• [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.

Showing posts with label Canada Eats. Show all posts

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.

** Article and Pictures by Janey Tso. Visit her Instagram and Twitter to check out her feeds ** 

One of these regions was Downtown Kitchener , located in the heart of downtown Kitchener. Although many restaurants incorporate diversity from different cultures, the ingredients are primarily local from Ontario. Our very first stop was B@TheMuseum, a gastropub connected to the city’s prominent landmarks - the Kitchener Museum. They’re known for their local craft beers and entertainment nights – including vinyl nights and live performances - and their ambiance “intrigues curiosity and welcomes comfort”, which attracts customers of all ages. Andrew and the waitresses informed us of some of the restaurant as well as recommendations for nearby restaurants. 




 Steam Buns (2 for $8) –  a light shareable appetizer with pulled duck, hoisin, sriracha, cilantro, scallions


Chow Dumplings  ($11) – popular menu item featuring vegetarian or pork dumplings in a sesame soy dip (I loved this appetizer)


B@TheMuseum stays true to their roots by using traditional cooking methods – induction burners, baking – over deep frying since there are no hood vents. The lack of oil brings out the flavours in their food. Of course we had to try their beers as well, including their personal favourite – Railway City’s Honey Elixir – and their top-selling flagship starter – Four Fathers.


4 oz flight tasters – Pommies’ Cranberry Cider (sweetest), Railway City’s Honey Elixir, Block 3 St. Jacob’s Cheap Gold Golden strong ale, Four Fathers’ Starter Session IPA (hoppy in flavour), Elora’s Three Fields


 The next restaurant was next-door, called The Berlin. The atmosphere was inviting, yet high-class. They’re matched with some of the country’s most influential chefs, who’ve had experience cooking at fine-dining restaurants. Even their kitchen is an open concept, where one can smell and see their meals come to life. Alike B@TheMuseum, The Berlin places an emphasis on using quality ingredients from local farmers. Many of the dishes are cooked over a coal-burning fire, adding a European flare. With so much variety, it is no surprise that their menu is always changing, along with what’s in season, so there is always a chance to try something new and refreshing. None of the dishes were disappointing; it was hard to pick a favourite because the flavours and spices were so unique in each dish. 


Open-concept Kitchen


Queen Elizabeth has stayed at the Walper Hotel, their partnered hotel next-door.


Beef Pancetta with Arugula from Stratford


Pork head with Foie Gras Terrine in a Toasted Seed Vinaigrette Dressing 




Scallop and Asian Pear Skewer Garnished with Pickled Basil


Charred Carrots in an Aniseedy Spiced Emulsion using Carrot Juice as Vinegar 


Daisy Bay Oysters over Mustard Greens and Topped with Grapefruit Jelly 


Trout cooked slowly over coals until 60% done, crispy skin, charred onions marinated in Riesling vinegar to order 


 Steak Served with a Foie Gras Parfait and Wild Chives


Duck Prosciutto and Beet Salad


Champagne AgraPart & Fils Terroirs Extra Bruit Blanc de Blancs Aged Oak Wine Not Found in LCBO

We drove to Uptown Waterloo afterwards, with Abe Erb as our next destination, a brew house in itself. Large metal vessels are aligned along the second level of the brewery, which validates the authenticity of providing fresh beer. They craft cocktails, whiskeys, and also serve small craft beers, wine, and non-spirited options. We had quite a meal prior to this, so we opted for a flight to sample taps from Ontario. 


(right to left) Erb Street Organic 



1857 Kölsch – a light, crisp, gold ale that recently made its way to the LCBO
Das Spritzhaus Hefeweizen  - medium bodied wheat beer “notes of banana with hints of clove”. It was pouring straight down the line that day, hence the freshest
British Mild – tastes like toffee

Our last restaurant was Taco Farm, a collaboration between 2 restaurateurs of nearby restaurants - Chainsaw and Uptown 21 to be exact. These gluten-free tacos have been featured on “You Gotta Eat Here”, and the restaurant carries a large variety of tequila, wherein one can learn about the process of making it and its different types in their “Tequila Schools”. Being a part of the tour, we were able to catch a glimpse into the taco-making equipment before diving into our meal.


