Over the years, I’ve had plenty visits to different coffee shops but NEVER once have these coffee shops make their hot chocolate as unique as Aroma Espresso Bar (@aromaespresso). Something about this particular drink has drawn me back over the years – but had never gotten the chance to trying their food. And so when Loren from Aroma Espresso Bar found out my love for breakfast/brunch items, she sent me some Aroma Cash to check out their all day breakfast!

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Aroma Power Breakfast Combo ($11.10)

  • The Aroma Power Breakfast was created to fuel you all day! Breakfast includes two eggs any style, mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, carrot, olives, feta cheese, cream cheese, avocado spread, and a side of our freshly baked bread with butter. Add 1.50 for 12oz hot drink or soft drink.
  • The power breakfast can feed two people. The portion is crazy such a healthy breakfast to start the day

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Hot Chocolate (Medium)

  • Their hot chocolate is made by straight up melting chocolate pieces in a cup of frothed milk.
  • It’s one of my favourite items ALL year around.

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Shakshuka ($9.60)

  • Shakshuka Two sunny-side up eggs, on top of a rich warm tomato and pepper sauce. Served with Tahini and your choice of freshly baked bread.
  • For both of my visits to Aroma thus far, I’ve ordered the Shakshuka each time. Honestly, you can’t get enough of it. It’s quite the hearty item and although it may be rich and filling but really – you don’t usually find a Shakshuka on a breakfast menu so why not?

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Egg and Cheese Croissant ($5.30)

  • Egg And Cheese Croissant 1 egg, any style, wrapped with cheddar in one of our freshly baked croissants.
  • Although the sandwich looks very simple, it was incredibly tasty and super super buttery.

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Classic Breakfast ($5.30)

  • Breakfast On The Go You’ll want to find time for this quick breakfast! Two eggs any style, two slices of our house-baked Aroma bread (choice of white, multigrain, or whole wheat), and a side of butter and jam.

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French Toast ($7.80)

  • French Toast Classic battered French Toast, topped with fresh fruit, homemade whipped cream, and drizzled with maple syrup.

DSC_0156DSC_0157  Aroma Espresso Bar has a great selection from their array of beverage selections, all day breakfast items and sandwiches. They swing the healthy option and by all means a great way to kick off your day by going down that route! Don’t underestimate their power breakfast!

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

Aroma Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon

After visiting Shibui Robata Bar (@ShibuiRobata) for the first time at their opening launch party few weeks ago (see blog post here) – I just couldn’t wait to be back! Since they only recently opened, I was totally ecstatic to find out they were taking part in Summerlicious (July 4-20) this year! There’s not much to say as the pictures pretty much speak for itself. My friend and I thoroughly enjoyed each course from the salad to the maki’s and wow the lamb I opted for my main was amazing! Cooked perfectly – a little bit fatty but melt-in-your mouth good!

5 Courses for $25? Totally crazy!

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STARTERCrispy Rice with Salmon/Tuna

  • pan seared sushi rice

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STARTER: Kinoko Salad (vegetarian)

  • Soba noodle, Japanese mushroom, ponzu dressing

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SUSHI ROLLPirikara Ebi Maki

  • crispy fried shrimp, asparagus, cucumber, chili mayo sauce

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SUSHI ROLL: Shibui Salmon Maki

  • spicy salmon, tempura flakes, salmon on top

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ROBATA GRILLED PROTEIN: Lamb Chops

  • spicy Korean miso glaze

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ROBATA GRILLED VEGETABLESSweet Potato (vegetarian)

  • red miso sauce

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ROBATA GRILLED PROTEIN:Scallops

  • yuzu garlic aioli

ROBATA GRILLED VEGETABLES: Cremini Mushrooms (vegetarian)

  • teriyaki sauce

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DESSERTPetit Gateau (Chocolate Cake)

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DESSERT: Passion Fruit Mousse (vegetarian)

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Do yourself a favour and check this place out! Amazing deal for what its worth!

Price: $25 + tax + gratuity

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Shibui Robata Bar on Urbanspoon

So just when I thought there couldn’t be possibly any more restaurants opening in the distillery district – BOOM! Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie (@ClunyDistillery) suddenly open its doors to the Toronto crowd among the many restaurants in the Distillery restaurant family. Truthfully, it makes sense to open a modern French Bistro. The Distillery District (@DistilleryTO) practically satisfies any crowd whether they’re craving for Mexican, Italian, Seafood or even grabbing a simple beer.

