Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Once upon a time there was a museum...

Well I have some good news for you travellers, specifically you time travellers. A story of a fantastic museum, right here in Toronto. Our Royal Ontario Museum. A childhood favorite of mine. I welcome you all to come and see it! All you have to do is hop in your local time machine and go back 5 years before they remodeled it into the fucking mess it is today. Unappealing modern design has ruined a once grand museum. Now whilst I eventually got over the eye-sore they turned the outside into;

I was extremely disheartened to see how they trashed the inside. The interior all white walls, and abstract design make it hard to focus on anything, and even hard to maintain balance in places. Now at this point I should remind you, this is a museum, not an amusement park exhibit -- not that you would know the difference anymore.

Shortly after getting inside we made a pit stop to the food area. It used to be a Druxy's with a juice area, and is now an upscale looking cafeteria. The menu loaded with your typical items like fish and chips and chicken fingers, a pizza area, a soup area, and a burrito area that appeared closed. Not wanting to spend an arm and a leg at a museum food stand I had the daily pizza slice(3.50$), which was braised eggplant and basil. The pizza was okay, all be it, old and lacking in eggplant. The fresh (or once fresh) basil added a nice flavour. Christina went for the soup, which was African Peanut featured from there 'black history month' menu.

One of my favorite parts was the dinosaur exhibit when I was young, which has completely changed. The exhibit is smaller and more condensed. I was happy to see the animal displays were mostly unchanged, and had anticipated going through the bat cave which had been advertised as 'new, bigger, and better' all over the museum. To my further dismay it was not yet open, and to which end had closed off my favorite section of the animal exhibit as well.

Now I concede, theres certain areas in this world of ours where out with the old and in with the new is for the best. This however was not a welcome change. There used to be a grand feeling to the ROM, now it just feels like walking through the halls of a space ship from a low budget science fiction film.

The final verdict being, it may be worth suffering through if you have no prior connection with the ROM. However please avoid at all costs on a hangover. Passing by the outside is nausea inducing, and the inside might just be enough to empty your stomach and leave you grasping for ibuprofen

Afterwords we went out to grab some food. After some discussion (more of protest on the end of my comrades) we ended up at Sichuan House for a thoroughly disappointing lesson in what not to order at a Sichuan restaurant. We had the Shanghai Noodles, the Seafood Noodles, and the Diced Chicken with Dried Chilies. The noodles tasted uninspired and undercooked, and the seafood was not the freshest in taste. The chicken however was up to my standards quite spicy and loaded with chilies.

Diced Chili Chicken (Not from Sichuan House)

We followed our meal by going to the all but too noisy Red Room, just up the street. Filled the the clatter of chattery young girls (picture a room full of prepubescent high school girls all trying to compete to be the loudest) and the aroma of what smelled a hell of a lot better then what we just ate. Yet another disappointment this day had to offer. I do admit after 4 or 5 pitchers and some whiskey, I did start to feel better.

To salvage the evening we went across the street to Kom Jug Yeun for a standard of GOOD Shanghai Noodles, and their house specialty BBQ Pork (Char Siu) which is guaranteed never to disappoint!


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