Markham

Niwatei

My friends and I had lunch at Niwatei afew weeks ago. Niwatei is the ramen restaurant at J-town. It shares the same space as Green Tea Lounge and Silk Kitchenware. The owners of Green Tea Lounge and Niwatei are siblings. Two of my friends got the miso ramen ($7.80+tax & tip). Another friend got the tonkatsu ramen ($8.80+tax & tip). I got the miso tonkatsu ramen ($13.33+tip).

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The miso ramen consists of corn, beansprouts, half of a boiled egg,  kamaboko fish cake, BBQ pork and ramen noodles in miso based soup.

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The tonkatsu ramen consists of BBQ pork, kamaboko fish cake, half of a boiled egg and ramen noodles in a pork bone based soup. My friend added corn to it for an extra $0.50.

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The miso tonkatsu ramen consists of BBQ pork, kamaboko fish cake, half of a boiled egg, bean sprouts, corn and ramen noodles in miso based soup.

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Categories: Canada, Cuisine, Food, Japanese, Markham, Restaurant Review | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ding Tai Fung Part II

My friend and I decided to have dinner at Ding Tai Fung again last month. We ordered the requisite xiao long bao and wor tip along with the minced pork and vegetable wonton noodles, sesame dumplings in soup and souffle balls stuffed with sesame paste.

We got the steamed crab meat and pork xiao long bao ($7.99). It was good however at times I couldn’t distinguish the crab meat from the pork. The wor tip or pan fried pork dumplings ($5.99) were just as good as last time. Ding Tai Fung definitely makes wor tip better than the xiao long bao.

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The minced pork and vegetable wonton noodles ($7.99) was ok. It’s comprised of wontons, bok choi, black fungus, some minced pork, noodles in soup with abit of green onions and omelette strips.

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The sesame dumplings in soup ($5.99) was quite delicious. The sweet soup was very nice while the black sesame dumplings (tong yeun) were a nice compliment to it. The souffle balls stuffed with black sesame paste ($7.49) are good but I think I prefer the souffle balls stuffed with red bean paste more.

Overall, if you don’t mind the wait and you don’t want to walk over to A La Kitchen, I recommend ordering the Shanghainese dim sum and the desserts rather than the main dishes.

Categories: Canada, Chinese, Cuisine, Food, Markham, Restaurant Review, Shanghainese | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A La Kitchen

My friend and I decided to eat at A La Kitchen for Mid-Autumn Festival last month. A La Kitchen is in the plaza behind First Markham Place. The decor is modern and while we had reservations, we had to wait abit. We ordered lamb mutton cake or 羊糕 ($7.50 + tax), steamed crab pork dumplings/xiao long bao or 蟹粉小龍包 ($6.25 + tax), pan fried pork dumpling/wor tip or 鮮肉鍋貼 ($4.95 + tax), braised eggplant with shredded pork or 魚香茄子 ($9.99 + tax), sesame rice ball with soy bean powder or 雷沙湯圓 ($5.50 + tax) and deep fried egg white ball with red bean & banana or 高力豆沙香蕉 ($7.99 + tax).

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The lamb mutton cake was disappointing. I initially thought it would be similar to a beef and onion pancake at Asian Legend or Ding Tai Fung but I was wrong. Instead, it’s a cold dish of fatty lamb meat that’s similar to a pâté with a side of green onions.

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The steamed crab pork xiao long bao were quite delicious although I prefer the quantity of xiao long baos at Asian Legend or Ding Tai Fung more. They give you 6 xiao long baos as opposed to the 4 xiao long baos here at A La Kitchen.

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The pork wor tip was quite good although I prefer the wor tip at Ding Tai Fung more. The skin isn’t as crispy as I would like it to be.

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The braised eggplant with shredded pork, onions and peppers was spicy and delicious.

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My friend had the sesame rice ball with soybean powder. I tried one and it was alright.

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I decided to be adventurous and get the deep fried egg white ball with red bean & banana as opposed to my usual deep fried egg white ball with red bean.  The red bean and banana combination was actually scrumptious.

For the price versus the quality and quantity of the food, I think I would go to Ding Tai Fung or Asian Legend for most everything except for the dessert.

Categories: Canada, Chinese, Cuisine, Food, Markham, Restaurant Review, Shanghainese | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Tea Lounge

My university friends and I had lunch here at the end of August. The decor is quite rustic making it a casual atmosphere while the mural is a really nice artwork. Since there were 5 of us, we got to sit at a booth table along the windows.

Picture of the mural taken by a friend

Picture of the mural taken by a friend. We sat at a booth on the right hand side

 

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I ordered the soba and curry ($12.2 with tax). It’s a special and very good for indecisive people since you get to try two of their three main entrees. The curry dish is just curry with rice. It doesn’t come with a salad or with any meat. The soba doesn’t come with an inari side either and it’s a hot soba rather than a cold soba. Inari is sushi rice stuffed in a deep fried tofu skin. Both dishes were quite good.

