Saturday 29 June 2013

Farmhouse Tavern :: Amanda's Birthday Dinner



Primm's Cup

Vegetable Ravioli



{ All their meat is smoked for 48 hours in house (rather outside of the restaurant - right here! }

1627 Dupont Street
Toronto, ON M6P 3S8

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Cafe Nervosa :: Patio Sangrias with Celine

Sangria ($9.99)
white/red wine, spirits, fresh fruit juices 

Carpaccio Di Manzo ($12.99)
beef tenderloin, truffled cannellini beans, pecorino, arugula, Nervosa organic extra virgin olive oil

{ I absolutely adore carpaccio and this dish is no exception! The components of this dish blend well together and you can even wrap the different ingredients within the beef tenderloin into a "roll" and eat it. Absolutely heavenly. Normally not a huge cannellini bean fan but this dish definitely converts non-believers! }

Cesare Nervosa ($8.99)
romaine hearts, pancetta, fried capers, parmigiano, egg free dressing

{ Though it does not appear to look like much, this salad is delicious! Each romaine heart is coated perfectly in the dressing and the parmigiano cheese and pancetta adds a lovely dimension to the salad. Not your typical Cesare salad! }

Funghi e Formaggi ($16.49)
oyster and crimini mushrooms, San Daniele prosciutto, gorgonzola dolce goat cheese, cipolline onions

{ Wow. Delicious pizza. Will have again and again and again. Despite having mushrooms and meat the taste is not overwhelmingly heavy. This pizza embodies every aspect of the term "comfort food". }

{ By far one of my favourite summer restaurants Downtown Toronto. The food here is consistently made extremely well - always tasty and leaves one wanting for more. I love their mushroom dishes, especially their mushroom bruschetta (not eaten this meal) and the Funghi e Formaggi pizza is no exception. If you are visiting Toronto during the summer, I highly recommend eating out on the patio at Cafe Nervosa as the view is beautiful and great for enjoying warm weather. It also is a great place to enjoy the Yorkville High-End Downtown culture. If you haven't tried this restaurant  I would highly recommend it! }

Trattoria Nervoa
75 Yorkville Avenue
Toronto, ON
Nervosa Trattoria on Urbanspoon

Saturday 22 June 2013

Raijin Ramen :: Post Color Me Rad 5K Lunch with Memie

Raijin Tori Pai-tan Ramen ($9.50)
salt flavoured ramen topped with pork shoulder, green onion, canola flower, Kikurage mushroom (black fungus), cabbage, 1/2 a seasoned soft-boiled egg.

"Tori pai-tan is similar to Tonkotsu in the way it's cooked but the main ingredient is whole chicken, made in-house using a pressurized pot creating a rich and creamy Tonkotsu like texture. Tori pai-tan is called the fifth element of ramen in Japan next to Shoyu, Shio, Miso, Tonkotsu, and is getting popular."

Thursday 20 June 2013

La Bottela Di Terroni :: Lunch with Memie

Panino Classico & Yam Fries ($12)
prosciutto, fior di latte, tomatoes, arugola

Arugula Salad
a portion from Memie's Panino con Salmone - terroni smoked salmon with fried mint marinated zucchini

{ La Bottela Di Terroni is a restaurant located within walking distance of the Toronto's Eaton Centre. The restaurant is actually separated into two separate wings - La Bottela Di Terroni & Osteria Cicerietria. Di Terroni is serves mainly pizzas & paninis whilst Osteria serves mainly homemade pastas. Today Memie and I tried the Di Terroni. 

I stumbled across it with Memie when we were walking to our reservation for Winterlicious at Starfish. Needless to say, the quality of food here is very high - reminding me of the caliber of Italian food I had during my visit to Italy last year.  The high prices were also indicator quality ingredients. 

We both ordered paninis - which are only served during lunch - I had the Panino Classico & Memie had the Panino con Salmone. We split both of our paninis in half and swapped so we could try both. The Panino Classico is a hearty classic Italian panini which a refreshing taste with the tomatos and fior di latte that is cut by the saline nature of the proscuitto. The yam fries that came with the Panino Classico were generous in portion, but average. The Panino con Salmone was heavier than the Panino Classico but nonetheless still very savory. I personally love smoked salmon and appreciated this panini. The smoked salmon in conjunction with the fried mint marinated zucchini made a tasty combination. 

