May 31, 2011

Dim Sum @ Crown Prince Fine Dining

Crown Prince is one of my favourite dim sum spots because their food is refined AND they have the early bird special! I know that $2.80 for any SML item is still not very cheap, but I do enjoy the food here a lot. Not to mention that the ambiance is very elegant and extravagant.
Tea is served in a very pretty pot, and the cups are a lot bigger than the usual dim sum ones so you don't have to keep refilling it.
Pumpkin and corn congee was really great to start. I loved the combination of pumpkin and corn, and the result was not overly sweet.
Beef tendon with Chu Hou sauce was very tender and delicious. I almost forgot how much I enjoy beef tendon.
Steamed glutinous rice dumpling with egg yolk and canopy was also a hit. I like to break open the dumpling and get right to the fatty goodness of the cured egg yolk and pork in the middle.
Next, the baked eel puff pastry won over my heart and stomach. The concoction resembles deep fried taro dumpling (another dim sum staple) with a piece of eel encased in the center. I will definitely order this again the next time I come here.
I also enjoyed the rice noodle stuffed with spring roll. Usually, I prefer rice noodle stuffed with fried dough stick, but I appreciate the innovative pairing with the spring roll. The veggies and herbs in the spring roll added a punch of flavours that complemented the overall dish quite well.
Sweet egg yolk paste layer cake was so good that I wanted to eat all four pieces! The rich egg yolk paste (which tasted like custard) layered between fluffy sponge cake was an absolute delight.
At first sight, the deep fried sesame ball with egg yolk paste appear quite ordinary...
...but it was wonderful to bite into that piping hot filling! This was a very well-executed version of a classic dim sum dessert. 
Crown Prince on Urbanspoon

May 29, 2011

Celebration @ Mirage Grill and Lounge

The birthday celebration continues at Mirage. We ordered some drinks and desserts. First up- Bistro Choco-la: Irish Cream, Crème de Cacao and Vodka, blended with chocolate ice cream. It tasted like a chocolate milkshake (which is always a good thing).
I had my favourite cocktail- bellini, described as a refreshing and adventurous mix of sparkling wine and peach puree blended with ice.
Later, I also enjoyed a Piña Colada, which was a tad too sweet.


My friend ordered a waffle sundae and this concoction showed up at our table. We were all mystified about the "waffle"... did that wavy cup that the sundae was served in qualify as a "waffle cup"?
As it turned out, they made a mistake. So they took it back, after a little while, my friend finally got his waffle sundae: strawberry and vanilla ice cream draped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce in a signature waffle cup. It still really wasn't a "waffle cup", because it was just four pieces of waffle added to the sides of the sundae.
My boyfriend got the perfect couple crepe again. This time, the crepe wasn't crispy at all, and he was disappointed about that.
My other friend ordered the mocha crunch cake: three stacks of feather-light almond meringue enclose layers of creamy chocolate fudge and mocha mousse, adorned with enchanting swirls of fudge and natural almonds. The slice was pretty big so I got to mooch off from her, which I was very happy about. Contrary to the description, the meringue was not that light, but rather crunchy. However, it did pair well with the creamy mousse.
I'm also including pictures from a dinner that I had here previously. We weren't that hungry that time so we ordered two appetizers as our meal, which was actually pretty big. First, we have the quesadilla con pollo: grilled tortilla stuffed with roast chicken, diced fresh tomatoes, green pepper, jalapeños, caramelized onions, mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Served with house salsa and fresh sour cream. It was hard to get the salsa because it quickly became all mixed up with the bed of greens that it was served on. We had to ask for more salsa, but all in all this was pretty tasty.
Chicken Fingers: homemade chicken breast tenders served with plum sauce for dipping and a side Caesar salad. Pretty generic and nothing amazing. Overall, I think I prefer coming here for dessert and drinks rather than meals.
Mirage Grill & Lounge on Urbanspoon

May 27, 2011

Birthday Celebrations @ Restoran Malaysia

For a dear friend's birthday celebration, we chose Malaysia for some Southern Asian comfort food. This time around, we tried a couple of new things to mix in with our old favourites. To start off, we had roti and curry beef, which was a lot better than the vegetarian version because the curry is more robust. I don't really care for the meat, and just the sauce and roti was sufficient to satisfy me.
We also shared an appetizer platter, featuring satay beef, satay chicken, fish cakes, and spring rolls, served with plum sauce and peanut sauce. Everything was tasty, but my favourite was the fish cake.
Nasi Ayam Melayu- roasted crispy-skin chicken with a side of steamed chicken rice- was spectacular. The chicken was tender and flavourful, and the crispy chicken skin made it all the more scrumptious! I particularly enjoyed the spicy dipping sauce for the chicken, which added a wonderful kick to the meat. And of course, the steamed chicken rice (same ones used for Singaporean chicken rice) was simply divine. This was my favourite dish of the meal.
Instead of ordering pad thai, we opted for something new: Masak Debal (Angel's Fire) with Ayam (Chicken). According to the description, the sauce has chili, mustard, shallot, turmeric, and spices, which sounded like a good combination to me. But most of all, I was intrigued by the name "angel's fire" and the promised heat (it had three chilis!). Unfortunately, this didn't turn out to be very spicy at all, even though the flavours were quite powerful. As well, the meat was tough and didn't quite measure up to the chicken from the previous dish.
Almost immediately after placing our orders, I regretted the choice of Wat Tan Ho: Wok-tossed flat rice noodle topped with thick seafood, chicken, vegetable and egg sauce. That was because the description sounded delicious, but as soon as I said the name - Wat Tan Ho - out loud, I knew what it was: 滑蛋河. It wasn't bad, but just too Chinese-like for me. I felt like I could have ordered this at a Chinese diner. 
Restoran Malaysia on Urbanspoon

