The Feast of St. Lawrence

I had the pleasure of attending the first annual Feast of St. Lawrence Festival that took place between August 12 to August 14. The "Dinner Under the Stars" dinner kicked off the Feast of St. Lawrence
 in spectacular fashion with a fine dining event under the stars. One hundred guests gathered together at a continuous 100-foot table on Front Street (between Scott and Church Street) and was served a delicious 5-course meal. The meal was prepared by chefs from some of the top restaurants in the St. Lawrence Neighborhood including Biff's Bistro, Hawthorne Food & Drink, The Hot House Restaurant, Omni King Edward Hotel, Pearl Diver, The Sultan's Tent and Woods.


The event brought people together through a shared love of food, and it also helped to raise awareness for FoodShare Toronto, a local Toronto charity that supports healthy eating and creates access to fresh food.


Hors d'Oeuvres

House Cured Salmon Gravlax - mustard crème fraîche, Belgium endive, radish (Biff's Bistro)


 Oyster Station (Pearl Diver)

 

 Shooters of Pear Vichyssoise - with a hint of stilton (Hot House Restaurant)


Pairing some of the appetizers with a glass of Cave Spring Brut ‘Dolomite’ Norman Hardie 2015 Riesling


(Appetizer) Roasted Beet Salad - shaved fennel, mixed lettuce and goat cheese with citrus vinaigrette (Woods)

Wine Pairing: Charles Baker 2013 'Picone Vineyard' Riesling / Hidden Bench 2014 Bistro Rose / Malivoire 2015 Small Lot Gamay VQA Beamsville Bench


(Entre Metier) Grilled Octopus - with fingerling potatoes, spicy chorizo and a preserved lemon vinaigrette (Barsa Taberna)

Wine Pairing: 13th Street 2014 June's Vineyard Chardonnay / Bachelder 2013 Niagara Chardonnay / Flatrock 2013 Pinot Noir


 (Main) King’s Al Fresco Beef Wellington - with peppered horse radish cream (Omni King Edward Hotel) and Bagna Cauda - grilled and charred summer vegetables with chicken fat hollandaise and chicken skin crumble (Hawthorne Food & Drink)

Wine Pairing: Stratus 2011 Stratus Tollgate Voignier / Queylus 2013 Tradition Cabernet Franc / Southbrook 2013 Triomphe Cabernet Sauvignon


(Desserts) Sweet Keskesu - couscous with cinnamon, powdered sugar, roasted almonds, saltana raisins, a hint of orange blossom water and crème anglais (Sultan’s Tent)


The Dinner Under the Stars at Feast of St. Lawrence was an amazing event filled with endless wine, great company, and delicious food. Thank you so much to St. Lawrence Market for hosting a fantastic event, and having us.


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


Ramen Isshin

 Ramen Isshin is a ramen establishment that opened in 2012 by the same people behind Cabbagetown's Kingyo. I had the pleasure of being invited by Yuki to attend a blog tasting of their menu a couple weeks ago. The tasting was held to showcase the summer special 2016, which is revamped every summer. This year, the featured ramen was the Isshin Cold Red Miso Ramen, a vegetarian and cold ramen. We were also given the opportunity to try a ramen dish of our choice, and all of the appetizers and desserts on the menu.



Ramen Isshin seated about 30 people, and its decor was very Asian-inspired with wooden panels, and large wall murals. Staff were also encouraged to greet customers in Japanese, but they were not overly loud like the ones working in izakayas.

To start, we were introduced to this summer's special, the Isshin Summer Cold Ramen; a bowl of signature thin wavy noodles, wok fried ground red miso tofu mince, fresh sliced okra, kimchi, wood ear mushrooms, topped with sweet white onions, diced tofu, deep fried onions, green onions, and a slice of lime. There was also an option to add additional toppings like marinated egg (+$1.50) or make it non-vegetarian by adding cha shu (+$2.80). The ramen was super refreshing to eat, especially in this heatwave that we've been experiencing lately. It was also generously topped with loads of toppings, and the broth was pretty light. This bowl of ramen is only available until the end of August.



Red Miso Cucumber (Vegan) ($4.20) - Fresh Japanese cucumbers accompanied with a Red Miso Meat Mince Dipping Sauce. Don't let its taste fool you because it is Vegan Friendly!

