Miss Fruits H.K. Desserts
4071 Shelbourne Street
J: There’s a trendy dessert shop in Gordon Head that may be borrowing a lot of sweet ideas from Hong Kong. I have never seen the like of this place in Victoria before and I certainly welcome it.
This suburb is a fitting location since it’s known as hub for Asian residents. The first thing I noticed in this establishment’s decor are the bright yellow painted walls, the tight-fitting chairs and the photos on the walls. I don’t think they were built to hold my big ass.
E: I’m surprised James didn’t hit anything … no wait, he did play bumper shoot as we navigated the tables to our seat. I laughed and the staff giggled.
Since opening a few years ago, it’s become quite the spot for local Asian youth. One of my female friends love coming here and I’d frequent this place more if it wasn’t for the fact I’m careful in how much sweets I eat during a single month. This place is worth visiting to sate a sweet tooth!
Mind you, I’ve always thought the desserts I tasted when I visited Japan were far more innovative and this operation has changed my mind. For a while, I thought it’s hard to beat a bunny eared donut. But over in Hong Kong, there’s plenty of interesting delights too. Miss Fruits H.K. Desserts is importing those ideas over everyone to enjoy!
J J Morgan Family Restaurant
1520 McKenzie Ave
This corner restaurant by McKenzie and Cedar Hill was once a favourite of mine during my youth. Back then, it was known as Pizza Patio and yes, while I’m dating myself, the memories are oh so pleasant. When birthdays were held here, kids were allowed to head back to the kitchen and make a pizza just the way they wanted it. They could pile the ingredients on high, slather tons of cheese or spread tons of sauce on it and make the product look like a sloppy joe.
Since then, it has become one or two other restaurants before settling as J J Morgan, a traditional restaurant with western flavours than anything else. They have a reasonable Sunday buffet and I went there with buddies a long time ago to chime in about how they fared back then. What they offered did not convince me to return. Fast forward to now, well, it seems the tastes have not changed by much. At least the service is always friendly.
Baconalooza’s inaugural event at Velox Rugby field in Gordon Head will certainly get lovers of swine food arriving in troves. The lunch-time crowd was light, but when the event started at 1pm than noon, perhaps one opportunity was missed in hopes that the dinner time crowd will be busier. This later time is probably when the bacon eating contest will take place, but for one hungry bloke (who skipped breakfast for this show), namely me, I wish I had room to partake in more.
Poor James. He phoned me early in the day to say he’s been struck down with a cold, and I just had enough room to eat for the both of us, but I was taken down by one overloaded bacon cheese burger by the Esquimalt Lions Club (I asked them to keep on piling the bacon on top). However, I did have room for dessert. I could make quibbles in where the beef is sourced and cooked, but hey, I got more than my money’s worth in bacon. I shouldn’t complain.
Fig Mediterranean Delicatessen
1551 Cedar Hill Cross Road
Just where Cedar Hill Cross Road, Shelbourne and Cedar Hill meet is a mecca for lunch, and every regional delight is represented here. There’s 1550’s, Kuma Noodle, Young Young and Fig Delicatessen. The latter is often missed because it’s a deli. Who would’ve thought this market has a huge kitchen inside and the scents is a delight when you’re hungry.
To miss out on this hidden gem will mean hungry students will miss out in the best of what Mediterranean food has to offer. There’s bins of candied fruits, plenty of nuts, a treasure trove of spices, and scented olives to feast upon visually. It doesn’t feel as crowded as Blair Mart Mediterranean Foods downtown, and with this place very close to where I live, I don’t have to travel far when the mood hits me. Nearly all the countries surrounding the Mediterranean are represented here, and yes they have homemade Turkish delights!
Purple Garden Chinese Restaurant
#138-1551 Cedar Hill X Rd.
E: There are times where I wonder if finding a good Chinese style buffet is even possible. I have memories of going to Raymond’s Restaurant and Szechuan City, Both are decent. With Purple Garden now added to the list — which has been doing buffet for just as long — is it even possible for the quality to go lower? Must I order dishes just to get some awesome sauce?
J: I think the problem for Ed and I is that we arrived near the end of the lunch rush. The food tasted old. That’s to be expected with barely any new food put out. The service was even lacking.
Naughty Nellie’s Not Just Fish & Chips
4081 Shelbourne Street
Phone: (250) 721-5555
Not to be confused with the downtown operation, Nautical Nellies, Naughty Nellie’s in Gordon Head is certainly a delight for high school students and retirees alike. Depending on the time of day, I often see the latter type of clientele coming in. Also, certain species of fish goes faster into the frying pan or should I say fryer?
Lingcod was not available on the last two visits I made. It’s a touch frustrating since I like the flavour. Regular cod was ordered so I would not make a bad pun since I wasn’t in the mood for the halibut. The batter was nice and crunchy. It’s a familiar taste, without any amped up mix of extra spices to really kick the dish up a notch. The fish was cooked fast and fresh, for a moist center, though sometimes what I get hardly tastes exceptional. Fish n’ chips is comfort food and not many places really do anything special when crisping this dish up.
The fries were quite good, and they’re done right. If given a chance to bash McDonald’s fries, I will because properly home cut and freshly prepared fries tastes infinitely better than anything processed at a plant and shipped cross-country to all the outlets. Even the coleslaw was nice. Some days they make it right and other days it’s just too mushy.
Overall, for the volume offered, the dish is very good. When I’m in a mood for fish and chips and I don’t want to travel far, the walk will do me good. I can do take-out, which is what this operation specializes in, but it won’t necessarily benefit burning off the meal. With a hill separating me from home to this diner and back again, I have a means to work off the calories!
3½ Blokes out of 5