• [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

Summer Menu Tasting at Diwan

On the outskirts of Toronto lies a stunning agricultural building designed by Fumihiko Maki. The Aga Khan Museum opened its door in 2014, and features historical artifacts from Muslim ancient civilizations. To the right of the entrance of the museum is Diwan; a beautifully-designed restaurant headed by celebrity chef, Mark McEwan. We were invited to return to taste their new summer menu inspired by tempting flavors from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, North Africa, and Turkey. Diwan is open for lunch from Tuesday to Sunday from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.



Diwan's decor evokes the luxury of a 19th century private Syrian home, and its menu draws inspiration from Middle Eastern cuisine. Additionally, the 65-seat restaurant is filled with natural lighting, giving it a bright, contemporary and modern ambiance, allowing guests a great view of the adjacent Ismaili Centre. Chef McEwan and his team have created a menu with their take on Pan-Islamic cuisine that includes starters like advice spiced calamari and halloumi salad, and entrees like lamb kofta meatballs, and harissa glazed salmon.

We started off the summer menu tasting with some mocktails from their wide range of drink options. We enjoyed it on the patio, which is now open for lunch. The patio has an incredible view of the beautifully landscaped Aga Khan Park designed by landscape architect, Vladimir Djurovic.



** PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PORTIONS BELOW ARE SAMPLE-SIZE **

Advieh Spiced Calamari ($14) - with Aleppo Aioli 



Lamb Kofta ($14) - lamb meatballs, corn, and coconut curry with naan 


Photo Credit: Fred.BK

Grilled Octopus with Chickpea Salad
 ($17) - with Moroccan olives, stewed sweet peppers, and Aleppo aioli


Chicken Jalfrezi ($20) - tomato-based curry studded with peppers and onion, basmati rice, cashews, yogurt, and naan 


Borani-E-Bademjan ($11) - yogurt and eggplant dip in filo shell, onion, garlic, tumeric, cumin, dill, mint, lemon


My two favorite dishes from Diwan were the Advieh Spiced Calamari and Chicken Jalfrezi. The calamari was lightly coated in batter and well-spiced. The poutine on the other hand was full of flavors as the tomato-based curry was fragrant.

The Aga Khan Museum houses the Aga Khan family collection of roughly 1,000 rare objects and paintings from the 8th to the 20th century. Occasionally, they do have some temporary exhibitions that showcase arts from Muslim lands. After the tasting, we had the opportunity to tour the Aga Khan Museum's temporary exhibit, Syrian Symphony: New Compositions in Sight and Sound. It's on display until August 13, 2017, and it offers an immersive and interactive response from the artists to the current situation in Syria. I was completely immersed in the music and it provided a lot of insights into the conflict of the Syrian people. I highly recommend making a visit before it's gone. 



Photo Credit: Janey (foodrealm)

Photo Credit: Janey (foodrealm)

Photo Credit: Janey (foodrealm)

Photo Credit: Janey (foodrealm)

Photo Credit: Janey (foodrealm)

Photo Credit: Janey (foodrealm)

Address: 77 Wynford Dr, Toronto, ON M3C 1K1

HOURS:

Monday: Closed
(except holiday Mondays)
Tuesday: 10 am–6 pm
Wednesday: 10 am–8 pm
Thursday–Sunday: 10 am–6 pm

COST:

General Admission*
Friends: Free
Adults: $20
Seniors (65+): $15
Students:* $12

Social Media:

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.


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Origination Noodle House

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend a private tasting at Origination Noodle House in Markham (North Scarborough, South Markham). This is their second location as the original one is located in downtown Chinatown. The restaurant specializes in cuisine from the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan.

Walking into the restaurant, it looked really colorful and cozy. The walls are clad in ceramic plates, and diners are greeted with hanging bright lights. Its refined designs has strong Yunnan inspirations, as several decorative pieces and items were brought over from the city.


Our group of 7 started off with some drinks; passion fruit soda and lime soda. The drinks were served in plastic bags, which is reminiscent of the night markets in China. Not the best for the environment, but the drinks themselves were refreshing and sweet.


In addition to noodles, Origination Noodle House has a pretty good selection of appetizers. Out of all the ones we sampled, my favorite was the Deep Fried Squid Balls ($6.50). I enjoyed its chewy  texture and the flavoring was on point.



I am actually not a fan of Marinated Pork Hock ($6.90), so I didn't really like this dish.



We opted for the Cucumber Salad ($6.90) - with soy and sesame sauce as our vegetable appetizer. Cucumbers add a lot of crunch and refreshing flavor to many salads such as this one. The large chunks of cucumbers were covered with shredded carrots, drizzled with peanut butter sauce, and topped off with peanuts.



The Chilled Shredded Chicken ($5.50) - Chinese vinegar, green onion and tofu slices was simple, but it was the perfect appetizer for summer. However, there should be a little more pieces of chicken and less of the tofu slices.


One of their specialties is the Origination Yunnan Rice Noodle, which is their version of the "Crossing The Bridge" noodles. No MSG is added and it's made completely from scratch.  They have a few soup options, but my go-to soup will always be the Tom Yum Goong ($11.90) - rice noodle with coconut milk, lemongrass, bass, fermin serrano ham, pork, black fungus and tofu skin. The soup base had a nice spicy kick to it without being overwhelming, and no additives. Additionally, the portion was very generous, and one bowl could easily feed two people. You can also customizes your noodles with the complimentary cart carrying an array of spices and sauces.





The Tofu Rice Noodle ($8.90) - tofu, pickle, and minced pork was a rather bold dish with a lot of flavors. It came with a lot of vegetables and tofu. Make sure to mix it well before you enjoy the dish.



Another favorite of mine was the Yunnan Style Fried Rice Noodle (beef) ($11.90). Rice noodle is a staple in Yunnan cuisine, and this dish was relatively vibrant in flavor.





Chilled Rice Noodle ($9.50) - with chicken with cucumber, carrots, chicken and minced pork


For dessert, I got the Bubble Lu ($3.20). It had a pleasant coconut flavor (from the coconut milk), and was pretty sweet. I find that the Asian palette towards desserts is that they like subtle sweetness. So, some people might find this dessert too overly sweet.


Red Bean Yogurt ($4.20)



Overall, Origination Noodle House is a pretty solid restaurant as it's affordable, portions are generous, and their food was good that I'd come back again.

Address: 633-661 Silver Star Blvd, Scarborough, ON, M1V 5N1

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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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#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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