Monday, November 30, 2009

Burger Shoppe Quality Meats

The Ossington ($9): portobello mushroom, mayonnaise, mozzerella, lettuce, tomato, and balsamic reduction.
It tasted healthy, but not in a bad way. I don't think it was as juicy as the one from Craft burger. I liked the sourness of the balsamic reduction on the meat. Overall, it wasn't bad.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Keung's Delight

Keung's Delight (7030 Warden Avenue, Markham)

This place gets packed during the weekends. The three of us were left holding a piece of paper with a number for a short while.

Right when I sat down, I noticed a piece of rice sticking to my cup. That indicated that this is the type of place where one might want to wipe down all the utensils, bowls and plates before eating. That being said, the food is really cheap.

The wonton noodles and plain rice noodle rolls I ordered came out pretty quickly.
Everything else came a good ten to fifteen (or more) minutes later.

The wonton noodles were normal enough. The plain rice noodle rolls could've used more (thick) sauce. It was a bit weird to find a small pool of sauce-coloured water at the bottom of the bowl.

The Malaysian chicken wings that Chris ordered were pretty crispy. He thought that the sauce tasted weird, but I thought it was fine.

Andrew thought that they must have run out of bean sprouts because there were bits of cabbage instead in his Shanghai style fried noodles with beef.

Total damage: $10.

Happy Cafe & Steak House

Happy Cafe & Steak House (8392 Kennedy Road unit 6, Markham)

In the large plaza on Kennedy just south of Highway 7, there are Chinese restaurants abound. We decided to go for the one with the pleasant name.

The servers were surprisingly friendly. They even helped us with the daily specials that were only written in Chinese when they saw us struggling to read them. The specials come with soup, salad, main entree, drink, and dessert. I was delighted to find that the "extras" that came with the meal weren't half-assed like at some other establishments that offer similar deals.

Three soup choices were available: tomato vegetable, cream, and Chinese (vegetable, I think). I opted for the cream soup.
I have no idea as to what was actually in it, but I really liked it. It wasn't heavy, and it had an ever so slight sweetness to it. It was also really smooth.

The salad was a fruit salad, and we all seemed excited at the presence of dragon fruit. It's pretty much like tasteless kiwi, but I like it nonetheless.
Half a chicken in soy sauce with green onions and ginger. Served with rice.
I found this style of cooking the chicken to be pretty interesting and quite tasty. It's basically the same fixings normally served with Chinese steamed fish.

Ying yang tea:

The dessert was a type of sweet bean soup. It was sort of like red bean soup, but not really. I believe there were some potatoes in it too.

Overall, I thought it was a pretty good deal for what you get. Also, I'm not sure if I'd be able to find servers that nice in another restaurant that serves similar food.

Total damage: $14.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Summer's (101 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto)
(416) 944-2637
Off-season hours: 3 p.m. - 9 p.m. daily (unless "the weather is frightful", according to their twitter)

I'm glad they decided to update their website since last time I visited. Though the new site has been "coming soon" for a while.

Toronto pothole:
I think I still prefer the chocolate chip cookie dough the best.

On one visit, they were out of waffle cones, and I had to settle for a sugar cone. Needless to say, I was disappointed. I wondered how they ran out of waffle cones when they make them.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sushi Day

The filling options were cooked eel, egg, cucumber, fake crab meat, and orange caviar. Miso soup was also made.

Most of us just ate them like burritos because cutting them would require too much effort or make them look all messed up.

Jon, however, seems to have rolled and cut sushi before:

This was my first time:
Good times! Food is sometimes more satisfying when you make it yourself.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Big Mouth Kee

Big Mouth Kee (280 West Beaver Creek Road, Richmond Hill)

Hungry in the Richmond Hill area in the vampire hours? Go to Big Mouth Kee for some siu yeh.

Clams and Josie's Budweiser.
The sauce had a strong taste and we didn't want to waste it, so we ordered some white rice to soak it up. This was probably my favourite dish of the night.

