Friday, December 31, 2010

Traditional Korean New Year's Day Meal

Every New Year I get to eat a traditional Korean meal at my inlaws. I am not Korean but I sure do love Korean food so I am always excited to head over to my inlaws to eat.

There are 2 main dishes that are always featured at every New Year's Day meal.

First is duk gook which is rice cake soup or also known as rice dumpling soup. It represents a clean start and a new beginning for the new year.

Here are the rice cakes being soaked in water overnight before being used.

Here is the actual rice cake soup. In each region of Korea there are many variations of this soup. Here in this soup are rice cakes, pieces of dried seaweed, green onions and egg yolk.

Another traditional dish is galbi jjim which is braised short ribs. I'm not sure what this is suppose to represent but it sure is finger-licking goooooood.

Here were other dishes that were also made since my inlaws just love to stuff us silly.

This one is a seafood mix. I'm not sure what the name of it is. It includes shrimp, jellyfish, egg yolks, cucumbers, crab meat, egg whites, carrots and sweet Korean pears. You mix it all together and add some sort of wasabi sauce to the mix as well. It is very tasty and very light.

Here is another seafood dish. It consists of squid, shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, onions, snow peas, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, salt, pepper and cornstarch. This is when it was being stir-fried in the wok. It was a really big wok.

Then VOILA the finished look. It was really delicious.

Lastly, it wouldn't be a Korean meal without some banchan. The side dish here is freshly made kimchi. It was perfect. It didn't have to much of that vinegary taste since it was fresh and it wasn't marinated in the juices for too long.

To celebrate the new year, my sister-in-law bought champagne. This is not part of the Korean tradition. Just some alcohol to kick off a brand new year. It was pretty sweet. I liked it since I can't really drink the hard stuff and I don't like the taste of alcohol but this was good.

After the feast we had to bow on our hands and knees to our parents wishing them a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

Then off we go waddling home with our full bellies stuffed to the max waiting for the next feast to come.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Golden Star

I don't really care for burgers but when I do have a craving for the juicy minced beef patties I head over to Golden Star. Located close to Yonge and Steeles, this is the place to head to if you want 100% pure beef homemade patties.

It's a relaxing environment where people of every type just come to enjoy a good meaty burger.

The staff is very friendly. They always welcome you with a smile and make you feel just at home.

In the summertime they even have a nice little patio to sit so perfect for an outdoor lunch date or just getting some fresh air.

Me and my boyfriend arrived pretty much close to closing time and the staff didn't rush us at all. They even told us to take our time and enjoy our burgers. Now that's what I call customer service where customer satisfaction is a top priority.

We ordered one cheeseburger combo and a double patty cheeseburger on the side. My cheeseburger was char-grililed to perfection and the patty was juicy and full of beefy flavor. It's not a burger unless your hands are smeared with ketchup and mayo. It was worth the juicy mess.

The fries can be a hit and miss at times but tonight it was definitely a hit. I like my fries extra crispy and crispy is what I got. Golden fries crunchy with every bite. Their fries are freshly cut on a daily basis. The only thing missing was gravy but unfortunately they were sold out for the day.

I have also tried their milkshake and onion rings on previous trips and it was yummy as well.


Golden Star on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I was craving for chocolate cake so after searching on the yelp site I saw several reviewers recommending the SOMA molten chocolate cake at JUMP Cafe. It was one of the Oliver & Bonacini restaurants and it definitely did not disappoint.

Located in the Commerce Court along Wellington I got a friend of mine to join me on my sweet indulgence.

We were given complimentary bread basket and some sort of garlic tomato dip. It was yummy. I loved the huge tortilla chip.

My friend was hungry so she ordered the truffle ricotta gnocchi with wild mushrooms in a porcini cream sauce. It was fantastic although it doesn't look appealing here in the picture.

Finally the main event, my sweets.

We ordered the SOMA molten chocolate cake and the white chocolate cheesecake double-baked in phyllo pastry with a biscotti crust.

