Archive for March, 2010


…let’s please always enjoy with brunch.


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Two ripe mangoes.

Inspiration for a thai mango salad.

Always get excited about following a recipe. Always have good intentions of following it step-by-step. But, I didn’t have a sweet red bell pepper. Or carrots. Or peanuts. And only had half a lime.

So, that novelty wore off quickly.

Plus, there were torrential downpours all day. No desire to brave mother nature. So, my thai mango salad turned into a slightly experimental “let’s use whatever we have in the kitchen” dish. More fun that way ;)

What I did have was cilantro. And thai basil. And fish sauce. You can’t be Vietnamese and not have fish sauce (our staple equivalent of soy sauce). Fantastic, all set.

Snapped a few pics – but again – too impatient and you’ll see a wee gap between the mango/cilantro/thai basil to voila! finished dish. You may also notice a ripe avocado. Yep, you can always find a reason to add avocado.


2 firm-ripe mangoes
1 ripe tomato (substitute only. use 1 red bell pepper)
1/8 red onion (do try fine-slicing correctly, i failed miserably)
1 small handful of cilantro (use your discretion, i’ve got a heavy hand with cilantro)
even smaller handful of thai basil leaves (good with my rations, eh?)
1/4 avocado
pinch (or two) of black pepper
3/4 tbsp of fish sauce
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (try with peanut oil if you have it)
2 tbsp of lime juice
1/2 tbsp of chili garlic sauce (substitute only. use thai peppers or  fresh chilies)


Peel, pit and thinly slice mangoes lengthwise. Add cilantro, thai basil, red onion, avocado, tomato into a small mixing bowl. Add dressing mixture of fish sauce, olive oil, lime juice and chili garlic sauce (you’ll notice that I don’t use sugar). Mix gently. Note: Gently is key.

Generous heaping of thai-mango-avocado-goodness & served with grilled salmon for dinner.

Thoroughly enjoyed my small plate…
then proceeded to eat the rest of it (too colourful to resist).

Servings? No idea.

Apparently, one of the recipes says it makes 6 servings.

Should’ve seen my face. That’s why I don’t follow them. Hope you enjoy my adapted version ;)

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Sunset sail

A stroll along the harbourfront on Sunday… just as the sun was setting. 

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Last dining experience? 24 days ago. Don’t ask how I remember… it’s disturbing, I know.

After a glorious 6-week binge (there’s no other word), wallet cried mercy.

And so, it ceased. Regretfully.

But we’re back! And what better restaurant to try than Union? On the list for months & much-anticipated… with no tastebuds. Ok, slight exaggeration, but how does one manage to be stuffy and runny at the same time?! Never understood.

Anyway, NG was duly forewarned and off we went!

Tiny restaurant. Great space. Effortlessly casual. Free-drawn mural covering one expanse of the wall. Open-kitchen. Yes.

photo cred: Robert Brodey

Menu is startlingly small, but it’s not about quantity. Nearly half of the menu changes according to what’s available at the markets that day. Chef Teo Paul’s dedication to fresh and local.

And since NG is currently doing a nineteen-day sunrise-to-sunset Bahá’í fast, we had the added element of pure appreciation for food that night. Heightened senses to offset sniffly senses. Great partnership. ;)

What I didn’t have, was the new camera. For shame. Regardless, verbal depiction of our experience – hope you enjoy.

Outstanding dishes:

Sticky ribs: pork ribs on the bone with smoked & bruised pork belly

(If you like ribs. love ribs. lukewarm about ribs. hell, even if you hate ribs. You MUST try.
Sauce. Ridiculously good. That’s all)

Fresh fish: White fish w/ roasted vegetables & seasonal greens

(Succulently flaky, moist, tender, and boldly-seasoned. Rarely used for fish, but it fits. And the roasted vegetables…perfect accompaniment)

Honourable mentions:

Elk sliders w/ miran galangal glaze & pickle on challah

(Meaty & juicy with a bite from the pickled pickle. Slight disappointment with the toast – think high end hamburger bun, visual letdown)

Sides: Frites & winter-style potatoes w/ yogurt, radish & chives

(3/4 of the way through our meal – surprise! oh my. just perfect for dipping into that sweet, slightly spicy, wickedly good rib sauce)

Until next time:

Haddock cakes – Charcuterie – Crispy Polenta Gratin – Roast Bird – Soup du jour – Plat du jour
(for the adventurous. oh so exciting!)

…clearly need to go back.

And another reason? Laissez-faire Saturdays.
Cue east coast oysters, in-house charcuterie, artisanal cheeses & vino. H-E-A-V-E-N.

Every Saturday from noon–5:30pm

Who’s joining me this weekend?

72 Ossington Ave
Toronto, ON

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granville island: clam chowder

granville island: oysters

granville island: mussels

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vancouver: olympic flame


vancouver: ignite the dream light show


vancouver: robson square

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