News and links

My last Vegas post is taking a while to write. So to tide you over, here’s some news and links.

Okay I lied, one more thing. I feel the need to complain about Food Network Canada‘s website and advertising. We all know the new fall season of tv shows are coming. They’ve even been advertising them in their commercials, but did you notice that they don’t give any dates? And they don’t have a feature on their website saying when shows start either. When I asked their Twitter account about it, I got back a reply that I should look at their daily schedule. And then they offered to tell me personally if there were specific ones I wanted to know about. Great for me, but sucks for everyone else wondering about what’s going on. Did you know that Top Chef 6 starts on Sept 7? Well I didn’t either, until I scoured the schedule.

Also, I got tired waiting to find out if they were going to broadcast Top Chef Masters, so I recently started watching it online. Am half way through the episodes, and loving it.

Sushi BBQ Inn, Calgary

Back in July, I made a visit to Calgary where a friend took me to the Sushi BBQ Inn, an all-you-can-eat Korean and Japanese restaurant. Located in a strip mall on an extremely busy major street in the city, the restaurant is decorated with a vaguely Japanese look made up of Asian decorations and screens. Each table has a built-in gas grill where you cook your own food. Menu items are a mixed of cooked and raw foods, including Korean BBQ seasoned meats, vegetables, soup, dessert, sushi and sashimi.

My friend does not like raw fish so I, being greedy for all things sushi and sashimi, ate most of that. The fish quality was fine, but cut thinly and was not memorable. The sushi were typical rolls and I would probably not order them again. My memory is a bit hazy but I believe there were only cooked items inside the rolls. The meat was sliced thinly, probably for fast cooking but possibly also so that you didn’t use up so much meat. It was seasoned well, but it didn’t taste like the Korean BBQ that I am used to. Something in the flavour was missing, and I’m not sure what it was.

Food on the grill

Food on the grill

I ordered some salmon to grill, and was a little disappointed but not surprised to receive a plate of those bits of salmon that they couldn’t use for sashimi.

Salmon ready for the grill

Salmon ready for the grill

I was interested to see a few desserts  included on the all-you-can-eat menu, and we ordered a plate of red bean spring rolls. They looked great, but were ultimately too greasy.

Red bean spring rolls

Red bean spring rolls

Like most all-you-can-eat restaurants, you get what you pay for. Some places are a better value than others. In this case, I would say some menu items are definitely better than others. My suggestion is to stick to the food items that you cook for yourself, as well as maybe the miso soup and sashimi. Forget about the desserts and fill up on fish and meat.

Sushi BBQ Inn
1226 16 Avenue NW
Calgary, Alberta

Sushi BBQ Inn on Urbanspoon

My first food photo

My photography post from a couple of days ago made me remember that I haven’t talked at all about the photo banner at the top of my web page. Other than the occasional birthday cake photo, this picture of sushi was my first attempt at food styling and was taken about six or seven years ago on my very first digital point and shoot camera. Horrible, I know. But it has sentimental value to me.

Along with being my first food photo, it was also my first attempt at making california rolls. By the time I had finished with the rolling (and eating), it was starting to get dark outside. I stuck white rice on a white plate, and put the plate on a piece ofwhite cardboard (and probably completely screwed up the white balance as a result). I took a bunch of shots with my flash, but they all looked ghastly white or oddly yellow. I tried playing around with the flash and various scene settings. I think I even tried doing some primitive lighting technique with a handy lamp. None of those worked very well, and the best shot out of all of them happened when the flash was turned off. It’s too dark and the colours are a bit off. Still, I think I didn’t do too badly considering that I had never done this kind of photography before and at that point had never heard of apeture or white balance.