It’s not too often I get a chance to leave the financial district and trek all the way to Harbord Street during my lunch hour. This amazing opportunity happened last month over the Christmas holidays when coworkers suggested we visit Dessert Trends Bistro! Located in between Bathurst and Spadina, this restaurant serves not only sweets and pastries but also a take on Chef Don’s vision of different cuisines. My first visit was years back when I came from desserts – which was amazing! So I totally knew what I was in for :)

DSC_0742

Once you walk past the doors, a galore of sweets welcome you! It’s totally worth your while to make a trip just for desserts.

DSC_0739

Behind a set of curtains is the main eatery which I want to say is so inviting and relaxing. I couldn’t help snapping photos in every corner of this gorgeous space.

DSC_0736

DSC_0737

Vegetable Spring Rolls($6.00)

  • rice paper, tofu, taro and mushroom

DSC_0743 DSC_0745 DSC_0747

Five-Spice Short Ribs Noodle Bowl ($15.00)

  • House Noodles, Mushrooms, Scallions, Ginger, Cucumber, Carrot, Black-Rice Vinaigrette

DSC_0748

Daily Special
Coconut Curry Shrimp ($14.00)

  • Vietnamese curry, coconut milk, onion, plain naan, side green apple salad

DSC_0750

(From their Dinner Menu)
Beef Bourguignon ($20.00)

  • Red wine, Mushrooms, Green beans

DSC_0753

Chicken & Gouda Sandwich ($14.00)

  • Asparagus, Sundried Tomato with Salad or Frites

DSC_0755 DSC_0757

This was such an amazing lunch experience. My favourites include the vegetable spring rolls (lightly deep fried – served pipping hot on a bed citrusy veggies that almost reminded me of a ceviche). In fact all the appetizers and everything I sampled during lunch was consistently good. Everyone enjoyed the things ordered – actually my coworker loved the coconut curry shrimp naan, she ordered one for take away to savour alone for dinner! The flavours here were simple and easy on the palette. DT Bistro also offers high tea on the weekends (which I am looking forward to try!)

blogsignature

DT Bistro on Urbanspoon

There are probably a million Hong Kong style Restaurants in Richmond Hill that you can choose from – whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner it almost gets overwhelming when it comes to picking just THE ONE to go too (especially if you’re driving all the way from Oakville!). My family and I usually go through phases when it comes to our “go to restaurants” in uptown but lately we’ve been obsessed with My Wonderful Kitchen. Regardless what time of the day it is – whether its lunch, afternoon tea or dinner – my family always end up here. There’s probably a combination of 3+ visits in this post.

DSC_0507

DSC_0510 DSC_0512

Hot Milk Tea 

DSC_0517

Stir Fried Turnip Patties in Curry Sauce ($5.95)

DSC_0522

Deep Fried Chicken Wing with Honey Garlic – 6 pieces ($5.95)

DSC_0529

BBQ Pork and Roasted Duck with Rice ($8.95) 

DSC_0520

Rice with Beef Brisket in Curry Sauce ($7.95)

DSC_0523

Baked Rice with Pork Chop in Bread Loaf with Tomato Sauce ($8.95)

DSC_0525

Close up shot:

DSC_0527

Baked Rice with Pork Chop in Tomato Sauce ($8.49)

  • I just want to mention that I rarely eat rice when I’m dining out just because rice generally fills you up quickly so I tend to lean towards other dishes
  • The baked rice here is my only exception because the tomato sauce is amazing. I’m highly addicted to it and order it every time – haven’t gotten sick of this yet.
  • Its the exact same thing as the item above minus the loaf!

photo 2 (2)

Noodle Soup with Beef Tendon & Brisket ($4.99)

photo 1 (1)

Sizzling Beef Chow Mein

photo 1

Braised Snow Pea Sprout with King Mushrooms ($13.99)

photo 2

photo 4 (1)

Pumpkin Steam Rice Noodle Roll

photo 4 (2)

Roast Duck (Half – $11.50)

photo 5 (2)

Ice Cream Waffle * Free Dessert with your afternoon tea

photo 3 (2)

Mango Sago *Free Dessert with Dinner

photo 5 (1)

