Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Phoenix Restaurant


Satay beef sandwich
I just wanted a light snack instead of a full second dinner. Jo and Renée laughed at me when I ordered it. Jo said it sounded like something I would make. Maybe that's why I liked it. It tastes like... meat that belongs on rice but is stuck between two pieces of white bread. Works for me! Beef was flavourful (not necessarily very satay) and not overcooked.

Jo ordered a way fancier course meal:
It started with a warm, toasted, buttered to the max mini croissant and spinach soup. Jo pointed out the fancy sprinkling of herbs that we wouldn't have expected from a place like this.

Next was the escargots that came on puffs of mashed potato. I'm pretty sure they were from a can, but at least they were full of garlic flavour. 

Jo's main course was fried chicken Japanese style.
That chicken was good. And there was so much. Jo kept cutting pieces and shoving it at my plate. 

Dessert was also more than expected. The presentation was nice, and Jo and I both thought she'd simply get a bowl of ice cream. The middle ball is a frozen cream puff. The cube on the right is frozen cheesecake. It was a little too frozen to eat immediately.

Would I return? Sure. Where else can I get things like satay beef sandwich? Their milk tea is also decent. Their thick toasts also look pretty exciting as I saw one go by us.

Total damage: $7 for my milk tea and sandwich. Jo's meal was something like $16 + tax + tip.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Me and Amanda's joint birthday cake! (Because we both have sucky birth dates!)
Made by Bianca because she is awesome. It was a marble cheesecake (so fancy!), I believe, with dark chocolate. The bottom was made of graham cracker. It was very impressive and professional looking!

There were two waffle As on top, but I forgot to take a picture before Amanda and I both took them.

Yay for yummy cake and friends to eat it with! Major props to Bianca for crafting it!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Lead Free Eggs

Kuang Yu preserved duck eggs...
Note that it says "lead free" in the top right hand corner. Does this mean that the other brands have lead in them? I didn't buy this, but I guess if I were looking for preserved duck eggs, I would get the lead free kind.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Leslie Cafe

Leslie Cafe (140 Ravel Road, Toronto, Ontario)

Renée wanted some cheapo morning congee. Before 11:30 a.m. (I think... can't remember if it was 11:30 or 12:30) on a weekday, this place has some pretty cheap combos. 

Combos come with a drink, and I almost always get milk tea nowadays.

Rice noodle rolls and fried dough sticks.

Renée's meal.

Would I return? Yes. Food is super cheap and student friendly. It's not gourmet, but you get what you pay for. Congee is super plain (I don't even think there was msg), fried dough sticks aren't super fresh, and rice noodle rolls could've used some sauce. But you know... cheap and filling. It can be satisfying in the morning, and it was good enough for me. I'm pretty sure Renée and I could've split one combo as neither of us could finish our meals. That would have been ridiculously cheap.

Total damage: $4.50

Saturday, December 17, 2011

12 o'lunch


Normally, you go up to the front to order before you take a seat; however, we were a large group that made reservations and they were kind enough to accommodate us and take our orders from the table.

The decor has got the inside looking like outside thing going on.

I got the Buffalo Grilled ($8.41).
Chicken was spicy and very flavourful. It wasn't dried out, which is always a good thing. There was a small mound of jap chae. Looking over at someone else's bulgogi beef order, I felt slightly better about my serving of chicken. Rice could have been fluffier, but it was acceptable.

Would I return? I wouldn't mind. Nothing really blew me away, but nothing was terribly off. I'd say it's a good place for relatively quick Korean food outside of Koreatown. Portions are a little smaller than what I'm used to, but that might've been because it was lunch time. Lunch prices are about average. Service is accommodating. 

Friday, December 16, 2011


Ichiban Sushi (262 Queens Quay West, Toronto)

Kirin beer
This visit was back when I was still trying to find Asahi Black again. The server did not know such a beer existed (sad face). So then I went with Kirin. I wanted to try it since the last Kirin I had was skunky and gross. It wasn't bad. I'm going to have to have a day where I sample all the popular Japanese beers in a row so I know which one I like best. 

