My Favourite Foods

Standard

Hi everyone! It’s been awhile since I wrote a post to all of you. I thought I’d share some of my favourite foods with you. In return, let me know what some of yours are :).

Favourite Cuisine: Korean, Italian, Japanese

Favourite Dish: Seafood Paella, Korean Rice Cakes (Ddukbokki)

Favourite Bubble Tea Drink: Milk Tea with Grass Jelly

Favourite Cocktail: Peach Bellini, Sex on the Beach

Favourite Chocolate Bar: Crunch (you know, the one with all the rice crispy bits?)

Favourite Ice Cream: Cookies and Cream

Favourite Vegetable: Mushrooms! (on my burgers, pizza, omelettes…)

Favourite Fruit: Mango, Durian and Jackfruit

Favourite Cake: Strawberry Shortcake

Favourite Pastry: Eclairs (whipped cream…yum)

Favourite Dessert: Ice Cream (it always manages to cheer me up!)

Favourite Chip: Ketchup and Sour Cream & Onion

Favourite Gum: Cinnamon

Favourite Icing: Cream Cheese Frosting

Favourite Eggs: Scrambled

Favourite Greens: Spinach, Broccoli

Favourite Sashimi: Butter Fish

Favourite Seafood: Squid (fried, battered, barbecued, boiled…)

Mildred’s Temple Kitchen Review

Standard

85 Hanna Avenue

(416) 588-5695

www.templekitchen.com

Cuisine:Brunch/Canadian

Type: Trendy Restaurant

Pricing: Average

Rating

Food: 6/10

Service: 7/10

Atmosphere: 7/10

Mildred's Temple Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Brunch can be seen as a late breakfast or a early lunch but whichever way you look at it, it’s a great way to spend quality time with who you’re with; whether it’s a significant other or close friends. Mildred’s is a very popular spot so you may have to wait awhile but they try to accommodate everyone.

Green Kombucha Lime The Green Kombucha Lime is a detox, cleansing tea and is great if you don’t want to feel so bloated or heavy after. The teapot isn’t big so it’ll fill a little more than two cups but if you can catch your server, they can always refill the pot with hot water. The taste is very mild and light so if you’re not a big tea drinker, you don’t have to worry about it being strong.

Scones I love hot Scones, especially with some jam and butter. The outside is hard and crunchy but if you split it open, it’s soft and fluffy. Even though a scone might be flavoured or have fruit, it’s still a little plain which is what the spreads are for.

Pancakes I love Pancakes, especially when they’re thick and fluffy like these but the only problem is, I can never really finish it. I find it too heavy so when I get to the last one, I’m always struggling. But don’t avoid the pancakes because of my reasoning alone! I’m sure there’s someone nearby who would be more than welcome to give a helping hand :).

Burger The Burger is a breakfast steak on top of a thick baguette slice topped with two sunny side up eggs. It may look a little small but this can leave you quite full.

Vida's Choice Vida’s Choice is a croissant sandwich with smoked salmon, two poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. This one sounded the most promising and while the croissant was crispy and the eggs were still runny, it left you wanting more.

Tart - carmalized onions, spinach, cheese Their brunch Tart is filled with caramelized onions, spinach and cheese; a great combination indeed! I always hated how one serving of quiche was this slice and that was all you got. But when we’re only supposed to have two eggs a day and a whole quiche is almost 10 times that amount, it makes sense. It comes out hot and melts in your mouth.

I was really excited about having brunch here and while I loved the atmosphere, the food didn’t live to my expectations.

NatureBox Canada – June 2014 Review

Standard

2014-06-17 19.40.31 One of me and Duy’s common interests is our love of healthy snacks. We were discussing snacks one day and both happened to mention NatureBox. So you can imagine our excitement when they announced that they were doing a beta for Canada!

NatureBox is a company located in the US and they deliver non-GMO, nutritionist approved snacks right to your door. Everything is organic and there are no artificial sweeteners, food colouring or flavours. You get five full-sized resealable snack bags that ideally should last you a whole month. Because it’s in beta, you aren’t able to choose your snacks or create a profile yet but the full Canadian site is set to launch in Fall 2014.

