|Nope, it may not be the Priestly but I'm more than|
happy with my Maple Donut and Double-Double.
Yes, it is indeed Valentine's Day. As usual, I'm on the outside looking in as those couples woo or re-woo each other with chocolates, roses and other paraphernalia (batteries not included).
In any case, I'm not talking about today. I'm more talking about Tuesday the 12th, otherwise known as the day I went for a nearly all-day session of noshing on Japanese outside of my home. The parentals were off in Niagara Falls for an overnighter, so I could go off guilt-free into the big city with a couple of old friends. The Egg, The Banker and I met in front of Santouka, the ramen place east of Yonge and Dundas. It was my 2nd trip to the place in as many weeks. The Banker is a big ramen fan, so he and I got together last year to try out Kenzo, but since then we hadn't met up for a bowl of Japanese noodles until a couple of days ago. We hope to shorten the time between ramen outings considerably. In any case, I partook in a bowl of their lovely toroniku ramen with the slices of tender-as-butter pork jowl cha-siu. Man, those slices really did melt in my mouth! Over in Japan, pig farmers pride themselves on making their future bacon taste so good that even the fat is delicious. I'm pretty much guaranteed that I will inherit those jowls into my own face if I keep on ordering that into the near future.
Afterwards, we walked west on Dundas past a couple of ramen joints: Sansotei and Kenzo. Ramen restaurants are continuing to spread like viruses all over the GTA, and I figure that there will be the eventual war of attrition among them. Kenzo was good and certainly above the average lunch of Sapporo Ichiban instant noodles but I think places like Santouka and Kinton have gone far ahead and have the lineups to show for it. And now, The Egg has told me that there is yet another similar joint in the neighbourhood there called Raijin. I'm OK with Ajisen although I don't consider the stuff there to be authentic Japanese ramen; it has its own brand of noodles which I'm fine with, and I did like their karaage teishoku back in December.
The three of us stopped off at a Timmies on University and Dundas for a couple of hours of chat. It'd been a very long time since all three of us got together, so a lot of stuff to catch up on. Knowing that I would later be having stuff at an izakaya, I figured I needed something purely Canadian in my gut.
The Banker had to take off for home, but The Egg and I decided to walk around a bit more. We dropped off at the World's Biggest Bookstore so that I could search for a new textbook for my Skype student but couldn't find it (I would later purchase it at The ESL Shop online). Had a brief look-see into the new and condensed Silver Snail before heading uptown to crash at The Egg's place for a few hours. Ended up watching a couple of repeat episodes from "Yamato 2199"; I think I'm gonna have to get my friend and The Anime King together once more since they've been on their own tracks of watching the genre.
|Kingyo in Cabbagetown|
|A pachinko machine on the wall.|
|Ebi-Mayo (basically shrimp tempura in a spicy|
|Karaage with Special Salt and Lemon|
One thing about the service....it was ultra-friendly. I knew that The Eggs had been to Kingyo a couple of times previously so I had assumed that our main waitress for the evening and The Egg were quite familiar with each other, until he told me that it was the first time he had met her. He also told me that the owner was quite strict on how good the service had to be. But service in Japanese restaurants focuses far more on polite and very competent professional distance (think of a butler handling guests at a mansion); the service at Kingyo was more on the level of being a girl's new beau entering the house of the girl's eager-beaver welcoming family. It almost...but thankfully didn't...hit the overbearing level, but that's just me. Other people are far more people-loving than I am.
It was a nice 2 hours there. A good meal at Kingyo will not be cheap but I had fully expected that I would be paying a bit more than usual. And it was a worthy repast at $65 with tax and tip. The frequency of visits there will depend on one's income tax bracket. For me, I think semi-annual trips there are quite good for me. But yep, I had a fine time there. Will need to try their Kobe steak next time, provided that my translation work becomes more lucrative.