Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunny Dragon

Last night I went to one of my favorite Korean restaurant, Sunny Dragon.

Located in Thornhill this place is best known for their noodle dish, jajangmyeon. It consists of wheat noodles with diced meat and veggies all drenched in black soybean paste sauce.

Here is a combination dish with half of the famous noodles and half stir fried rice. I thought I would snap two shots so you can see how it looks when you mix up the noodles. Trust me it's much more yummier than it looks. Also their noodles are freshly made. No instant noodle here.

Here is another combo dish with half black bean noodles and half soup. The name of the soup is jang pong which is a spicy seafood noodle soup. The other photo is a mushroom tofu soup.

If you never tried jajangmyeon before then Sunny Dragon is a good place to start:)


Sunny Dragon
398 Steeles Ave. West
(close to Bathurst)

Sunny Dragon on Urbanspoon

Royal Teahouse

On Friday night me and my friend went to the spa for a little indulgence. Once the pampering was over we were both in a tranquilized state of mind. Calm and serene. However once we left the blissful spa our stomachs started growling. We decided to head to this Chinese restaurant called Royal Teahouse.

Boy was it a "royal" disaster.

When a restaurant specializes in a certain type of cuisine you should order whatever their house special is. Well stupid me I wanted to try something new and man was it a bad move on my part.

To start off the meal we were given complimentary soup. It was some sort of pork bone soup with vegetable and lotus nuts. It was delicious. Definitely tasted like homemade soup my mom normally makes. Too bad I can't say the same for the next 2 dishes.

Here were the dishes we wanted to "try".

Braised pork with taro and fried milk with papaya and pineapple served over a bed of broccoli. After reading the name again I'm wondering why did we ever order these in the first place. It doesn't even sound appetizing yet here are the pictures.

The pork was tender but the sauce itself was just plain horrible. I think it was smelly and not in a good way. As for the broccoli dish the fried milk caught our attention since we never tried it before but it was disgusting. I took a bite of the pineapple and immediately spitted it back out. That's how bad it was. It was so repulsive I couldn't help myself.

Unlike the last 2 dishes, the next 2 were actually enjoyable. They were both from the dim sum menu.

Here is fried pumpkin pancake and beef balls with bean curd.

I never had fried pumpkin before and it was delicious. Think there were bits of water chestnut as well which gave it a nice crunchy texture. The beef balls were average but at least it was edible unlike the previous two dishes.

Lastly we were given complimentary bowls of sweet red bean soup. It was too watery and not enough red beans.

In the end, we tried a few new dishes but 2 of them were an epic fail.

After this experience I just don't want to ever return again no matter how good their dim sum is.


Royal Teahouse on Urbanspoon


Last Thursday I went to watch a movie with a friend. We watched "Life as We Know it" starring Katherine Heigl and hottie Josh Duhamel. The movie was a decent chick flick. It had its moments.

After the movie we were hungry so my friend took me to this authentic Japanese restaurant along St Patrick Street called Ematei. She claimed they had the best curry dish. I don't like curry but thought I would give it a try since I never tried Japanese curry before.

Since it was my first time there I just let my friend ordered the food.

She ordered kare raisu ebi frai which was basically curry rice with deep fried prawns.

At first the curry aroma really got to me. It definitely smelled like curry. I can't stand the scent thought I would have to plug my nose to eat it but surprisingly the food didn't taste like the way it smelled. It was quite tasty.

I can now say I like curry. That is Japanese curry. Now my friend wants me to try Thai curry next which I'm not quite sure I'm ready for just yet. For now baby steps for me.

The other dish we ordered was nabemono aka hot pot. I never knew there were so many types of Japanese hot pot. The one we had was sukiyaki which included thinly sliced beef, tofu, vegetables and starch noodles all stewed in sweetened soy and eaten with a raw egg dip.

It was scrumptious but man was there a lot of food. There were only 2 of us yet we couldn't help ourselves. We were starving and when you're hungry you just want everything. Also we were given complimentary fried okra to begin with as well.

Next time I want to try the cod since my friend said it was good. Also some jelly dessert as well. We couldn't even finish our food so sadly couldn't sample any sweets.

Thanks Sue for introducing me to Japanese curry and hot pot. We definitely need to make a second trip and try out the other dishes as well:)


30 St. Patrick Street
(close to Osgoode Station)

Ematei Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Since it was raining last night me and my 2 friends decided to have dinner somewhere close by.

Even though we were surrounded by hundreds of restaurants to choose from along Yonge Street, we could not think of any place to eat. Well at first we were going to head to Kenzo Ramen but since it was packed we settled for Sariwon.

