Saturday, 8 July 2017

Pho Vietnamese Delight

Grabbing dinner with friends can go two ways: either everyone gets their own thing or the group decides to go in for the set dinner since there's strength (and lots of stomach space) in numbers!
We got Combo D for 3 people

Stir Fry Choy with garlic

Lemongrass pork chop and Assorted appetizer platter with skewers and spring rolls
The lemongrass pork chop was quite a big portion for three people to share (which is great!). The pork was good, but it didn't really have a strong lemongrass flavour.  The skewers were really yummy as was the fried spring roll (Viet spring rolls are the best). I wasn't a fan of the rice roll (mostly because I don't really like rice paper).

Ketchup with Brisket Noodle in Soup
The ketchup part threw us off, but it was basically like a sweet tomato broth with beef brisket and tendon. It was a little odd tasting at first, but still okay.

Malaysia Curry Chicken
The chicken was okay - the curry sauce wasn't spicy or anything and it was kind of flavourful. I'm not sure I'd order this again though. 

Overall: Service was decent and we got a lot of food from Combo D - I thought it was pretty decent value for money (but nothing was exceptionally good or anything). 

Phoenix Restaurant

July 8, 2017
Yunnan Rice Noodle and Pork chop with gravy sauce spaghetti
The rice noodle was delicious as always - it has nice subtle flavours and this really yummy spongy fish ball. The pork chop was a lot of meat, but probably not as much sauce as I would have liked since there was also the spaghetti to absorb some of the sauce. 

Half tomato sauce and half cream sauce baked spaghetti with pork
I really like these HK style spaghetti meals - you can always decide to eat the tomato side first, or the cream side first or mix them together for an extra yummy sauce with spaghetti. The pork was really good too. 

June 18, 2016
I was craving some HK style spaghetti, so we came to Phoenix for big plates of spaghetti. 
Beef with spaghetti and Garlic and honey breaded pork with spaghetti
Both dishes had gravy sauce and interestingly enough, you could still taste the garlic and honey of the breaded pork despite the gravy sauce. The food was okay for the most part and filling. 

Jan 10, 2016
Hainan Chicken and Yunnan fish and tofu with rice noodles
Both were as delicious as I remember them - you can always count on Phoenix for consistently great meals with great value-for-money! 

November 8, 2014
We came for a quick lunch before hitting Markville Mall for some Christmas shopping. 
The service is fast and the food is reasonably priced and they serve a mean cup of Hong Kong Milk Tea.
Malaysian Beef Curry with Rice and Hong Kong Milk Tea
The beef curry was delicious! A little on the spicier side, but the steamed rice and cucumber helped to cut the spiciness down. Really hearty and delicious curry with huge chunks of beef. 

Baked Pork Chop with Cream and Tomato sauce on Fried Rice with HK Milk Tea
I didn't even realize I got the same thing that I ordered almost exactly two years ago - I guess I'm more of a creature of habit than I thought. The pork chops were still huge! I also figured out that the sauces individually aren't the best, but together the mix of the sauces works pretty well with the tomato adding a slightly stronger flavour to the lighter cream sauce and the combined sauces makes the fried rice taste better. So in the future - order this with fried rice not spaghetti. 

November 11, 2012

I love Chinese Afternoon Tea. It's great on weekends - especially if you grab dim sum early in the morning and skip lunch, then you're usually starving by 2:30pm which is when afternoon tea specials kick in! It's that perfect time between lunch and dinner when you can grab food. Some Chinese restaurants serve a special afternoon tea menu, while others serve the same dishes at dinner but at a discounted price as an afternoon tea special.
Phoenix restaurant 

Hainan Chicken with rice
This is probably the most popular dish on the menu at Phoenix Restaurant. They're well known for their Hai nan Chicken with rice. The chicken is super tender and juicy - the best part is that there are no bones! My second favourite part of the plate is the rice (which is amazing). It's really fragrant and you can tell that it was steamed with chicken oil. 

