Saturday, 31 December 2016

Reposado Bar and Lounge

Empanada Flight
I love empanadas as a snack - which was what this was before going to my friend's NYE party. 
They were pretty good with different fillings inside and crispy skin on the outside. 


This new Japanese matcha drink place opened up recently and there were still really long line-ups to buy their specialty drinks

Houjicha latte
I don't like the flavour of matcha (but my friends wanted to try it out), so I thought I'd enjoy the houjicha latte. It's a roasted green tea and was really fragrant. I found it interesting, but I wasn't really a fan. 

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Pho Xe Lua

There's a few of these popular Pho Train restaurants in Toronto. 
Beef, tendon, flank and tripe pho 
We got a large bowl with lots of beef and noodles which was good; it was a decent bowl of noodle soup.

Grilled pork, meat balls & spring roll nuong
The ingredients were all pretty tasty, but the fish sauce fell a little flat for me. I like strong flavours in my fish sauce and this was kinda mediocre - which made this dish not as impressive as I would have liked. 

Overall: Decent prices, fast service and okay food. 

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Smith Bros. Steakhouse Tavern

After reading BlogTo's post about all-you-can-eat (AYCE) restaurants, my friend and I decided to try out the AYCE mussels at Smith Bros. 
We were surprised that it was only $22 for AYCE mussels!
The mussels were okay - it would have been nice if they had some different broths other than the beer broth. We managed to finish 2 bowls each (success!).

Fries (?) on the side
These were really like potato matchsticks - kind of fun, but hard to dip in ketchup or mayo.

Overall: They give you huge portions of mussels which is great! They were okay - I fell for the AYCE part - and totally regretted eating so many mussels the next day. (Lesson learned).

Scone Battle - Drake Hotel vs. Mildred's Temple Kitchen

I've heard great things about the blueberry scones at Drake Hotel and the currant scones at Mildred's Temple Kitchen. It was time to try them side by side and do a little comparison to find out which brunch restaurant serves the better scone: 
Blueberry Scone from Drake Hotel and Currant Scones from Mildred's Temple Kitchen

Size: Drake's are bigger. Enough said.
Texture: Mildred's were flakier and fluffier; Drake's scone was harder and denser. I like the fluffy scones better - Mildred's is the winner. 
Flavour: Usually I like blueberry flavour more than currant, but the currant flavour wasn't super strong and it was still really good - so it's a tie in my opinion.  
Jam/Cream: The Drake scone came with raspberry jam, while the Mildred's scone came with clotted cream. Interestingly enough, I found that the raspberry jam made the blueberry scone taste better! The clotted cream didn't really do anything for the currant scone. So if we're talking better combination of jam/cream with scones - I'd say Drake's is the winner. 

Overall: When it comes to scones, I like them fluffy, buttery and not super sugary - so my winner is Mildred's! 

Mildred's Temple Kitchen:

Monday, 26 December 2016

Mill Street Brewery

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Distillery District! (Post Christmas Market)
It's amazing how different it feels without all the people and booths open. 

Fish and Chips
The tartar sauce was really good and the fish was really nicely cooked with a crispy exterior and a flaky inside. 
Burger and Fries
The burger looked a little intimidating with the skewer holding it all together. It was pretty good and the fries were even better with my friend's tartar sauce. 

Overall: Decent meal at Mill Street Brewery and it's in a great location in the Distillery District (and even better after the chaos of the Christmas Market since it's still really pretty with the lights and the tree).

Mill Street Brew Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 24 December 2016


December 24, 2016
Another delicious seafood meal at Shinobu! We decided to mix it up today and we went to try some of their specials:
Uni - sea urchin
So delicious and there was so much of the sweet buttery sea urchin on tightly wrapped sushi rice. 
Toro Roll
Fatty tuna belly with spring onion - the fish is so good that it practically melts in your mouth. Yum!