I have been to this restaurant a few times and some have been hits and while others have been a complete miss.

It was a full house that night but luckily we didn't have to wait long for a table.

Once seated we ordered the meal combination which included marinated BBQ meat, lettuce wrap, rice and soup.

Thank god my friends knew how long to cook the meat because if I was in charge the beef would have been overdone.

Once the meat was cooked you would dip the beef into some sort of sesame oil sauce, add some brown bean paste along with a slice of raw garlic all wrapped in a huge piece of lettuce. It was a lot of work just for a wrap but it was good in the end.

The negative aspect of this restaurant is the portion size. For the lettuce wrap they only gave us 5 pieces of lettuce. That is not enough for 3 people. We had to request for more lettuce, more garlic, more sauces well basically more of everything otherwise we would just be left with meat and a bowl of rice. What is the point of ordering the wrap when we don't get enough of the items to create the wrap in the first place?!!

Although the quality of the meat was fairly good however, it was sliced too thick. My jaw got tired from chewing the large chunk of meat.

The complimentary side dishes were not that appetizing either. The seaweed was all wilted like it's been sitting out for too long. The only side dish I snacked on were the fried peanuts.

The only positive part of the meal was the seafood beef brown bean paste soup. It was hearty and comforting and for a moment it made me forget about the miserable rainy weather outside.

In spite of the tiny portions nonetheless I left with a half full stomach.

Would I return again? Probably not. Maybe just for the soup. Then again with so many Korean restaurants to choose from at Yonge & Finch think I will pass on Sariwon.


Sariwon Korean BBQ Restuarant on Urbanspoon


Yesterday me and my friend felt like eating brunch so we went to this small little cafe close to the St. Lawrence market called Hank's.

For the drink order, I normally ask for a glass of water. Just plain old H2O. I was surprised to see it came in a jar. That was my first time seeing water served in something else rather than a glass or mug. That was pretty interesting.

My friend ordered tea and look at what it was served in. The teapot was in the shape of an elephant. It was too adorable. I just had to snap a picture. It made me want to order tea as well or even just take the cute lil elephant home with me and I hardly drink tea. For this I will make an exception.

While scanning the menu our eyes instantly fell on the egg benny and the Dutch oven pancake.

We both never had Dutch oven pancake before so we were really looking forward to trying it out.

It was de-li-cious. It was extremely light and fluffy on the inside and a bit crispy on the outside. The fruit compote and whipped cream went perfectly well with the pancake.

Normally you are suppose to eat sweets after a meal but in this case we couldn't help ourselves we had to dig into the pancake first before even touching our egg benny.

As for the benny, it was just your average benny. It had your typical poached eggs and peameal bacon atop of an English muffin covered with hollandaise sauce. Anything with peameal bacon is always good to me.


Hank's Cafe on Urbanspoon


On Friday night I went to Ippai for dinner with a friend.

At first I almost couldn't find the place since it was so dark so didn't know where it was located. According to the map it was close to Apple Creek Blvd. I drove past the road and just randomly turned into the next plaza. I almost left the plaza since I didn't see the restaurant but luckily caught a glimpse of the pink colored sign on my way out.

The menu was full of options. We didn't know what to order. Ten minutes later after browsing through the pages we settled on a few rolls and an appetizer.

Here is Okonomiyaki which is Japanese styled pancake. The word okonomi means 'what you like' or 'what you want' and yaki means 'grilled' or 'cooked'. There are a variety of toppings and batters used to create this Japanese style pancake so think the name Okonomiyaki means what do you like cooked.

I love the Japanese language. It sounds so adorable and it's fun trying to figure out how to pronounce the words. Can be a tongue twister at times but the nevertheless I would love to learn the language one day.

Out of the four flavors available we opted for the BBQ pork. The remaining flavors were seafood, chicken and beef.

This was delicious. I think the meat tasted like those BBQ pork buns from dim sum except this had other ingredients along with it which I don't quite remember what they were. The only thing I remembered were the flakes of onions on top which were moving when it arrived.

For sushi, we ordered the spider roll, spicy salmon roll, dragon roll, and some sort of hand roll my friend picked out which I'm not quite sure what it was but it was all very scrumptious.

Lastly our desserts. No matter how stuffed I am I always seem to have room for sweets.

Here we have rice cake with black sesame ice cream and green tea ice cream with fried banana tempura.

It was delicious. I never ate black sesame flavored ice cream before and this definitely was true to its name. Although the appearance looked like a lump of grey charcoal however, it was yummy.

My friend enjoyed her dessert as well but portion wise it was a meal itself. Think it could have used some sort of sauce on the tempura but other than that she thought it was decent.

