• [Food Post] Bar Isabel

    Bar Isabel is a popular restaurant known for their Spanish-influenced tapas dishes. Its location on College and Ossington is easily accessible, and there's a paid parking lot nearby.

  • [App/Tech] Tab Payments

    Tab is a recent Toronto startup that aims to make dining out seamlessly easy. They have partnered up with several restaurants where customers can pay their bills with the Tab app; eliminating the use of a physical credit card, or cash.

  • [Food Post] Jacobs and Co.

    Jacobs and Co. Steakhouse has a very sizable steak selection which are visibly displayed in a glass container at the front. The glass contains dry-aged beef with information tags on them (name, date, etc ...) for customers to choose from.

  • [Food Post] Sake Bar Kushi

    We were provided with a few items from their regular menu and June specials menu. Not only do they serve kushi (skewered poultry and non-poultry), but they also offer a great variety of tapas styled dishes that are meant to be shared

  • [Travel] Satsuki and Mei's House from Totoro

    My Neighbor Totoro is a 1988 animated production written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It's a childhood favorite of many people and I have seen many shops dedicated to selling Totoro merchandise while in Japan.

  • [Food Post] Canoe Restaurant + Bar

    Canoe is one of Toronto's critically acclaimed restaurants offering upscale Canadian cuisine. It is located on the 54th floor of Toronto Dominion Bank Towers in the financial district. As it is relatively high up; its beautifully designed dining room offers a spectacular view of the city's skyline.

  • [Food Post] Au Pied de Cochon

    One of the great appeals of the restaurant is their extensive menu. The menu at Au Pied de Cochon offers concoction of dishes that entails the uses of animal parts that are not always found in other restaurants.

  • [Food Post] Dragon Legend

    The buffet selection at Dragon Legend is abundant enough without overcompensating quantity over quality. Their buffet options showcases an array selection of both Western and Asian dishes.

  • [Food Post] Richmond Station

    Richmond Station is an upscale farm-to-table restaurant offering Canadian dishes using fresh ingredients. It is helmed by the winner of Top Chef Canada (Season 2), Chef Carl Heinrich, who opened the restaurant in late 2012.

  • [Travel] Day #15 in Japan [Koyasan]

    A shukubo is an accommodation that allows you to stay in a Japanese temple or shrine for the night, and enables you to experience the culture. You are given your own personal room, and there are multiple washroom facilities throughout the temple.

The Big Chill

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The Big Chill is a small yet very colorful ice-cream parlor on the corner of Manning Ave & College St. It's situated in Little Italy, and they only take cash. However, there's a BMO right across the street from the ice-cream parlour so that's convenient. They have a decent selection of ice-cream flavors but what caught my eyes was their fresh waffle cones (made to order).

 

The Big Chill offers other kinds of desserts beside ice cream such as cookies, banana split, crepes, ice-cream sandwiches, and sundaes.



 The overall space was bright, colorful, and very reminiscent of an old-fashioned ice cream parlor of the past. 


I ended up getting two scoops of black raspberry cheesecake. I may be petite, but I sure love food and definitely sweets ;) I am not exactly sure of the price but I paid a little under $7.00 for the ice-cream cone ($5.95 for two scoops + tax). The reason for the higher price was due to the hot and fresh waffle cone. I believe that the regular cone or in a cup is substantially cheaper. I am not a huge fan of waffles, but the one from The Big Chill was really good and crispy. 


My SO got one scoop of their coconut ice-cream flavor, which had some coconut shavings. The coconut flavor wasn't very strong but it was still a nice treat if you like coconuts.

Additionally, the service was quick and friendly for the few times that we have been there. Summer is officially over, but the weather has surprisingly been rather lovely last week. Let's hope that it stays that way for a little while longer.

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Congee Wong

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 This is going to be an extremely short review as it was a pick-up order for my family. Congee Wong is my family's go-to restaurant for some Chinese food uptown. They offer quick service, consistent food and the prices are good for what you get. It's not amazing by any means, but it sure gets you full as the portions are big. Congee Wong has an extensive menu offering a wide variety of Chinese dishes between $10-20 each. I called for pick-up, and the entire food order was ready in 20 minutes (all packed to go), which was nice. The overall food quality that night was pretty good, and my favorite was the stir-fried lobster with ginger.

 Bean beef rice noodle ($8.25)
 Stir-fried lobster with ginger ($17.50)
 Deep fried wonton ($5.50)
 Spice & pepper salt ($7.50)
 Crab meat and fish maw soup ($11.95)
Seafood chow mein ($10.95)

Address: 10 Ravel Rd, North York, ON M2H 1S8

Congee Wong on Urbanspoon

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Day #18 in Japan [Hiroshima]

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 It took less than an hour to get from Okayama Station to Hiroshima Station by JR train. We arrived in Hiroshima around lunch time, and decided to try out okonomiyaki; one of the city's specialties. 

Fri, Dec 27, 2013 (Day #18)

Fukucyann (lunch)

The okonomiyaki in Hiroshima differs from the ones made in Osaka, as the ingredients here are not mixed in with one another. Instead, the ingredients (noodles, egg, beansprouts, cabbage, etc ...) are stacked on top of one another to make the savory pancake-like dish. Located nearby the locker area of JR Hiroshima Station was Fukucyann; they serve various okonomiyaki.

