Sunday, May 29, 2016

Dumpling Restaurant

Dumpling Restaurant (4385 Sheppard Avenue East, Scarborough)
 Phone number(416) 293-8321

I only noticed this afterwards, but there is Korean writing on the sign. This was confusing because the staff spoke Mandarin to us and Northern Chinese dishes were on the menu. Renée noted that she also Korean offerings like pork bone soup, but I didn't notice that. 

Hot and sour soup with noodles.
I think we could've done without the noodles due to too much food ordered, but it was good. It wasn't extremely spicy, nor sour. 

Pot stickers
I think these are my favourite kind of dumplings, next to the soup-filled kind.

Green onion pancake. Not the best I've eaten, but passable.

Steamed dumplings
We got both the pork and lamb versions. The lamb dumplings were way juicier, with meat juice squirting out at the first bite.

Beef pancake roll
I don't know what it's actually called, but it's basically a thin green onion pancake rolled with slices of beef. 

Would I return? Sure. The food is pretty reasonably priced and decent. There is ample space inside the restaurant. Though the staff may be found on their cell phones, they will multitask and grab your empty teapot with their other hand. Service may be a bit indifferent, but this is by no means a fancy joint. 

Total damage: approximately $15 per person (3 people total) for everything in the pictures (plus an extra steamer of dumplings). 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Patties Express


The extra spicy beef patty was more like mild to me, but I guess I eat really spicy foods. The patty was served hot, and the meat was gushing out with each bite. The coco bread was incredibly soft and pillowy. There might have been a very subtle coconut flavour, but that also might've been in my head. I didn't think a patty needed to go inside bread, but it actually works. And it was pretty filling.

Coco bread and beef patty

Would I return? Yes. Relatively cheap snacks are hard to come by in downtown Toronto. And I like oozy meat.

Total damage: $3.39 plus tax.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Snacks from Japan!

Udon by Lan
It's so fancy; look at all the extra stuff (other than noodles) it has!! So much cutting involved.

Lan came back from Japan with loot bags of stuff, including my very favourite snack in the world: msg crackers.
There was an orange package, and a red one, but I ate them at different times, so I'm not sure if they were different flavours or not. Crispy, puffy, and full of umami, of course, I ate these very quickly.

Also in the package was Japanese variety KitKats. 
Dark was nice. Slightly bitter, but it's what I like.

Not pictured are all the other snacks she brought back and were shared with us. The mochi balls were soft and awesome. 

Cheers to Lan for the imports! 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Ten Ren's Tea

Ten Ren's Tea (5095 Yonge Street)
(416) 229-1688

Pu-Erh Tea Beef Noodle
It was kind of salty, even for me. Many of the beef pieces were those weird parts I don't enjoy eating, like hard tendon, or lump of chewy fat. And maybe my memory is messing with me, but I thought that the noodles used to be green?

Chocolate Hokkaido Milk tea
Came with bubbles, which I never voluntarily order, so that's cool, I guess. Tasted like chocolate milk with tapioca bubbles.

Would I return? Uhmm... not sure. The beef pieces were definitely not enjoyable. Gone are the daily specials, and in their stead is a menu that I could not understand (not due to translation issues). There was a rice/noodle combo for $8.99 + two sides, and I still don't know what the two sides are, even after asking. The menu items in that section are awkwardly numbered, and it didn't really make any sense. The prices of the drinks range from about $6-9, which is a bit much. They're cheaper if you combine them with a meal, but still. This used to be the cheap Ten Ren location, but I guess everything has changed since my last visit. Maybe, I'll just have to stick to the highway 7 location, or you know, find a better place to go to.

Total damage: approximately $15.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Mei Nung Beef Noodle House

Mei Nung Beef Noodle House (3229 Highway 7 East, Markham)

Small beef noodles
Renée and I call this restaurant the beef noodle place, but it should really be called the stinky tofu place. The stench of that trademark dish is the first thing you'll notice when you walk in. If you can stomach the smell, the noodles are worth it. It's the only thing I ever order there. The broth is flavourful, the beef is tender, and the noodles are bouncy and plentiful. A small is enough to fill me up. The noodles are garnished with some pickled vegetables which add some sourness. Wholly satisfying. 

Would I return? Yes. The beef noodles have been consistent every time I visit, and they're delicious and reasonably priced. It is my go to place for beef noodles.

Total damage: under $10 for a bowl of small beef noodles.

Pretty sure I typed "beef noodles" way too many times here.

Banana Rum Soufflé

Banana rum soufflé by Jo and Jude.
The top was pouffy and exciting! The flavour was banana and rum! Delicious! 

This looked so epic from her oven pictures that I had to drive over and eat some. I may or may not have had three of them... 