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Two of my friends had the curry with tonkatsu. Tonkatsu is breaded, deep fried pork cutlet. The curry also includes a salad. The curry is a bit spicy however I didn’t think it was spicy much while my friends thought that it was abit spicy.

one of the lunch specials

one of the lunch specials

Another friend had udon with an inari side while a fourth friend had one of the specials. The special includes tonkatsu, miso soup and agedashi tofu.

If you’re looking for a variety of Japanese foods rather than a specific type (ramen, izakaya or Japanese-Italian) in J-town then you should try this restaurant.

 

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Shiso Tree

My friends and I decided to eat at Shiso Tree for lunch last month. Shiso Tree is in J-town and it’s a fusion Japanese Italian eatery. Tip is automatically allocated on the bill for large groups and large groups can’t do split bills. You also have to order from a special large group menu which excludes a number of pasta options that are available to smaller groups. The pasta is served with salad and garlic bread. The garlic bread comes with the pasta dish.

house salad served with pasta dishes

house salad served with pasta dishes

One friend got the Shrimp Cream of Corn ($12) which consists of cream of corn, sake, shrimp, nori and shiso.

shrimp okonomiyaki pasta with garlic bread

shrimp okonomiyaki pasta with garlic bread

Most of my friends decided to get the Shrimp Okonomiyaki pasta ($14) which consists of bacon, onions, Japanese mayo, bonito flakes, steak sauce, garlic dressed shrimp over spaghetti noodles. It’s considered a wafu pasta. They enjoyed it.

Cream of Corn Shrimp pasta with garlic bread

unagi don with garlic bread

Another friend got the Unagi-Don ($17) which consists of Japanese barbecued eel, shimeji mushrooms, cream teriyaki sauce, nori aka seaweed and shiso (minty herb). She liked it.

shoyu mushroom pasta with garlic bread

shoyu mushroom pasta with garlic bread

Another friend got the Shoyu Mushroom pasta ($11) which consists of enoki mushroom, king oyster mushroom, shimeji mushroom, Japanese soya sauce aka shoyu, nori and shiso. It’s also considered a wafu pasta. She enjoyed it.

wafu seafood spaghetti with garlic bread

wafu seafood spaghetti with garlic bread

I got the special which is the Wafu Seafood Spaghetti ($18). It consists of clams, shrimp and squid in shoyu & dashi sauce on top of spaghetti noodles and garnished with green onions, yuzu, nori and shiso. It was delicious and very filling.

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I also decided to split the Okonomiyaki fries ($8) with 2 other friends. The Okonomiyaki fries is fries topped with Japanese mayo, bonito flakes, green onions and steak sauce. It’s quite delicious and it can easily be a meal on its own.

I recommend this restaurant if you’re looking to try Japanese-Italian pasta and Japanese inspired poutine. The next time I come, I want to try their desserts, especially the black sesame creme brulee.

Categories: Canada, Cuisine, Food, Italian, Japanese, Markham, Restaurant Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sun’s Kitchen (part II)

I had dinner at Sun’s Kitchen again last night. This time I got the dan dan noodles ($6.75 including tax).

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It’s basically handmade la mian in a spicy broth topped with peanuts and green onions. The broth was quite spicy, compared to other places I’ve been to. I wished that there were more toppings to this dish so that it would be more tasty. The portion size was quite large. Overall, it was ok.

Categories: Canada, Chinese, Cuisine, Food, Markham, Restaurant Review, Szechuan | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Milestone’s

My friends and I celebrated a double birthday celebration last Sunday at Milestone’s. They have a coupon for the birthday person in which their entree is free if 3 entrees are purchased. When my friends and I arrived for our 6:30pm reservations, we were told that Milestone’s was sold out of prime rib. Apparently you could reserve prime rib when you make your reservations if you know for sure that you’ll be ordering prime rib the day of. So most of my friends decided to order pasta. Two of my friends got the chili crusted tilapia ($22) while another two had the classic mojito ($8.49). I had the Ultimate Bellini ($8.99) and Beef Tenderloin. I also shared the ahi tuna tacos ($15) with another friend who also got the Original Bellini ($6.99).

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The Ahi Tuna Tacos are seared pepper crusted ahi tuna with cilantro lime slaw and avacado cream in a soft shell tortilla with deep fried avacado on the side. I would prefer a thicker slice of ahi tuna however on the whole the taco was quite good. The deep fried avacado was interesting.

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The Beef Tenderloin was on the seasonal menu. It’s beef tenderloin with garlic infused mashed potatoes and cabbage and squash on the side with a stalk of green onion. It was quite tasty.

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The Ultimate Bellini is a frozen blend of white rum, peach liqueur, sparkling white wine, sangria and a shot of strawberry flavoured vodka. The shot of vodka was separate because another friend had ordered the original Bellini (it’s the Ultimate Bellini without the vodka shot) and the bartender got confused and made 2 original Bellinis. The Bellini was nice.

