North York

Quince Bistro

My friends and I had dinner here afew days ago. The lighting was initially bright but it dimmed when it got abit later. It has two levels so while it may seem small, it’s a fairly large restaurant. Downstairs has a set-up where you could have a private function with leather couches, throw pillows and a private bar so it feels like you’re partying in your own basement.

A friend had the salmon chowder with potatoes and chive oil. I had a spoonful and it was quite delicious.

Another friend had the roasted carrot and beets salad with avacado and crispy quinoa.

Another friend and I had the octopus terrine with white miso coleslaw. A terrine is sliced food that has been prepared in advanced and given time to cool before serving. I had expected more octopus slices however the octopus goes well with the white miso coleslaw. I preferred the octopus escabeche at Parts & Labour compared to the octopus terrine here.

A friend had the duck confit with Perth County smoked bacon and a bean cassoulet. Duck confit is duck leg that’s deep fried slowly at a low temperature. A cassoulet is a stew or casserole that’s slow cooked.

Another friend had the grilled flat iron steak done medium rare with smoked onion puree, red wine jus and root vegetable pave. He felt that the gravy overwhelmed the steak.

Another friend got the grilled mackerel with charred rapini, roasted tomato, cannellini bean puree and a tomato vinaigrette. She thought that the mackerel was cooked well and that the meat was fall of the bone, so to speak.

I had the crispy skin arctic char with roasted cauliflower, du Puy lentils and pickled fennel. Arctic char is a fish and the taste and texture is similar to salmon. My arctic char had some undercooked to raw parts.
Arctic Char in Kitchener
The only other time I had arctic char was in Kitchener at Wildcraft for a friend’s birthday party back in 2012. I think I preferred that arctic char compared to the one at Quince since it had sweet, salty and sour elements as opposed to tasting elements of salty, kind of bland and a sour sweetness.

For dessert, two of my friends and I shared the butterscotch banana budino, pumpkin almond torta and chocolate bread pudding while another friend just got the butterscotch banana budino.The butterscotch banana budino is topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with toffee crunch. It’s the best dessert of the three.

The pumpkin almond torta is accompanied by spekulaas spice, creme anglaise and chantilly cream. It’s a tasty dessert that’s not too sweet.

The chocolate bread pudding with a berry compote and honey creme fraiche reminded me a chocolate lava cake but without the molten lava. My friend thought that the berry compote overwhelmed the chocolate bread pudding. Overall for dessert, the butterscotch banana budino is the tastiest followed by the pumpkin almond torta.


I also got B52 coffee while my friend had tea. B52 coffee is coffee mixed with several kinds sweet liqueurs.

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

Winterlicious: Five Doors North

My high school friends and I decided to eat dinner here. Neither of my high school friends had tried any winterlicious/summerlicious restaurants before so I recommended Five Doors North to them to ensure a good first impression. Service is as impeccable as always. Winterlicious dinner is $25 + tax & tip and you could order rosemary focaccia bread for an extra $1.
Rosemary Focaccia Bread
Crispy Pork Belly
All three of us had the crispy pork belly. It comes with butternut squash mash and a caramelized apples and sweet onion reduction. The portion was smaller compared to last year’s crispy pork belly however it was just as scrumptious. The skin was crispy with a decent layer of fat and melt in your mouth meat.
Pumpkin Seed Crusted Salmon
For the main, both of my friends had the pumpkin seed crusted salmon while I got the grilled chimichurri skirt steak. The pumpkin seed crusted salmon comes with mango and smoked red pepper salad. My friends enjoyed it. One of them like that the mango was sweet and balanced the salmon well.
Grilled Chimichurri Skirt Steak
My grilled Ontario chimichurri skirt steak comes with crispy tortilla strips, avocado mousse and black bean sauce along with a tomato and lettuce salad. The skirt steak was slightly tough but done just right at medium rare and the black bean sauce was a good accompaniment to both the salad, crispy tortilla strips and the steak. The tomato and lettuce salad was also tasty on its own.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
My friends and I decided to split the dessert so we had the flourless chocolate cake, vanilla creme brulee and banana chocolate chip bread pudding. The flourless chocolate cake is made with dark chocolate and topped with blackberries with a blackberry coulis sauce. It was very delicious.
Vanilla Creme Brulee
The vanilla creme brulee was as scrumptious as always.
Banana Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding
The banana chocolate chip bread pudding comes with bourbon creme anglaise and the pairing is delectable.

Overall, I recommend you try this restaurant if you’re ever in the Yonge/Eglington/Davisville area whether for Winterlicious/Summerlicious or even on a regular night.

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

The Rolling Pin

The Rolling Pin is a tiny bakery&cafe near the Loblaws between York Mills and Lawrence on Yonge. They sell cakes, pies, gourmet donuts, macarons and other baked goods. I had pre-ordered the Pecan Caramel Pumpkin Pie ($22). It comprises of a Graham crust, salted caramel, caramel drizzle, pumpkin filling, pecans and lots of whipped cream.

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On the whole, the pie is good however I didn’t like the fact that the pumpkin filling is very minimal and there’s a large layer of whipped cream.

