La Société

About a month ago I ventured off to downtown Toronto after work to try Yorkville’s newest restaurant . I feel like it’s one the most expensive restaurants I’ve ever been to or I will ever go to. HA!  But  my friend and I decided that we will try a new restaurant every time we get our pay cheques =D

La Société is a French restaurant that opened 2-3 months ago on Bloor with renovations that cost over $4 million!!. This restaurant is intended to give you a “night in Paris” experience and it definitely did because everyone around us were pretty, tall and dressed like models! I enjoyed everything that night except for one thing – the noise level. It was EXTREMELY loud in there, I felt like I had to scream across the table to talk to my friends. The food itself there was pretty good actually I can’t really compare because I never really eaten at an authentic French restaurant before. Our waiter was cute or only because he had a French accent (lol) But overall, I had a really great time!

Starting Salad: 

Escargots with Sauteed Mushrooms – Roasted garlic jus ($17)

  • I really love escargot but I personally thought it was just a tad over seasoned
  • about 10-12 escargots
  • I usually prefer escargots being baked – but this wasn’t bad

Duck Confit – Creamed Savoy Cabbage, Poached Pear and Brandy Jus ($28)

  •  the duck was cooked well – or maybe TOO well because it came out rather dry
  • the cream cabbage and poached pear went really well together – i LOVED the sauce.

Frites with Garlic Aioli ($7)

  • the fries were sooo delicious
  • came in their own basket which I thought was really cute
  • the fries, I thought, tasted like a mix of New York Fries X McDonald’s

La Société Bistro on Urbanspoon

Ematei Japanese Restaurant

A few months ago I ventured off to downtown Toronto to check out one of Toronto’s few authentic Japanese restaurants. I was tres excited as I have heard many good things about Ematei. I really enjoyed dinner there and unexpectedly came out loving Japanese style curry dishes =D

Ematei is located  in the entertainment district. It’s like a hidden gem on St. Patrick St so it’s easy to overlook this restaurant if you aren’t actually looking for it.

When you walk into the restaurant there’s a sushi bar on your left and a few tables on the right and all in the back. Actually, I had an awkward experience while waiting to be seated. My friend and I stood at the front of the restaurant for a while to wait for the hostess to seat us. And at one point, we thought we had to seat ourselves because the hostess/ servers clearly saw us waiting but they just walked past us without acknowledging our existence and it wasn’t like they were busy or anything… I honestly don’t mind waiting but I was just hoping they would at least say something to us and not leave us standing there

I loved this squid tempura. It sort of reminds me of the ones that you can find at dim-sum. The batter wasn’t too thick – it was deep fried perfectly =] I can honestly nibble on these all night hehe!

This dish is basically curry rice with pork cutlet and is now my all time favourite. There’s just something unique and tasty about Japanese curry – I highly recommend it for curry lovers!

I ordered this sushi set and thought it just mediocre. It was really fresh and great quality – but I have had better. I personally  think Yuzu still has the best sashimi/ sushi in Toronto.

Just like any other Japanese restaurants I visit, I almost always order their house or special roll aka the most expensive roll on the menu (lol) This roll was ridiculously large. Almost twice or three times the size of a regular piece. It started to fall apart when I tried to dip it into soy sauce. Nevertheless, their house roll was pretty good but a bit overpriced.

Here’s a closer shot of whats inside the roll:

Overall, I thought the sushi here was good but not great. Their other  cooked food dishes that I tried were awesome (i.e. curry =D)  They also offer take out if you are not inclined to stay and eat. Ematei is definitely worth the visit if you’re in the area!

Ematei Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Cafe by Crêpe it up

Crepe it up is definitely the best crepe joint in Toronto by far!!! I’ve tried many dessert places around town but none of them have made me crave their desserts the day after (lol). I have past by this place numerous times and if I had known about their amazing crepes I wouldn’t have wasted so much time looking for the perfect “crepe place”

Crepe it up is a small and some what cozy place in the village. There have a  few small round tables and a communal table that seats about 10 people sitting in the middle of the place. If it gets real busy you definitely can’t study or lounge around the place.

Crepe it up serves a wide range of home made goodies from sweet and savory crepes to fresh sandwiches, home made soup, pastries and hot beverages. You can also purchase specialty coffee beans here.

Dark Angel Crepe  ($4.25)

  • Chocolate hazelnut crepe wrapped around an ice cream ball
  • this crepe was amazingly good – the texture was very soft and chewy – the batter was perfect – it instilled a smooth texture of buttery and creamy flavour
  • the crepe stays warm for a very long time – even the very last bite the crepe was still warm and was surprisingly filling
  • the combination of everything was absolutely perfect- I honestly felt like I was in heaven

I absolutely love this place- its friendly and affordable. I can’t wait to come back and try their savory crepes or sandwiches as a snack or late lunch.  Honestly, if I lived in the area I would be here indulging in their perfect crepes every night.

P.S In case I do not post within the next few days, I want to wish everybody a very MERRY CHRISTMAS! Be safe and eat lots = ] 

Cafe by Crepe It Up on Urbanspoon

Zee Grill Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar

Zee Grill Seafood Restaurant is one of the oldest and best seafood restaurants in Toronto. I read several great reviews and a friend had also recommended their “surf and turf”. I absolutely LOVED my experience there – minus 1 thing… but will definitely come back!

The exterior of the restaurant isn’t fancy or anything but when you walk in it’s a totally different vibe – romantic with lots of candles and spotlights. I loved how they filled up the exposed brick walls with random quotes!

 

I loved how cozy and warm the restaurant felt. There’s also a private party room to the left of where I was seated

All your dreams can come true… if you have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney (Sorry about the glare – lol)

I was slightly disappointed when I found out they didn’t offer any mixed drinks i.e. cocktails =( They only offered wine and pop …

Bread to start:

  • I didn’t like the bread – it wasn’t warm and was extremely chewy and hard

B.C. Dungeness Crab Cake ($13)

  • the crab cake was served with corn relish & sambal aioli
  • Although the crab cake wasn’t large (finished in about 3 bites lol) literally every bite was ALL fresh crab meat
  • it was incredibly delicious and scrumptious

Surf and Turf ($28)

  • 5 oz AAA Alberta Angus Tender Loin & jumbo prawns & spinach-potato mash vidalia onion rings
  • I loved how the chef was so gentle in assembling this dish
  • I usually opt out when it comes to mushrooms- I don’t mind the texture but I simply dislike the taste of it – however, I finished all the mushrooms on this plate (for the first time); it was flavourful and delicious

Close Up of the spinach-potato mash vidalia onion rings

  • the onion rings were crispy – not too hard or chewy
  • I thought the spinach potato mash went SO well together
  • the mash was so soft and creamy – I wish they added more to the plate (lol)

Close up of 5 oz AAA Alberta Angus Tender Loin & jumbo prawns

  • the prawns and my medium rare tender loin were both cooked perfectly
  • flavourful and well-seasoned

Wild Stripped Sea Bass ($27) – can’t comment about the sea bass because I didn’t try it

And of course I didn’t order desserts because I like to optimize my experiences by trying new places after dinner : ) I would definitely come back because my surf and turf was delectable; honestly one of the best surf and turfs I ever had – and also need to try their oysters : )  The only downside is that maybe it is a tad pricier than other seafood restaurants but its money well spent!

Zee Grill on Urbanspoon

Dinner @ 新疆 (Xin Jiang)

My friend had been going on and on for almost a year and a half (lol) about the best lamb skewers in town and I didn’t think I was much of a lamb person or a skewer person for that matter until she brought me here a month ago. I absolutely loved it and went back with my parents recently! I actually regret not coming here earlier and have no idea why it took me SO long (lol)

I went to Xin Jiang on a Saturday night around 6pm and around an hour later – the place was COMPLETELY packed and people were huddling around the door! My parents and I felt under pressure to quickly finish our meal since people were waiting outside in the freezing cold.

The Menu: reminded me of a viet -pho menu only because of the numbers labelled beside the dishes and also because of the pictures on the right side of each page

The place mat – and I wished I only noticed this earlier T____T It showed some of their most popular and their specialty – traditional dishes from the Xin Jiang region in China that you can’t find at a typical Chinese restaurant

特色炒餅 Stir fry shredded pancake ($7.99)

  • For me, this was absolutely mind-blowing – I ordered this both visits and LOVED it
  • I believe they used a special kind of Xin Jiang noodles because the texture of the noodles isn’t the typical noodles you can find at other Chinese cuisines
  • You have a choice of chicken / beef / just vegetables – I opted for the chicken
  • I know this just looks like a typical Chinese noodle dish but there’s just something so unique about it – maybe it was the sauce they used or just the combination of the bean sprouts and shredded veggies with chicken….
  • All in all, it was the perfect combination, everything blended so well together – absolutely flavourful

四季豆炒牛肉 Stringed Beans and Shredded Pork ($7.99)

  • This dish was mediocre, I prefer this dish at Shanghai-nese restaurants
  • The spices that they used were really powerful – maybe a bit overpowering that I couldn’t really taste the stringed beans
  • Please note that dish is extremely spicy for those that can take in little to no “spices”

BBQ Skewer Kabob ($2 / skewer)

  • BBQ skewers are one of the most popular Xinjiang dishes in China – the chunks of meat came out on really long metal skewers
  • I opted for the tofu, chicken wing, beef and lamb skewer
  • 4-5 pieces on each skewer
  • Honestly, I didn’t like the tofu skewer that much because they grilled it way too dry =S
  • The chicken wings skewer and beef were mediocre

Lamb Skewer [Round 2]

  • the lamb skewer is definitely a MUST TRY – I had to order another round of pure lamb skewers
  • the lamb was very juicy, tender and cooked perfectly – not dry at all
  • I’m assuming they used some sort of of Xin Jiang spices to make the skewers even more flavourful
  • However, the spices they used is a “love it or hate it” thing
  • My dad found the spices tasted weird with the skewers (not your typical kind of spicy-sauce)
  • I wouldn’t use “weird” to describe it – it’s unique –  but I absolutely loved it =]

This place for me is definitely a hidden gem. From both the times I have been here, they didn’t disappoint with the lamb skewer and the fried pancake noodles =] Will definitely come back!

Xin Jiang Restaurant on Urbanspoon