Saturday, December 16, 2017

Tabule (Riverside)

Restaurant: Tabule
Address: 810 Queen St. E
Operating Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30 AM - 10:30 PM, Fri 11:30 AM - 11 PM, Sat 12-11 PM, Sun 12-10 PM
Phone: 416-465-2500
Website: www.tabule.ca


Menu

From Beirut with Passion, $11


Sampler Platter with Babaganuj, Tabule, and Labni, $14


Garlic Tomato, $7.50


Lamb, $18.95



Review

My friend treated me to Tabule (Riverside location) for my birthday. It's her favourite Middle Eastern restaurant in Toronto and she always raves about it. Since I've never been to any of Tabule's locations (the other ones are in Midtown and Bayview), I was up to see why my friend loves it so much.

We both started off the meal with From Beirut with Passion. This is a great cocktail for fans of sweet and fruity drinks. We decided to share a couple of appetizers. The Sampler Platter is perfect if you want to try three of the four Mezze Cold dishes. If you go for a full size dish, it might be a bit heavy on the stomach if you decide on something like Hummus or Babaganuj. Between my friend and I, the two appetizers and one entree each was quite filling. One appetizer is enough to share between two people since your main dish would be quite big.

I was not wowed by my experience but I enjoyed the food and atmosphere. They have big windows so during the day it's lovely to have lunch there. The Tabule Riverside location is also perfect for families in the area that are craving some Middle Eastern food in a nice sit-down restaurant. Tabule Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, November 26, 2017

[Event] Toronto's Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown 2017


Event: Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown
Location: The Fermenting Cellar
Date: November 14, 2017
Website: https://www.vanaqua.org/experience/events/annual-and-upcoming-events/ocean-wise-seafood-chowder-chowdown/toronto


On November 14th, 2017, the annual Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Chowdown was held in the Distillery District. 14 Toronto chefs brought out their best chowders for judging. Chefs Joey Gray and Chris Torgis from Bruce Wine Bar were selected as 2017 Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Chowdown Champions. Which was exciting because I voted for them out of the 14 chowders I've tried. The actual winner of the People's Choice Award instead went to Charlotte Langley from Scout Canning. 


If you love chowder, then this is the event for you! You get an unlimited number of chowders and alcoholic beverages from companies including Walter's, Georgian Bay Spirit Co., and more. You will be full before you hit your 14th chowder because I sure did. I actually ended up discovering Georgian Bay's Vodka Smash and Gin Smash at this event. I quite enjoyed both drinks! If you don't like the strong alcoholic taste in your drinks but prefer fruity cocktails or mixed drinks, then I highly recommend checking out Georgian Bay Spirit Co. It's a refreshing drink that you can have during the summer or after a long day of work.

Definitely come out and check the event next year if you haven't been to one already! I forgot how great it was when I first went two years ago but this year totally killed it!









Sunday, November 19, 2017

Chez's Restaurant


Restaurant: Chez's Restaurant
Address: 588 College St.
Phone: 416-792-1550
Operating Hours: Mon-Thurs 5-11 PM, Fri-Sat 5 PM - 1 AM, Sun CLOSED
Website: www.chezsrestaurant.com


Interior








Menu


Scallops, $19.50


Cauliflower Salad, $16


Rum and Eggnog, $14



Review

Chez's Restaurant is created by Mike Bradshaw that was inspired by his experience as a chef in Europe for a decade. He worked at two Michelin-starred restaurants and decided to bring a French bistro with European influence to Toronto.

I had the pleasure of trying two of the appetizers, which were the Scallops and Cauliflower Salad. My favourite out of the two was definitely the Scallops. The tarragon jus added a sweet and tangy flavour to the scallops. The Cauliflower Salad was okay, but it didn't stand out and I would not order it again. The Rum and Eggnog is a delightful drink for anyone who's feeling festive this winter. I found the 1 oz. rum portion to be a lot stronger in taste than I expected. However, it's perfect for anyone who is a fan of rum and eggnog!

Ingredients are always made fresh and kept no longer than two days. Mike tries to keep waste to a minimum by only buying required ingredients for the day and if he runs out, the menu item would not be available for order. On top of that, Chez's Restaurant gives back to local communities by donating to non-profit organizations, including Covenant House. Mike provides full meals for those in need or donate leftover ingredients.

