After a sunny Easter weekend, I have more than a few eggs still hiding around the house, four colourful bouquets tucked into mason jars (thanks Brie!), and two things to share: a recipe, and a lunch. And hey – this is my 300th POST!
With the somewhat ridiculous amount of eating I’ve done in the past week, I wanted something simple, so I got a sandwich and soup at Café Cameron. It’s in the mall at Cambie on Sexsmith, just down from Sushi House, and they have a classic Hong Kong-style menu.
The restaurant is modern, with booths setup along the walls and tables down the centre. The first thing to note is the service, which was some of the friendliest I’ve received in Richmond. My server spoke nearly perfect English and was SO welcoming, and therefore I’d highly recommend Café Cameron if you want to try out Hong Kong-style food, but are little intimidated by places like Happy Date.
My order was simple, and tasty (sorry for the fact I managed to order food that was all the same colour!). I had a corned beef and egg sandwich ($5.95), which Stacey introduced me to at Mui Garden,
and a French onion soup ($4.95). I usually order the Russian borscht, which is a regular on an HK menu, but I thought I’d branch out. By the way, I’m curious to know how Russian borscht became so popular in Hong Kong. Any ideas?
The meal was simple, and that’s just what I wanted. I always find it a little amusing that the bread for these sandwiches is white and crustless, which was my childhood dream bread. Ours was always whole wheat and very much with crust, but while I longed for Wonderbread 20 years ago, I now know to say thanks for the extra fibre, mom and dad! The sandwich filling was a corned beef and egg omelette, and the fries with it were tasty (they came with a super sweet ketchup).
The soup (which came with a piece of garlic toast) wasn’t the best bowl of French onion I’ve ever had (not enough onions in it), but it was decent. While I took a much-needed break from the rice and spaghetti dishes, apparently Café Cameron’s baked spaghetti is good, so I’d recommend trying that if you’re headed there and want something a little more hearty.
Now, as promised, a recipe. My friend Dana gave me a bottle of verjus for my birthday, which is an ingredient I studied briefly during my masters. Verjus (French for “green juice”) is made from the juice of unripe fruit, usually grapes or apples.
During the middle ages, before lemons were available across Europe, it was the most common acidic agent used by cooks. With the spread of citrus, it fell out of favour, but has recently experienced a revival. Verjus is less harsh than vinegar – more fruity and floral – and can be used in everything from salad dressings to sauces and even cocktails. I made a fennel and orange salad for an Easter dinner this weekend, and used verjus in the dressing.
Here’s the recipe, which is sweet and mild, and can be adjusted easily. If you don’t have verjus, just use lemon juice, but keep your eyes out for the stuff as its fame grows!
Orange, Verjus, and Sumac Salad Dressing
¼ cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons verjus (or lemon juice)
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 teaspoons Dijon or grainy mustard
1 shallot, chopped
1 teaspoon sumac (available at Galloways)
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper, to taste
Put everything in a jar and shake! Adjust ingredients to taste, and add a bit of white wine vinegar if you don’t find it tart enough. Tastes great with an arugula/romaine, orange, fennel, red onion, cilantro, and feta salad.
(not sure if cards are accepted)
Vegetarian options available