• [Food Post] Tsujiri Toronto

    Tsujiri Toronto's first North American outpost opened earlier this week near Bay and Dundas amid much fanfare. This is their first foray into a market outside Asia, but they are planning on expanding to other cities in North America in the future. I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peek of some of the products that Tsujiri Toronto has to offer a day before its soft opening, and got the chance to chat with one of the managers, Tylor Shek.

  • [Food Post] Nordstrom Eaton Centre Opening Gala featuring Daniel et Daniel

    The gala opening epitomizes what Nordstrom is all about - great customer service and consistency of the brand. Hence why they partnered with Daniel et Daniel to be the official caterer of the Nordstrom Opening Gala, as both companies share the same ideals and business ethics.

  • [Food Post] Waterloo Food Tour

    The Region of Waterloo is home to many regions that inspire start-ups (such as Thalmic Labs), housing, and of course many restaurants. The Region is developing and propelling a movement alike many urban areas, by bringing innovative ideas and talented people together, whilst keeping the scenic and spacious rural landscape. Andrew Coppolino of www.waterlooregioneats.com (@WatRegionEats on Twitter) gave us a tour on behalf of Waterloo Region Tourism, with 4 set destinations in mind for the day.

  • [Food Post] Ebisu on Queen / Ebisu Toronto

    Ebisu Japanese Restaurant originated from Vancouver, as its first location opened in December of 2006. There are two locations in Vancouver and one in Richmond, along with two restaurants under the Kamei names. The brand itself is very well-known in Vancouver, and they hope to expand it in Toronto with this new outpost.

  • [Food Post] Dave and Buster's Oakville Grand Opening

    However, over the last two decades, much has changed, including the demise of arcade and game centers due the emergence of mobile phones and Netflix. The health movement over the last six years has also made Dave and Buster's traditional burger and fries menu far less appealing than what it was. With that being said, they have changed their food menu, and the options are now more diverse. The menu is rather extensive with items like shareable appetizers, side salads, beef steaks and ribs, pasta, sandwiches, and so much more.

  • [Food Post] Morals Village Mississauga

    Morals Village is a hot pot restaurant chain with over 600 locations in China. They opened their first Canadian location in 2015, and has since grown at a relatively rapid pace. About 1.5 weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Morals Village Mississauga Grand Opening Event. The Mississauga location is their 5th Canadian location, and they have plans to open another in Ottawa. With that being said, Morals Village prides themselves in providing top-notch quality and Szechuan cuisine influenced flavour with their hot pot offering.

  • [Event] The Royal Dinner with Chef Michael Bonacini

    The Royal Winter Agricultural Fair is now open until November 13, 2016 at the Exhibition Place, Toronto. Start the holiday season early by attending one of the largest combined indoor agricultural fairs and international equestrian competitions in the world. The fair takes place every November in Toronto, and it is where guests can enjoy the best in agriculture, local food, and equestrian competitions from across the country. There are so many things to do, and see at this year's The Royal Winter Agricultural Fair.

  • [Food Post] CNE Media Preview 2016

    Every Sunday, Montecito offers a brunch buffet starting at 11 am to 3 pm. Brunch isn't new at Montecito, but they recently revamped their brunch buffet, and added several new items to the menu. The 12,000-square-foot Montecito opened up its doors late 2014, and is a partnership between Hollywood director Ivan Reitman and Chef Jonathan Waxman.

  • [Travel] Satsuki and Mei's House from Totoro

    My Neighbor Totoro is a 1988 animated production written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It's a childhood favorite of many people and I have seen many shops dedicated to selling Totoro merchandise while in Japan.

  • [Travel] Day #15 in Japan [Koyasan]

    A shukubo is an accommodation that allows you to stay in a Japanese temple or shrine for the night, and enables you to experience the culture. You are given your own personal room, and there are multiple washroom facilities throughout the temple.

Chopsticks + Forks - Korean Food 101

Earlier last month, I had the opportunity to attend a Korean Food 101 courtesy of Chopsticks + Forks Food Tour. The tour takes place every Sunday afternoon at 5 pm hosted at Song Cook’s in Thornhill, ON. 

So what is Korean Food 101? It is a dining experience introducing diners to the diversity of Korean cuisine. The program was designed to teach people about the richness of Korea’s culinary delights, one that goes beyond Korean BBQ. The dinner was a 7-course tasting menu, and the portion was pretty substantial for our table of 6 people. Since it was a communal dinner, we were encouraged to socialize with those at the table.

