Friday, August 02, 2013

Foraging for Fresh Eats!

*Excuse us once again for the unexpected hiatus... we've been doing some more rampaging around the world :)

Ah, Forage, back when it was young, fresh and unexplored. Their newly minted menu seemed full of potential, and the concept of sustainable dining was a plus. Our friends and I came in here with great expectations that grew even larger upon seeing their decor -- simple, clean and modern, with a touch of rustic. Our server was extremely attentive, patiently answering all our questions and giving recommendations of his own. All was well...

Smoked Albacore Tuna $22
The first dish to arrive was the smoked albacore tuna. The tuna was pretty nicely cooked as it had retained lots of moisture and flavor. I especially enjoyed the pickled vegetable and berries on top as it added an extra kick of sweetness to the fish.

Roast Bison Bone Marrow $15
This dish was probably the most anticipated of the night. While the presentation was pretty cool (you'll feel extra carnivorous trying to dig at a giant bone sawed in half), the taste was wholly missing. I am not kidding when I say this dish tastes like a lump of fat with some bread. Even as a lover of fatty meats I was not impressed.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thumbs up for Sansotei

Since last year when Kinton Ramen opened, numerous other ramen joints started popping up in various corners of downtown Toronto. Amongst them is Sansotei Ramen, which is one of my favourites. It took me this long to blog this place because I always get too excited and dig in before I can take photos!

Sansotei keeps it quite simple with their menu selection. They only have 4 types of ramen soup bases for you to choose from (tonkotsu, miso, shoyu, and tonkotsu shoyu), but you get to choose between thin, original, and thick for the thickness of your noodles. 

Thursday, May 09, 2013

The (Best) House on Parliament

On Saint Patrick's day weekend, friends and I went to The House on Parliament for some hearty brunch before filling our stomachs with green beer. Sitting in Cabbagetown, this pub is very cozy and has a patio, a bar, and seating in the front and back of the place.

They have a special weekends only menu for brunch, so we all selected from that list.

Eggs Parliament  $10
The Eggs Parliament is the traditional eggs benedict with a twist. The 2 poached eggs sit on a toasted english muffin topped with smoked mozzarella and is covered by hollandaise sauce with crispy double smoked bacon sprinkled on top. On the side, there is also plum tomato chutney, home fries, and fruit. I especially loved the smoked mozzarella and plum tomato chutney combination. Usually richness of hollandaise sauce makes me feel a little sick after the first benedict, but not here! If I had to be picky, I'd say there could've have been more meat on top of the sprinkled bacon bits.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Winterlicious: Rosewater

We went on a short vacation and now we're back! Be on the look out for posts from our mini Eurotrip!

Another Winterlicious stop I made was at Rosewater. The pricing was very reasonable and we loved that they offered wine pairings with each of the courses on their Winterlicious menu. As soon as I entered the restaurant, I was mesmerized by the decor as well as the great ambience. Their friendly staff greeted us right away and offered to check our coats, which is always a plus!

We were seated in the Rosewater Room in the upper floor but I liked that we could look down the balcony and get a great view of the bar and lower dining area.

We didn't find the bread to be anything special, but the whipped butter was very much appreciated by our party.

Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash soup is one of my favorites and I really liked it. The texture was thick and the flavour was rich.

Fire-Roasted Chicken Breast
I hadn't expected much of the chicken breast, but as a matter of fact, it was quite delicious! The chicken was juicy and tender while the sauce was meaty but not overpowering the chickens original taste. The bread pudding also caught me off guard since I've never tried it with a savoury sauce. To my surprise, the sweet and the savoury did not clash but rather went quite well together. That sauce was definitely a key ingredient to the overall success of the dish.

Chocolate Mousse Bomb (?)
The dessert option was slightly different from the original Winterlicious offering, so thanks for understanding if I got the dessert name wrong. This dessert was quite the bomb! It is a ball of dark chocolate coated chocolate mousse sitting on a crunchy hazelnut flakes base. It was no surprised that the mouse would be really rich and sweet, so the sour berry sauce on the side was good for leviating some of that richness. The passionfruit flavoured bubbly mousse underneath the raspberries was also an interesting surprise.

Our overall dining experience was pleasant. We had delicious food, friendly service, and great company in a comfortable environment. In fact, our lunch date went on for 3 hours! I hear that the Rosewater Room is very popular for private functions and that they hold great wedding parties. Well, maybe one day!

More photos:

House-Smoked Duck Prosciutto, Spiced Garlic Shrimp, Cast-Iron Seared Cobia Bass, Short Rib Sandwich, Warm Maple Roasted Apple & Raisin Crumble

Service: ★★★★★
Price: $$$$

19 Toronto St
Toronto, ON

Rosewater on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 04, 2013

Winterlicious: Oh-So-Romantic at La Maquette

La Maquette was chosen because we wanted to try out French cuisine and I wasn't going to turn down lobster. We had heard that this place was one of the most romantic restaurants in Toronto and surely it was compared to all the places I've been to. (The lighting was very dim so please excuse the photos.)