Personally, I feel that what you put into your body is very important and is directly linked with your health and how you feel as a whole. Think about it, if you put junk into your body, it’s not going to run at it’s best. But if you give it food that’s good for you, you’ll be at the top of your game! But no one is perfect and let’s face it, we all cave sometimes.

You can find the following in the first, ever Canadian NatureBox:

  • Cheddar and Onion Sunflower Kernels
  • Vanilla Macaroon Granola
  • Sea Salt Pop Pops
  • Peanut Butter Nom Noms
  • Big Island Pineapple

2014-06-22 21.39.09

Cheddar and Onion Sunflower Kernels

This seedy snack has all the comforting flavors of aged cheddar cheese and savory onions.

Manley-Icon

“I wasn’t expecting too much from this one because I’ve never really been a huge fan of sunflower seeds. I only ate them when they were available but I would never go out and get them myself. Looking at the seeds, it didn’t look like they were really flavoured but put a handful in your mouth and it hits you right away. It is a different taste so you’ll either like it or you won’t. I thought it went nicely together but make sure you have a glass of water nearby.”

Duy-Icon

“I initially thought that this would be one of the highlights, but I did not enjoy it as much as I had hoped. Although one of the stronger flavours from the selections, I think the cheese just didn’t complement the kernels to my liking. Cheese tends to be a hit or miss for me when it comes to snacking. If cheese is your friend, then this snack is packed with lots of flavour. Do note that it is a bit messy to eat as finger food, but great sprinkled on a meal or salad. P.S. I threw them into a spinach salad, they were GREAT.”

2014-06-22 21.44.53

Vanilla Macaroon Granola

Serve this vanilla coconut-kissed granola as a crunchy accent to your morning cereal.

Manley-Icon

“I wasn’t expecting too much from this one because I’ve never really been a huge fan of sunflower seeds. I only ate them when they were available but I would never go out and get them myself. Looking at the seeds, it didn’t look like they were really flavoured but put a handful in your mouth and it hits you right away. It is a different taste so you’ll either like it or you won’t. I thought it went nicely together but make sure you have a glass of water nearby.”

Duy-Icon

“I enjoyed these but they didn’t not pop out nor were they unique; granola in general have become very mainstream in recent years. I’ve eaten quite a large selection of granola based cereals, and this tastes exactly like every other one that you can find in your local grocery store. Good but not new.”

2014-06-22 21.37.23

Sea Salt Pop Pops

This whimsical take on popcorn is half-popped with full flavor and a dash of sea salt.

Manley-Icon

“I want to go to the closest supermarket and pick up a gigantic bag of these! It isn’t exactly popcorn or kernels but somewhere in between. They are lightly salted and so addicting, I had a handful before stopping myself from eating the whole bag; a mistake Duy made :p.”

Duy-Icon

“I will confess, I did end up finishing this in one sitting. I will describe it as salty popcorn, but with a crunch in each bite. They’re very easy to snack on and not as dry as popcorn.”

2014-06-22 21.41.52

Peanut Butter Nom Noms

Rolled oats, peanuts and a touch of dark chocolate come together for the perfect soft-baked sweetness.

Manley-Icon

“These were my least favourite from this month’s pick, contrary to Duy. I love oatmeal cookies and peanut butter separately but not together in this form. It was semi-sweet because of the dark chocolate but the texture is what threw me off. There was too much going on and it felt like I was eating cold, crumbly oatmeal.”

Duy-Icon

“These were a surprise, I chose to open these last because they simply looked like another take on oatmeal cookies, boy was I wrong. They’re extremely soft and flavourful, I fully approve the ‘nom noms’ suffix to its name. I sometimes get turned off by the usually heavy sweetness in any cookie based snacks, but this one hits the sweet spot, quite literally.”

2014-06-22 21.43.10

Big Island Pineapple

Going away on a weekend trip? Toss these dried fruits into your beach bag for a travel-friendly treat.

Manley-Icon

“I’m a huge fan of dried fruit (my favourite being dried mangoes). I’ve had dried pineapples before so it isn’t anything new. Pineapples pack a lot of flavour so you can expect it to retain most of it in its dried form. Another bonus, it doesn’t leave your tongue feeling numb.”