Initially when I first read pecan caramel pumpkin pie on their website I imagined combining pumpkin pie and pecan pie together. I didn’t think there would be so much whipped cream and the pecans would just be sprinkled on top of the whipped cream around the edges of the pie. I also didn’t think that the pumpkin filling would be a thin layer as opposed to the thick layer of pumpkin filling I am accustomed to for a regular pumpkin pie. Overall, I had different expectations of what the pie was suppose to be as opposed to how it actually turned out.

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Ichiban Sushi House

My friends and I had dinner here two weeks ago. I used to walk past this restaurant when I had to take the TTC to school when I lived in the neighborhood. Ichiban Sushi House is located on the ground floor of Empress Walk and has been there for over a decade. The decor is abit rustic while the lighting is dim.

LA Kalbi

LA Kalbi

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Sashimi and Sushi dinner set

 

A friend got the LA Kalbi ($16.95 + tax & tip) which is Korean style grilled beef short ribs. It  comes with miso soup, salad, rice and ice cream for the dinner set. Another friend got the Sashimi & Sushi dinner set ($18.95 + tax & tip). It consists of a variety of sashimi and sushi along with a California roll. It comes with miso soup, green salad and ice cream. Both of my friends weren’t amazed by their dishes; they thought it was normal, nothing spectacular. My friend also thought the sashimi wasn’t that fresh.

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I got the grilled white tuna steak ($20.33 + tip). It’s a white tuna steak marinated in a sweet soy sauce that is garnished with orange wedges and wasabi. It comes with miso soup, salad, rice and ice cream. The orange wedges function similar to lemon wedges when squeezed liberally over the tuna steak and it gives it a nice citrusy flavour. The steak is also fine to be eaten on its own without squeezing orange juice on it or putting wasabi on it. The wasabi I found would overpower the tuna steak’s taste even if it’s just a tiny dab of it on the tuna steak. Overall, the tuna steak was quite good. The ice cream is normally green tea however they ran out so we got mango ice cream instead.

salad and miso soup

salad and miso soup

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For an a la carte Japanese restaurant, it’s on the pricier side while the service isn’t very fast.

 

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

Symposium Cafe

The first time I went to Symposium Cafe is in Waterloo so I was pleasantly surprised to find a branch in North York. My high school friends decided to try this cafe after hearing about me reminiscing the Waterloo location. The North York location is much smaller compared to the Waterloo location. Th Waterloo location has a much more extensive cake selection as well. What I like about Symposium Cafe is their Sunday special which is 2 cakes for the price of 1 and they have a fairly extensive drink selection.

Baileys Cheesecake

Baileys Cheesecake

We decided to split the Bailey’s Cheesecake ($7.95) and the Fudge Brownie Cheesecake ($7.95) while another friend got the Rockslide Brownie ($5.25).

Fudge Cheesecake

Fudge Cheesecake

The Bailey’s Cheesecake is quite good. The Fudge Brownie Cheesecake is very chocolatey. Both are quite sweet. My friend enjoyed the Rockslide Brownie.

Rockslide Brownie

Rockslide Brownie

Symposium is definitely a nice restaurant for a romantic date or just hanging out with friends however it can be pricey.

Categories: Canada, Cuisine, Dessert, Drinks, Food, North York, Restaurant Review, Uptown Waterloo, Western | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu

My high school friends and I decided to eat at Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu for dinner last month. We go to Buk Chang Dong for soon tofu similar to how we go to Owl of Minerva’s for pork bone soup. A meal here is $10 with tax and tip. Their menu is mainly a variety of soon tofu however you could also get bibimbap or bulgogi. The restaurant is cosy but the lighting is bright. All of the soon tofu comes with purple rice and you can choose the spiciness level of the broth which ranges from no spice to very spicy.

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A friend ordered the combination soon tofu which has a decent sized mussel, shrimp and beef along with tofu in a spicy broth. It comes with a raw egg that you crack into the soon tofu.

Another friend ordered the dumpling soon tofu which has dumplings, beef and tofu in a spicy broth. A third friend had the kimchi soon tofu which has kimchi, beef, pork and tofu in a spicy broth. A fourth friend had the Veggie soon tofu which has mushroom, broccoli, onion, zucchini and tofu in a spicy broth. They all come with a raw egg as well.

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I ordered the soybean soon tofu. The broth is soybean based as opposed to its regular broth and it doesn’t come with a raw egg. The soybean soon tofu has beef, mushroom, a decent sized mussel and tofu.

If you have a craving for soon tofu in either downtown Koreatown or uptown Koreatown then you should eat here.

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Summerlicious: Five Doors North

Two of my university friends and I had dinner at Five Doors North last night. I had raved about this restaurant to one of my friends. Summerlicious dinner is $25 + tax & tip. We sat near the front of the restaurant near the tiny patio out front. We had noticed that their specials included elk. We were tempted to try the dish rather than go with the fix prixe menu.

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While waiting for our other friend we got the rosemary foccacia ($1/person) and a pitcher of sangria ($39.96). The sangria isn’t as good as the one I had in Toledo, Spain. It’s not as sweet as I would have preferred it however the alcohol is quite strong. The fruits used include green apples, oranges and limes.

