Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kekou Gelato House, Baldwin Village

KEKOU GELATO HOUSE
13 Baldwin Street
Toronto, ON
M5T 1L1, Canada
Cafe - Desserts - Take Away
$

 My love for Gelato sprouted over at Millie Creperies, but I was at a loss after being singled out by the same ol' Hazelnut or Vanilla flavour, over and over again. Although so close together, I am in-love with the surprising contrast that Chinatown, Kensington Market and Balwin Village have against eachother. My second time prancing through Baldwin Village in the daytime, it is a true delight. Introduced by a mate, Kekou Gelato is a small, darling gelato house in Baldwin Village

Kekou Gelato is a wonderful home to incredible, and very well excecuted Asian-inspired flavours. Their gelato covers a lot you can imagine - in Dairy and Dairy-free flavours. It's a great experience, and you better dive in and help yourself in sampling before committing yourself to a cup of a flavour (or two, or three).  The heaviest I'd like to note, are: 
The Vietnamese Coffee, dang, this one packs a punch, just like my good ol' Vy Vy Garden Cafe days (heh). How a Viet Coffee should be! Strong in bitterness and slightly sweetened by condensed milk.
I found great delight in the Black Sesame, Green Bean Coconut and Red Bean White Chocolate - each are equally a safe bet for anyone, they are exactly how your taste buds imagine it to be - along with being creamy and rich with flavour.
Slightly reluctant, but super curious, I went for the Spicy Mango, and man, it is pretty strong! I felt like a weakling. Legitimate Mango and Chili flavours here though, it's fantastic!
A quick whiff of the Whiskey Green Tea reminded me Karaoke - the memories of Cognac and Green Tea mixers, sticky floors and being enclosed in a large, dark room... I wouldn't be able to handle any more than a sampler of this.
What enticed me to come back the second time around was the word going around that Kekou Gelato now serves HK Milk Tea! It was just how I like my Bubble Milk Tea ☺. The Thai Iced Tea was unfortunate, it had a slighty tangy aftertaste - odd, it was the first time being disappointed in any flavour from here, hopefully they improve it! 

Even though I'm feeling bad after sampling three+ gelatos, the staff are friendly and encourage the repetitive Kekou-ritual, I feel worse when I'm to toss out five sampler spoons though, there has to be a better way!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Burgernator, Kensington Market/Chinatown

BURGERNATOR
269 Augusta Ave 
Toronto, ON 
M5T 2L7, Canada
Burgers - Gluten-Free & Vegetarian options - Free WiFi
$$


Winging a walk through Kensington Market for dinner, we stumbled upon a stack of over-sized coins chained outside of a store, amused, we lit up our eyes to The Burgernator. The Burgernator isn't your ordinary Burger Shoppe, this place screams personality, you need to walk in and check it out for yourself.
The sound of sizzling as their in-house fresh-grinded meat patties are grilled on their flat-top, it feels like an intimate few minutes until your number is called. Since their sauces and fries are also made in-house, I made sure to make an order of their Rocket Fries, it is allll about that.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Zakkushi, Cabbagetown

ZAKKUSHI
193 Carlton St 
Toronto, ON
M5A 2K9, Canada
Japanese - BBQ - Late Night
$$


The moment I scrolled past a Red Bean + Matcha Ice Cream Sandwich from Zakkushi on Instagram, I absolutely fell in love and longed to get down to this place for months! What better than to hop on down to the place with a mate that once lived and breathed the country a few years ago. Letting my mate do the choosing, the were amazing choices - making more than half of the dishes ones that I would absolutely recommend to every passerbyer. Zakkushi, in Cabbagetown, such a nice spot. The place was cozy, and great for a dinner for all sorts of occasions, read on as I fall in love with the place!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Giveaway: Orderit.Ca

The idea of being limited to a warm box of pizza delivered to your door is finally lost. Orderit.ca provides a super user-friendly website with not only a great amount of restaurant options, but also options according to your specific needs. Whether it's based on corporate catering at the office, or a simple meal for one at home, ordering through Orderit.ca gives you a plentiful amount of options to coordinate to you.


Seriously, look at this glorious cuisine variety:

  • The handiest option is also being able to sort this list into even further preferences - by Name, Price points and Delivery Fee. The search results are super easy to glimpse over, showing the price points, brief description, order requirements and next available delivery time.


    The Menu interface for each restaurant is very simple, even highlighting the most popular dishes for easy browsing. A practical tool is also being able to look over your past orders, especially great for my forgetful self. Orders can be placed within the day of, or up to 15-days in advance


    I had a great opportunity to experience a delivery of lunch by Sawasdee Thai for myself. I unfortunately had the inconvenience of no longer having a mobile phone, but, I was able to meet the delivery fella who arrived promptly just before the scheduled arrival of 12:30PM. I received a toasty lunch in a container divided into sections of Cashew Nut Chicken, Vegetable Spring Roll, Mango Salad and Rice - all of this, in my pajamas. The helpings were just-right, and each one was done very well - I was not the least bit disappointed in any of them.