The food here was pretty good but too bad I can't say the same for the service. In the beginning when we were seated our waitress was very attentive. But near the middle of the meal she completely ignored us. I wanted some more tea so I kept looking around hoping to catch her attention but she completely avoided me. There were two servers in total and neither of them cared to come and refill our teapot. They were bustling around attending to others but don't know why they wouldn't come to our table. I assure you we were not loitering we have only been there for an hour which is decent timing for a meal. We finally received our drinks after we asked for our bill.

Aside from being deprived of my tea, the food was decent. I would return to try out their ramen next. Hopefully the service will be much better the second time around.


8865 Woodbine Ave.
(b/n Hwy 7 & 16th)

Ippai Japanese Fusion Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wildfire Wasn't So Wild After All

A couple nights ago, I went out for dinner with my family.

I decided to take my family to Wildfire since I've been there before and I remembered it was a pleasant dining experience that I thought my family would enjoy. After all I did blog about it and rated it as "Eat Here Next!!!". But after that dinner think I might change my rating to "Once is Enough!" however, in this case, twice is enough.

We ordered the potato gnoochi with wild mushrooms, truffle oil, spinach & tomatoes, the butternut squash risotto topped with seared scallops, the 16 oz. Sterling Silver Rib Steak with a side of parmesan truffle polenta fries, and the back ribs with sweet potato fries.

I only have photos for 2 dishes since it was just too dark so the pictures didn't come out as great. But believe me it was not picture-worthy.

Where should I even begin?

My risotto wasn't too bad but looking at the picture do you think this is worth $28?! I certainly don't. It's just soggy rice and THREE pieces of scallops. There aren't even any vegetables unless you count that one stem of rosemary or thyme whatever that herb is. Can't believe they can be so stingy with rice. Just look at that portion. It's just baffling how they have the nerve to charge that amount for a dish of rice and be so limited with the quantity. I just don't see the justification in that. Also after eating the scallops the value for me dropped even more. It was extremely salty. At first I thought the risotto was lacking a bit in seasoning but later discovered that all the salt was actually hiding in the scallops.

My boyfriend's gnoochi was hoooorrible!!! It was suppose to be a vegetarian dish but he requested to add some beef to the dish. They gave him 3 thinly sliced pieces of tenderloin. Wow!!! That's definitely going to feed a starving 230 lb guy. Last time he ordered the steak but this time he wanted to try the pasta. Man both of us made the wrong choice. Both pastas were just a complete disaster. His gnoochi was too soft. It wasn't cooked al dente style. The only highlight of his dish was the mushrooms. But come on you can't make a mistake when it comes to cooking mushrooms.

Now onto my brother's steak. There was just too much fat. After removing all the fat instead of a 16 oz steak it probably turned into an 8 oz steak. At least my brother still enjoyed it even though it was less meat. However the polenta fries were extremely tasteless. Felt like I was eating plain old white styrofoam (not that I have but would imagine that's how it would taste like). That side alone costed $6. It was preposterous. I can't believe they really think those bland thick mush of cornmeal sticks were worth $6. How do they come up with these prices?!!

Now onto the last dish, the Wildfire back ribs which they claimed was awarded " best ribs in North Toronto". I certainly don't agree. The BBQ sauce was good but the meat did not fall off the bone easily. I think the ribs at Montana's is way better and for $25 you can get all you can eat. The Wildfire ribs costed $30 which is $5 more and it's not even all you can eat. At least Montana's was finger licking good where you don't even care how messy it is and you get so much more in return unlike Wildfire.

This restaurant here is a perfect example of how you are paying for the ambience rather than the actual quality of the food. After this experience I just don't ever want to return again despite the fact my first time was a better experience. With so many other restaurants to choose from you're only given one chance to prove yourself. If they really have a true passion for food then every dish that comes out from their kitchen should be prepared at their best. Well that's how I think it should be otherwise why open a restaurant in the first place?!


Wildfire Steakhouse & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Sushi

Last Friday I went out for lunch to celebrate a colleague's birthday. We went to My Sushi which was apparently my colleagues' favorite sushi joint. It was an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet.

At first upon entering the restaurant me and one of my coworker were confused. There were 3 other colleagues plus my boss who drove in another car and left a few minutes earlier than us so we assumed they would have arrived at the restaurant already. Yet when we entered and didn't see any familiar faces we thought we were at the wrong location. So we called to see where they were and apparently they had taken a wrong turn. Who's fault is it? Well that I will not say since I have to show some "respect" since I am the junior one. Hmmm maybe I shouldn't have said anything at all. Oops.

Once the rest of the crew showed up we started ordering away.

