Saturday, 22 June 2013

Bubble Republic

Apparently this is the bubble tea place to be in Mississauga. 

Kiwi GT, Passionfruit BT, Mango chiller
Right to left: Kiwi Green Tea (no ice), Passionfruit tea and Mango Slushie
The Saturday daily special was the large kiwi green tea for $3.29. Pretty reasonable and it was in a gigantic pint glass. The tea was really sweet - probably not something I'd order again. 
Then I tried the passionfruit tea and found it really sweet as well. I wonder if that's a trend here...

Spicy fried chicken and Caramel Pudding Milk tea
Caramel Pudding Milk Tea and spicy Taiwanese popcorn chicken
Despite being advertised as spicy, the popcorn chicken were not spicy...they were spiced. 
A nice tidbit size made it easier to munch on them slowly while playing card games...

Green apple soda
Green apple soda
One word: fizzy.

Overall: The bubble teas were too sweet in my opinion (and this coming from the girl who has a huge dessert sweet tooth). It's nice that they let you play card games here at least...

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Keriwa Cafe

In the west end of Parkdale, on Queen West near Roncesvalles is Keriwa Cafe.
The restaurant has gotten rave reviews in the last two years. They went through a stint opening their restaurant only one night a week for a 14 course tasting menu to the tune of $300. Ouch...but then they went back to their normal a la carte menu (thank goodness) and things became affordable again!



Confit Pork Belly with Honey + Wild Leek + Garlic Scape
The pork belly was amazing! It was so tender and succulent that it melted in your mouth and it was flavoured with a fantastic honey and garlic glaze. We cleaned the entire plate...mmmm

Bison flank steak with red pepper + eggplant + rye berry
They didn't have the short rib that day and instead substituted the bison shortrib with a flank steak.
It was honestly the best bison I've ever had - tender and delicious seasoned with a tasty mix of spices and cooked to medium rare perfection. And the sauces were the perfect complement: red pepper and sriracha hot sauce to add a little heat and a nice cool white sauce to clean the palate. The grilled eggplant was a great vegetable side. Yum!

Smoked Hen with Arugula + Elderberry + Fiddleheads
The smoked hen was this gorgeous lean white meat with a fully rich smoke flavour. You could taste the smoke in the meat - that's how absorbed the flavour was into the meat. The chicken was paired with a Crème fraîche and asparagus purée. It was pretty and delectable.

Apple Crumble with Elderberry semi-fredo
The apple crumble was mixed with brown sugar and right on top of the whole mix was a roasted marshmallow that had the sweet half-frozen elderberry semi-fredo in the middle. I liked the play on textures with the gooey marshmallow, chilly frozen semi-fredo, crumbly apple crisps and grainy brown sugar.Very fun!

Panna cotta with crispy wild rice and pear gelee
Amazing dessert! Jelly but firm panna cotta with crisp and crunchy wild rice and a good creme anglais sauce with pear wine gelee. Despite not being very sweet, it fully satisfied my dessert craving.

Overall: For a relatively small restaurant, the food preparation took really long (like 3 hours long). However, the food was perfect - a variety of flavours and textures and so delicious!
Keriwa Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Caplansky's Delicatessen

Caplansky's Delicatessen was another place featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. 
Chicken Parmigiana on a bun
The foccacia bun was really good: soft and olive flavoured. The chicken parm was okay, it wasn't really their specialty, but it was the Wednesday special.
Knish with a separate basket of fries
The knish is a Jewish puff pastry stuffed with smoked meat, potato and spices, served with smoked meat gravy. The knish was interesting, but a tad salty for my liking. The waiter recommended ordering a basket of fries to dip with the gravy. Unfortunately, the smoked meat gravy was so thick that it was like a layer of ground smoked meat, making it undippable with the flimsy fries. On top of that, the gravy and fries were quite salty individually - so you can imagine the saturation of salt together.