Rice (Bap) - not just a staple, rice is the foundation of Korean cuisine


Bachan - side dishes served in every traditional Korean meal


Man-doo - Korean style dumplings (steamed and fried)



Jap Chae - "Glass Noodle" dish of Imperial decent


Cha-Jang Myun - a dark black bean noodle dish


Tang Su Yuk - deep fried sweet and sour pork


Bulgogi - thinly sliced marinated beef


Donkatsu - Korean version of the pork schnitzel


Tdeukguk - A traditional rice cake soup eaton on New Years [NOT PICTURED]

The 2.5 hour guided "Korean Food 101" sit-down dining experience ($53 CAD person) introduced us to many dishes that are loved by Koreans. I am quite familiar with Korean cuisine, but I did learn a lot about some of the dishes served that night. We had a total of 7 dishes (+ bachan) that night, and each course was accompanied by a detailed explanation of the origin and background of the dish. For example, I didn't know that the Jap Chae was considered a dish of Imperial decent. 

The concept behind Chopsticks + Forks is to explore the rich culture of Korean food with other like-minded people who also love food. The company is run by Jusep, who have traveled to over 50 countries, which is very impressive. He was full of energy and enthusiastic about Korean culture and its food. Jusep also shared several personal stories about his childhood and his life growing up eating Korean cuisine, and explained his reason behind Chopsticks + Forks. Overall, I found the event to be extremely well-organized and the food came out in a reasonable time frame. Lastly, the evening ended with a guided tour around a Korean supermarket that is located next door to the restaurant.

Great tour! For more information, check out Chopsticks + Forks.


PROMO CODE: Use the coupon code FRIENDS2017 to get 30% off

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.



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Brunch at Momofuku Daishō

Brunch culture is very popular in Toronto, where people are willing to line up for hours just for pancakes, or eggs benedict. So, it's no surprise that several restaurants in Toronto offer brunch menus on the weekends. We had the pleasure of attending a private tasting at Momofuku Daishō for the launch of their new Spring/Summer brunch menu. The new brunch menu features several take on brunch classics, but they have put their own spin on it as well. Chef Paula Navarrete helms the kitchen with her team, and they have created a variety of exciting brunch options like the Everything Bun, Buckwheat Pancakes, and Niagara Ham.


 Located on the corner of University & Richmond lies the three-story Momofuku Toronto complex. Momofuku Daishō is located on the top floor that overlooks the busy University Street. The interior was quite nice with floor-to-ceiling windows allowing natural light to seep through. I love the clean space, and the lighting allows people to capture good Instagram photos.

Please enjoy the pictures from our brunch at Momofuku Daishō.

** Pictures by Brian Lai. Visit his Instagram to check out his feed ** 


 English Muffins ($5)


Lemon Meringue Pie ($5)


Mimosa (4.0 oz) ($12) - orange, sparkling


 Everything Bun ($9) - smoked white fish, capers, dill 


Pork Sausage ($18) - grits, frisee, poached egg 


    Potatoes + Onions ($7)


The amazing brunch spread from Sunday Brunch at Momofuku Daishō. Food kept on flowing out!


The new brunch menu offers an array of sweet and savory dishes. You can also complement your meal with a glass of refreshing mimosa. Sunday Brunch is available every Sunday morning at Momofuku Daishō from 11 am to 2 pm.

** Pictures by Brian Lai. Visit his Instagram to check out his feed ** 


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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.


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[Giveaway] Win 1 of 5 Pairs of Tickets to Lobster Clam Jam Toronto

This Victoria Day long weekend, come join me at the Cabana Pool Bar for the first ever Lobster Clam Jam (Toronto).



Lobster Clam Jam is a highly acclaimed outdoor food festival. It's not just for seafood lovers, but also an affordable, family-oriented culinary showcase offering guests the opportunity to experience the creations of a variety of renowned local chefs and restaurants. Guests will have the opportunity to experience a wide selection of meat, fowl, game, fish (and of course, lobster and shellfish) dishes, while enjoying the nice weather. It is also for a good cause as a portion of the proceeds will be donated to SickKids Foundation.
“The Lobster Clam Jam festival has been overwhelmingly successful the past four years in Montreal,” says Billy Alfonso. “We intend to duplicate this success in Toronto, working with the best local chefs, restaurant brands, and food and drink partners, while partnering with INK Entertainment, Canada’s leading entertainment company, at Cabana Pool Bar.”
The Lobster Clam Jam event launched in Montreal, Quebec in 2013, and will be making their Toronto debut this upcoming Victoria Day long weekend. Come join the fun =) There will be delicious food by talented chefs, and creative and delicious cocktails by marquee mixologists.

