Monday, November 8, 2010

Zelda's Restaurant Patio and Bar

Date: October 2 2010
Location: 692 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4Y 2A6

My friends and I were walking along Yonge street and looking for a restaurant to fill our empty stomachs. We spotted the sign "ZELDA" which caught our attention as we are all gamers. Once we stepped into this restaurant, a friendly feminine male waiter came and served us. After a minute, we noticed a waiter wore a T-shirt saying "Legally to be Gay" and another topless waiter who only wore a tie. That's how we realized we stepped into a restaurant which is operated by a group of gay men. ^o^

Alright, enough with the drama and let's go back to the food. Zelda's Restaurant has a very good selections of food on their dinner menu includes burgers, pastas and vegetarian dishes. I was very satisfy with the food and my friends dishes were all delicious. Another special thing about Zelda's Restaurant is the bill or receipt was bought to us in a high heel shoe lol.

Down-Home Market Meatloaf
Country style with lean ground beef, blend of herbs & spices, topped with balsamic glaze and served with home style gravy $12.99

Mexicana Fish Tacos
Basa fish fillet pan-fried with authentic Tex-Mex spices & fresh lime, wrapped in two flour tortillas with tomato salsa & shreed lettuce, served with crisp nacho chips, guacamole & sour cream $10.99

The Classic Zelda Burger 
8oz. of juicy 100% never forzen lean ground beef, homemade with our special blend of herbs and spices & served with all the fixin's $9.99

Grilled Cheese Sandwich
with melted cheddar or Swiss cheese, served on tasted whole wheat, rye or egg loaf with crisp bacon, and peameal bacon $12.99

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Shiso Tree Cafe

Date: November 2 2010
Location: Unit 1 - 3160 Steeles Ave E, Markham, ON L3R 3Y2

Shiso Tree Cafe is another new restaurant situated in J-town. C.C. heard from his colleagues that this restaurant served Japanese style pasta so we decide to give it a try. Their menu have 8 different selections of pasta and two of them are Japanese style.

Here is a picture of what the restaurant looks like.

Green & Fruit Tee
Shiso Tree Cafe has a selection of different organic tea.
They are $3 each. I found it a bit pricey.

House Salad
This salad comes with the pasta we ordered.
This is the first time I tried out a soy sauce based salad dressing. 
Very interesting and quite tasty.

Tarako Pasta
Pollock roe flavored spaghetti with shimeji mushrooms, nori and shiso
I can't really tasted the Pollock roe but over all it is a very tasty dish.

Wafu Pasta
Japanese shoyu (soy sauce) based spaghetti with enoki, shimeji, oyster and king oyster mushrooms.
I don't find it to have a big different as compare with the Tarako pasta despite it is $1 more than the Tarako Pasta.


Izakaya Ju

Date: October 24 2010
Location: 3-3160 Steeles Ave E, Markham, ON L3R 4G9 (J-Town)

There are 3 new restaurants open this year in J-Town and Izakaya Ju is one of the them. I've visit Izakaya Ju many times recently as their food are very Japanese and delicious. They got the liquor licence recently so there are selection of different Japanese beers and sakes. Izakaya Ju carries a lot of traditional dishes include: Yakitori, and Ochazuke. They use Binchōtan (a type of charcoal)  to grill the yakitori so it has the right amount of distinct smokiness. 

Asahi Dark Large Beer 
I love this dark large. It is very easy-to-drink.
However I don't think it is for sale in LCBO yet.

Gyu Tongue
Very tender beef tongue with spicy onion on top. It is a cold dish.

Deep Fried Sweet Shrimp
This is on the special menu which changed regularly.
The shrimps were very crispy and I can eat the "whole" shrimp along with the shell !!!

Ton toro
Ton toro is pork cheek meat. It is very tender and flavorful.

Curry Rice
Minced beef and veg curry on rice with porched egg.
This dish was covered with grounded beef cooked in curry. 
You don't see the curry sauce but it sure has a very strong taste.   
This is on the lunch menu but can be ordered during dinner as well.

Deep-fried Chicken Knuckle
A very interesting dish. It is a mixture between the crunchy cartilage and  the meat itself.

Pork intestine and yamcake miso stew.
It has a strong miso taste which makes everything richer. 
The pork intestine tasted excellent because it has absorbed all the miso flavour.

Asari Sakamushi
Manila clams steamed in sake soup.
The clams were very fresh but nothing mind blowing.

Agedashi Mochi
Deep fried rice cake in bonito broth.
The rice cake was deep fried so the surface absorb the flavour from the broth.
The centre of the rice cake was very soft and sticky. Love it!

An egg custard dish with shrimp and shiitake mushroom served in a tea cup.
The egg was very smooth and it was not over cooked.

