• [Food Post] Windsor Arms Hotel (Sunday Brunch Buffet)

    Windsor Arms Hotel is a 4-star luxurious boutique hotel on St. Thomas Street in the heart of the Yorkville neighborhood. The hotel is synonymous with afternoon tea, but did you know that they also offer a Sunday brunch buffet? The brunch is priced a little high at $65 per person, but it does includes unlimited mimosas, and an impressive gourmet selection of breakfast, and brunch favorites. I'd say that it's worth the splurge, simply based on the quality of the selection available, and the unlimited mimosas, and beverages (juices and caffeine).

  • [Food Post] ROM Friday Night Live (#FNLROM Fall 2015)

    #FNLROM is a highly anticipated social event that has been very popular with Torontonians since its introduction in 2012. Every Friday starting at 7 pm during the spring, and fall seasons; the ROM transforms itself into a lively event. The event offers young adults, and professionals with a venue where they are able to enjoy live music, dance the night away, eat delicious food, and gain late-night access to the museum.

  • [Tech + App] Grabb

    Grabb is a free Toronto-based mobile app that allows users to pre-order and pre-pay for food. The app is easy to use with its user-friendly interface that allows users to browse through the list of restaurants and their menus, select their order, and then securely pay for their order with just a few clicks. Additionally, the app also features a virtual queue, where you are able to see how many other people using the Grabb app are ahead of you.

  • [Food Post] MoRoCo Chocolat

    I had the pleasure of attending a menu tasting at MoRoCo Chocolat to try their afternoon tea service and brunch a couple of weeks ago. MoRoCo Chocolat is a restaurant and chocolate boutique nestled in the affluent Yorkville neighborhood. Established in 2008, the restaurant offers a French inspired menu for lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, desserts and afternoon tea.

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    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

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  • [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.

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    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.

Maman Toronto

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 Maman Toronto is a lovely bakery/cafe located on the mezzanine of First Canadian Place offering a taste of Southern France. It was a little tucked away in First Canadian Place (where the food court is), but it has a very rustic yet inviting ambiance. The entire cafe was adorned with cute bunny ceramics with flowers, wooden communal tables, and mosaic tile flooring, so it was very Instagram-friendly. Their menu changes daily, and they offer a nice selection of baked goods, coffee drinks, sandwiches, salads, and more.



Everything is baked fresh daily, and from locally-sourced ingredients. They recently launched tapas dishes on their menu, and I had the pleasure of attending the media preview of Maman's new tapas menu unveiling two weeks ago. The new menu was created by Michelin-starred chef, Armand Arnal, whose dishes are family-inspired recipes. As part of their cinq-as-sept bar program (5 pm to 7 pm); they also have a carefully curated wine and cocktail list that perfectly complements the tapas dishes served.

Herbes de Provence - calvados, lillet infused with herbes de
provence,lemon juice, sugar & egg whites
Le Vert - blanco tequilla, chartreuse, cucumber, lime & matcha

The new French inspired tapas menu features a selection of small and light sharing plates called "tartinettes" (the French version of tapas). Many of the tapas are served on toasted French baguette topped off with a variety of toppings. What I liked best was that customers are given the opportunity to customize their own tartinette board, and there are a few options available on the daily menu. There were several tartinettes available that evening, and I was very delighted that many of the combinations had flavors that worked rather well together. The kitchen produces contemporary French tartinettes dishes such as smoked ham with savora mustard & cornichon, roasted cauliflower with 2 year aged cheddar, smoked salmon with red onions, lemon & dill, and truffle "croque maman". Maman Toronto's new tapas menu caters very well to those who seek to partake in unwinding after work before dinner with their friends or colleagues. Maman Toronto is open Monday to Saturday, and closed on Sunday. Check out their website for their daily menu, as it changes everyday.

 Sweets - chouquette, canelĂ©, and cream puff with whipped cream and pineapple

** All photography taken by Joey Salmingo ** 

Address: 100 King St W, Toronto, ON M5X 2A2 (First Canadian Place)

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mamantoronto/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_mamantoronto_/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mamantoronto
Website: http://mamantoronto.com/

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

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Francobollo Posto Italiano

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Located on Avenue Road between Lawrence and Wilson is a relatively new restaurant, Francobollo Posto Italiano. It is one of the many restaurants from the Substance Food Group; the team behind Terra, Rusty's At Blue, and Sarpa restaurants. I had the pleasure of attending a menu tasting at Francobollo Posto Italiano about two weeks ago, and had a delightful dinner. Francobollo offers classic Italian fare, and its menu consists of several selections of insalate (salad), antipaste (first course), paste (pasta), secondi (second course), and rotational desserts. This North York restaurant distinguishes itself from others by presenting a very warm atmosphere with no hint of pretentiousness from the start to the end of our dining experience. 


The overall space was brightly-lit, and has a very modern yet romantic ambiance. Francobollo Posto Italiano is split into two levels. The first floor is for casual diners while the second floor has the capacity to cater to large parties. 



We couldn't make up our minds on what dishes to get, so we left it in the hands of our capable server to recommend some.


