Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Designer Cookie

Prada, and Dolce, and Yves, oh my!

I am not referring to the top brand fashion houses here but rather the baked goods at The Designer Cookie.

This cute little pink & white boutique looks like a perfect place for a little tea party.

Here you can create your own flavors for either cupcakes or cookies and within minutes it is baked fresh right before your eyes.

If you are indecisive like me then you can choose the cupcakes that have been freshly prepared on that day. The flavors will vary each day but nevertheless, still tasty and also they have cute lil designer names such as Chewy Vuitton, Mocha Blahnik, Donna Carrot, etc.

Here I have is Jean Paul Brule which is caramel cake with toasted buttercream, topped with toffee sprinkles, Christian Dioreo which is chocolate cake with oreo buttercream frosting, topped with an oreo cookie, Miu Miu maple which is apple cinnamon cake with maple buttercream frosting topped with pecans and finally, the classic red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.

I only ate the red velvet so far and I was sweetened out. The cake itself was dense and wasn't as moist as what I would've expected. I think the concept is unique where you can create your own flavors but taste wise I just don't think it was spectacular.


The Designer Cookie Boutique and Bake Shop on Urbanspoon

Mildred's Temple Kitchen

Yesterday me and my friend were looking forward to having lunch at Mildred's Temple Kitchen. Little did we know that they do not serve lunch on weekends. Since we were starving we decided to stay and try out the brunch.

The place was packed. Luckily we arrived a little after the rush so we only waited about 10 minutes before we were seated.

The restaurant was very spacious with a modern decor minus the enormous pig statute right on the bar. The kitchen was an open concept so patrons can watch the chefs working their magic.

Once we were seated me and my friend couldn't help but gawk at the family next to us. Their food looked very tasty. The father was eating poached eggs on a croissant which looked absolutely delish and the kids were eating pancakes which looked just as mouthwatering as well. Immediately we knew what we wanted to order.

On top of that I wanted to try the biscuit and scone since I read some very good reviews on it.

Here is the buttermilk biscuit and black currant scone served with homemade preserves and sweet butter. It was a great start to the meal. The baked goods were hot from the oven. It was truly delightful. My friend really enjoyed the jam. She thought it was better than the high tea at Windsor Arms. I have never really ate much biscuits to have any comparison. The only one place I can think of is Red Lobster's buttery garlic biscuits. Yummy. However, scone-wise so far this place is ranked #1 on my list.

Here is the Veda's choice which is poached eggs on a croissant with smoked salmon, Bearnaise sauce and a side of mixed greens. While my friend was splitting the croissant in half you can actually hear the crunchiness of the outer layer. The Bearnaise sauce was airy light and the amount of the sauce was just perfect. The eggs were well seasoned and was tasty on its own even without the sauce. But one bite of everything as a whole it was definitely scrumptious. The salad however, was mediocre nothing special to report there.

Here is the blueberry buttermilk pancakes piled high with whipped cream and blueberries all swimming in a pool of sweet maple syrup. These were undoubtedly the BEST pancakes EVER!!! Fluffy and sweet. Just heavenly. It did not taste starchy or dry like most places. The pancake itself had a nice sweet flavor to it. Everything complimented each other perfectly. I just couldn't get enough.

So glad we decided to give the brunch a try. Now I wonder whether lunch could top that. Guess we will see.


85 Hanna Ave.
(close to King St. West)

Mildred's Temple Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Congee Time

Brrrrr. It's freeeezing outside. I HATE winter!!!

Even though I was born here in Canada I still can't get used to the cold. It's funny how every time I complain about the chilly weather people often ask where I was born and I reply "I was born here but my body just can't accept any temperature below zero degree celsius." I may whine about the freezing cold but I wouldn't live anywhere else but here in Toronto. We have all 4 seasons of weather but thankfully (knock on wood) no catastrophic natural disasters such as hurricane, tornado, earthquakes or floods. Winter is simply my time to hibernate.

Unfortunately today my fridge was empty and I did not feel like trekking out far in the snowy weather so Congee Time it is for some simple but delicious and rather filling Chinese cuisine.

Here is our usual order.

My boyfriend always orders the beef chow mein. He loves the crispy fried yellow noodles drenched with a hearty topping of meat and veggies.

My favorite dish is the congee with pork and preserved egg and salted egg. I always scoop out the preserved egg and eat the rest of the congee. My boyfriend always question why don't I just order the congee without the preserved egg. I reply it's just not the same. It's my quirk. I can't help it. The only thing missing is salted peanuts. I remember when I was a kid most restaurants served the peanuts with congee but nowadays with all the nut allergies they no longer offer it which is a shame since I loved the crunchy texture it added.

Here is black peppered beef that I normally add to my congee to give it a boost of flavor.

