• [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 Price: $$. 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

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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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National Pizza Day with Famoso Pizzeria

Did you know this Thursday, February 9 is National Pizza Day? Here are some interesting facts about Neapolitan Pizza courtesy of Famoso Pizzeria.


5 Things You Didn’t Know About Neapolitan Pizza

1. Burn, baby, burn: It’s not just any oven that can create a Neapolitan pizza, and only the right kind gives the soft, moist centre, and perfectly crisp, slightly charred, crust of a true authentic. As such, it’s typically only at a restaurant that you can experience a Neapolitan the way it’s done in Naples. At Famoso, the pizza is fired in an authentic bell-shaped oven, imported from Italy, for 90 seconds at a sizzling 900ºF.


2. I got the key: The crust of an authentic Neapolitan pizza uses a dough that is made with highly refined, Italian type ‘0’ or ‘00’ wheat flour, which refers to the texture of the flour. Type ‘00’ flour, of which the Caputo variety is used at Famoso, is the finest grind available. This highly refined flour is low-gluten, meaning it’s easily digestible, while giving the dough just enough elasticity to create the perfect crust. At Famoso, any of their pizzas - and many other menu options - can be adapted to suit a gluten-free diet.

3. Love at first fold: It’s not just the way it’s made that makes a Neapolitan pizza. Once served, the pizza should be eaten ‘a libretto’ - like a book - for the tastiest and most authentic Italian dining experience. 


4. Margherita Mondays: Baker Raffaele Esposito, a 19th century Italian owner of Naples eatery ‘Pizzeria di Pietro e Basta Cosi’ is considered by some to be the founder of the Margherita pizza, having been requested to create a dish for Queen Margherita of Savoy who had travelled to Naples with King Umberto I. Preparing his speciality, Esposito made a pizza using tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil, to celebrate the colours of the Italian flag through the ingredients. Famoso celebrates the traditional Margherita every Monday, offering them for $8 each. 


5. A ‘pizza’ the action: The pizza that we eat today - dough topped with tomatoes and cheese - was invented in Naples, Italy, hundreds of years ago. Prior to this, the closest thing to what is arguably our nation’s favourite dish, was a flatbread, however these were never topped with tomatoes. Once tomatoes arrived in Europe, and used as a flatbread topping, the pizza was born. Today, Famoso imports all its tomatoes from the region of Campania (of which Naples is the region capital), and hand-mills them before the oven caramelizes them to perfection.

Address: 386 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1X4

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Teddy Story (Toronto)

Teddy Story is a newly opened cafe on Church and Adelaide selling a variety of plush teddies from Teddy House; a popular brand from Thailand. In addition to selling teddy bears, they also serve specialty coffee, premium hot chocolate, real fruit smoothies, cakes and macarons for both dine-in and takeout. The concept itself is very cute, and great for a casual get-together with friends or dates.


I had the pleasure of visiting the teddy-bears themed cafe earlier this month, where I got to try a few of their cafe items. 



 As for my drink, I opted for the Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate. The hot chocolate was served with white marshmallows and drizzled with chocolate syrup. The cup of hot chocolate was pretty standard, but it was prettily designed and great for an IG photo. 



 Besides an extensive menu of both cold and hot drinks, they also serve a decent selection of pastries. They don't bake them in-house, but they do get them fresh in the morning from an uptown bakery.


 I love macarons, and I don't think I can ever get sick of them. So my eyes went toward them when I saw the display case. I got the Crème Brûlée and Blueberry macarons. I enjoyed them! 

 
 

They also have a few cakes available, and one of them was the Matcha Cake. I actually didn't get a chance to try it, as it was another blogger's order. 


 The stand-out feature of the cafe has to be the selection of teddy bears from Teddy House. Unlike Build-A-Bear Workshop, you cannot build your own teddy bears at Teddy Story. However, you can customize your teddy bear with a variety of customized clothing pieces (prices vary). The teddy bears are displayed all throughout the cafe, and they do come in various sizes.

Teddy Story also offers a personalized delivery service, where the gift would be delivered in person to the recipient by Teddy Ken; their mascot.


 The location itself is conveniently located downtown and a few minutes away from the Eaton's Center. The overall decor was very Instagrammable with its white, clean and sleek look. Guests are also welcome to move around the large teddy bears located in the seating area for photos.

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching, so why not buy a teddy bear for that special someone? Teddy Story is open Sunday to Wednesday from 10 am to 8 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 9 pm. 




Address: 82 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON M5C 1K9

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Light Cafe

Light Cafe Canada is a cafe originating from Taiwan offering gourmet café food and drinks with a contemporary twist. I have been here on a few occasions, and have always liked the bright and open-concept space. The Baldwin location is their first outpost in North America, but they do have plans for expansion in the near future. I had the pleasure of being invited to a tasting late last year, and got to try a couple of new items on the menu.



The contemporary space itself is very Instagrammable with its bright background, clean white marble tables, and a backdrop of live plants sprouting from the walls. They do have several seats in the front (best lighting), and a bunch more tables in the back. It's a good place to dine for all sorts of occasions like casual lunch or dinner, date night, and catching up with friends.




The drinks menu includes espresso-based beverages (hot and iced), slow drip hand brew coffee, infused loose tea leaf, au lait, and several smoothies & Italian soda options. Since it was getting late, I didn't want coffee keeping me up as I had an early morning the next day. I ended up getting the Strawberry Smoothies ($6.25), which was a mountain high beverage.



From the salad options, I got the Smoked Duck Breast Salad ($11.95) - smoked duck breast, spring mix, orange slices, butter squash, cherry tomato, roasted cauliflower, and lettuce frisee. They have four salad dressing to choose from, which were yuzu, sesame, mustard, and house special dressing. The salad was a light starter, but there could have been a bit more slices of duck for the price.