Yunnan fish and tofu with rice noodles (mi xian)
I really like Yunnan rice noodles. The noodles are soft, thin and tasty and with the clear and simple broth - it's yummy. The fish, tofu and winter melon were great complements to the noodle soup. Even though the fish looked like it was fried, it actually wasn't - instead it was lightly battered and a little soggy which I thought was a great way to cook the fish.

Yunnan preserved vegetables and shredded pork with rice noodles 
Whereas the fish and tofu had a simple and clean taste, I thought the preserved vegetables and shredded pork overwhelmed the noodle soup since they were so strongly flavoured. The vegetables added more of a saltiness to the broth which took away from the tastiness of the noodle soup.

Baked pork chop with tomato and cream sauce on spaghetti
I found the ketchup sauce was too sweet for my liking and the cream sauce was a like a watered down version of cream of mushroom. I didn't like either of the sauces. However, they did serve us two gigantic pork chops (which was a lot of meat) and it was quite good. 

Overall: Phoenix Restaurant serves one of the best Hainan Chicken rice dishes I've ever tried and the accompanying steamed rice is also delicious. However, I found that the quality of the dishes has decreased over the years - it used to be much better. The service was insanely fast though - we were in and out in 40 minutes. 

Phoenix Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, 7 July 2017

Union Social Eatery @ St. Clair & Yonge

A new Summerlicious restaurant!
*Items in red are what I would recommend ordering

Good options on this menu!

Roasted Caesar Salad and House Braised Short Rib Firecrackers
The Firecrackers were REALLY good! Crispy and crunchy on the outside and yummy tender short rib on the inside with a side of dipping sauce. It was a great combination. 
The salad was okay - but nothing really special. 

8 oz. Grilled Bavette Steak
The steak was okay, it was cooked to a nice medium rare. The presentation was a little lacking though since it seemed like 1/3 of the plate was empty and there were a few pieces of zucchini, tomatoes and a section of fries. 

Blueberry Chipotle Baby Back Ribs
I wasn't sure about these at first since blueberry sauce on ribs was a little out of the norm for me, but these were really good! The sweetness from the blueberry was nice with the chipotle BBQ sauce and it was a really sizable portion of ribs on top of crispy fries. 

Warm chocolate chunk cookies, Mars bar brownie and blueberry parfait and No bake vanilla oreo cheesecake
I thought I'd like the mars bar brownie and blueberry parfait the most, but it was just a really strange combination. The blueberries and mars brownies didn't seem to go well together and the cup made it awkward to eat - it might have been better plated separately. I also learned I really don't like no-bake cheesecakes - so I won't order that again. The cookies were the best out of the three. 

Overall: Interesting menu - I liked the firecrackers and ribs, but the rest of the dishes were only okay for me. The service was pretty good and the ambiance was cool - if a little loud. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Chatime @ College & Yonge

July 4, 2017
Chatime is running 1L cup promotions for $5 with 3 different flavours in celebration of 5 years. The one I'm most likely to drink is the Roasted Milk Tea with tapioca, grass jelly and pudding.
Roasted Milk Tea Triple
Don't get this if you don't like Roasted milk tea! It's a bit of an acquired taste if you're expecting regular bubble tea or milk tea. I wasn't a big fan at first and after drink a bit more, it got a bit better. The one thing I really didn't like in this was the pudding (and it was like 3/4 of the cup), so beware! 

June 2, 2017
Chatime released some summer specials including some Instagram worthy drinks like this:
Starry Lemon
It's really pretty - but it tasted like a slushy lemonade. This was the June Tea of the Month so it was on sale for $3.99, but I wouldn't pay anymore for that. 

Monday, 3 July 2017

Mildred's Temple Kitchen

July 3, 2017 

Special Skillet with maple glazed pulled pork, beans & potato hash with sunny eggs
The maple syrup flavour stood out and while it was good, it wasn't really exceptional.

The Manhandler with sliced flat iron steak on toasted garlic sourdough with arugula, two eggs sunny & a side of MP sauce.
We didn't really think this was the best presentation of the dish - we could barely see the steak and arugula because of the eggs (and the eggs were fried in a strange way). The steak was good (but a rather small portion) and the sandwich was nice, but it felt like we were eating mostly potatoes.

