Wednesday, 3 September 2014

L'Opera French Desserts Cafe

Location: 5291 Yonge Street, North York, ON M2N 5R3, Canada
If you've been following me for a while, you probably know about my huge sweet tooth.
Since I've walked by L'Opera a few times before, I decided to go in and grab a mid-afternoon snack.
L'Opera

Chocolate Roll 
Chocolate Roll
Of course the thing that sold me on this was all the pistachios! Unfortunately, they didn't have any pistachios inside the actual chocolate roll - it was just for decorative purposes. It tasted okay, but nothing spectacular.
 

Monday, 1 September 2014

Chi Star House

Location: 9021 Leslie Street #5, Richmond Hill, ON L4B, Canada
September 2, 2013
Chi Star House opened in May 2013 and it's already pretty popular.
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A lot of people come in for the Hong Kong Style Cafe food:
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Baked Chicken spaghetti with cheese and corn
The ketchup sauce can't compare to Macau Portuguese Food's ketchup sauce or Hong Kong's ketchup sauce. This ketchup sauce was a little too sweet and ketchup-y. However, the chicken was pretty tender and quite tasty.

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Pork Cutlet with Fries
We didn't expect the pork cutlet to be this huge...it's like the size of a schnitzel. It was coated in panko crumbs and fried - the inside was a little dry, but the tartar sauce helped balance it out.

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3 kinds of Seafood Stir fry with Vegetables
Squid, fish and shrimp were three seafood meats used in this stir fry and there was chicken as well.
This dish was as good as the one at Maple Yip! (which is my favourite Chinese restaurant in Toronto). The fish was cooked perfectly and had that great tender and flaky texture, the squid wasn't too chewy or tough and the sauce was great.

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Chi Star Specialty Tea Set B $7.99
It comes with potato salad, fish filet cutlet and tartar sauce, chicken burger, fries, a drink and a dessert.
A pretty good deal for less than $10 (including tax). The chicken burger was tiny, but I think it was a good portion considering how much other food came with the set. The fish filet was coated with panko crumbs and fried, but it wasn't very oily and the tartar sauce was salty, tangy and normal! (A bit of a relief after eating sweet tartar sauce in Malaysia). The potato salad was a little heavy on the mayonnaise.

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Chef's dessert was a mango pudding with condensed milk and my lemon tea
Cute and sweet dessert.

Overall: Great food at Chi Star House and for really reasonable prices! The only downside was the service: there were 3 or 4 waitresses, but it seemed like only 2 were actually working. Therefore, the service was very slow.

September 1, 2014 
 The service has definitely improved since the last time we were here! 
The waitresses were a lot more attentive and responsive.

 Chicken and Taro 
 Chicken and Taro bowl with rice
This is definitely one of our favourite dishes here! The chicken is all bone-less and the cream sauce works really well with the taro.

 Chi Star Set C 
Chi Star Set C: Pork chop bun, crispy fish fillet, smoked salmon salad and fries
Pork chop bun was pretty good! The cucumbers, tomato and lettuce were fresh, the bun was all nice and buttered and the pork chop was yummy! The fish was really flaky and had a light crunch. The smoked salmon salad had quite a bit of salmon considering the size. All for $7.99! Pretty good deal (and there's a drink and dessert too)
Chi Star House on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Shinobu

Location: 3403 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4N, Canada
July 28, 2012
After hearing about this Japanese restaurant from a friend, we decided to try it out. 
Luckily, they were open for lunch on Saturdays and offered four set lunch specials on top of their regular menu.

Beef Yakiniku Set $9.80
What a great meal! You get beef yakiniku (grilled beef) with cabbage and lettuce in a tangy soy sauce along with a sesame dressing salad, tofu, eggplant, some vegetable rolls, rice and miso soup.
 It was evident that each one of the dishes were carefully prepared and artfully presented because everything was fresh and oishi (delicious).

Sashimi set $12.90
The sashimi set had the same sides as the beef yakiniku set. 
The chef served salmon, mackerel, squid, white fish and tuna. Yum!

Chicken Tempura Set $9.80
Egg white and mayonnaise sauce with the crispy chicken tempura was a great combination.

Overall: Shinobu is definitely a great Japanese restaurant: everything was meticulously prepared and delicious. The service can be a little slow, but the food (and the prices) more than make up for it!

