• [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 Vaughan. Show all posts

Sake Sushi

What I love about downtown is the plethora of sushi restaurants. There aren't that many sushi establishments in my area when I'm back uptown with my family. I was craving for some sushi one night and decided to order delivery. Based on Google maps; one of the nearest sushi restaurants in the area was Sake Sushi. There weren't that many reviews online but most were positive so I went ahead and ordered with them. Sake Sushi also offers an AYCE option for $13.99 (lunch) and $20.99 (dinner); it's $1-2 more on the weekends/holidays. 

Based on past experiences; ordering a la carte from AYCE can be a hit or a miss. Most of the time, the quality isn't very high compared to non-AYCE establishments but the price ranges are similar. 

The salmon pizza (sushi pizza) ($6.95) tasted a lot better than it looked. The crispy patty wasn't overly fried and it was topped with the right amount of roe. Although, the salmon was sliced extremely thin. 

I opted for the beef short ribs (bento box) ($11.75) which came with ribs, stir-fried vegetables, two fried dumplings, steamed rice, green salad and miso soup. The ribs were marinated well and the flavor of the veggies was good. Unfortunately, it only came with four thin slices of ribs but at least there was a helping hand of greens. Surprisingly, the bento boxes also came with five nigiri (shrimp and salmon) and spicy salmon roll; they were not listed on the menu. 

The chicken teriyaki (bento box) ($10.75) came with chicken, steamed rice, two beef dumplings, green salad and miso soup.

The shrimp tempura roll (6 pieces) ($5.95) was a good choice. The batter that they used to coat the shrimp was light and crispy. 

They offer free delivery over $30 (before tax). This was easily achieved for two people. Overall, the quality of the food was good but they really do skimp out by cutting up their meat and fish so thinly.  With that being said, I am still interested in trying out their AYCE when I'm up in the area one day. Their dinner menu seems extensive and their price is on par with other AYCE uptown.

Address: 5875 Hwy 7 W Vaughan, ON

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Koganei is nestled in a rather unsuspecting strip plaza up in Vaughan. There was ongoing construction in the area at the time of our dinner, so we had to drive around it. I am not too sure if the construction has been completed in the area. Like many other sushi restaurants, Koganei offers a large assortment of sushi/sashimi and has an extensive menu. The place was relatively mid-sized with ample seating (booths-styled) and a sushi bar.

 Deep Fried Oyster ($5.95) - Khaki Fry 6-deep fried breaded fresh oysters w/tonkatsu sauce. This dish came with 6 pieces of deep fried oysters, and it was rather dry to me. Honestly, I think after spending time in Miyajima, Japan (the land of oysters); the cooked ones in Toronto don't do anything for me.

I opted for their beef teriyaki bento box ($15.95) as my main dish. The bento box arrived in two individual rectangular pieces. The first box contained steamed rice, stir-fry veggies, and the beef teriyaki. While, the second box contained orange slices, 3 California rolls and shrimp/veggie tempura. Additionally, each bento box came with miso soup and green salad. The sizzling beef was excellent as it was tender and flavorful.

My brother got the chicken teriyaki bento box (served with miso soup, 3 California rolls, assorted tempura, stir fried vegetables, steamed rice and fruit) ($12.95).

I have mentioned this in several of my sushi posts, but I absolutely love sushi pizza. As an additional dish, I got their salmon pizza ($6.99) to share - diced fish with green onion, topped with tobiko and spicy mayonnaise on crispy rice cake. The sushi pizza was 5 inches in diameter and 6 slices in total. The sushi pizza was of a good size, and divided into 6 equal pieces with abundance of salmon chunks on top. The deep fried patty was crispy and the salmon was flavored well. It wasn't the best sushi pizza I have ever had, but it was rather good.

Lastly, we also got a plate of salmon sashimi (3 pcs) ($4.25). The sashimi was largely sliced and had a nice buttery texture.

Service was good as our waitress was friendly, attentive, and quick to assist us. She also made the effort to check upon us a few times, and refilled our cups of green tea. Dinner was $67 for two (drinks + taxes + tip included). Koganei is not the most affordable places for sushi in the area, but the quality was good, and both of us left full.


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

Address:  3901 Hwy 7, Woodbridge, ON L4L 8L5

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Spoon & Fork

About: Spoon & Fork is an AYCE that serves Chinese, Japanese, and Thai dishes. I believe they have four locations serving Japanese Thai; Vaughan, Queensway, Oakville and Mississauga. They do have other restaurants under the Spoon & Fork name but they serve either only Japanese (à la carte) or Thai Vietnamese (AYCE). This review is based on the Vaughan location which is located in the large Colossus Plaza. There is ample parking in the plaza, and the decor of the restaurant is modern and upscale.

Price: A friend and I went there for dinner a couple of weeks ago at their Vaughan location. The prices at Spoon & Fork was rather steep in comparison to the standard uptown AYCE. Dinner prices for Monday to Thursday was $26.99, and Fri to Sunday was $27.99 per person. 

Menu: The menu offers a wide variety of items from appetizers, salad, sashimi, maki/hand rolls, noodles, sushi, curry, and many more. The menu also has clear and colorful pictures of a majority of the dishes.

 Food: I am a fan of both Japanese and Thai food, so this was why Spoon & Fork appealed to me when I first learned of its existence. However, after dining here, I don't think the quality of the food really justify the cost of the weekend buffet. Perhaps it may be worth it if you go with a larger group, so you could try out more food. My dinner alone was a little under $45 (that includes the cost of dessert, tax, and tip) for a Friday night. The food was relatively decent for an AYCE, but there was nothing stand-out to me.

