Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Okonomi House: Beef Okonomiyaki was OK

Last food post from Toronto. I will be posting about Vancouver restaurants again real soon.

The last lunch meal in Toronto before my flight was at a restaurant suggested by my friend called Okonomi House. It is a Japanese place known for its okonomiyakis. I've had many okonomiyakis at nightmarkets before and this was slightly different.

Beef okonomiyaki: We got the been okonomiyaki which was essentially a big pancake with teriyaki beef scattered inside and an overwhelmingly drenching amount of sweet sauce on top. It did not taste bad but I have to say that the ones I tried at nightmarkets were better. There was just too much sauce on top.

Beef okonomiyaki
Chicken teriyaki: This chicken teriyaki dish had proportions that I was not used to. There was a lot of blandly boiled bean sprouts that covered the entire area of the dish and a very small amount of rice. There probably wasn't even half a cup of rice. The chicken was cut into cubes instead of the thin slices at some other Japanese restaurants which was good but otherwise this dish was a miss for me. It just got boring to eat after a few bites.

Chicken teriyaki
Overall, this style of Japanese food was only mediocre.

Okonomi House on Urbanspoon


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Salad King: Breaded Shrimp Fried Rice

Upon walking into Salad King, it gave me the first impression of being bright and fun. Almost all the tables were filled at lunch hour but we were seated promptly at a half booth seat.

Satay Chicken: Grilled chicken on skewer, peanut dipping sauce
The peanut dipping sauce didn't actually taste of peanuts that much (at least not the peanut butter strength) but tasted good. So we saved it to dip the shrimp even after we were done with the skewers which were quite juicy for being chicken breast.

Funny thing about the skewer I ate was that there was a toothpick holding the meat together in addition to the big skewer.

Satay Chicken
Veggie Phud Thai: Rice noodle, carrot, peanut, tofu, green onion, bean sprout, coriander, egg, fish sauce, tamarind sauce
The noodles were easy to digest because they were slightly sour so it didn't feel heavy or filling. We opted for the most mild spiciness level but for those who can eat spicy, it would probably taste even better.

Veggie Phud Thai
Breaded Shrimp Fried Rice: breaded shrimp, egg, pea, carrot, ketchup sauce
The fried shrimp reminded me of fried wonton when I first saw it. The pieces of breaded shrimp were hot and crunchy. The fried rice was slightly oily which is expected with all the oil used in this dish but quite tasty especially with the peanut sauce from the chicken satay.

Breaded shrimp fried rice
Overall, Salad King is a good place to eat Thai food if you're not looking for authenticity. The food was served quickly and there is a good variety on the menu.

Salad King on Urbanspoon


Monday, 29 July 2013

Eggspectation: Bravocado Egg Benedicts

Being a pun lover I was naturally drawn to this restaurant from its name: Eggspectation. This breakfast place on Yonge St. was not too crowded on a weekday morning but still fairly full.

It took me a long time to choose what to eat from the extensive menu. I was impressed by the entire page dedicated to many different types of egg benedicts. Since I already had egg benedicts at Over Easy, I opted for an omelette this time. 

Mix & Match Omelette: bacon, sausage, swiss or cheddar cheese
The omelette portion size was filling and I enjoyed the cheese wedged between the folded over meaty omelette. The cantaloupe slice was sweet and not pictured is a basket of 2 toast slices that came with the meal. Needless to say, I was filled to the brim!

Mix & Match Omelette
Bravocado: poached eggs served on half an avocado, lightly spiced tomato sauce, parm and cheddar cheese
My friend had this egg benedict that substituted the English muffin with avocado which I thought looked pretty cool. I didn't try it so I can't say how it tasted like but she seemed to like it.

Overall, the central location of Eggspectation combined with good food might make this a go-to breakfast place for me if I lived in Toronto.

Eggspectation Resto-Cafe-Bar on Urbanspoon


Sunday, 28 July 2013

Gusto 101: Fettuccine ai Funghi & Sweet Potato Pizza

The following few posts will be about eating around Toronto. If you're heading to Toronto or you live there then I recommend checking out Gusto! We were wandering through Chinatown to find food but ended up at this Italian restaurant. The hostess at the front congratulated us on finding this restaurant as tourists because she boasted that they were really Italian and it seemed like she was right from the cool accent of our server.

Let me start off saying that we loved all the food that we ate here. I can't judge if it is authentic having never been to Italy but the food was definitely delicious.

Fettuccine ai Funghi: portobello, porcini, oyster mushrooms, truffle paste, light cream sauce
Despite its description of light cream sauce on the menu, this pasta is filling and rich. Upon first bite the butteriness of the sauce and aroma of the truffle was enough to win me over. Solid dish.

Fettucine ai Funghi
Da Dee: sweet potatoes, lacinate kale, local fior di latte, caramelized Spanish onions, pecorino, rosemary
I've never had pizza like this one but I loved every bite. It was thin crust (my favourite type) with thin slices of sweet potato on top. Yes those yellow-orange slices in the photo aren't cheese but sweet potato! The kale, onion and cheese sprinkled on top was light but flavourful with rosemary and olive oil. Love it.

Da Dee
 Spaghetti Chitarra allo Scoglio: manila clams, shrimps, mussels, baby scallops, white wine, tomato sauce
This seafood pasta had a good amount of ingredients and tasted good like the other food but had less of a wow-factor compared to the previous two dishes.

Spaghetti Chitarra allo Scoglio
Overall, if I go to Toronto again I would want to eat here.

Gusto 101 on Urbanspoon


Over Easy: Avocado Egg Benedicts

Getting to Toronto I flew a red eye flight and it reminded me why I don't usually pick those hours. My flight left Vancouver at 12am and arrived in Toronto at 7:30am EST which meant it was only 4:30am PST. I wasn't able to sleep at all on the plane so my energy was basically depleted.

After leaving the airport, I was craving egg benedicts and I got my dose at Over Easy. It is a breakfast restaurant located next to a hotel in downtown Toronto.

These egg benedicts had the usual poached eggs and English muffin but also tomatoes and avocado slices in between. I liked the taste of it but would prefer the meal to be a little hotter.

The interesting thing about the little tub of brown sauce is that they made the vinaigrette for my salad into a mousse consistency which was quite pleasing if it wasn't so sour.

Overall the restaurant seemed to be well-liked by those eating there and it helped me cope with my sleepless hours on the flight.

Over Easy - Hotel Victoria on Urbanspoon


Brioche: Seafood Quiche

It is good to be back from a long unannounced hiatus! In the last 3 months I was in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Toronto so I definitely ate lots at each place but local Vancouver restaurants still offer the food that I like best.

In my first week back to Vancouver, friends and I went to eat at a place called Brioche. I immediately liked the vibe of the restaurant with pastries and quiche on display.

I ordered the seafood quiche and Greek salad. The quiche included salmon and shrimp in a buttery pastry pie crust. The portion size was quite large and I thoroughly enjoyed eating it.

Seafood quiche
Cioppino Pescatore Hot Pot is described on the menu as, "Tomato based shrimp bisque simmered with freshly seared wild salmon, basa, calamari, mussels, clams, tiger prawns and spinach." I would say that the description is accurate and this soup tasted really good! It was hot and hearty with lots of ingredients for the seafood lover.

Cioppino Pescastore Hot Pot
The following photo is Veal Parmesana. Again the portion size is large and tasted good but was just regular pasta.

Veal Parmesana
Overall it is a nice chill restaurant that allowed me to catch up with friends over good food that I did not get to eat while in Asia! If I had more room, I would like to try their fruit pies.

Brioche on Urbanspoon