Hiya Yakko (Vegan) ($4.80) - Smooth, cold tofu smothered in Isshin’s own house made chilli oil, green onions & bamboo shoots


The Deep Fried Pork Gyoza ($5.20) - Crunchy, juicy gyoza served with amazing Isshin "Umami" sauce , was pretty good. It was crispy on the outside, and the pork filling was juicy on the inside.

Age Tofu (Vegan) ($4.90) - Deep fried tofu drizzled in a home made chilli oil and sweet soy topped with green onions. Note that this appetizer is also vegan, so it would be a great alternative for those who have specific dietary restrictions.


Chicken Karaage ($5.20) - Our signature Isshin Karaage. Super crispy, crunchy, juicy bites of Japanese style deep fried chicken served with kupe mayo. 

Seafood Okonomiyaki ($5.80) - Japanese savoury pancake topped with bonitio flakes, nori, kupe mayo & okonomiyaki sauce


Cabbecha Cha Shu Salad ($3.90) - Introducing Cabbecha Cha Shu Salad. Chunks of Cha Shu and Napa Cabbage drizzled with a sweet, spicy sesame soy dressing. Great with Ramen and Sapporo!

Lately, I have been craving Tako Yaki ($4.90) -  deep fried battered octopus formed into balls topped with bonito flakes, takoyaki sauce & kupe mayo, so of course I had to try the ones here. Each order came with 6 bountiful pieces of octopus balls that were generously topped with mayonnaise, and bonito flakes. The takoyaki was crispy on the outside, and the interior was filled with tender octopus pieces. The ones here from Ramen Isshin was one of the better takoyaki balls that I have tried.


For my main choice of ramen, I opted for the Spicy Red Miso Ramen ($13.90) - house made chilli oil, Isshin Red Miso blend, wok fried pork, onions, bean sprouts, carrots, wood ear mushrooms, chives, green onions, pork belly cha shu & thick twisty noodles. I loved the chewy texture of the noodles, and the broth was perfect, as it was flavorful without being overly rich or oily. I prefer spicy broths, and the ramen definitely delivered.
 
 
 
 

Shoyu Kotteri Tsukemen ($14.80) - Enjoy our Traditional Shoyu Kotteri “Rich” style Dipping Ramen. Double soup is a Seafood & Pork Broth flavoured with our Isshin Shoyu. Topped with Sesame Seeds & Green Onions Kaedama


Ramen Isshin also gifted me with complimentary coupons for a second visit, which I took my fiance. This time, I got the Asari Light Shoyu Ramen ($10.30) - A light smooth sweet & creamy taste blended with our signature Isshin Shoyu. Topped with bamboo shoots, nori, marinated soft boiled egg, pork belly cha shu, green onions & thin wavy noodles. Another great bowl of ramen from Ramen Isshin, and it was priced fairly too.




White Sesame Shio Ramen ($10.30) - 100% natural sea salt, bamboo shoots, wood ear mushrooms, soft boiled marinated egg, pork belly cha shu, green onions, grind your own white sesame seeds & thin wavy noodles



Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream (3 Scoops) and Black Sesame Ice Cream (3 Scoops) ($3.40)


Fresh Mango Pudding ($4.20) - made in house daily with fresh mangos

The Mochi Ice Cream was probably my favorite dessert out of the ones we tried. Spoonful of green tea ice-cream thinly wrapped with a layer of chewy mochi.


Don't forget to cool yourself off with their drinks selection including iced coffee with milk or a pitcher of Sapporo beer.


In my opinion, Ramen Isshin is a solid ramen joint, and you should definitely check it out. Don't forget to drop by to try their new summer ramen before it ends after August.

Address: 421 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1T1

Social Media


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

Ramen Isshin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

CNE Media Preview 2016

Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) opens today! Prior to their official opening date, I had the opportunity to attend CNE Media Preview Day where bloggers and media got a sneak peek at some of the creative concoctions from this year's The Toronto Star Food Building. We got to sample several innovative foods for 2016 at the CNE. The CNE opens Friday Aug, 19 and runs until Monday, Sept 5.

Thanks to Pancho's Bakery for the complimentary churros and coffee for breakfast.