Random mini noodle soup thing!
Tastes like umami. 

No tomatoes in salad, but they do have the dressing I've come to expect and like in sushi restaurants.

The tempura that came with my tempura udon was crispy and quite flaky.

Udon noodles were very filling. That was a pretty big bowl, even for me.

Would I return? I don't have a reason not to. Can't really complain about the food, but it's hard to mess up udon and shrimp tempura. Heck, it's hard to mess up anything deep-fried. Was a little disappointed that our server didn't know that Asahi Black existed, but at least she knows now. There are many other locations that would make this a convenient place for sushi/udon cravings. Price is about average.

Total damage: approximately $20 for Kirin + tempura udon.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Beer Bottles

Wow, this blog has been sort of World of Neglect recently... food stuffs to come!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I could have sworn that I posted about this place before (and how its parking looks complicated and how Jo thought the apple tart looked awesome), but I can't seem to find the post... [Edit: found it.]

Pistachio cheesecake ($4.99)
It's simply decorated with chocolate sauce. It wasn't as pistachio-y as I thought it'd be, but the cheesecake was good consistency. Jo and Renée couldn't taste the pistachio at all, but they thought it was a good cheesecake.

Hazelnut mousse cake ($4.99)
This cake was way more exciting. The candied nutty sides were fancy and delicious. The mousse wasn't too heavy or sweet. There were two layers inside. The little chocolate slice on top has the name Rahier.

Would I return? Yes. This place feels very clean and comfortable with high ceilings. The staff is super polite. Most of the cakes look really fancy. The only thing is that Jo found their coffee tasteless. I can't remember which cake I had on my last visit, but I remember liking that one too. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cha Time

Chatime (132 Dundas Street West, Toronto)

Mon - Wed 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Thurs - Sun 11 a.m. - midnight

On Monique's recommendation, we went for some bubble tea at this Taiwanese joint on Dundas West.

Regular taro milk tea with less ice.
(Pic by Derek)
I'm not usually a fan of bubble tea, mainly because I'm not a fan of bubbles. Also, it is usually overpriced. I have to admit, though, that the taro in this drink was pretty good. It was the best taro milk tea that I've ever had - not that I've had that many, but still. The taro was real and in soft chunks throughout the drink. I feel like real taro chunks in milk tea is a rare find. I like that you can ask for less/no sugar and less/no ice. 

Would I return? Yeah. I can see myself randomly craving that taro. Word on the street is that it's imported from Taiwan. From now until Sunday, there's a promotion to upgrade any Chatime Special Mix drink from regular to large for free. 

Total damage: approximately $5.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Oh Geul Boh Geul

(416) 733-3385 ‎

Most people who are familiar with the area know of the Korean restaurant The Owl of Minerva. But Monique wanted to try this other Korean place that was two doors down.

Menu sampling

Potato pancake on the house. 
I like these. They're a bit chewy, and I tend to eat them with soy sauce.

There were 7 of us and we had just finished eating deep-fried mac and cheese (see future post), and we joked that we could've had the complimentary sides as dinner. They gave us two sets. 

Viv's soon tofu.

Towards the end of the meal, one side of our long table had barely dented their sides.

Our side pretty much cleared them. :)

I actually forgot to take pictures of the food I actually ordered (food blog fail!). I shared a type of soon tofu ($6.85) and dumplings ($9) with Bianca. The dumplings were quite crispy, but a little miniature and a bit overpriced. The soon tofu was okay, and had random chunks of seafood. I think I prefer the soup from Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu

Would I return? Sure. The food was okay, prices are affordable, the sides are plentiful, and it's a good back-up plan if the Owl is full. The staff is pretty nice for a restaurant in this area. Oh yeah, and their rice is purple. It's unfortunate that Liz ordered the Korean beef soup dish that tastes like water. I wouldn't call it a bad mark on the restaurant, as I've had that dish at Nak Won before. I think that's how it's supposed to taste - like water. The beef is always hard and tough too. I should find out what that is called in Korean and avoid it in the future.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Man Doo Hyang

Man Doo Hyang


I've raved about this place several times before, and it's no surprise that I recently went to eat what I thought would be the same comforting food that I've consistently had there. 

