Like Korean barbecue and shabu-shabu, Hong Kong-style hotpot combines the excitement of a night on the town with the hassle of cooking your own meal. Granted, it’s not for everyone, but for those willing to put in the extra effort, it can be a sociable and fun experience – provided no one adds anything unexpected to the communal pot (on my in-laws’ last visit, it was the pig uteri).

When it comes to hotpot, Fondy prefers HKYK on No. 3 road in Richmond. It’s offers a spacious dining environment, an attentive and friendly staff, a nice choice of soup bases to cook with, and a veritable multitude of menu items ranging from the deliciously familiar (fresh seafood) to the disquietingly exotic (the pig bung comes to mind). Since I’m partial to the bold taste of satay while Fondy prefers the more subtle flavor of chicken broth, we selected the half and half option in which both versions are offered on either side of a partitioned bowl. The soups were served and, as they eventually began to simmer, the individual dishes began to arrive. We had a double portion of the handcut fatty beef, an order of lamb, and an order of the pork cheek – all well-marbled, thinly sliced, and very tasty after a minute or so in the bubbling liquids. We also sampled the pork dumplings, which proved disappointingly bland, and the chive dumplings, that were as good as I’ve had at my favorite dim sums. Although they didn’t really need the extra flavoring, I occasionally dabbed the meats and dumplings in some of the sauces that came with the meal: a thick satay, an equally thick spicy sauce that also tasted vaguely peanuty, and your run-of-the-mill soy. An order of minced garlic added a definite kick to the proceedings.

For dessert, Fondy had a favorite of hers: the almond and egg white soup. I was quite happy with my complimentary glass of sweet and surprisingly smoky plum juice.

Service, as always, was prompt, friendly, and downright chatty at times as one waiter and Fondy ended up discussing their recent trips to Hong Kong for a good fifteen minutes after the meal had ended.

On the t.v. front: Fondy and I are slowly catching up on season 3 of Boston Legal. While watching House last night, I thought I recognized the young female guest star but I couldn’t remember what I’d seen her in. It wasn’t until I replayed the beginning of the episode that I recognized the name – Katheryn Winnick. Paul and I worked with her years ago when she guested on Student Bodies, her very first acting gig. I remember her as a paticularly sweet and pleasant young lady and it’s nice to see she’s doing so well. Her performance in last night’s House, incidentally, was terrific.

On the book front: Finished Jasper Fforde’s “The Eyre Affair” and just completed Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Dispossed”. Moving onto Gene Wolfe’s “The Fifth Head of Cerberus” and considering Scott Lynch’s “The Lies of Locke Lamora”.

Blaine Nielsen writes: “Does Martin Gero have a blog? If he doesn’t he should because he seems like a really cool guy.”

Answer: Cool guy? Really? Martin Gero the writer, not Martin Wood the director, right? Sometimes even people on the show get them confused. Nope, he doesn’t have a blog but he does have a myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/martingero

Anonymous writes: “Joe, what is your favorite episode from season 10 that you wrote, what is your favorite episode overall, and which episode do you think is “the best”?”

Answer: Of the episodes I wrote, my fave is Family Ties. As for my overall favorite and “the best” (which should be the same episode, really) – I’ll have to think about it. Magic 8 Ball says “Ask again.”

G writes: “…so do you guys get sick of having yet another pairing crop up in the SG universe that has such a mammoth devoted following in the audience or do you consider it just another element that inevitably emerges as part of storytelling process?”

Answer: So long as it’s a natural progression of a given relationship, I have no objection to ship. In fact, quite the opposite.

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Valerie
Valerie

Is there any possibility Jonas could come back to the stargate universe? Yeah I know his planet was taken over by the Ori, but that does not mean he has to be gone forever, right?

Anonymous
Anonymous

I watched The Shroud tonight and it was AMAZING! Jack was classic and gorgeous–what a combo! You have to get him for the movies Joe. It’s essential!