The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) runs from Aug. 19 to Sept 5. and admission is $18. There is also a discounted rate of $6 if you go after 5 pm from Monday to Thursday. That is an amazing deal! Besides the food, there are tons of new attractions this year like the Innovation Garage, Star Trek exhibit, and a new waterfront show. Don't forget to use the Grabb app to pre-order at over 30 vendors at the CNE this year.

Blueberry Pie Milkshake ($12) from Fran’s Restaurant
 (blueberry pie blended into vanilla ice cream, topped with whipped cream, blue and white sprinkles, cotton candy, Smarties, a chocolate wafer stick, and a slice of blueberry pie)


Bacon Croissundae from Fran’s Restaurant
(croissant stuffed with maple bacon and vanilla ice cream)

 

 Churro Cheeseburger ($12) from Pancho's Bakery/EPIC Burgers
 (classic EPIC burger patty with cheese, tomato and lettuce stuffed between two churro buns)


 Froot O' Donut ($1.50) by Tim Hortons
(Tim Hortons plain doughnut topped with frosting and fruit loops)


 Cream Cotton Candy Chill ($4.25) from Tim Hortons
(cotton candy flavours blended frozen with cream and topped with whipped topping and cotton candy)




 Deep Fried Cookie Dough Balls (Chocolate) ($3 each, $6.75 small, and large $8.75) from Cookie Dough Me
(deep-fried cookie dough topped with a chocolate syrup, whipped cream and powdered sugar)


  Deep Fried Cookie Dough Balls (Red Velvet) from Cookie Dough Me

 

Spam Double Down by Miami Press
(thick pieces of Spam as buns, stuffed with bacon, tomatoes, cheese and chipotle sauce)


 Fish & Chips ($9.99) from Su&Bu
(wonton chips, nacho cheese sauce, spicy mayo, tuna, salmon, avocado and corn, fish eggs and nori strips)


The Samurachi Sushi Burrito ($10.99) from Su&Bu
 (salmon, ahi tuna, avocado, cucumber, red cabbage, jalapenos and chili pepper vinaigrette)


 Chimney Stax Filled With Yogurty’s by Chimney Stax
(Crazy For Caramel by Chimney Stax
 Classic White Sugar Stax Rolled in Caramel Corn
Froyo + Caramel Chocolate Turtles + Salted Caramel Drizzle)


Roast Beef Yorkshire Bowl ($9.99) from Eat My Bowl
(roast beef, gravy and horse radish cream all placed in an edible bowl)


The Cartoon Dog ($7.05) from Maggie's
(deep-fried bacon wrapped hot dog with peanut butter jam, spicy mayo and topped with Cap'n Crunch cereal)


Sexy Surf and Turf ($8 for one or $15 for 2) from Hot Bunzz Street Cuizine
(bison short rib stuffed bun topped with lemon garlic aioli and east coast lobster made Jerk style)


The Big Pickle Dog ($9) from Pickle Pete's
(giant pickle with a hot dog centre with corn dog batter and deep fried)


The Philly Steaklair ($12) from Philthy Philly's Food
(traditional cheesesteak sandwiched with a cream puff eclair, topped with bacon meats, whipped cream and chocolate icing)


Pulled Pork Cinnamon Rolls ($9.50) from Howie’s Cinnamon Rolls
(pulled-pork cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting)



Rose Apple Dumplings ($5) from One Sweet Mama
(baked apple dumplings topped with ice cream)


The Canadian Bacon Taco ($10.65 for two) from Bacon Nation
(taco made with a peameal bacon shell with BBQ pulled pork, mango pico, burrito sauce and parsley)


ThreeSum Burger ($15) from Corrados Authentic Italian
(colossal burger filled with Italian meatballs, Canadian mac and cheese and Greek fries topped with feta cheese, coleslaw and bacon)


The Bug Dog ($6.75) from Bug Bistro
 (hormone-free beef frank seasoned with crispy mustard crickets)


 Deep-Fried Butter Tarts ($7)
(deep-fried butter tart topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce)


 The Raclette ($13) from House Of Brisket
(potatoes, cocktail onions and cornichons topped with freshly melted raclette cheese)


Dessert Nachos from Nacho Libre
(tortilla chips with Nutella, strawberry puree and bananas)


I'll be attending the CNE this weekend, so hope to see you there.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEx
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/letsgototheex/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/letsgototheex
Website: http://theex.com/

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