The complimentary sides and dumplings were there.

Noodles and kimchi dumplings.
The noodles were pretty much the same as before, but the broth was different. Jo, Renée and I all noticed a change in the broth. Jo said it tasted like MSG, Renée said it was more watered down, and I felt like it was lacking the meat infused taste that it used to have. It's not as turbid with flavour as it used to be.

Would I return? I probably would, but I must say that I was a bit disappointed. From my first visit there, the beer prices have gone up, and the quality of the soup broth has gone down. I'd go again hoping that their stuff would go back to the way it was before. 

Total damage: $10.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rol San

Rol San (323 Spadina Avenue, Toronto)

In Chinatown, there are two dim sum places that are right across the street from each other. One is said to be rather mediocre, so naturally we went to the other one for some all day dim sum. On a weekday morning, it was just us and some elderly Chinese folk. Derek had been there before, but me and Monique had low expectations for Chinatown dim sum. I'm more a fan of that strip of Chinese restaurants on highway 7 sometimes called Chinatown North. They seem slightly cleaner and the food seems to be of higher quality. 

Some har gow (steamed shrimp dumpling) and har cheung (shrimp rice noodle roll).
They weren't bad! The shrimp were pretty large. The skin on the har gow was a bit thick, but it was edible.

Fried octopus and siu mai.

There were three of these fried radish block thingies before I took the pic.
It could've used a little more fried outside, but I liked 'em. 

Chicken feet.

Black sesame balls and milk egg tarts.
The sesame balls were really hot and fresh. We all quite enjoyed them, though I know that Jo would complain about how thick the outer shell was.

Taro spring rolls. Monique was trying to order something else, but this came out. 
That was kind of new to me. It was okay, but the taro would've gone better with the flakier stuff that Monique was attempting to order.

Would I return? Yeah. With my aforementioned low expectations, I was pleasantly surprised by how edible everything was. Some stuff was even good! I like how they even had the authentic dim sum standard white plastic table cloth. Since their dim sum is offered all day, I wouldn't have to wake up early to get it. That's a win to me! However, if given the choice between Rol San and uptown dim sum, I'd pick uptown. But you know... it's still okay for downtown dim sum.

Total damage: $14 per person. Three is a good number of people for dim sum because most of the food comes in portions of three or four. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Random Food Time!

Bean soup. I've made variations of this, and it tastes better with tomatoes or something tomato-based. It also tastes better with some sort of meat in it... I would've put in some real meat, but all I had were hot dogs. I'm really just throwing whatever is in my cupboards and fridge into a pot and cooking for a few hours.

 Soft-to-hard-boiled egg with soy sauce and cayenne pepper.
Sometimes I get weird cravings...

Fried rice... just like my bean soup - throw everything I have into a pan and fry.

I used chicken stock for this bean soup, but maybe (real) beef would've been better.

I tried making apple pie with some shredded cheddar cheese in the crust. I didn't have a rolling pin, so I got creative. I used this recipe and added cheese.

 It turned out rather bland. I forgot to add sugar to the crust. Must add sugar. Lots and lots of sugar. Then  it might taste cool with the cheese.
Also, the shredded cheese made it look like a face with acne. :|

More fried rice. I threw some cheese in there too, and it became tastier.

Hello Kitty pasta. All the fun character ones use whole grain pasta now.

Yet more fried rice with cheese. Seriously, cheese makes everything better.

This was one of my earlier bean soup attempts. Sometimes I throw some frozen fish in there too for fun. 

More attempts at mac and cheese.