One friend ordered the baked goat cheese polenta for the appetizer, grilled black tiger shrimp roasted corn salad for the entree and creme brulee for dessert. Another friend ordered the baked goat cheese polenta for the appetizer, Miami ribs for the entree and creme brulee for dessert. I ordered the grilled asparagus salad, Miami ribs and creme brulee. I was interested in the corn, sweet potato, coconut chowder however I decided to go with salad since a friend and I were splitting a pitcher of sangria.

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The Grilled Asparagus Salad is comprised of grilled asparagus, arugula, Olive Oil Poached Tomatoes, Gorgonzola Cheese and Chianti Vinaigrette. The grilled asparagus was tasty while the tomatoes surprised me since I expected it to be warm or cooked rather than cold since the asparagus is cooked. I never had Gorgonzola cheese before and I discovered that it has a really strong flavour since it is an Italian blue cheese.

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The baked goat cheese polenta is baked goat’s cheese with polenta, sundried tomato paste and pesto on a bed of arugula. One of my friends said that the sundried tomato is only on half of the polenta. Quality control for the polenta could be improved since we were all under the impression that the sundried tomatoes, like the pesto, would cover the whole area of the polenta rather than just a portion of it.

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Szechuan Marinated Miami Ribs comes with coleslaw. My friend thought it was too sour while I thought the coleslaw has a strong something to it. The ribs were good albeit too charred along the edges. I think I prefer their baby back ribs from Winterlicious compared to the Miami ribs.

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Grilled Black Tiger Shrimp Roasted Corn Salad comes with Chipotle Aioli. My friend enjoyed it.

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The creme brulee was delicious. The custard was nice and creamy while the top was a bit hard and crunchy.

I am definitely coming back here soon to try their elk if they still offer that dish. Overall, this is becoming my favourite midtown restaurant.

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

Nome Izakaya

My friends and I went to eat dinner at Nome Izakaya on a Thursday night. Nome Izakaya is quite small although they have a fairly large waiting area. We were able to get a table by the oyster bar between the two flat screen tvs. Thursdays are their $5 cocktail specials and 1/2 price sangrias. I got The Geisha ($5) while another friend got the Mango Mojito. We ordered the Double Salmon Roll ($14), deep fried pork belly ($6.50), Mack-Attack ($9.80), Apple Salmon ($7.50), Maguro & Avacado Tartare ($9.70), baked oysters ($9.30), takoyaki ($5.50), Japanese chicken poppers ($6.30), buttered scallop & shrimp ($8.80), Lobster Fantasy Roll ($18), Unagi Tempura ($12) and Sesame Salmon ($7.50). We also had green tea which costs $1.52.

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The Geisha regularly priced is $7 and is made of a plum wine mimosa with grapefruit pulp and flower petals. I wasn’t able to taste the flower petals however on the whole the drink is quite good. It wasn’t sweet at all and the sourness of the grapefruit is balanced out by the sweetness of the plum wine.

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The deep fried pork belly is deep fried marinated pork belly with seaweed paste and topped with onions. One of my friends and I enjoyed it.

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The Double Salmon roll is marinated grilled salmon, cucumber, lemon steamed asparagus and avacado in a roll that is topped with smoked salmon and horseradish mayo. My friends and I enjoyed it.

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The Mack-Attack or Aburi Shime Saba is lightly seared mackerel with ground ginger, green onions and a lemon wedge. I thought it was quite delicious. My friend said that the mackerel by itself is salty however I always garnished it with ginger, green onions and freshly squeezed lemon juice which perfectly compliments the mackerel.

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The Apple Salmon is salmon sashimi topped with apple mayo dressing. It was interesting. My friend said that she could taste the apple while I thought that the apple was more in the smell than the taste.

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The Maguro & Avacado Tartare is diced tuna sashimi and avacado, garlic oil, sea salt and balsamic reduction sauce.

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The baked oysters or kakimayo are 4 pieces of oven baked oysters topped with spinach cream sauce. It is scrumptious.

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Takoyaki is deep fried octopus ball with tokatsu sauce, mayo, green onions and bonito flakes.

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The Japanese chicken poppers or kara-age are Japanese style fried chicken with wasabi mayo. I prefer the karaage at Cafe Michi however the wasabi mayo is quite good. I liked the karaage with ample wasabi mayo and some freshly squeezed lemon juice on it.

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Buttered scallop & shrimp is baked scallop and shrimp in garlic butter. It is scrumptious.

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The Lobster Fantasy Roll is deep fried lobster tail, cucumber and avacado in a roll that is topped with lobster salad and grilled red pepper sauce. It was absolutely delicious.

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Unagi tempura is unagi tempura topped with green onions and My friend had commented that the topping reminded her of how a Japanese salad tastes like. The Unagi tempura is also good with a bit of wasabi mayo.

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Sesame Salmon or Salmon Goma Abura Ae is diced salmon sashimi mixed with garlic, chives, sea salt and sesame oil. It’s quite good.

Categories: Canada, Cuisine, Food, Japanese, North York, Restaurant Review | 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

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