February 13, 2016

I love coming here on Saturdays for lunch - the food is so good and the lunch sets are such good value for money! (prices went up a bit due to inflation, but the food is still as delicious as ever)
Rainbow Roll
I love that they torch the honey glazed roll. It just makes every morsel of sushi sweeter and there's a nice warmth to each bite. Yum! 

Beef Yakiniku Set
So yummy - everything on this tray has been meticulously prepared with the flavour profiles fully thought out. So good! 

Chicken Tempura Set 
Ryo's honey chicken has the best mayo accompaniment - I used to hate egg in the mayo, but now I'm obsessed with it. 

August 30, 2014
It's been a while since I've been able to eat at Shinobu for their Saturday lunch specials!
And they had a lovely surprise for us today! The chef had toro (fatty tuna)!
Toro is probably the most delicious fresh fish you can possibly get. It's smooth, silky, delicious and just melts in your mouth with flavour. (and it's also super expensive usually)
 Toro Roll and Scallop sashimi
So yummy! Chopped up toro meat with some spring onions and wasabi all tightly wrapped with seaweed and rice. You've got to try this! The scallop sashimi was also really delicious and so fresh!

 Beef set 
Beef Yakiniku Set
The beef set is still as delicious as I remember! They're really good with keeping up with standards because everything still tastes amazing!

 Chicken set 
Chicken Tempura Set
I still love the mayonnaise with the chicken tempura (I should totally ask the chef for the recipe!) It's so good!

February 2, 2013
Shinobu has a board with some daily lunch specials and we decided to order some of the specials to try them out. 
Nasu Dengaku (miso sauce eggplant)
This appetizer is off their regular menu (they serve the eggplant with the special sets), but we liked it so much that we ordered more of it to share. It's sooo good! The miso sauce has a grainy almost paste-like texture and it's full of flavour and the eggplant is a little mushy on the outside but still relatively firm on the inside. 

Deep Fried Halibut with ponzu sauce
Crispy and delicious bite size morsels of halibut in a really lovely ponzu sauce topped with shredded radishes and green onions - once you start eating one, you just can't stop - so good!

Baby Lobster Tail Roll
I thought this was so cute with the baby lobster tail shell on top.
The lobster tail was delicate and soft and the other ingredients were crisp and fresh which made a nice combination of textures.

Green Tea Cheesecake
I'm usually not a big fan of matcha because I find it a strong and bitter taste. This cheesecake definitely had the matcha taste, but it was a little more diluted due to the cheese content. It was lightly spongy and soft. A nice treat!

July 28, 2012
After hearing about this Japanese restaurant from a friend, we decided to try it out. 
Luckily, they were open for lunch on Saturdays and offered four set lunch specials on top of their regular menu.

Beef Yakiniku Set $9.80
What a great meal! You get beef yakiniku (grilled beef) with cabbage and lettuce in a tangy soy sauce along with a sesame dressing salad, tofu, eggplant, some vegetable rolls, rice and miso soup.
 It was evident that each one of the dishes were carefully prepared and artfully presented because everything was fresh and oishi (delicious).

Sashimi set $12.90
The sashimi set had the same sides as the beef yakiniku set. 
The chef served salmon, mackerel, squid, white fish and tuna. Yum!

Chicken Tempura Set $9.80
Egg white and mayonnaise sauce with the crispy chicken tempura was a great combination.

Overall: Shinobu is definitely a great Japanese restaurant: everything was meticulously prepared and delicious. The service can be a little slow, but the food (and the prices) more than make up for it!

Shinobu Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, 23 December 2016

Dessert Lady

December 23, 2016
A mini pistachio mousse cake!
They did such an amazing job with the hazelnut mousse cake that I knew I had to come back and try the pistachio mousse cake. I pre-ordered the cake a few days before my friend's Christmas party and then brought it to the party. It went over pretty well! The mousse was tasty and not too sweet. 