While we were waiting for our food to come, my boss was telling me about one of his conspiracy theories. He thinks that at sushi buffets, you only receive about 70-80% of your order. For example, if you order 10 items you will only receive about 7 or 8 items. So you have to order more just to compensate for the ones you did not receive. Also the more you order the more rice there is piled on the sushi. I don't know if I agree with the first theory since I normally don't have a problem but with the second theory I pretty much agree. It is a buffet after all. Don't they try to stuff you with the cheap stuff so you can get full pretty quickly? I haven't been to one sushi buffet that haven't pulled that stunt.

When the food finally arrived we all began picking away with our chopsticks.

The food was pretty good considering it was a buffet. I can't really remember what I ate since I was really hungry.

Our table was next to a wall so all the food went through the people seated at the end of the table. It was like an assembly line. Grabbed a few pieces then pass it on. Note to self, never sit against the wall if I am starving. Always sit where the food is coming from.

When it was my turn to order the next round I didn't know what to choose so I just chose anything that I would have normally ordered. Think here is spider roll, sweet potato roll, black dragon, spicy tuna, and some other rolls I can't quite remember. Luckily everyone liked the majority of the food that I ordered except for one dish which normally I like but this restaurant did not prepare it very well at all. It was extremely bland. There was no seasoning whatsoever at all. It was an epic failure. It was funny how the guys called it chicken nuggets but even frozen nuggets at the grocery store tasted better than that. Let me clarify though it's not actually chicken nuggets. It's chicken katsu which is suppose to be breaded, deep-fried chicken cutlet.

Also the teriyaki wasn't great as well. Maybe because of the way it was presented it just wasn't appetizing to me. There were a few pieces of meat on a tiny plate. I swear it looked like somebody couldn't finish the rest of the meat and just decided to share their leftovers with us.

Overall, I would return again but I'll just stick with the sushi. Think my favorite roll was the black dragon roll. That will be "MY SUSHI" to eat there:)

Thanks boss for an awesome lunch!!! Next time I will not order the "chicken nuggets" hehe.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Kenzo Ramen

It's funny Kenzo Ramen was on my list of places to try yet I didn't know they had a location uptown till my friend told me about it. On the actual website only one location is listed which is 138 Dundas Street West. The one I went to today was located on 6180 Yonge Street. So not quite sure if it's the same franchise but the menu sure looks identical so I'm going to cross it off my list. It saves me a trip downtown at least.

The restaurant is really tiny. With around 8-10 tables I think the seating capacity is at a maximum of 30 people. Me and my boyfriend arrived around 7pm and there were only 2 tables filled with patrons. However, 10 minutes later it was a full house. Luckily we came at a good time. After seeing how quickly the place filled up I was really excited to try out the food.

We ordered the gyoza, sho-yu ramen and the king of the kings ramen. The food was superb. The broth was full of flavor. Definitely not powder mix. The noodles were hand made I believe. Did not taste like instant noodles.When you hear ramen you immediately associate it with instant noodles however, Kenzo Ramen is definitely not noodles in a package. It was freshly made.

The full house speaks for itself. Even saw one couple who came in they rather wait for a table then leave unlike me I'm too impatient. If I see no free table I just turn around and leave. So that definitely says a lot when patrons are willing to wait for a table.

Thanks Mags for letting me know about the uptown location otherwise who knows when I will be able to try out the downtown location. Yayyy another restaurant off my list.


Kenzo Ramen
6180 Yonge Street
(b/n Finch & Steeles)

Kenzo Japanese Noodle House on Urbanspoon

Soho Bistro

Last Thursday I went out for dinner with a couple of friends.

After receiving my menu, I was overwhelmed by the variety of food options. My friends decided to go with the prix fixe menu but me being the curious one I just had to look at the regular menu to see if there was anything better to order. I just couldn't decide there were just too many to choose from. So I decided to keep it simple and order from the prix fixe menu as well. However, even looking at that menu I still couldn't decide. After much deliberation I finally settled on the prix fixe menu.

To start off the meal here were our appetizers. Grilled calamari on spicy rice and sesame vinaigrette and crab cake atop of stir fry vegetables. The calamari was under seasoned and the rice was not spicy at all. It was just drizzled with sesame oil. What happened to the salt? That's all that was needed to give it some flavor. The portion itself felt like a meal rather than an appetizer. I don't normally complain when I am given too much food but this I could have done with just a smaller portion since it was lacking in flavor. Unlike the calamari, the crab cakes were seasoned quite well. There was also carrot, ginger and potato soup but wasn't worth a picture since once again it was missing some seasoning. Just tasted like plain carrot juice with a bit of salt and ginger in it.

