Sunday, January 30, 2011

Health Herb Harmony


Cashew nut paste with added black sesame filled glutinous rice balls (tong yune) 
 The extra tong yune was $2, and at $1 per ball it's a bit pricey. One of mine was leaking. The wrapping was a bit too thick for my liking. There was a bit of soup film covering the top of my dessert. The cashew nut paste itself was pretty satisfying. It was very nutty. 

Jo had the almond soup with sesame filled glutinous rice balls.
She was not pleased with the balls.

Would I return? Sure. I don't often seen the cashew nut paste thing in these Chinese dessert places. Also, their menu allows you to add a variety of things in the selected soup, e.g. mango slices, glutinous rice balls. The fresh soya bean jelly (I'd call it sweet tofu soup) looks exciting. I also remember liking their noodles on a previous visit long time ago... but it may have been under different ownership at the time. 

One thing to note is that they serve water, not tea. 

Also, you can get 10% off if you show your post-secondary student card.  

Total damage: $6.50 for my dessert.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Congee Time


Fried white radish cakes.
I liked how the outsides were crispy, and how there were miscellaneous pieces of shrimp and preserved vegetables in there. Though, I think there were only about 3 pieces of shrimp. We gobbled this one down pretty quickly.

Fried, salty, squid.
Mel thought it was underflavoured. I thought it was quite salty. The squid was pretty soft, but the outside could have been more crunchy. 

Would I return? Yes. I wouldn't mind trying their other dishes. It's like Congee Wong, but the quality of food seems better. This place was quite busy on a Friday night and we had to take a number for waiting, but it didn't take that long to get seats.

Total damage: $12-something for our two dishes.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1848 Chocolate

This lovely chocolate was sent to me from France.

1848 86% chocolate bar
It's very bitter and just faintly sweet - just like me.

The chocolate is very rich in cocoa, and it tastes a bit buttery. Overall, it's quite enjoyable, but maybe not to those who prefer their chocolate to be sweet and milky.

Just for fun, here's the nutritional table:

Thanks to Aurélie for the delectable import!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cho Won

Cho Won Family Restaurant (17 Drewry Avenue, North York, Ontario)

Complimentary appetizers.
The spicy white radishes tasted weirdly of citrus fruit flavour. The beans were harder than I'm used to.

Tofu chigae.
It was slightly spicy, but not really mouth burning. The pork pieces in it all had a large layer of fat on them, and they were a bit stiff as far as meat goes. The beef in Jess's soup was of similar texture.

Jon's pork bone soup looked a little more exciting. 

Their paper place mat made me think something along the lines of 'real estate agents by day, restaurant owners by night'. It's probably just advertising space.

They had a poster on the wall for this bottle of Jinro. It's now on my list of things to try.

Would I return? Sure. The prices are very reasonable, and I wouldn't mind getting the pork bone soup next time. There were also a lot of signs on the wall for specials, but they were written in Korean only. This place also offers the "secret Korean beer/soju specials" at the back of the menu - also written only in Korean.

Total damage: $8.

Monday, January 24, 2011



This is a Chinese-owned all you can eat Japanese food restaurant. We weren't really up for all you can eat, so we opted to order individual items à la carte. 

Golden shrimp
It's shrimp wrapped in thin noodles of sweet potato, then deep fried. I like the crunchiness of the fried part and the sauce. The idea is cool, but the shrimp tasted a bit too mushy for me. 

Beef and green onion roll.
I tried to bite into it, but the green onion just wouldn't be cut by my teeth. It's one of those foods that you just need to shove all in your mouth at one go. I think there was too much green onion. The enoki wrapped in pork was much better.

Salmon roe sushi.
It's one of my favourite types of sushi. It's salty on its own and requires no addition of soy sauce.

Mel and Josie's sashimi.
They said the salmon melted in their mouths. We were all impressed that they had scallop sashimi available.

Would I return? Yes. The selection seems pretty decent for an all-you-can-eat place and so does the quality. Plus, the servers are pretty nice (as opposed to the usual indifferent attitudes of other nearby AYCE restaurants). 

Total damage: $6.10 + tax + tip for my golden shrimp, been and green onion rolls, and salmon roe sushi.

Sunday, January 23, 2011



Margarita mix, limes, and salt.

It goes down like citrus juice. One glass made Jess red. It's a great drink to end the week with.

Thanks to Josie for supplying ingredients!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls (240 Queen Street West, Toronto)
Mon - Sat 11 AM - 1 PM
Sun 12 PM - 11 PM

Hazy Ambrosia ($4.99)
Martinis at $4.99 seemed like a good idea. All I could taste was coconut rum - not necessarily a bad thing. The shredded coconut on top looked like snow, which suited the outdoor weather well.

Tom Yum Kai soup ($5.49)
I must have missed the lemongrass that was supposed to be in there. This was quite spicy.

Beef Famous Pad Thai ($10.99)
This is actually only half of an order. I liked it. It had a decent mix of tofu, onions and beef.

Would I return? Yeah. The food is pretty good even if they try to encompass several different styles of Asian cuisine (and random dishes like steak) on one menu. The service was quite friendly and understanding for our large party. 

From now until February 17, 2011, you can save $5.00 off your dine-in bill when you spend over $25 before taxes (excluding brunch and alcoholic drinks) with this coupon:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Baldwin Palace

Baldwin Palace (1 Baldwin Street, Toronto)

Crispy beef and broccoli dish.
Thanks to Andrea for the picture!

This was the dish Felicia ordered last time we were here. This time, about seven of us ordered it remembering how good it looked before. I can say that I wasn't disappointed. The beef was crispy, and there was ample sauce to mix with the rice. At a price that's cheaper than most McDonald's combos, there's not much I can really complain about. With this lunch, I was full beyond dinner time. 