Another regular is the rice noodle in X.O. sauce served with peanut and hoisin dipping sauce. I personally like the hoisin sauce over the peanut sauce.

I wanted to try something new so I chose this dish which was pan fried rice noodle with beef and enoki mushrooms. It came with the same dipping sauce as the previous rice noodle dish but it was tasty enough that it did not require the extra sauces at all. This will be one of my usuals from now on.

To end the meal we washed it all down with a glass of HK style milk tea drink. I don't really know what makes it HK style but we love gulping down this drink.


5817 Yonge Street
(close to Finch)

Congee Time on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Casa Mendoza

I saw some reviews and heard that one of my favourite restaurant might be sold to a condo developer. Booooooo!!!

Therefore, I was compelled to blog about this hidden lil gem.

Casa Mendoza is an oasis hidden from the bustling streets of Toronto.

It is located close to Lake Ontario and offers a breathtaking view of the city's skyline.

I discovered this restaurant when I was searching for a place to celebrate my anniversary. I noticed that they had dinner and dancing along with a great view of the city lights. It sounded perfect.

When me and my boyfriend first arrived it didn't look so perfect on the outside. It looked like one of those bed & breakfast places you find along the highway.

Nevertheless, we walked in. We were warmly greeted by a hostess who then led us to our table. We asked for a seat by the window since the place was empty and we did come for the view but surprisingly, we were told the place was booked for the night. She wasn't kidding. After we received our first dish the place was piling with patrons.

The restaurant had a huge terrace out at the back of the restaurant. It faced out to the lake and there was a spectacular view of the city night lights. You can even clearly see the CN Tower lights illuminating from the skyline.

We started off with the escargot which was oven baked in mushroom caps with garlic, butter and mozzarella cheese. It was cheesy gooooood.

Here we have their home made gnocchi with fresh lobster meat and wild mushrooms in a dungeness crab cream sauce. It was divine. I couldn't get enough of this dish. It was the best gnocchi I have ever tasted. You can feel the tender loving care put into this magnificent dish.

Lastly, we had one of the house delights, a seafood platter for two. Our jaws dropped when our server brought this plate to our table. It was a huge mountain of seafood. Normally if you order a seafood platter most places only provide one of each shellfish. Here, they were not skimping. It was truly a house delight. There was lobster, tiger shrimps, sea scallops, mussels, calamari, and Alaskan king crab legs served on a bed of Spanish rice. It was scrumptious. However, we couldn't finish the seafood medley since there was just too much.

During the course of our meal there was a live musician playing the piano. It was a perfect anniversary dinner. Although the place doesn't appear elegant or glamourous it just has that warm intimate feeling that makes it perfect.

There was dancing at 9pm but we were stuffed and ready to go home and just unwind (well more like unbutton my pants lol) so sadly we didn't stay for the event. Hopefully next time we can make another trip. I just hope the news isn't true. I hope they will remain open for a very long time.


Casa Mendoza on Urbanspoon

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Fuzion Resto-Lounge & Garden

I was browsing through my old photos and thought I would share some foodie pix.

I went to Fuzion Resto-Lounge & Garden for a snack with a couple of girlfriends.

The 120-year old Victorian house had 2 floors. The dining area on the first floor and a lounge on the top floor. There was also a patio outside. Unfortunately it was raining cats and dogs that day so we chose to stay dry indoors.

At first we were seated in the dining area and we found it to be really snug so we opted for the open lounge area. Much better. I like my space. I hate to be all cramped up. My arm can pretty much touch the people at the next table. It was a really cozy space and they definitely maximized their space by cramming in as much tables and chairs as they possibly could.

We ordered some appetizers to share. I don't remember exactly what we had ordered but I do remember it being tasty but the portions were very small. Although it was a bit on the pricey side nonetheless, it was delicious.

I remembered the service was really great. The servers were very friendly and attentive. We were trying to take pictures and they were so nice to offer a helping hand.

I would love to return and sit in their tropical oasis out in the courtyard. Hopefully the weather will be kind to me next time.


Fuzion on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Peak Top Cuisine

Duck is not my top choice when it comes to meat but when I'm at Peak Top Cuisine duck is the only meat I order.

The most popular dish at this restaurant is the peking duck. It's a 2 course meal which can feed 2 people. I always order this dish every time I come here and each and every single time it never disappoints.

It starts off with a whole duck where the waiter slices off the skin of the duck right before your eyes. With each slice you can hear the crispiness of the duck skin. I was drooling just at the sound of it.The rest of the meat is then taken back to the kitchen to be stir fried for the next dish.

The skin is then wrapped in some sort of flour wrap with shaved green onions, cucumber, carrot and a dab of hoisin sauce. It is soooo yummy. Each bite filled with flavorful juicy duck meat with a bit of crunch from the skin. Fatty but oh so gooooood:)

Once we chowed down the first dish the waiter brings us the second course. The remainder of the duck stir fried with veggies.

