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$95 For a Bowl of Soup?
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The chef's specials at the Pret a Manger Chinese restaurant on Sainte-Catherine Street near the corner of Saint-Mathieu can be somewhat pricey.
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h@voc: 24th Jul 2006 - 06:20 GMT
Even if it is rare look at where it is placed on the menu. At least have a special part of the menu for the "expensive" dishes.
Peter: 24th Jul 2006 - 14:51 GMT
heh... lol. we should start a thread of silly menu items. 2 eggs any stile immediately comes to mind...
Peter: 24th Jul 2006 - 14:52 GMT
also: snake soup. yuck. i didnt even see that at first. i was too distracted by the pricy shark-fin soup!
EvilGentleman: 24th Jul 2006 - 20:46 GMT
Personally, I feel they should specify the type of snake. Some people may be hesitant to take a bite of rattlesnake or viper, but may be quite willing to have some non-venemous anaconda soup.
Susannah : 26th Jul 2006 - 17:53 GMT
I can't even look at an anaconda - at the zoo I walk right past the snake house.... too ickey.
EvilGentleman: 26th Jul 2006 - 19:45 GMT
Well, I can tell you, a number of the creatures in the zoo are quite delicious. I never tried snake either, but my father had to as part of his military training, and he did not find it all that terrible. And he's a person who does not care for wild game, so that is saying something.
I personally have knowingly eaten the following creatures:
Birds - Chicken, turkey, duck, goose, ptarmigan, quail.
Reptiles - Turtle.
Invertebrates - Shrimp, lobster, crab.
Involuntarily (mostly from bicycle and ATV riding, as well as early childhood experimentation) - ant, mosquito, housefly, horsefly, blackfly, dragonfly, bumblebee, wasp, butterfly, moth, shadfly, junebug, ladybug, firefly, grasshopper, earthworm (night crawler), pinworm, unknown varieties of caterpillar.
I wonder if I should pitch in with a handful of friends and we can share a small bowl of shark fin soup, just to see what it tastes like. I wonder if there's enough fin to divide among us.
Susannah : 27th Jul 2006 - 00:00 GMT
The grossest thing I ever ate was abalone - it felt very wrong. I guess the night crawler you sampled falls into the category of "childhood" experimenting, not likely that it flew into your mouth. Oh Yes - I'm pretty sure I accidentally swallowed a gnat at least once. As to shark fin soup - the local fish market used to have a picture of "JAWS" that said "BITE BACK!".
a.: 23rd Aug 2006 - 21:56 GMT
people- that's considered CHEAP for shark fin. probably not very good quality.
kman: 25th Aug 2006 - 18:15 GMT
Appalling is the lack of adventure, and negative reaction (dare i say somewhat disrespectful) and perhaps ignorance. Shark fin is extremely expensive considered a delicacy in East Asia kinda like caviar is for Europeans. Prices for a single serving can range from $10 to $65. So what you see on that resto's menu is probably cheap shark fin as I believe that large bowl serves approx 6 ppl. (it's a decent resto by the way).
Also considered delicacies are snake meat and abalone. By the say all of them delicious if you can open your minds up. However, the down side to shark fin is perhaps some of the shark fishers unethical approach to finning.
Many non-american urban cultures do not like to waste animal parts. Perhaps it isn't so much a desire to not waste but a capacity to appreciate. Not only do we eat for taste but texture as well (as shark fin is tasteless but in combination with other ingredients, its texture makes all the difference!). Maybe a few viewings of the Iron Chef will help you appreciate the intricacy of Asian cuisine.
EvilGentleman: 26th Aug 2006 - 20:28 GMT
Oh, no doubt it is a prized delicacy, or it would not be on the menu at all. I think most of us are aware of that. But most people would respond to the prices of caviar, truffles and certain types of crab the same way. While there will always be some people to whom price is no object, the average person on the street will still consider the whole concept of rare, extravagantly-priced food and wine to be completely absurd. Connaisseurs are the exception over here, not the rule. So it has less to do with appreciating the finer things in life and more to do with the title of this article, because when you get right down to the basics, $95.00 is a lot to pay for anything that will be turned into shit in a few hours, regardless of how rare or prized it may be. Maybe if I had more money to throw away, but I don't.
Susannah : 26th Aug 2006 - 22:36 GMT
One of the mom's from my son's karate class insists that gator is delicious- she told me a really funny story about when her husband tried to catch one with a chicken as bait. Somehow I don't find them appealing.
kman: 15th Sep 2006 - 19:22 GMT
EvilGentleman, I can certainly agree with you there. However that opinion is also very subjective. As you would find spending $95 on something that will be turned into shit, I find paying more than $50 for a ticket to one of thousands sporting events that you can watch on tv or read about in the paper also ridiculous or spending more than $100 a night on cheap beer & shots just to get drunk idiotic. But the value we put on things is highly personal.
While I haven't gotten to a level where I would spend more than $100 on a bottle of win say and probably won't (I am no wine/food connoisseur), I am developing a profound appreciation for well prepared foods and rare foods - sometimes that means spending a little extra (not extreme though). However, still my best meals are in unsuspecting mom & pop dives. Having said that, I can't find foie gras in mom & pop dives.
Additionally, some people believe that certain foods including shark fins have healing properties for the health. Not just that, but food is an important part of my family, community and culture where some of us came from places where food is scarce and so we strive for more and better. I can appreciate fish eyes, a fatty piece of chicken ass, duck feet, gizzards, hearts as much if not more than a piece of foie gras.