Located conveniently inside of JR Hiroshima Station (upstairs).
The kitchen is opened so you can watch the okonomiyaki being made.
Niku-tama and shrimps okonomiyaki (udon) (¥930).
Oysters okonomiyaki (¥1200).
Hiroshima's Maple-Oop Bus (JR Rail Pass)

 Since we were already at JR Hiroshima Station and holders of the JR Rail Pass; we decided to go to Hiroshima Castle using the Maple-Oop bus. The Maple-Oop bus is a loop bus that runs every half an hour from Hiroshima Station to several tourist destinations in the city of Hiroshima.


The bus can take you to the following tourist spots:
Hiroshima Station (Shinkansen-guchi Entrance)
Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum (Shukkeien Garden)
Hiroshima Museum of Art / Hiroshima Castle
Kamiya-cho
Genbaku Dome(A-Bomb Dome)
Peace Memorial Park / Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Yokogawa Station
Hiroshima Prefectural Art Musuem (Shukkeien Garden)
Hatchobori
Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art


Cost: ¥200 (adult) per ride or ¥400 for a 1-day pass (unlimited). However, it's FREE if you have a JR Rail Pass. You need to show the pass to the driver when you exit the bus; he will either document the number or take a photo of it for documentation purposes.

Hiroshima Castle


It was raining extremely hard when we left Hiroshima Castle. It pretty much rained into the night, so once again we had to cut our plans short.


Matsuya (dinner)

Due to the heavy rain, it kind of ruined our plans. Additionally, we had a limited amount of data that we can use for the rest of the trip. So we didn't spend our time wandering cluelessly around the city looking for a restaurant. The good thing was that I didn't plan for us to go to any particular restaurant in Hiroshima so no reservation needed to be cancelled. However, one block away from our hotel was Parco Mall which was located in the city center of downtown Hiroshima. We ended up at Maysuya; a set-meal establishment where you order from a machine.




I got myself the pork cutlet meal set (¥580). This was probably the cheapest meal that I ate so far in Japan, but it was pretty filling. I love how affordable some of the hot meals can be compared to Toronto. After dinner, we went back to the hotel and just relaxed after walking a lot in the rain.

Address: 2-3-23, Higashisendamachi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima, 730-0053

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Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse

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 I was invited to the Leave Your Wallet at Home Wednesdays by Tab; held at the Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse. They held an event every Wednesday for the month of August, where both Tab and Uber, featured one restaurant where people can dine at. 


The deal is great as users get $20 off their bill if they use Tab to pay (using promo LeftMyWallet), and 20% off their Uber ride (using promo code: NOWALLETWED). For more information, you can read about my first-hand experience here.


Now onto my review of my dinner at Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse. Prior to my visit, I checked out their website which advertises that they offer 20 cuts of seasoned and grilled meats, so I was excited to check it out. 

Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse is an AYCE Brazilian Steakhouse, and there are 3 locations (with one being in Niagara Falls) in Ontario. When you first enter the place; you will reach the hostess area where one of the hostesses would bring you to your seat. The overall design of the place can be described as both modern and chic with red/blue tones illuminating the space. Our waitress arrived shortly after, and we told her that we were paying with Tab.

The price is a fixed price at $37 (Sun to Thurs) and $45 (Fri and Sat). Just a quick note that drinks and desserts are not included in the price, and costs extra.

 

 Near the entrance was the galleria which was chock full of side dishes and a salad bar. The set up was pretty much buffet-style and the selection was pretty good.  My favorite part of the galleria was that they served hot mussels, which I couldn't help but packed on my plate. Additionally, to the right of the galleria was the open concept bakery offering five different kinds of bread. 


The carvers would circled around the restaurant with large skewers of delicious steaks, and carve slices table-side. I believe that there were about about 8 different carvers that night; assigned to different sides of the room.


My favorites of the night were the skirt steak dry rub, butter milk rib-eye, flank steak, top sirloin, pork sausage, and chimichurri steak. I wasn't a huge fan of the filet mignon wrapped in bacon or leg of lamb. I rarely eat pineapples, but I thought that their roasted pineapple was rather good. I liked the contrasting taste between the pineapples and meats. There was a good selection of meat that night, so if you're a meat lover, then you will enjoy it. Some slices were slightly over-seasoned with salt, but the majority of the meat that I did try were tasty.

The list of items that they serve are:

Skirt Steak Dry Rub
Picanha Brazil
Chimichurri Steak
Prime Rib with Cheddar
Butter Milk Rib-Eye
Top Sirloin   
Flank Steak
Filet Mignon Wrapped in Bacon
Beef Ribs
Garlic Sirloin Steak
Chicken Drumstick
Parmesan Chicken
Moroccan Chicken
Pork Sausage
Leg of Lamb
Roasted Pineapple


The overall service from the carvers were good as they came around with the meats often, except one particular guy. I believe that he was the main carver there, and he missed our table on five different occasions. He would stop over at the table next to us which was full of chatty ladies, and would topped off their plates with meat. After missing our table for the fifth time; we got slightly annoyed as we believed that it may have been deliberate. We deduced it to that we weren't ordering alcohol (I am allergic and my friend was driving us back home to uptown) ... meanwhile the next table were downing red wine. If this was the case for the inferior service on his end, then that's just downright rude as we were also paying patrons. Even with this little mishap; the both of us still had an enjoyable dinner cause everyone else was friendly and accommodating.




The overall atmoshphere was lively and fun, so it's a good place for a casual dinner with friends/family and even a date. Bon App├ętit!

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was completely subsidized by Tab. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Copacabana Grilled Brazilian - Rodizio Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

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