Iron Chef

My review on Iron Chef will be based on two visits; the first visit was in the regular dining area and the second visit was for the teppanyaki dinner. 

First off, Iron Chef is a traditional sushi restaurant that also offers teppanyaki, in addition to their regular menu. Overall, I thought that the food was really good, and the price was moderately affordable. 

Iron Chef presents a nice atmosphere for dining as there were several private booths to both sides of the restaurant.

On my first visit to Iron Chef; I ordered the beef teriyaki dinner ($14.95) as my entrée. The dinner is served with steamed rice, miso soup, salad, and ice cream for dessert. The presentation of the dinner was done really nicely and there was an ample amounts of beef on my plate. The beef was well marinated with sweet teriyaki sauce which adds to its flavor. I especially liked the butterfly design of the tomatoes.

I was pretty full from my teriyaki beef dinner. However, I was unable to resist the urges of ordering their sushi pizza. I really like sushi pizza; it is pretty much a fried rice patty, topped with sliced salmon and a little drizzle of mayonnaise and wasabi powder. I ordered the sushi pizza ($7.95) and chose spicy salmon. The sushi pizza was cut fairly thin; thinner than what I was used to eating. However, the toppings and salmon were pretty tasty and fresh; a very imperative factor. I also thought that the patty’s texture was nice and crispy.

Iron Chef offers a wide selection of different kinds of sushi and sashimi on the menu. Additionally, the quality of the fish is consistently fresh. The smooth cuts of both the sushi and sashimi showcase the chefs' skills in presenting aesthetically pleasing platters.

Below is a picture of the sushi & sashimi lunch ($16.00).

How about the service? I thought that the service was prompt as the waitress was attentive.  She often came by to the table to refill my green tea (without the need for me to flagged her down) and cleared the empty plates.

Iron Chef does not offer an all-you-can-eat-menu; rather their specialty is teppanyaki. They have a separate dining area in the back for guests who would rather have the teppanyaki experience. 

Teppanyaki is a popular style of cooking in Japanese cuisine. This is where an actual chef cooks the food right in front of you, and you are given a variety of choices of meats and veggies.

The following photos are courtesy of my friend, Will Ng (Wicax Photography), which were taken at my birthday dinner in late April 2012. So thanks, Will =).

Above is a picture of the sirloin being cooked, and that is part of the teppanyaki special sirloin & chicken ($19.95) deluxe combo.

I ordered the seafood platter ($32.95), which included shrimp, scallop, salmon and calamari. My plate is pictured to the right (the salmon was not cooked yet at the time of the picture being taken).

The concept of Teppanyaki is an interesting one. However, I thought that the costs of the seafood platter were astronomically high compared to the amounts of foods that I actually got cooked on my plate. I got a piece of salmon, 6 pieces of shrimps, 5 pieces of scallops, and a few pieces of calamari. I didn't think it was worth it at all.

A few of my friends ordered fried rice; which was made right in front of the entire table. 

I had a party of 26 people who came out that night, and the staff was very accommodating. Overall, I had a wonderful night, as I had great company. Thanks to those who came out =)

I would definitely return to Iron Chef for their a-la-carte menu, but I am going to skip out on the teppanyaki.


Quality of Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Dining Experience: 3.8/5
Price: $$$ || Online Menu and Teppanyaki

Address: 4920 Tomken Road Mississauga, ON

Iron Chef Japanese Steak House Asian Cuisine‎ on Urbanspoon

Owl of Minerva

Owl of Minerva is a Korean restaurant that serves dishes at a relatively cheap cost. When I am in the mood for a late dinner, I usually come here as they are open 24/7. 

I have dined here on several occasions, and the service has been pretty consistent. The waiter/waitress would often quickly seat their patrons, and provide the water jug, utensils, and  complimentary appetizers (bean sprout, radishes, potatoes, and kimchi).

Owl of Minerva is well-known for their pork bone soup ($6.95), and I have to say that this is my favorite place for Gamjatang (Korean word for the meal). The pork bone soup was filled with chunks of pork bones, and potatoes. Normally, the soup base is filled to the top of the bowl. However, on this specific visit, my bowl only had a little more than 1/2 filled, so I had to ask for more soup. For under seven dollars; it is very filling.

The eight pieces of beef dumplings ($6.95) came out dripping in oil as they were freshly fried. I am a foodie who loves fried food (I know it's bad for my health) ... but I can't help it. The beef stuffing was soft and was decently seasoned.

Below is a photo of the pork bone soup, which also comes with a bowl of white rice.


Quality of Food: 3.5/5
Service: 3/5
Dining Experience: 3/5
Price: $

Address: 700 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON, M6G1L5

Owl of Minerva on Urbanspoon

Owl of Minerva on Urbanspoon

Chingu Korean BBQ

I had lunch with my friend, Dean, and he selected Chingu. Some people might not like the idea of cooking their own food, but I absolutely love Korean BBQ … so I had no hesitation in trying this place out. 

The restaurant itself was spacious with a lot of seating space, and there are two different levels of floors. Chingu was more than half full when we arrived, and there were only two waitresses on the floor, so it was severely understaffed. 

We were seated on the lower levels and it took a few minutes for us to get our water, and utensils. Eventually, the server came back with our complimentary banchan (Korean appetizers) to our table. The appetizers were kimchi, glass noodles, bean sprouts, tofu, radishes, mashed potatoes, seaweed, and some other stuff that I cannot remember. 

The both of us opted for the regular menu which was $16.99 (Mon-Thurs) and $18.99 (Fri-Sun), and consists of the following items:

Main: galbi (beef short ribs), bulgogi (marinated beef), chicken, and pork belly
Soup: pork bone soup, miso, kimchi stew
Vegetables: lettuce wrap, zucchini, onion, and green peppers
Seafood: squid, fish fillet
Dessert: ice cream

I really like chicken. So I was very disappointed to find the chicken at Chingu to taste really rubbery and bland. Clearly; I didn't order any further dishes of the chicken as I could barely finish the first batch.

I really enjoyed their galbi (marinated beef short ribs), and thought that it was delicious. The galbi was tender and well  marinated in a really sweet sauce.

The pork belly is pre-simmered in sauce, so it was really soft in texture when grilled.

As for the seafood, the regular menu was limited to only fish fillet and squid. The fish fillet was rather decent, and fresh. It also did not break into tiny pieces when cooked. I thought that the squid was way too chewy but it was pretty decent. 

They also provided uncooked vegetables for those who like to grilled veggies. Unfortunately, I am not too fond of peppers and mushrooms so I didn’t bother eating them.

On a positive note, Chingu provided a wider selection of food that are normally not offered at other KBBQ places, such as miso soup and pork bone soup.

How about the service? Considering the fact that there were only two waitresses on hand for the entire lunch period; the service was relatively slow. The dishes took longer to arrive to our table from the kitchen.

Our waitress was friendly enough, as she did attempt to make some conversation when placing down the orders on the table. However, it was hard to get her attention as she was rarely within the vicinity of our table.

My overall visit was decent; the food was good enough for an AYCE. However, there was a 15% surcharge that was automatically added onto the bill. I understand the need for automated gratuities for larger groups of people (5+ plus more), but Chingu adds it regardless (even if you are dining alone as it’s added per bill). However, the 15% is clearly stated on the menu so it shouldn't be much of a surprise when you get the bill.


Quality of Food: 3.5/5
Service: 3/5
Dining Experience: 3/5
Price: $$

Address: 280 W Beaver Creek Rd, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3Z1

Chingu on Urbanspoon