Chez's Restaurant has a higher-end pricing but the menu is not permanent and changes out seasonally. There will be a Christmas menu released during the first week of December. You can either choose between an a la carte menu or a prix fixe menu for the upcoming holidays.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Ricarda's - Summerlicious 2017 Edition

Restaurant: Ricarda's
Address: 134 Peter St. 
Phone: 416-304-9134
Operating Hours: Mon-Wed 7 AM - 10 PM, Thurs-Fri 7 AM - 10:30 PM, Sat 9 AM - 10:30 PM, Sun 11 AM - 3 PM


Interior







Summerlicious 2017 Menu


Ricarda's Quiche


Pan-Seared Red Snapper


Tiramisu



Review

This past summer, I tried Ricarda's for the first time for Summerlicious. The lunch menu was $23 plus taxes for their three-course meal. I had the Ricarda's Quiche, Pan-Seared Red Snapper, and Tiramisu. I enjoyed my Summerlicious meal thoroughly, and after looking at Ricarda's regular menu, this was quite a steal! The three course meal was not overly filling and hit that sweet spot of contentment. The restaurant's atmosphere is lovely, perfect for a weekend brunch or an evening dinner date. I definitely recommend checking out Ricarda's if you are looking for a slightly higher-end restaurant downtown for a date or other special occasion. If you find that it's out of your budget, definitely try it for Winterlicious or Summerlicious! Ricardas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, October 21, 2017

[Event] Eat to the Beat 2017


Event: Eat to the Beat
Location: Roy Thomson Hall
Date: October 17, 2017
Website: www.eattothebeat.ca

This past Tuesday, Eat to the Beat returns in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Society. 60 female chefs came together to serve delicious bite-size pieces from their restaurants and businesses. Hundreds of people got to try dishes from restaurants including: Hooked, Mildred's Temple Kitchen, and Tutti Matti. Popular bakeries such as Dufflet Pastries and Roselle Desserts were also present with an array of baked goods and sweets.

As always, I was unable to try it all because I was stuffed by the end of the night. Eat to the Beat was an absolute delight and I look forward to it again next year! Check out the slideshow below to see what was offered at the event and hopefully that will convince you to go in the future!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

[Upcoming Event] Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown 2017


Join us at The Fermenting Cellar to try an array of original chowders and local beers on November 14th, 2017! You can cast your vote for the winner of the 2017 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown Champion: Toronto at the event and fill your tummy with hot chowder. All ticket proceeds will go to Ocean Wise sustainable seafood program

Tickets are $60 plus HST and can be purchased by clicking here. If you'd like to learn more about the event or check it out in other cities, please visit the website by clicking here.

Photo by: Shane Oosterhoff

Saturday, September 30, 2017

[Upcoming Event] Eat to the Beat 2017

Toronto’s must-attend culinary event and fundraiser Eat to the Beat presented by KitchenAid is a signature event of the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) celebrates its 22nd year on Tuesday, October 17 from 7pm – 10pm at Roy Thomson Hall (60 Simcoe Street). It is the only event in Canada that exclusively features 60 female chefs supporting women through the challenges that come with a breast cancer diagnosis. General Admission Tickets are $189 and include all food and beverages (a tax receipt will be issued for the maximum allowable amount). For tickets or to see the line-up of chefs and beverage participants, please visit www.eattothebeat.ca.

I've attended ETTB in 2015 and 2016; each time was a blast! I'm excited to cover the event again for 2017 and for anyone who hasn't been yet should go. Come hungry and leave happy knowing your belly is full with delicious food and you were a part of a fantastic charity.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Si Lom

Restaurant: Si Lom
Address: 534 Church St.
Phone: 416-515-0888
Operating Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 AM - 10 PM, Fri 11 AM - 11 PM, Sat 12 - 11 PM, Sun 12 - 10 PM
Website: www.silom.ca


Menu




Review

Si Lom is a Thai restaurant in the Village named after the popular district and road in Bangkok. It has an array of your typical Thai dishes, such as pad thai and curry. However, Si Lom is known for their fun cocktail buckets. These drinks are meant for sharing but can easily be consumed by one person as well. I first ordered the Si Lom Road to share, which was a pretty light and delicious drink. My friend  then decided to order the Jolly Bear & Friends Kamikaze. It honestly tasted quite similar to Si Lom Road, minus the gummy bears. I don't suggest ordering both at the same time because it's like buying the same drink twice.

For my meal, I ordered the Pad Thai Chicken dish and loved it! It's definitely on par with Pai's Pad Thai (a restaurant I always recommend to everyone). The restaurant is overall very nice and is perfect for lunch or dinner with friends and family. I think it might be one of my new favourite Thai restaurants!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Saving Grace


Restaurant: Saving Grace
Address: 907 Dundas St. W
Phone: 416-703-7368
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri 9 AM - 2:30 PM, Sat-Sun 10 AM - 2:30 PM
Website: N/A


Interior



Menu



My Review

My cousin and I finally went to Saving Grace, a popular brunch place in Trinity Bellwoods. The place was packed when we arrived on a Saturday morning. I put my name down on a clipboard list of everyone who was waiting in line. We ended up waiting for around 75 minutes in order to get in. It was probably the longest I've ever waited for brunch.