Personally, I enjoyed both equally and would recommend either one depending on your taste preference of the day. However, I did not enjoy the Arugula Salad as it was quite bitter & I also did not enjoy the raw onions. Memie said she preferred the Panino Classico due to its refreshing taste. La Bottela Di Terroni is a great lunch spot and I look forward in trying it for dinner (and the Osteria!). One thing that I did not enjoy during my lunch was the waiter's attitude towards us in comparison to other restaurant patrons. Perhaps since we were dressed casually in comparison to the business women next to us, the waiter came off slightly snobbish, but he nonetheless carried out his duties and our requests. However, who I assumed was the manager was very attentive }

La Bottela Di Terroni
106 Victoria Street
Toronto, ON
La Bettola di Terroni on Urbanspoon

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Summerlicious :: Friendly Reminder & Compiled Reviews


To all my fellow Toronto foodies, I would like to remind you that Summerlicious reservations are now open to everyone! American Express holders have already had advanced reservations from June 18th-19th so popular restaurants, such as Canoe, may not have any reservations available. Not to worry though! If you are insistent on trying a particular restaurant - call in often as cancellations are made. Also, it is not necessary to make reservations - but it ensures that you don't have to wait and there is a table for you.

Summerlicious 2013 is taking place from July 5th to the 21st. I plan to attend some restaurants during this Summerlicious season. At the moment, I plan to attend Bymark & Byzantium!

For those who are not familiar with Summerlicious and are living or visiting Toronto between July 5 - 21st, it is a Toronto-wide event where 196 of Toronto's top restaurants offer a three-course prix fixe menu for either lunch or dinner. This provides an opportunity for foodies, especially students like myself, try restaurants that they are interested in at a more affordable price. This event happens twice a year as Summerlicious & Winterlicious!

In the past I have tried the following participating restaurants (not necessarily during Summer/Winterlicious) and included a brief review of each. Restaurants which I have reviewed or have photos for have been linked:
  • Annona Restaurant -  Great! Savoury & consistently well done. Highly Recommended
  • Auberge du Pommier - Always a hit and popular. Great French cuisine. Highly Recommended
  • Biff's Bistro - Great oysters & has an unique menu item - horse meat! Recommended
  • Big Daddy's Bourbon Street Bistro & Oyster Bar - Great Happy Hour Specials & good price! Recommended
  • Bodega - Nice decor. Average food.
  • Bymark - Lovely decor & was the set of Suits. Loved the lobster poutine! Great food! Highly Recommended
  • Ciao Wine Bar - Generous portions & great food! Loved the lobster pasta. Highly Recommended
  • Coppi Ristorante - Quite tasty food & been multiple times - though I've gotten sick after eating here during Summerlicious and have yet returned.
  • Creme Brasserie - Tried it during the Groupon special. Lovely French cuisine!
  • Drake Hotel - Great food though small portions. There's a cute photobooth too!
  • Fred's Not Here - Winterlicious menu was average.
  • Jump - Great restaurant - but not during the Summerlicious rush.
  • La Societe - Quite pricey on a daily basis, great beef tartare! Recommended
  • Luma - Went here for Valentine's Day. Fish was heavenly. Oysters were amazing. Highly Recommended!
  • Matahari Bar & Grill - Good Food. Coworkers enjoyed it. I didn't care for it as much.
  • Momofuku Daisho - Went opening week. Didn't enjoy it. Nothing stood out - average. Overpriced alcoholic drinks. Haven't tried it again yet.
  • MoRoCo Chocolat - Favourite brunch, high tea, & dessert place. Great macarons! Highly Recommended!
  • Moxie's Grill & Bar - Good franchise! Good restaurant to try.
  • North 44 - Amazing food. Highly Recommended!
  • Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill - Standard O&B Quality. Highly Recommended!
  • Pangaea - Love love love their dessert. Highly Recommended!
  • Ruth's Chris Steak House - Great steak house! Uses a lot of butter.
  • Sassafraz - Consistent restaurant & great location. Recommended
  • Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill - Amazing oysters & dessert! Highly Recommended!
  • The Fifth Grill and Terrace - Amazing meal & lovely decor! Went for Winterlicious! Fun night club too (met my best Australian friends there)! Highly Recommended!
  • Tundra - Went a long long long long long time ago. Recommend it but I don't really remember distinct details other than I left happy.
  • Wildfire Steakhouse & Wine Bar - Amazing seafood (especially lobster tails) and steak! Highly Highly Recommended!
Click here to see a list of all participating Summerlicious restaurants.