We started off with the cheesecake since we wanted to save the sweetest for last. O-MY-GOD it was the BEST cheesecake EVER. It was light and pillowy soft and not sweet at all. Normally with cheesecakes I take one bite and I am done however, with this one I just couldn't get enough of it. It was simply irresistible.

Now onto the finale.

Sadly it wasn't as what I had expected. The molten cake was fluffy but too sweet for me. One bite and I was done. I can see why the scoop of vanilla ice cream was there. It did help tone down the sweetness still it did not satisfy my craving.

Funny how I came specifically for the molten cake but ended up falling in love with the cheesecake. It was truly worth the trip. Although I didn't get what I came for nevertheless I did discover another sweet treat. I would definitely JUMP to this cafe again.


Jump on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 27, 2010

Desserts Plus...RACIST HOST!!!!!!!!!!!

Never in my life have I EVER experienced something like this.

Tonight I went for dinner with my cousin at Desserts Plus located in Woodbridge. My cousin really likes to eat pasta so I decided to take her there since I have been there a few times and the food is extremely good and the portions are humongous.

I made reservations for 7:30pm. We arrived at the restaurant five minutes early. There was a huge crowd swarming by the entrance. I made my way through the crowd and tried to look for the hostess. There was no one around. Finally I saw a guy coming and telling other patrons that their table was ready. I went up to him and told him that I had reservations for 7:30pm. He brusquely said to me " Go to the back of the line. Other people have reservations as well." I was shocked and appalled at the way he talked to me but I went to the back of the line and waited.

Forty minutes later the crowd had dispersed and I was still waiting to be served. The rude hostess spoke to people surrounding me asking who had reservations yet he didn't bother to ask me even though I was standing right in front of him.

Finally I told him again that I have reservations and he replied once again in that cold demeanor that I have to wait a few minutes. He even gave me a dirty look like he was disgusted with me or something. I just did not understand why he was treating me like that.

There was this couple that came in and waited only 10 minutes before being seated at a table while at that time I had waited for forty minutes and the hostess still hadn't even acknowledged me at all.

I was fuming when I saw that.

Even the patrons next to me noticed it and were angry for me as well.

Finally, after waiting for over an hour the jerk came and told us our table was ready. But the way he told us made me even more mad. He just came and pointed his finger almost right up to my face and said "You come." How insulting was that?!!

If it wasn't for my cousin who wanted to try the place I would've left the instant that giant couple got seated before us. Yes I am nicknaming them the giants because they were super tall although I do have other nicknames for them as well which I am refraining myself from typing it here.

THE HOST WAS A RACIST. He is bald with glasses and a beard. He is the obnoxious one so you can't miss him. Me and my cousin were the only Asians there. I didn't see him treat the other non-Asians the similar insulting manner that he treated us so yes I am calling him a racist although I do have other names for him but at this moment the most fitting one is RACIST.

It's such a shame. This restaurant really does have fantastic food and very generous portions but with that kind of service it ruins the whole dining experience. I was so angry that I couldn't even enjoy the food. However, I still tried to salvage what was left and made it enjoyable as I could for my cousin's sake.

I had ordered the veal parmigiana with cheese manicotti and my cousin had the chicken marsala with vodka penne. My entree was really yummy especially the manicotti. It was freshly made and the sauce was divine.

My cousin's chicken was dry but the gravy sauce more than made up for it. It didn't taste like the typical gravy and I can't quite describe what it tasted like but it was really good. However, the penne had a strand of hair in it so my cousin asked for another pasta dish. She asked for the same pasta dish I got since she really liked mine however they ran out of the sauce so they replaced it with a rose sauce which wasn't too bad.

Since the location of this restaurant is hidden coupled with the fact that they don't even have a website I think most of their business comes from word of mouth. Believe me I won't be referring this restaurant to anybody. If you can handle the rudeness and long wait even with reservations then by all means go for it. As for me this will be my last and final trip. I really don't see this restaurant lasting long if they don't do something about the service. With so many other competitors in the food industry every little bit counts.


Desserts Plus on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 24, 2010

Crabby Xmas Dinner

This was my first holiday dinner where I had a seafood feast.

