What’s great about having a blog are the suggestions I get from others, especially from other Foodies – our eyes go wide and our talk gets accelerated (at least this is what happens to me when I start gabbing about food). Sansotei Ramen was a place recommended by my fellow dragon boat teammate (M) who is a foodie like me. Just like cupcakes, burgers and donuts, authentic japanese ramen noodle houses seem to be popping up in every neighbourhood across the city. When I lived in Japan, I would eat ramen at least once a week and growing up, it would be the dried Sapporo Ichiban Ramen noodle packages. So you can imagine my excitement when these noodle shops started opening in Toronto – finally, fresh, hot and flavourful ramen. At Sansotei, I ordered the original Tonkotsu ramen which is ramen noodles served in a pork bone broth (the key in any ramen dish), slices of pork belly, a boiled egg, green onion and black fungus. I’ve never really had black fungus (kind of mushroom) but it was delicious in the salty broth. All in all, it was a great bowl of ramen – perfectly al dente noodles and fatty meat – YUM!
Category Archives: Adventures around T.O.
There were a lot of positive reviews on Los Colibris, many, via word of mouth from people I know. Although many of them have said the dishes were good, most have preferred the more casual El Caballito Tequila y Tacos located just downstairs and in the beautiful back patio. But until I try El Caballito, for now I’m only going to be able to tell you about my experience at Los Colibris. Definitely a more sophisticated vibe when you walk in, I must say that the food was delicious. Dining with my long-time girlfriends, we tend to love ordering small plates and sharing as opposed to the traditional main entree. My favourite here was the Queso Fundido, a cheesy dip topped with ground spicy chorizo. Using house-made flour and corn tortillas to dip into the queso, the combination was delicious. The best part of the dinner was the desserts and well, they all sounded good so we ordered one of each. Each were a modern twist on a mexican dessert but the flan de chocolate is the one I remember. Decadent and smooth, the chocolate flan wasn’t too sweet and the tuille wedged atop the flan housed a surprise dollop of nutella! How can one resist? Check out all the other dishes from the night.
On what felt like the last beautiful weekend of the summer before the cool fall days of October starts, a close family friend (N) was having her baby shower. With an elegant backyard setting in an orange and green theme, the tables were decorated with simple centre pieces and champagne flutes. But the food was the talk of the shower well, with the exception of the mother-to-be of course. Coming from a family who owned and operated a Japanese sushi restaurant for years and now caters, it is no wonder everything looked and tasted delicious….and all homemade! The platter of tuna, salmon, squid and unagi nigiri sat beside rows of maki rolls – california, futomaki and various dragon rolls. The shower was capped off with some fantastic desserts. Small mason jars full of matcha green tea pot de creme, moist cupcakes from Make it Sweet Bake Shoppe, cups of fresh berries topped with fresh whip cream and traditional Japanese daifuku (made by my mom….yes that’s a shameless plug for my mom, lol). Check out my pics of the event!
I have heard on multiple occasions from multiple friends about Monastery Bakery & Deli in Oakville, Ontario. So after a morning stand-up paddle session, my teammates and I took a “field trip” out to Monastery Bakery for coffee and a bite. I didn’t realize it was more a market than a bakery cafe but regardless, it lived up to my expectations! The front portion of the market houses the deli, ready made food section, Italian groceries, cheeses, pastries and coffee. However, the magic is really in the back room – a room full of bread and baked goodies, racks of them! Everything from homemade bread sticks, croissants, loaves of bread, baguettes, danishes, turnovers, donuts and panettone. Yes, fresh panettone! With so much variety, I had to hold myself back but vowed I would come back. So on this initial trip I tried the bread sticks, croissants, spinach and feta stuffed phyllo and mini chocolate danishes. The best however, were the fresh baked Italian cookies and biscotti – buttery, crumbly and not too sweet. My favourite were the biscotti dipped in white or dark chocolate. They weren’t too hard and the chocolate gives it the right touch of sweetness, the perfect treat!
After a beautiful Sunday morning OC1 (outrigger canoe) paddle session, We decided to hit the Toronto Beaches’ high street, Queen St. East for a morning coffee. There’s a bakery that I’ve been following on Instagram for awhile and wanted to stop by and finally try it out but found out it was closed. So taking a stroll down the street, we found Life is Sweet – A Cupcake House. With its vibrant turquoise front porch, we decided to take a peak. They’ve turned a house into a bakery and shop keeping the house structure in place. In the hallway, staircase and back room are shelves and displays of beautiful housewares like dish towels, cake stands, homemade soaps and greeting cards. When you walk in the front foyer, you’re greeted by a counter full of baked goodies. There’s a lot to choose from and all looked delicious. We ended up going with a half dozen mini-cupcakes, it is a cupcake house after all – and seeing that they are “mini” I felt less guilty eating them…lol. My favourite was the earl grey tea cupcake which had a very subtle earl grey flavour however, it was contrasted with a bold and citrusy orange buttercream full of actual orange zest – a unique flavour combination I haven’t seen before. I love neighbourhood joints like this, so happy I dropped in!
Last week, Summerlicious came to a close in Toronto and this year three teammates and I tried L’Ouvrier, a restaurant located on trendy Dundas Street West neighborhood. The restaurant front is very unassuming with the name only visible on a wooden sawhorse. The interior reminds of those gallery spaces in Soho, New York. Cement floors, white walls and eclectic art displays around the dining room. L’Ouvrier means working man in French and I love how they make simple items important to the blue collar worker into art, like ziplock bags of nails, screws and washers. Just like the interior, the summerlicious looked just as good. Starting with an amuse bouche of roasted beet and goat cheese, then a steak tartare made with local beef, homemade potato chips and shavings of Monforte cheese, a local Ontario farm. My main, a deliciously tender pulled pork shoulder with the tang of cider vinegar and the sweetness of apple. The best part, the broccoli, charred and topped with melted Golden Blyth farm cheese. Also good, the side of fried grits. Grits made into a patty, cut into squares and then deep fried – all topped with popcorn! We ended the meal with a deconstructed baked alaska and stewed strawberries and rhubarb-prosecco sorbet. I would definitely go back again.
I’ve been to a many a summer BBQs in my life, including many hosted by my parents when growing up, but nothing like the one my friends S & I hosted this past weekend. It was a food gourmand’s paradise. This BBQ had a bit of everything – from smoked meat to marinated pork belly to meatballs. I literally starved myself all day in anticipation and boy, am I glad I did. My favourite dish of night, the homemade bao! I’ve tasted good bao at restaurants but nothing like this. The pork belly was soaked in a homemade marinade, sliced and then seared on the BBQ. Also inside, sliced boiled eggs marinated in a housemade soy dressing and pickled daikon, carrots and cucumbers. Topped with cilantro and all sandwiched within the bun, made with a homemade dough and steamed fresh. It was absolutely refreshing, hitting all the sweet, salty and sour notes. Bao wasn’t the only dish served, there was a smorgasbord of meats: smoked chicken, smoked BBQ ribs, BBQ chicken wings with a homemade rub (with jerk spice notes) and asian style meatballs. To top it off, grilled pineapple – golden pineapple tossed in brown sugar and cinnamon then grilled on the BBQ, a great ending to a fantastic night of food and friends. Thanks S & I!