Up close view of the Knish
Carrot Cake
Mmmm carrot cake with cream cheese icing...I could definitely taste the cream cheese. The icing wasn't as sweet as I would have liked it to balance out the flavour of the carrot cake.

Overall: The food was okay, a tad salty for my taste. The service was quick and they tried to be helpful in making recommendations, but it didn't really work for me.

Caplansky's Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Gonoe Sushi

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The restaurant has partitioned rooms - very cute!

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Miso soup starter
The miso paste was a little strong; it probably would have been better with some tofu

Midori roll with unagi, crab meat, cucumber, tobiko and wrapped avocado
The roll was okay: there wasn't a lot of bbq eel, the cucumber was crisp, avocado was a little mushy and the crab meat was the fake kind.


Chicken Teriyaki Combo Lunch Special
The combo lunch special came with 3 California rolls and 3 pieces of sushi. (see below).
The teriyaki sauce was too bland and not tasty or strong enough. The chicken was okay if a little rubbery.
I really liked the gyoza (deep fried dumplings). They were authentic Japanese gyoza.
 The other sides were cold stir fried chicken and vegetables in the corner (at least this was tasty), salad and a tiny portion of rice.

The first part:
Salmon sushi, white snapper sushi and tuna sushi

Salmon Teriyaki lunch bento
The salmon teriyaki was better than the chicken (but the sauce was still pretty bland).

Spicy Chicken lunch bento
The spicy chicken was basically a hotter and spicier version of the cold stir fry in the bento box.
Not very impressive.

Flying dragon roll
The flying dragon roll looked a lot like a rainbow roll and it was pretty good with BBQ eel on top and crispy warm shrimp tempura inside.

Overall: The sushi rolls are better than Tako Sushi, but the actual meals and bentos aren't up to the same level. 

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Prairie Girl Bakery

August 2, 2012
Prairie Girl Bakery is a quick 5 minute walk away from the heart of the Financial District in Downtown Toronto. (a.k.a, a perfect snack break)
The menu is relatively simple; they stick to the core classic flavours and add a new spin on other flavours like Peanut Butter and Jam and Salted Caramel (this week). 

Package of 6 minis goes for $9.95

Salted Caramel
The cupcake was moist, but a little bit sticky to eat. The ideal bite size snack.
The icing was sweet and decadent and stayed true to the salted caramel flavour. Proportion wise, the buttercream icing was heavier than the cupcake. But that's great news for icing fans! 

Joe Prairie's Red Velvet Cupcake with Chocolate Cream Cheese icing and a swirl of Vanilla icing. 
I didn't really taste the cream cheese icing in the chocolate, rather I thought it was chocolate buttercream icing with a swirl of cream cheese icing on top. It was a really sweet combination.

Overall: Prairie Girl Cupcakes are perfect sized morsels of sweetness. Their menu has simple classic cupcake flavours and they're done well. 

August 20, 2012
Another cupcake run
From the top left: Hazelnut, Root beer float, Chocolate Strawberry, Vanilla Lemon, Red Velvet Cream Cheese, Chocolate Peanut Butter. 

My favourite cupcake was the Root Beer float cupcake because it was so different, interesting and delicious! It was exactly how root beer and vanilla ice cream would taste like and in cupcake form - it really doesn't get any better than that. 
I also enjoyed the real strawberry icing on the chocolate strawberry cupcake and the Vanilla lemon was a delicious blend of tangy sweetness (not sour at all). 
I wasn't as big a fan of the Red Velvet Cream Cheese, Chocolate Peanut Butter or Hazelnut. The cream cheese icing on the red velvet was nice, but not particularly outstanding; the chocolate peanut butter icing was smooth and creamy like peanut butter (but I wasn't a fan of that combination - except maybe for Reeses Peanut Butter cups) and the Hazelnut was relatively plain and simple compared to the other flavours. 