For a starter, we got the Barbabietola ($14)heirloom beets, goat cheese, green pistachio, baby arugula, wildflower honey & balsamic vinaigretteThe heirloom beets are cooked sous vide involving placing them into a plastic bag, and soaking them in water or a temperature-controlled environment. This method helps to retain the natural flavors, and coloring that would otherwise be diluted. I love how the balsamic vinaigrette added a very citrus flavor to the overall dish.


Another starter that we got was the Polipo Sottovuotto ($18) - 75° octopus, quinoa, butter lettuce, orange-red onion-caper-mint salsa. The dish consists of thinly cut octopus on top of a bed of quinoa, and butter lettuce. It was layered properly to give you a palette of various flavors, and it was a beautiful presentation for an appetizer. The octopus was fine on its own, but you do have the option to add more lemon to it.


Francobollo Posto Italiano has a great selection of house-made pasta, which all sounded amazing. However, J ended up opting for the Gamberi E Capesante Alla Brace ($37) - grilled jumbo black tiger prawns & day boat scallops, lemon & sea salt, as his main course. I would love to come back on another occasion to try one of their pasta dishes.


I can't stress enough how well-presented the plates are at Francobollo Posto Italiano. The main course, Filetto Di Manzo Alla Griglia (8oz) ($38) - grilled certified Angus beef tenderloin, wild mushrooms, bone marrow & fresh thyme jus, arrived beautifully plated. The beef tenderloin itself was well-seasoned, and had a good sear to it. Beneath the steak laid a handful of perfectly cooked vegetables. The wild mushrooms and carrots really added a nice taste to the beef without overpowering the dish. I was told that each component of the dish was pan-fried, and cooked separately to give it a district layer of taste.

I had the enjoyment of cutting each tender piece, as it was cooked exactly to my liking (medium rare). I was rather impressed with the quality considering Francobollo is an Italian restaurant and not a steakhouse. Lastly, the bone marrow was prepared in a way that it was first scooped out then put back onto a crispy bone. The bone marrow got a little dry towards the end, but was not an issue when paired with a glass of red wine.



The Risotto Mantecato is composed daily (MP). Risotto is a very versatile dish, so there are several ways to prepare it. The one that we ordered had a nice creamy texture, and pieces of the duck was cooked well. 


The selection of desserts change daily, and during our visit this delectable Nutella Cheesecake was featured on the menu. As mentioned plenty of times throughout my blog, I have a major sweet tooth, so I always anticipate dessert. The Nutella cheesecake came at the right temperature, as it was nice and cold without any freezer burn. What I would like to heavily emphasize is the generous portion of the cheesecake that was topped off with a glaze of cherry sauce. The dessert was a nice finish as it was perfectly rich and creamy, combined with a nice crust, and full of Nutella flavor.


J opted for the Double Chocolate Tartufo, which is a classic Italian ice-cream dessert. I have had tartufo before, and normally it would be a large ball resembling a truffle. However, the one at Francobollo is sliced into four pieces, and covered in a wonderful blend of double chocolate.


We both left the restaurant with a truly fantastic fine dining experience, and full. Although touted as an upscale restaurant, I enjoyed the warm ambiance that the staff from Francobollo provided. I found the service to be rather top-notch, as our server was incredibly attentive, and provided much professionalism. Lastly, its menu of classic Italian fare is crafted using fresh and locally sourced ingredients, and is something that I appreciate from a local restaurant.

Social Media


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

Francobollo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Portland Variety

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Located on King and Portland; Portland Variety is brought to you by Milton Nunes of bakery-cafe, Le Gourmand on Spadina. The 2,400-square-foot space features a standing-room cafe at the front which serves pastries, and coffee drinks during the day, and at night, it transforms to a cocktail bar. Portland Variety recently added brunch to their menu, and released their winter menu back in December. I have stopped by Portland Variety on a few occasions for their coffee and pastries in the early mornings. However, I was not aware that they expanded their café where it currently has the capacity to seat 82 guests in the back until I attended the winter menu launch. It was there where I got a taste of new head chef Matt Cowan's Euro-inspired bistro dishes with a mix of Canadian cuisine. All of the dishes served the night of the media menu launch were shareable, and there was plenty of food.




The menu at Portland Variety features a fusion of Canadian, French, and Spanish cuisine offering shareable plates for both lunch and dinner.  I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of the food, and there were a few highlights that I would recommend trying. One of the main highlights was the grilled octopus, which was juicy, and well-flavored. The octopus was charred, so there was a nice smokey taste to it. Normally, I find that the flavor of octopus tends to be rather mild, but the addition of the chorizo jam definitely added extra flavor to it. Another dish that I enjoyed was the Piri Piri fried hen flavored with hot honey glaze, which had a nice balance of sweet and spicy. 

Ceviche is a popular seafood dish in South America, and is available on the menu at Portland Variety. It's typically made from fresh raw fish, and marinated in citrus juices, which helps to cure the fish. Chef Matt Cowan's rendition is a beautifully presented and colorful dish. The Nikkei ceviche is filled with chunks of striped bass with a layer of aji de maracuya sauce making it a very refreshing and light main course. Additionally, Portland Variety also offers several small bites on the menu, and I enjoyed them all. However, if I had to choose, I would say that the cassava fries were the tastiest. It is definitely a healthier alternative as it was baked yet it still remains crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. The cauliflower "popcorn" was a crowd favorite, and is such a creative way to prepare cauliflower.


