, especially), or Indochinese, or Chinese cuisine. Hmm.

Tonight, by Radio-Canada's website, I was reminded that it was the Nouveau Cinema festival time of the year. I don't recall if I went last year... hmm, wait a second, yeah, I did (I went to see, um, Lie With Me - in 2004, it was the infamous Nine Songs, and also the FFVII "extended trailer").

In any case, I've never been to the second event, but the premise sounds interesting: a multimedia art competition + video games, and apparently "CD-ROM and DVD" too. I know that the SAT frequently organizes montages and exhibits, but it's always a tad intimidating. Du 13 au 15 octobre.

More notably, the Nouveau Cinema film festival. The website is not up yet, but at least *they* know where they're putting their money (in good looks - design for the Nouveau Cinema has always been superior, or at least more appealing to types like me). I've found something whilst doing URL guessing, but at this stage, it's still using last year's contents. 35th anniversary? Du 18 au 28 octobre.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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