Kimbap

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I love kimbap and for the longest time, this was one of my favourite snacks. You can find it at any Korean supermarket nowadays but I first got a taste when I was about five years old. I’m Chinese but my aunt is Korean and there was a time when her and my uncle lived in our basement. She made these one day and I’ve been in love ever since. I used to make them quite a bit as well for lunch. Maybe I’ll do that again and post the recipe one of these days :p.

Unlike sushi, a lot of the ingredients are actually cooked and you won’t find anything raw in them. I also find them more flavourful and you won’t get tired of the taste as easily.

They have different variations but the most common ones I’ve seen are vegetarian, kimchi bulgogi and tuna. Let me know which one your favourite is!

Strawberry Picking

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By the time this post goes up, I’m sure strawberry picking season will be over. It generally runs until the end of June until early August but apple picking season starts at the end of August. I love picking fruits myself because I feel it’s very rewarding to bake and eat something that you took the time to do yourself. It’s the same feeling you get when you cook something yourself as opposed to buying takeout; you know what’s in it and where it came from.

I went to Whittamore’s Berry Farm located on the outer East parts of Markham. I highly recommend dropping by because they have more than just berries. There are various vegetables as well including snow peas, eggplants and peppers!

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They rotate the fields so that everyone gets a fair shot. You can bring your own basket but if you don’t have one, you can purchase them there for less than $5. I recommend using what you have though because the buckets they sell are hard plastic and that could weigh you down during the weigh in.

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After you’re done, you bring them to the cashiers and they weigh your basket. They charge by pound and it might change depending on the season but one of our cardboard boxes was about $6, quite a steal for that many strawberries if you ask me!

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Some of the strawberries aren’t the biggest you’ve seen but just look at how red and delicious they look. I’ve never had any as sweet as these and I don’t know where the notion of bigger is better came from but it’s all about the colour in my opinion. Strawberries as sweet as these are ideal in baking, something I definitely did. Coming to a post near you :).

Khao San Road Review

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326 Adelaide Street West

(647) 352-5773

www.khaosanroad.ca

Pricing: Cheap – Moderate

Cuisine: Authentic Thai

Type: Casual Restaurant

Rating

Atmosphere: 7/10

Food: 8/10

Service: 6/10

Khao San Road on Urbanspoon

It was a cold and chilly night in March and a few of us were walking around downtown looking for a bite to eat. There wasn’t much in the area but then I saw Khao San Road and remembered it was on my “to eat” list. There was a 20 minute wait but we were going to wait it out!

They have wooden community tables where different groups are packed together. If you’ve ever been to Guu, it’s a similar concept.

There was four of us and surprisingly, we wanted similar things so this review may be a little lacking but I will return to update it soon enough.

Red Curry

If you remember, I’ve said a few times that I don’t eat spicy dishes but there are a few items were all that gets thrown out the window. I love coconut milk and Red Curry is mildly spicy but more creamy and smooth. The aroma is amazing and the jasmine rice is fluffy.

Three Flavours Pad Thai

The Three Flavours Pad Thai has dried chilies that gives it that little kick as opposed to traditional pad thai. Rice noodles are stir-fried with tamarind, egg, tofu, bean sprouts, peanuts, shallots, lime, dried chilies and chives. The portion looks small on the plate but it’s enough for one person. The noodles are chewy and don’t break apart easily; a pet peeve I have with noodles.

Taste of Asia 2014

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I love street festivals with a passion but when you go to them every year, it’s hard to find vendors that come out with new foods that appeal to you. I like to mix it up and try something new but also like to grab a few favorites.

I’m a pretty patient person but the crowds at these events still drive me a little crazy. So when I line up for something and it tastes better than I expected, it makes it all worthwhile :).

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I love how Chatime has really expanded in Toronto because they really do have great bubble tea. And their options are endless! My personal favourite is Milk Tea with Grass Jelly so I’m happy that it was the drink they were offering that day. The grass jelly is very cooling, especially on a warm day and the milk tea is just sweet enough.

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If you know me well, you know I have a huge place in my heart for squid, especially Grilled Squid. It’s something I have to get every time I attend an event that has them; you gotta love that chewy goodness.