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The classic mojito is rum, lime juice, mint, cane syrup and soda. One of my two friends who had it thought it was refreshing. It was his first time trying a mojito.

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The birthday boy&girl also get a donut covered with chocolate sauce and icing sugar with a snazzy candle on it. It looks better than it tastes.

I recommend Milestone’s for birthdays (nice treat for the birthday boy/girl) or the Monday Girls’ Night Out special.

 

Categories: Canada, Cuisine, Downtown Toronto, Food, Markham, North York, Restaurant Review, Richmond Hill, Western | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joey’s

Originally my friends and I were going to eat dinner at Kazkav on a Saturday night however we were told that the restaurant was at full capacity so we went to Joey’s at Yorkdale instead. One friend had the bacon cheddar burger ($17.52 including tax) and a sushi cone ($4) while another friend had the Panang prawn curry bowl ($17.75) and a sushi cone. A friend had butter chicken  ($20.06 including tax) while another friend had the ahi tuna club ($19.21 including tax). I had the lobster grilled cheese sandwich with yam fries ($18.5), a sushi cone and a dessert called happy ending ($4.5).

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Sushi cone is a reconstructed hand roll. It’s a tempura prawn cone with avocado, spicy mayo, tobiko, ginger and wasabi. It’s alright for a hand roll although I didn’t like how the wasabi and ginger were grouped together so one bite would be mostly ginger and another bite would be mostly wasabi and the third bite would be no ginger or wasabi.

Butter Chicken

Bombay Butter Chicken

The Panang prawn curry bowl is stir-fried vegetables, red coconut curry, Thai basil, peanuts with rice. The Bombay butter chicken comes with almond basmati rice and grilled naan. My friends enjoyed their dishes.

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The ahi tuna club is grilled rare tuna, bacon, sweet pepper relish, arugula, and panko onion rings in a bun. It comes with a side of fries. My friend enjoyed it.

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The lobster grilled cheese sandwich is atlantic lobster, brie & cheddar cheese, and cocktail sauce. The lobster grilled cheese sandwich was good while the yam fries were abit too salty for my tastes.

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The happy ending dessert is 70% dark chocolate, dulce de leche and maldon salt. The dessert wasn’t as good as I thought it would be considering that it’s dark chocolare and dulce de leche combination.

Overall, Joey’s doesn’t live up to its hype.

Categories: Canada, Cuisine, Downtown Toronto, Food, Markham, North York, Restaurant Review, Western | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Owl of Minerva (Part II)

My friends and I ate at Owl of Minerva located at First Markham Place afew weeks ago. The restaurant itself reminds me of Huh Ga Ne but has none of its fanciness and it could be as small as or even smaller than the Owl of Minerva located in North York that’s open 24 hours. There aren’t any traditional tables and seats at First Markham Place, at least out front. The menu at First Markham Place differs from the menu at Uptown Waterloo or North York. It focuses on kam ja tang (pork bone soup). There’s a variety of pork bone soup on the menu at First Markham Place. Three of my friends and I had some variation of pork bone soup while another friend had jap chae. My friend likes the jap chae at Owl.

Kimchi served at Owl

Kimchi served at Owl

Jap Chae

Jap Chae

 

Original Kamjatang

Original Kamjatang

One friend just got the original/regular pork bone soup.

Dumpling Kamjatang

Dumpling Kamjatang

Rice Cake Kamjatang

Rice Cake Kamjatang

 

Another friend got pork bone soup with rice cakes while another friend had the pork bone soup with dumplings. They both enjoyed it.

Seafood Kamjatang

Seafood Kamjatang

I had the pork bone soup with seafood ($10 with tax). The seafood is miniscule. There were mini-mussel, mini shrimp and mini oyster. It also has rice cakes. The kam ja tang itself is comparable to the ones I had at other locations.

 

I still like Owl of Minerva for their pork bone soup.

Categories: Canada, Cuisine, Food, Korean, Markham, North York, Restaurant Review, Uptown Waterloo | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kiko (Part II)

My friends and I were debating where to eat an early dinner after playing sports afew weeks ago. We decided to go to Kiko. When we got there, it was still their Afternoon Tea time special. I ordered their laksa ($10 includes tax & tip).

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Their laksa is one of the few authentic laksas I’ve eaten outside of South East Asia. The other authentic laksa is from One 2 Snacks. The laksa at Kiko’s comprises of two types of noodles, shrimp, chicken, beansprouts and tofu puff/tofu pok/tau pok in a curry soup. Their laksa dish comes with a drink. I got the Hong Kong style milk tea. I’m looking forward to another future visit.

Categories: Canada, Chinese, Cuisine, Food, Hong Kong Cafe, Malaysian/Singaporean/Indonesian, Markham, Restaurant Review | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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