Monday, May 14, 2012

Bit of Anime, Bit of Kofta

Overlea Blvd
Monday May 14, 2:09 p.m.

It was a gorgeous day yesterday...truly something to be called Spring and fully deserving of the accolade. Met up with The Anime King since he had another foodie place for us to try called Bamiyan Kabob on Overlea Blvd in East York.

As a kid, I used to come up to this area all the time with the family for shopping at what was once called Thorncliffe Market Place, now known as East York Market Place. The most famous place for me there still exists: Bowlerama. My Dad back in the 60s was part of an amateur league, so I have some very hazy memories of seeing him and his kegling buddies throw a few down and throw a few back.

Bamiyan Kabob is tucked in at the back of a small strip mall, just kitty-corner away from the big mall. We got there a half-hour too early which sparked our trip down memory lane via Bowlerama and the rest of the market place.

There is also a Bamiyan in Japan, but it's the name of a Chinese fast food franchise, one branch of which resided in my old neighbourhood for close to a decade. I think Bamiyan Kabob was much more appropriately named since the place does specialize in Afghan cuisine.

The place is pretty big inside with plenty of tables, but it seems like most people just want to take out, so there was no problem in getting one for eat-in. The Anime Jester joined the King and me. I went for the Kofta Lunch which seems to be the equivalent of a nicely-spiced hamburger strip with salad and naan. With the Pepsi, it all came to $8.57. Pretty darn good. The naan was different in texture from the usual Indian variety. I guess it would analagous to comparing a bagel to a piece of white bread. It was hard making a decision for what to eat since the other menu items looked pretty darn good too. I will have to try the Tandoori Chicken next time.

"The Avengers", we will have to leave for next week since the superhero juggernaut (the movie phenomenon, not the Marvel mutant) was filling up theaters too full.

courtesy of pauryne
of Flickr
The Jester had to leave us to get some Mother's Day stuff going with his family, but the King and I had our usual coffee at Second Cup (to assuage any remaining guilt pangs although the family did have that Mother's Day BBQ at my brother's place on Saturday, I bought a couple of tins of coffee there) where we spoke at length about stereos. Yes, at our age, we do like to talk on archaic objects.

Then, it was back to The Anime King's house for a few hours of soundtrack listening and watching a few episodes of new anime. One was called  "Rinne LaGrange", about a student lifeguard who ends up being a pilot for a slick mecha/hoverbike (as you do). Smooth-as-silk graphics with a bit of irreverent humour, and a club-friendly opening theme.

courtesy of daroldhiga
of Flickr
But most of the hours spent in the afternoon were devoted toward another show called "Moretsu Space Pirates". Again, it involves a high school girl who ends up becoming a space pirate captain...just like her Mom. I'm not sure if steampunk would be the right category for this one, but there seems to be an architectural tribute to old European cities, and the fans of Maid Cafes may wanna take a look. Full episodes were devoted to just the running of the training vessel, Odette II, but it looks like the show is finally getting into the job of being a pirate in outer space.The main character, Marika Kato, looks a whole lot like that currently pregnant newscaster on CP24. I'm just saying....

Of course, several hours of huge saucer-eyed girls and cute spunk can raise quite an appetite, so The King and I just took an hour's break by heading over to Metro Square, one of the many Chinese suburban malls on the northern edge of the city, where he introduced me to this tiny eatery which specializes in Taiwanese-style bento. Talk about old memories of Japan. I had the deep-fried pork chop on rice with three sides I could choose from the display counter....went for mabo dofu, greens and some sweet deep-friend tofu. Again, not too bad pricewise. Just $7.91 with drink.

Heading back to the King's place, I noticed how much green Toronto has, even along the major streets. Having lived and worked in the Tokyo area for the equivalent of a high schooler's life, I noticed that even when we turned from Steeles, south onto Leslie, it just looked like we were driving down a country road with all of the fully-green leafy trees. In Tokyo, it's just nothing but concrete and sound baffles along the roads and highways. I think the effect was further heightened for me since I hadn't been back home during the late Spring for so many years. I've heard some young foreigners slightly denigrate Toronto as being somewhat provincial, but if it looks like this, I will take it as a compliment.