September 2013 ~ Eating With Kirby

Mosaic Bar and Grille- Italian Chef Tasting Menu

The barely cooked runny yolk is meant to be popped and enjoyed along with the risotto...and enjoy I did. The golden lava coated every kernel of rice with its warm embrace and made the risotto that much more comforting.

Adorabelle Tea Room- Catching Up With the Girls

This is an Onion, Chive, and Bacon Savoury Cupcake. Even the icing was savoury! It was super delicious and was really innovative. Overall, the ambiance was great (loved the fake sky ceiling!), food was well thought out and executed, and the service was attentive.

Forage- Pretty Decent Food.

All six of us ordered their Award Winning Seafood Chowder with soft poached quail egg and crispy pork rind. While the soup was smokey, full of flavour, it was too thick and tasted a bit more like sauce than soup. The quail egg added a certain richness to the soup too which was nice.

Jethro's Fine Grub- That's Some Tasty Grub.

Overall, Jethro’s is an awesome breakfast and lunch diner serving up good eats with a twist. I most definitely will return for some alligator nuggets or pancakes!

Teppan Kitchen and Mambo Cafe (Aberdeen Food Court)- Crazy Sauce.

They serve this to you with a little sleeve around the plate to catch any splattering oil that radiates from the oven hot iron plate. If you are noob (hehe) at this Teppan Rice business, you can read the "How To Cook" instructions on the sleeve.

Basho Cafe - Quaint, Cozy, Delicious

You get the real deal here when it comes to their Matcha Latte. Served in a traditional Japanese bowl the way its suppose to be (not cup), its not only fragrant but it has incredibly depth. Be forewarn, this latte isn't sweet. There is no additional pre-sweetened sugary stuff here.

29 September 2013

Marche (Toronto) - Coolest Restaurant Ever

Ok guys, here's another restaurant that is not to be missed when visiting Toronto. It's called Marche located in the Financial District and I sadly went on the last day of my work vacay so returning for another fabulous lunch was not an option. :(

Marche is a market style restaurant in which it is set up like a super cute supermarket (think Whole Foods). It is divided into different sections (burgers, pastas, dessert, veggies, smoothies...etc) and you pick what you want and put it onto your tray.When you're done with your food, you go to the cashier and pay when you leave. The cost is recorded on this card they give you upon entering. You have to swipe the card each time you pick up an item so they can account for how much it is.

So many veggies!!

I got myself a Green Smoothie because this smoothie bar was just too hard to ignore. $6 is pretty pricey for a smoothie but they are freshly made and look incredible enticing.

They even have a butcher looking like station where you choose the type of raw meat and they will grill it right in front of you.


They have quite a large variety of ice-cream/ sorbets to choose from. A lot of reviews online said they were pretty darn tasty.

The desserts.... Again, a little pricey as you can see. However, it'll be hard not to finish your meal with one of these treats.

I am a HUGE raw oyster fan so when I saw fresh oysters offered at Marche, I just had to get it. I asked for four and the lady shucked it right in front of me.

The oysters were absolutely fabulous and surprisingly void of any pieces of shell (the lady looked like she was having a hard time shucking them).

In addition to my green smoothie and oysters, I rounded up some random veggies as well. It's a weird lunch, I know.

Almost every table had someone eating the house-made brick oven pizza but it didn't look anything too spectacular. Boy was I wrong. My coworker ordered one and after having taken a bite, I was in love. The crust was perfectly crispy and each the ingredient just tasted so... fresh. Notice how the word 'fresh' is the common theme here at Marche?

Beef burger and fries with Caesar salad. I only had some of the fries and they were addictive.

Obviously I couldn't be full off just some oysters and veggies so I had to grab some desserts. Here is the Creme Brulee, Macarons, and Espresso. The macarons were not very good but the creme brulee was pretty solid.

Their strawberry tart looks absolutely scrumptious. Unfortunately, I didn't have any.

All in all, Marche is the coolest restaurant I've been to. I've always wanted to have a buffet at Trader Joes or Whole Foods so this is pretty darn close with its wide variety of raw, fresh, local products. If you grab a lot of food and drinks though, the prices will add up so just make sure you go in knowing how much each product is before picking it up so you can gauge how much it'll be in the end.

Service Rating: N/A (you seat yourself)
Food Rating: 4/5
Price: $$

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

Marche Restaurant on Urbanspoon

22 September 2013

The Reef - Caribbean Food Done Right

That's right. I spelled Caribbean wrong and had to correct it by crossing it out. I'm not ashamed.