Lastly, the bite sized beignets was the perfect end to a great dinner. The deep-fried choux pastry is lightly powdered with sugar, and filled with sweet vanilla custard. As for drinks - Portland Variety serves up plenty of classic and in-house cocktails. If you're not a cocktail drinker, then there are draught beers, bottled beers, and sangria on the drinks menu. Dinner at Portland Variety was a very nice surprise, and I really enjoyed it as I left satisfied and full. The cafe/restaurant is open 7 days a week, and they have upped their game by offering brunch as well.

Iberico Chorizo Croquettas ($11)


Biscuits


Salted Caramel Old Fashioned ($14) - bulleit bourbon, salted caramel liquor, orange essence,
angostura & a&p bitters



Cassava Fries ($8)


Cauliflower "Popcorn" ($8)


Champagne a la Fouqette ($27) - piper heidsieck champagne, st. remy vsop, eau de tea syrup, yellow chartuese, mint, blackberries



Black Kale ($11) - chevre noir, pickled grapes, hazelnuts, burnt honey dressing


Roasted Heirloom Roots ($15) - burrata, tarragon, walnut pesto, herbs


Whipped House-Made Ricotta ($14) - spice roasted plums, pistachios, grilled sourdough


Nikkei Ceviche ($21) - striped bass, aji de maracuya, persimmons, taro chips

Grilled Octopus ($21) - chorizo jam


Piri Piri Fried Hen ($18) - hot honey glaze


Sticky Lamb Ribs ($23) - harissa & maple glaze, spicy peanut brittle


Braised Shortribs ($32) - truffled semolina polenta, glazed roots


Gnocchi alla Romana ($18) - kabocha & burnt butter puree, pinenuts, sage


Beignets ($7) - bite sized vanilla custard doughnuts


Address: 587 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1M5

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PortlandVariety/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/PortlandVariety/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/portlandvariety
Website: http://www.portlandvariety.com/

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

Portland Variety Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Genghis Khan Mongolian Grill

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Genghis Khan Mongolian Grill is a Mongolian-inspired DIY stir-fry and Northern Chinese buffet on Don Mills Road in North York, ON. The restaurant is separated into two sections - the Mongolian grill and the buffet area that serves Chinese hot foods. It should be noted that they do not serve Mongolian food here at Genghis Khan Mongolian Grill. Rather, it's a borrowed concept from the legend of the great warrior, Genghis Khan, from the 13th century. Back then, Genghis Khan and his soldiers would prepare and cook their meals on their upturned shields over a hot fire, and would use their swords to cook the ingredients. This is pretty much where the concept originated from, and it has been popularized throughout the world.





The concept is pretty simple, as diners would choose various ingredients from the displays to combine together to make their desired bowls. Genghis Khan Mongolian Grill offers an array of meats, ingredients, vegetables, and sauces to mix and match, so there's definitely something for everyone. First up was the meat station where you have the option to choose from lamb, pork, chicken, and beef. I recommend taking more than 4-5 slice of meat, as they do shrink in size on the grill. I was impressed with the variety of sauces that they offer, as there were plenty of pre-made sauces, and oils/seasonings (chili oil, sesame oil, fish sauce, cooking wine, etc ...)  available. After choosing your meat, you would then add whatever vegetables, type of noodle, and sauces you want, and then take it to the grill to be cooked. The griddle operator/chef would then take your raw bowl, and cook it on the large, and round iron grill  (with the addition of oil and water). The grill is rather hot, so it cooks quite fast within 5 minutes time (heats up to 300 °C).




They had a wide selection of  vegetables and noodles options to choose from.


 Several sauces are available to customize as you pleases.


 
 
 
 
 

I ate two bowls of noodles from the Mongolian Grill. I opted for udon the first time around, and then switched it up to egg noodles for my second bowl. I picked the right combination of sauces, and they tasted great.

 
 

To the left of the restaurant was the traditional Chinese buffet offering things such as fried rice, stir-fry vegetables, noodles, ribs, chicken wings, dim sum etc ... The selection wasn't too bad, but was limited compared to other Chinese buffets. However, the Mongolian grill is the main attraction of Genghis Khan Mongolian Grill anyway. Price wise, I would say it's on par with buffets in the area as dinner for an adult is $23.95 (Mon to Thu) and $26.95 (Weekends/Holidays).


 


The dessert buffet table consisted of a chocolate fountain with fondue, cakes, brownies, cream puffs, and slices of fresh fruits.


Overall, it was a fun yet unique dining experience, and I really enjoyed creating my own noodle bowls. The restaurant was a little far for us (as we drove from downtown), but it's a nice place to have dinner with family or friends. 

Address: 900 Don Mills Rd, North York, ON M3C 1V6

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GenghisKhanMongolianGrill/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mongolianbbqto/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mongolianbbqto
Website: http://www.ggkbbq.com/

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

Genghis Khan Mongolian Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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