9 dungeness crabs, 9 lobsters, mussels and clams oh my.

I went to my inlaws to celebrate for Christmas. We had this huge pot, which was half my size and I am 5'4, filled to the rim with all the shellfish, bay leaf, a whole jar of cajun spice rub, some salt, corn and red potatoes and probably some other stuff I don't quite remember boiling altogether for around 30 minutes or so.

I don't know how much my boyfriend's brother spent on the groceries but me and my boyfriend bought 6 dungeness crabs from T&T for $105. Think they weighed around 3-5 lbs each. It was heavy just carrying 3 crabs alone. On our way to the house the crabs were scrambling around in the back seat of the car trying to find an escape route. It did not sound pretty at all.

Wished I had taken a picture of the actual crab since it was huge. I couldn't eat anything else after the ONE crab. I was stuffed till I couldn't pick at the meat anymore.

Crab juices were running down my arms yet I didn't care just kept cracking away at the legs. The shell was soft it was easy to break so didn't need to use the nutcracker at all since that was the only tool we had. By the time I was done my fingers became all wrinkly and prune-looking from scraping all the crab meat out. It was so gooooooood. The meat was so sweet and juicy just perfect.

This picture here just doesn't do it justice. This bowl is way bigger than it appears. I couldn't even lift it. Think it weighed around 40-50lbs. It was insane and this isn't even everything. There was still more in the pot.

Even the corn was delicious as well. It captured all the juices and turned into a reddish orange. It was sweet and full of flavor.

For dessert we bought a coffee cake from Amadeus for $39. It appeared rich and heavy but it was actually light and not as sweet as it looked. It tasted like the chocolate Ferrero Rocher with crunchy pieces of hazelnuts. I love Amadeus cakes they definitely use the most finest ingredients. Even the chocolate art piece tasted like fine dark chocolate and normally I don't like dark chocolate but this was choco-licious.

I hope we have another crab galore soon since it was a big hit. But this time we will buy less food since we had so much leftover from the last meal. Mmmmmmm sweet sweet crab:)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mars Diner

Yesterday I went to go watch the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Either I'm a real chicken or I just haven't watched any movie for a while but for a kids movie I found some parts to be scary especially the part where Dumbledore's ghost comes zooming out of nowhere. I almost jumped out of my seat.

After the movie I was hungry since I haven't ate anything yet all morning so me and my cousin searched for a place to grab a bite.

We were at the theatre at Yonge and Eglinton so luckily there were numerous options to choose from. I saw a sign that said all day breakfast so we decided to head to Mars Diner.

It was a cozy little diner. It looked like it was from the late 50s with its red colored seating and metal counters. All that was missing were waitresses on rollerblades dressed in those poofy poodle dresses. I would love to wear one of those poodle skirts for fun.

I was craving for breakfast so I decided to order the egg benedict with a side of sweet potato fries and a side of griddle cake. At first I didn't know what a griddle cake was but when I asked it apparently was another term for pancake. My sweet potato fries were crispy just the way I liked it and I didn't even had to tell them to make it that way. My benedict was delicious especially the peameal bacon. Mmmmmm bacon. However, as for my griddle cake I cannot say the same. It was dry. I only took one bite and just left it. I didn't even bother to complain since I was already stuffed from the benny so didn't want to get another order of pancake.

My cousin ordered the Mars chicken wrap. I tried a piece of her chicken since the waiter had kept emphasizing that almost everything on the menu was homemade. It was scrumptious. I definitely would order that on my next trip.

On a side note, the diner is open for 24 hours on weekends. Wished there were more places like that close to my area. The only ones I can think of are Asian places which I don't mind but would prefer a variety of choices of cuisine instead of just one.


Mars Uptown on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Moe Pancer's Delicatessen

On Friday at work, we had ordered for lunch takeout at Pancer's Deli.

Since I had to go pick up the food it was my first time at the restaurant. It was a small family-owned establishment located along Bathurst between Sheppard and Wilson. The wall was splashed with a bright color of red and filled with dozens of frames of newspaper clippings. There were numerous reviews of the deli place. It was most famous for its homemade smoked-meat sandwiches.