Update: February 2, 2013
Shinobu has a board with some daily lunch specials and we decided to order some of the specials to try them out. 
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Nasu Dengaku (miso sauce eggplant)
This appetizer is off their regular menu (they serve the eggplant with the special sets), but we liked it so much that we ordered more of it to share. It's sooo good! The miso sauce has a grainy almost paste-like texture and it's full of flavour and the eggplant is a little mushy on the outside but still relatively firm on the inside. 

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Deep Fried Halibut with ponzu sauce
Crispy and delicious bite size morsels of halibut in a really lovely ponzu sauce topped with shredded radishes and green onions - once you start eating one, you just can't stop - so good!

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Baby Lobster Tail Roll
I thought this was so cute with the baby lobster tail shell on top.
The lobster tail was delicate and soft and the other ingredients were crisp and fresh which made a nice combination of textures.

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Green Tea Cheesecake
I'm usually not a big fan of matcha because I find it a strong and bitter taste. This cheesecake definitely had the matcha taste, but it was a little more diluted due to the cheese content. It was lightly spongy and soft. A nice treat!

August 30, 2014
It's been a while since I've been able to eat at Shinobu for their Saturday lunch specials!
And they had a lovely surprise for us today! The chef had toro (fatty tuna)!
Toro is probably the most delicious fresh fish you can possibly get. It's smooth, silky, delicious and just melts in your mouth with flavour. (and it's also super expensive usually)
Toro Roll 
 Toro Roll and Scallop sashimi
So yummy! Chopped up toro meat with some spring onions and wasabi all tightly wrapped with seaweed and rice. You've got to try this! The scallop sashimi was also really delicious and so fresh!

 Beef set 
Beef Yakiniku Set
The beef set is still as delicious as I remember! They're really good with keeping up with standards because everything still tastes amazing!

 Chicken set 
Chicken Tempura Set
I still love the mayonnaise with the chicken tempura (I should totally ask the chef for the recipe!) It's so good!
Shinobu Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Buca Osteria & Enoteca

Location: 604 King Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M5, Canada
I heard a lot about Buca and we finally got a chance to try out this upscale Italian eatery
Buca
It's hidden down this little alley way and when you go downstairs, it opens up to this amazing large and bright space for gatherings.

Pizza salumi
Pizza Salumi Di Buca with smoked mozzarella, king oyster mushrooms and salumi
Nice crispy crust on this artisianal pizza. 

Bigoli
Bigoli: hand-cranked duck egg pasta, duck offal ragu, venetian spices, mascarpone, basil
Really nicely plated and the pasta dish was lovely, but I found the portion a little small.

Gnocchi all'astice
Gnocchi all'astice: lobster gnocchi in a white wine sauce
Yummy meaty chunks of lobster and delicious gnocchi!

Torte di zucchine
Torte di zucchine
Very moist zucchini torte! Not too sweet and a nice change from the usual.

Semifreddo
Semi-freddo
I thought this was lovely with the mousses and semi freddo together - lots of flavours going on and really beautiful to look at.

Baba Al Rum 
Baba Al Rum
Unfortunately, this was our least favourite dessert. The cake was a little dry, but soaked in rum flavour. However I found it a little overwhelming.

Overall: An okay meal at Buca - definitely on the pricey side considering the portion sizes.

Website: http://www.buca.ca/king/

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Burger's Priest @ Yonge & Lawrence

Location: 3397 Yonge Street, North York, ON M4N 2M8, Canada
After hearing about The Burger's Priest for so long, I finally got a chance to go and try it out for myself at the Yonge and Lawrence location:
Burger Priest 

 High Priest 
High Priest: two beef patties with a bun in the middle, special sauce, lettuce and cheese
A classier Big Mac is what I would actually call it. It was similar in structure, but I would say the ingredients are higher quality - juicy beef, crisp fresh lettuce, butter buns and yummy special sauce.

 Cheeseburger 
Cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato
Simple and sweet - buttered bun with fresh lettuce and tomato and oozy cheese on top of a beef patty. Yum!

 Priest with vatican 
Priest + Vatican
Priest: Cheeseburger with a breaded and deep fried portabello mushroom (the "Option")
Vatican: 2 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches instead of buns

Priest with Vatican 
It looked like a bit of a hot mess - but it was really cheesy burger goodness.
The cheese sauce was really good! However, I thought the best part was the "Option" which was the breaded and deep fried portabello mushroom on the burger! I would definitely come back and order another burger with the Option.

Overall: Great classic and simple burgers done really well.  The burgers do come with a bit of a gourmet price tag, but if you're here you should definitely try the Option because the breaded and fried portabello mushroom is worth the splurge!

The Burger's Priest on Urbanspoon