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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Japan bound!

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I literally can’t contain my excitement as I pack my two suitcases for what will be a trip full of family visits, shopping and of course eating!  I haven’t been back to Japan since 2005 but this time I’ll be going back with my mom for her family reunion!  So we’re spending a good chunk of time in various cities, mostly south of Tokyo and when I look back at my last visit what I reminisce the most is the FOOD :) So in honour of my heritage, some of the best Japanese food in Toronto can be found at Guu!  An Izakaya (traditional Japanese drinking bar that serves small plates – Japanese tapas) that first opened in Vancouver.  You won’t find sushi here but only some of city’s greatest Japanese cuisine.  And the atmosphere – prepare for a lively group of hosts and chefs.  I will be in transit over the next few days so I leave you with some of my favourite dishes until I log in on the other side of the Pacific!

Cocktail of choice - calpico sour

Kinoko bibimbap - rice, mushrooms, cheese and egg

Kimchi udon

Special for the night - smoked/grilled salmon on rice

Restaurant of the Month: Yours Truly

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Most of the restaurants on my “Must Try” list are recommendations through colleagues, friends and word of mouth.  To my surprise (although it probably shouldn’t be), this month’s restaurant has been touted as one of the top restaurants in Toronto by Toronto Life magazine.  Yours Truly is located in that hip and happening neighborhood of Ossington/Dundas – just a few blocks away from my January and February features: Black Hoof and Campagnolo.  The menu is simple, small snacks and a meat and vegetarian 4-course tasting menu.  On a busy saturday night dinner, I chose the meat tasting menu – but the devilled eggs on the small plates menu was ever so tempting!  The atmosphere was casual and hip with constant chatter.  But the food….oh, the food was fabulous!  Full of flavour combinations that are out of the ordinary and unexpected.  The chef brought us 3 amuse bouches before our 4-course feast began.  My favourite course – the duck!

Here is the course by course dinner – all photos courtesy of me :)

Cocktails to start the night: a Concord sour and Shake that pare.

Amuse bouche 1

Amuse bouche 2

Amuse bouche 3

1st Course: Parsnip, cucumber, apple and whipped honey.

2nd Course: Trout with hazelnuts and cranberries.

3rd Course: Duck with yu choy, sunchoke and onions.

4th Course - Dessert: Yogurt with a beet compote and a fennel candy tuile.

 

TUM: Toronto Underground Market

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This past weekend was a busy one for me – The Artist Project opening night, dinner at a new restaurant (my next resto of the month) and my first trip to TUM.  The Toronto Underground Market launched its first event on September 24, 2011 to huge success.  Using the Evergreen Brick Works as a hosting venue, TUM is a market that allows home cooks and entrepreneurs bring their food fare to the public.  Tickets were only $10 for entry and a majority of the food prices were $5 or less.  Everything from cupcakes, donuts, macaroons and pies to popovers, dumplings and risotto.  As my friends E, H and I entered the outdoor space we first surveyed the offerings to determine what we wanted to try.  Our first stop, the very long 1.5 hour line up for La Carnita – and I must say, the steak tartare tostada called the “carnie crudo” was by far the tastiest item I ate that night!  Other worthy mentions: bacon donut (glazed donut with a bacon bit topping similar to sprinkles), duck confit french onion soup, red velvet macaroon and butter chicken & waffles.  Can’t wait for the next one in April!

Crazy line up for La Carnita!

Steak tartare tostada by La Carnita

Butter chicken & waffles by The Royal Tree Beaver

Pork belly steamed bun

Dumpling trio - kimchi dumpling, foie gras dumpling and a duck confit dumpling!

Macaroons by The Sweetest Secret

The Artist Project

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As I mentioned in my last post, the Artist Project landed this weekend over 4 days with opening night this past Thursday.  My friend G and I started attending the Artist Project last year – it was a great way to see some contemporary art, mingle with the artists and of course sip some cocktails.  This year, I was particularly drawn to a very young artist by the name of Ryan Louis. His photographs were whimsical – art that I can see in my dream kitchen!  My favourite – his piece called Cereal Bowl.  Here are some pics from the event:

Art installation at the Artist Project - photo courtesy of me

Opening night at the Artist Project - photo courtesy of me

Cereal Bowl - Artwork Ryan Louis

Cereal Bowl - Artwork by Ryan Louis

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