Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Last night Jeffrey and I drove to Waterloo , about 75 minutes west of Toronto, for a book tour event for Beyond the Great Wall (and without specific directions I managed to get us to Cambridge and Kitchener, before we finally made it to neighbouring Waterloo).  We were in plenty of time, so it wasn't stressful, just a lot of extra driving for Jeff, and two askings of directions for me.

The event was very pleasant, and fun for us too.  WordsWorth books put it on, and it was held at a charming restaurant called Hannah's Bella Bistro, on King Street, right downtown.  Hannah is a young chef-owner with years of restaurant experience under her belt already.  She made a lot of recipes from the book.  She picked Tajik Nan as the bread, then several starters: Cheese Momos, with a side relish of Lhasa Achar, made with pickled daikon radish shreds and so delish; and a fresh Tomato Salsa.  We moved on to three beautifully presented salads, served on a long plate for two, from which we could help ourselves.  The salads were the Dai Pea Tendrils, a Uighur Salad from the Silk Road oases, made with red bell peppers, and a cucumber salad dressed with black rice vinegar.  Mains were equally interesting and diverse: A Mongolian Hotpot, made with beef simmered in a light lamb broth with mushroons and pressed tofu, and served with condiments of minced ginger and fresh chile salsa; and a pulao of chicken with punpkin, succulent and rich-tasting, smooth too.

It's always a treat for us to see what cooks and chefs pick from the book, and how they interpret the recipes for their own particular needs.  Hannah's take was fresh and inventive, and pleased the room.  

Thanks to everyone there for making us feel so welcome!

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