Posts Tagged ‘food’

Quick snaps

Dazzling. On King. Yep, that’s the name of the restaurant.    

Slightly forgivable after eating the best spicy tuna maki  in the city. Dare you to find better.  

kimchi tuna maki


A’s flavourful Panang curry – spicy & delicious.  

panang curry


Panang noodles – unimaginatively ok. (see VK! can be a critic.)  

panang noodles w. shrimp & chicken



291 King Street W.


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Every Tomi-Kro review will rave about the lobster maki balls.  

This one, won’t be any different. So unoriginal, I know.
Visual caveat: these maki balls don’t do anything for me. Barely excited. 
And I like to get excited about my…… food.  

So, we get over the presentation. And focus on the different layers of fantastic.  

Cut into the crispy battered tempura shell to the lobster meat & avocado (that combination alone); smear on some heat with wasabi and dip into the soy. Redemption.  

photo cred: blogTO


Let’s rewind and focus on the foie gras crème brûlée for a minute, shall we?  

Foie gras + crème brûlée. It’s exactly what you think it is.  

Take your spoon and lightly tap… into indescribableness.
I know it’s not a word and please don’t hate me for enjoying it so much.  

photo cred: Jen Chan


And rewind again, to that first step through the door. Immediately, you’ll take in the ambiance, artlessly detailed decor, warm tones…eclectic and inviting. One of those great date places.  

Try it, you’ll see.  

photo cred: Jen Chan


Stand-out dishes:  

Tempura lobster maki balls
Fois gras crème brûlée
Cedar Valley organic duck breast (if you enjoy duck, you’ll love)  


photo cred: blogTO


Honourable mentions:  

Veal osso bucco
Bay scallops over slaw
Shitake risotto

It pains, but easily forgettable:  

Wasabi panko potato cake
Tuna tartare & sashimi (delicate portion woes)
Brussel sprouts with asiago & pancetta
Roasted beets w. pistachio, balsamic vinegar & goat cheese (not a beets fan, wasn’t converted)  

Until next time:  

Octopus ceviche (on a mission to try every ceviche dish in the city)
Sesame albecore tuna
Arctic char  

1214 Queen St. E.
(416) 463-6677



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Turkey Chili with Beer & Lime

Home-made chili…oh so good.
Find me someone who doesn’t enjoy & I’ll make this recipe for them.
The hardest part? Waiting out the 90min, while it simmers.

Adapted from Food to Die For: Secrets From Kay Scarpetta’s Kitchen (2001) – Patricia Cornwell.


3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb (450 g) ground turkey (or lean ground beef)
1/4 lb (120 g) button mushrooms, trimmed, sliced (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 each: diced small red bell pepper, diced small green bell pepper
2 cups chopped vidalia onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 28 oz/796 mL cans tomatoes, chopped
127 mL can mild chopped green chillies (no need to drain)
12 oz (355 mL) bottle Mexican beer
3 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp each: chopped oregano leaves, slivered basil leaves
2 bay leaves
1-1/2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp or more salt
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
28 oz (796 mL) can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
19 oz (540 mL) can black beans, rinsed, drained

Hot pepper sauce to taste
Shredded extra-old cheddar to taste
Dollop of light sour cream & sprinkle of chives to taste

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large pan on medium-high. Add turkey. Cook until browned, about 5 min, breaking up with wooden spoon. Remove to medium bowl.

In same pan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil on medium-high. Add mushrooms, peppers, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring and scraping browned bits on bottom of pan, until peppers are tender, about 5 min.

Stir in turkey, tomatoes and their juices, canned chillies, beer, lime juice, oregano, basil, bay leaves, chili powder, 2 teaspoons salt and cumin. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partly covered, 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Add beans. Uncover and simmer 30 min. Adjust salt. Discard bay leaves.

Serve topped with hot sauce, cheddar, sour cream & chives.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.
(Or in our case, 6-8 servings. Generous is me.)

*A & S. Coolman’s notes: Heat a couple slices of bacon in pan first. Remove bacon. Use fat rendered from bacon as cooking oil. Add turkey. Dice up bacon. Add to mixture for stirring.

And yes, it’s worth it. ENJOY.

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Prettiest Red Dragon ever eaten…   

Red Dragon & Sake Maki

16 Yonge St. 416.363.9379

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And we’re back.

Yes, have now officially tried every ceviche on their menu. 

wahoo ceviche w. mango salad
wild sea scallops ceviche w. kumquat & grilled jalapeño
arctic char ceviche w. green apple & ginger
…. and now, the sea bream ceviche w. yuzu & shiso

Again, the flavours. How does he do it?!
Delicate, citrusy, topped w. saw-leaf & crisp shallots…each mouthful is better than the last.
Though, nothing tops the arctic char quite just yet. Just sayin’. 

foxley: sea bream ceviche


There she is, the black cod. Deceptively simple. Don’t be fooled. 

foxley: black cod with asian greens & truffle oil


Thank you N, for a wonderful dinner. And for requesting that 2nd steamed rice.

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monday lunch

Impressive with what you can do with leftovers, non?