Light Cafe pays very close attention to presentation, which I can truly appreciate. The Lobster Bisque ($9.25) was well presented on a wooden board - the soup was served in an individual sized saucepan alongside slices of garlic bread, and side salad. The lobster bisque was also available on its own for $6.25. The bisque has been tweaked to satiate the Asian palate, as it wasn't as salty or rich compared to French lobster bisque. but it remained fragrant.




My favorite menu item from Light Cafe has to be their  Lobster Roll ($15.50) - chopped lobster, crab meat & shrimp in a creamy dressing on two freshly baked soft roll. The overall composition of the lobster roll here was pretty good, as the meat to bun ratio was not disproportional. I really liked the buttery toasted bun. Overall, it was well-priced, tasty, and generously portioned.



JJ got the Montreal Smoked Beef Croissant ($12.75) - Montreal smoked beef, mozzarella cheese, beef tomato, lettuce, mayo, mustard and butter croissant as his main course. 


Lastly, Light Cafe has a wide selection of desserts to satisfy one's sweet tooth. The desserts here aren't as sugar-averse as the typical Western desserts. Looking through the menu, I saw that they recently introduced waffles to their desserts menu including seasonal fruits, strawberry, early grey, and charcoal black sesame waffle. We ended up getting the Strawberry Waffle ($9.95), which arrived with ice-cream, whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries, and topped off with strawberry sauce. This was quite a decadent dessert, and the waffle texture was nice and soft.


Crème Brûlée Three Ways ($9.75) - early grey, white chocolate, coffee





Overall, I had an enjoyable meal at Light Cafe, and do recommend the restaurant when one is looking for an affordable casual dining space. For the price point, it was a rather exemplary dining experience. I also liked that the management was open to criticism and feedback, and they do listen to what customers want/need.


Address: 23 Baldwin Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1L1

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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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Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria is a growing pizza chain from Western Canada, where a handful of locations is opened. Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of being invited to Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria at the Bloor West location. That location opened in 2012, and has since become a popular spot for pizza in the Annex. Famosa is best known for its authentic Neapolitan style cuisine, which makes no apology for their creative menu of fusion pizzas. Dean (the owner) runs two locations with his brother, and he is very passionate about the trade. He explained in details about the journey that they embarked on to bring us this delicate taste of Naples menu that we were able to sample.


Located on Bloor & Spadina, the restaurant features a decently sized dining area with an open concept kitchen. The interior composed of contemporary rustic décor with warm colours, and dark wood floors. They recently launched a new F/W menu with a small selection of new items including Mac & Cheese, Korean BBQ Beef Pizza, and Patate Pancetta Pizza.

We started dinner off with the Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque - roasted Campania tomato soup topped with feta cheese, and served with flatbread. This was one of the highlights of the evening. The bisque was rich with flavor, as the tomatoes hail from Pompeii, Italy. The body of these tomatoes taste stronger, sweeter, and have less acidity in them due to the growing conditions of the volcanic ash that makes up the significant content of the soil. With some added crushed peppers, and Parmesan cheese, the aroma of the bisque was brought to its greatest. Definitely a must order if you want to warm up from the cold weather.



Famoso Salad ($15.50) - Romaine lettuce, prosciutto crisps, carrots, cherry tomatoes, soppressata (spicy salami), fire-roasted chicken, feta, dijon-balsamic vinaigrette



Pistachio Pesto Primavera ($15) - Linguine, house-made pistachio pesto cream sauce, roasted zucchini, green peas, roasted mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, Grana Padano + $3 (add chicken)



 For the main courses, we decided to try out two of their newest pizza items from their F/W menu. Let’s start with the Patate Pancetta ($16.50) - crème fraîche, rosemary, russet potatoes, fior-di-latte, mozzarella, pancetta, caramelized onions, sea salt, white truffle oil, Grana Padano, lemon wedge, topped with a fried egg. This was a very rich pizza with an assortment of ingredients including pancetta that is cured pork belly with similar properties to both prosciutto and bacon. This particular pizza can be considered  pretty close to a brunch item, as the center was topped off with a fried egg, garnished with a very generous portion of  caramelized onions, and russet potatoes, white truffle oil, and fio-di-latte mozzarella. A wedge of lemon was also provided as a taste only basis.



 The second pizza we got was the Korean BBQ Beef ($16.50) - house-made Korean BBQ sauce, fior-di-latte, house-roasted pulled short ribs, green onions, cheddar cheese, house-made hoisin sauce, which had a heavy emphasis on fusion. With a mix of house-made Korean & hoisin sauce, the pizza was topped with Italian ingredients such as fio-di-latte cheese, cheddar cheese, and green onions. The pizza was intense with flavor and leaned towards more of the sweeter side as the bittersweet taste of tomatoes was absent from this combination. The emphasis on sweet soy and hoisin was captured instead bringing you one of the more heavier accented fusions in the menu.





Overall, the dinner experience was great, as we had a nice seat right in front of the wooden stove. We saw chefs prepping the menu, tossing the pizza, and eventually transfer to the 800C oven that will cook for approximately 90 seconds. The oven was specially-made.

As we talked to the owner, we learned that much of the menu was coordinated with the head office. They would collaborate on menu items, and then it would be streamlined across all locations to allow good control of the ingredients that are distributed. However, the brothers do have some personality in their franchises because they are able to develop their own drink menu catered to the audiences in the Annex area. The owner and staff are culinary artists, and if you have the pleasure to sit at the front where the food are being made, be ready to be treated to the faces of the many artists that are preparing your dishes.

The following dishes were not sampled by us, but rather captured while they were on the counter.



 



Address: 386 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1X4

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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.

Famoso Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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