JackAttack

Crystal
Crystal

So if you’ve been watching season 3 of Boston Legal, you have noticed that the person (people) you mentioned disappearing from sight in the middle of season 2 without the credits being redone are now gone from the series?

Did you watch BL last night with the masquerade party where Shatner came as Dick Cheney and Spader as Shirley Schmidt? I was surprised at how much Spader looked like Candice in his makeup and how lovely he looked as well. Loved when they were dancing on the balcony and Shatner said he wondered what the watching neighbors were thinking and Spader answered, “If they’re regular viewers, they know that anything goes.” I think DK was taking a page out of Aaron Sorkin’s book, but I loved it. The show is never predictable and always fun and one of the few shows I never miss.

I know this is a comedy and as such can go much further than a drama can, but this relationship banter and play is so remininscent of the Jack and Daniel interplay that drew me to the SG-1 series in the first place. Unfortunately, we didn’t get much of it in the movie, since the actors weren’t able to leave their politics at home. It also is one of the biggest attractions to Atlantis for me, and as such Season 3 has so far been great.

windshieldbug
windshieldbug

Ha! As I never stick to what I say I’m going to eat we had a similar meal tonight.

A new Korean restaurant opened in Destin and I had to try it. (Why do I never remember my camera?) I had yakimondu and bagogi….with sweet tea.

Word of warning, never eat kagogi! Its…umm…dog meat…

Anonymous
Anonymous

Greetings from Giza! My mother just sent me the season nine DVDs to catch up with. I moved here for a semester abroad during season eight and haven’t left yet! I’ve loved catching up with your blog and reading about your food adventures. You’re a pretty interesting guy, you know that?

So, on to the questions:

What happened with Jack and Sam?

Is Baal the only gould left?

Is Vala gone for good or does she return after Beachead?

Does Sam lead SG-1 or does Cam? I can’t tell and sometimes think it alternates. Is this cleared up in the future?

Thanx, and keep on blogging. I’m hooked.

hold99

Rachel
Rachel

Just want to say I love Jasper Fforde as well. Are you still working your way through the series? I’ve not long finished The Big Over Easy and looking for The Fourth Bear.

And The Shroud…loved it. had me grinning throughout with the Jack and Daniel sparring.

Arctic Goddess
Arctic Goddess

Hi Joe:

Speaking of Ba’al, please tell me that Cliff Simon will be a major part of the new series being considered. I’d love to see Ba’al as the tormented ex bad guy trying to go straight.

Ann M.
Ann M.

What an interesting blog. Was online chatting with an HW friend catching up on all my SG1 and Atlantis news and she gave me the link to your blog.

Enjoying hiatus?

Stillhere
Stillhere

The most recent episode of Boston Legal had me rolling with laughter at the end with Denny and Alan on the balcony dancing. Heck I wrote a whole blog entry about it in my blogspot.

I wish I could say I enjoyed the Jack and Daniel scenes in The Shroud like I did this BL ending, but found those scenes in The Shroud lacking something vital and warm that used to exist in the dynamics of Jack and Daniel’s friendship.

The rest of the episode was pretty good. Shanks did a great job with the challenges he was given, as did guest star Robert Picardo.

First time in a long time I really enjoyed seeing a scene together between Jack and Sam. There was an easy interaction, nothing being forced or implied.

RDA is still looking pretty good.

On topic with your blog. Well the pictures of the food look good. I’ve never tried Thai food. Is it spicy? I have a lot of trouble eating spicy foods (heck sometimes Ketchup is too spicy for me) and have allergies to alot of them.

I do like some Chinese food and Japanese food, but can’t eat Indian food. Which is Thai food more like?

Marla

Page Branson
Page Branson

Hiya joe,

Found this blog off of the Save Carson site, so glad you have a blog again as I adored the Gateworld one you did a while back. Keep it up and I look forward hopefully more anime recs in the future (My personal favs: Read or Die, Battle Angel Alita, Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell:SAC). But man, you’re making me hungrier and hungrier with each blog post. Hmmm, does my local Thai place do delivery…

Anyhoo, I shall ask the Magic Eight ball a question!