Best spinach salad ever


sunday dinner leftovers – lemon chicken & feta
1/4 avocado
2-3 campari tomatoes
1/8 small red onion
handful of sliced almonds


1/3 extra virgin olive oil, 2/3 balsamic vinegar, pinch of black pepper

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sunday dinner

3:52pm – I’m going to make us dinner tonight, ok?

Best text ever.

I get this from my roommate while at Second Cup, drinking 3rd decaf latte of the day (never again) & distracting myself from actually working (quite easily).

And it’s a surprise. How cute is she?

In the midst of reading inappropriately hilarious blogs & summarizing my performance in 150 words or less, I get another text.

5:56pm – “I made way too many peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and was wondering if you wanted some.”

For serious.

This time, from a girlfriend who lives across the street. And she’s the best dessert-maker/baker ever.

How does one get so spoiled?!

Who needs men.

………did I just write that? Delirious from thoughtful gestures & deliciously home-made food.

zesty lemon chicken & feta

home-made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

Quick snaps via iPhone. Must invest in a decent DSLR. Once I get that raise… from glowingly exceptional self-review.

Recipe: Lemon Chicken & Feta

(adapted from Chatelaine Food – January 2010)

Prep time: 10 min
Roast time: 20 min
Servings: 4

1 lemon
1 tbsp (15mL) chopped fresh dill
4-oz (125-g) block of light feta
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
olive oil
1 bunch broccoli
1/4 cup (50 mL) whole almonds


Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment or lightly oil. Finely grate peel from lemon into a bowl. Stir in dill and pinches of salt. Cut feta into thick wedges. Cut chicken breasts in half horizontally. Place feta and chicken on parchment. Lightly drizzle both with olive oil, then sprinkle with half the seasoning mix.

Roast in centre of preheated oven for 10 min. Meanwhile, cut broccoli into large florets. When chicken has roasted for 10 min, add broccoli and almonds. Sprinkle with remaining seasoning and stir. Continue roasting until chicken is cooked through, from 10 to 15 more min. Squeeze juice from lemon overtop.

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Oh Italia!

There’s nothing like fresh pasta.   

Never before have I uttered this statement. Italian food and I were merely strangers. Now, acquaintances. And suddenly, I want to become its best friend.   

photo cred: Sifu Renka

Tagliatelle, papardelle, fettuccine, gnudi…want to try it all. And I’ve been to Italy. Cue Rome, Milan & Florence. Mind is not conjuring up out-of-this-world pasta (what did we EAT?!)…memories are of gelato and beautiful Italian men. Shame. Well, just means I need to go back.   

Instead of regaling you with inadequate descriptions of how ridiculously good hand-cut pasta can be…will urge you to visit two restaurants that have personally sealed it for me. Thanks John B.   

Tutti Matti (Adelaide W. & Charlotte) – http://www.tuttimatti.com/     

Buca (King W. & Portland) – http://www.buca.ca/    

What are your favourites?  Send & share pls.   


(sidenote: best carpaccio di manzo in the city)   

photo cred: Jen Chan

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One of my favourite restaurants in this city.

photo cred: foxleybistro

photo cred: dine.to

Friends, family, strangers etc. may question why I constantly rave about this place, why I fixate on it more than others, why I sit back in semi-disbelief when they don’t love it as much as I do… but, there’s a reason.  Actually, make that two.

#1 arctic char ceviche, #2 black cod with asian greens & truffle oil.

I’d like to marry a chef, I think. Especially, if he cooks like Tom Thai… whom by the way, is a creative genius with flavours. Yuzu juice, chilies, ginger, ngo gai aka saw-leaf (most favourite herb) with sweet green apple, finely sliced, atop raw arctic char. Oh MY, intensely good. And then, we have fresh black cod complemented by the best broth ever tasted, liberally doused with truffle oil and divine. Long after we finish, have been known to ask for more steamed rice to prolong experience & sneak spoonfuls of…ok. stop me.

Back to it. Beyond these two dishes + a few others, must set realistic expectations. This tiny Ossington resto isn’t all that & more. Shocking, I know. Certain dishes are missing…something. Wish I could articulate. But you understand. And as a result, are not outstanding & will inevitably disappoint. Yes, also aware that not everyone will rhapsodize over my two loves. Preferences, palettes, tastebuds… sigh, c’est la vie.

Regardless, you must try. And let me know what you think.

Stand-out dishes:

Oven steamed black cod with asian greens & truffle oil 

Arctic char ceviche
(with yuzu, sesame oil, green apple, ginger, chilies, saw-leaf coriander…ask the chef)

photo cred: Daniel Shipp

Honourable mentions:

Sea bream ceviche w. yuzu & shiso leaf
Blue crab & avocado salad (if you enjoy spice, it’s got a nice kick)
Lamb & duck prosciutto dumplings (why? dipping sauce)
Side ribs w. caramelized shallot glaze (fall-off-the-bone, though glaze is on the heavy side)

For the adventurous:

Grilled beef hearts w. thai chili lime salsa

It pains, but easily forgettable:

Oysters w. chilli lime sauce (small portion woes)
Spicy crispy shrimps w. jalapeno & garlic
Braised beef cheek in red curry
Slow-braised pork belly in muscatel reduction

fyi: tapas-style, be prepared to share. also, no reservations.
if a table isn’t available, leave your cell #, go for a drink across the street, and they’ll ring when ready.

207 Ossington Ave.

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