Wednesday, August 31, 2011

shizen sushi.

May as well get one thing straight right off the bat: I am a sushi FANATIC. There are few foods I could eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner six days a week - a girl needs a little variety in her life - but sushi is one of them. And yes, leftover rolls in the morning are edible and even quite enjoyable; try it. In the name of variety, though, I'm always looking for new variations on the typical spicy-tuna-and-dynamite offerings of your average sushi joint.

A friend introduced me to Shizen Sushi in downtown Victoria a few years ago. Hours before my first visit, I told my eyebrow waxer (sushi and waxing... what an obnoxiously girly post) that I was going and she tipped me off about the Highlander roll. "It's not on the menu, ask for it specifically and thank me later," was all she said. Obviously, I ordered it. And I've been thanking her almost monthly since.

Perfectly crispy tempura shrimp, avocado and spicy mayo draped with just-thin-enough slices of seared beef tataki and topped with a sweet and spicy kicker of teriyaki + tabasco (if only your typical teriyaki sauce was jacked up like this!) garlic and green onions. Flavor overload in the best way possible, and so freaking pretty to look at.

Other notable dishes: an interesting twist on your typical tempura veggie roll using asparagus (and at $3.95 a roll you can't go wrong) and another off-the-menu, "insider" favorite: a sushi pizza topped with a combination of tuna, spicy mayo and green onion. I've had sushi pizza before and hated it, usually due to the bland set-up of salmon or tuna sashimi on a bed of dry deep fried rice. Shizen's flavorful toppings and perfectly crispy base hit the spot.

Shizen Sushi
1706 Government Street
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 1Z5
(250) 381-8228

Saturday, August 13, 2011

in the beginning...

This humble venture started, like many things do, in New York City. A romantic weekend for two (and my boyfriend's first visit, no less!) planned almost entirely around food. Restaurants researched, online menus scoured, reservations made months in advance. Days and nights arranged and re-arranged to facilitate anticipated meals planned down to the very last drop of wine.
I love food. Perhaps, I’d venture to say, more than the average person.
I embarrass my dining companions by snapping pictures at the table to send to equally food-obsessed family members, my bumbling enthusiasm for restaurants and the dishes they serve or  delicacies prepared by nearest-and-dearests confuses some, amuses others. “You should have been a food writer,” one of those nearest-and-dearests once told me. “You missed your calling.” Indeed, I lamented, I could imagine nothing I’d love to do more.
I'm someone who likes to chronicle the taste and texture of each bite I’ve taken, and to relive these sensations weeks, months, even years afterwards. And what better way to do so than to get it all down in writing?
I created and deleted one-entry-wonders for months after aforementioned weekend of heavenly food. Until nearly half a year later, today, when I came to realize all the amazing meals in between that I've missed detailing because I've been too big of a wimp to get this thing running.
And so begins this modest blog of a not-so-modest passion for eating well. Just a place for me to wax poetic without weirding out the friends who just don’t quite get it. One meal at a time.