July 13, 2016
Finally, I got my ice cream (after calling in advance)!
It was really interesting with avocado, coconut and lime flavours and toasted and chopped macadamia nuts. It was a pretty interesting balance with the texture of avocado (and hint of the flavour), coconut flavouring (which was subtle, but you could still taste it) and a tiny pinch of lime. I don't know if I was really a big fan of it - but it was refreshing and different. 

July 7, 2016
Attempt #2 at the Avocado Lime Macadamia Nut ice cream - which failed again since they didn't have the flavour I wanted.  The helpful staff told me that I could call to see if they had the flavour next time. While I was here, I saw the pistachio cupcake and knew I had to get it.
It looks like the most perfect pistachio cupcake ever. I have no words for how beautiful it is. 
There was an extreme heat alert in Toronto, so the cupcake melted on my journey back to work, but it was OH SO YUMMY! Fluffy, light and packed with pistachio flavour and a moist cupcake cake. It was heavenly. 
I also decided to get this Hazelnut Cake because it was adorable (and you never know when you might need an afternoon snack). 
Surprisingly - THIS HAZELNUT CAKE BLEW MY MIND - omg it was SO GOOD! It wasn't too sweet and had this delectable hazelnut buttercream icing between layers of fluffy chocolate cake. It was just so good and the perfect cake size for one. I'll definitely come back over and over again for their cakes because they're AMAZING!

July 5, 2016
While I was here yesterday, I saw some really interesting ice cream flavours and I recalled reading the Best scoops in the city in Toronto Life a while ago - and they named Dessert Lady's Avocado Lime Macadamia Nut as the top ice cream scoop in Toronto. I wanted to try the flavour, but they didn't have it today - so I settled for a guava lime sorbet:
Guava Lime Sorbet
This was a perfect scoop in the cup and it was so tasty and refreshing from the heat wave we've been having. It had a nice tartness from the guava and lime and some sweetness from the guava. Yum! 

July 4, 2016

I was a little early to meet up with some friends and I had a sufficiently bad day to merit some treats. Therefore, I went and splurged on some macarons and I was told that if I spent more than a certain amount, that I would get free fudge - so I bought an extra macaron and got my free fudge.

Macarons by colour: green = pistachio, pink = citrus champagne and blue = maple vanilla 
White chocolate fudge
The macarons were pretty good, but there wasn't anything that really stood out to me with the flavours (even though I love pistachio). The fudge was like eating a block of sugar - it kinda tasted gummy and flavourless. 

Dessert Lady Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Queen Margherita Pizza

We went to the Leslieville area originally to try Descendant Detroit Style Pizza, but it turns out that they were closed. So we kept walking until we got to Queen Margherita Pizza and decided to eat here. 

We all got a prix fixe menu with a starter:
Eggplant Parmesan, Arancini (Rice Balls) and Calamari
My favourite was the eggplant with that delicious marinara sauce! The arancini and calamari were good too! 

The Dominator with fennel sausage, rapini, mozzarella and chili oil
So good! The sausage and rapini were a great combination and the crust on this pizza was AMAZING! 

Rocco the 1st with sausage, cheese and red onion
The sausage is really good (I can't emphasize that enough) and the fior di latte cheese was really soft and yummy.

La Scala with cheese, pork belly, red onion, arugula and hot peppers on a white pizza
I was a little skeptical at first since it was just a white pizza, but the crust was amazing and the pizza toppings were great! The pizzas here are just so good!!

Overall: Great lunch and delicious pizzas at Queen Margherita Pizza! The service was great and everything was good value for money.

Queen Margherita Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Upper Deck by Fran's

Fran's is a popular diner style restaurant chain in Toronto and they recently renovated their upstairs space into a brand restaurant area: the Upper Deck. 
Really cool decor!

They had some really interesting shareable plates/appetizers
Fried Ravioli and Chicken and Fries with gravy
The fried ravioli was different - I'm not sure I really liked it. The fries were okay, but they didn't really work with the chicken and the green onions and gravy were strange. 