I’ve been to My Wonderful Kitchen a handful of times and I love everything I order everytime! Must tries include their baked rice with honestly any kind of sauce but I personally love their tomato sauce. Another one of my favourites include their honey garlic wings – they make it so incredibly tasty! Lastly – order the stir fried turnip – its fried to a perfect crisp! My pictures don’t really do it justice but the portions are incredibly large – do yourself a favour and come check this place out =)

blogsignature

My Wonderful Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Say a BIG HELLO to Nam Sandwich Shop (@NamSandwichShop) – a friendly little addition to the Queen West / Trinity Bellwoods area. Being opened to the public since last summer, this shop specializes in well of course sandwiches – specifically Vietnamese street food and other delicacies to their ever changing menu. During my visit, I quickly established that patrons mainly stopped by to do a quick grab and go.

DSC_0576

Love the exposed brick walls and wooden tiles in the ceiling. This sandwich shop sits around 20 people. Few tables around and a bar along the front

DSC_0573

Sandwich Menu – Unfortunately, their fryer wasn’t working the day I visited so I was unable to check out their yam fries!

DSC_0571

Bao / Rolls and Beverages menu

DSC_0572

Here’s what we ordered:

DSC_0579

{Left} Minty Lemonade $3.00 / {Right} Thai Iced Tea $3.00

DSC_0580

Pork Belly Bao (Steamed Bun) $4.00

  • comes with hoisin sauce, cucumber and scallions

DSC_0581

Grilled Beef Bao (Steamed Bun) $4.00

  • comes with hoisin sauce, cucumber and scallions

DSC_0583

Tiger Shrimp Sandwich ($9.00)

  • Shrimp, coconut flakes, pickled daikon radish, carrot, cilantro & cucumber

DSC_0586

Lemon Grass Grilled Chicken Sandwich ($6.00)

  • Soy lemon grass grilled chicken, pickled daikon radish & carrot, cilantro & cucumber

DSC_0590

Overall, there were some things we enjoyed more than others. For a starter, my friend loved the grilled beef bao but didn’t enjoy her tiger shrimp sandwich which she thought was dry and I could see why with the shrimp being deep fried and having a lot of bread  (with not much sauce going on).  I on the other hand enjoyed my fatty pork belly bao (come on!) and the grilled chicken sandwich on a freshly baked and lightly toasted bread. They added a sauce to the grilled chicken along with all your hearty veggies! I even packed the grilled chicken sandwich for my mom that evening and she enjoyed it as well!

blogsignature

This meal was complimentary but Foodinthecitytoronto.com remains unbiased in our content.

Nam Sandwich on Urbanspoon

So I think I may have a slight obsession with Indonesian Food now… I honestly never had Indonesian food before my visit last weekend at Little Sister (@LittleSisterTO). Thanks to my co-worker’s recommendation and non stop raving about this tucked away gem, I never would have made my way to visit this place mid-town. I’m not sure what it is (I’m thinking its the coconut curry sauce + additional of cilantro to everything that makes it so darn addictive!) but I can’t get enough of this place! – I’ve already made reservations to visit next week =)

DSC_0773

So this may sound slightly insane – but Little Sister is fully booked 99% of the time. I made reservations 3 weeks in advanced and the only time slots available were 5:30PM or 8:00PM – and if you go on their website and check the reservations times now – you’ll probably fine the same time slots…I’m guessing they save a bit of tables for walk in.

DSC_0774

{LEFT} Indo Punch Cocktail / {RIGHT} Red Moon Cocktail 

DSC_0778

Balinese Shredded Chicken Taco ($4.75/taco)

  • lettuce, pickled cucumber, crispy shallots, sour cream

DSC_0779

Rendang Taco ($4.75/taco)

  • Beef, coconut crema, lettuce, pickled red onion

DSC_0793

Satay Lilit ($6.00 for 3 skewers)

  • Balinese Spiced Chicken

DSC_0780

Satay Babi ($6.00 for 3 skewers)

  • Pork, Peanut Sauce

DSC_0781

Sumatra Spiced Beef Croquettes ($6.50)

DSC_0791

Udang Kari ($15.25)

  • Shrimp Coconut Curry

DSC_0782

Sambal Daging ($11.75)

  • Tamarind braised beef

DSC_0784

Nasi Goreng – Fried Rice ($5.25)

