Fresh baked “Fong Bao” from the oven – 方包出爐

Random musings & meditations straight from the oven. Hopefully some food for thought as well…

Archive for June, 2009

7 days that could change the Canuck franchise

Tavares & Hedman at WJCFor the first time in a long time, the sense of anticipation for this year’s NHL entry draft is palpable. There’s the question of who will be selected first overall by the Islanders: High scoring forward John Tavares or once-in-a-decade blue chip defenseman Victor Hedman.

Brian BurkeThere’s the possibility of Toronto GM Brian Burke making yet another splash at the draft. And then there’s the Dany Heatley trade demand situation and a possible battle to acquire the negotiating rights of one Jay Bouwmeester.

Even Canuck fans are wondering whether general manager Mike Gillis will trade up for a chance to select a long-coveted puck moving defenseman in Ryan Ellis or trade down to build depth in the organization.

Ryan Ellis

But in all honesty, the front burner issue in Vancouver has to be the future of Daniel & Henrik Sedin. 7 days is what separate the twins from free agency and if you are to believe some of the theories being put forth by the local media recently, a new era of Canucks hockey is on the horizon.

And I’m starting to buy into that train of thought.

Rumour has it Robert Luongo has agreed to a contract extension that will be announced on July 1. One has to believe the cap hit will be at least $7 to $7.5 million. Now if the Sedins are holding out for a similar amount, I’m not sure the Canucks are willing to commit over $21 million to just 3 players when there is still a need to fill holes and to re-sign Ryan Kesler.

Sedin TwinsThe negotiations have gone on for over a year and if the Canucks and the Sedins are serious about getting a deal done, it would have been done by now. That leads me to believe both sides are prepared to part ways on July 1. Maybe I’m wrong on this but all signs seem to be pointing that direction.

 So here’s what I think may happen after July 1:

Marian Gaborik1, Marian Gabork didn’t buy a house in West Vancouver just so he can rent it out during the Olympics. He’s going to sign a short term deal here to re-unite with his best buddy Pavol Demitra. With his injury history, I’d like to think he’ll be willing to sign a 1 or 2 year deal for $4.5 – $5 million per to prove himself. When healthy, he’s a dynamic, point-per-game player and I, for one, will pay to watch him since he reminds me so much of Pavel Bure.

Mike Cammalleri2,Say hello to Mike Cammalleri. Calgary has no cap room to re-sign him. He’s a former Mike Gillis client. The connection is obvious. And like Gaborik, Cammalleri would instantly upgrade the Canucks power play.

Scott Niedermayer3, Scott Niedermayer to leave Anaheim and sign a 1 year deal here. He’s won everything there is to win but the opportunity to play club and Olympic hockey in his home province might be the ideal scenario to cap off his impressive career.

Jay Bouwmeester

As much as I’d like to see Jay Bouwmeester in a Canuck jersey, that’s a pipe dream at best. In this salary cap era, you just can’t have everything.

Mike GillisSo there you have it, Fong Bao’s fearless predictions, for what it’s worth. Chances are I’ve already jinxed them all simply by putting my thoughts into words. But make no mistake, the next 7 days could be the pivotal period that will shape the future of the Canuck franchise.

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Death of an icon

Before he became the butt of a lot of jokes, Michael Jackson was, and still is, IMHO, a unique talent of our generation. There’s a reason “Thriller” (which happens to be the very first English album I owned) is the world’s biggest selling album of all time because his music still holds up very well to this day. Who knows how much more he could have achieved if he didn’t have to battle all the personal demons in his life. What a shame the life of an icon ended so abruptly today.

R.I.P.  M.J.

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Food for the eyes…….

還記得這首歌嗎?- 偷窺

很多人可能不知道,林保怡原是以歌手身份加入娛樂圈的。方包當年 (原因不詳) 也買了他的「處男」大碟卡式帶。只可惜在「四大天王」的年代,林保怡這類外形的唱手是沒辦法突圍的。

二+年前的出品!