X.O. sauce rice noodle rolls:
I feel like they could've had more sauce, but it was fine otherwise.

Salty deep-fried squid:
I thought filling up the plate with onion rings was unnecessary. Josie noted that they were cold. The actual squid pieces were hot and fresh.

Their logo is awesome:

Store hours:

It isn't fine cuisine and it doesn't pretend to be. The food is pretty cheap and plentiful. As a result, it's not uncommon to find the after clubbing crowd here.

Total damage: paid for by Josie. Yay!

Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons (Yorkdale)
Sausage breakfast sandwich:
The biscuit wasn't as crispy this time.

The utility derived from this thing is going down, down, down.

Total damage: $2-something.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dave and Buster's

Dave and Buster's (120 Interchange Way, Vaughan)
Sun - Wed: 11:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Thurs: 11:30 a.m. - midnight
Fri - Sat: 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.

With the Eat & Play Combo, one can have a meal and a $10 game card for $16.99.

I split a macaroni and cheese dish and a chicken caesar salad.
The mac and cheese looked better in the picture in the menu; however, what I was served wasn't bad. I liked the smoky bits of meat, and bacon makes everything taste better. The chicken in it was a bit dry, and there could have been more cheese. The size was decent and enough to fill up most people.

The lettuce in the salad tasted fresh, but some of the croutons were a bit mushy.

Cupcakes courtesy of Marianne (with help from Ian):
These golf-related cupcakes looked so cool! She used fondant to make the designs.

Oh Boy Burger Market Inc.

Oh Boy Burger Market (571 Queen Street West, Toronto)

Andrew read somewhere that this was rated the top "gourmet burger" joint in Toronto. Naturally, we had to check it out.

Spicy Boy Combo (includes a drink):
It wasn't really spicy so much as slightly tangy. Maybe the jalapeño was missing. The meat was thick and decent enough, but it wasn't dripping with meat juice like at Craft Burger. What was nice was the slightly crispy edges it had. Though the sauce was extra mild, I still liked how it paired with the beef.

I think the most noticeable difference in this burger from other burger joints was the bun. It was puffy and tasty. I believe it was from Ace Bakery.

The font on the music selection looks a lot like the one used for Wild Wings. Maybe they're all owned by the same company?

Andrew compared the fries to McDonald's fries. They're similar, but these ones were more brown and less salty.

Total damage: $13.56.

The Rebel House

The Rebel House (1068 Yonge Street, Toronto)
Mon - Fri: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 a.m.
Sat: 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 a.m.
Sun: 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.

On Saturdays, this casual joint is open for brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Thus, the window of opportunity for some grand portions of breakfast foods is quite wide.

My omelette of the day and a glass of orange juice:
The orange juice tastes store bought, but the glass jar with a handle that it comes in is pretty cool.

Berta's Rosedale melt:

I really enjoyed my omelette. It was huge, and all the vegetables in it mixed quite well together. The poached egg in Rosedale melt was cooked properly with runny yolk spilling out as it was cut. Berta and I both agreed that the slightly browned cheese on top of the egg was good. I found that the greens didn't quite agree with the rest of the melt though.

Berta said that she liked my omelette better than her Rosedale melt. I thought it was better too.

The kettle fries were abundant and some of mine were crispy. They were much better after adding salt. Lots of salt.

Vanilla cheesecake:
I found it less dense than most cheesecakes, but Berta thought it was pretty dense. The flavour was light, simple and pretty good. Berta thought the bottom crust was too sweet and didn't like the sauce very much. I didn't eat the crust because it was touching the red sauce that presumably contained berries or berry flavours. Neither of us really ate the whipped cream, but I think it was real whipped cream. Bonus points if it was.

Total damage: $21.