As we entered, we were greeted by the beautiful silences of the room until we heard our hostess' footsteps scrambling down the stairs. She took us in with great delight and led us up the turning stairs to a mesmerizing dining floor lit up by the chandelier.  As you step into the dining room, the sounds of conversation and cutlery come to life, with the melodies of live classical guitar playing in the background.

Warm Pulled Duck Confit
I've only had duck made in the asian way (such as Peking duck or Japanese style), so the duck confit was a new experience for me. It was served with grilled vegetables, goat cheese, and drizzled with red pepper coulis. The duck had a very meaty flavour and was quite tender. The serving portion was quite generous in my opinion.

Lobster Bisque Soup
It is quite clear how excited I was for the soup judging from that spill on the side. While the presentation was only mediocre, I liked the taste of the soup. It was creamy with rich lobster flavour, but not too heavy to the point where you would feel sick. My tastebuds were certainly pleased.

4oz Lobster Tails 
The highly anticipated lobster tails was surely the highlight of my night. Served with white wine cream sauce over jasmine rice, the lobster meat was so fresh and juicy. Not only that, the tails were quite large and the texture was so bouncy - they weren't joking when they said it would be 4 ounces. I also absolutely adored the cream sauce, which made my rice taste like delicious risotto.

Pan Seared Venison Medallions
The venison was served with berry and cassis reduction, glazed ontario parsnip and sweet potato yams. The dish looked extremely attractive to me, but I was hesitant after learning venison was deer meat. Amy had told me such great things about venison and the meat looked so tender as I watched it being cut. Finally I mustered up the courage to try it and boy was it tender! I enjoyed my bite until this distinct aftertaste arose in my mouth. I think it'll be a while until the next time I have venison..

Chocolate Petit Fours filled with Mango and Rapsberry Mousse
After the two satisfying courses, this dessert was quite a disappointment. The fruits were sour and the mousse just tasted like normal yogurt. It definitely brought down my overall dining experience.

Mini Chocolate truffle with Florette
The chocolate truffle with warm baileys creme was a little better, but not enough to turn things around. It was a bit dry and too overly sweet. The desserts were the only thing that we did not finish.

The atmosphere and exquisite decor at La Maquette was simply breathtaking. The fireplace keeps you warm and the lighting is just enough that you can see each other faces while keeping a romantic vibe. This is definitely the place to enjoy a romantic date.

Service: ★★★★★
Price: $$$$

La Maquette
111 King Street E
Toronto, ON

La Maquette on Urbanspoon

Winterlicious Menu 
La Maquette's Lobster Bisque Soup
Warm Pulled Duck Confit
Red Oak leaf, Mustard Red Leaf and Wasabi Arugula (vegan) tossed in Lemon Herb Dressing 


Pan seared Venison medallions
Two 4 oz Lobster Tails
Roasted breast of Cornish Hen


Duet of chocolate petit fours
Mini Chocolate Truffle with Florette
Fresh Fruit Bowl (vegan)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hello to Haroo

My food cravings alternate several times throughout the day. One minute I'll want some fresh sashimi and next thing you know, I'm dying for some Indian curry. Oddly enough though, Korean food rarely makes it into my cyclic yearnings, so my Korean restaurant forages never really go beyond Jang Mo Jib. Thus when that next bibimbap craving hit, I decided it was about high time I tried Haroo.  

Homey is the best way to describe Haroo's warm, simplistic atmosphere. It almost feels like going to grandma's house for a nice home cooked meal! The place is run by a sweet old couple who do the serving and cooking themselves, so service could get a little slow if the place is busy.

Complimentary Congee + Salad
The meal started off with a complimentary congee and a standard salad. This congee was really a nice and warming appetizer, which may look bland but was actually quite hearty due to the broth. Perfect for a cold wintery day!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Going in Blind: Dark Table

Blind dining is a concept that has been steadily increasing in popularity. The idea is that by taking away  vision, the other senses will heighten as a compensation mechanism. I had been looking forward to trying something like this for some time now, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out about Vancouver's first dark dining restaurant.

What your meal will look like

The experience starts outside the doors, where somebody will take your order. They offer a set menu from which you can pick either a starter/dessert and a main for $33 or all three for $39. Once everyone decides on what they want, you are led single file by your (visually impaired!) waiter into the opaque abyss that is Dark Table...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Recipe: Nutella Pinwheel Cookies

Time for another recipe! I was introduced to this amazing recipe around 2 years ago and it is still my all time favourite. My friend found the recipe on The Gallery Gourmet.

8 oz unsalted butter at room temperature 
1 cup sugar
2 extra large egg yolks
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 and 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup Nutella 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chou Izakaya: the Underdog

**Note: This restaurant is now closed.

My visit to Chou Izakaya was a result of my Groupon addiction. I was intrigued to check out this place from friends' recommendations and just couldn't turn down a great deal! It was such a bargain that I even bought two Groupons, so get ready for some overflowing yumminess!

Grilled Mackerel しめ鯖  (Special) $8.00

The grilled mackerel was simply unreal. Accompanied by a dippnig sauce resembling a sweet soy sauce, it is prepared by searing the marinated fish with a torch gun. My friend and I were hooked on this light but flavourful dish. I was so tempted to place another order, but didn't since I had to save space in my stomach for the dishes to come.

Beef Tataki   牛たたき  (Special) $11.00


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...