EVENT DETAILS

WHEN: Saturday May 20 and Sunday May 21, 2017
WHERE: Cabana Pool Bar at 11 Polson Street, Toronto ON
DATE/TIME: Saturday (May 20) & Sunday (May 21) from 12:00 pm. to 9:00 pm
WEBSITE: http://www.lobsterclamjam.com/toronto/ 

Buy Tickets: https://www.ticketmaster.ca/LOBSTER-CLAM-JAM-tickets/artist/2342913?tm_link=seo_bc_name

PRICE

Admission: $25

Currency: 

We have introduced our own Lobster Clam Jam currency called CLAMS.
A CLAM is a branded Lobster Clam Jam token (coin)
Each CLAM is valued at $3 CAN (Including Taxes)
Restaurants will collect CLAMS (Tokens*) in exchange for FOOD.
*TOKENS are available for purchase on site.

There will be over 20 restaurants, a Mojito Bar, a Beer Bar, a Wine Bar, a Coffee Bar and Dessert stations on site!



Giveaway Time

Enter to win 1 of 5 pairs of tickets to next week's Lobster Clam Jam (Toronto) at Cabana Pool Bar. Contest is open to all Toronto and GTA residents, and will end on 05/18/2017 (Thursday) at midnight.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
IMPORTANT: Tickets include complimentary entry ($25.00 admission per person) only, but no actual food coins. You can purchase the food coins on-site. Winners can only redeem for one day. 

The event will feature delicious creations from well-known restaurants from Toronto and
Montreal such as Patria, Weslodge, Oliver & Bonacini, Jae Anthony of Seasoned Dreams, Blowfish, Notre Dame Gourmet, Queue de Cheval Steakhouse and Raw Bar, Buster’s Sea Cove, The Food Dudes, Bac Ky Pho, Buonanotte, Boehmer, Calii Love and Cherry Street Barbeque, plus many more. Guests will be treated to a culinary experience by each restaurant along with a freshly shucked oyster station. The Festival will also feature their very own signature whole or half lobsters. Mixologists will offer signature flavoured Mojitos, Bloody Caesars as well as a wide assortment of beer, wine and other libations.

Disclaimer: Tickets are courtesy of INK Entertainment




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Walter Craft Caesar Rim

Did you know that the Caesar is a cocktail created and primarily consumed in Canada? It was first invented in 1969 in Calgary, and has since become a widely-consumed drink in Canada. Walter Caesar is well-known for their all-natural craft Caesar mixes, giving Canadian the opportunity to create Caesar drinks at home. They recently released their Walter Craft Caesar Rim to complement their line of mixes. Like their award-winning mixes, the rim is also an all-natural, free of preservatives, gluten-free and contains no added MSG or artificial colours.




Walter Craft Caesar Rim is proudly made in Canada in small batches with flaked salt, organic cane sugar, cracked black pepper and a secret blend of herbs and spices. The result is a rim that provides a nice balance of salty, sweet and umami. The craft Caesar rim is designed to be the perfect compliment of exceptional taste, and pairs well with both flavours of Walter Craft Caesar Mix.




We were given the Classic Spice Walter, which has grated horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, a few select spices, sea salt & cracked black pepper. Classic Caesars are often mixed with vodka, Worcestershire sauce and spices. However, you are free to add additional garnishes like celery, bacon, and lobster tail.

I attended a BBQ with some friends this past weekend, and we decided to crack open the bottle and made some Caesars. Our drinks were made with vodka, a bit of bacon bits on the bottom, and topped with the new Walter Craft Caesar Rim. What a delicious blend!

Tested With: JJ, Friends, and Myself





Walter Craft Caesar Rim is available in both major grocery stores and many independent retailers across Canada and retails for approximately $4.99. Walter Craft Caesar Mix is available in all major grocery stores across Canada and comes in a 946 ml format in both Classic Spice and Mild Spice and retails for approximately $7.99.

It's National Caesar Day this upcoming May 18, so why not make your own Caesar with Walter Caesar?


Disclaimer: The products provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.


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Brewers Plate 2017 - #RockThePlate

The annual rock and roll themed event, Brewers Plate 2017, returns to Toronto on May 4th from 6 pm to 11 pm. The event will take place at the Corus Quay Building (25 Dockside Drive) in support of War Child Canada.




The event is to help War Child Canada raise money to support children and families around the world. All of the  restaurants and Ontario brewers involved in this charitable event has graciously donated their time and materials to create a wonderful night for attendees. The indulgent food event features an array of craft beer and unlimited sampling of local dishes. 

"We are thrilled to mark the 10th anniversary of the Brewers Plate with our most exciting and diverse roster of brewers, restaurants and Chefs ever," said Les Murray, President of Beerlicious Inc., “sampling great food and beer while having a great time in support of such a worthwhile partner in War Child Canada makes this event a must attend."