I'll start with the items that I did enjoy though. The crispy texture of the calamari was good, and the spicy fish sauce went well with it. The beef teriyaki arrived in one large piece, and uncut. This was the first time where I have seen it presented that way. Normally, it would either be shredded or in small pieces. However, it wasn't dry and rather flavorful. The bite-sized salmon sushi pizza was a favorite of mine, and each order comes with 3. The pad thai was edible, but unfortunately they covered it in ketchup instead of tamarind sauce. The fish quality was slightly above average and were sliced rather thin. Additionally, the hand roll, maki roll, and sushi were very standard for an AYCE. Normally, I loved chicken but none of the chicken dishes appealed to me as they were dry with little flavor (such as the chicken teriyaki and chicken wings). The rest of the items were rather average.

I was surprised that desserts wasn't included in the cost of the AYCE considering the higher price point. I can understand why they wouldn't include the deep fried desserts, but a bowl of ice-cream was an additional $4 for each flavor. Nonetheless, my friend and I decided to order desserts, as we were short on time to go anywhere else. I got the crème brûlée ($6.50) and my friend got the green tea ice-cream ($4). The portion for the crème brûlée was small, as I finished it in about 3-4 bites.

Service: From what I can recall; the service was good. Our server was welcoming, quick to take our orders, and clear the empty dishes. Additionally, the dishes came out at a reasonable time, and none of our food items were missed.


Quality of Food: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5
Overall Dining Experience: 3.5/5
Price: $$$

Address: 11 Colossus Dr Vaughan, ON, L4L9J8

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Spin Dessert Cafe and Bistro

Spin Dessert Cafe and Bistro have a few locations in Ontario, and the one in Vaughan, ON, is the closest one to me. I first heard of the establishment when my brother bought me home their traditional New York style plain vanilla cheesecake and and red velvet cheesecake to try. I really enjoyed both desserts, and decided to check out the place for myself with my family (sans mother and grandmother as they're not fans of sweets). I believe that the Vaughan location also follows the same decor scheme as the others do. It's a modern establishment with the bright pink decor, and off-white furniture.

Spin Dessert Cafe and Bistro's menu consist of breakfast items, savory crepe, sweet crepes, cakes, cheesecakes, ice-cream, and drinks (both hot and cold). Some of their cheesecakes are from the well-known USA chain The Cheesecake Factory Bakery, but most of their meal and dessert items are made in-house.

Cappuccino ($2.85) - shot of expresso with foamed milk.

Both my brother and I got the chicken Caesar crepe ($11.25 x 2) [chicken Caesar crepe [a fresh crepe filled with chicken, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, mozzarella cheese and finished with Caesar sauce] which came with a side salad. They used a rather large white plate in contrast to the size of the crepe itself. So when it was brought to our table; it did not look very filling. However, the crepe was filled with plenty of filling inside, and we were satisfied with our meal. Additionally, the overall texture of the crepe was soft with a rather crisp edge, and was thin.

 The steak fajita ($12.99) - a fresh crepe filled with steak, onions, green peppers, salsa and mozzarella cheese, was served with sour cream and guacamole on the side.

Spin Dessert Cafe and Bistro have monthly features where they have desserts and drinks of one particular flavor. For example, we went during the month of Dec (2013) and the the featured flavor was candy cane. I got myself the Holiday Cheesecake ($9.25) - New York-style cheesecake with white chocolate swirls, studded with holiday M&M, and topped with whipped white chocolate mousse. I absolutely loved that they put effort into presentations, as a few places that I have been too often neglect this part. The cheesecake was brightly decorated and very suiting for the holiday seasons. The cheesecake itself was delicious, moist, and full of chocolate flavor.

For the rest of May 2014, the feature flavor is mango. So if you're a fan of mango flavored drinks or desserts, then this month's feature would be perfect for you.Their website changes monthly!

Onto the service; most of the negative reviews online attributes to their service more so than their food. Fortunately, I didn't experience any long wait for either being seated, getting the food or bill. Our server was friendly, quick, and courteous enough throughout our meal.

Quality of Food: 3.8/5
Service: 3.8/5
Overall Dining Experience: 3.5/5
Price: $$

Address: 7600 Weston Road, Vaughan, ON, L4L 9L9

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Akita Sushi

About: Akita Sushi is an AYCE restaurant in Woodbridge (Vaughan), but they also offer a la-carte as well.  Additionally, the interior was decorated with Asian influence, and rather spacious inside.

Price: My family, boyfriend, and I went to eat dinner on a Sunday about 2 months ago. The price was pretty standard for an AYCE as it was $22.99 (per person) from Friday to Sunday. I liked that the price also includes pop drinks with the meal. We weren't aware of the mandatory 10% gratuity as I didn't see it while perusing the menu, so we ended up double tipping. However, we didn't mind because the service was fast and efficient for the five of us.

Food: Akita Sushi offers the standard sushi fare along with a variety of appetizers, cooked food, teriyaki, donburi, noodles, fried items, and ice-cream for dessert. They had a selection of 6 thickly sliced sashimi, Their sushi selection was also rather standard with the usual white tuna, snapper, red tuna, salmon, crab meat, etc ...  Overall, I didn't find their sushi rolls to be very creative, but the fish quality was good for an AYCE. I also enjoyed their cooked food; especially their ribs, fried scallops, and chicken skewers. However, I would definitely skip their beef skewers as it was overly salty.

Quality of Food: 3/5
Service: 3/5
Overall Dining Experience: 3/5
Price: $$

Address: 4450 Highway 7 East #3 Markham, ON L3R1L9  
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