Le Festival G.: Perles & Paddock (Montreal, Canada)

Le Festival G., Griffintown Gourmand Gastronomique, is a new food festival held from March 7 to 17th. As a replacement for this month’s Battle of Ingredients that was cancelled last minute due to all kinds of different things going on, we decided to give this new food festival a go. One of our friends wanted to try out Perles & Paddock after being rather impressed with their menu so after a lot of hard hurdles to get a reservation, we finally managed to get one via their online system. Peculiar, right? Take that as a good or bad thing as you wish, but just our suggestion, try online instead of reserving by phone.

There was an option of 3 menus: Brunch (which we obviously didn’t fit because we went for dinner and was unavailable); 5 a 7 Happy Hour or Table d’hote Menu. I’m not going to go into detail about it all however we all chose the Table d’Hote Menu except for the little one who got the Happy Hour menu.

Table d’Hote Menu includes a choice of two cocktails, 3 oysters, 3 choices of tasting dishes and a dessert. ($42)

Happy Hour Menu includes a choice of two cocktails, 6 oysters or 3 cheese plate, 1 choice of tasting dish ($17)

Cocktails

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Left to right: Cirka Gin Cocktail, Prosecco & Mocktail

We had a half and half experience here. A few of us took the festival special cocktail which is made by a Quebec gin (if I remember correctly). I had a sip of it and it tasted a bit like grass but that might be the matcha powder sprinkled on top. The second one and what I took was the Prosecco champagne which is a little on the more acidic dry side of the spectrum. Its not horrible but not my first choice. My fantastic Battle of Ingredients co-host and friend Phoebe had the mocktail due to personal reasons.

Starters

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Oysters

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3 Cheese Plate

I didn’t have any of these. The little one got the 3 cheese plate. Phoebe, my husband and I all didn’t eat the oysters for our individual reasons and passed it on to our friends.

Tasting Dishes

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Arctic Char

I’m going to start with my own choices which are the first three here. I started with the Arctic Char which was really good. It is paired with Enoki and Daikon and kaffir broth. Its all very delicious.

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Braised Endives

The second one was the braised endives with a very acidic citrus sort of thing going on. I like the endives and the grapefruit but whatever other citrus was going on here was a bit much for me personally.

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Lamb

The lamb was done really nicely. It had a lot of the lamb taste to it. The pickled vegetables were also done really well. There is a nice balance to it and the sauce here is good as well.

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Broccoli

My husband choice the Arctic char, braised endives and this broccoli plate. He actually liked this one the best. He liked how the broccoli was prepared and the whole deal with the egg breaking and mixing up with the elements here worked well together (his words paraphrased).

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Duck Tataki

I can’t remember what everyone else got but I know that Phoebe chose this as one of hers. Not sure how she feels about it exactly. I was interested to see how this tasted thought because it uses argousier, which is called sea berries or sea buckthorn, something I had never tasted before.

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I’m sure that I left out some tasting dishes and then I can’t remember which one this dish was but I still wanted to add it in.

Desserts

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Pamplemousse confit

The lactose free dessert option was this Grapefruit confit. I think they deserve kudos for have a lactose free choice and its one that is pretty good as well. With the whole confit thing, it has this little citrus treasure wrapped around the sorbet. Its pretty good. I’m not huge on grapefruit so that was more a personal preference because my husband liked this quite a bit.

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Mousse a la Noisette

So, missing one dessert choice in the pictures and didn’t ask how anyone thought about this one. It certainly looks really good.

Overall Dining Experience

Perles and Paddock offered us a pretty nice dining experience. The restaurant decor is beautiful. The ambiance is also quite comfortable. There is a stable theme here from the bathrooms to the logo to the setup of the area and hallways. Its pretty unique. The waitress who served us was very nice and offered us a lot of patience and helped us clear things up. At the same time, there was a lot of people serving up the food that gave us descriptions of what we’re eating. We did have a few little hiccups throughout the meal but they were fixed immediately or compensated for in another format. These things show respect for their customers and their dining experience. The only difficulty and mixed messages we got was the reservation process and trying to get a clear answer on allergen free menu items and such.

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Wine Recap – February 2019

wine recap

With colds plaguing me yet again this month, I took it a little easier on the whole drinking front so that it was mostly for relaxation when I needed it and not coughing my lungs out or sniffling away. However, let me just say in advance that the three choices here were all quite decent wins.