So last week, I had the opportunity to attend Cluny’s Opening Media Dinner. It was probably one of the most memorable tastings I’ve ever attended & not just because it was a 12 course tasting. But simply because each course was really well prepared and thought out. The menu is creative and adventurous. I managed to try an item or two that I never thought I would be eating.

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The decor is gorgeous. It takes the past French tradition and adds a creative and modern approach. When I first walked in… all I could think of was how “grand” this restaurant was.

Cluny - Venue Shot 2Cluny - Raw Bar 1  Cluny - Venue Shot 5

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BREAD TO START

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1st Course: Tuna Tartar “Nicioise”

  • Egg, French beans, white anchovy, Nicoise olives
  • The tuna tartar was great on the palette. I rarely have tartar with large chunks of beans but this totally worked for me.
  • Bread was a bit too crunchy for me

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2nd Course: Roasted Duck Poutine

  • Duck fat fries, duck gravy, Etorki cheese, and sunny side duck egg

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3rd Course: Qualicom Bay Scallop Crudo

  • Watermelon, chili, peanuts, cilantro
  • This was hands down one of my favourite dishes of the evening. Served cold, the scallops paired so well with the refreshingly cold watermelon pieces. The addition of peanuts gave the overall dish a bit of a textural contrast. Topped off with cilantro – yum!

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4th Course: Spicy Watermelon & Tomato Soup

  • Firm tofu, basil, oven-dried tomato

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5th Course: “Buffalo Fried” Sweetbread

  • Smoked blue cheese dip, heirloom carrot stick

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6th Course: Ginger-chili fried frog’s legs

  • Pickled celery, Vietnamese dipping sauce
  • Your average menu doesn’t serve frog’s legs but yes I finally tried frog’s legs for the first time and yes I will say it tastes somewhat like chicken.
  • Since it was deep fried, I couldn’t enjoy the full texture and flavours of the legs.
  • Anything deep fried just makes it taste that much better =P

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7th Course: Paillion Noir Roquefort 

  • Fresh figs stuffed with warm Roquefort, honey, toasted black pepper

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8th Course: Veal Meatball “Tomhawk”

  • Tomato braised, Parisian gnocchi
  • The veal meatball was quite hearty – seasoned perfectly. The gnocchi had a powerful garlicy flavour but not over powering

Cluny - Veal Meatball 'Tomahawk'

9th Course: Moroccan Chickpea & Sweet potato stew

  • Couscous, harissa, almond, apricot

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10th Course: Passion Fruit Souffle

  • Pistachio financier, vanilla creme anglaise
  • I LOVED this souffle! When our server poured the vanilla creme anglaise from atop – it was love at first sight and bite

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11th Course: Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle Bar

  • Cotton candy, marshmellow, raspberry sorbet

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12th Course: Macaron to go!

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From the ambience of the restaurant, down to the wonderful service – all aspects of our dining experience was pretty on par. The ingredients and flavours in each dish were well thought out and truly embraced the spirit traditional french cuisine with a modern twist.  I think a future visit is imminent…

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

Cluny Bistro on Urbanspoon

Behold Toronto’s FIRST EVER Robata Bar! That’s right! – debuting on Adelaide in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district, Shibui (@ShibuiRobata) brings a twist to the Toronto food scene with the city’s first authentic hot charcoal robata experience.

Now what exactly is Robata? Robata refers to a method of cooking, similar to barbecue, in which items of food on skewers are slow-grilled over hot charcoal. (Wikipedia)

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Linked to Copa Cabana, Shibui is a Japanese venue designed by Ralph Giannone. This restaurant evokes a stunning combination of Japan’s beauty with an urban twist. The decor is quite modern and chic.

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Luckily enough for me, I was invited to Shibui’s media launch party. The party was held on their lower level in which we got to see the robata bar – open kitchen concept.

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Loved the presentation of the fresh assorted sashimi

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Chef’s doing their magic in the kitchen!

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So all night long, we were passed along quite a few different canapé for sampling:

キノコと蕎麦のサラダ Kinoko Salad

  • Soba noodle, Japanese mushroom, ponzu dressing
  • The salad was one of my favourite items of the evening - The salad itself brought out its A game. the citrus tasting ponzu dressing on the salad was well balanced. Soba noodles were incredibly fresh and cold. Quite a refreshing salad

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薩摩芋 Sweet Potato 

  • Red miso sauce

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玉蜀黍 Corn

  • Yuzu butter sauce

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餃子Dumplings

  • Chilean Sea Bass

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ぴり辛鮭と焼きにぎり Crispy Rice Spicy Salmon

