Friday, 26 February 2016

In Camera Dining Room

I've heard good things about the Legislative Assembly dining room at Queen's Park.  According to the waiters, it can get pretty busy when the house sits and you can even catch members of provincial parliament grabbing a bite here.  I came with some of my coworkers to try it out on a Friday (when the MPPs aren't around).  
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The Menu looked amazing!
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Maplewood Smoked Ontario Berkshire Pork Chop
They had me at Berkshire Pork - the maplewood smoked part was an extra bonus.  It was so good! The pork was tender and a nice thick cut with tons of flavour and the veggies and mashed potatoes were great compliments to the meal.  This meal was great value for money - pretty reasonably priced, yummy and a huge portion (win!). 

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Sticky Toffee Pudding with Ice Cream
I couldn't say no to this - and the sticky toffee pudding was to DIE for! It was moist, decadent, delicious, warm and not super sweet even with the ice cream and caramel sauce. I'm so glad I got this (but I was super full after). 

Overall: Great food, reasonable prices and relatively quick service. I would definitely recommend a visit here if you're in the neighbourhood of Queen's Park. 

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Jack Astor's

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Bombay chicken
An interesting presentation.  The Bombay chicken was pretty good (not too spicy either) and the cucumbers in yogurt sauce were a nice touch.  I would've liked the naan to be a little crispier.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Starving Artist

My friend and I were in the St. Clair West area on a Saturday and we decided to go for brunch.  After seeing the super long line up at Emma's Country Kitchen, we walked down the street to explore the area and found the Starving Artist: 
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I love this decor!

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So many waffle options! We decided to go one savoury waffle and one sweet waffle to get the best of both worlds. 

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Sammy Benny with smoked salmon, poached egg and hollandaise sauce with a side of potato salad and a mixed greens salad
These were so cute! And quite delicious! The hollandaise sauce was great and I loved the smoked salmon and poached egg combination on the 2 mini waffles.  The potato salad and mixed greens were good as well.

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Split this! with waffles, bananas, strawberries and chocolate, caramel & strawberry syrup with whipped cream. 
I don't think we ever pictured this when we ordered it. They classified this waffle as an "after waffle", but if we could split the Sammy Benny - I thought this would be about the same size.  It was like the most overindulgent waffle ever with a ton of whipped cream, 4 fluffy waffles and bananas and strawberries thrown into the mix. So good! I was in waffle heaven. 

Overall: Great waffle place and fun brunch place! I would definitely come back here for waffles again.  The savoury and sweet options were fantastic and the service was fast. 

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Paradise Fine Chinese Dining

February 13, 2016

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Lotus root soup (they separated the ingredients from the soup and served it to us)

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Suckling Pig with Jellyfish
The suckling pig was super tasty and the skin was really crispy and crunchy (a sign of a nicely done suckling pig) and the jellyfish was pretty good too. 

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Chinese greens with sauce
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Beef with broccoli
The beef was succulent and tender and oh so tasty and I thought it was nicely presented. 

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Soy sauce chicken
Yummy! 

Overall: Great food and good service - it's a little on the pricey side, but well worth it. 

May 29, 2014
The place settings are so nice for dinner.
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Peking Duck
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The duck skin was crispy, but the wrap was home-made and a little doughy and powdery from the flour.

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Stir fried duck meat with lettuce wrap
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The lettuce wrap was better. The duck stir fry was really tasty and the lettuce was freshly washed (with extra water on the side). 

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Shrimp and chicken stir fry and mushrooms and peas

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Wine Sauce Chicken
A rather bony half of the chicken, but very flavourful.

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Snake soup
Yum! I really liked this soup course between all the other dishes - it was a yummy and nice change. 

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Bok choy

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Pork neck and broccoli
Thin strips of pork neck meat. 

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Sweet and juicy lobster

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Dried scallop and egg white fried rice
Interesting...not a favourite of mine since it just seemed too salty. 

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Longan red date dessert
Refreshing and healthy
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Almond cookies and strawberry jello

Overall: Nice meal at Paradise Fine Chinese Dining. The Majong tables are a little distracting though. 
March 5, 2012

The dim sum menu! If you order before 11am, all the sizes of dim sum are $2.75 a plate. So of course we got here super early in the morning for our Sunday dim sum.

The tea cup was not the easiest to drink out of but it was interesting trying to figure out how to hold it. Mmm Jasmine tea.

Har gow (shrimp dumplings) and steamed rice with chicken and compoy (beef and mushroom with rice and all steamed in a lotus leaf)
The har gow was ok, nothing particularly unique about it. I found that the wrapping was too weak, the shrimp filling fell through the wrapping when I tried to grab one for my plate. 
The steamed rice was good - it's always very filling. 

Crispy shrimp rolls with sweet and sour sauce
They were light and crispy and I loved the tangy sauce. Very nice.

Minced pork siu mai with shrimp
Apparently their siu mai is very popular and after trying it, I found that I loved the fake crab meat on top of the siu mai, but I didn't feel that they made the siu mai very unique or different. I wasn't astounded by the flavour or anything and couldn't figure out why it was so popular, I actually thought it was almost tasteless.

Steamed rice crepe with bbq pork at the top left. 
Double boiled fresh milk souffle at top right and Egg tarts.
The rice crepe was quite good and I really enjoyed it. I didn't like the souffle - I thought it was a puff pastry with egg whites and while I usually love puff pastry, I didn't enjoy this. The egg tarts weren't very good because they were flavourless.

Pan fried vegetables in tofu crepe
This dish was bland; I think it was because the tofu skin was too crispy and didn't soak in the flavour from the mushrooms and other vegetables inside. 

Vegetable tempura
Oyster mushrooms were way too salty with the seasoning, but the squash tempura was nicely done. The broccoli was ok too even though the brocoli inside was fully cooked and I found the batter to be light and crispy which was a nice touch. 

Baked lychee chicken salad rolls on the left and grilled dumplings with shrimps, pork and vegetable on the right. 
The dumplings lacked flavour and I thought that there was too much meat relative to the actual dumpling (not very proportioned or well-balanced). For the other dish, I love lychee and I love chicken - but this was (a) a terrible combination and (b) not very good. 

Shredded turnip and parma ham puff
We found that the shell was much too hard and we had to crack it open in order to get at the turnip inside which turned out to be ok - but we weren't fans of this at all. 

Chilled mango pudding
Delicious! They redeemed themselves with the mango pudding which had lots of mango flavour and mango chunks!

Conclusion: I think they had decent dim sum - nothing spectacular to make this one of my favourite dim sum places, but it's reasonably priced (before 11 am) and the service is fast (even if they occasionally mix up orders). They must be doing something right because it's packed on the weekends. 

Website: http://www.dine.to/paradise
Paradise Fine Chinese Dining on Urbanspoon

Shinobu

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)
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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! 

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

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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. 
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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. 

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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!

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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.

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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