Here is pastrami and corned beef with a bit of dijon mustard. It was very satisfying. The succulent juicy meat was utterly delicious.

Also ate their egg salad and potato salad and it was yummy as well especially the potato salad. I wanted to lick the plate till it was clean but refrained myself since I was at work.

They had also got a jar of pickles (the sour kind which I'm not really fond of I like the sweet ones better so didn't try the pickles) and cole slaw (another item I don't really like so can't tell you if it was good or not).


Moe Pancer's Deli on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 17, 2010


Ever since Benihana my friend still never had her sushi fix until we went to Ginza.

I have only been to the uptown location before so didn't know whether the Yorkville location would be any good.

When I was browsing through the menu I noticed that they offered Thai food as well. I don't remember seeing a Thai menu at the uptown location but still decided to stick with the sushi since I liked the sushi at the Yonge location.

For the starter we ordered the crab sumono which was basically seaweed salad with pieces of crab meat. It wasn't the typical seaweed salad but this was delicious. The crab meat actually tasted sweet although it looked like imitation crab so I'm not quite sure if it was imitation or not but it was yummy. Along with the starter here is the catepillar sushi which was pretty refreshing. It was BBQ eel, avocado and crab meat all wrapped in a layer of fresh green cucumber.

The rainbow sushi pizza was really delicious as well. It was a mixture of salmon, tuna and some other fish over a deep fried rice pancake.

When the sushi first arrived it didn't look like much. Aside from the spider roll, all the rolls appeared pretty tiny. Me and my friend didn't think it would fill our stomach but we were wrong. We were stuffed to the max. After we were done we couldn't even move.

Other rolls included red dynamite roll, firecracker dream roll, sunshine roll and jungle roll.

The sushi was mediocre but out of everything we ordered my favourite was the crab sumono and the sushi pizza. Maybe next time I'll give the Thai food a try since I rarely eat Thai food. The last thing I ate that was even considered Thai food was a green curry dish however, I didn't find it that appealing but then again I don't really like coconut so maybe that's why I wasn't too fond of the dish. Maybe I'll try red curry next. Guess we will see. Sue I'm still waiting to try that Thai place you were recommending. Let's see if I like that curry dish since we all know how much I "love" curry hehe.


Ginza Sushi on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sen5es finally awoken MY senses

This holiday I'm sooooo poor. I'm so broke I can't even go out out to eat hence not much to blog about lately since I've been hibernating at home.

The only place I went to recently this month was Sen5es.

Last time I went for lunch at the bakery location and it was horrendous. This time I tried the restaurant location and it wasn't a complete disappointment. Unlike my first experience this time I was much more happier when I left.

Here we were given complimentary bread and some sort of fruit salsa.

For the starter I had my eye on the truffle spaghettini with lobster bolognaise, summer truffle and chervil. It was truly exquisite and a complete tease. It was so yummy but so little that I wanted more. It was a great start to the meal. So far I was impressed.

For the entrees me and my friend ordered the crispy duck breast with king oyster and shiitake mushrooms and the sea bass with risotto. The duck wasn't crispy at all. The first few bites were good but after a while it tasted a bit too gamey for me. The fish and risotto were perfectly cooked but could use a tad more seasoning.

Since Senses is known more for its desserts we had our eye on the molten chocolate cake. Man oh man was it a perfect sweet ending to our meal.

The chocolate cake was amaaaazing with the chocolate oozing out of the cake. It would have tasted even better if the cake itself was fluffy but the filling more than made up for the lack of fluffiness.

Overall, the food was good but pretty overpriced. One thing I do have to complain about is the service. Our waitress only appeared at our table twice throughout the entire meal. First was to take our order and the last was to give us our bill. I noticed she was much more attentive to the other tables and when it came to our table she was a bit on the snooty side. The manager/supervisor checked on us more than the waitress. It wasn't even busy either so there was no excuse for the poor customer service level.

The only reason I would return would be for the truffle spaghettini and the chocolate cake.

What a combo lol.


Senses on Urbanspoon
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