Cheers to Jo and Jude for the yummy dessert that was actually more like dinner!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Pearl Diver

Pearl Diver (100 Adelaide Street East, Toronto)
Mon to Wed - Noon to Midnight
Thurs & Fri - Noon to 1 am
Sat - 4 pm to 1 am
Sun - 11 am to 12 am

Calamari ($9)
Crispy, well-seasoned, and included flecks of black and white sesame seeds. Sauce? I didn't really use it because well, I didn't really need it.

Oysters, plate three of three. 
We got the Thursday special which was 100 oysters for $100. Half were Fanny Bay and half were Malpeque. Because of the deal, they shuck them pretty much non-stop at the bar. Also appreciate the mini mound of freshly grated horseradish. 

Cured fish plate ($16)
As the plate was set down and explained, the octopus was presented as sturgeon, to which I raised an eyebrow but said nothing. He was unsure if he introduced the items correctly, and admitted as much, but the appearance of octopus is kind of distinctive. My friends didn't hear any of that anyway, as the restaurant is super loud. The mackerel was the most tasty for me, displaying a nice, smoky taste. The octopus was sort of whatever to me. The bread was warm, but in small supply. 

Fish & Chips ($18)
Yummy tartar sauce! Fish was crispy. Fries were shoestring, and very salty, even for me. I must have sodium deficiency, because somehow I couldn't stop eating them. Overall decent, but a little pricey for what it is. 

Mel also ordered the pearly chowder, which was quite hearty and chock full of chunks - in a good way. 

Would I return? Yes. The seafood bits are exciting. The service is good and friendly. Nothing tasted bland. The daily specials seem fun: mussel Mondays, Tuesday seafood circus, Thursday $100 for 100 oysters, and Sunday brunch. The only thing that was off for me was the volume of the noise, and the tall chairs we sat at. Two of the four of us wished looked for purse hooks under the tables, but those two also happened to be the bag ladies of the day. 

Calamari photo by Andrea. Oyster photo by Mel.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Ice Cream Break!

What would make black sesame ice cream better? Throw in chunks of cheesecake. Result: dessert gold.
Black sesame ice cream from Asian supermarket. Cheesecake from Loblaws (PC Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Cheesecake). So good.

Thursday, February 25, 2016


Sunday: 11:30 a.m. - 12 a.m.
Monday - Saturday: 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 a.m.
Fun cocktail list.

Corn Kaki-age
B seemed to love this a lot. I was a bit skeptical at first, but it's pretty cool. Crispy, corny, and more delicious than I expected it to be.

Sailor Moon Gone Wild ($10)
I don't see the connection to Sailor Moon... Mostly orange-flavoured, it was pretty tasty. I just wished it had less ice. I felt like I took 3-4 sips and the drink was done. It didn't seem like there was much liquid in the cup. Perhaps it was trapped by the ice.

Black sesame udon ($15)
Portion was good, beef was reasonable amount. Noodles were excellent. The udon had a nice bouncy chewiness to them. The black sesame made it feel a bit heavy, but overall it was a tasty dish. Also, it can be a bit splashy to eat. B tried it and thought it was spicy. I did not notice this.

B seemed to enjoy her creamy salmon udon. The salmon looked pretty soft, and she said it tasted poached. I tried a bit, and the sauce was reminiscent of the creamy rice cakes from Han Ba Tang.

Would I return? Yeah, I would. It's from the same owner as Han Ba Tang, which I also enjoyed. The actual udon noodles were pretty tasty and they have some unique sauces to serve them with. The corn thing was pretty good, too. I might be a little wary of the cocktails, as tasty as they sound, but there's also a decent selection of sake and beer to order. My one gripe with this visit was that as a server was pouring tea into my cup, half the liquid was going into the cup, and half was spilling onto the table. She didn't notice for a few seconds, and I'm not sure if she heard me or not when I gently pointed it out. It sounded like she acknowledged me since she stopped pouring? But she also walked away, and never returned to clean it up. It was a little weird. The other server was smiley and friendly enough. She also helped us identify the menu item from a picture on B's phone.

Total damage (post-tax, pre-tip): $48.59 for 2 udons, 1 cocktail, and 1 corn thingy. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hashi Izakaya

Hashi Izakaya (5582 Yonge Street, North York)

Before Hashi, this was Yuzu Izakaya, and before that, it was the green sign place with the best kim chi fried rice on the block.

To be honest, my trip to Hashi Izakaya was a while ago, and most of what I remember involved environment: very very dim, quite loud.

Upon uploading these pics, I realized there are red and blue bits around this roll. What are they??

Total damage: approximately $70-something for two people, including one Asahi Black. 

Would I return? I guess so. Prices were neither here nor there, depending on food item, and I think the quality of the food was pretty good. Plus, I'm kind of partial to anywhere that serves Asahi Black.

Pictures in focus by Andrea.