destination toronto, part ii

while in downtown toronto this time, i took in a cultural show (it was chinese, what a surprise) at dundas square. when did dundas square come into existence? before or after my last trip there in spring break ’03? for that matter, when did they put those billboards up around the eaton centre?

continuing from the other day….

on saturday morning, i went for a run through industrial scarborough. joy. but it burned a few calories to make way for the unabashed feast that was lunch that day.

my uncle took the lot of us (alai, me, and our grandparents) to oriental century palace chinese restaurant (way to throw as many grand words at the name) where everyone ordered some off a list and then we were pushed off the edges of the table to make way for the dishes. for the dim sum connaisseur, then, the following dishes that we enjoyed might mean something and make you drool…. we ordered (i highlighted what i liked =D)… lotus leaf-wrapped rice, shrimp-topped siu mai, shrimp dumplings, beef rice rolls, deep-fried eggplant, deep-fried lightly-battered tofu cubes, pan-fried tofu-skin rolls, steamed tofu-skin rolls, claypot rice with “running ground” chicken, steamed faux-meat and “taro shreds” (bundles) in black bean sauce, stir-fried rice noodles with beef and chinese guy lian, pan-fried chive dumplings, barbecued pork steamed buns, lotus seed paste steamed buns, fish skin dumplings with more “taro shreds”, some dumplings in broth only grandfather ate, egg custard tarts, and eggy “thousand layer” cake….!

there are at least five dvd stores in the plaza and my uncle has a good rapport with one of them. they give him a better price and he can exchange his disks if either they don’t work properly or he didn’t enjoy the movie…. there, i was introduced to a better kind of dvd so i couldn’t resist getting just a few more movies – musa, garden state, passion of the christ, and my sassy girl (korean). =P

after lunch, alai was so nice to drive me downtown and we strolled through kensington market, that place i hear about in the recesses of toronto downtown, a world unto its own. i always thought it was a flea market in a warehouse but couldn’t be more wrong. it’s a neighbourhood of really, truly, you’ve-never-seen-eclectic-until-you-see-this shops. there was a shop where on every label it said “organic ___” to the point i wondered if it wasn’t redundant. well, if they were carry something not fully organic, shouldn’t they save their breath and mark those few items as “non-organic”?

army surplus stores, fruit markets, retro wear (think go-go dancers in austin powers), a japanese wares shop, taco restaurants, tapas restaurants, some guy who makes stencils and paints them onto t-shirts as you watch, and more…. alai was in his element and i was continuously quite astonished. he took me to an organic ice cream shop which uses spices like ginger, savoury, and cardamom in their flavours. i got tempo (fujian green tea ice cream laced with white chocolate and rasberry) and chai (i think, can’t remember). i didn’t dare get “spicy anise with black pepper,” and found the ginger in “chocolate ginger” overpowering. the green tea ice cream was weak but the mixture was good. the chai (or whatever i had ordered) was too perfumy. it is wilder than gelato, no doubt.

(which reminds me, i recently heard about the secret swing and although it’s cliche, why not look for it next warm season i’m in toronto….?)

then we drove to casa loma, my only peek ever of toronto’s famous castle. it was closed when we arrived so we returned to the central street of the center of the universe (that’s yonge street, btw) and chilled at the lounge of the marriott courtyard in order to catch vnL for the first time in days, just as they were departing.

stayed in on saturday night. alai was so attentive to my peculiar dietary needs for the night before a run. he roasted a variety of mushrooms (portobello, oyster, other nice stuff) and served it over mixed greens tossed with balsamic vinaigrette. he also prepared spaghettini in made-from-scratch basil florentine tomato sauce. we watched “garden state” and i had unfitful sleep that night… as is usual the night before a run.

sunday’s run, told you all about it already. lunch plans fell through but it took all that freed up time to pack and zip my my burgeoning pack.

just before leaving, i met up with another cousin i hadn’t seen in forever, vin. for lack of a better idea (he left the decision to me), we went for bbt with the kiddies at ten ren’s assameia in north york. conversation was the key and i’m very glad to see that he’s got a great job career going, to inspire the masses of job-hunting cs degree-holders.

then i took the flight back home but i told you about that as well….

On this day..

2 Comments

  1. RiD says:

    Seriously Wynne, when I read your food blogs, the movie Eat Drink Man Woman comes to mind.
    It justs sounds so appetizing, but one wonders how an athlete can eat all that and run a halfer the next day. You’re better than I am.
    Cheers, RoamsInDarkness

  2. wyn says:

    i *loved* that movie and want to own it. such a great movie.
    uh, that dim sum lunch factored somehow into my crappy time at the halfer =S

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