DSC_0788DSC_0786

Ikan Bumbu Bali (Market Price)

  • Arctic Char

DSC_0794

Coconut Pudding ($5.00)

DSC_0795

Highlights of the evening were the tacos! – The Balinese shredded chicken taco & Rendang Taco were delicious! Although they were a little messy to eat (what tacos aren’t messy to begin with?) – it was the perfect amount of goodness and kick to each one. I have zero to little amount of tolerance for spicy foods but these just hit the spot! The skewers were done quite well – perfect amount of spice – chicken was not dry at all. I do recommend both the spiced chicken and satay (peanut sauce) pork skewer.

The coconut curry shrimp was probably the most memorable item for me. I’m 99.9% sure the coconut curry sauce did it for me – although I was feeling the heat of the spiciness – the sauce tasted so good I was still determined to eat it with the fried rice (which btw is amazing). My friend who has tried Indoniesan food commented that the fried rice is really sweet (I thought it was spot on because I loved the additional of coconut) We ended up asking the owner about this (and about the braised pork – it was quite lean) – it was simply the owner and husband’s take on Indonesian food when they were travelling around the world.

Last but not least, the coconut pudding is to die for (no exaggeration). The pudding at the bottom reminded me of  panna cotta. Texture was quite similiar with the exception of the shredded coconut pieces – oh so good =)

blogsignature

Little Sister Indonesian Food Bar on Urbanspoon

There’s not too many coffee shops in Oakville besides your typical Starbucks, Timmies  etc. So when Aroma Espresso Bar (@AromaEspresso) opened up their first location 3 months ago  in Oakville I was quite ecstatic! Located in the heart of downtown Oakville, Aroma serves an array of healthy selections of soups, salads and sandwiches.  I’ve actually visited this cozy spot a few times since their Soft Opening back in August (read post here). As I have mentioned in my previous post – this location in Oakville is Aroma’s first every 2 story location. Their second floor is such a perfect spot for quiet reading / studying.

photo 1photo 2photo 3

Matcha Green Tea Latte ($4.35)

photo 4

Soup of the Day – Quinoa Soup ($5.25)

  • Served with bread and butter

photo 1 (1)

Quinoa Salad ($6.95)

  • quinoa, tomato, cucumber, grilled eggplant, red onion, fresh mint served with herb dressing

photo 5

Aroma Premium Steak Sandwich ($10.95 – whole sandwich)

  • steak, sauteed onion, sauteed red pepper, swiss cheese, and aroma sauce
  • Choice of Bread: White, Whole Wheat

photo 2 (1)

Aroma Premium Ace Sandwich ($5.95 – Personal size)

  • grilled chicken breast, avocado spread, egg over easy, arugula, aroma sauce

photo 3 (1)

I’ve been to this location quite a few times – not just because its a few minutes from where I live but also because the foods produced are really consistent and hits the spot every time! I’ve been ordering the Aroma Premium Ace Sandwich everytime and honestly cannot get enough of me. Do yourself a favour and go check it out =)

blogsignature

This meal was complimentary but Foodinthecitytoronto.com remains unbiased in our content.

Aroma Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon

It’s that time of the year again – TIFF 2014 is happening again from Sept 4 – 14, 2014. And what better way to stalk your favourite celebrities then to pay a visit to LUMA (@OliverBonacini) (located inside TIFF) in hopes to “accidentally” bump into a celebrity. With no reservations made on  a Friday evening, I was utterly surprised we still managed to grab a table in the lounge area.

photo 5 (1)

Chimichurri Shrimp Tacos ($15.00)

  • cherry tomatoes, charred corn and avocado
  • a delicious starter for the evening – the heat of these shrimp tacos doesn’t kick in until the very last bite.

photo 3

Lobster Salad ($22.00)

  • butter lettuce, roasted corn, avocado, smoked bacon, sweet onion and tarragon buttermilk dressing

photo 2

Steak Frites ($34.00)

  • wellington county strip loin, five onion gravy, northern woods mushrooms and truffle parmesan fries

photo 4

Seared Scallops ($30.00)

  • curried cauliflower, kamut cashew pilaf and raisin jam

photo 2 (1)

Brasied Rabbit Cavatelli ($26.00)