Ding Dong Pastries

Ding Dong Pastries (321 Spadina Avenue, Toronto)

Right in Chinatown, this Chinese bakery delivers some great cookies ($2.50).
The cookies were softer than they appeared, and they didn't taste greasy. The chocolate bit on top was a nice touch. In Jess's words, "they're not mega hard and not so mega soft so that your hands get greasy."
The two of us cleared this snack package easily with continuous cookie consumption.

Yummy cookies!

Bier Markt

Bier Markt (600 King Street West, Toronto)

The Wild Game Feastivül (Nov. 4- Dec. 6) was on at the Bier Markt, and me and Jess got sucked into the restaurant with the help of some strategically placed signs outside of the building.

Alberta bison carpaccio ($10):
The meat was sliced super thin. The taste was similar to beef carpaccio, but Jess noted that the taste was "softer". It wasn't gamey even though I expected it to be so. I enjoyed the texture of the meat as well as the peppery seasoning on the edges of the bison slices.

Éphémère apple beer ($5.87):
The apple flavour seemed pretty subtle to me. It wasn't as exciting as the apple flavoured beer that I had at Beer Bistro. While eating my dinner, I wished that I had ordered a dark ale.

Nunavit caribou osso bucco ($25):
The celeriac purée tasted like mashed potatoes with extra grainy texture. Jess really liked the vegetables, but she said that she'd prefer a properly cooked steak over the caribou. The meat fell apart really easily, but it wasn't that moist. It was okay at first, but a bit hard to eat after a while. I would've liked more sauce to counter the chewy dryness of the meat. The entree was quite large, and I didn't manage to finish my plate.

As Jess said, this is a great place to bring someone you might not want to talk to because it is really loud and packed with people. I suppose it would also be suitable for friends who talk too loudly for quiet restaurants.

From this experience, I don't think I am a big fan of eating wild game. Well, not caribou at least.

Wonton Noodles

These wontons were huge.
The only bad thing about this was that I bit into a piece of shrimp shell when I attempted to eat one of the wontons.

I have no idea which restaurant this came from. I saw it as it was placed on the kitchen counter.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Casa-Imperial Fine Chinese Cuisine Ltd.

Casa Imperial (4125 Steeles Avenue East, Scarborough)

This was my first time experiencing overpriced dim sum (and having to pay for it). It's an experience, but it's probably not something I could afford to do regularly. Also, the wait for a table was pretty long and finding parking involved waiting for people to leave the restaurant.

The shrimp dumplings in the bottom left corner are what they call "super har gow":
It's just like regular har gow, but a bit bigger. They weren't that special, but at least they weren't bad.

I forgot what was in those triangular pastries. The "salad" that came with the scallops were really just a couple of melon balls.
The congee we ordered was pretty good. The good thing about it was that the server actually took the time to remove all the clam shells at the table before serving it to us.
Apparently, these Shanghai style meat dumplings had crab in them. I had no idea.

The something something soup was very nice. It was quite smooth in texture, and it came in a fancy bowl. Unfortunately, that bowl was quite small.
The egg tarts had swallow's nest in them. I thought that was unnecessary, and I would've been fine with regular old egg tarts; however, my friends at the table noted that the swallow's nest added a smoother texture to the filling.
The most exciting dish for me was the de-boned chicken wings. There weren't that many on the plate, but I was pleased that the hard work had been taken care of for me.

The outside of Casa Imperial looks like a house.
Casey mentioned that the paintings and chandeliers juxtaposed with the giant Chinese character was like a fusion of Eastern and Western styles. I thought it was more like confusion.
We joked that they basically took a regular dim sum menu and added abalone and swallow's nest to everything.

Along with the prices, the teapots and menus are also upscale.

Tea charge? WHAT? I didn't know that existed.

Before arriving at the restaurant, I had estimated that the dishes would be approximately $5 per plate. It might have been slightly higher than that.

Total damage: $26 per person.

To add some perspective, I usually spend no more than $20 on dim sum and I average around $10-15. The upper bound is usually reached when I go with big eaters who are hungry.