Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Old Curiosity Tea Shop

Date: December 2009
Location: 91 Main Street Markham North Markham, ON L3P 1X7

Once I stepped into The Old Curiosity Tea Shop, I felt like I travelled back in time to the Victorian period of England. The shop is decorated with lot of tea pots all over the wall and on the ceiling. Beside the tea pots, the tea shop has a very high ceiling with decorative molding. It is very elegant. The Old Curiosity Tea Shop is not big so reservation is highly recommended. 

My honey C.C. ordered "afternoon tea for two" and it must be reserved in advance. Afternoon tea of two includes two dual layers high tea trays and choice of a pot of tea. Their tea list has over 40 different kinds of tea to choose from. We picked their famous Victorian Markham Tea and get to smell the tea leafs too.The waiter said it is a tradition for the customers to smell the tea leafs. Each meal is served on Royal Doulton china. The first high tea tray contains some sandwiches. The second tray contains some scones with different kind of jams. I didn't know the price for high tea but our bill turns out to be ~$40 for two people. I found it totally worth the price.

The front of the Old Curiosity Tea Shop

First high tea tray

Turkey sandwiches, refreshing creamy cheese and cucumber sandwiches served with yummy cranberry jam

Egg slices sandwiches + unknown delicious cream cheese pine wheel

Second high tea tray 

Puffy savoury raisin scones

Devonshire cheese with mint leaf, black currant jam, + apricot jam

Strawberry jam and Gooseberry jam

Beautiful Tea Pot
The waiter said we should brew the tea for 15min before drinking it

Tea cups


Date: May 2009
Location: 30 Saint Patrick Street Toronto, ON M5T 3A3

Ematei is a tradiational Japanese izakaya 居酒屋 restaurant underneath a condo apartment in downtown Toronto. I passed by this restaurant many times but never went in once because I worreid that it is another pricey restaurant. After I did some research online, I found out Ematei is operated by Japanese for many years. Their menu contains lot of traditional Jap food and most importantly, it has a $45 Omakase menu. As a result, my C.C. wanted to celebrate my b-day at Ematei (My C.C. is treating me again).

For the price of $45, I found the Omakase was totally worth the money. Most of the dishes were cooked food 煮物 and it only had 2 dishes of sashimi and sushi. The tempura dishes were pretty amazing because they were fishes not shrimp. We side order a drink, and two toriyaki.

Tamago Tofu 玉子豆腐

Marinated Fried Fishes


Vegetable Nimono

Nasudengaku, Cod fish, Bacon roll, Shrimp
grilled eggplant with sweet miso paste

Fish Tempura




Cassis Oolong

Toriyaki - Chicken Gizzard

Toriyaki - Chicken Skin

Cute little tooth stick holder

Aoyama Sushi Restaurant

Date: Feb 2009
Location:  2766 Victoria Park Avenue, North York, ON M2J 4A8

Finally it is my term to treat my C.C. with good quality of food. This time we visited Aoyama Sushi Restaurant on my C.C.'s b-day. We heard that they have the Omakase menu which comes in two different prices and we ordered the $60 one. Unlike Sushi Kaji, there were no menu for Omakase, so I have no ideas of what we will be served. Beside the waitress did not speak English very well, so I had no ideas of what I was having. Aoyama Omakase is great but it is nothing you can compare with Sushi Kaji. However it is much cheaper so I shouldn't be too critical. Their sashimi were fresh and the salad were tasty. Black sesame ice-cream was a big hit for the night. I love it so much that I tired to find Asian Supermarket, however I have no sucess so far. 

Seaweed salad with real crab meats
The dark green seaweed is called Wakame, and the red one is Hijiki

Some kind of sashimi with tiny tiny bit of mentaiko明太子
The sauce tasted like some kind of vinaigrette

First time to try gold fake and they have no taste at all

Lobster Tail

It comes with diced white radish, which makes the tempura more tastey 

Soup in a tea pot

I just love the shrimp, uni and unknow fatty fish in the middle

Black sesame ice-cream
It tasted very good compared with the regular white black sesame ice-cream

Fruits and Konnyaku

Le Cafe Michi

Date: December 2008
Location: 1802 Pharmacy Avenue, Scarborough, ON M1T 1H6

Café Michi is another excellent Japanese restaurant in the uptown area. Their dinner set comes in a combo which includes a salad, entrée, dessert and a drink. We ordered a uni Don and chirashi combo. Their chirashi was excellent with fresh sashimi and beautiful presentation. I can use one word to describe the uni don “delicious”. I had tried uni that is not fresh and it tasted awful. However, this time the uni actually tasted sweet and fresh. I was very amazed by the quality of the food. Their desserts are excellent too, they are not too sweet. Of cause, good food comes in pricey. Combos served by Café Michi are ranging from $28 to $38.

Cucumber, sea weed, crab meat salad

Vegetable salad

Green tea


Uni Don

Blueberry cheese cake

Mango mousse cake


Eight Wine Bar

Date: July 2008
Location: 8 Colborne Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1E1

Eight Wine Bar is a restaurant located on a small street near the concern of Yonge and King. There is a bar in front of the restaurant and the kitchen is located in the basement. Therefore, the waiter has to walk up and down the stair to deliver meals. This is the third restaurant we tried during summerlicious and I have a very satisfying meal. It exceeded my expectations for a $25 menu. I got some nice bread with chick pea source after I placed my order. The bread tasted softer then its look. However service took forever, the bread bucket sat on the table just before I had my dessert. I also waited for ~30min before I got my main.

Hot House Tomato Gazpacho with Crab Salad
Cold Chilled Gazpacho which has different layer of flavours

Cured Salmon Gravlax Timbale with Avocado and sweet Corn Relish, Carrot Ginger Vinaigrette
Salmon and Avocado is my favorite combination, there is nothing better than this

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Potato Hash and Seared Pork Belly, Summer Vegetables and Green Peppercorn Sauce
The steak was very tender and it even tasted better with the green peppercorn sauce. Excellent dish!

Pan Seared Halibut, Grain Mustard Spaeztle, Poached Asparagus and Maple Soy Butter
It was my first encounter with Spätzle and I love it. It tasted like pan fried rice roll - 煎腸粉. The Halibut was tasty and the asparagus were better then the one I cooked

Vanilla Crème Brulee with Chocolate and Coconut Biscotti
Creamy Vanilla Creme Brulee very rich in Vanilla flavour. I love the Chocolate and Coconut Biscotti too

Passionfruit Sorbet with Macerated Strawberries
Good Sorbet! Nice and chilled

Wildfire Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Date:  July 2008
Location: 3438 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4N 2M9

Wildfire is another restaurant we tired during Summerlicious 2008.  For a $35 dinner menu, it had a lot to choose from. The steak was properly cooked for medium rare and the ribs were meaty and juicy. Their homemade barbecue sauce was excellent with the ribs together.  Their deserts were average and I have had better tasting cheesecake before.

Crab Cakes
Double breaded crab cakes dusted with cayenne pepper, served with a dill sauce

Heart Smart Chef Inspired Soup
Fresh carrot and dill soup, garnished with ginger 

Wildfire Baby Back Ribs
Basted with delectable homemade barbecue sauce and served with fresh cut fries

Sterling Silver New York Striploin 
With garlic mashed Yukon gold potatoes and grilled seasonal vegetables

Mocha Cappuccino Mouse Cake
Whipped mousse with a caramel sauce, garnished wiht mint leaves

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
A luscious, creamy delight, topped with strawberry coulis and fresh berries