June 13, 2013

I love pistachios in desserts (try searching my blog for "pistachio", there's a ton of results). 
So I couldn't wait for Prairie Girl Bakery's featured flavour to be pistachio. Yay!
Black Forest and Pistachio mini cupcakes in the box
Black Forest and Pistachio Mini cupcakes

Black Forest and Pistachio mini cupcakes
The pistachio was really good! Vanilla cupcake base with pistachio buttercream and topped with two small pistachio nuts. It had the rich nutty flavour in sugar form - delicious! 
The black forest was a chocolate based cake with cherry and vanilla icing topped with chocolate sprinkles. It was okay overall.

 Prairie Girl Bakery on Urbanspoon

Monday, 10 June 2013

Golden Horse Restaurant

For a rather hidden away location on Highway 7, Golden Horse Restaurant is a pretty popular restaurant. 
\Golden Horse restaurant  Outside Golden Horse Restaurant
The restaurant is actually bigger inside than it appears outside and weekend lunches are busy. 
Afternoon Tea menu Lunch Menu
The Afternoon Tea menu
Fried spaghetti with garlic and bacon
Fried spaghetti with garlic and bacon
It tasted like Chinese chow mein with spaghetti instead of egg noodles or noodles. The portion size was a little small but it was tasty. I think they added a bit of msg because my mouth felt really dry after eating it.

Pork Cutlet bun
Crispy Pork Cutlet on bun
There's a reason why a lot of people ordered this pork cutlet bun.
The pork cutlet had a nice crispy crust and it was topped with mayo, relish, cheese, tomato and lettuce. Similar to a Big Mac burger at McDonalds, but a healthier and fresher version.

Pork Cutlet bun

Chicken leg with Fries
Deep Fried Chicken Leg with Fries
Hefty portion: the chicken leg was gigantic (definitely way bigger than you could get at a KFC or Popeye's chicken). There was a lot of white meat, which is nice and the skin was super crispy. The fries were okay.

Overall: A mediocre meal - at least it was cheap and fast. Certain items are good like the pork cutlet bun, but others weren't.

Golden Horse Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 8 June 2013


L'unità is a nice intimate restaurant located a little north of Yorkville near Avenue and Davenport. 
We were seated at a gorgeous polished wood table: 
Bread and Olive Oil
The complimentary bread and olive oil
The bread was deliciously soft and so tasty with baked in tomatoes and cheese. The olive oil was fantastic with the bread.

Don Roberto Pizza
Don Roberto pizza: lamb sausage, potato, fior di latte & dandelion
The pizza had a nice authentic crust and the combination of the thinly sliced potato, cooked chunks of lamb sausage and dandelion made for a good combination. 

squid ink troccoli 'al nero'
Squid ink troccoli 'al nero' with gulf prawns, calamari, capers & preserved lemon
I actually found this dish quite salty with the squid ink pasta, capers and salted seafood. I guess squid ink pasta is always salty because I found it salty in Venice too. 

margherita D.O.P
Margherita D.O.P.
Interesting fact: D.O.P. stands for "denominazione di origine protetta" and it is a trademark of legal protection for the foods whose characterisitcs depend primarily or exclusively from the territory in which they were produced. (credit goes to Wikipedia)The pizza was quite cheesy with the fior di latte mozzarella cheese. It was okay, but I think I prefer Pizza Libretto's margherita pizza. 

spring rabbit gnocchi
Spring Rabbit Gnocchi with wild boar pancetta, sweet peas & creme fraiche 
The dish was so tasty - the gnocchi were soft and delectable morsels and it was paired with the most delicious and tender rabbit with lots of flavour. Yum! I totally recommend this dish.

quattro stagioni
Quattro Stagioni pizza with tomato, fior di latte, fiddleheads, green olives, wild mushrooms & house peameal bacon
I was expecting all those toppings to be evenly spread out on the pizza, instead each quarter of the pizza had a different topping. A cute presentation (quattro stagioni means four seasons). I'm not a fan of fiddleheads - they're bitter, but the rest of the pizza was okay. 

Overall: I had a good experience at L'unità: the service was great, the restaurant was lovely and intimate and the food was good. 

L'Unità Enoteca on Urbanspoon