One of the reasons why most people favour NUS and NTU over SMU is because undergrad degrees over at SMU requires an additional year to complete (4 years for most students) compared to 3 years for a similar degree from NUS and NTU. Personally, I don’t see the additional year of study as a detriment at all. Most of us will likely have to work for the 50 years after graduation anyway so what’s the rush right? I say enjoy uni life while it lasts.
For NTU accounting students at least, they have just 2 summers before their entry into the workforce. That gives them probably just 1 or 2 internship opportunities, and less time if any, to go overseas for exchange programs or summer study. The issue of time really isn’t a problem faced by SMU students and so, I find myself in Vancouver, participating in the summer study program by the University of British Columbia.
The food culture in Canada reflects the demographics of Canadians well, which is more of a mosaic of different cultures comprised of Caucasian, Chinese and Southeast Asian immigrants, rather than an integrated and fused society like America. Canadians are proud to retain their traditional roots and say that they are Chinese Canadian, Korean Canadian, Indian Canadian etc (you won’t hear Americans saying they are Indian American) and there is no attempt to tweak or fuse the different cuisines to suit the Caucasian palate. Unlike in London where Indian food is disappointingly mild, no such handicap is provided for the authentic Indian curries and Thai dishes here.
Given the deep entrenchment of a fragmented food culture, I find it hard to think of any dishes that are distinctly Canadian, except for Maple Syrup, Poutine (French Fries with Gravy and Cheese Curds). Seafood is fresh in Vancouver as it is located near the coast (My hostel is just a 10 minutes walk from the nude beach not much action though apart from just a few old man who like airing themselves). The pancake culture here isn’t as strong as I initially expected though.
One of my more enjoyable meals in Vancouver so far was at Rodney’s Oyster House. As its name suggests, it’s a popular seafood restaurant located on Hamilton Street.
The interior is homely and very suitable for casual dining. The staff are really cool people, and are constantly moving around the restaurant to check up on guests and doing and saying retarded stuff that is really quite entertaining.
Oysters here are abundant, fresh and priced reasonably as compared to Singapore.
Last week, I took a day trip down to Pike Market in Seattle which is America’s oldest market. Apart from vegetables, clothing and artwork, fresh seafood was also being hawkered there. I managed to snag 3 jumbo oysters for just US$5 and it took me 3 mouthfuls just to eat 1!
Back to Rodney’s, I preferred the cooked oysters to the raw ones. The Oyster Rockerfellah was delightfully baked with spinach and cheese among other spices.
The Pasta with Scallops was slightly disappointing as the scallops were slightly overdone.
My friends had a mad frenzy over the Garlic Shrimps. The shrimps were fresh and crunchy but what got to them was the briny umami-laden sauce. CY left his dining etiquette at the door and decided to just cup the plate in 2 hands and slurp down the sauce as you would do for soup in a soup bowl.
As I mentioned in my previous post, Scallops are my kryptonite. It leaves my legs weak, wobbly and powerless in its presence. Fortunately for me, my order of the Scallop Galette fared much better than the Pasta with Scallops. Enveloped in potato rosti, the savoury crisp outer shell provided a nice contrast to the sweet plump scallops.
The chowder was rather forgettable.
For Desserts, it was difficult picking a favourite because both were really awesome. I enjoyed the Vanilla Cheesecake which was light and smooth, with vanilla infused cream on the end.
The Belgian Chocolate Mousse is somewhat heavier and rich, a must try for chocolate lovers.
Given the popularity of the restaurant, do make reservations in advance to avoid disappointment.
Rodney’s Oyster House
Yaletown, 1228 Hamilton St
British Columbia, Vancouver