Antonio Park was the first (and probably still the only) Canada-based chef to get a Kobe beef license. However, it seems the menu at his restaurant, Park, has changed from offering Kobe beef to Miyazaki beef. What’s the difference? Both Kobe and Miyazaki beef are high-end, marbled Japanese beef, otherwise known as Wagyu. Each comes from different parts of Japan. Kobe is most famous to foreigners but apparently Miyazaki beef has won two Wagyu Olympics in a row and the Prime Minister’s award at the last three most recent Wagyu Olympics (but Kobe doesn’t participate in it).
Park is one of the most well known Japanese restaurants in Montreal. Antonio Park himself is not Japanese. He’s Korean and grew up in South America and trained as a sushi chef in Japan. He has a lot of different culinary influences. His restaurant is highly regarded and its prices reflect that pedigree. I didn’t get any sushi or sashimi which is something I’ll have to do the next time I go. The reason for this is because 2oz of Miyazaki beef costs $99 and that’s the appetizer. There is a main dish of 4oz Miyazaki beef which is $199. Granted, I read somewhere that Park makes pretty much no profit on Wagyu and he does this because he wants to educate eaters in Montreal about Wagyu. So these prices are not inflated or outrageous at least by Wagyu standards.
Continue reading “Miyazaki beef at Park restaurant in Montreal”
Last Letter / 你好，之华 / Lit: Hello Zhihua (2018)
director & writer: Shunji Iwai
cast: Zhou Xun, Qin Hao, Zhang Zifeng, Deng Enxi , Bian Tianyang
A married woman’s older sister passes away leaving behind two children. At the sister’s house she finds an invitation to her middle school reunion. The woman decides to go to tell her sister’s old classmates the bad news but ends up being mistaken as her sister. At the reunion she notices a man whom she had a crush on as a teenager. He approaches her, also assuming that she is her sister, and they exchange contact info. She begins writing letters to him under her sister’s name.
Continue reading “Last Letter – film review [Recommended]”
There are some documentaries from China and Japan in this year’s edition of RIDM (Montreal International Documentary Festival). It has screenings from November 8-18, 2018 mainly at Cineplex odeon quartier latin, Cinema du parc and Cinematheque quebecoise.
There are several Japanese documentaries screening from Kazuhiro Soda (a director based in New York City). There’s one Danish documentary appropriately titled “Dreaming Murakami” about the Danish translator of Haruki Murakami’s books.
“A Little Wisdom” by Kang YuQi follows boys being raised in a monastery in Nepal. There is also “Self-Portrait: Sphinx in 47 KM” by Zhang MengQi.
I missed the last volume in May due to personal reasons (and certainly regretted it) so I was looking forward to this one even more with its stellar lineup. It also reminded me of the first NMFT show (vol 8 in May 2016) that I ever saw since Mass of the Fermenting Dregs were returning. Another thing it shared in common was that there were no idol acts. Vol 9-12 all had idol acts.
After the unfortunate closing of long time venue Divan Orange, vol 12 was held at La Sala Rossa which I’ve never been to so I’m not sure what the vibe and surroundings were like there. Vol 13 changed venues again to Le Ministere. I like this venue. It’s small and intimate, easy to get too and is actually fairly close to Divan Orange’s old location. There’s wasn’t as much space for the merch tables and no fussball table but I think it’s a good replacement. Sound was good as far as I could tell.
Continue reading “Next Music From TOKYO vol 13 live show”
This year’s Festival du nouveau cinema screens many intriguing films from around the world from October 3-14, 2018 at Cineplex Quartier Latin, Cinema du Parc and Imperial cinema. There is as usual a great selection of East Asian films. I won’t list them all but I will mention some of the ones I look forward to seeing the most.
Films from China have often been lacking at festivals (perhaps in part due to censorship) but this edition features Jia ZhangKe’s latest film, Ash is the Purest White starring his wife and muse Zhao Tao and Liao Fan, an actor’s who’s been in many good films that I’ve enjoyed. Other actors in the film include Feng Xiaogang and Xu Zheng which make up an impressive cast. Long Day’s Journey into the Night directed by Bi Gan stars Huang Jue and the ever compelling and beautiful actress Tang Wei.
From Japan, the festval brings Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest work Shoplifters, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. It has an excellent cast including Lily Franky, Sakura Ando, Mayu Matsuoka, and Kirin Kiki (her last film before she passed away in 2018). I’m biased since I’ve enjoyed many films by this director but I think this is a must-watch. Killing directed Shinya Tsukamoto stars Sosuke Ikematsu and Yu Aoi, both very good actors. Mamoru Hosoda’s latest animated film Mirai looks delightful for kids and adults. I’ve enjoyed past anime films by this director. There are also restored versions of older Japanese films from 60s, 70s & 80s which should intrigue those with a longer history of Japanese film viewing than myself.
The South Korea film I’m eager to see is Burning by Lee Chang Dong, whose previous film I saw was very engaging and thought provoking. This one stars Yoo Ah-in, Steven Yeun, and Jeon Jong-seo.
From France, there’s the animated film Funan directed by Denis Do about the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. It won the Crystal Prize for Best Feature Film at Annecy International Animated Festival.
There are also other films from South East Asian countries such as Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore.
Trailers after the jump.
Continue reading “Festival du Nouveau Cinema – Oct 3-14, 2018”
Next Music from Tokyo or should that be Next Music from Tokyo & Taiwan? Because for the first time in the tour’s history, it will be inviting a non-Japanese band. This band is from Taiwan but has toured in Japan so it would seem that some Japanese fans are aware of them. The other four bands come from Japan and not just Tokyo but other cities like Osaka. Two bands return from past volumes. There’s Otori making their second showing and Mass of the Fermenting Dregs making their third appearance, the first band to do so on the tour. But if you want to be picky this would be the second appearance of the reformed band, the original lineup was all female who broke up but then a few years ago the original bassist reformed the band with two male members. I had previously seen this band in Vol 8, which was the first NMFT show that I ever attended and I’ve attended every show since then except vol 12. The other two bands are new to the tour and both are all female trios: UlulU and Paranoid Void.
It kicks off with two shows in Toronto on Friday October 5 and Saturday October 6. Then in Montreal on Sunday October 7 and ends in Vancouver on October 10. Tickets can be purchased online now.
More videos after the jump.
Continue reading “Next Music from Tokyo vol 13 tour – Oct 5-10, 2018”
Uncle Tetsu VS Yoko Cheesecake
Food Fight! posts will be totally biased where I compare the same or very similar foods and declare a winner (or not). For this inaugural edition of I have sacrificed my health and waistline to compare two Japanese cheesecakes that are currently available in Montreal.
Before we go on, it’s important to note that Japanese cheesecake is significantly different from traditional or Western cheesecake. Japanese cheesecake is perhaps more similar to a sponge cake than a traditional cheesecake. The Japanese version is also known to be very jiggly and fluffy. I’ve seen the terms “cotton cheesecake” or “soufflé cheesecake” to refer to the Japanese cheesecake as a way of differentiating it from its Western counterpart.
Continue reading “Food Fight! Japanese Cheesecake [日本のチーズケーキ]”
Mini reviews of the rest of the Fantasia films that I watched in 2018.
Being Natural, The Vanished, Buybust, Buffalo Boys, Fireworks, Loi Bao, Ajin, Laughing Under the Clouds, The Brink, Punk Samurai Slash Down
Continue reading “Fantasia 2018 mini reviews”