Fresh Tortilla Chips with Salsa (complimentary) 


Chicken Pibil ($5) – citrus, achiote, banana leaf stewed chicken, pickled onion, guacamole



Fried Fish ($5) – crispy fried cod, cabbage crudito, farm sauce, cilantro, Jake’s chili-garlic sauce (My favorite of the three)


Grilled Cheese & Mushroom Quesadilla ($6.50) – melted 3 queso blend, smoked mushrooms, mole poblano, salsa verde


Exploring Waterloo’s Food Boroughs opened our eyes to the food scene in this wonderful Region. We were surprised as to that all of the restaurants we visited supported local farms, and satisfied our palates beyond our expectations. Like Downtown Toronto, many of the businesses are close to one another, but the atmosphere is refreshing, clean, and comfortable, with spacious areas to lounge around. If you want to take a mini road-trip with approximately a 2-hour drive, Waterloo is a great place to check out for their restaurants.

** Article and Pictures by Janey Tso. Visit her Instagram and Twitter to check out her feeds ** 

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


Read More »

Au Pied de Cochon

For the Canada's Day long weekend, my friends and I went to Montreal, QC, to hang out.
 On our last night there, we split into three different groups for dinner (the other two groups went for Greek and Sushi respectively), and six of us went to Au Pied de Cochon.


Au Pied de Cochon is a popular culinary establishment in Montreal. It has been a few years since I last dined at Au Pied de Cochon (the last time was with my family), so I was elated when my friend, Tim, made the reservation for 6 people. The six of us arrived for our 9:30 pm reservation on the Saturday night and the place was still booming with diners. The restaurant interior was narrow and long, and its decor had a rustic wooden feel to it. The overall atmosphere was quite lively and loud.


One of the great appeals of the restaurant is their extensive menu. The menu at Au Pied de Cochon offers concoction of dishes that entails the uses of animal parts that are not always found in other restaurants.

We were seated in the back and after a few minutes, our server arrived to take our orders. He went over the menu and told us about the restaurant's specials. We were given home-made bread and butter to snack on as we wait for our dinner. The bread was warm and very soft on the inside. I also enjoyed the creamy texture of the butter, which tasted great with the bread.


 For a starter, I chose the Foie Gras Cromesquis ($3.50). The dish arrived with two deep-fried cubes containing foie gras. As soon as you take a bite, the warm foie gras (fat liver) explodes with a burst of flavor in your mouth, resembling a rather cheesy flavor.


Brittany chose the Tomato Tartlet ($6.50) as an appetizer. This dish was basically sweet tomatoes and melted cheese on top of a pastry crust. For those who are health enthusiasts, many of the items on the menu are very fatty so you won't be able to find anything healthy. However, I believe that this dish was probably the healthiest out of the bunch even if it's slightly rich.


 Angelina chose the Duck Carpaccio ($13.00) as an appetizer.


Ray went for the Tarragon Bison Tongue ($7.50) as an appetizer.


Both Raymond and Brittany ordered the Duck in a Can ($43.00).  Pictured above is the unopened can that contains the "cooked duck".


Both of them were given a plate decorated with celeriac puree on top of a piece of bread; the duck in a can would then be poured on top of it.


The novelty of the dish is that the server would open the can containing the cooked duck, and then poured it right onto the plate leaving a neatly presented dish (which is pictured above). Be forewarned though, if you have a small appetite then this dish is probably not for you, as it is both fattening and filling. Both of my friends' plates contained heavy chunks of duck and foie gras swimming in a pool of rich oil.


I opted for the Bison Ribs ($28.00) as I have tried their foie gras before on my previous visit a few years back. The portion was extremely large, and I could only finish 3/4 of it before getting full. The bison meat was flavorful, meaty and slightly tender.

The fries (in duck fat) ($4.75) was pretty good as it was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.


Angelina ordered the Cured Foie Gras & Boudin Tart ($28.00) as the main course.


Tim ordered the Stuffed Pied de Cochon with Foie Gras ($45.00) as the main course. You can probably tell from the picture alone but the portion was huge.


Tim's friend ordered the special of the week which was a 1.5 lbs lobster roll toped with fois gras ($48.00).


Brittany and Ray ordered the Lemon Meringue Pie ($5.75).


Even though, I was very full from my meal, I could not resist getting dessert. Especially when I saw that they had Crème Brûlée ($7.00) on the menu. I wished that I didn't order it as it was a very
 underwhelming dessert. The reason being was that my caramelized top was 75% burnt, and the taste of it seeped through into the custard. Therefore, I was left with a strong burnt after-taste and smell. The dessert was disappointing but everything else was good.

RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 3.9/5
Service: 4/5
Overall Dining Experience: 4/5
Price: $$$$ || Online Menu

Address: 536 Avenue Duluth Est, Montreal, QC H2L 1A9


Read More »

Vargas Steakhouse & Sushi

This post is long overdue but better late than never. I spent the Canada Day long weekend with some friends in Montreal, QC. Some of the landscapes in the city were really breathtaking but my main focus was on the food. I spent my last night in Montreal eating at Vargas. The restaurant was only an 8 minute walk from The Marriott Chateau Champlain (where I was staying), so it was pretty close by. I was not in the mood for a very long walk anyway :P 


Vargas is a steakhouse and sushi restaurant located in downtown Old Montreal. I was a little skeptical of the idea at first since the two were a rather odd but interesting combination. Stepping foot into the restaurant; I found the interior very spacious and well decorated with modern pieces. There was also an outdoor patio, where most of the customers that night were seated. The four of us opted for indoor seating instead.


Our waiter for the night came over to hand us the menus and brought us glasses of water. We were given a few minutes to decide on our meal for the night. I thought that our waiter was friendly, witty and helpful as he did check up on us throughout the night without being overly imposing. He evened suggested my boyfriend and I to get a dish called The Lost Paradise ($16.00). The dish is described on the Vargas' menu as a creation of "red tuna, spicy crab, avocado, tobiko, smoked salmon topped onto four pieces of salmon tempura leaf". The Lost Paradise was delicately prepared by the chef, and the ingredients that were used taste extremely fresh. The red tuna and smoked salmon were really soft in textures which contrast well with the crunchy tempura leaf. One word = delicious!!


For my main course, I ordered the 18 oz rib steak ($36.00) and had it cooked medium. The food took a few minutes to arrive, and I was pretty much starving. When it arrived, it came out piping hot, and it was huge in size. I thought that the steak was juicy, tender, but a little salty. I chose fries as my side order (as usual). Their fries were cut rather large, but it had a very crispy crunch to it, and it was soft on the inside. I actually liked their fries a lot due to its crisp.


My boyfriend ordered the Caribbean rock lobster tail ($45.00), which was an 14 oz tail with garlic butter. The lobster was pretty large, and the meat tasted so delicious with the butter. My two other friends ordered the chicken teriyaki ($17.00), and braised lamb shanks ($27.00) respectively, and the both of them appeared to have enjoyed their meals. Overall,  I had a nice dinner, and it was a great way to end my trip in Montreal.


RATINGS:

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

Address: 690 René Levesque W, Montreal, Quebec, H3B 1X8


Read More »

Vieux-Port Steakhouse


After a tiring day of exploring Old Montreal in Montreal, QC, I was absolutely famished by 7:00 pm. My friends, boyfriend, and I walked past by Vieux-Port Steakhouse, and it was pretty packed inside so we all decided to give it a try.


Vieux-Port Steakhouse is a well-established steakhouse that opened in 1983. Upon entering the establishment, there was a tank full of live lobsters to the left of the entrance, which was cool. The hostess quickly greeted us at the door, and brought us to a nicely set table near to the side of the restaurant. The decor of Vieux-Port Steakhouse exemplifies an old-school grandeur to me. The only complaint that I have about the atmosphere was that the tables were quite close to each other, so there was a lack of privacy.


We were handed the menus, and a basket of bread & butter by the waiter. The bread was fresh, and the insides were absolutely soft. To start off the meal; a dozen oysters were ordered ($40.00) for the table as appetizers. I haven't acquired the taste of oysters yet, so I didn't eat any of it.


I ordered the tenderloin medallions with grilled shrimp ($35.00) which was part of their surf & turf menu. The two tenderloin medallions were cooked at a perfect medium, and were really juicy. I also enjoyed the four pieces of black tiger shrimps, which were delectably grilled.The meal also came with a side order which I chose french fries. The fries were okay as I found them to be a little bit too soggy and not crispy enough.


As for dessert, I ordered the crème brûlée ($6.00) which was really cheap so I couldn't resist (one of my favorite desserts). The crème brûlée from Vieux-Port Steakhouse was actually served in a larger oval flat bowl which was different from the usual small round bowl found at other places. The disc of caramel was well caramelized and the custard underneath was both rich and delicious.


I thought that the hospitality provided at Vieux-Port Steakhouse was fantastic. Our waiter was very welcoming and attentive. He came by the table often to check upon us, took away empty plates, and refilled our water frequently. So if you're ever in Montreal, then I'd definitely recommend checking out Vieux-Port Steakhouse.


RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 4.4/5
Service: 4/5
Dining Experience: 4/5
Price: $$$

Address: 39 Rue Saint Paul East, Montreal, QC, H2Y 1G2


Read More »