Duy-Icon

“I live with four Asian women, this snack disappeared right away. Rather off-topic, but my mother started reminiscing and telling everyone a story. Apparently during the Vietnam war, American soldiers would pass dried pineapples out to kids. I sure wish a snack could invoke such emotions and memories for me, alas I live a far different and more sheltered life than my mother once did. Oh right the snack. It tastes as you would expect it, like pineapple slices without the juices. Sweet and delicious.”

NatureBox Monthly Subscription + Meet Duy H

Standard

I think everyone deep down experiences a great deal of joy when they come home to a package on their doorstep. Especially when you do some online shopping and can’t wait to try on that cute dress you bought last week!

This is why I love the concept of monthly subscription boxes because you never know what you’re going to get but each one has a theme.

I recently subscribed to NatureBox because they finally decided to ship to Canada! Yay! It just so happens that my good friend Duy also subscribed so to make things a little more interesting, we’ll both be reviewing the boxes every month. That way, you’ll get two different opinions. But in the meantime, here’s a little about Duy H (on the left):

2014-05-31 18.18.47-1

 

Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m the type of guy that tries his best to put a smile on people’s faces. I enjoy starting conversations with absolute strangers, the world needs more happiness, always be positive, optimistic, and tolerant :D (I’m also supposedly a big troll) (Editor’s Note: He most certainly is!)

Why NatureBox?
If you’ve known me long enough, you’ll know that I advocate heath and steer clear of junk food (At least I try to heheh). When choosing a subscription snaking service, I foremost looked for something as natural and organic as possible; NatureBox instantly made the top of the list. Boy was I excited when they finally decided to expand their business to Canada!

Snack from the pantry you’re looking forward to most.
For the current Canadian beta of NatureBox, we’re getting a preset selection of snacks. Of those they’ve listed, I think I most look forward to the ‘Sea Salt Pop Pops’. It just sounds really savoury to me, I have a feeling I may finish the bag in one go. I’ll report back on that.

Weirdest snack you’ve ever tried but surprisingly loved.
Weird or exotic? All manners of dried and salted/seasoned fish and seafood snacks; although your breath tends to stink up a room afterwards haha. I have yet to try any insect based snacks or foods though.

What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
Rye bread topped with hummus.

Why?
As much as I want it to be a dazzling tale, I have just returned from a ten hour work day and was in need of urgent sustenance :).

Pastel Creperie & Dessert House Review

Standard

5417 Yonge Street

(647) 352-5588

www.pasteldesserts.com

Pricing: Cheap – Average

Cuisine: Dessert

Type: Dessert House/Cafe

Rating

Food: 9/10

Atmosphere: 8/10

Service: 8/10

Pastel Creperie & Dessert House on Urbanspoon

I discovered this gem with my friend Sarit and we’ve returned since then because it’s cozy and feels like home. Located a few blocks from the Yonge and Finch area, it’s attached to a condo building (my aunt’s actually) with an intricate wooden sign that can be hard to miss if you don’t look up.

Mocha Mint LatteI’m not quite sure what the image was supposed to be but the swirls were a nice touch on the Mocha Mint Latte. I’m just able to wrap both hands around my cup so it gives you an idea of the size of the cup. It’s not too rich and more sweet with a very fragrant aroma. The mint syrup is faint but gives it a small cooling effect.

Matcha White ChocolateDuring our second visit, I wanted to try their Matcha White Chocolate because it seemed different and unique. I loved the balance between the two and one didn’t overpower the other. Plus, it came in that huge cup again :D!

Earl Grey TeaMy friend Sarit loves her Earl Grey Tea so she got it both times. The bagged tea was from Twinning so there isn’t much I can say about it since I’m not a fan of earl grey and it would be biased, sorry.

Mushroom CrepeIf you know me, you’ll know I love mushrooms so I had to get the Mushroom Crepe. This is hands down one of the best crepes I’ve had so far. The mushrooms are thinly sliced and sautéed and the crepe is somewhat thin but can hold its own. Prior to this, my favourite crepes were at Crepe Mania but this location is much closer to me and the combinations appeal to me much more. You’ll find out why if you keep reading.

