Thursday, 7 April 2016

Sik Korea

My friend's going away dinner was at Sik Korea. 

Side dishes: Beancurd strips, chap chae, kimchi and broccoli
All were really good - we got quite a few refills. 

Fried Mandu/Gyoza
The mandu were interesting - they had a thicker skin than gyozas and wo tips I've had before, so they were puffier and you could tell these were deep fried instead of pan fried. 
They were still pretty good. 

Tteokbokki (sometimes spelt with a D?)
Spicy Korean Rice Cakes with gochujang (the spicy red chilli sauce) that Korean food usually uses to add flavour to their dishes (kind of like soy sauce for Chinese food). The sauce was a little spicy but it added the flavour and really made the rice cakes taste a lot better. 

Surprisingly this didn't have the red colour that most gamjatangs I've seen usually have, but the little seeds were really spicy.  This was a huge bowl of pork bones with a ton of meat on the bone which made it a large portion for one person - good value for money here! :) 

Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup)
A large bowl of soup with a whole chicken stuffed with sticky rice, ginseng and garlic.  I've been searching for a restaurant in Toronto that could recreate the one I had in South Korea.  Unfortunately, this one didn't really satisfy my craving, it was better than the one I had before in Toronto since the soup had more chicken flavour and was a little thicker and hearty than the watery one I had before. 

Overall: Good Korean food at Sik Korea (I understand why my friend recommended it now!) and the service was pretty fast. 

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Wildfire Steakhouse & Wine Bar

April 3, 2016
Last time we were here, we saw some promotional signs advertising their Social Meet. 20160403_174814
This was a great deal since most of their entrees are $20+ and their steaks are great! 

Grilled Calamari
Their grilled calamari is probably the best I've eaten. The sweet tomato sauce, salty capers and grilled calamari (with lots of spices and flavour) combination works really well.

8 oz. New York Striploin
Not as nice as it was at our last meal, but it's also a promotional event going on - so I guess I can kind of understand. 

Full Rack of Back Ribs
This was great! The sauce was sweet and savoury (which I prefer over smoky sauces) and it was such a huge rack that it spilled over the plate a bit! I'd definitely come back for their ribs. 

March 29, 2016
I came back for my birthday steak (in the month of March)! 
New York Striploin
This time I read the menu and noticed that you could add toppings to your steak like sauteed onions and garlic butter - so I took advantage of that.  The steaks were much better this visit than they were two weeks before (maybe it was the March break rush). 

New York Striploin
Huge and so yummy with the garlic butter and sauteed onions!

March 13, 2016
Shrimp and Steak combination with shrimp skewers and a 6 oz. sirloin
The quality of the meat wasn't very good - it was stringy and tough.  The shrimp were nicely seasoned and the mashed potatoes were delicious as usual. 

New York Striploin
The meat of the striploin was better than the steak served above. I like they way they season their meat and the grill marks look great on the striploins. 

March 29, 2015
It felt a little darker inside Wildfire than previous years. 
12 oz. Striploin
I really find that they do Striploins the best here at Wildfire. The meat is juicy and packed with flavour.  This year they added a dollop of aioli onto the steak. 
The plate looks a little sad with the small baked potato and the grilled veggies seemed particularly oily this year. 

16 oz. Striploin with mashed potatoes and veggies
The side dishes here were also a little sad looking - with the tiny bit of mashed potatoes on the huge plate and the oily vegetables (these didn't even seem grilled). 
The experience this time didn't live up to the last time we went to Wildfire. 

March 12, 2012

Love their bread and it usually comes accompanied by the most amazing garlic hummus ever! I credit this restaurant for starting my current obsession with hummus - mmmm delicious. The bread is always soft and warm and with the hummus, you can't go wrong. 

They also have some amazing appetizers - the grilled calamari is probably the best I've ever had (we keep coming back for that and the steak) and the escargot Provencal with the garlic butter is delicious! (For an extra treat, try the bread + hummus + garlic butter, it's heavenly)

The Classic New York Striploin (12 oz)

The Porterhouse (20 oz)
I love the way they do their steak - it's always cooked well and I can trust them to do a good medium rare that is tender and full of flavour. It's a lot of meat and I think well worth it for $44 (excl. tax). The vegetables are always nicely cooked too - and they're seasonal which keeps it interesting (I love their grilled red peppers, yum!)

To celebrate my birthday, they gave us a free dessert! Mini chocolate covered ice cream - what a nice way to end the meal! Another dessert I love eating here is the Creme Brulee (They have an amazing dessert chef here)

Conclusion: This is one of my favourite steakhouses in Toronto. Slightly on the pricey side, but they serve consistently great food.

Wildfire Steakhouse & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Black Camel

April 3, 2016

Beef Brisket with garlic mayo
I love their buns: the eggy bread pairs so well with the garlic mayo and smoky beef brisket.  It's just a delicious sandwich experience every time!

December 5, 2012
On my way to Patachou for tarts two weeks ago, I noticed a crazy line-up of men in business suits outside a seemingly normal sandwich place. It's not that often that you see a queue outside a restaurant that isn't the newest and hippest restaurant downtown (case in point - all the ramen places) . So, I made a note to myself to do a little research and maybe come back and check it out some other time.
The Black Camel has been a popular sandwich joint for almost 10 years (since 2004) and they're well-known for their smoked meat sandwiches like beef brisket and pulled pork. 
Outside Black Camel

Pulled Pork sandwich
Pulled pork with arugula and Black Camel BBQ sauce
The pulled pork shoulder was super tender and yummy. The interesting part of the sandwich was that it was a little sweeter than I expected (I'm not sure if it was from the BBQ sauce or the pulled pork). 
The BBQ sauce was a nice complement and I liked that it was a little milder and less smoky than traditional BBQ sauces. 
Beef Brisket sandwich
Beef brisket with roasted roma tomatoes and Charamoula and Pesto mayo
Wow! The brisket was melt in your mouth tender and juicy and the combination of the charamoula and pesto sauce just made the sandwich so succulent, flavourful and finger licking good. I added the roasted roma tomatoes for an extra $0.90 since I wanted some balance to my meat-heavy sandwich, and boy was I ever glad because it worked out so well! The sandwich was heavenly....(and a little more guilt-free cause I got my serving of vegetables instead of only being a carnivore)

Overall: Crazy amazing sandwiches: the smoked meats are all amazingly tender and juicy and the sauces are  fantastic! The service was great too (despite being a 3 person operation at lunch). This place is definitely more of a grab and go sandwich shop as there's barely any seating in the tiny restaurant.

Black Camel on Urbanspoon