Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cafe Polonez


Agnes wanted to share some of her Polish culture with us so we went to this authentic Polish restaurant in the West end somewhat near Dundas West station.

Meat cutlets.
Crispy fried outside. Meaty interior. I approve. I also approve of the whack load of dill on the potatoes. Agnes said that her dad usually makes them with a bit more seasoning. I thought they still had enough taste though.

Viv's potato pancake with a side of pierogies looked a bit more exciting than my food.
I tried some of the potato pancake, and it was pretty good if a little greasy tasting. The dumplings tasted like Chinese dumplings on the outside, but the meat was more loose and shredded. 

Would I return? Yes. Agnes can vouch for the authenticity, and there were other interesting dishes at our table that I wouldn't mind trying next. Notably, the white borscht soup Ricardo ordered looked delicious, and the potato dumpling thingies looked pretty good too. 

Total damage: $18 for my meal and pop. 

Thanks to Agnes for showing me new food!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Random Home Cooked Meals

Pan-fried chicken breast with fried carrots, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and spinach. And noodles.
The meal would've been more cohesive if I had cut up the chicken, but I have this weird thing about touching raw meat - I try to avoid it at all costs. I probably should've used separate pans for the vegetables and the meat, but that would result in more pans to wash. I melted butter in a pan, threw in the chicken, threw in the mushrooms and onions, and followed with the other items. Noodles was a last minute idea because I thought I needed some carbs. I should have made rice, but that would take too much time. Chicken was cooked for about 6-7 minutes on each side. It was slightly dry, but not awful. I would have reduced the time, but I wanted to kill pathogens. 

My father bought me this steamer, so I decided to give it a try.

With so few buttons, it's pretty straight forward to use.

You can steam rice in it while you steam stuff on top too!

I oversteamed the fish and it came out hard and gross. Green beans would have been better boiled.

Soya sauce is my food band-aid.

I actually went to Walmart with the intention of buying two whole chickens for $12 as advertised in their flyer. I didn't find it, but this seemed like a reasonable alternative - not price-wise, but it came pre-seasoned!

The seasoning is super flavourful, and as I followed the instructions on the back of the packaging, the chicken was pretty perfectly cooked. Very moist. 

I basically ate that chicken for the rest of the week in different variations.

With penne!

It appears as though I eat a lot of chicken... I should go get some beef or something. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Izakaya Tsuki

What used to be Ehwa is now a Japanese izakaya

The restaurant is outfitted with dim lighting, red walls, and dark wooden tables. Mel said that they fixed the washrooms up from the last restaurant and they're no longer scary.

Cassis orange.
I enjoy seeing the colour difference. It lets me know just how much of my drink is juice and how much isn't. It was funny how the menu described this drink as a girlie drink without being explicit. And yes, it was very sweet, with almost no alcohol taste - like sweeter than normal orange juice.

Complimentary tofu.

Tuna tataki.
Win. I liked the ponzu jelly bits. Mel thought they were salty, but I think that they were a bit sweet. Jo noted a nutty taste to the white sauce. We thought this dish was pretty cool. I think I liked the sauce and jelly more than the actual fish though. 

There were seven balls, and they were nice and crispy on the outside with a large octopus chunk in each of them. The sauce was strong. Win.

Black cod.
It actually looked really soft. When I ate it, it had the sensation of melting in my mouth. The skin was crispy, and the fish was perfectly cooked. I think this was my favourite dish of the night. Super win.

Nagasaki chanpon.
The waitress suggested this one to us.

 I was pretty satisfied with it. There was enough seafood (and meat) in it, and the broth had lots of meat flavour. It was more filling than we had imagined. Mel found it a bit salty, but that didn't bother me.

BC herb grilled tuna. 
I liked the sauced up chunks on top (I think they were caramelized onions with stuff). I think I preferred the texture of this tuna over the tuna tataki for some reason. 

Spider roll.
They were out of the special roll (which wasn't really described on the menu), so we went for this. This was actually the only thing we were disappointed in. The roll was too loose, and there wasn't enough meat in the soft shell crab. I guess we had expected the same quality from this as we had received from the other dishes.

The restaurant divider in the middle is lined with empty alcohol bottles. 

Would I return? Yes! The food was super flavourful, and very satisfying. I'd give the rolls one more try before never ordering them again. The drink I had was tasty and they didn't add too much ice or skimp on the alcohol. Staff was friendly and helpful. And Japanese. That doesn't stop them from offering some Korean dishes on their menu. The only weird thing about this place was that they didn't have tea. Being an izakaya, I guess they were trying to push the alcohol.

Total damage: $34 (for my 1/3 of the food and my drink).

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Ground beef was on sale at the grocery store, so you know... meatballs. I used a combination of online recipes, not really following any one of them properly. They are here, here, and here.

These were the ones I fried because I couldn't fit anymore in the oven.

Some were more crispy than others. And by crispy, I might mean burnt.

Good idea: shoving a chunk of cheese in the middle while balling them.

It's meatball time!

I made way more than I could eat, so I made a makeshift sloppy joe the next day. 

Cho Won

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

Pork bone soup (kamja tang).
Last time I was here, Jon ordered this and the meat was sticking out of the bowl. This was not the case when I ordered it. Nevertheless, it wasn't bad. 

Would I return? Sure. 

Total damage: under $10. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Snowboarding Food 5

Knowing that I had a full day of snowboarding ahead, I went and got myself a ham and egg biscuit sandwich from Tim Horton's. Will and Simon looked shocked, then disgusted at my order. 
It's less greasy than the McBisuit at McDonald's, but I'm addicted to the sausage and egg at McDevil.

Brownies at Blue Mountain. 
These were actually pretty good. Dense, sweet, and a nice variety in a box. There's enough to share... or not. :P 

We finished the day off with some uptown Xe Lua pho (106-330 Highway 7 East, Richmond Hill, Ontario). 
The broth was full of oil bubbles of flavour. They're open late. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Meat and Potatoes

Andrea performing invasive garlic injection to the pot roast.

Yellow Tail rosé brought over by Andrea and Kevin.
Very strong strawberry flavour.

Meat, potatoes and corn.

Potatoes full of flavour: rosemary, oilive oil, and garlic.

A fine meal indeed. Andrea insisted on tzatziki with the potatoes.

With mushroom gravy: part mix, part fresh mushrooms and pan drippings.

Two of us voted for medium rare, and the other two were for rare. I think it was more medium than anything, but I was quite happy with the food nonetheless. 

Super thanks to Lorne for sharing the roast and super thanks to Andrea for doing most of the cooking as the rest of us just watched. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fancy Chinese Cuisine

Fancy Chinese Cuisine (7750 Kennedy Road, Markham, Ontario)

The tofu soup dessert came in a large bucket. It was incredibly soft, and almost texture-less. Sugar water is self-added. The lotus buns came out quite hot and fresh. I enjoyed those a lot. As for the other food, most items here look quite good. I was a fan of the shrimp stuff crab claws. The steamed fish could have been softer.

Would I return? Sure. There's a lot of Chinese dishes that I'm familiar with, and it's clear that they know how to make them. One thing to note is that they gave out green chopsticks to eat with, and brown ones as serving chopsticks. It felt like backwards land.

Total damage: free for me! Wee!