• [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 Canadian. Show all posts

Holts Café at Holt Renfrew Toronto

A couple of weeks ago, we had the pleasure of visiting Holts Café for lunch. It's a trendy cafe on the mezzanine level of one of Yorkville's institutions, Holt Renfrew. The cafe was an elongated bright space with a red and light grey color scheme. It's an ideal setting for a casual lunch, business lunch, dates, or mid-afternoon shopping break. Holts Café's menu features a locally-inspired menu with a variety of signature dishes including the chopped salad and Holts burger.

I started off with a drink from their mocktails selection; the Mango Mule ($7) - peaches and cream syrup, lime juice, mango juice, ginger syrup, Angostura bitters, soda. It was a sweet and refreshing non-alcoholic beverage. 


We got the Grilled Jerk Shrimp ($14) containing jalapeño pineapple salsa as an appetizer. I was told that it only had a slight kick due to some regular clienteles complaining about the heat level. The jerk shrimp along with the sweet and juicy pineapple was a fantastic combo.  


The Fragrant Steamed Mussels ($13) - peppers, thyme, oregano, garlic, shallots, white wine was another stand-out appetizer.  The seafood delicacy come together with the help of white wine and various spices to create a lovely aromatic smell. The broth itself was light and savory, and there was a generous helping of mussels (big enough to share between two people). 


One of Holts Café's most recommended salad was the Chopped Salad ($19) - avocado, cucumber, peppers, chickpeas, sweet corn, red cabbage, romaine lettuce, French vinaigrette. The salad was a decent option, but there wasn't enough French vinaigrette, so it tasted too light to me. 


I opted for the Pickerel ($27) as my main, and it was a perfectly cooked dish. The fish was lightly seasoned and complemented the creamy Jerusalem artichoke and French beans. It was also topped with some shaved fennel, which didn't really seem to add or detract from the taste. Lastly, the pickerel was pan-seared, which resulted in a beautiful crust that added to the texture of the fish. A simply light main course!
 


For the main course, J got the Steak Frites ($27) - 8 oz petite tender, hand cut fries, wild mushroom ragoût, red wine jus.


Desserts has always been one of my favorite things, so I was looking forward to trying the Strawberry Shortcake ($10). It was made with shortcake biscuit, pastry cream, strawberry compote, crème Anglaise, Chantilly cream. It was literally a platter of sugar, which probably doesn't suit everyone's palette. It was very sweet, which I liked. However, I think that they could add a few more strawberries to balance out the sweetness of the shortcake biscuits.


The Chocolate Mousse ($10) - fresh raspberry, feuilletine hazelnut crust, coulis gracefully sat in a pool of coulis made from puréed fruits. It was definitely an airy and rich dessert.  


Brewed Coffee ($4.25)


Overall, our lunch at the Holts Café at Holt Renfrew Toronto was a very pleasant dining experience. Despite it being near 75% capacity, I noticed that all diners were being attended to appropriately, which I am not surprised considering the brand namesake. Furthermore, our server (Joe) was attentive and personable.

If you do come for lunch, they are are extremely limited parking spaces in the Yorkville area. So I'd recommend either using public transportation, Uber, or taking a taxi. However, if you do plan on driving, Holt Renfrew does offer valet parking for $25.

Address: 50 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, M4W 1A1

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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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Dave & Buster's Oakville Grand Opening

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening of the newly opened Dave & Buster's in Oakville, ON. I am quite familiar with the brand, as Dave & Buster's has been a household name for many years. Its first Canadian location opened in the year 2000 up in Vaughan, and has since been frequent by many visitors. This location marks the second location in Canada, and it is bigger than ever. 



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 & 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. 


In order to survive in such a different hospitality landscape. Changes had to be made not only to the brand's offering, but to the overall corporate identity of what Dave & Buster's should be in today's digital age. The all-new Dave & Buster's in Oakville opens with a menu of new food, new drinks, new games and the ultimate sports viewing at their sports bar area. The new space was quite large at 36,000-square-foot and designed to be upscale, and modern. 