The meat is wrapped in a piece of fresh green lettuce smeared with a dash of hoisin sauce.

Me and my boyfriend normally get stuffed from this duck meal but my boyfriend was craving for the dungeoness crab in the H.K. style seasoning with shallots, garlic, minced pork and chili powder. It was scrumptious. We were sucking out every morsel of crab meat from the shell taking in the sweet flavor of the crab mixed with the salty chili seasoning. What a perfect combination. Gotta love Asian food.

When I went to go rinse my hands the sinks in the washroom are adorable. They definitely go well with the Asian decor.

Overall, the best peking duck in the city.


3255 Rutherford Road, Unit 22-25
(close to 400)

Peak Top Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Shanghai Restaurant

Located along Yonge Street south of Finch, Shanghai Restaurant is the best place to go to for noodles with black bean sauce. Normally I head to Sunny Dragon for the noodles because of convenience since I can't parallel park but when I go with my boyfriend he loves to drive to Shanghai restaurant.

This restaurant is a Chinese-Korean fusion cuisine. Think the owners are Koreans since the patrons are mostly Koreans. The decor is very simple and basic. Fridays and Saturdays the restaurant is opened late till 2am in the morning.

There's more to this menu but since we only ordered 2 dishes I only snapped a picture of the page we were ordering from. We ordered #40 which is jajangmyun, stir fried noodles with black bean sauce, beef and seafood and #51 is a seafood noodle soup. I'm not sure what the Korean name is for the noodle soup but it was delicious. The soup is thick. It looks like the Chinese corn and egg drop soup but more tastier and flavorful.

As for the black bean noodles mmm mmm good as always. It never disappoints. The noodles for both dishes were freshly made not the ones you find in packages. An added bonus. It may not look so pretty in the picture but it definitely taste better than it looks.


Shanghai Restaurant
5471 Yonge Street
(close to Finch)

Shanghai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Kimchi Jjigae

My boyfriend made kimchi jjigae, aka kimchi stew, and it was delish and I'm not just saying that to score some brownie points with him.

Although it may appear scary to some but believe me it is not spicy at all even though it looks really spicy red. My tolerance for spicy food is pretty much on the low end but this was not hot at all. Then again we used the leftover kimchi from my inlaws. It was fresh so it hadn't soaked up all the spices for too long.

Last time my boyfriend made it he used the entire bucket of kimchi that he bought from the Galleria supermarket. It was definitely spicy but I ate a lot of rice with it so it wasn't too bad. Think the best Korean food are the really spicy ones so will have to build up my tolerance for it slowly in order to eat the really good dishes.

Just in case anybody wants to try to make this at home here is the recipe. It's very simple to prepare. Also it's very versatile so you can add things like tofu, seafood or scallions.

Also if you buy a bucket of kimchi from the supermarket if you like it less vinegary like me then try to choose the most recent date that it was made. Unless you like the more stronger taste then you can choose a later date. The more older it is the more fermented it will be and will contain higher amounts of the "good" bacteria that are also found in yogurt. Sounds disgusting but at least it's good for you.


Pork shoulder butt
Sesame Oil
King oyster mushrooms
Enoki mushrooms
Chicken broth


Brown the pork in sesame oil. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir fry for a few minutes.

Then transfer to a pot and add a few cups of boiling water. Depending on how much soup you make you will have to eyeball it and figure out how much water to add.

Simmer on low heat for 30-40 minutes.

Keep tasting the soup and season it to your liking.

That's it. Hope you enjoy the soup as much as I do:)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hair of the Dog

Yes this is actually the name of a pub. I went to the gay village today for some brunch with my cousin. Hair of the Dog was the destination.

Once we entered the pub we were quickly greeted with a warm smile by a friendly waiter.

The pub has 2 floors and a little patio out front. We sat all the way at the back away from the window since it was pretty chilly outside.

We were given complimentary pineapple muffins to begin with.

My cousin had the strawberry french toast with cream cheese. It was just okay nothing spectacular about it but definitely better than my dish.

I wanted to try something new so I ordered the easy as pie which was a deep-dish breakfast which included scalloped potatoes, cheddar cheese, peameal bacon, ham, onions, peppers, and 2 poached eggs. It was good the first couple of bites but then after a while I just got sick of it think from the cheesiness so ended up not finishing the dish. My cousin gave me a disapproving look for wasting food but if I don't like it why would I force myself to finish it. Well at least I finished the peameal bacon since you can never really go wrong with bacon.

Wished I had got the benedict instead. There was a table of 3 guys sitting next to us who all had the benny. It looked yummy. Maybe that's the popular dish. Oh well if I'm ever along Church again maybe I'll try that instead.


Hair of the Dog on Urbanspoon
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