Was Carson Beckett’s untimely exit from Atlantis in ‘Sunday’ deliberatly left open? Or am I just high on wishful thinking? Is there light at the end of this tunnel?

Ok, granted that was technically three questions, but you get the idea.

Thanks, and keep up the great work!,

Page

PS- Come to more conventions in the US (*cough* Dragon Con *cough*). It would be the coolest thing in the world if you did. Yup, you heard me. The coolest.

PalmerEldritch
PalmerEldritch

Thanks for answering my question about Lee, Siler, and Walter but, to my knowledge, I am not nor have I ever been named Marla.

Not that there’s anything wrong with being named Marla. smile

Joe, ever read any Philip K. Dick? I highly recommend him to fans of SciFi mind frells.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Ok, Joe, I’m asking again, as per the magic eight ball’s advice. What do you think is “the best” episode from season ten.

Congratulations on The Shroud, too. Jack was totally back!!

Anonymous
Anonymous

You probably get this question a lot, but I’m fairly new to the Stargate universe…. Is there any way that you (and the other producers/writers) can be convinced to finally bring Sam and Jack together in a firm, committed, romantic relationship? Even if it’s just a few comments by the characters, indicating that Sam and Jack are a committed couple, would suffice, just as long as it’s clear to viewers that they are together. (A wedding and kids would be an added bonus, but I don’t want to ask for too much!). Sorry if you’ve already answered this question before, but like I said, I am pretty new to Stargate (having borrowed my brother’s DVDs and watched the first 8 seasons in a couple of months). Thanks. Enjoyed your blog.

Redtwin
Redtwin

Hi Joe!

In the Sg1 ep “The Pegasus Project” Joe Flanigan and Ben Browder were really terrific together onscreen. Is it possible that we’d see Cam Mitchell in Atlantis in season 4?

As an avid “House” watcher I agree with you about Katheryn Winnick. I kept wondering where I had seen her before. Nice to see she’s from Canada.
Thanks!
Redtwin

majorsal
majorsal

stillhere said: “First time in a long time I really enjoyed seeing a scene together between Jack and Sam. There was an easy interaction, nothing being forced or implied.”

my response: ’cause they are soooo married!

right, joe?

*plugs ears* forget i asked! *la la la la, i’m not listening*

so, about that ‘house’ ep with the girl you and paul had worked with. if this is the same ‘house’ ep about the girl that was raped; i thought, for a moment, it was the girl that played cadet haley from ‘proving ground’. they look very similar, but i realized rather quickly that it wasn’t her.

oh, and stay away from the magic 8 ball… very scary.

your blog is nice, but don’t let yourself put on weight. rather soon into me working at starbucks, i started putting on (some) pounds. that stupid white chocolate mocha drink is fattening! *hugs drink*

k, done babbling.

sally smile

Stillhere
Stillhere

stillhere said: “First time in a long time I really enjoyed seeing a scene together between Jack and Sam. There was an easy interaction, nothing being forced or implied.”

my response: ’cause they are soooo married!

Hey I think it’s because she has finally realised she can be herself with Jack and be his friend. I think that hanging out with Cameron Mitchell has helped Sam to see that.

Besides, everyone knows Sam Carter is married to Malcom Barrett;)

Ok I think she should be..however I think I’m also becoming a closet Sam/Cam shipper. But I try to resist those leanings because I know I will only get upset and frustrated when, as soon as they are together, the writers will decided to split them up just to shake things up. (they are writers they have to do this kinda stuff, it’s in the ‘writes handbook and contractual obligations’, I’m convinced of that!)

Seriously though, I want to see Cameron Mitchell go to Atlantis with Sam. They make a dynamic working duo and they have a nice balance. Of course I think Vala would have to do the ‘limited gene pool’ comment all over again because I think Mitchell and Sheppard look waay more alike than Cameron and Daniel do.

Marla