Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More Anime, More Food

Deep-Fried Bread and Soy Milk Soup
Tuesday June 26, 4:23 p.m.

Sunday was another outing with The Anime King. As the title says, we had the usual grabfest of food and anime. We first went for a brunch of sorts at a branch of Asian Legend at Leslie and Finch which is an upscale looking restaurant specializing in Northern Chinese cuisine.

Pretty heavy on the carbs and protein as we had warm soy milk soup and deep-fried bread. Nothing different about the soy milk; just different containers. I've always liked the Chinese version since it's sweetened as compared to the Japanese variety which comes out as bland as its cousin, tofu. As for the bread, it made for some good dunkin'.

Deceptively heavy
Then, there was the Green Onion Egg Pancake which was a good mite denser than the usual omelette. I'd say it was closer to Japanese tamagoyaki than the French egg dish. With the soup, bread and egg, the two of us were quite stuffed by the end...and there wasn't the slightest bit of meat in the meal.

"Farewell, Mother Earth..."
Of course, the highlight of the day was watching The King's latest dearly acquired Blu-Ray....the reboot of the Space Cruiser Yamato series, "Yamato 2199". Ahhhh....the days of running home after junior high school to catch the latest episode of "Star Blazers"and wondering if the ship would fire off the dreaded Wave Motion Gun.

The campaigning for the new version in Japan has been interesting: selected theatres all over the country have been showing double episodes which end up in DVDs for purchase a couple of months later, completely bypassing the television. I guess the production company can make some more money that way, but I just wonder if it had been too difficult getting sponsors for any television broadcast.

But then again, The King surmised that this new series has been marketed for that very niche of niches: old-time Yamato fans (that would be me). However, I was slightly more optimistic in that there are some younger types out there who may have thought the original series a tad too primitive in design but would potentially accept a Yamato that was battle-ready for the 21st-century. Let there be no doubt, though. This is a reboot. It starts all over again with the Iscandar Mission. The characters look glossier and cuddlier than their relatively rough-hewn counterparts in 1974, and there are actually more women on the ship now (how Yuki Mori managed to survive one year on a space boat of randy men with her modesty intact is beyond me)....including a seemingly tsundere accountant. But the basic story hasn't changed and the music from the original series has returned, except for your typical modern J-ballad at the end. The rousing Yamato March, though, has been added only as an extra on the Blu-Ray and isn't part of the episode which I find odd. Overall, though, I'm gonna be looking forward to those regular visits to the King's basement.

Dinner was at Casa Manila, a Phillipine restaurant just across from the Westin Prince Hotel near Don Mills & York Mills. Our timing getting there was excellent since as soon as we got in, the skies just opened up on Toronto for the next hour. The King and some of the Anime Court like going there for the famed dessert of halo-halo which I was also introduced to.

Yup, we both had a meal that a dietitian would despise. First off, we shared some deep-fried pork. Pretty darn fatty.

Then, there was the Garlic Chicken which I liked even better. The sauce was the key point here. The garlic infused the meat completely but the taste wasn't overpowering at all. I felt less guilty eating this.

And finally, there was the halo-halo, the raison d'etre for the visit to Casa Manila. You can't see it here but there was a small island of shaved ice floating in an ocean of condensed milk while covered in all sorts of toppings such as purple taro potato, sweet beans and fruits. It made for a fine counterpoint to the previous meat dishes.

The restaurant was quite empty for most of our time there, and it was heavily air-conditioned. At one point, I wondered about the wisdom of ordering halo-halo when it felt so frosty inside. Still, I enjoyed it and will wait to have it again during a much hotter day.

Next week, though, it will get foodie-crazy. My brother's family is coming over for dinner on the 30th. Then, The Anime Court has its annual trip to the big RibFest at Centennial Park on Canada Day, followed by my visit to my brother's place for BBQ. And then on the holiday Monday, I see The Dancer and her husband for lunch down at Brookfield Place.

This is the opening that has been set aside on the Blu-Ray. All you Yamato fans...try not to get that lump in your throat.