Guests at the media preview also got to try a few food items like the Pepperoni Pretzel Pull-Apart, the Caveman Combo (ribs, sliders and fries piled high in a bucket!), a Legendary Burger lineup featuring a burger topped with boneless buffalo wings, and the all-new Carnivore Pizzadilla. I do recommend the new food items. The new food menu was diverse with burgers, fries, ribs, and more healthy options, whereas the drinks were exotic to every detail. Colorful in design, which matches the excitement of the glowing lights when you enter the gaming zone. 



The Million Dollar Midway caters to all sort of gamers, as there are more than 160 games to choose from. Some notable ones are Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Star Wars Battle Pod, Candy Crush, Pac-Mac, Air Hockey, and more. Plus, every Wednesday is “Half Price Games Wednesday”, where every game is half off, all day long. Those hard-earned tickets can be redeemed with a trip to the Winner’s Circle for a variety of prizes, including Apple products, Xbox games, sports memorabilia and much more!

It has been over 2 years since my last visit to a D&B. The new Oakville complex has changed before my eyes to what I remember of Dave & Buster's. It is now a spacious sports bar with comfortable seats, and outfitted with massive HD TVs. Lastly, corporate rooms are also available for rent allowing companies to have team building activities upstairs. All this shift in their brand was to expand their target audience to bring on a more mature crowd but also pleasing their old client base. 


All in all, Dave & Buster's has done a fantastic job in re-inventing itself in a market that had been tight squeezed over the last 4 years. Their food menu will continue to be refreshed to meet the continuous demands of what makes Toronto a central hub for fine dining & quality entertainment.

Address: 2021 Winston Park Dr, Oakville, ON L6H 6P5

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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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Tasting East Thirty-Six's Fall/Winter Cocktail Menu

Located in the vibrant St. Lawrence Market district is the 1920's style bar East Thirty-Six. East Thirty-Six is a restaurant and cocktail bar focusing on house-made ingredients for craft cocktails and a gourmet menu of shareable dishes. Co-owner and Mixologist, Julien Salomone, brings several years' experience to the beverage program by "infusing syrups, tinctures and liquors in-house to heighten the stunning array of cocktails."

Here you will find an extensive list of seasonal cocktails like the Island Delight, Rouge Passion, and Le Caterina. Check out their list of cocktails here.


A couple of weeks back, we had the pleasure of attending the fall/winter tasting at East Thirty-Six. That evening, guests got to try four new cocktails from their fall/winter drinks menu: 

The St-Germain - Beefeater gin, st-germain elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, syrup, and cava


Apothecary - Hayman's london dry, Hayman's sloe gin, tonic syrup, lemon juice, rosemary tincture, and perrier


Nutcracker - Lot 40 rye, drambuie, house spiced rum, walnut bitters, and black cardamom


Night Capp - coffee vanilla infused bourbon, macadamia nut syrup, and espresso


East Thirty-Six is an intricately designed and sophisticated space inspired by the Old Hollywood vibe, It's rather reminiscent of a 1920s era bar with dark furnishing, marble bar, and steel light fixtures. Patrons are greeted by a large bar space where they are welcome to enjoy an array of craft cocktails by Julien Salomone. Compliment your craft cocktail with an assortment of sharing plates from East Thirty-Six's gourmet menu of shareable dishes like the octopus, Humboldt squid, Berkshire pork belly, or a platter of oysters.





East Thirty-Six is an ideal spot for a social gathering, intimate dinners, or after work events. Many of the shareable-plated dishes are perfectly paired by the cocktails and wine accompaniment. So, it's an especially good place for group gatherings, as you can try a variety of dishes. East Thirty-Six is open daily (4 pm to 2 am), and serving food from 5 pm to 1 am (Monday to Sunday). 



Address: 36 Wellington St E, Toronto, ON M5E 1C9

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East Thirty-Six Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Weekend Brunch at Drake One Fifty (Drake 150)

Situated in the heart of the Financial District, The Drake’s Drake One Fifty, recently launched their weekend brunch. Chef de Cuisine, Jon Pong, and his team has created a menu to celebrate the season’s light flavors and bountiful produce that support many local purveyors and farmers. The menu includes brunch favorites like eggs benedict, pancakes, skillet French toast, and steak & eggs. Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending an intimate tasting where guests got to sample the new brunch menu, and completed a hands-on cocktail masterclass (Caesar) with their head mixologist.


