• [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 Media Events & Tastings. Show all posts

#GoodFoodPromise with Fionn MacCool's

We had the pleasure of visiting the Front Street location of Fionn MacCool's last month to check out their new #GoodFoodPromise menu. The philosophy that they instilled is that they believe in sourcing great tasting and quality ingredients from responsible Canadian family farms that they know and trust. Fionn MacCool's has several locations in Ontario, and their menu offers a variety of Irish-inspired and North American classics.



The Chicken Tacos - 3 tacos with fresh pulled chicken, cilantro-lime coleslaw and mango salsa packed into flour tortillas. Drizzled with fresh lime cream sauce and finished with a little Sriracha for some heat, was super filling and delicious.


I usually love calamari, but the Calamari - lightly dusted calamari tossed in salt, pepper and green onions. Served with our made-in-Pub fire-roasted red pepper sauce, from here was slightly too soft for my taste.


The beef used in Fionn MacCool's dishes are sourced from the proudly Canadian Beretta Farms. The cows are raised without the use of antibiotics, hormones, or steroids. For my main course, I opted for their Steak & Fries - 8 oz. Alberta top sirloin grilled to order with sautéed mushrooms, grilled tomato and fresh-cut fries. My steak was cooked perfectly as I requested - medium and the sautéed mushrooms really added to its flavor. As a steak lover, it was a highly recommended item for me.


Over-fishing is a huge issue, and Ocean Wise is helping consumers identify species that are caught or farmed in a way that ensure the long-term health and stability of that species. Fionn MacCool's is proud to serve Ocean Wise wild cod in their fish and chips and also fish tacos. My guest opted for the No.1 Fish & Chips - the only two food groups that matter. Keep it classic with a cod fillet fried to order in our made-in-Pub Barking Squirrel amber lager beer batter. It’s served with rainbow slaw, our Dungloe Sauce and fresh-cut fries. Unlike some of the other fish and chips on the market, the ones here was non-greasy. It was tender on the inside, and lightly battered on the outside. The fish are offered with hand-cut fries, tartar sauce and coleslaw (but you can substitute the fries for side salad).

If you are interested in reading about the sustainability and traceability in the seafood industry, please read my blog post on MSC.


In addition to sourcing the best ingredients, Fionn MacCool's is also deeply rooted in the community. 50 cents from every Mill St. Original Organic Pint sold goes to a local charity. So, don't forget to pair your food with a pint ... drink for a good cause. 

Fionn MacCool's #GoodFoodPromise menu features many new items that I think people will enjoy whether it's with friends or casual dinners. It was definitely good knowing where the ingredients came from and the chain pubs' overall message. 


Address: 310 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3A4

 Social Media:

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


Read More »

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

Facebook || Instagram || Twitter || Website

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



Read More »

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 ** 


Facebook || Instagram || Twitter || Website

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


Read More »

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.

Facebook || Instagram || Twitter || Website

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

Read More »

Good Earth Coffeehouse

Good Earth Coffeehouse is a Calgary-based chain of coffee shops with several locations in Calgary. The first location opened in Calgary in 1991, and they now have over 45 locations throughout Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

Earlier this year, they expanded into the Toronto market with a new location on Jarvis and Dundas Street East. They are situated in a prime location as it's steps away from the Eaton's Center and Ryerson University. Students and workers in the area can grab a coffee and a quick bite in the morning.




The new location is an open-space concept with lots of natural light, and has a decent seating capacity. Good Earth Coffeehouse also offers free wireless Internet to their customers, so people are welcome to use it to work or study.



The coffeehouse is dedicated to providing the best quality food and beverage products to its customers and believes in exceptional coffee quality.
"The coffee scene in Toronto is constantly evolving and diversifying. We are excited to launch Good Earth in this market," said Nan Eskenazi, Founder, Good Earth Coffeehouse. "Good Earth prides itself on offering exceptional coffee and fresh food with a down-to-earth attitude, making Toronto an ideal market for us to grow into."


Good Earth Coffeehouse's coffee and espresso menu are based upon the Italian tradition of espresso drinks. They chose the Italian tradition because of its integrity, simplicity and authenticity with respect to espresso drinks. I didn't get their coffee, but I will try it next time. Instead, I opted for their Caffe Latte (frappes) ($4.75) from their cold handcrafted drink menu. It was a nice smooth drink that contained a good helping of caffeine.