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One of the new things I did try was the Caffe Parfait, which was a great decision by the way. They made the gelato themselves with nitrogen and this one was layered with sponge cake, corn flakes, latte gelato, coffee jelly, tiramisu gelato, espresso sauce, cocoa biscuit, cream puffs and a biscotti.

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My friend got the Matcha Parfait which was equally as good but I’m going to be honest, I’m a little sick of the whole green tea craze. It’s everywhere to the point where it’s getting redundant. This one was layered with sponge cake, corn flakes, latte gelato, green tea jelly, green tea gelato, ozuki sauce, matcha biscuit and a meringue.

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You can clearly see how they make everything and it’s pretty neat. They stir the gelato and slowly add the nitrogen. I’m sure there’s more to it but this is what I saw with my own eyes.

Fish Cake

Fish Cake sounds a little plain but it’s actually pretty good. You can’t eat it by itself or it’ll be too bland. You can find it in a lot of soups, rice cake stews or fried and drizzled in sauces like this one.

Fried Onigiri

I wish I got the Fried Onigiri but at least I got a taste :)! The rice is still crispy and the spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce give it a nice flavour. I think it’s nicely balanced because if there was anything else, it might’ve been too salty.

Shrimp Tempura

The Shrimp Tempura was a bit disappointing to say the least. It still tasted good but it was still tiny as hell. They were cooled down however it would’ve been better if they were fresh out of the fryer.

I love the classics but I wish more vendors were creative and came out with something a little more unique. It doesn’t even have to be a totally new idea; just something that isn’t the norm like a different flavouring or shape.

What do you guys think? Do you think it’s gotten a little flat over the last few years or it still has hidden gems?

NatureBox Canada – July 2014 Review

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I hope everyone is enjoying their subscription so far. We’re pretty happy with ours and we hope the rest of you are as well. With so many yummy snacks in their vault, we can’t wait until we try each and every one!

For those of you that are still on the fence, I think you can always give it a try and if you don’t like it, you can always cancel at any time. Maybe these posts will convince you by giving you that little push you needed.

You probably want me to stop blabbing now. I’ll cut right to the chase and let you decide for yourself :).

You can find the following in this month’s NatureBox:

  • Cinnamon Swirl Kettle Kernels
  • Coconut Date Energy Bites
  • Sourdough Cheddar Pretzels
  • Black and White Granola
  • Granny Smith Apples

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Cinnamon Swirl Kettle Kernels

Crunchy and oh-so-slightly sweet, you’ll be amped up to tackle the rest of your day in no time.

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“I love cinnamon and kernels so the fact that the two of them are able to come together is amazing! I will admit though, I find kernels taste better with saltier flavours like BBQ or ranch but this one is pleasant as well. ”

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“A surprisingly good combination. Crunchy with a nice kick from the cinnamon.”

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Coconut Date Energy Bites

Sweet yet simple and totally satisfying, eating clean has never been so delicious.

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“I wasn’t sure how I would feel about these because I like dates but hate coconut. It actually comes together really nicely but are a little too sweet for me. I can probably do one a day but that’s it.”

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“Dates are already near the top of my list as a snack, but these only solidified it’s ranking even more so. They’re really soft and sweet, reminds me of those rolled up Chinese fruit candies.”

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Sourdough Cheddar Pretzels

Pretzels with the comforting flavors of cheddar-sprinkled sourdough and a dash of ale.

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“I don’t mind cheese on my snacks but this one was just too salty. I might just pass on this one and share it with some friends.”

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“Again, not a fan of cheese on my snacks; but these were delicious. The bite sized blocks were dusted lightly with cheese and (did I read this right?) BEER? Loved them.”

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Black and White Granola

Rolled oats are flavored with sweet cocoa, light vanilla and floral spice from a pinch of cardamom.

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“I know Duy finds granola bland but I love putting it in my Greek yogurt every morning. This one had a nice twist to it; chocolate granola bits blended with vanilla.”

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“As mentioned in my last review, granolas have becomes fairly stale to me as a snack lately. This version adds in some cocoa flavouring which changed things up a bit. Better but still nothing new by any means.”