May 26, 2011

Brunch @ Caplansky's Delicatessen

I've heard so much about Caplansky, so I was absolutely thrilled to be able to finally eat here one day for a very late brunch.
I was very excited when I saw cheesecake on their dessert menu, but unfortunately, they had ran out by this time. I did, however, tried their soup special of the day.
Creamy onion and potato soup was part of my sandwich combo. The soup was satisfying and delicious, even on a warm day.
Of course, we had to try their famous smoked meat sandwich, and comparisons with Montreal's Schwartz are inevitable. I must say that I personally prefer the smoked meat from Schwartz, which was more moist, juicy and tender. However, since I don't have a chance to visit Montreal very often, the smoked meat here is adequately delicious. I was, however, surprised by the small size of the sandwich (we ordered a regular size).
Caplansky has a variety of homemade mustard to choose from. I went straight for super extra hot and slathered it all over my half of the smoked meat sandwich. Smoked meat and mustard make a heavenly combination!
The other sandwich that I ordered was the BBQ beef brisket on a bun- glazed with their homemade bbq sauce and served with crispy onion on an onion bun. For the same price ($8), this sandwich was enormous compared to the smoked meat one! It was literally a hill of succulent, melt-in-your-mouth beef brisket piled high on the bun. I couldn't take a bite out of the sandwich without the meat falling off the side. I could barely eat half of this, so I had to pack the rest of it home for my mom's enjoyment. Without doubt, I'll be going back to Caplansky's very soon to try out other menu items.
Caplansky's Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

May 24, 2011

Mother's Day Dinner @ Sariwon

For Mother's Day this year, I took the whole family to Sariwon for Korean Barbeque. Unfortunately, they had some sort of special function that day, so a lot of diners were left standing at the door for a long time without anyone to greet us. Because I made reservations, we were seated within 20 minutes or so, but I saw a lot of my fellow diners waiting at the door for a very long time. Not very impressive service...
I liked the salad a lot. The dressing had a nice balance of sweet and sour, and it was very refreshing to have before eating all that bbq meat.
Various complimentary banchan. Sariwon gives you a lot of variety.
I'm still not quite sure what that green stuff on the left is, but it was pretty good.
Out of the appetizers, I particularly loved the peanuts and anchovies.
We ordered two types of meat for the bbq: Korean beef ribs marinated in special sweet sauce and fresh boneless beef.
My favourite is their beef marinated in their specialty sweet sauce. No additional dipping sauce was required!
The beef was succulent! You could tell that the meat was very high in quality because it was still moist and juicy after being overcooked.
I also sampled their seafood pancake, which was rather unremarkable.
They also served a complimentary spicy seafood soup, which was delicious and satisfying, particularly on a chilly day.
Dolsot BiBimBob was perfectly tasty. I squirted a mount of spicy sauce onto the rice! I guess it's hard to mess this up in a Korean restaurant.
We ended the meal with a refreshing cup of sweet ginger tea. All in all, it was a great meal. Although Sariwon is pricier than most typical Korean restaurants, the barbeque items were truly outstanding. It was a worthwhile splurge for a special occasion.
Sariwon Korean BBQ Restuarant on Urbanspoon

May 22, 2011

Dim sum @ Elegant Chinese Cuisine

Elegant Chinese Cuisine has a strange, industrial feel to the space, while Chinese paintings line the walls. We came here for the weekday dim sum special, in which small, medium and large dishes are all the same price.
Congee with veggies, lean pork, and a duo of preserved and salted egg was a good palate cleanser. I particularly loved the pairing of the preserved egg and the creamy congee.
Steamed rice noodle with shrimp and mushroom was very well-executed. The rice noodle was velvety smooth and delicious.
Korean-style grilled beef short ribs was not quite as good as the authentic Korean ones, but satisfying nevertheless. I really liked the sweetness in the sauce.
Golden vegetarian bean curd roll with teriyaki sauce arrived piping hot and almost burned my tongue. I loved the textural combination of the crunchiness and softer interior. The teriyaki sauce complemented the flavours very well.
Deep fried shrimp dumpling served with salad dressing was also a hit. Anything deep fried and dipped in mayo can't go wrong.
Steamed sticky rice with pork and shrimps in lotus leaf is something that I like to order once in a while. I love how the aroma of the lotus leaf seeps through the rice.
I was somewhat disappointed by the golden steamed egg custard bun. There was too much bun and too little custard.
Elegant Chinese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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