Misu, Nature Girl, Cherry Blossoms, and I were wandering down Main Street in search for a cool place to eat. Everywhere we went to had at least an hour wait so we ended up finding The Reef.

The Reef was bustling with a live DJ but there was no lineup so we spontaneously decided to have a Caribbean food night!

Most of us ordered the Ginger Beer ($3.50) based on Nature Girl's request and boy were we glad we listened to her!! The Reef makes their ginger beer in house and it was the coolest, most refreshing, yet spicy drink I've had. EVER. The essence of real ginger kicks you (wonderfully) in the throat after ever sip. It was magical.

Just like other restaurants that serve bread before the entrees arrive, they served us Johnny Cakes. These were deep fried balls of dough which went perfectly with butter and some hot sauce (ask them for it). Not the best for your waistline, but they sure were delicious.

Nature Girl chose the Mo Ca Burger ($14) with a side of yam fries. We were all pleasantly surprised by the freshly cut wedges of sweet potato which nicely showcases the 'made-in-house' concept they have adapted in the restaurant. The burger won her over, and she'll be having it again when she returns.

Cherry Blossoms had the Tobago Wrap ($12) with a side of yam fries and she absolutely loved it. The wrap was light and filled with delicious curry & lime marinated chicken breast, fresh tomato salsa, organic greens, and a avocado yogurt.

Misu ordered the Chana ($8) which consisted of a warm garam masala curried chickpea salad, roti, and dahi. I only tried the chickpeas but they were fragrant and perfectly spiced.

The Trini Roti w/ Jerk Chicken and Potato ($12) which also came with a side of coleslaw. To my surprise, the coleslaw portion was quite large which made me a VERY happy girl. It was also lightly dressed without being flavorless.

The jerk chicken and curry was absolutely freakin' delicious. The wild combination of ethnic spices worked well together and gave a little bit of a kick without being overly spicy. The West Indian style roti was nice but acted more as a bread to soak up the curry and was not entirely exceptional on its own. Nevertheless, it worked great with the overall dish and held all of the chicken/potato components nicely in.

All in all, I highly recommend The Reef for Carribean food because it blew my expectations out of the water with its house-made ginger beer and freshly cut sweet potato fries. Not to mention their jerk chicken is moist and delicious.

Service Rating: 3.5/5
Food Rating: 5/5
Price: $$

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

  The Reef on Urbanspoon

19 September 2013

Sansotei Ramen (Toronto)- Must Try in Toronto

I never realized how much I loved Asian food until my trip to Toronto. It was only for two weeks but I found it incredibly hard to resist suggesting Asian cuisine (whether it be Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Shanghainese, etc) whenever my coworkers and I wanted to go out for dinner.

On one particular day, I finally convinced my coworkers to come with me to this much raved about ramen place on Dundas W Street called Sansotei Ramen.

The location of this restaurant is pretty discreet so it actually took us a while to find it. My suggestion: make sure you use a GPS or the Google Map app on your phone.

Their menu is very nonchalant and basic. You can choose from either Tonkotsu, Miso, Shoyu, Shio, or Tan Tan. That's it!

After walking quite a distance to find this noodle house, I had to order a refreshing beverage. Hence, the bubbly and ever-so-fun drink called Ramune! You can say its half beverage, half toy. If you don't know what I'm talking about, just get it next time and trust me, you won't regret it.

I'm not 100% sure but I believe they served us fresh Edamame ($3) which was amazing because I've only ever had frozen ones. The pods were a little bouncier and the taste was a tiny bit fresher. Pure awesomeness.

We all knew our ramen was going to be great before it even arrived because the appetizers already blew us away. We ordered the Gyoza ($4.50), not expecting it to be anything special. Except, these were freshly made in house, there was an explosion in the flavour department, and the crispness of the bottom was spectacular. God, I want some now.

I chose the Tonkotsu Ramen ($9.25) which came with a whole egg, pork belly, green onion, and wood ear mushroom. The rich intense broth was what did it for me. I could've not finished any part of the ramen, but I had to finish the soup because it was just that delicious.

My coworker raved about the intense miso flavour of his Miso Ramen ($9.50) and the buttery-ness of the pork belly. Needless to say, he finished his portion and more.

A lot of times, the Shio Ramen ($8.90) gets a bad rep for being unflavourful and too 'light'. This was not the case at Sansotei Ramen because my coworkers slurped it all up. He said the flavour was incredible.

All in all, I think you can already guess that I thoroughly enjoyed Sansotei Ramen. It is an absolute must try in Toronto, even if you think you've had the best ramen already in Vancouver (or wherever) and nothing can top it. I'm not saying its the best ramen you'll ever have, but its pretty up there for me.