 

Drake One Fifty uses locally sourced products daily, and this hasn't changed with their new brunch menu. They source bacon and pork from Perth Pork, beef from Cumbrae’s, walnuts from 100km Foods Inc., cheese from The Cheese Boutique, Ocean Wise sustainable seafood, seasonal Ontario produce and even foraged mushrooms. Quality dishes are of the utmost importance at Drake One Fifty, and this is evident in the dishes that are served to their customers.

The team at Drake One Fifty has also curated a cocktail program that perfectly complemented the new brunch menu including the popular Classic Drake Caesar.

Photo Credit: Drake One Fifty
The Blueberry Scones ($11) - clotted cream & jam was a delicious start to a morning brunch. The scones are freshly baked in-house every morning, and delightfully soft.



I opted for the Omelette ($16) - Bulgarian feta, grilled shiitake furikake, baguette crostin, as my choice of main course, and I am glad that I did. The omelette was a modern take on the brunch favorite, but they did add a unique spin to it by adding Bulgarian feta.



We ended brunch with Pancakes ($15) - miso banana caramel, chocolate cream as our dessert. It was quite the sweet treat!



 Hot Smoked Salmon Benedict ($17) - dill hollandaise, salmon roe, toasted sesame


Photo Credit: Drake One Fifty
 Drake Breakfast ($17) - skillet, corn bread, breakfast sausage bacon, 2 eggs, chicharrón, BBQ bean puree 


Photo Credit: Drake One Fifty


Brunch is available every Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm at Drake One Fifty.

Address: 150 York St, Toronto, ON M5H 3S5

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DrakeOneFifty
Instagram: http://instagram.com/thedrakehotel
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheDrakeHotel/
Website: http://www.drakeonefifty.ca/dining
 
Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.
 
Drake One Fifty Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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[Event] DenTek @ The Big Crow

 A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend an event held at The Big Crow. The dinner event was hosted by DenTek; an America company that develops, and markets oral care products. Although they are based in the United States, all of their products are readily available throughout Canada. DenTek has been in business since 1984, and has continued to be a "worldwide leader in innovative dental care products for people of every age." (source: http://www.dentek.com) Their products range from floss picks, tongue cleaners, dental guards, and more. This event was meant to showcase some of DenTek's main dental products by incorporating food into the mix. The event was appropriately titled "Teeth's Worst Nightmare Dinner", and all of the food available for consumption that night was basically your teeth's worst nightmare aka it either gives you bad breath or get stuck to your teeth. At the end of the event, all of us bloggers were gifted with a gift bag containing various dental care goodies to take home.




 DenTek's Teeth's Worst Nightmare Dinner was hosted at The Big Crow; an Algonquin inspired backyard BBQ joint. The new restaurant opened in mid-2013, and is brought to you by the folks behind Rose & Sons. The restaurant can be hard to find if you're not familiar with the area, but it's directly behind the Rose & Sons restaurant on Dupont St. The Big Crow is basically an opened shipping crate with long communal picnic tables, and an open-kitchen. Due to its communal set-up, many of the dishes are meant to be served family-styled (shareable). The Big Crow offers classic BBQ fares, and some of the dishes that we got to sample are pictured below. The BBQ spread includes Cavity-on-the-Cob, Teeth Ruinin Ribs, Garlic Bread Breath, Tooth Pick'in Pulled Pork, Miami Ribs, BBQ Chicken, and Tooth Fairy Treats.





Two of my favorite items that night were the ribs, and roast garlic bread. The Teeth Ruinin Ribs wasn't fall of the bone tender, but it was well-marinated as it was flavorful. Lastly, the roast garlic bread was delicious, as it had nice crispy edges, and a warm soft center. I normally love ribs, but I found the Miami ribs from The Big Crow to be too salty for my taste. However, the overall meal was rather good, and I'll definitely return to check out the rest of their menu, as I love BBQ. 



Address: 176 Dupont St, Toronto, ON M5R 2E6 (the back)
 

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary courtesy of DenTek, and OverCat PR. Thank you for inviting me to the event. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.
Big Crow Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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