Saturday, May 08, 2010

May 7th - Junsei Sushi after Terra Madre documentary - Greasy Yaki Udon!

A few of us went to see Terra Madre last night for the opening of the DOXA (Documentary) Film Festival.  I have been for a few years now and have seen some extrodinary films that I am sure I would otherwise not have had the benefit of seeing if not for this festival.  That said, this film was a let down and a poor choice for the opening night.

Terra Madre is a documentary on the Slow Food movement started in Italy to reconnect humanity to the Earth, the provider of our nourishment.  It is anti-Fast Food.  The irony to me was that one of the founders, if not the founder of the movement is the proprietor of a massive Wine Estate in Italy as well as a chain of gourmet Italian delicatessans called Eataly.  I would say then, that you need to separate he concept of Terra Madre and Slow food from Organic Food, Local Food or Environmental movements.  All that is somewhat rend asunder for me when you see the thousands of delegates that FLY from all over the world to attend the annual Terra Madre conference in Turin, Italy.  Though I think that many of these movements ride the coat tails of its popularity and notariety.  Fair enough when the intentions are good, I suppose.  The result, as a film, however, was a choppy montage of too many issues.

The only redeeming portion was that of the last half hour where the Italian founder is filmed living his own Slow Food life in the mountains of Italy, planting, eating and collecting seeds. Of course, still nagging at the back of my mind during those scenes and the historic scenes of the Italian hermit who cut himself off from society and thrived only on what he grew, was that that is not sustainable for the majority of society.  The economists and pundits sat about a picnic table strewn with bread and wine, talking about how to spin that story to us 'westerners' as being a tale of wealth and not poverty.  That is how ill understood many of our lifestyles are by the 'easterners' or 'self absorbed, self righteous'.  Few of us could afford to live on such a large piece of land and sustain ourselves and our families.  Do not misunderstand me.  I am an activist in my own right but I am far better grounded than some of those people in the film that I normally admire.   I do not think they would all agree on what the Slow Food movement is amongst themselves.  The dissention was evident in their discussion already.

This fillm missed its mark for me and there are far better documented and strung together stories than this one. 

Afterwards, we went around the corner for some Japanese food at Junsei River.  I was rather stuffed from my extra large popcorn.  D has not yet learned that he needs to take the bag away from me at some point or I will keep eating.

Since we are taking some out of town friends to sushi on Saturday, D ordered a Yaki Udon dish and our friends ordered an assortment of sushi.  The Veggie combo that D and P ordered looked rather run of the mill and the Yam roll looked far too battered.  Their Sashimi was very fresh and decent size but it was served FAR too cold to the point there were the start of some ice crystals.  E's Dragon roll looked lovely.

D's Yaki Udon was horrible.  The noodles were nice and chunky but it was SOOOOOO greasy that I felt quite ill afterwards.  I almost ordered the tempura but seeing how greasy the noodles where, I am glad I did not.

The service was terrible.  We had to ask three times for more tea and then she did not fill all the glasses.  Normally you have to fight of the tea refill.  The dishes came out a very spread out pace and for no obvious reason.  It was funny, I was not hungry but I wanted to talk about the movie.  The poor service did at least give us the space to do that :-P

Cost: $$ (Poor value)
Staff: Slow and inefficient
Location: Downtown
Drink menu: Limited
Decor: leftover from the Singaporean place that was there before.

Junsei River Japanese Restaurant
570 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6B
(604) 683-2633

Junsei River Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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