    Cashew Nut Chicken, Vegetable Spring Roll, Mango Salad and Rice

    With such a swell amount of restaurant offerings to indulge in within your area, Orderit.ca is giving you the chance to win a $50 gift card to any one of these! Use it all at once, or sparingly across a few meals. Enter now to win!
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Monday, June 2, 2014

    Bazara Asian Cuisine, Little Italy/Portugal Village

    BAZARA ASIAN CUISINE
    Little Italy/Portugal Village 
    188 Ossington Ave 
    Toronto, ON 
    M6J 2Z7 Canada
    Asian/Chinese/Japanese/Thai - Lunch Special - Dinner
    $$


    My first being 'Wraps', my second favourite word is 'Lunch Prix Fixe'. With two so close by me, I don't make very frequent visits to them at all. My first pick has always been Libretto Pizza by Dundas and Ossington, the new winner, and change up from the consistent Italian flavours, is Bazara - just across Libretto, with their nicely done Asian Cuisine.

    The restaurant was very well-lit, it had a very casual Asian-feel. I declared this as a perfect local spot for a catch-up lunch, I am a sucker for comfy booths! Our dishes came out slowly, but they were so well-plated and were of spectacular value, I soon forgot. There were so many beautiful menu choices that I had a tough time choosing, our choices were one (or, two in our case!) of each of the three courses. The first course begins with a Salad or a Soup, and the two following are either Sushi, Dumplings or a traditional Asian with rice. The Lunch Prix Fixe menu can be viewed here.

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

    Smoque N' Bones, Queen West

    SMOQUE N' BONES
    869 Queen Street West 
    Toronto, ON
    M6J 1G4 Canada
    Southern BBQ - Queen West
    $$


    For the weeks leading up the their Grand Opening, I would often take the initiative to walk onto the South-side of Queen Street home just to peep into Smoque N' Bones. The day finally came, but I was in the wrong side of North America. I am now here, and ready to join the frenzy that Chef Alex Rad had lit up of his new joint. A Southern-style Barbecue joint is exactly what Queen Street needed

    Real excited for a fine Southern-style grub with three Beauts of mine, Dianne, Nance and Emika. Starting, off our meal, we needed a cheer with our pints of Samuel Adams (also to be captured). It's great to see such a delicious lager on tap. I do hope that Samuel Adams is presented to many more restaurants in the future, because this would be my immediate beer of choice over any other commercial brand on tap. It held the perfect thick texture, was low in carbonation, held some fruity notes and was slightly hoppy

    Glug, glug, glug. TGIF!

    Las Vegas Eats (PT 2/2)

    Part two of my feeds in Las Vegas, learn from my mistakes:
    (6) JEAN PHILIPPE PATISSERIE
    (7) NOODLES
    (8) LOLA'S A LOUISIANA KITCHEN
    (9) GUY FIERI'S VEGAS KITCHEN & BAR
    (10) GRAND LUX CAFE
    (11) BOUCHON BAKERY

    (6) JEAN PHILIPPE PATISSERIE
    Bellagio Resort and Casino
    3600 S Las Vegas Blvd
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    A quick snack at Jean Philippe Patisserie just before my buds were to head into the Cirque Du Soleil show at Bellagio. Hardly hungry, we went for something to share just to fill up a bit of time. Jean Philippe Patisserie is a wonderfully presented patisserie, a perfect spot to drop by for a quick coffee or sweet. Home to the World's Largest Chocolate Fountain - a remarkable sight to witness. There was also an oversized train just above the working-away chefs, made completely of Marshmallows - it suited the whole, magical theme very well.


    1. Chicken Crepe ($12)
    W/ Spinach, Red Peppers & Chicken
    For the price, they sure slack on the fillings. It was alright, definitely should have gone with a pastry.
    2. Strawberry Smoothie ($9.99)
    Tasty, but not worth the $10 for a regular size.

    Jean-Philippe P√Ętisserie on Urbanspoon
    (7) NOODLES
    Bellagio Resort and Casino
    3600 S Las Vegas Blvd
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    Being in a premium hotel, you'd only expect to pay a premium price. Brace yourselves, folks.
    Strong cravings for Asian Cuisine, our best (and closest) bet was Noodles. I loved the design of the restaurant-front, the bundled pile of literally, noodles, hanging above the entrance. Upon entering, you are surrounded by everything of an Asian sort - Bamboo, Lanterns for lighting, Asian Rugs and quite a few statues.

    1. Mandarin Beef Stew Broth ($18.75)
    With Beef Brisket & Tendon in Five Spices Broth
    2. Noodle Soup ($15.50)
    With Poached Chicken
    3. Congee ($5.00)
    With Hundred Century Egg & Scallions
    $20 + tax for Noodles and Soup, this better be good! But, luckily, indeed - it was! The flavours in the Mandarin Beef Stew were great, meat were the perfect cuts and nicely stewed. Definitely hit the spot. The Noodle Soup on the other hand was a tad too plain - needed more bazazz, and a much better cooked Rice Noodle to match. The Congee was the only one that I found to be absolutely worth it. A decent amount and wonderfully flavoured - great amount of Century Egg treats in here!