Ham CrepeSarit’s Ham Crepe had thick slices of ham on top of some spinach drizzled with mayo. She loved it and the saltiness of the ham went well with the crepe.

Black Sesame CrepeTheir specialty is the Black Sesame Crepe so I had to try it. Black sesame by itself is my favourite flavour aside from cookies and cream. When you put it in one of my favourite desserts, you’ve got an amazing dish! However, you have to love sesame if you’re going to order this one; there’s a lot of it!

Nutella CrepeI plan on trying the Nutella Crepe next but my friend got to it first. The chocolate ice cream is smooth and the warm Nutella inside is great with the fluffy crepe.

This is a place I’ll be sure to come back to; it’s got great food and atmosphere. Two things you want when you’re meeting up with an old friend.

Syndicate Review

Standard

6863 Lundy’s Lane (Niagara Falls, Ontario)

(289) 477-1022

www.syndicaterestaurant.ca

Pricing: Average – Pricey

Cuisine: Canadian, Local

Type: Semi-Casual Restaurant/Fine Dining

Rating

Food: 9/10

Service: 9/10

Atmosphere: 9/10

Syndicate Restaurant & Brewery on Urbanspoon

If you’re in the Niagara Falls area around Lundy’s Lane and feel like doing a little fine dining, the Syndicate is definitely the place to go! The service there is amazing and the servers really know the menu inside out. Everything is also locally grown so you don’t have to worry about what you’re putting into your body; a guilt free meal!

While there, we saw a variety of people enjoying their meals; from families to couples to friends. It’s a very intimate environment and I loved how each table could have their conversation without worrying about the next table because they were spaced fairly far from each other.

Magners Irish CiderThe Magner’s Irish Cider is locally made and is very smooth. It tastes like they just made it and placed it on your table; a very refreshing taste.

They have a three course dinner menu that’s available from 4:30pm-9:30pm daily for only $22. The portions are also a good size and won’t leave you hungry. I highly suggest choosing from this menu if you make it.

Chef's Soup - Cream of CarrotThe Chef’s Soup that day happened to be cream of carrot. It has a rich taste and I believe the carrots are pureed into the cream making it deliciously smooth.

Mushroom & SpinachI ordered the Mushroom & Spinach which was a salad with sautéed mushrooms, dried apricots, chips, goat cheese and topped with a lemon balsamic dressing. I loved it and it may sound odd but all of the ingredients went really well together.

Farm to Table Dry Aged SteakI went the extra mile and had their Farm to Table Dry Aged Steak. The boiled vegetables were only salted but there is a juniper berry jus that the steak is drizzled with that goes very well with the veggies. The Yukon potatoes are also seasoned with paprika that gives it a nice taste but they should’ve been cut smaller.

Pork DuoThe Pork Duo was accompanied with garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables as the sides. The pork chop was grilled in a spicy chili sauce that was more of a sweet heat and the pork belly, although small, was maple glazed and worth savoring. However, the pork chop itself was quite dry.

Pot RoastThe Fork Tender Beer Braised “Pot Roast” is slow cooked in red wine and onions while being accompanied with vegetables and mashed potatoes. The hormone free beef is aged 14 days before it is cooked and the result is a tender piece of meat that comes apart quite nicely.

Roast ChickenThe Roast Chicken was flavoured beautifully with a red cream ale jus and peach chutney but it was really dry. It’s a shame because this could’ve been a great dish.

Rich Chocolate TowerI had such a hard time deciding which dessert to settle for but I went for the Rich Chocolate Tower because common, it’s chocolate! The cinnamon sugared phyllo was really flaky and came apart in your mouth and with the chocolate mousse, it tasted divine!

Vanilla Bean Creme BruleeI stole some of my friend’s Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée and if I could, I would’ve gotten both! It was so creamy and custard, almost too perfect for a creme brulee. And I’ve never had a gooseberry but I’ll keep an eye out for them from now on.

This is definitely a restaurant you have to visit while you’re in Niagara. It’s so welcoming and it’s a perfect end to your evening.