  • swiss chard, zucchini, peas, asparagus, and kale pesto
  • This was my entree for the evening and It wasn’t intentional that I tried to order something healthy. In fact, whenever I dine out I pretty much go all out. So it was unexpected that I enjoyed this healthy pasta. Despite the fact that there’s so much green in this dish, the kale pesto, zucchini peas, asparagus really went well together. The cavatelli were cooked perfectly and paired perfectly with the braised rabbit.

photo 3 (1)

Truffle Parmesan Fries ($9.00)

  • How can you NOT order a side of truffle parmesan fries as a side to go with your healthy pasta right?

photo 4 (1)

LUMA Chocolate Bar ($10.00)

  • soft dark chocolate, banana and peanut butter ice cream

photo 2 (2)

Steamed Banana Pudding ($9.00)

  • burnt marshmallow ice cream
  • Honestly, any dessert menu that contains “burnt marshmallow ice cream” literally screams out at me and the foodie in me MUST order it
  • This dessert was no exception and LOVED it. The steamed banana pudding served hot was so soft and pillowy – contrasted so well with the ever so slightly burnt marshmallow ice cream and banana slices.

photo 1 (2)

I like my spontaneous visits to LUMA. I don’t visit LUMA too often not because I don’t enjoy my  visits but there’s just so many choices in the King West area. But when I do get a chance to visit LUMA, their seasonally changing menu always lures me to enjoy my comfort foods.

blogsignature

Luma on Urbanspoon

I can’t say that I’ve tried EVERY taco place in Toronto but I had some pretty darn good tacos here at SEVEN LIVES (@SevenLivesTO) 2 weeks ago. To be honest, I’ve made several attempts to visit SEVEN LIVES before, but every time this place was either closed or extremely packed (line up outside the door) type of deal.

It was a week night around 6PM when a few of us headed over to Kensington Market to attempt to visit the place. Thankfully, it was only busy but not incredibly packed.

DSC_0333

Menu is hung behind the counter on the chalkboard. We all tried to order something different just a little variety. Depending on the type of taco you order, they range from $4-$5 per taco.

DSC_0327

Open kitchen area so you watch them make it fresh!

DSC_0330

Closer shot of the menu:

DSC_0334

My friend is vegetarian so she opted for the only thing that was available to her:

MUSHROOM AND CACTUS ($4.00)

  • with grilled cheese

DSC_0337

I was the pig of the group and ordered 3 tacos in one shot. Please note that SEVEN LIVES do not cheap out on ingredients and each taco was extremely packed with goodies.  I was probably full halfway through the second taco but  couldn’t resist ordering the 3 tacos that really caught my eye.

DSC_0348

BAJA FISH ($5.00)

  • Battered & Deep fried Mahi Mahi with their house sauce. (Contains Gluten)
  • Each of the tacos comes with 2 soft shells – the combinations of the flavours from the deep fried mahi mahi to their house sauce wow the palate from the very first bite.
  • The battered mahi mahi was deep fried perfectly. Perfect crispiness that didn’t take away any flavours of the fish.
  • Although the baja fish was a little messy to eat – this taco was uber good and I highly recommend for any fish lovers out there!

DSC_0343

CARNITAS ($5.00)

  • Slow Cooked Pork
  • The flavours of the carnitas taco was quite delectable. Slathered with lots of green peppers, salsa, and cilantro – I quite enjoyed my first bite to the last. However, I would have preferred if the slow cooked pork to be slightly less dry.

DSC_0342

GOBERNADOR ($5.00)

  • Smoked Tuna, Shrimp and Cheese
  • This was another favourite of the evening – tuna and shrimp were marinated and cooked to perfection.
  • The sauce was sweet plus the presence of the veggie component provided a backdrop of crunchy freshness.

DSC_0346

I’m really hitting myself for taking so long to give SEVEN LIVES a visit. My friends and I all walked out pretty darn satisfied with our choices. I’m already thinking about ordering 2 BAJA fish tacos for myself next time. I would suggest to come before peak dinner hours or else it’ll get extremely packed. We arrived right before 6PM and barely found a place to stand. But there’s probably a reason why this place is packed all the time right? =)

blogsignature

Seven Lives on Urbanspoon

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 123 other followers