Anyway, ll I'm saying is a little respect and less digs for other people's choices. Maybe it is baggage I carry from my days in the lunch room (work & school) where people react with disgust at what I was eating (not rare exotic foods but cheap scraps like hearts & gizzards) resulting in my discomfort and embarrassment. Also, I did not intend to imply that closed mindedness is bad - I said appalling because some of these foods are so good, I am shocked that people don't want to try it!
EvilGentleman: 15th Sep 2006 - 20:03 GMT
Frankly, some of your comments bewilder me. You are preaching to the choir. If you look at my comments dated July 26th, you can see my closed mindedness in action. I even suggested I would like to try it. If I have caused offense in some way, I apologize, but I fail to see how commenting on the horrible prices of delicacies is any different than commenting on, (as you so rightly point out) the crazy prices for sports tickets (especially the Olympics) or the price of gold jewelry.
Before debating with someone, make sure they disagree with you first. You seem to be implying that I am closed-minded to delicacies and do not appreciate or respect the dietary habits of other cultures. I do not believe this to be true in any way at all. I am always open to new experiences, although I must admit that I do have reservations about this one. I can easily imagine myself trying shark fin, but I can't stand soup. That is why I would have to try it with others, so I could fish out the fin and grab a few bites. But the liquid, I cannot partake of. I loathe hot liquids, including soup, coffee, tea and hot chocolate.
EvilGentleman: 9th Mar 2007 - 03:15 GMT
They have closed down due to a massive fire next door in February. They are not expected to open for a few months, if at all. Water and smoke damage was quite extensive, not sure if they were affected by any actual fire damage or not.
Christopher: 25th Mar 2007 - 16:52 GMT
You are all disgusting shark fin soup in horrible and cruel. Sharks are likely going to become extinct due to mass overfishing. The fisherman pull the shark out of the water cut off the fin and throw it back in the water to die alive all that for a soup with no flavor. You all make me sick.
EvilGentleman: 26th Mar 2007 - 01:57 GMT
Christopher, so nice of you to insult everyone without even bothering to fully read all the comments. The fishing practices you describe are truly horrific, and since you have described the soup as having no flavour, I take it that you are inferring that you have actually tasted shark fin soup, so I guess you would know. I agree that many fishing practices are barbaric, but calling a food cruel without knowing exactly how that particular meal was created is just plain ignorant.
Jennifer and Jasper: 22nd Apr 2008 - 00:03 GMT
I highly suggest everyone see the film "Sharkwater." Sharks are on the brink of extinction because of the demand for Shark Fin soup. Sharks are a vital part of the delicate ecosytem of the ocean. As the top of the food chain in the ocean, their disappearance has tragic implications for the planet as a whole. With the collapse of the ecosytem comes the loss of underwater plants that produce a huge percentage of the oxygen we depend on. Boycott restaurants that serve Shark Fin soup! Save the sharks ( and humans)!
kman: 20th Aug 2008 - 15:57 GMT
Hey Evilgentleman (two yrs later...) my remarks about close mindedness was not directed towards you but rather towards the comments from other posters ("yuck", "silly"). And yes, i think glossed over your point about the pricey-ness of anything - my apologies for that.
And yes, a market for shark fin has contributed to overfishing. So I also do not condone the consumption of shark fin.
EvilGentleman: 21st Aug 2008 - 07:22 GMT
Heh, I guess we both matured some over the last couple of years.
zagg: 21st Aug 2008 - 15:29 GMT
I should have taken photographs of the menus in Macedonia. The fish 'carp' had the right letters... just in the wrong order... oh crap!
Acrobat78: 18th Feb 2010 - 09:13 GMT
That restaurent became after that (ADONISSIA) a shishtaouk place (the best in town) that took place for 3 years
EvilGentleman: 22nd Feb 2010 - 09:43 GMT
Pret A Manger is still in business.
Adonicia was next door, but the owner lost the place from gambling. Not sure if he actually gambled his restaurant, or if he had to sell it to pay off his debts, but one way or another, he lost it.
These total assholes took the place over about a year and a half ago, worst customer service ever. After a few months, they had chased away all of Adonicia's customers, so they changed it to a used-clothing wholesaler.
Never even bothered to change the signage or take out the kitchen counters, they just shoved clothing racks in everywhere they could. This bullshit lasted a couple months, and then its doors shut for good.
All the contents of the place were placed on the street last summer. Took up 6 parking spots. The cops finally had them cart everything away.
After that, it became a sushi place, which is now combined with another Asian restaurant on the corner next door, where Saffron used to be. They even cut a doorway between the two restaurants inside. Too many Asian restaurants in this neighbourhood, it's getting boring. No more variety.
Alain Robert: 10th May 2010 - 17:28 GMT
Shark fin soup is driving the extinction of sharks around the world (99% of sharks are not dangerous for humans). They usually just cut the fin out and throw the shark back in the water to let them die. Too bad for them there not cute like Panda bears.
I can't believe some people support the destruction of entire species just for a capricious taste. Like people from Japan who wouldn't mind killing the last whale to eat it.
Sum Yung Phag: 16th Jun 2010 - 18:41 GMT
Yes! We must eat these rare sharks fins, so that our tiyneeweenies grow big and strong!
Franny Wentzel: 16th Jun 2010 - 21:34 GMT
I'M A SHARK!!!! I'M A SHARK!!!! I'M A SHARK!!!!
DON'T EAT MY FINS!!!!
I'M A SHARK!!!!
Stéphane Maltais: 17th Nov 2011 - 15:00 GMT
Please, boycot ANY restaurant or seller that still sells shark fin soup or shark fin products and tell them why you are boycotting them. Tell your friends to boycot them too. Sharkfin market is a mafia driven, million dollar industrie that is driving extinction of sharks. That's very serious ! We, thinking humans, cannot tollerate that !
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