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Granny Smith Apples

These tart and chewy apple rings will help you naturally replenish your energy.

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“I was expecting the dried apples to be a little crispy but they fell pretty flat. It’s not addicting but I can picture myself finishing the whole bag. It’s not overly salty or sweet so you don’t really think twice about it. I still prefer my dried mangoes.”

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“After my first bite it just felt like any other dehydrated fruit snack. A few minutes later and I inadvertently chowed through half the bag while reading through the day’s news. The dried out apple rings are just at the right sweetness without any of the sourness you get from a fresh apple. Although I still love my regular apples, these would be a great messy-free snack to keep on the side.”

Le Cafe Michi Review

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1802 Pharmacy Avenue

(416) 490-9688

Cuisine: Japanese/Dessert

Type: Cafe/Restaurant

Price: Pricey

Rating

Food: 9/10

Atmosphere: 8/10

Service: 8/10

Le Cafe Michi on Urbanspoon

This restaurant is a little further then where I usually venture. Scarborough is on the East end of the GTA but if you live close by, I highly recommend checking out the restaurants around you. If you’re into Asian food, it’s where a lot of Chinese and possibly Japanese immigrants first settle in Canada so the food you’ll taste is very authentic.

Unlike other Japanese restaurants that you’ll find, this one isn’t run by Chinese or Koreans. Every person that works there is indeed, Japanese.

There are a lot of set lunches and dinners that include miso soup, salad and cake at great prices too. I’ve gotten the sets twice and always left feeling just full; not lacking or extremely full.

Miso Soup

The Miso Soup comes in an adorable porcelain cup. It’s not too watery or thick and has a nice consistency. Miso soup generally has a very generic taste no matter where you go but this one is a little different where the flavour is bolder.

Green Salad

I love how their Salad isn’t made from iceberg lettuce. They use romaine lettuce and put just enough dressing so that it’s not overly wet or dry.

Cafe Michi Hot Pot Udon

I had the Cafe Michi Hot Pot Udon and loved every bite. The udon noodles didn’t break apart as I slurped them up and the broth wasn’t too salty and flavoured everything quite nicely. Thinking back on it now, I wouldn’t mind a bowl right now…

Tamago Don

The Tamago Don is a delicious bowl of spinach, onions, mushrooms and eggs simmered together over rice. One of the reasons I like sushi rice over jasmine is because it’s shorter and has more of a sticky, wet consistency. This also depends on the way you cook it but it sticks together easier so picking it up with the chopsticks isn’t a challenge. I love how the egg is cooked but still liquid so it mixes with the rice. I can’t eat plain rice by itself so I love any kind of “sauce”.

Beef Curry Rice Large

The Beef Curry Rice Large is a great dish to try if you’ve never had Japanese curry. It’s thicker than Indian curry and doesn’t always have to be spicy. Japanese curry is also a little sweeter and uses less spices. This dish comes in two sizes so if you generally eat less, opt for the small.

Lemon Chiffon

This part is what I was waiting for, dessert. Passing by the cake display case, I wanted to try them all but that just means I’ll have to go back more often :)!

For my first visit, I got the Lemon Chiffon Cake and it was so moist and light!   I loved how the cream wasn’t heavy so it didn’t make me guilty eating it. Did I mention how moist it is?

Green Tea Cake

The Green Tea Cake was just as fluffy and the red bean paste was a nice touch. If you want something a little different, green tea is a nice option but with it being so main stream now, is it really that unique?

Tofu Cheesecake

This might look like just another slice of cheesecake but look closer. You’ll notice that the colour is much lighter. It’s actually their Tofu Cheesecake and it might not sound appetizing but actually is quite delicious.

Chestnut Mousse Cake

I love chocolate but when I want something lighter, I go for something like the Chestnut Mousse Cake. It has a similar taste with an added nutty flavour. It’s the main ingredient in Nutella after all.

Earl Grey Cake

This Earl Grey Cake is their best seller. Although I’m not a fan of earl grey, I can see the appeal in this cake. It’s for those that don’t like anything too sweet and would be perfect with coffee or tea.

I’ll be back here for sure and won’t stop until I try everything on the menu!