Last year's event raised $9,200 in support of War Child Canada to help children in war-affected communities reclaim their childhood through access to education, opportunity and justice. They hope to do the same this year! 

The Brewers Plate 2017 is proud to present its curated list of brewers, restaurants and Chefs including:

Restaurants

Palais Royale
Trattoria Nervosa
Le Dolci Toronto
Heirloom Toronto
Ted’s World Famous BBQ
Hangry Catering Co.
Tundra Restaurant & Bar
Globe Bistro
Cheese Boutique
Mangia & Bevi
Beaus All Natural Brewing
ChocoSol

Brewers

Old Tomorrow Beer
The Collingwood Brewery
All or Nothing Brewhouse
Station Cold Brew Coffee Co.
Henderson Brewing Co.  Walter Craft Caesar
Beaus All Natural Brewing
Sawdust City Brewing Co.
Great Lakes Brewery
Muskoka Brewery
MacKinnon Brothers Brewing
Steam Whistle Brewing



Tickets to the Brewers Plate 2017 are now on sale through www.BrewersPlateToronto.org and start at $90 each + taxes and fees. New for this year: Brewers Plate 2017 is offering an Entourage 5 Pack, valued at $400 + taxes and fees, so if attendees are planning on bringing friends this may be the ticket pack for them. They'll be able to see savings of $10 per ticket with this package. They can also try their luck at winning tickets in the coming weeks by tuning in to Brewers Plate's fantastic partners at Q107 and 102.1 the Edge.

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[Japan] Gontran Cherrier Tokyo

I love Tokyo and its food scene. Not only do they offer a variety of cuisine, they also have an excellent selection of patisseries and bakeries. One of the bakeries that piqued my interest was Gontran Cherrier Tokyo after seeing pictures of their matcha croissant on Instagram. 


 The two-floors bakery was centrally located in the busy districts of Shinjuku/Shibuya, so definitely a prime spot. The space was of average size, but they had a variety of different pastries out on displayed, and customers are to take a tray and tong to select their pastries.


 The first thing that I grabbed was the Matcha Croissant (¥ 250 each). The croissant was one of the best ones I have had, and rival to the ones in Paris.






We had breakfast an hour earlier, but we will always have room for more food =)


Address: Shibuya, 1 Chome−14−11, BCサロン



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Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Event at Ripley’s Aquarium

Prior to our trip to Stockholm, we had the pleasure of attending a private tasting party hosted by Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to celebrate the launch of Ocean Brands' new line of sustainable seafood. At the event, we learned about the sustainability and traceability in the seafood industry with Ocean Brands such Ocean's and Gold Seal Canada.



Seafood from MSC certified fisheries can be distinguished by the blue MSC eco-label, so that consumers are able to make informed decisions about the seafood they purchase. MSC-labeled seafood products are available in several grocery chains in Canada including Sobey's, Metro, Loblaws, and more.


The MSC is an international non-profit organization addressing the problem of unsustainable fishing, and safeguarding seafood supplies for the future. The blue MSC label and fishery certification program contribute to the health of the world’s oceans. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) aims to transform the seafood market by recognizing and rewarding sustainable fishing practices and influencing the choices people make when buying seafood. They also work with scientists, fisheries, seafood producers and brands to promote sustainable fishing and safeguard seafood supplies for the future. 

To achieve the MSC Fisheries Standard, fisheries must meet 28 performance indicators for sustainability across three principles:

1) Sustainable fish stocks
2) Minimizing environmental impacts
3) Effective management



One of the newest products is Ocean's new MSC certified Pole & Line (skipjack) tuna. The tuna comes from the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, and the fishery used have been independently certified to the globally recognized MSC standard for sustainable, well-managed fisheries.
 We were treated to a three-course meal at the Marine Stewardship Council Event prepared by Chef Darryl Fletcher. The recipes used Gold Seal Canned Sockeye Salmon and Pole & Line (skipjack) Tuna, which are 100% sourced from fisheries that are MSC certified as sustainable.  




Spring Tuna Salad

Ocean’s Pole & Line Chunk Light Tuna - heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, fennel, Kalamata olives, feta, mint, citrus vinaigrette


Happy Tuna Bowl

Ocean’s Pole & Line Flaked Light Tuna - tri-colour quinoa, sweet peas, celery, red pepper, avocado, lime, cilantro, pickled pears


Protein Power Salmon Kofta

Gold Seal Sockeye Salmon (skinless boneless) - lentils, oatmeal, cottage cheese, dates, chia Seeds, lemon, Chipotle yogurt


All three recipes are available here on the Ocean Brands' website.

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.
 

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