Would I return? Yes. It's fast, cheap, and the portions are large. And the beef was really crispy!

Total damage: $5.50 + tax + tip. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tracy Dessert

Tracy Dessert (3255 Highway 7 East, Markham, Ontario)

Mango tapioca dessert.

Fish paste stuffed peppers
The first one I ate was like eating fire! Jess and Josie thought they weren't that spicy. Then Josie had a second one, and tears were literally rolling down her face. The trick is to not let the seeds touch your tongue. 

Street style rice noodle rolls.

Would I return? Yes. It's a nice, casual place for Chinese desserts and snacks. The only thing I don't like about it is that they don't have chairs, only stools.

Total damage: can't remember, but definitely under $10 for my share.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Breakfast for Dinner

Apparently, someone had the idea of breakfast food for dinner. No one objected.

McCain Smiles
Look at how happy they are!

Omelettes by Mel.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011



Great Canadian burger.

It's thicker than their regular burgers. It still has the bouncy from frozen texture, but it's not bad for fast food. I prefer Harvey's burgers over most other fast food joints.

There's currently a promotion for a chance to win 4 Great Canadian Combos. It involves telling them what you like most about Harvey's burgers. Winners daily until February 28, 2011. If you're really hungry, I say go for it.

Total damage for my burger: free thanks to Sheila's coupon donation!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Richmond Court

Sizzling plate of mixed meats
This hodgepodge plate of random meat and fries was pretty cool. It's good value. Beef, pork, and chicken, and hot dogs cut like octopus too! The fries got soggy fast from the sauce. The deep fried chicken was good though. I appreciated that there were some vegetables on the plate too. This meal came with soup, a bun, and coconut ice cream to finish. 

One thing to note was that it was Christmas day. Very few restaurants are open on national holidays, but many Chinese establishments are exceptions. Another thing to note is that we were very hungry and kept ordering. They didn't always take empty plates away. and we had to resort to putting our dirty dishes on the adjacent table. Luckily this place wasn't that busy for Christmas lunch. 

Would I return? Yes. Food comes fast, in big portions, and at a student price. And yes, they have dim sum - with a small minimum charge per person, but that wasn't an issue for us. I just might even go here next Christmas.

Total damage: free for me thanks to Chris!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chingu Korean BBQ


Mon - Thurs 11:30 a.m - 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Fri - Sun 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m. - 1 a.m.

There are a lot of appetizers.

They have pork belly. It looks like super fatty bacon.

What's also nice is that on the all-you-can-eat menu, you can even get pork bone soup (and kimchi or miso soup)
The meat fell off the bone, and though it wasn't fancily decorated, I quite enjoyed it. There were little peppercorn(?) balls that gave it a bit of a kick.

There was a huge sign on the front window advertising Tiger beer, so we had to try it.
It went extremely well with the barbecued meat. As a drink on its own, I thought it was okay but nothing out of the ordinary. 

Red bean and green tea ice cream.
The ice cream was very milky. There were chunks of red bean in the ice cream (as opposed to having ground up bits in it).

Would I return? Yes. This place has changed quite a bit since I last went. For one, I think it's now Korean owned. The service is a lot better than the other nearby "Korean" BBQ joints. They change the grill for you quite often (we counted more than five times during our meal) so you don't get that carcinogenic black layer on your food. The servers checked up on us frequently, asking us if we wanted more items. They were friendly and efficient. 

I really like the way they marinate their beef. Oh, and they provide large chunks of lettuce so that you can make wraps. They also provide chopped seasoned lettuce that's supposed to also go inside the wrap. We thought it was a bit weird putting lettuce in lettuce, but altogether with the meat it tasted really good.

We didn't go for the deluxe column which was also all-you-can-eat and offered additional chef specialities such as dumplings and other items that I can't remember. I liked that they still had pork bone soup on the lower end AYCE column. 

It should be noted that a 15% gratuity is automatically charged if you order off the AYCE columns. I think that's fair because I noticed that one server was working extra hard, scraping our food onto a new grill each time she changed it. All that with a smile was pretty impressive.

Prices are more expensive during the weekend, but I think they're still reasonable for what you get.

Total damage: $18.99 for the all-you-can-eat and I don't remember how much the beer cost + tax + tip.
I think weekday price is $16.99. Deluxe menu is $3 more.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Jack Astor's

Jack Astor's (155 York Boulevard, Richmond Hill, Ontario)
Sun - Wed 11 a.m. - 1 a.m.
Thurs - Sat 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.
Chocolate caramel coffee with a kick
They forgot the cherry on top, but I don't like cherries so I was fine with that. I tasted the alcohol quite easily, and was pleased with the flavour. The caramel dripping over the side of the cup was unnoticeable in the actual drink. It wasn't bad, but it could have been bigger.

Pan bread
The outsides were crispy, the insides were soft, and the paper underneath had become almost see-through. It was pretty awesome.

Fresh-never-frozen chicken fingers
The breading was crispy. The chicken was edible, but slightly dry. I don't know why, but it tasted like the chicken was pre-boiled before they battered and deep-fried it. It sort of felt like homemade KFC chicken with less seasoning. It did, however, an ever so slight spicy tingle on my tongue. The fries needed salt. 

Andrew's burger
It was pretty funny watching Andrew shove that disgustingly tall burger in his mouth. He said it didn't seem like it was from frozen. 

Would I return? Yes, because I forgot to bring the $10 off coupon for it this time. Boo.

Total damage: $25 for my meal.