Bon Appétit!
-- samshimi xx

Kinton :: Lunch with Memie

Kinton Pork Shoulder Rice & Japanese Green Tea
included as part of the $12 lunch special (with selected ramen)

{ The amount of meat provided with this side dish is quite small, though savoury. If you are hungry or plan to order a drink than the combo special is worth the extra $2 if you are planning to order ramen from the selected ramen menu. If you plan to try a different ramen or don't plan to order a drink - skip this. }

Garlic Spicy Ramen
chili pepper, kinton pork, bean sprout, scallion, fresh granted garlic

Cheese Ramen
miso and light soup, swiss cheese, kinton pork, bean sprout, corn, basil

{ Today, I tried the Cheese Ramen after all the hype that I was hearing from my friends. I was told it was a unique ramen that everyone had to try at least once. In my opinion, Cheese Ramen is not for everyone - you either love it or hate it. However, upon trying the Cheese Ramen, I must say I'm not on team 'love it'. I tried Kinton once before, during opening week, and nothing stood out for me. However, I tried the Miso Ramen last time and found it quite salty. Since Kinton has been open for awhile now & the hype was still buzzing, I decided that I would give it another try. Unfortunately, the miso & light soup base is still quite salty, and generally I enjoy salty things which says a lot! My friend Memie had the Garlic Spicy Ramen and had the same comment about her meal. Also, I found that even trying to mix the swiss cheese evenly before it melted and clumped it didn't help. The cheese clumped into 2 large chunks and imprisoned the ramen within it. I would recommend that you take out all the cheese and place it in a separate bowl and slowly pick it off and garnish your ramen with it while you eat it. The combination of the cheese being clumped and the salty soup base - the ramen was too much for me to eat & was quite filling. It's probably since potassium/salt is used in the process of making cheese to maintain its soft texture - the additional salt in soup base made the cheese morph & taste a little weird.  This was one meal I haven't finished a very, very long time. Perhaps, if it were dinner I would have finished more of my meal. I personally would not recommend Kinton, though I have heard others rave about it. Personally, I woud recommend Sansotei for a more consistent and savoury taste that isn't too salty. }

Kinton Ramen
51 Baldwin Street
Toronto, ON M5T 1L1
Kinton Ramen on Urbanspoon

Monday 17 June 2013

Milestones :: Catherine's Post-Convocation Dinner

Milestones' Original Bellini
a frozen blend of premium white rum, peach liqueur, and sparkling white wine, topped with Boone's sangria

{ My favourite alcoholic drink! Super tasty - you don't really taste the alcohol when you mix the red liqueur on the top. It tastes like a yummy peach slushy! Plus it comes with a super cute animal! I actually have a jar of these animals at home :) }

Roasted Garlic Caesar Salad
Reggiano cheese, Asiago cheese, Ciabatta croutons and Milestones' signature Caesar dressing

{ Caesar salad was average - tastes like your typical restaurant Caesar salad. The bacon was yummy and added more flavour to the salad - I just wish they provided more bacon to balance the portion of lettuce. }

Milestone's Breakup Tub
an individual sized tub of cookie dough ice cream, house-made caramel and chunks of Milestones' very own house-baked double chocolate cookie

{ Delicious! Super yummy dessert to share with a friend, especially if you love cookie dough ice cream, caramel, & double chocolate cookies. My favourite parts were the cookie dough chunks & double chocolate cookie bits - and I'm not even a huge chocolate fan. This dessert definitely hits the spot. Even though it is said to be an individual sized tub - however, after eating dinner this tub is a little hard to finish! But of course there's always room & time for dessert! }

:: This portions are part of Milestones' Monday "Girls' Night Out" Special - $40 for 4 Bellinis & 4 Select Appetizers ::

Multiple Locations 
Milestone's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

