Yesterday, I took part in an all-you-can-eat sushi meal, as well as an all-you-can-eat cookie meal. Unfortunately, I ate more cookies than I did sushi.
First: Ninkazu Japanese Restaurant is on the second floor of a complex on Hazelbridge Way (the same one as Lido, just across from Aberdeen Centre). I arrived just after 5pm, and was their first customer of the evening.
I chose the deluxe All You Can Eat (AYCE) menu option, which cost $23.95. If I’m dining alone, I’m always incredibly paranoid about over-ordering, so I started out slowly. Some of my dishes took so long to arrive, however, that I never really got past my first small, initial order. Here’s what I had:
The spinach was decent, but there wasn’t enough sesame sauce on it for my liking.
Hokkigai (surf clam):
I had this for the first time at Kisha Poppo with my friend Andrea, and while I wasn’t crazy about it then, I’m glad I gave it another try. Hokkigai tastes freshly of the ocean, with a texture that dominates the overall eating experience; it’s chewy but not rubbery, and tastes great with a bit of lemon juice squeezed over its pink and white flesh.
Tomokazu Spicy Roll and Dynamite Roll (2 pieces each):
These rolls were quite decent, though the Tomokazu Roll wasn’t spicy at all.
Vegetable Samosas (2 pieces):
Upon spotting these on the menu, my curiosity forced me to order them. Turns out, vegetable samosas at Ninkazu are just triangular deep-fried spring rolls with sweet and sour sauce. They tasted of deep-fry, and nothing else.
Now THIS is a deep-fried dish worth ordering (thanks for the recommendation Selina!). The batter was light and delicately crunchy, with an unbelievably juicy prawn inside. I could have eaten ten more, but held off for my intestines’ sake.
Motoyaki is a style of cooking that involves seafood baked with a mayonnaise-based sauce on top. Often, it’s an oyster baked in an oyster shell, but at Ninkazu, all motoyaki are served in little tart containers. The Portuguese motoyaki appeared to be chunks of salmon with a creamy, curry-spiced sauce on top, and it was rich and tasty.
BBQ Korean Pork:
This was a small piece of marinated and grilled pork topped with sesame seeds. It was decent, though I don’t necessarily think I’d order it again.
The pork was one of the dishes I ordered that was forgotten about, and my yaki udon didn’t even make it to the table. With an obligation to be somewhere later in the evening, I didn’t want to wait much longer, but since I was still hungry, I ordered some edamame with the hopes they’d arrive quickly.
They did. I downed them and left, though I certainly wasn’t as filled as I should have been for AYCE. Therefore, I found my experience to be a little disappointing, but the place was busy, so I’d give it another shot.
Now, onto the cookies, which I had NO problem filling up on. I made them because of a recent craving for peanut butter + oatmeal + coconut + chocolate, and adapted a recipe I found to meet those requirements. Why? Because those ingredients are just about all the best things you could pack into a cookie, and I’m surprised the internet hasn’t been forced to close due to a surplus of pb/coconut/oat/chocolate cookies.
This is one of the best batches of cookies I’ve ever made. They’re good for breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, dessert, and post-dessert snacks. I’m going to allow my ego to take over for a bit and declare AYCE to now stand for: Anderson, You Cookie Empiricist.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate AYCE Cookies
(Adapted from www.simplyscratch.com)
2-1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats (the original recipe said not to use quick oats, but I used them and everything turned out juuuust fine)
1 scant cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 scant cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt (increase this to 1 teaspoon if using unsalted peanut butter)
¾ cup unsweetened, flaked or shredded coconut (I used the large flake coconut from Galloways)
1 cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup Smooth Peanut Butter (I used natural pb without sugar or salt added, though you could use any kind)
¾ cup packed Dark Brown Sugar
¾ cup White Sugar
2 whole Eggs
3/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup dark chocolate chunks (I cut up a 70% Ritter Sport Bar)
¾ cup peanut butter chips (optional, as would be chopped peanuts or any other kind of nut. I highly encourage the use of anything that makes a cookie more nutty).
Mix the first six ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Set Aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, coconut oil, peanut butter, and sugars until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until almost combined. Add the chocolate (and any other additions) and mix until combined. Shape dough into golf ball-sized balls, and put into freezer for at least half an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place frozen dough balls on cookie sheet, and put into oven. Bake for 12-18 minutes, checking every few minutes after the 12 minute mark. The cookies will barely spread, and don’t be worried if they still look like dough balls by 12 minutes. You’ll want to take them out when they’re starting to crack ever-so-slightly, and are browning a bit on top. Once they’re out of the oven, they’ll spread a bit more and sink down.
Cash and cards accepted
Plenty of vegetarian options available
They also offer an AYCE lunch option ($10.95, 11:30am – 3:00pm)