Thursday, November 27, 2014

Chubby's Fish N Chips

Chubby's Fish N Chips (2290 Islington Avenue, Etobicoke)
416-741-6200

Half of my haddock and chips lunch: 
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.



Friday, October 31, 2014

Sharetea

416-901-9988

Hot fresh taro milk tea ($4.60)
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 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sho Ryu Ken

Hakata Ramen Sho Ryu Ken (5321 Yonge Street)
(416) 733-3725

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. 

Chun-Li!


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. 




Sunday, October 19, 2014

Little India

416-205-9836

Hours of Operation:
Sun and Mon: 11:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Tues - Sat: 11:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.

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.

Garlic kulcha
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. 



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mabu Station

Mabu Station (5457 Yonge Street)
647-430-2175

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. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Innis & Gunn

Innis & Gunn

I think this might be my favourite brand of beer. For a while, the LCBO was selling the rum finish and irish whiskey finish flavours, so I decided to try them before they stopped selling it.


Whiskey finish: manly, woody, not as sweet. There's a strong flavour, and a slight coffee taste. It has the highest alcohol content of the three at 7.4% ABV. It's okay, but not my favourite.

Rum finish: less sweet and a bit more alcoholic tasting than original. I might prefer it to the original since it is less sweet.

Original: vanilla hint, goes down easy. It is the most sweet-tasting of the three, and has a lighter colour. 

As I was drinking all three bottles simultaneously, I thought they went great with Cheetos. :D

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Kekou Gelato

Kekou Gelato House (13 Baldwin Street, Toronto)
416-792-8858
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.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Jack Daniel's Lynchburg Lemonade


Love love love the old-timey feel of the bottle. Makes me want to drink it while holding a parasol, sitting in an old school, all-steel car. From the font and the ridges in the glass, it's a fun package that makes me think of summertime in a different era.
It tastes like lemonade. I tasted no alcohol, but the alcohol percentage is pretty standard (5% alc./vol) for this type of drink. Very tasty. 

Would I buy it again? Yes. Good taste, great packaging.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bannock

Bannock (401 Bay Street, Toronto)
416-861-6996

Bannock: It's sort of fancy, it's part of the Oliver & Bonacini restaurants group, and it's connected to The Bay.

Went here for Summerlicious (and also the roast duck poutine pizza).

From the Summerlicious menu: Smoked salmon and salt-baked beets. Split and sweet pea hummus, grapefruit, grenadine.
Come to think of it, I don't remember grapefruit in there. Otherwise, pretty tasty. 

From the Summerlicious menu: Dredgeman's fish pie. Pacific cod, scallops, shrimp, crème fraîche, tarragon.
This was a bit heavy for my likings. Too much creaminess inside. The salad on the side was more arugula leaves over creamy sauce, both of which I could've done without.

Roast duck poutine pizza
This is the real reason that I wanted to go to Bannock. It sounds so monstrous, and the size is quite monstrous. The crust is super thin and I didn't try to see if it held up under the weight of fries and curds. The duck was a bit on the dry side, but overall, this is my kind of monstrosity. 

From the Summerlicious menu: Cortland apple fritter. Maple and cider dulce de leche
It was a bit dry inside, and was sort of like a fancy, crispier Timbit. What turned me off it was the berry sauce that was not mentioned in the menu.

Overall, I think the most exciting dish for me was the roast duck poutine pizza. The smoked salmon beet salad was okay too, if not a little skimpy on the salmon. Those flavours came together well though. Not sure if the Summerlicious "deal" was worth it, but at $25 for three courses, it wasn't terrible.

Would I return? I might when I have insane starch cravings for poutine pizza. I might give their other menu items a shot too. 

Total damage: ($25 Summerlicious dinner + $16 poutine pizza + tax + tip)/2 + $4 for fresh passion fruit juice.

Cheers to Bianca for all the pics and for joining me on this food adventure!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hollywood Gelato

Hollywood Gelato (1640 Bayview Avenue, Toronto)
416-544-9829

$4 for a small cup (2 flavours).
Pear: the only gelato flavour worth getting in my eyes, so I got a double shot of that. Jo got the Rocky Rocher and pear in a waffle cone. It's gelato, and it's delicious. I could taste bits of pear in mine.