Back a very long while ago, I was talking to Onesan about these Japanese MSG crackers that I love to eat. I lamented about the peanuts that got in the way, and was only aware of one brand available in Canada that didn't have the peanuts. At the time, that brand could only be found in wasabi flavour. So she got this shipped from Japan:
Kaki no tane. Kaki is the snack (or means bird seed or something like that), and tane is peanuts. So kaki no tane is my jam, so to speak. They were MSG delicious! Major thanks to Onesan for this import.
Boilermaker. Yeah, I did. It's only Monday. Or maybe, because it's Monday...
Crown Royal and Sleeman's honey brown.
Honestly... I am not a huge fan of Crown Royal. I prefer my other whiskies... so I was trying to 'get rid' of it... by mixing it with beer. Turns out, whisky and beer is a thing - a thing called boilermaker. :)
Crispy, crunchy, deep-fried fish and chips done right. The original meal had two giant pieces of fish and way more fries. Malt vinegar on the table (regular white vinegar also available), and though the tartar sauce came in packets, this definitely hit the spot. There were two large chunks of fish, and crunchy fries that I ate with malt vinegar on the table. Portions are huge! It's kind of a no frills fish and chips deal. Worked for me. The staff was super friendly and accommodating. We wanted to eat there but in take-out boxes so that we could get back to work on time in case we didn't finish. We were given proper metal utensils and the staff was completely understanding.
Not so chubby halibut and chips with Sprite ($9.99)
The "not so chubby" small portions include one piece of fish, fries, and a pop/coffee/tea. This still filled me up, and it was a breath of fresh air for my day speaking with such enthusiastic and kind staff.
Would I return? Yes. The portions are incredibly generous, and the fried food is crispy. The fish and chips definitely satisfy my cravings. It's nothing fancy, and it doesn't pretend to be. I do wonder how their poutine and burgers are. The staff are beyond welcoming. the halibut tastes 'meatier' to me, and I think I might prefer the haddock... but that might just be a preference in type of fish. *shrug* I am no fish expert.
It has chunks! Ever since Chatime's taro milk tea became some grainy, sandy disappointment, I've been wanting some hot milk tea with chunks of taro. Sharetea delivers this. Sugar content is adjustable based on order.
Would I return? Probably, just not if I am in a rush. It took a while for someone to take our order. And when the order was placed, there was a lot of confusion. I'm not really sure what was going on as Viv and the Sharetea girl had a back and forth discussion in Mandarin for our order of two drinks. Regardless, I was satisfied with the drink itself. Chunks! :D
A new ramen place opened up on Yonge Street, and the first thing Jo noticed is that it is named after the uppercut move in Street Fighter. This was confirmed as we peered in from the windows; three paintings of Street Fighter characters in shadowy art style were hanging from the wall. On closer inspection, they are all holding ramen bowls.
Hakata Tonkatsu ramen ($9.80) with egg ($1.50)
I wasn't too crazy about the price, as this seems more expensive than the average ramen place (I think Ajisen runs from about $8-11). But it is slightly cheaper than Kinton (slightly further down on Yonge Street). The egg texture was awesome. The white part had this soft, silky tofu texture, and the yolk was creamy. It was perfectly soft-boiled; however, it was cold. After leaving it in the soup to heat up for a while, it tasted fine. The meat was great. It was fatty, but the fat in the chashu melted in my mouth. I don't usually like fatty meat, but it was kind of delicious. The noodles were thinner than what I'm used to, but they were bouncy and cooked to my liking. The soup base was okay, but it could've been more meaty flavoured. The amount of noodles seemed a bit scanty for the price, but it filled me up enough for a meal.
I think takoyaki was greened out of the menu.
There are four choices of ramen: Hakata tonkotsu, black tonkotsu, red hot tonkotsu, and chashu lover. They are all basically tonkotsu or variations of tonkotsu.
Would I return? Sure. Service was super prompt (which was way more than we could say for our recent experience at Mabu Station). We were greeted, seated, and given glasses of water almost immediately. I really liked the way the protein was cooked in my meal. I am very amused by the restaurant's name and decor. My only beef with the place is that it is on the more expensive side of ramen, and the soup base could use more flavour if that's the main base for all their ramen dishes.
I was taken to this Indian restaurant by Vivian and Bianca. I have limited experience in eating Indian food, but I think I generally liked it.
I ordered the lamb vindaloo (middle). We were warned that this was the spiciest item on the menu. One of us asked of they could tone it down a bit, and they acquiesced. It was still pretty spicy. Vivian insisted on butter chicken (left). She said it was the best in Toronto. I thought it was too sweet for my likings; I'm not sure if I don't like butter chicken, or if I don't like that butter chicken.
Apparently, this is a must, according to Vivian
We ordered some meat platter which was exciting in its variety. I think it also came with two of the three side bowls we had.
Also eaten was the pakora appetizer. It was crunchy and tasty.
Would I return? Yes. The food is good, and the prices are reasonable. There were leftovers from what we ordered since we were all full to the max. The only thing that some people might be wary of is the smell; the food smell is quite strong and it hits you like a hammer in the face when you walk in. I think I'd be interested in their buffet available daily from 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Total damage: I think it was less than $25 per person.
Mabu Station is a Taiwanese-style bubble tea place. Me and Jo just wanted something to snack on while waiting to go for lunch.
Mocha and popcorn chicken
The chicken was fresh, crispy, and salty. I like salty, so it was okay. The drink was okay, but nothing to rave about. All in all, our cravings were satisfied.
Would I return? Most of the things on the menu seemed a bit expensive for what they were, but I'm willing to give it a shot. Every time I walk past this location, there seems to be quite a bit of people in there. They greet most Asians in Mandarin, and do not seem to switch languages after English responses. Our server was nice enough, and he was deeply apologetic in a funny kind of way when he forgot to get our bill after we had asked for it.
Summer hours: 12:30 p.m. - 11 p.m. daily... I don't know what they're going to do in the winter. :/
This place sells gelato with Asian-inspired flavours.
Pandan (left) and whiskey green tea gelato.
I had a sample of the whiskey green tea and it definitely lived up to its name. The flavour came out very strong, and I liked it. The pandan flavour was also strong, but it was a bit too herbal-y tasting for me. I had no idea what pandan was, but apparently it's a plant. Its leaves are used to wrap some foods for cooking in Asian cuisines.
Total damage: $4 for a medium cup of up to two flavours.
Would I return? Yes. There are lots of other flavours that I want to try, including black sesame, durian, spicy mango, vanilla lotus, Vietnamese coffee, and milk tea coffee. They're friendly there, and you can get a punch card to keep going back. I've heard good things about the Vietnamese coffee flavour.