Is it Too Fast and Furious with Finest at Sea’s First Annual Spot Prawn and Fiddle Fest?

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DK: If I were more prone to hyperbole, I would encourage Ed to title this post “Angry Protesters Clash With Security, Disrupt First Annual Spot Prawn and Fiddle Festival.”

But that is not the real story of this promising new event. True, three young protesters were escorted out of the park shortly after the festival started, but most people missed whatever their message was. My advice to young activists: make sure your banner is facing the crowd when you’re being whisked away.

Maybe next year we’ll all learn why listening to fiddle music while sucking down prawns and watching youth rugby makes us bad people. For now, however, blissful ignorance! The real story of this year’s event was a large crowd got the chance to enjoy some damn good BBQ spot prawns.

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ES: June 12th marked the end of the season for harvesting these sweet, lovely crustaceans, and I’m going to miss them. Technically, one can buy them in the freezer section, but there’s no denying when they’re from the ocean to the tanks to the grill, the taste difference is enormous!

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Victoria, BC Has Frickin’ Delights Donuts in Town!

20220521_161023632 Yates Street
Victoria BC

Hours: Tues to Sunday 9:00am to 3:00pm
Phone: (250) 353-2687

Frickin’ Delights Donuts is almost ready to unseat the mighty Empire Donuts, if the talk around downtown Victoria is any sign. But I see both can comfortably satisfy the city core. However, I should note other local makers also exist, and it’s tough to decide who is the king. Just where they rank is a separate article in itself. 

Barely a week since opening its doors, the lineups aren’t yet crazy. Their selection of tastes aren’t too different from other places, and as for their famous dill pickle soup–it’s intense! It took a while for my taste buds to adjust to the savoury concoction, but I was sold. I ended up using it as a dip for my roast beef sandwich over the included cornbread donut.

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Can the Golden Duck Brand Make It Rich?

Golden Duck Salted Egg Fish Skin Crisps/ Potato Ridges/ Tempura ...There’s a new snack food that’s come to North America, and I had to ask which Golden Duck tastes better? Their Gourmet Salted Egg Fish Skin crunchy crisps or Singapore Chilli Crab Seaweed Tempura. 

Both are very pricey when considering the volume per bag (102grams), but if I wanted more, to shell out nearly $12 CAD per bag is a deterrent. It’s three times the price of chips. Not everyone will want to purchase, much less believe they’re made with real ingredients.

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At Boomtown, All You Want to Do is Dance, Dance

20220325_190317Boomtown
950 Yates St
Victoria, BC

Hours: Open every day from 11:30 am to 9:00pm (10 on weekends)
Phone: (778) 265-9150
Menu: boomtownyyj.ca

ES: Don’t ask me why, but when Don suggested we check out Boomtown for some fancy Mexican style food, I had to cue up Vengaboys to listen to while downtown. It’s a diner located opposite the Harris-Green Shopping Centre, and it can easily be missed by those who aren’t looking.

DK: We spent the night together, watching Sandra Bullock search for a hidden tomb in the movie afterwards.

Boomtown is in a spot that has housed a revolving door of different cafes, food trucks, and weed dispensaries over the last decade. Back in 2013, the Refiner Diner was parked in this spot, and I still have fond memories of their burger (Ed gave it a 4/5 way back when). Does Boomtown carry on the 950 Yates legacy in style? Ed, what say you?

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Cracking Open the Sunflower Seed Snack Food Conspiracy

sunflower1People who love snacking on sunflower seeds generally don’t have a lot of options. In North America, it’s either David, Spitz or Big. Each of them have their devoted following, but I find that over time they’re not all that good. The reason is that the added (or too salty) flavours don’t help satisfy a basic craving. It’s easy to buy a local grocery store’s bulk version and use for salads, but I miss the the joy of cracking the shell open.  

In China, there are several brands (Chacha being the most well known) who also sweeten the nut up. I’ve tried a few brought over by Fairway Market, and they are average. It’s tough to find a naturally smoked and simply baked seed until the deceptive branding of ‘Big Sunflower Seeds’ by Onetang, a Sungiven Foods label, caught my eye. 

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Unlike other packaging, this canister keeps the seeds in a vacuum sealed bag and upon opening, I was surprised at the all natural scent. I question the use of big in any new product, because they rarely live up to expectations. A single seed surprised me, and the flavour is a lot more natural than others. 

If it wasn’t for the hefty price, $6 CAD per 213g can, I’d be stocking up! Nearly five months after finding this product, I’m definitely addicted! There’s no turning back. They’re certainly bigger when compared to the North American brands, and as I’m reluctant to buy a full bag to take a proper picture for comparison, I settled for a different style by showing a few against a Canadian quarter.

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The packaging says the seeds are harvested from the fields of Inner Mongolia. Whether that’s true is debatable. Chacha uses the exact same words in their marketing.

But as for saying size matters for this seed, they’re one of the best. I can go through a small rice bowl of these and feel satisfied.

Konnichiwa Nori-San!

20220219_193223Hello Nori
1165 Robson St
Vancouver, BC

Hours: Sun to Sat 11a.m.–11p.m.
Menu: hellonori.com
Phone: (604) 564-9595

Hello Nori is a relatively new operation that opened in Vancouver’s Robson Street strip during the pandemic, and since they’re both dine-in and takeout, the difference is in whether or not the rolls are cut up for you. However, the taste will be slightly different based on how fast you eat them. The selling point is in how crunchy the sheets of seaweed are. I spotted a butane torch in the preparation area and it’s used for their aburi dishes rather than standard rolls. There are also daily sashimi offerings to which I shouldn’t have passed on. After seeing how they looked at a few bar seats away, I knew I’d have regrets. 

However, in the back of my mind, I wondered if the fish were caught Ikejime style or West coast. I suspect it’s the latter (this is BC after all), so what’s offered isn’t necessarily ‘authentic’ Japanese and more designer style to convince patrons in.

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