Chicken and Waffles
I split this order with my friend and they were nice enough to split the order into two plates as well! 
The waffles were pretty good, but the chicken was a little strange - instead of a crispy fried chicken skin, it was a battered chicken outer layer? The syrup was okay, but it didn't really work for me. 

Overall: Interesting experience - it's a lovely new space and I think they're still working out the menu. Hopefully, they sort it out soon! 

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Monsieur Felix & Mr. Norton

December 18, 2016
New Bright Packaging!

Still the same great cookies inside!
I picked up a box on the way to my friend's Christmas party and they were a hit! People loved the yummy and soft cookies.

May 17, 2014
I finally took better pictures of Felix & Norton cookies!

 Still the same cute box!

 A pound of cookies! Milk chocolate cookies and double chocolate cookies are visible here
I love their milk chocolate cookie: it's rich, buttery and they have this delicious melty and oozy chocolate when they're fresh. So delicious!

 Lemon Delight cookie with small edible pieces of lemon rind and white chocolate
I love this cookie because it's so different! It's a perfect balance of tart and sweet all in a rich decadent cookie. One of my favourites and a must try at Felix and Norton!
I thought this picture would show how soft the cookies are. They don't "crack" or break and they have soft melted chocolate inside..mmmmm

 Chocolate Oatmeal and Very Berry
We were a little sad that the Oatmeal Raisin cookie was no longer made because that was another favourite here. Unfortunately, the Chocolate Oatmeal just didn't compare to the Oatmeal Raisin.
The Very Berry is relatively newer with cranberries, blueberries and raspberries. A fragrant cookie, but it just doesn't have the same draw that the Lemon Delight has or the Ebony and Ivory.

 Ebony & Ivory!

Dark chocolate cookie with soft white chocolate chunks inside. This one was a little more dark than white haha - still same delicious recipe that we can't recreate. Must be because it's made with love and baked until perfection!

October 19, 2012
Yay! It's been a while for me since I've had Monsieur Felix & Mr. Norton cookies - mostly because I haven't been in the Highway 7 and Warden area. 
This time I actually managed to grab a quick picture of some of the cookies before I devoured the entire box of cookies. 

Clockwise from the top: Double Chocolate, Lemon Delight, Ebony and Ivory and the specialty flavour of the month: Orange Milk Chocolate. 
The company doesn't sell their cookies based on the number you purchase, instead they sell them by weight. We got a pound of cookies (approx 17 cookies) of which 6 were Ebony and Ivory and OMG were they amazing! There's such a difference between the "bake it yourself" cookies and the cookies they bake in the store. They're just melt in your mouth delicious - buttery, rich, soft and chewy. MMMM

February 12, 2012

I knew they started distributing Monsieur Felix and Mr. Norton cookies in pre-packaged bake-able form in November, but at the time, they were only available in Quebec. 
Now I'm happy to say - they're available in Toronto!!! I bought my first box that makes 20 Ebony and Ivory Cookies at Sobey's at College Park for $6.99. Other flavours available included Milk Chocolate and the Ménage a Trois.
However, when they were actually baked, I found that they weren't the same soft, delectable and gooey cookies that the "real" fresh Monsieur Felix and Mr. Norton cookies are. I think they must either add a pound of butter to the cookie dough or have some other secret method to keep them moist (and avoid them from drying out). 

November 13, 2011

The most delicious cookies ever!

I absolutely LOVE cookies from Monsieur Felix & Mr. Norton ( Whenever we're in the Markham area, we make a special trip out to the Highway 7 and Warden location for their cookies because they are to DIE FOR. They bake them fresh daily and have the most amazing flavours - my favourites are Ebony & Ivory (Dark Chocolate cookie and white chocolate pieces), Lemon Delight (Lemon pieces and white chocolate in the cookie) and Ménage a Trois (Dark, milk and white chocolate cookie). The other flavours are amazing too - you can never go wrong with their cookies --> this place is an absolute MUST TRY if you love good quality cookies.

Monsieur Felix & Mr. Norton Cookie on Urbanspoon