I ♥ D19

We go to Phở Vietnam a lot. Catherine probably tires of my attempts to sneak a durian shake onto the order list instead of her usual choice, but really, what can be wrong with a drink that’s made of everyone’s favourite cow-poop-smelling spiny fruit?

So tonight, I thought I’d order it for real. I was very pleasantly surprised. Instead of a beverage with a barnyard reek, it had a delicate flavour, with sweet high notes like a citrusy cantaloupe. I’ll definitely order it again; it’s not one side short of a D20.

Tasty noms with Kyle MacNeill

at The Urban Element, Ottawa

Meena Peruvemba (CanWEA), Kyle MacNeill and Derek Lim Soo (GE) prepare the veggies at The Urban Element

The CanWEA board, and as many staff who could make it, went to The Urban Element last night for a team-building dinner. I usually shy away from team building things (I’ve have too many There is no I in team sessions, to which I usually respond, “Yes, but there is me, and also meat, so I think that says something”) but this one was good.

The Urban Element isn’t your average resto. You prepare and cook your own dinner, with the direct supervision of chef Kyle MacNeill and his assistants. Now it helps a lot that they’ve chosen very fine ingredients, and measured them out just so, and also have a properly set up kitchen and utensils, but we had to do the mixing, marinading and cooking.

What we made:

  • Grilled romain caesar salad
  • Kerr Farms flatiron steaks with asparagus and Yukon gold potatoes with rosemary butter
  • Toasted saffron couscous with chick peas, cashews, tomatoes and sweet peppers
  • Crispy fennel flatbread
  • Chocolate praline tart with frangelico sauce

It was good; very good. Really amazingly good. Great atmosphere and a very pleasant evening.