    Noodles on Urbanspoon

    (8) LOLA'S A LOUISIANA KITCHEN
    241 W Charleston Boulevard, Ste 101
    Las Vegas, NV 89102
    Cajun/Creole - Southern/Soul - Seafood - Patio

    The feels were right here. Plenty of seats for a breezy, covered patio on the outside and a pub-like feel on the in. Lola's is tough to locate without asking for directions - with (the help of) Google Maps, we ended up a 7 minute walk up and under a bridge to to resto, only to find parking right by it. We were warmly welcomed and chose to have a seat for four on the patio.
      
    1. Gumbo ($4.79)
    A cup of Gumbo w/ Chicken, Sausage & Shrimps
    My first time trying Gumbo! Now I will never have to again - arriving piping hot, this was okay - I expected more flavours, and many more pieces of meat. There was also Rice in here which was a pleasant surprise.

    2. Mama's Red Beans & Rice ($9.99)
    Slow-cooked with Andouille and Smoked Kielbasa. Served w/ Coleslaw & toasted French Bread
    A 'Family Favourite' on the menu, this had a delightful homie feel. The amount of Rice was just right, and the pieces of Kielbasa was a great salty mix by side the Coleslaw and Toasted French Bread. This was by far my girlfriend's favourite meal in the whole trip so far.

    3. Fettuccine Alfredo ($16.99)
    W/ Blackened Salmon (or Shrimp)
    No additional flavours or surprises in this one. I think this would have been better (and juicier) served with the Blackened Shrimp option instead. The Pasta was perfectly cooked, and the amount of Fettuccine Sauce was certainly generous!

    4. Soft Shelled Crab Po'Boy ($9.99)
    Two Soft Shelled Crabs Battered and Deep-Fried
    I already knew that this was going to be a pure winner the moment that I laid my eyes upon it in the menu. Deep-Fried Soft Shelled Crab... How can you possibly go wrong? Especially laid across a Soft Po'Boy Bun, this was a winner! A smiggen of Mayonnaise was all it needed.

    Lola's: A Louisiana Kitchen on Urbanspoon

    (9) GUY FIERI'S VEGAS KITCHEN & BAR
    The Quad
    3535 Las Vegas Boulevard 
    S Las Vegas NV 89109

    Guy Fieri, the only way I know him is the host of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives... and the guy who needs to loose the Justin Timberlake hair. Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar is situated right at the entry of The Quad, one of many hotels right across the hotel we were at - The Mirage. But a damn 45-minute wait... This has better be worth it!

    1. Parmageddon Wings ($15)
    Breaded Chicken Parmesan Wings + Apocalyptic Marina
    2. Guy-Italian Fondue Dippers($14)
    Pepperoni-wrapped Breadstick Twists served w/ a Smoky Provolone and Sausage Cheese Dip. Topped with Fresh Tomato Bruchetta

    3. Drunken Fish Tacos ($17)
    Lightly grilled chunks of Tequila-Citrus Tilapia, Avocado, Veggies and Mojo De Ajo

    The Parmegeddon Wings took form of Lollipops. I was honestly expecting an explosion of juicy flavours, this was truly disappointing. What was going on? Why were the only winners of the whole night - the (unnoted) Pickled Jalepenos? The Guy-Italian Fondue Dippers were also another disappointment to add to the list. My biggest peeve is when I cannot depict the description of the menu items - I did not depict and Sausage or Bruschetta in this, it did not go well together at all. Fish Tacos are the easiest things to successfully make, ever. Scarce in the amounts of Tilapia, and interesting combination - but it did nothing for either of us. I don't understand how one can mess it up - but Guy Fieri sure did.

    Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen + Bar on Urbanspoon

    (10) GRAND LUX CAFE
    The Venetian Hotel & Casino
    3355 Las Vegas Blvd S
    Las Vegas, NV 89109
    Breakfast/Brunch - American

    1.Strawberry Fruit Smoothie 
    2. Hot Chocolate
    3. Delux Breakfast Sandwich ($11.95)
    Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Ham, Grilled Tomato, Havarti Cheese and Mayo piled high on Grilled Brioche Bread. Served w/ Hash Browns
    4. 'The Best' Eggs Benedict with Ham & Hollandaise ($13.95)

    A quick breakfast at Grand Lux Cafe in The Venetian/Palazzo before our 5-hour roadtrip to L.A. I was thrilled to be leaving this place (and it's mediocre feeds). This breakfast was very satisfying and tasty. I would definitely recommend it! Don't forget to (instead) get a seat on the patio.

    Grand Lux Cafe on Urbanspoon

    (11) BOUCHON BAKERY
    The Venetian 
    3355 Las Vegas Boulevard S 
    Las Vegas NV 89109

    With so many food disappointments experienced - it is always time to grab a few pastries from the famous Bouchon Bakery. We had an Almond Crossaint, Cinnamon Bun & I completely forgot what this one was... All were tasty, ranging at about $3.50~4.

    Bouchon Bakery on Urbanspoon