Today, we arrived in our fifth Canadian province, Nova Scotia, as part of our goals to hit every Canadian province (and territory). After an annoying connection and long layover in Toronto due to American Airlines not having any direct flights between New York City and Halifax, we pretty much spent the whole day traveling and arrived just in time for dinner. If we had flown direct, the flight would have only taken about two hours, so I guess that’s the price of loyalty sometimes. Luckily for us, Halifax has no shortage of good food, and being right on the Atlantic, seafood is plentiful, local, and fresh throughout the entire province, and at prices that are relatively economical.
One thing I’ve always enjoyed about eating and viewing menus in countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand is that there is a very strong Asian influence across menus, and it’s usually done tastefully and well. It’s not like when you’re in the middle of the U.S. and you see “peanut noodles” on a random Western-style restaurant, and you’re completely repulsed at the idea of what they mean when they say “peanut noodles” (what they probably mean is that they’ve mixed Skippy peanut butter with some oil and tossed it in some noodles, and who really wants to eat that?). Tonight for example, we ordered tikka masala mussels as a starter, and the curry sauce tasted legitimately like tikka masala, and the mussels were local and extremely fresh tasting. These mussels were definitely not frozen, and that tikka masala really tasted Indian-British, and could have potentially been made in a tandoori-type oven.
In Canada as in Australian and New Zealand, there seems to be a larger respect for Asian cuisine and culture in general. It’s not just about General Tso’s for Chinese, and people don’t just assume that when you want Japanese food that you want sushi. In these countries, when a non-Asian person gives you Asian restaurant recommendations, you could actually trust that their recommendations will actually be good and up to your standard. Sadly, I could never say that about the U.S., even though I’ve lived in three very metropolitan areas.