Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Strait Is the Gate

The Strait of Juan de Fuca, from the back patio of what I refuse to call the "Edible Blossom Room" (just say "room 10"). 

Lunch at MaiMai's. The owner JoJo was the best, running all around and doing everything. He still found time to shoot the breeze between rolling sushi. 

Prawn tempura, because Peter was craving the panko-crusted lingcod fish and chips, but I suggested waiting for lingcod until we get to Tofino. 

Island roll with all local sea-things: rock crab, albacore, and salmon. Salmon skin roll (this was outstanding and the equivalent of 3.80 USD). And two spicy albacore hand rolls.   


JoJo wanted to make us his current favorite, an off-the-menu "scallop on scallop" roll, and on the right is the Wylie roll, draped with smoked albacore. 

Stockpiling these Canadian Andes mints.

Low tide back at the Harbour House. 

This wine is not in a bathroom. It is on an outdoor soaking tub. 

Delicious rosé from the Yakima Valley, but the combination of bad glassware and a nice view looks like the cover of a self-published romance novel from the 80s. 

Sooke, I love you, but your dining options on a Monday night are more dismal than Santa Fe's. (Was originally planning on  dinner at the Harbour House both nights, but canceled in defense of better food  everywhere.) 

Why tempt fate? We ended up back to MaiMai's, eight hours after lunch, only this time, JoJo didn't hand us menus and  just started sending out food, no questions asked. 

Edamame flatbread. 

Grilled Fanny Bay oysters with miso custard. 

Huge. And these are the medium-sized ones. When I could still eat oysters, this was the kind I couldn't handle raw. 

I had to admit to JoJo that I can't eat oysters, so he sent me the West Coast Inari instead. I don't want to say anything bad about this lovely man's decision to add tequila honey dill dressing and crumbled goat cheese, so I won't.  

Peppered albacore tataki. The fish was fabulous- could've lived without the truffle oil ponzu, but I can see why others might like it?

Salmon roll with eel tempura and a fried roll with tuna, strawberries, mango and crab. 

Spicy scallop and shrimp temaki, and two pieces of albacore belly nigiri-  smoking good fish I would have preferred, again, without the truffle oil. 

Still, we loved this place. And quite honestly, our bill was much lower this way, with someone else controlling our ordering. That degree of control also means we didn't leave hungry... but we weren't not hungry.

JoJo shared sake and stories about his years surfing and rolling sushi in Tofino. Before that, we had a Vancouver Island lager and a Victoria Distillers g&t. The restaurant is named after JoJo's younger sister. Their family emigrated from Panay. This is me ending a blog post like that doomed band Spacehog ended songs in the 90s: badly.  

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