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Monthly Archives: January 2019

Accidental Tradition

I guess it has become a (yearly?) tradition now: super fancy, prix fixe sushi dinners. We had one last year at Yasu for my birthday. Now this year we went to Shoushin and decided that it was our Valentine’s dinner. A month early but who cares.

Shoushin had been on two of the lists I read: Toronto Life’s top 100 of 2018, and the best of Canada 2018. I had high hopes for this dinner. It was a similar set-up and same premise as Yasu: lots of little dishes, allowing you to sample all the chef has to offer. I am a huge fan of this style of menu. You get one piece of each type of sashimi, allowing you to try a large variety. It being a high-quality restaurant, it’s also a good opportunity to try fish that I did not like in the past. Maybe it was in the quality or the preparation? As it turns out, I am still not a fan of sea urchin. I’ve had it three times total, one time from a crappy sushi place in a mall and two times at fancy onakase restaurants. It’s just not good.

It was fun eating each individual piece of sashimi and debate it, was it better than the previous? This especially worked nicely when it came to the three tuna pieces: it went from lean to medium to fatty. Oh man was the fatty one good. It was kind of hard to pick a favourite overall. The first one had more flavours to it, but the fatty tuna was just so damn melt-in-your-mouth good.

For dessert we had matcha jelly and squash creme brulee. Not the best dishes, but still an overall great dinner. It is our current top contender for 2019. But, still not as good as Yasu. A lot of the sashimi pieces, though made with different types of fish, were seasoned much the same: some soy sauce, a bit of fresh wasabi. There was not much variety in the preparation. It was still fun to watch as they prepared it all, fresh before our eyes.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2019 in Fooding, Uncategorized

 

Is That The Best You Can Do?

I had seen a delicious looking cheeseburger from Toronto on Instagram and when I found out where to get one I immediately insisted on adding it to our fooding list. It was only after that I found out that the cheeseburger from Resto Boemo at Chef’s Assemebly Hall had been voted best burger of 2018 by Toronto Life*. I was even more excited now! Add on a side of parmesan truffle fries and it was setting up to be an epic meal. And it better have been for that price (high teens, almost 20).

It looked good. The bun was lightly toasted. It certainly looked better than the lamb baklava Brent was having as an appetizer from the stall across the way, it was teeny-tiny. Oh, by the way, Chef’s Assembly Hall is basically a fancy food court with a bar and a beer hall- which unfortunately  was closed that day for a private (Google?) party. I stole a tiny bite of the app and I was not impressed. This trend continued. The burger was a sad little one. I had ordered a single, expecting a hefty patty. Instead I had a shoe-string patty. And it was rather charred- which doesn’t work on such a thin surface. The best part of the burger, and the only thing that made it good actually (besides the bun) was the sauce. And that should never be the case. The fries were good but in the end there were too many and I had to stop. I couldn’t eat any more. If they were regular fries yes, I could have kept eating. That is the downside to parmesan-truffle seasoning.

Dessert would save the day right? An icing sandwich cookie from Short & Sweet. Alas, they were closed as was the place where Brent wanted his dinner from. He instead got kimchi chicken but it was not that good. He eventually abandoned the kale salad for my fries. Smart choice. In the end we had Bulk Barn for dessert- a fine choice.

*looking at the picture in the review, the patty the reviewer had from Resto Boemo is way thicker, I got shortchanged by 2/3 of a patty!

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2019 in Fooding, Uncategorized

 

Cookie, Cookie, Cookie, I Love Thee

This year I am following Cookie Monster’s advice: “dis year me focusing on me self-care. When me need little love, me going to give meself cookie.” Words to live by. And how perfect, best new bakery 2018 was recently posted and #1 is Craig’s Cookies. And it just so happened that I would be in the west end (donating stuff to Value Village around round #1 of KonMari tidying up). It was kismet.

I ordered a half dozen cookies and made sure to cover the spread. We had: original, smores (shaped more like a little cake), Oreo, Reese’s Pieces, toffee , and what I think was some kind of white-chocolate-over-milk-chocolate candy bar? The last one was impossible to remember hours later when we opened the grease-stained cardboard box. I made the mistake of starting with the Reese’s pieces one (it looked so good!). Really we should have started with the original. Either way, he blew my cookies out of the water. Sweetmotherofgod these were the best damn cookies I have ever had. The only point against them (if you can call it that) is that they are so rich and heavy you can’t really binge eat them. Either way, I was in heaven and dessert-wise it is going to be really tough to top that.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2019 in Fooding, Uncategorized

 

By George, What A Meal!

