Friday, December 21, 2012

Porcetta and Karaage

 Friday December 21, 10:06 p.m.

Ah, yes, the First Day of Winter in Toronto. And indeed on schedule, it's starting to freeze and we may have about 2 cm of the white stuff by this time tomorrow. And strangely enough, we're all looking pretty hale and hearty for folks on The Last Day of Earth.

In any case, the title above doesn't refer to an Italian and Estonian crime-fighting pair. It is what I had for my food intake last Friday between the Christmas Market and "The Hobbit".
Over the past year, I'd been reading about one of Toronto's foodie fads which happened to be this barbequed pork called porcetta. Newspapers were listing restaurants which served the crackly-on-the-outside and tender-on-the-inside slab of pig, and so I was intrigued about giving it a shot myself, but didn't get the chance until I walked over to St. Lawrence Market. It's been pretty amazing over this first full year I've been back in Toronto in that I had never visited St. Lawrence in my entire life before going to Japan for nearly 2 decades, but just this past year, I've visited the market a number of times already. In any case, I decided to try out The Sausage King and ordered the Porcetta on a Bun with the works. It wasn't too crackly but then again, I had to bite through several layers of veggies so probably any sound was muffled. However, the pork was really juicy and tender and nicely spiced. The sandwich may look pretty big but I went through that sucker really quickly and if I were younger, I would've gone for another round.

Now, in between major meals, I did stop off at a Second Cup at Empress Walk since I got there a full 90 minutes before my meeting with The Anime King. Of course, being the Yuletide and all, I enjoy having my coffee, dessert and newspaper at one of the many coffee shops in T.O. Had the latte and a Linzer Cake....a somewhat dense cake with raspberry jam in there. Fit the bill quite nicely.

 Met up with The Anime King and we decided to just walk up Yonge and have dinner at Ajisen. No, not the greatest ramen in ramen-happy Toronto, although it's still above the instant stuff. But this time, instead of the noodles, I went for the karaage meal. Japanese-style fried chicken was frankly a staple during my time over in the country for many, many years. Anyone's who has read my previous blog will have seen my photos of the various karaage bento and perhaps even my odes to the ultimately unhealthy but divinely delicious dinner (or lunch) option. And since I got back, I hadn't eaten a single morsel of the stuff. Talk about going cold turkey (or chicken).
Chicken is frankly my favourite meat, so I was quite happy with dinner, although the karaage wasn't exactly like its equivalent in Japan. Karaage over there is craggier and chunkier, kinda like Tommy Lee Jones' face. Last week's karaage, my long-time-no-see dinner, was more Justin Bieber....kinda like mutant chicken nuggets. However, the karaage did come with the right sauce....Japanese kewpie mayonnaise. Yep, another reason for the dietician to tsk tsk. But I was one satisfied diner on a cold night.