Despite the long wait, the food and price was worth it. There's a standard menu and a chalkboard of their daily specials. I went for one of the specials of the day, which was the frittata. For only $12, I had a hearty brunch. I was satisfied and happy to have finally found a brunch place that was reasonably priced with a good amount of food.

If you live in Trinity Bellwoods, I highly recommend you go to Saving Grace if you haven't yet. It's a very quaint and small place (thus the long line ups) that's perfect for breakfast/brunch any day when you want to be by yourself or with a friend. I do not recommend coming in with more than 3 other friends due to the space. Saving Grace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fonda Lola

Restaurant: Fonda Lola
Address: 942 Queen St. W
Phone: 647-706-9105
Operating Hours: Mon Closed; Tues-Fri 12-2 PM, 6-9 PM; Sat 11 AM - 3:30 PM, 6-11 PM; Sun 11 AM - 3:30 PM, 5-8 PM
Website: N/A


Interior



Menu




Review

Fonda Lola is a Mexican restaurant by Trinity Bellwoods that serves a variety of tacos and magaritas. I had the pleasure of trying some of their menu items while sitting at their back patio on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. The manager recommended a couple of their best-selling items, which were the Candied Jalapeno Bacon and the Baja Fish Taco. I ended up loving both of those items! The Candied Jalapeno Bacon has a spicy kick to it, but is still manageable for people who usually avoid spicy food. I thought the Baja Fish Taco was absolutely delicious. It has a great combination of flavours that melts into your mouth. The other taco I tried was the Tacos al Pastor. I say to pass on these. The pork was not very tender and the pineapple did not make for a great combination.

I ordered one of their margaritas, the Guadalupe. It was alright, I wasn't completely wowed by the drink as it was a bit more sour than sweet. I did try the Horchata for the first time and loved it. It's non-alcoholic as well! It's a light and naturally sweet drink. I learnt that people would drink horchatas to clean their palate while eating. I highly recommend drinking this if you order some spicy food!

Fonda Lola has a great array of food, which some are hits and others are misses. The downfall is probably their price point. The portions are smaller and best if you want to eat something light to share but don't mind spending a little bit more on. Fonda Lola Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

[Event] Taste of Toronto 2017


Event: Taste of Toronto
Date(s): Garrison Common at Fort York
Location: June 15-18, 2017
Website: toronto.tastefestivals.com

I had the pleasure of going to the Taste of Toronto last month. Filled with vendors, food events, and delicious eats, Taste of Toronto is a great event for all foodies alike! There were plenty of samples to try and you get exposed to new and familiar brands. I got to cook in one of the Metro Master Classes with Ted Corrado from The Drake. These cooking classes are free to sign up and I suggest everyone to try one if they go. You should definitely check out Taste of Toronto next year if you missed this year!

Monday, June 19, 2017

[Event] The Stop's Night Market 2017


Event: The Stop's Night Market
Location: 181 Sterling Rd.
Dates: June 13-14, 2017
Website: www.nightmarket.thestop.org

The Stop's Night Market is one of the most anticipated charity events that happens annually. For $100 a ticket, you get unlimited drinks and food from restaurants such as Momofuku, Kanpai Snack Bar, Oyster Boy, and much more. This is a fundraiser for a variety of The Stop's community services, such as the food bank and community kitchen. For a few hours of delicious food and amazing music, this is a fantastic event to try out if you are a huge foodie.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tinuno

Restaurant: Tinuno
Address: 31 Howard St.
Phone: 647-343-9294
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun 9 AM - 9 PM
Website: www.tinunorestaurant.com


Review


My Order: Kamayan Feast, $15/person

Excited by StyleDemocracy's blog post, a foodie friend and I decided to catch up over this highly-anticipated Kamayan feast at Tinuno. For $15 per person, you get an array of seafood, eggplant, and pork on top of jasmine rice (all placed on top of a banana leaf) with a side of mango salad. As exciting as it was to try a Kamayan feast for the first time, the experience we had fell below our expectations.

