Restaurant Review: Ohana-Ya Japanese Restaurant

Yellowtail sashimi and eel nigiri

Yellowtail sashimi and eel nigiri

Let me preface this review by saying that hubby and I can be a bit picky with sushi. This is not deliberate. It’s just because Japanese food numbers among our most favourite cuisines, and we’ve had the opportunity eat fresh sushi and sashimi at the famous Tsukiji fish market in Japan, a Michelin-starred restaurant in London, and as part of a kaiseki meal in Toronto. We’ve also had the worst of the worst – from supermarket sushi in the suburbs to a dodgy little sushi place in Rome (which made us a bit ill). Yes, we love sushi, and will go to great lengths to find it.

So, what did we think about Ohana-Ya?  Continue reading

Restaurant Review: Manila Grill Express

Pancit Palabok

Pancit Palabok

I love Filipino food. I really do. Unfortunately, there is a definite lack of Filipino restaurants in Canada that serve authentic, delicious food in an attractive atmosphere with good customer service. Thankfully, Manila Grill Express gets some of these things right. When you walk in, you’ll notice the large TV screens displaying the menu above a take-out counter. There is seating for about 40 people at simple but clean tables. A few tasteful touches, such as framed Philippine currency and original paintings, lends warmth to the minimalist design.  Continue reading

Slow Cooker Chicken Pho: Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s a new year, and I have a new job – so I and my new Crock Pot (a Christmas gift from a lovely family in Edmonton) are going to be very good friends, methinks. But why stop at stews? One of the very first meals I made in my new appliance is a satisfying Vietnamese soup that’s perfect for the cold winter months. Our family loves an iconic Vietnamese soup: Pho. It is gradually gaining momentum as a mainstream meal in Edmonton, and the key components are tender meat, rice noodles, bean sprouts, fragrant herbs and, most importantly, an intensely aromatic broth. The secret to this version is to char the ginger and onion before slow-cooking. Continue reading