電視總算給了林一個表演的舞臺。「妙手仁心」糸列的「林國柱」醫生和「金枝慾孽」裡的「孫白颺」都是兩個街知巷聞,讓人認識林保怡的角色。

學生時代在朋友的鐳射影碟鋪 (還記得那些比人頭更大的碟嗎?) 做了幾年兼職。而「偷窺」這首歌是一位當年在中文電台工作的顧客「阿H」介紹給方包識;當年不是一首大熱的歌但是一些聽眾的心水,一個cult favourite。近年也有歌手在演唱會重唱「偷窺」;記憶所及有草蜢+容祖兒和劉美君+蘇永康。

「阿H」己經回流香港多年,不知他近况如何,但很多謝他的推介。

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Koko – A hidden gem on the Hastings corridor

10 years ago a former colleague introduced me to Koko and it left such an impression on me that I never went back – Well, location being the reason – until the summer of 2006, when I started spending parts of my work week in the area. Now whenever people want to meet for lunch, I usually take them there.

KOKOLocated inside a rather unattractive yellow brick building, Koko will surprise you with its quality. While I have yet to sample all of its offerings, I would HIGHLY recommend the Jumbo Dynamic Roll on your first visit. To start, the prawn is the largest that I’ve ever seen used in a dynamic roll. And unlike most Japanese restaurants where they pre-made the tempura, Koko deep fry the prawn just before assembling the roll. With avacado & some spicy mayo, it is a dish best enjoyed when served because the prawn is still warm when you bite into this meaty roll. THAT, is what I remembered from my experience 10 years ago. Do note that due to its size, a half order is more than sufficient for 2 people to enjoy.

Half order of the Jumbo Dynamic RollClose up of a Jumbo Dynamic Roll

I’m a huge Toro (Tuna belly) fan and Koko is one of the few places I’ve been that makes a proper Negitoro roll; one where the toro and green onions are chopped and mixed together. And if you are lucky, you may even get a chance to taste the high end, blue fin toro which is offered from time to time.

Some say you can judge the quality of a sushi chef by tasting a humble piece of Tamago (Egg). If that’s what you fancy, you will not be disappointed as well.

Assorted Nigri SushiSpicy Tuna Roll

By and large, I find Koko’s sashimi, nigri sushi and maki to be fresh and pretty high quality. I will reserve judgement on its rice and noodle dishes since I’ve only had the Yaki Soba and the Katsu curry rice. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed Koko’s cold ramen, which is only available during the summer months.

IMG00157-20090617-1217

Price wise, Koko is slightly higher than the Kamei’s and the Daimasu’s of the world but you will find value in the quality of its ingredients and preparation. Overall, I’m confident you’ll enjoy the Koko experience. If nothing else, the Jumbo Dynamic Roll should bring you back for more.

Upgrading The Oven

(* = Lingo alert)

I’ve been sick for most of the week but as I move into the “coughing phase” (pretty self explanatory), complete recovery is just around the corner. However, it’s also a time where I will temporarily lose most of my voice. So I decided to stay home all day Saturday to rest and catch up on some readings online. Besides the usual sites on the blogroll, I took some time reading archived posts on a couple of blogs. Somewhat inspired by what I saw and read, I started playing around with “The Oven” hoping to see what I can add to it. Some of you may have noticed the addition of a music/mv page just a few days ago. New content will be added to that as we move along.

And if you look at the home page later, you should see 2 new sections on the right:

A Flickr bread crumbs* stream and “Oven Tweets”, for all those who are into Twitter-ing. I’m not sure how it will work out but the hope is the enhancements will compliment “The Oven”.

P.S. Before I baked this loaf*, I was watching some vintage 1980’s Transformers cartoons on the Tele. Great stuff, even though I was more into G.I. Joe then.

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The Transformers Cartoon Theme Song

還記得這首歌嗎?

人總有一段時間對新事物提不起興趣。

近年來香港樂壇新人輩出,但甚麼周柏豪,陳柏宇 (真的不是同一個人嗎?) ,G.E.M. ,等等,方包一律都不太認識。看看他的 iPod songlist 便可知道他停留在那一個年代。

新歌少聽,舊歌每天在播,發掘了一批過往忽略了,珼在聽出了味度的歌。

「赤裸的秘密」是其中之一

方包算不上是林憶蓮的超級「粉絲」但很佩服她由一個不懂唱歌的 DJ ,搖身一變成為亞洲知名的「唱家班」。+分欣賞她的一份毅力和對歌唱的熱誠。

今年四月張國榮逝世五週年,記起「赤裸」是有一個「哥哥」和憶蓮的劇場版。簡單的獨白,但令整首歌更有層次,能夠感受到歌者那份無奈,也能聽出另一番味道。

張敬軒的版本也不錯。至少「唱K」時多了一個選擇。哈!

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