Sunday 16 June 2013

Su&Shi Noodle Bar :: Quick Dinner with Family

Salt & Pepper Calamari Rings ($7.99)

Chicken Katsu Curry ($10.50)
breaded chicken & vegetables

Rock'N Roll ($12.95)
crab meat, green onions, avacado and cucumber; topped with chopped tuna, sprinkled with tempura bits & drizzled with unagi sauce

Su&Shi Noodle Bar
3401 Dufferin Street
Toronto, ON

Saturday 15 June 2013

Cora's :: Breakfast with the Famjam

Blueberry Pancakes

{ Great pancakes! Cora's has definitely improved their pancakes from when they first opened the franchise in Ontario a couple years ago. The batter used to be too sweet, but since my grandfather was in town and trying Cora's for the first time - he shared a part of his hefty four-huge-pancakes portion with me. The pancakes are light and fluffy and just right in terms of sweetness! Now trying the pancakes again, I will definitely order this again in the future. }

Theo Omelette

Bagel & Lox

{ My all time favourite from Cora's! I order this 95% of times that I have been to Cora's - and that's quite often! If it's not the Bagel & Lox - It's the Poached Eggs with Cottage Cheese. }

Multiple Locations
Cora Breakfast and Lunch on Urbanspoon

Friday 14 June 2013

Smash :: BBQ Chicken Salad

BBQ Chicken Salad
crisp romaine, roasted corn, avocado, bell peppers, red onions, cashews, wonton crips, four cheese blend, honey dijon vinaigrette

{ This is one of my all-time favourite salads. I would most definitely recommend this salad to anyone. The only thing is the BBQ Chicken Salad is normally served with a different dressing - I always substitute that dressing for the honey dijon vinaigrette since I prefer honey dijon over the regular choice. But other than that the portion is generous, the salad is extremely tasty, and the service is great. I've been a long time customer of Smash - and Bluestone (its prior space occupant) and Cliff the waiter remembers what my family and I ordered the previous visit every time. Right down to the substitutions and drinks. I don't even have to order anymore when I sit down. He's amazing! }

Smash Kitchen & Bar
4261 Highway 7 East
Unionville, Ontario
Smash Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Drake Café :: Date Night with Sangrias, Gnocchi, & Pork Belly

:: Drinks ::

white :: fresh seasonal fruit, white wine, Tromba tequila + grapefruit soda
red :: fresh seasonal fruit, red wine, orange brandy, Angostura bitters + soda water

{ Between the two sangrias, the red one was my favourite. It was sweeter, whilst the white was bitter. I was quite surprised that I favoured the red one more since typically I like white wine better, but it should also be noted that I don't care for the taste of tequila. }

:: Snack + Share ::

Mushroom Gnocchi
potato ricotta gnocchi, seasonal wild mushrooms, shaved pecorino + spinach

{ Delicious! Loved the gnocchi - it was very light and fluffy. It wasn't chewy despite the fact that the gnocchi was much larger than your average gnocchi. The sauce was tasty as well. }

:: Feast + Share ::

Crispy Pork Belly
scallion ginger sauce, spicy mayo, snow pea leaves + king oyster mushrooms

{ The crispy pork belly tasted very similar to Chinese barbecue pork - even the crunch skin. There were definitely Asian influences in this dish. The scallion ginger sauce also reminded me of Chinese ginger sauces that are provided with barbecue meat and the mushrooms were well coated in a teriyaki like sauce. The snow pea leaves were cooked impeccably - they were amazingly crunchy and tasty - not burnt and chewy }

Drake Cafe
1150 Queen Street West
Toronto, M6J 1J3
The Drake Hotel on Urbanspoon

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Starbucks :: My Favourite Custom Frappuccino

Mint Chocolate Frappuccino
Matcha Green Tea Frap Base
Soy Milk
Shot of Peppermint Syrup
Chocolate Chips

Monday 10 June 2013

Homecooked :: Beef Sandwich Au Jus & Fresh Fruit Salad with the Mr!

This meal was cooked a few months ago, but I thought I'd still share!

Summer Salad
spinach leaves with raspberry and french bread bits

Beef Sandwhich
pan-toasted buttered french bread with grilled beef

Au Jus (Background)
beef broth with caramelized onions