Veda’s Choice with poached eggs on a flakey croissant, smoked salmon, topped with Béarnaise sauce & served with mixed greens
This is always a favourite since it's always done well. The croissant was perfectly flaky and the poached eggs and smoked salmon were delicious.

Brunch special: maple smoked pork skillet
 Somehow a smaller portion...not really consistent

Mrs. Biederhof’s Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Pancakes were stacked mile high again! Super fluffy and yummy with the syrup and blueberry compote. 

October 23, 2016
We had a relative from overseas visiting, so we took her out to brunch at one of the city's best brunch spots. 
Scones and Tea Biscuits
The scones are so yummy!
Mrs. Biederhof’s Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes served with a wild blueberry compote, Lanark County maple syrup & whipped cream.
The pancakes were as fluffy as ever with lots of blueberry compote and maple syrup.

Veda’s Choice Mildred’s classic poached eggs on a flakey croissant with your choice of smoked salmon or bacon, topped with Béarnaise sauce & served with mixed greens
Delicious! Definitely my favourite brunch item of the day.

Omelette brunch special
The omelette was a little disappointing considering the size and the price. I wouldn't order this again.

April 2, 2016

I've heard great things about Mildred's Temple Kitchen, so we tried to get to Liberty Village early Saturday morning to try out their famous brunch.  There was an hour wait at 10:30am and we ended up waiting an hour and a half before we were actually seated. 

First things first: endless coffee
Either we were really exhausted or this was one of the best cups of coffee I've ever had, after the third cup, I think it was definitely one of the smoothest and most flavourful coffees I've ever had - even without all the cream and sugar - it was so delicious!

Our waiter was informed that we waited a really long time for a table, so they gave us a complementary blueberry scone and a biscuit with clotted cream and chocolate sauce as a starter (which was really nice of them)! Both the scone and biscuit were AMAZING!

Mrs. Biederhof’s Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
This brunch meal was a massive stack of three pancakes with decadent wild blueberries, whipped cream and real maple syrup was heavenly.  The pancakes were light and fluffy and the blueberry sauce was so tasty and rich in flavour. SO GOOD!

Huevos Monty: Mildred’s classic black bean refritos & sharp cheddar cheese baked in flour tortillas & topped with eggs sunny, fresh salsa & avocado crème fraîche
I've been thinking about the Huevos Rancheros I had at George Street Diner and so I was kinda excited to get the Huevos Monty.  It was good, but it wasn't really my favourite dish between the three.  Something just seemed like it was missing from this brunch dish to really make it stand out. 

Big Brunch Skillet with spicy pulled pork, roasted onions, black bean and potato hash with sunny eggs and piri piri salsa 
I love skillets and I liked the slightly spicy kick from the pulled pork. 

Overall: Good brunch at Mildred's Temple Kitchen! I'll be dreaming about that fantastic cup of endless coffee and the deliciously sweet and tasty massive stack of blueberry buttermilk pancakes for quite some time.  The service was actually pretty fast, but the patrons were all there to slowly enjoy their lazy morning brunch. 
Mildred's Temple Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Bent Taco - Collingwood (ON)

We went to Collingwood for a day trip to explore the Scenic Caves.
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Caves and a Suspension Bridge!
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Wasaga Beach

We grabbed tacos before heading back to Toronto.
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The tacos seemed a little pricey for $6.50 each, but we wanted to try a variety.
Chorizo beet tostada, meat & potatoes and two Baja fish tacos
Everything looked really good - it was really nicely presented.
The chorizo beet tostada was pretty good with the crunchy tostada. The meat & potatoes was really interesting with the beet crema, braised short rib and hickory sticks for crunchy spiced texture. The baja fish was only okay.

Cauliflower burrito $14
I think we were definitely expecting a lot more from a $14 burrito. It was tasty, but it seemed pretty small when it was presented on the tray.

Overall: It's a really nice restaurant with a great patio for outdoor eating and it's decent Mexican in Collingwood (if a little pricey). The service was really good and the restaurant is really cool inside.