Good Earth Coffeehouse serves fresh-baked goods, hot breakfast, soups, salads and various hot and cold drinks. Some of the sweets that they offer are cinnamon rolls, cookies, rice krispies squares, and more. 




I also got the Honey Lemon Squish ($2.75) - fresh lemon zest, wildflower honey, and cream cheese filling as a treat. 


Aside from their coffee and pastries, they also offer a small selection of breakfast items like the Southwest Breakfast Wrap ($5.50) -  egg, hash brown, cheddar, fresh spinach and salsa




Good Earth Coffeehouse is a great addition to the neighborhood, where you grab and go.

Facebook || Instagram || Twitter || Website 

Address: 198 Jarvis St, Toronto, ON M5B 2B7

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



Read More »

Fastvenues x Cadillac Jenkins

I had the pleasure of joining both Jacky and Christine at Cadillac Jenkins courtesy of Fastvenues last month. Fastvenues is a community marketplace for people to discover and book set-menu meals at restaurants online. The company was founded in early 2016. and has since partnered up with several local restaurants to provide curated dining experiences.


 
Fastvenues simplifies the process of eating out by allowing diners to book an experience of one's liking, choose the meal, and pay for the bill in advance (including tax and tip). All you have to do is pay online, go to the restaurant and dine without needing to bring out your wallet. It's easy and convenient for any occasions like catching up with friends, casual dinners, and even dates. The one thing is that packages must be booked at least 24 hours in advance, so that the restaurant are aware of the reservation.

The process was seamless, as I found the website to be relatively user-friendly for the average user. Restaurant options are displayed clearly to the right, while the advanced search option is located to the left. You can use the search option to narrow your results to find a restaurant that fits your criteria. Once you have a restaurant that you would like to book, you can log in or register an account to start the payment process.


Cashless payments have become more prominent over the years, as the world is now more digitally advanced. With Fastvenues everything is paid in advanced online, and you get a breakdown of the costs prior to paying. Simple!

We were given the opportunity to dine at Cadillac Jenkins; a Caribbean-inspired restaurant serving up unique eats, libations, and music on Queen St W. I'd say that their dishes are more elevated version of Caribbean cuisine. Price-wise, I'd say it's one of the pricier options ($60 total), but there are other budget-friendly options as well on Fastvenues.

We booked the $45 "The Experience" package at
Cadillac Jenkins, which was a four-course meal. We started off with our first starter, Lobster Trini Doubles - butter poached lobster, chana. Doubles are common street foods in Trinidad and Tobago, and they are often stuffed with curried chick peas between two flat fried bread. This was my first time trying doubles, and I really liked the flakiness and softness of the buns. An excellent start to a meal. 


Next up was the Jerk Pork Tacos - two soft corn tortillas, 36 hour marinated pork shoulder, Pico, smoked taco sauce, lime black pepper crema. The pork shoulder was well-marinated and flavorful considering it was marinated for 36 hours. Additionally, even though it was another starter, it was quite filling. 



I was looking forward the most to our main, which was the Crispy Skin Jerk Chicken - rice and pea risotto, grilled scallions, pepper sauce. The jerk chicken was really good, but I would have liked it a little more spiced. I thought it was slightly too mild for my taste buds. The hot sauce that accompanied our Doubles starter would have been the perfect side accompaniment to the jerk chicken dish.



Last up was dessert, which changes daily. Our meal ended off with the Rum Cake with Whipped Cream and Chocolate Sauce. It was a layer of delicate, yet rich rum-flavored cake with a generous helping of whipped cream.


The overall booking process was simple, as all I had to do was create an account and book the reservation. The website's interface was user-friendly, and it was super easy to navigate and make a payment. However, I believe that there should be better communications between Fastvenues and the partnered restaurants. None of us were asked for any documentation (or our names) to confirm the reservation when we walked in. This may cause confusion or complication if the dinner took place during the weekends or holidays, where it may be busier.

I'd also suggest that the restaurants provide a menu of the curated set-course meal. It doesn't have to be fancy (just on white paper), so that diners know what they're eating instead of checking the menu on their phones for each course. Fastvenues is still a new company that is continuing to update and renovate their system, so I am looking forward to what they offer in the future. Overall, they are an excellent way for people to try unique dining experiences in the city of Toronto.

Thank you Jacky for the invitation! 

Fastvenues

Facebook || Instagram || Twitter || Website 

Cadillac Jenkins

Facebook || Instagram || Website 

Address: 930 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G6

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

Read More »