The house is a mess, we need to do some groceries for the week, and there’s laundry to be done but, hey, it’s Sunday and it was a nice day out. So out we went with our bikes again. This time we headed east in search of elusive fresh Thai ingredients for the homemade Thai curry paste I’ll make sometime this week. I didn’t feel like braving the madhouse that Chinatown can be on a weekend, so I decided to go to Gerrard St East where I heard there was a smaller Chinatown (aka East Chinatown) and a good grocery store to find Thai ingredients. So we cut through Riverdale Farm (what other large urban centre can boast a full farm downtown?) and across a pedestrian bridge over the Don Valley to East Chinatown. It was nice, I found some of the ingredients I needed, although not without asking some friendly-looking Indian lady at the Chinese supermarket.
Once we paid for the galangal, lemmongrass, apple eggplant, and fresh green chilies, it was time for lunch. Across the street from the grocery store was Hanoi 3 Seasons, the only North Vietnamese restaurant in Toronto. I had heard good things about it and was not disappointed. The specialty of the house was cha ca la vong, a grilled fish infused with turmeric and dill, served with vermicelli noodles and a salad. It was indeed very tasty!! The place didn’t look like much from the outside but service was impeccable and the food was very fresh and well done. We will certainly go back.
Some pictures of the grocery store and East Chinatown:
We then started walking down the street and stopped in front of a very interesting-looking restaurant. It specialized in Cambodian cuisine – you could tell by the huge map of Campodia inside – and the owner was sitting in front, smiling at us and assuring us the food was very good. We explained we ate already to which he shrugged his shoulders and replied “not now, come back another time!” He ran in and came back with a discount cupon and started explaining what was Cambodian cuisine “same as Thai, Thailand and Cambodia used to be one place until they split up in the fourteenth century but many customs are still the same”. He gave us his card and we promised to return. He was nice enough to let me take his picture:
Alan and I are planning a trip to Asia next year and this friendly encounter only made me go even more…
We continued along Gerrard St until Little India. I hadn’t been there yet and wanted to check it out. To our surprise, they were having a festival!! It was great, there was music everywhere, lots of food… it made me sorry for having eaten lunch! I must go back to Little India!! Here are some pics from the festival:
The house continues to be a mess but at least we had a good day! And that’s what Sundays are all about!