Here were our entrees. Duck confit on garlic mashed potato with fresh herb glaze, smoked chicken with sundried tomatoes and cremini mushroom risotto, and pan seared Atlantic salmon with dill caper crust.

My risotto was yummy after the first few bites but then eventually I kind of got bored of it. Just look at my plate it's just one big pile of saucy rice. No matter how many spoonfuls I ate it never appeared to go away. Felt like the rice kept magically reappearing out of thin air. My friend's duck confit was delicious. As for the salmon it was mediocre. Nothing special to me.

Now onto the final course, our desserts.

Chocolate-caramel pecan torte, duo mousse and flourless chocolate cake. Out of all 3 my favourite was the chocolate cake. It was light and fluffy. The pecan torte was definitely full of pecans but a bit too much for me. My mouth got tired from biting into all those nuts. As for the mousse I'm not a really big fan of mousse to begin with. I don't even like eating icing as much in cakes. I like to eat the fluffy cake part rather than the cream and all. Yes this is one of my strange quirks. Just like when it comes to beef patties. I like to eat the flaky yellow pastry but the meat itself I just scoop it out and toss it away. Why don't I like it? I don't really know. I just know that I don't. Weird, uh?

Ok enough rambling about my peculiar behaviour.

I would like to give a special thanks to my friend Nina because without her camera I would never have gotten these beautiful photos to post on my blog. Although I did have to spam her a bit till she finally cracked and emailed them to me. Now the question is will she ever bring her camera out to dinner again? Then again will she ever go to dinner with me again??? Guess we will soon find out since we are suppose to go out again next month.

My conclusion for Soho Bistro. Although some dishes lacked seasoning still the remaining dishes were good enough to make me want to return. Next time I will try out their brunch menu. Maybe out on the patio this time but guess that won't be till next year since winter will soon be around the corner. I hate winter. Summer please come back so I can sit in a patio. Pretty please.


Soho Bistro on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Steve's Restaurant

This morning I was craving for an egg benedict and egg benedict I got.

I drove to Steve's Restaurant and ordered a smoked salmon benedict while my boyfriend got the regular egg benedict with peameal bacon.

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon the place was bustling with people. Luckily we arrived around 1 or so which is the perfect time as people were finishing up their last morsel of food.

The benedict was scrumptious. The hollandaise sauce was extremely rich and very heavy. Not great for those who are calorie counters. After finishing the food I just did not want to move at all. Niggeritis was definitely kicking in.

This is my place for now for a benedict uptown until I find another joint.



Last night I went to Scaramouche for dinner. Upon entering the restaurant all I could see was a staircase leading downstairs, a seating area and coat check. The first thing that came to my head was how can this restaurant advertise that it has a great view of the city's skyline when the restaurant is located below ground level. Man was I proved wrong. After heading downstairs I saw this huge window with an incredible view of the city lights. I even clearly saw the purple light emanating from the CN Tower. It was breathtaking.

Now onto the food. Thanks to my boyfriend's blackberry I was able to take pictures without it being hidden in the dark. Sadly the flash was blinding but just had to snap some photos for my blog. This place is definitely worth blogging about.

The food was truly exquisite. It was full of flavor and presented beautifully. Not one dish I disliked at all.

Here we received complimentary amuse-bouche. Man was it a tease. After swallowing it in one bite I couldn't wait for the real food to come. I have no clue what it was but it sure was good and made me wanting more.

We ordered 4 appetizers.

Here is the smoked salmon carpaccio with buckwheat pancake and the foie gras terrine with sourdough toast with a drizzle of fig port syrup.

Here is lobster ravioli with double smoked bacon, honey mushrooms, spinach in white wine sauce and Fanny Bay oysters with red wine mignonette and horseradish.

Our main courses were elk with smoked bacon, hazelnut whipped potatoes, crispy shallots in red wine jus and halibut with caramelized fennel byaldi, shaved artichoke heart and lemon pinenut relish.

For desserts we also went all out as well. They were all so heavenly and luscious it was just overwhelming. Never have I ate that many sweets in one sitting especially after a heavy meal.

Here is toffee bread pudding and coconut cream pie.

Here is creme brulee with bourbon madagascar vanilla and raspberry sorbet and chocolate cake with cafe latte ice cream and whipped chocolate ganache.

With its stunning view of the city lights and ambrosial food to pair with it this place is the perfect restaurant for a romantic dinner with your significant other or for a celebration where you feel like splurging a bit. After this meal don't think I can eat out for a while. Have to let my wallet heal before I can touch it again.


Scaramouche on Urbanspoon
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