Good thing we made dinner reservations at George. Not. The place was half empty. We were by far the youngest ones in there and the most casually dressed. Our server asked us if we were celebrating anything (clearly the only reason we would be eating there). Nope, just another Wednesday night out, fooding as usual. From my notes it says that

We had two options for dinner: a blind tasting menu (different sized menus available) or a-la carte. I don’t like not knowing and they were not specifically known for their tasting menu. Besides, we had already looked it up online previously and we knew exactly what we wanted. Except for wine. They did not have their wine list online, but that was what they had an award for! (I had it in my notes that they were top 100 but I cannot for the life of me find the original source for that).

When the amuse bouche arrived I had not been paying attention and for a brief second I thought it was my starter and I was shocked at how small it was. Only when I looked across and saw that Brent had the same dish did it dawn on me. Oops. It was delicious and I had high hopes for the erst of our meal. I had ordered the lobster with lemongrass and it was amazing. Brent had the duck breast, almost as good as my dish but a smidge less. He agreed in reverse, so after a few bites of each others we traded back. After that we split a second dish, the short rib and puff pastry. It was bland and not that good. The meat had no seasoning or taste to it. It was odd given how good everything else had been so far. For our mains (ordered off the “third” menu) I had the glacier bass and Brent had the beef rib eye. He won by a mile. The fish was good but nothing remarkable. The mussels on the side had been brined and were too salty. The beef rib eye, however, it was incredible. Perfectly seasoned and so good.

For dessert Brent had the sorrel and apple sorbet (sour and sour!) it was refreshingly good. I had the pistachio nougat gelato. I had to get gelato, the chef had gone to Gelato University. And it showed. The dessert was delicious. By then I had finished my glass of red wine and ordered 2oz of a 1987 aged madeira wine. I was curious what something that old would taste like. Raisins. It tasted like raisins, and it was so dark and thick and syrupy. It was great, I loved it. Except maybe the last sip, by then I was done.

By the end we debated only slightly, it was better than Aviary Brewpub, despite Aviary’s stellar speed of service.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2019 in Fooding

 

New Year, New Beer

We decided that for 2019 we would keep active rankings of all our fooding dates, making it easier to keep track of our experiences and most obviously: to help us with our top year end picks (I know, I know, it’s only the beginning of the year- except, just a few weeks ago we were struggling to name our top 2018, so there).

Our list of places has grown beyond just BlogTO (and the occasional Toronto Life) best-of’s. In addition to the top 2018 restaurants of Canada we have added place that I have seen on Instagram and thought hey, I’d like to eat there. We started the year off at one such place. I had seen Aviary Brewpub on Instagram as one of the newer breweries to crop up in Toronto and what better way to start the new year? I don’t like beer. BUT a chocolate cupcake baked with beer? That I can get down with. House-made cracker jacks? Where do I sign? Fried chicken sandwich and house-made sausage seemed like good bets at a sports/brewpub. The cracker jacks were great and we devoured them before our food even arrived (which was actually really fast, the service was impeccable- we were just really hungry). I did not really care for the prize inside the bag, a rubbery little knock-off Bugs Bunny (it lays in a drawer now, just waiting to get KonMarie’d* out of the house). The first few bites of the fried chicken sandwich were disappointing, but it came together when you got the coleslaw in there. The hotdog won by a margin, but it too was only average. I did like the horseradish mustard though. Instead of fries there was the option to get tater tots as a side and I figured if Brent was getting fries, I could get tater tots and we ‘d split it all. I’ve never liked the idea of tater tots, but I thought I would give them a try given how much people like them. And all I did was confirm that I do not like tater tots. At all. The cupcake was good, it had a cream filling. But calling it a cupcake is a lie. It was more of a small, rich, chocolate cake. It was so rich I couldn’t finish it. ME! Can you imagine?

Don’t like beer? Don’t worry, they also had a Niagara cider on offer. There was a hibiscus beer that was alright as well.

 

* another fun thing for 2019? I’ve totally been taken in with the KonMarie method of tidying up and sparking joy in my life

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2019 in Fooding

 
 
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