Service Rating: 4.5/5
Food Rating: 5/5
Price: $-$$

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Happy Eating!

Sansotei Ramen on Urbanspoon

16 September 2013

No.1 Shanghai Cuisine - Decent Shanghainese Cuisine

To call your restaurant 'No.1 Shanghai Cuisine' is pretty bold. You are pretty much announcing to everyone who enters that your Shanghainese cuisine is the best of the best.
I haven't been to this restaurant in a really long time, so Meta Knight and I decided on coming for a quick lunch.

It is located on No.3 Road across from Aberdeen Center.

Xiao Long Bao (aka Shanghai Soup Buns) is the staple item to get in any Shanghainese restaurant so obviously we had to start with it.

The XLBs were actually done quite well with a large amount of piping hot soup in each one. There could've been a little more flavour in the broth, but I can't complain.

The Taiwanese Beef Noodle in Soup came in a huge bowl so just having this alone would be a substantial lunch for one. 

While this dish was good, nothing stood out or wowed me.

The Drunken Chicken appetizer dish is something I always like to get at Shanghainese restaurants. Its an acquired taste because of the rice wine that is used to marinade the chicken in, but once you do enjoy the taste, this dish is divine.

Meta Knight and I were disappointed at the Wontons in Red Chili Sauce because they just couldn 't get it right. There wasn't enough heat, the wontons were slightly too small, and the portion did not reflect the inflated price. Thumbs down.

All in all, this restaurant is definitely not the No.1 place to go for Shanghai cuisine. But it does provide some decent xiao long baos if you are ever in the area.  If I'm not mistaken, this restaurant is now closed (or so it says on Urbanspoon). I'll have to drive by it and double check before I can confirm.

Service Rating: 2/5
Food Rating: 2.5/5
Price: $-$$

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Happy Eating!

No.1 Shanghai Cuisine 滬上酒店 on Urbanspoon

10 September 2013

Banh Mi Boys (Toronto) - Sweet Mother Of God

Sorry for the infrequent posts. I'm currently in Toronto right now for work and am severely lacking in sleep and energy. However, even though I get busy, I never neglect my meals so I do have some great upcoming posts about the cool eateries I've visited during my stay here. :D

First up, Banh Mi Boys. This restaurant was recommended on Urbanspoon and Yelp so my coworkers and I decided to check it out. This is not your typical banh mi shop. They serve up some mean fusion sandwiches that you won't find at your traditional Vietnamese restaurant.

It's a super small shop with an In-Your-Face 'Banh Mi Boys' sign that you just can't miss. The lineups were long and most people just got takeout.

We were all incredibly surprised by their more than affordable prices. You can get a banh mi for $5.49 and be completely full from it. Their most popular items are Five Spice Pork Belly, Kalbi Beef, and Duck Confit.

Wanting to get some veggies in my diet, I ordered the Papaya Salad ($2.99). It was light and acted as a great refresher in between bites of my rich banh mi sandwich.

My coworker ordered the Tofu Fries ($5.99). We all thought they were going to be tofu cut up and deep fried into 'fries'. However, it was just a poutine variation with tofu, kimchi, and sauce on top. Delicious nonetheless, and it will get you absolutely stuffed.

After much deliberation, I finally chose the Kalbi Beef ($5.99) banh mi. Boy, if you like banh mis, you've gotta try this. Their baguettes are made in house and is extremely light and crispy on the outside, while maintaining a perfect soft interior.

The sandwich had the right balance of flavours. Crunchy yet soft, spicy but cooling at the same time. This sandwich was a home run for me.

This is the Five Spicy Pork Belly ($5.99) banh mi and even though I didn't try this, I was told it was extremely delicious.

Sweet Potato Fries ($3.25). Fried well but nothing to write home about.

I came here a second time few days later and ordered myself a gigantic feast for myself. First off is the Pork Belly Steamed Bao ($3.49). They also make their steamed baos in house and it shows. The bread was fluffy and held in the otherwise slippery contents quite well. The pork belly slice was thick and heavily seasoned.

I also went for the Duck Confit ($7.49) banh mi which was amazing in every way. The duck was melt in your mouth and extremely tender. The only thing I would say is the bread got a little soft on the outside because I took it to-go so next time, I might just stick with eating in.

Service Rating: 4/5
Food Rating: 5/5

Overall Rating: 5/5

Happy Eating!

 Banh Mi Boys on Urbanspoon