Let’s check it out!

Bulles de Nuit Mimosa

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Producer: Bulles de Nuit
Alcohol Content: 6.9%
Location: Montreal, Canada

After trying the other three varieties: Original, Rose and Pinot Grigio, Mimosa was the last one to try out. I don’t usually drink a lot of mimosas. Perhaps only one or two times before. Its a nice light drink and its usually fruity in my memory. The mimosa for Bulles de Nuit tasted a bit like spiked Crush. Its not a bad thing but I still think the other three products are much more to my taste.

Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling 2017

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Producer: Ste Michelle Wine Estates
Alcohol Content: 12%
Location: Columbia Valley, Washington, USA
Taste Tag: Fruity and Sweet

A huge thanks to John Rieber for recommending this wine to me in the last wine recap.

Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling is quite accurate in their category. Being a big fan of riesling usually, this wine is fruity and sweet. There’s a lot to love about it from the way it tastes to the undertones. Its very smooth. There’s a bit of acidity but its balanced really well. I’d say the last riesling I had that had a similar texture and taste would be Kung Fu Girl. I’m not sure if I’ve ever talked about that one in any of the recaps.

Peter Lehmann Layers

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Producer: Peter Lehmann Wines
Alcohol Content: 11.5%
Location: Australia
Taste Tag: Delicate and Light

I found this wine while browsing the sales on the SAQ site. Its unique because it has 4 varieties in one wine and three of them, I like quite a lot and one I haven’t tried any before so have no opinion on it. Its hard to find moscato in general but the few that I’ve really loved have been from Australia. With that said, this one gave me quite a bit of hope and I’m glad to say that this is one of those spontaneous purposes that turned out to be a pleasant experience. This one worked on many levels. Its a nice blend and a unique experience. If you haven’t tried it before, its worth giving it a chance.

That’s it for this wine recap!
I have to say that the two white wines are pretty good.

What have you been drinking?

Goodfood Recap #34

goodfood

And we’re almost back to normal on the Goodfood meals. Its pretty much back to every other week for this next little while until we hit April where it just wouldn’t work out for our schedule most probably. Either way, this box had a lot of recipes that we were trying for the first time both just by ourselves or even as a meal.

Cod Cakes
with Potato Wedges, Roasted Garlic Aioli & Green Salad

cod cakes goodfood

If we talk about fish, we eat cod so very little. I can’t say that this meal turned out very close to what the meal looked like on the recipe card. I always have issues with their instructions on making those oven-baked potatoes. The cod cakes didn’t really cook to what it looked it. The taste however was alright. I just can’t say that it reached exactly what I’d normally like to eat frequently. Plus, I have to say that cod cakes are really my thing.

Brazilian Chicken Stew
with Toasted Coconut Rice, Fresh Tomatoes & Wilted Spinach

brazilian chicken stew

My husband loved this meal so much. I can see why because it is a very comforting meal especially when we made this during some colder days. We don’t normally make stews especially when its Brazilian, its close to zero chance. The spices here along with the whole recipe itself was easy to cook and also tasted wonderful.

Chicken Breasts
with Roasted Purple Brussel Sprouts, Crispy Shallots & Spiced Jasmine Rice

chicken breasts goodfood

Both of us loved this one equally a lot. Everything jived so well here plus the taste was delectable. We have those crispy shallots which gave it this lovely texture. We had purple brussel sprouts which suffered a little in the over due to those instructions they give.  I need to adjust it next time. I say that every time but I just keep forgetting.

Steaks with Charred Cipollini Onion Petals,
Sauteed Green Beans, Snap Peas & Pearl Couscous

steaks cipollini onions goodfood

This meal was pretty good also. I get the onions and they are quite unique but I personally don’t eat onions that are such huge pieces. Its the only thing I’m picky about so I don’t think its a bad thing. Everything else here is great. I got this because it uses pearl couscous which is the type of couscous that I like the most but is not in a lot of the recipes here. I should seriously go and get some at the supermarket. The beef is pretty tasty as well and it has to do with the spices being very nice.

That’s it for this recap!
Our faves were the two chicken meals. They just worked out in the whole balance.
Plus they are on the easier and more efficient side to put together which also gets extra points.

Music Obsessions – March 2019

Music Obsessions

Time is flying by as we head into March and its time to share some more music that I’ve been listening to in the past month. I’m not sure that I have anything particularly new but then I’m still watching The Singer 2019 and that is charging up most of my playlist. Then that inspired to watch Super-Vocal then the other half is charged with this music. Then there’s the random song from movies and soundtracks and such. I do hope you enjoy! 🙂

Perfume – Jason Zhang

As my husband graciously puts it, this guy is like Chinese Charlie Puth. Well, like ten years Puth’s senior probably but the style of music definitely works in the same way. Especially as his song sparked the whole “perfume dance”. You will know what I mean when you watch the video. Its fairly entertaining. There’s a lot of serious music in this music obsessions so I decided to start off on a light and fun mood with this pick which has subconsciously playing in some variety show backgrounds until I heard the song.

She Is My Sin – Neil Gao 高天鹤

As one of three (I think) countertenors on Super Vocal, there is no doubt that this song shows off the perfect mash of modern music and operatic style as Neil Gao shows off his skills and his masterful control of his voice whether using his countertenor range or his normal vocal range. This performance is definitely one of the most unique in the show and showed off this new side of Neil Gao to be one of my faves.

超能守护神 Super Protector -TeamSpark

My Amazing Boyfriend 2 is my main TV series lately. Its so much fun to watch and those 6 episodes released per week truly make me so happy. With that said, the theme song isn’t quite as catchy as the the first but I still really like it a lot. It matches the vibe of the show so much.

雪花的快乐 The Happiness of Snowflakes – 黄子弘凡 Lars &方书剑Shujian Fang&梁朋杰 Pengjie Liang&张超Zhang Chao

The Greatest Show – 刘宪华Henry Lau&郑云龙Yunlong Zheng&张超Zhang Chao&方书剑ShuJian Fang&黄子弘凡Lars&梁朋杰Pengjie Liang

I couldn’t choose so I decided to just do a two in one deal. To be honest, I’d have done a 3 in 1 deal because its so fantastic. The 4 guys in Super-Vocal did two quartets together and they called themselves the 1975 group which was because their average age is 19.75 years old. This one was the latter one and I thought it was pretty good although the first one had more energy and a catchier song, still this one was more poetic. Its nice to see how they’re confidence changed from the first performance to the final one when they were joined by one of the judges, Henry Lau and their more experienced musical actor teammate, Yunlong Zheng. I haven’t watched The Greatest Showman yet (I know, shame on me), but I love the energy and confidence in this performance. Its one of my faves.

心脏 Heart – Super-Vocal Team

Last week’s The Singer 2019 was a nightmare for one of the members of this team and yet, the song they chose is from one of Chinese musicals. I’ve only heard it and never saw it. They do such a great job even with one having a huge flu or bronchitis or something. After watching the Super-Vocal show, I’m actually even more appreciative of their performances. Their voices are truly amazing. I think this quartet is absolutely fantastic.

As an extra…here’s a solo performance by Yunlong Zheng, probably one of my faves from the show:

That’s it for this Music Obsessions!
Few more English songs than I though there was which is great!
What have you been listening to?

My Weekly Adventures: Hangouts, Gaming & Podcast Guest

Welcome to the next Adventures! Its been a bit quiet on my end to be honest. Well, kind of. To be fair, the weather’s been pretty weird and then work’s been in its crazy phase. Still, we managed to get some time to hang out with friends, check out an event and pretty much wrapped up some stuff over here while to try relatively calm about everything. At least my few days staycation is just around the corner so I’m ecstatic for it. Can’t wait!

Dinner: Korean BBQ at Mon Ami

As a replacement for the monthly Battle of Ingredients and to compromise for a busy schedule (and my incredibly messy house that I didn’t have time to deep clean for guests), we decided to head out for a dinner out. The final decision came down to Mon Ami Brossard for All You Can Eat. Its a pretty good deal as it includes a great deal more than just Korean BBQ. It was pretty good but as I was on the verge of getting sick again, I stayed a little further from BBQ food and loved that I could get Bibimbap and a ton of dumplings. Its pretty fun and we had nice chats. Time with friends is always such a great way to stay sane and get in a ton of laughs and good times in general.

Montreal Joue 2019

Montreal Joue 2019

The 7th annual Montreal Joue Festival is happening right now. It has a variety of game-themed events on its program. For myself, the one that interests me most is their video games festival which was held at Marche Bonsecours. Its been a go-to spot for gaming events lately. Overall, there was a lot of rinse and repeat games that I had seen in last year’s various events (but then, I go to almost 90% of gaming events in Montreal so its inevitable). However, it was nice to catch up with some games that have been on radar especially those in development for a while and finally see that they are all getting a release date. The game above is an upcoming mobile game called Feathers of Time which have had my attention for a while. I’ll be doing a recap on it in a few days over on the Game Warp blog (and That Moment In).

Valentine’s Marathon Officially Done

Valentine's Marathon

I know that technically there are like 4 movies that I need to post and they will go up soon by the end of the weekend (hopefully). I need to power through some more of the films to get them watched. However, after watching two great films, the remaining ones are looking a like lackluster. Haha! I’m just kidding…I’ll get to it. However, Valentine’s Marathon dragging further than February is not something I’d like to do. So I’m cutting it off. You will see this format again probably for next year. Its one that I’m enjoying and plan on doing on various months of the year just with more creative themes and maybe not a specific genre.

However, Valentine’s Marathon was pretty great. I achieved the goal of taking movies off My List on Netflix and also managed to discover some pretty fantastic movies. There was a lot of average movies but great films are made everyday so the idea that some showed up is already great. The entire Valentine’s Marathon reviews is updated HERE! Check it out if you think you may have missed any of the reviews.

Asian Cinema Film Club Podcast

I joined Elwood and Stephen over at Asian Cinema Film Club on their podcast to talk about 2012 Hong Kong film, The Bullet Vanishes. They were gracious enough to let me choose and it was a nice discussion we had about it. I never get enough chance to talk about Asian Cinema especially Hong Kong films that I always accept their invite. Plus, any chance to talk about my favorite celebrity Nicholas Tse is one that I won’t turn down. It was super fun as always. Give it a listen and hope you enjoy! Remember to follow them HERE if you haven’t already.

Cute Kitty Pic

That’s it for this Weekly Adventures!
I promise the next one will be a bit more colorful 😉
What adventures have you had?

TV Binge: The Inn 亲爱的客栈 (Season 2, 2018)

I’ve never watched the first season. Apparently there are a few changes, prominently the location and the employees and part-time celebrity employees and guests changed. This results in different dynamics and different challenges.

I’ve attached the playlist of the entire season below. You have to open and go back to the episode 1 probably but it should be mostly subtitled.

The Inn (Season 2, 2018)

The Inn

Network: Hunan TV

Boss: Wang Ke & Liu Tao
Full-Time Employees: Dylan Wang, Kido Ma, Philip Wu, Shen Yue
Part-Time Employees: Myolie Wu, Sean Chen, Tengri, Andy Yang, Bridgette Qiao, Jiang Zi Xin, Johnny Chen, Zhang Lingzhi, Angelica Lee, Cheng Xiao, Vega Li, Mao Buyi, Ziwen Wang

The Inn is a reality TV series that centers around businessman Wang Ke and his renowned actress wife Tao Liu who goes to a rural area of China to set up an inn for 20 days which will then be passed over to the government to help with tourism and economics in the beautiful secluded area perfect for citygoers to recharge and get in touch with nature. Its all part of their slogan of “creating beautiful life”. During the stay, various guests come and share their stories while renowned celebrities will also show up as part time workers. Of course, there are also celebrities there which are full time workers. This season’s set in Bai Lang Zhen is part of northern China near the border and started with three full time workers Meteor Garden 2018’s Dylan Wang, singer Philip Wu and Kido Ma and later is joined by Meteor Garden 2018’s Shen Yue. This is all an effort to not only help build the physical inn but also to set up a working business model with some prominent people in the town there to learn to manage after the team as left.

the inn 2

With that said, The Inn Season 2 is a stellar show. On one hand, it shows the struggles of building a business and the reality that the young employees learned that no task is easy to achieve. On the other hand, it looks also at the success of what they can bring with something like this where a lot of guests and part time employees through these human interactions shared their conflicts and difficulties and dilemmas and in some ways found their solution or untangled a bit of their thoughts as well. The heartwarming aspect of the show definitely takes a front seat here. While some criticisms did suggest that perhaps some of it is staged, I don’t think a lot of it is staged but rather that the after production of adding in little comments and such make it more charming and engaging and at times, funny. Considering the hours spent there and the amount of cameras, it was more an idea of what post-editing felt like was more entertaining for its audience plus it had to play a lot on things like the current trends, such as last year’s shipping of Meteor Garden’s Dylan Wang and Shen Yue and adding in things like Season 1’s My Little One Philip Wu making a comment that his dream girl would be something like Shen Yue as well as the addition of Kido Ma who eventually becomes the one that gets paired up with Shen Yue as we see their friendship getting a lot of mentions by the end.

the inn 2

One of the most valuable traits of The Inn is how it brings together this genuine sort of feeling. It has to do with how its guests are picked with very real every people such as being pressured to marry or being afraid of getting pregnant or not having sufficient amount of time for family because of work, etc. It emphasizes that the people that we meet every day whether just a passing moment can bring something new to our lives. As much as The Inn is an escape, its also a place to contemplate life and hopefully find some positive way to change or resolve some of their own problems. Everyday problems that people have. Even with the guests that show up, they all show a part of themselves that help out. With the young stars, it gives them a chance to experience this new side of things while the more mature guests share their intellect be it about marriage or loss and so on so forth. Its because there is so much to discover that makes this show so fun to watch. It feels genuinely like watching real people going through real things and at the same time, sharing thoughts and positive ways to resolve and just open up other people’s minds about different topics. It took me on a roller coaster of feelings full of funny laughing moments and some touching moments as well. I’m desperately looking forward to the next season. In the mean time, maybe I’ll go back and watch Season 1 and see how this reality show started in the first place.

Wine Recap – January 2019

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The first Wine Recap of January is here!

January is always a month of sickness and overtime so suffice to say, this month didn’t have a whole lot of drinking. It was really just for tasting lightly and you’ll see from the choices we made as something more light and sweet.

Let’s check it out!

Des Glaces Recolte Hivernale 2014

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Producer: Cidrerie du Minot
Location: Hemingford, Quebec
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Taste Tag: Fruity & Light

Welcome my big investment during the Salon des Metiers d’Art of Montreal which is this winter harvest (aka recolte hivernale) edition. Winter Harvest ice ciders are usually reserved and limited so they always cost more and because of it, they also have stored a few more years and its gives it a richer taste. Cidrerie du Minot has a wonderfully rich Recolte Hivernale one. Its a beautiful balance of its flavor and has this maple syrup sort of finish that I absolutely love a lot.

Mille Bois Ambre

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Producer: Mille Bois
Location: Compton, Quebec
Alcohol Content: 14%
Taste Tag: Bold & Rich

Mille Bois is an alcohol company that focuses on making maple syrup alcoholized drinks. We’ve looked a few other ones which were alright but nothing amazing. This is the last one from our trip and its the Ambre which is the darker variety. This one is exactly as they promised: bold and rich. For those of you who know maple syrup, its already fairly sweet and rich so with that said, especially with the fermented maple syrup, this one is a type of drink that you drink one glass only and put it away because its very sweet. It tastes delicious and just like a dessert but doesn’t stop the fact that its for slow consumption and enjoyment and usually not in huge portions either.

Cryo De Glace Recolte  2017

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Producer: Cidrerie Cryo
Location: Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec
Alcohol Content: 10.7%

Cryo’s ice cider also has a few varieties. This one was the one I liked the most out of the choices I tried at the Salon des Metiers d’arts. Its one that is less sweet but still fairly rich. However, this one is a little more peculiar. My husband and I had varying likes on this one. I thought the not so sweet was pretty good and had its own type of balance. Its not my favorite ice cider but my husband  didn’t enjoy it much. It had to do with the taste in general. What I do have to say is that Cryo isn’t a big company but it does have some good products. I’ve had it before but another ice cider variety but I just can’t remember which one. I might be in one of my previous haul posts. I feel like a previous year batch tasted more outstanding than this one, but that just happens.

That’s it for this Wine Recap for Janaury 2019!
Its not a whole lot of drinking but overall, it was a pretty nice ice cider and Made in Quebec month.

What have you been drinking? Any recommendations?