Yesterday I went into the Chapters store in Richmond, and got to spend the fifty big ones my brother and his girlfriend gave me as part of my Christmas present. Neither of them can know just how much joy it brings me to wander around a bookstore with a gift certificate to spend. I was there for over an hour, my head in books, feeling happy.
When I first walked into the store, I’d intended to buy something other than a cookbook, because I always (unsurprisingly) buy food-related literature. I’m a person who loves cookbooks so much I read them before I fall asleep, since I find the best way to put my mind at ease is by learning about the best uses for sumac, or where to find barley malt. Truly. I treasure my cookbooks, so it makes sense I buy them, but yesterday I thought “Maybe I’ll branch out today and pick up a memoir, or an acclaimed work of historical fiction!”
Then I locked eyes with The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook (yes, it saw me too), and it was all over. We had to be together.
This heavy, hard-covered book was published by Tom Douglas, owner of The Dahlia Bakery (and other restaurants) in Seattle. It’s full of baking tips and explanations, warmly-coloured photographs, and the kind of recipes I know I’ll use regularly, rather than the kind appropriate for dinner parties I cannot afford to throw.
Flipping through its pages of pies, crostada, muffins, cookies, ice cream, and savouries, it made me think “Hmmm, I hope the Sweet Spot puts out a cookbook someday.”
The second book I purchased was Bobcat and Other Stories by Rebecca Lee. It’s a collection of fictional short stories, many of which have a theme of academia, which makes sense considering Lee is a professor of creative writing.
I’m halfway through already, and while not every story has drawn me in wholly, her writing is exquisite. It’s the kind that forces you to go back and re-read sentences a few more times, not because you don’t understand them, but because they’re so impressive. I’d therefore recommend both of my new books, and am so happy to have them – thanks Mark and Deidra!
New books in tow, I grabbed a late lunch at Jumbo Sushi, located on the east side of No. 3 Road just south of Brighouse Station. It’s a small sushi joint that, according to Chow Times, came under new management last year. Based on user reviews on urbanspoon and my own friendly interaction with them, they seem to be doing quite well.
The place is quite casual – you help yourself to your own tea – and inexpensive. The menu isn’t huge, and has a main focus on rolls, so I decided to try three: Bill’s Roll ($3.95), Little Dragon Roll ($6.50), and the Whitecaps Roll (the most expensive one on the menu at $7.95).
For the prices, this was fresh, well-made sushi. Bill’s Roll had smoked salmon and yam tempura.
The Little Dragon was my favourite, with plenty of ripe avocado inside, and topped with tender unagi (eel) and masago.
The Whitecaps Roll had a filling of unagi tempura, and was topped with chopped scallops. It was drizzled with a sweet, dark sauce that contrasted perfectly with the savoury, umami filling.
Given that another roll on the menu was named after the Canucks, and that the TV above the front door was tuned in to TSN, Jumbo Sushi is clearly operated by sports fans.
How did I know I enjoyed this meal? Because even though I wasn’t all that hungry when I ordered, and certainly thought I’d be taking some home, I ate all but three pieces. There’s no arguing with that evidence.
While there were other customers dining in, I assume Jumbo is hugely popular for takeout. It’s relatively quick and incredibly affordable, which is all anyone wants on a Saturday night when hankering for some sushi.
New books, a great lunch, AND it was sunny out – talk about a good start to the weekend! Hope yours is going just as well.
Cash and cards available
Vegetarian and vegan options available