  • Pan seared sushi rice

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ぴり辛海老巻 Pirikara EBI Maki

  • Crispy fried shrimp, asapragus, cucumber, chili mayo sauce

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子羊の辛味噌焼き Lamb Chop

  • Spicy  Korean miso glaze

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Ending the night with one of my favourite proteins.. lamp was incredible! Shibui Robata bar has a lot to offer whether its items coming from their robata grill or their simply amazing maki rolls. And conveniently Shibui is participating in Summerlicious 2014 (July 4-20) My reservations has already been made.. what about you? =)

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

Shibui Robata Bar on Urbanspoon

Hudson Kitchen (@HudsonKitchen) officially expands its offering for Summer 2014 aka Patio Season! Located in the Dundas West Area, Hudson Kitchen brings a welcoming atmosphere and new flavour profiles to their new summer menu and revilized cocktail list.

Chef Robbie brings a fresh and autobiographical approach to the newly designed summer menu, including seasonal snack specials, appetizers, mains and desserts. Patrons can expect twists on classic North American dishes that infuse local and seasonal ingredients along with different textures, providing exciting layers to each dish.

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Filipino Fried Chicken

  • Brioche, Adobo Mayo, Iceberg Lettuce

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Grilled Cauliflower

  • Brown Butter, Almond, Raisin, Caper

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Piquillo Pepper

  • Tuna Conserva, Sherry Vinaigrette

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Devilled Eggs

  • Chicken Cracklin, Hot Sauce

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Mackerel Escabeche

  • Shallot

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Squid Croquette

  • Lemon, Wild Fennel

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Spring Vegetable Tostada

  • Goat Cheese, Black bean

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

Hudson Kitchen on Urbanspoon

So lately I’ve been on a Chipotle craze – day in and day out I’m always craving steak tacos or their burrito bowls! Its starting to add up on my visa bill. Even today – I wanted to go out of my way to give them a visit. But luckily enough for me, I was grocery shopping at Longos’ and saw a 10 piece taco shell kit on sale! I grabbed it instantly and bought minced pork, fresh lettuce and tomatoes to wip up something quick for my parents.

*I’m not implying in any way that my home made tacos can live up to the tacos at Chipotle but these are “grace’s version of  a home made – simple to make and eat tacos”* =)

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The Kit comes with a sodium taco sauce which I really like – I spread that at the bottom of the taco shell and then place the minced meat on top. Then you can add all the other toppings like tomatoes, lettuce and cheese!

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1 Old El Paso Hard Taco Dinner Kit

  • 10 hard taco shells made with whole grain
  • The kit has reduced sodium taco seasoning mix
  • The kit has reduced sodium taco sauce

1 Boston Lettuce
3 Tomatoes
0.50 Kg Extra Lean Ground Pork

If you guys have any other taco kit brands you like – OR even taco restaurants! please recommend and i’ll definitely check it out :)

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Last Monday I attended a night of drinks and Spanish flares at iYellow Wine Club (@iyellowwineclub) iYellow is a place where you can taste wines from all over the world, learn about the wines you love and meet other wine lovers! Luckily enough for me, I had a chance to sample some elegant Brut Cavas Hill along with some amazing finger foods made by Sliced Gourmet - a restaurant that also offers catering services.

The colour of the Brut Cavas Hill is a straw yellow – with thin and constant bubbles. The wine is well balanced, broad and elegant.

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Here’s a little more about the wine – taken from their website (CAVA’s HILL

Wine-making (+)

After the second fermentation that takes place in the bottles, the bottles are kept in the cave at least twelve months at a temperature between 12ºC and 16ºC. The contact of the base wine with the yeast during this time gives the cava a unique personality.
Once the cava is free of the yeast responsible for the second fermentation, we add expedition liqueur containing less than 15 gr/l sugar, since it is a Brut. Then the bottle is closed with a natural cork.

Serving Suggestions (+)

Ideal at any time of the day, as an aperitif, or as an accompaniment to charcuterie, sauce based fish dishes, meat and barbecued vegetables

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Pan Con Tomate

  • bread rubbed with olive oil, tomato & garlic

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Chorizo & Saffron paella arancini

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Ceviche | fresh fish, avocado, cilantro

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Croquetas  - Spanish fritters filled with ham & cheese, served with a chipotle aioli

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Papas Bravas – fried potatoes, topped with a flavourful tomato sauce and tangy aioli

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Creme Brulee

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I had such a fantastic time sampling the Brut – Cavas Hill wine – simply elegant and easy to consume. The foods paired with this wine was truly amazing. Little bit sized snacks that were so addictive throughout the night. I swear I had at least 3-4 servings of the ceviche =)

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

Sliced on Urbanspoon

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