Before going, you have to make a reservation for the Kamayan feast. So we reserved a couple of days prior and came on time. Despite having a reservation, we waited for 40 minutes for our meal. Everyone that came after us were brought their Kamayan feast right away. While waiting at our window seats, we were surrounded by 4-5 fully-grown flies. We tried to move seats but unfortunately all the other tables were reserved. One of the employees swatted the flies that were beside me but it was not great knowing that there were a couple still buzzing around. It had us questioning how hygienic the restaurant was. On top of that, food that fell on the floor at the table beside us were not swept up since we arrived until after we got our meal and the mismatched chairs in the cramp space definitely left an unfavourable first impression.

When the food finally came out, our server realized she had forgotten our mango salad. Which would have been fine, if it wasn't for the fact that everyone who were seated after us got their mango salad as an appetizer before the feast came out. We were also not given water, utensils, and napkins. We had to wait for a few minutes while munching away on the pork skewers before we could properly eat our meal.

Overall, the experience at Tinuno had my friend and I leaving in disappointment. The food was good, though I felt that it was a bit cold when it finally came out. We didn't understand why we waited as long as we did for our food, whilst other customers that came later got theirs within a reasonable time and fresh off the pan. If one aspect of the experience was below expectations, that wouldn't have been so bad. However with the accumulation of: long wait, multiple flies at our table, forgetting our mango salad, utensils, napkins, water, and unkempt restaurant, I rate Tinuno lower than I would for overall dining expectations. Tinuno Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, April 24, 2017

Livelihood Cafe


Cafe: Livelihood Cafe
Address: 254 Augusta Ave.
Phone: N/A
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30 AM - 7 PM, Sat-Sun 10 AM - 7 PM
Website: www.livelihoodproject.org


Interior




Menu


Drinks - Soy/Almond/Lactose-Free Options?: Yes to all three, coconut milk available for lactose-free option: $0.35
- Flavour Shot: $0.50
- Extra 'Spro Shot: $1
- Iced: $0.35
- Misto: $0.50
- Coffee beans from Planet Beans and Rufino Coffee

Food - Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free Options?: Vegan and gluten-free cookies, vegetarian sandwiches available
- Baked goods are from La Bamboche



Review

Livelihood Cafe is part of a non-profit organization called the Livelihood Project. This organization help refugees develop transferable work skills and re-train people who have lost their jobs to automation. Livelihood Project also teaches digital skills to help people familiarize themselves with the constant changes in the digital world. They hire refugees from Syria, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia to work at Livelihood Cafe. However, they are not just hiring people who are looking for a job. The organization is currently looking for the next leaders to guide their own communities in the future. Livelihood Project aims to give these refugees experience and knowledge to empower others. They want people who are passionate and inspired to make changes within the Toronto refugee community.

The Livelihood Cafe itself is located in the middle of Kensington Market. It acts as a training and meeting space for the public and headquarter for the organization's operations. It allows other non-profit organizations to come and work at the cafe as well. This is also a good space with WiFi to get your own work done if you live within the area.

If you are someone from Syria, Ethiopia, Sudan or Somalia that makes traditional baked goods from your home country, Livelihood Cafe is interested in selling your treats. If you would like to reach out to them, please visit their website.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hidden Burger

Restaurant: Hidden Burger
Address: 22 Front St. W
Phone: 416-362-7585
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri 11 AM - 7 PM, Sat - Sun CLOSED


Interior



Menu



Review


My Order: Veggie Burger & SecretBurger Combination

I was invited by Hidden Burger's chef, Morgan, to review this burger joint near Union station. Tucked away in the steakhouse, The Bottom Line, Hidden Burger is not the easiest restaurant to find. Walls adorned with photos of Archie and friends, this is the place to go if you want a good ol' fashion burger. With only a limited number of items on the menu, Hidden Burger strives to do well by serving with only the freshest Canadian ingredients. They are hoping to add shakes and ice cream to the menu soon.

One of their popular feature is the SecretBurger. Every week, there is a new "secret burger" that you can order. To find out what the Secretburger is for the week, you can go onto their social media. I was able to try a combination of their Veggie Burger and SecretBurger in one. Their veggie patty was definitely delicious and I liked having it topped with that week's SecretBurger ingredients, which were: jalapenos, avocado, aioli, and cheddar. Not to mention the chef made a jalapeno aioli sauce to top it all off! The patty did fall apart quickly because it was a veggie patty instead of beef. I liked how the burger was crispy with the right amount of spicy though.

Hidden Burger also has a $10 combo deal (fries and drink included) for their Veggie or Cheeseburger. Due to the limited seating space, it wouldn't be a place for you to bring your friends to catch up at. I would recommend Hidden Burger if you work or live in the area and is craving a traditional burger for lunch or after work.


Hidden Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato