Want Sushi Cake? The Next’s Creativity Shows No Bounds

img_20160928_185748779#104-240 Cook St.
Victoria, BC
(778) 433-4490

If you want a sushi cake for your birthday, The Next Modern Japanese Cuisine certainly delivers. You have to call in advance about it (I’m not sure how long this promotion is going to last) and they need at least a days notice to collect the ingredients in order to prepare it to your specifications. As much as I’d love to try fugu (blowfish), I’m sure that’s not easily available in North America.

Having some knowledge in what’s available for the season is required, otherwise the chefs will use their judgement. In what I asked for was a complete representation of every type of fish often seen in a regular menu. I tasted tuna, salmon, red snapper, ahi, scallop and prawn. They were definitely quality cuts and the rice was even sweeter than I recall. The mackerel was very mild and the bed of rice was huge. This cake alone is a meal in itself! The inclusion of salmon roe was a nice touch, and this particular flavour is not for everyone. When paired with the avocado, my taste buds were in for a treat!

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Last Chance Production’s Evil Dead the Musical is Coming to Victoria, BC!

file_747610_edmusicalBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Portland, OR
October 14-15, 2016
Alberta Rose Theatre

Vancouver, BC
October 28-29, 2016
Revue Stage at Granville Island

Victoria, BC
November 4-5, 2016
Metro Studio Theatre

Tickets can be bought online here

If you have not made any plans for Halloween yet, Last Chance Productions is taking Evil Dead: The Musical across the Pacific Northwest before, during and after Halloween 2016! This year, they are adding Victoria, BC to the list of where to hit and the timing could not be any better. Since I have seen three versions by different groups, I must say this particular troupe are dedicated film buffs who have an absolute love for the cinematic genre.

And, of course, they promise to lay the blood thick in the splatter zone! When I saw the Arts West production, I did not realize you have to sit very close to the kitchen set to get hit. Depending on whether the show can be held outdoors or indoors, there’s bound to be some hidden sprinklers to really get people soaked! Tip: wear a white shirt if you intend to get soaked with the blood effects. Afterwards, upon leaving the theatre, you can proudly show off their badge of honour.

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Buffet A-Plenty at Hope Key

Hope Key Front Door

Hope Key
1313 Douglas St.

Victoria, BC
(250) 382-6048

J: Hope Key is one of those places I was introduced to by a friend a few years ago. Although I have previously visited here, I’ve never tried their food or their drinks. My only experience with Hope Key was relaxing in their loft while my friend enjoyed her bubble tea. But now things are different, I was hungry and they were offering a dinner buffet after many restaurants in downtown Victoria had closed for the night. With Ed just as desperate to find a place to eat, he stepped through the doorway willingly.

E: On a late night, we were without a chance in hell to find a place that would be open after 9pm. James keeps on thinking we’ve run out of places to hit to review, but I always point out that it depends on how much you’re willing to spend on a meal. Given his frugalness, that pretty much eliminates many places.

I wasn’t prepared to spend a lot either since my dollars were depleted after several travel excursions. Vancouver and Seattle can do that. We were without a hope until he mentioned this place.

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Shakin’ Up The Sushi Establishment with Rockn’ Rolls

IMG_20160718_171803737_HDR

Rockn’ Rolls Modern Sushi
1 Dallas Rd C1
Victoria, BC

(250) 888-5336

No matter where you go to eat sushi, the basics will more or less taste the same. The taste found in tuna and salmon rolls are distinguished by the freshness of the fish (I have yet to find a place to beat what I had in Sidney, BC ages ago), rice to meat ratio used and where the fish came from. Where the rice is harvested from matters, but ultimately, it is the temperature of this grain that makes the difference. Over at Rock n’ Rolls Modern Sushi at the Fisherman’s Wharf in Victoria, BC, they pride themselves on using locally sourced ingredients.

This operation is all about 100% sustainability and it shows in the Polynesian Roll. Made using local crab, bell peppers and sweet squash, this delectable maki roll is a taste for the senses! Rockfish was used, and this is a topping I do not usually see in menus. Sometimes, whitefish is listed, and the last time I really appreciated its taste was over at Southern Lake Tahoe, where a buddy and I went to The Naked Fish — I have fond memories of my sushi experience there.

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Back by Popular Demand to Victoria, BC Monty Python’s Spamalot the Musical is Rip Roaring Fun!

vos-spamalot-event-detailLocation:
McPherson Theatre
3 Centennial Square
Victoria, British Columbia

Remaining Shows:
Sept 9, 8pm
Sept 10, 8pm
Sept 11, 2pm 

Back by popular demand, the Victoria Operatic Society is performing Monty Python‘s Spamalot at the McPherson Theatre September 8 to 11. Do yourself a favour and go see it! Everything fans love from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail is recreated with love and by the end, everyone will be whistling to “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” (Life of Brian)

With a live orchestra performing, the energy and enthusiasm by all can easily be felt. The many styles of stage performance recall 100 years of musical theatre. From grand can-cans from gay Paris to chorus girl lineups performed on Broadway (and ripping into the style perfected by Andrew Lloyd Webber), I could not help but want to toe tap whenever I can. But in the tight seating that makes up this theatre, that’s tough to do. This venue is not known for generous leg room and that’s okay. I hummed along to fantastic numbers like “Come with Me” and “Whatever Happened to My Part?” Tara Britt is an amazing singer, and her voice blows me away. After seeing her at Victoria Fringe Festival‘s [Title of Show] and laughing at the intentional plug, I knew I had to be here opening night.

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The Stubborn Chef 拉麵館 changes the Ramen Scene ‘Round with AsUsual Cafe – 老地方

stubborn_chefStubborn Chef – 拉麵館
AsUsual Cafe – 老地方
3960 Shelbourne St
Victoria, BC
(778) 432-3818

Only James can think Kuma Noodle Japan has the best ramen all around Victoria. He’s most likely right, but he’s not had the complete Japanese experience (I had it in Japan, a place he has yet to travel to). Yes, I’m relentless in teasing him about this fact and one year, we will visit the Land of the Rising Sun to sample the food together. Back in Victoria, in the meantime, competitors eventually will emerge to challenge my buddy’s statement.

Trying to schedule his willingness to go out with my Pokémon GO adventures (I need to fuel up somehow) is like dragging a closet gamer out of the comfort of his own home to see the light, er sun.

We have tried a few places together. Foo Ramen Bar has been running for a while and unless you know which Japanese restaurants to go to, they will have this common staple buried along with the Udon and Soba. Next to the Victoria Public Market downtown is Ox King Noodles. In Gordon Head, The Stubborn Chef specializes in a variety of noodles. James finally checked out this place during one of his rare departures from Langford. By then, I’ve been here for the third time. Interestingly, the chef is a third generation noodle-maker. He’s been trained by the best and I’m glad he’s settling into the Gordon Head culinary landscape. The folks who ran this operation used to operate out of Chinatown in the past five years. And when it was sold a few years ago, I’m assuming the change of pace is because this municipality is closer to home. There’s less distance to travel. I’m thinking the owner/operator is taking a cue from James’ book. Why travel far when you can enjoy the comforts of home?

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