November 28, 2012

Yuzu No Hana

I rarely eat sushi downtown, so it took a long time for me to finally end up at Yuzu, a highly acclaimed spot on Richmond Street.
This will mostly be a picture post as I had this dinner a long time ago and can't remember all the details.

November 23, 2012

Pastel Creperie & Dessert House

Pastel Creperie & Dessert House is an adorable little place nestled in the Finch and Yonge area. Parking can be a pain around this part of town, so I really appreciated that Pastel offers free underground parking at the rear. Just make sure you figure out how to get to that lot!
In addition to sweets and pastries, savoury crepes are also offered if you're looking for something more substantial.
Pastel sources their cakes from Rahier. This is their cappuccino cheesecake ($5.49), which I had a taste of. It was very rich and I'm not quite sure I could finish the whole serving on my own, in spite of my love for cheesecakes.  

November 18, 2012

Richmond Station

Being a huge Top Chef fan, I obviously had to try out winner Chef Carl Heinrich's new restaurant. Marben was one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto so needless to say, I was super stoked to eat at Richmond Station. However, my experience here was inevitably compared to my dinner at runner-up Trevor's Bird's restaurant, Fable, in Vancouver. Notably, both restaurants embrace a farm-to-table dining concept.
We started with fresh bread, served with some soya oil and balsamic vinegar that was absolutely awesome. My mom kept bugging to me ask for more bread because she loved dip so much.
Being a polenta-lover, I also ordered polenta fries ($8) with bomba mayonnaise and marinara to share. The outside was superbly crispy with a soft, creamy interior. One complaint I had was that the bomba mayonnaise was smeared onto the serving board, hardly enough for me to properly taste. I really wished there was more for dipping. While the marinara was nice, I didn't think it was the best complement for the fries. I wanted a dip with more tang. My mom wasn't the biggest fan of these, citing that she preferred potato fries. However, she did enjoy dipping them in the soya oil + balsamic vinegar mixture that was meant for the bread.

November 15, 2012

The Gabardine

I've heard so many great things about The Gabardine that I couldn't be more excited to finally try it out for myself. My friends and I met up for a Friday lunch. We arrived promptly before 11:30 so we luckily were able to snatch a table for 7, quite a difficult feat for such a small restaurant. The place soon filled up within 10 minutes of opening for lunch service and remained extremely busy throughout our meal. Note that The Gabardine does not take reservations for lunch.
Ivan had the fish pie ($20) with with clams, mussels, haddock,smoked trout, mashed potato and buttermilk biscuit. The "pie" turned out to be more like a seafood chowder. I tried a spoonful and it was luxuriously rich and creamy, maybe a little too heavy for lunch.
Sandy and I shared a shrimp po'boy ($15) with butter lettuce, tomato relish and aioli. I was so glad we settled on ordering this as it turned out to be my favourite dish on the table! What really stood out was the sweet tomato relish, which packed a punch of flavour. It was a difficult to contain everything in the sandwich - the delicately fried shrimp, in particular - into one bite, but the resulting combination was absolutely delicious!

November 8, 2012

Yang's Fine Chinese Cuisine

I came to Yang's Chinese Cuisine for dim sum twice in the last month, after my go-to dim sum restaurant in Richmond Hill, Ambassador Chinese Cuisine, abruptly closed down in September after 18 years in business (my heart broke a little).
Baked BBQ pork puffs with pineapple (L)- this was delicious, a perfect combination of savoury and sweet. In addition, the pastry was really nice and flaky. 
Deep fried minced pork and taro puffs (S)- also a pretty good version that wasn't overly greasy.

November 7, 2012

Momofuku Noodle Bar (NYC)

It was a rainy day that we went to Momofuku Noodle Bar in NYC. We had just gotten poured on while attempting to take a walk through Central Park, and this lunch could not have been more welcomed.
Compared to rice cakes I had at Toronto's Noodle Bar, this version of brisket rice cakes ($14) with spinach, pickled red onions and fried egg was far superior! The flavours were homey, comforting, and so perfect on a rainy day. When we cut open the fried egg, the golden yolk spilled out beautifully to coat each and every one of the rice cakes, adding a lovely, velvety creaminess.
This was my second experience with Momofuku's famous pork buns ($10). I believe I lucked out because my pork bun had an extraordinarily huge slab of pork belly! (My friends were indeed quite envious). In general, the pork buns here were the biggest amongst the three Momofuku's I've been to (Sydney, NYC and Toronto). Perhaps I was tired, hungry, or maybe it was just the rain, but the pork bun that day was more delicious than I could ever imagine.

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