Spare Ribs
Ju style BBQ Ribs.
Very juicy BBQ Ribs. I love the sweet BBQ sauce.

Chicken Salad with Cold udon with sesame oil
This can be found in the special menu.
It is a very refreshing dish and I enjoy the nutty sesame taste a lot.

Neba neba
Chopped natto, okura and Japanese yam on salmon sashimi topped with wasabi and seaweed
Natto is a very Japanese food and not everyone will like it.
I expected it to have a very strong Natto taste but surprisingly it tasted pretty good.
It tasted like regular soy bean but very slippery so it goes well with the salmon

Grill chicken soft bone or cartilage. It is slightly spiced with salt only. 
I love its crunchy texture. 

Chang An Northwestern Chinese Cuisine 西北樓 陝西風味

Date: October 19 2010
Location: Unit A10 - 240 Alton Towers Circle, Scarborough, ON M1V 3Z3
Website: **Website in Chinese only**

C.C. and I enjoy spicy food a lot especially Szechwan style of Chinese food 四川風味. This is the first time we tried out Shaanxi Style Chinese food 陝西風味. I have very poor knowledge of China geography so I google on the web to find out where it is located. Apparently, Shaanxi is a province located in the central part of China. There are lot of delicious food in Shaanxi and Liang pi 涼皮 is the most popular food which you can find on every streets in this province.

Liang pi 涼皮 is a noodle made from wheat or rice flour. It is usually prepared cold in a source which contains many different flavours: sweet, sour, spicy, nutty and herbal. Liang pi is a very refreshing appetizer. There is another type of noodle which is very famous. It is called Qishan 岐山 noodle. This noodle is usually prepared hot in a soup base. It has a more chewy texture as compared with Liang pi 涼皮. 

* The English translation on the menu is not 100% correct, so I have translated it myself and put the real name along with the number in bracket *

Chuan Bei Liang Pi  川北涼粉
(216 Mixed round bean flour in Chuan Bei Style)
This is a spicy version of Liang pi 涼皮. It as all the flavours I described above.
I love this dish alot as it is not too sour.

Steamed Chicken with Sesame Source 口水雞
(Cannot find this on the internet menu)
This dish is not as delicious as I expected and I don't recommend it.
The steamed chicken is prepared cold with no flavour.
The flavour was only coming from the spicy sesame source.

Xi'an Rou Ga Mo 西安肉夾饃
(105 Xi'an delicious pork with pancake)
The waitress said, the pork is cooked slowly in a sauce and then pan fried to make it more flavourable.
It tasted a bit like pulled pork but the pork was cut into tiny cube size.
Very delicious dish but a bit oily.

Dapanji 大盤辣子雞 
(302 Cooking Pot Spicy Chicken )
The main ingredients include chicken, garlic, potato, green peppers, chili peppers, lot of chilly oils served with noodles. 
This is a very delicious dish however extremely oily. If you like spicy and herbal food it is a must try.

Qishan noodle  岐山麵
(Cannot find this on the internet menu)
I accidentally deleted the pictures I took so I substitute it with a picture on google.
The noodles are chewy and tasty. However the soup base is a bit too oily for me.

Tangyuan in Fermenting Flutinous rice soup base 酒釀湯圓
(120 Brewed rice with Rice Glue ball)
This is a dessert. Tangyuan 湯圓 is little rice ball made with glutinous rice flour. 
The one I ordered has black sesame fillings.
The rice balls are prepared in fermented rice soup base so it has a slight alcohol taste.
I enjoy this dessert a lot as it is not too sweet.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

NYS Steak Co.

Date: September and October 2010
Location: 5892 Main Street Stouffville Ontario L4A 2S8

My C.C. and I recently visit Markham and the Stouffville area for a day trip. It was a fun day and we visited so many places. We visited a restaurant called NYS Steak Co. for dinner. I have seen the advertisement on a local magazine before and finally I have a chance to visit. 

Originally I though NYS = New York Steak, but later on I found out NYS = "Not Your Standard" which is the principle of this restaurant. After we sat down the owner of the steak house came and greet us. He offered an off menu $40 Prix  Fixe Dinner with selections of their specialties. 

Lobster Bisque
My mouth was fulled with rich lobster favor and the soup contained lobster meat

House Salads
Red and green leaf lettuce, tomato, red onion and fennel with a balsamic and citrus vinaigrette
A typical salad but the dressing is just right for me not too sour

The owner of the restaurant called it N'YO-kee
It was freshly made on the day of our visit and it tasted excellent
Chewy but soft and it just tasted perfect in the rose sauce. 

Half Lobster
This is not just a hard boiled Lobster where you can see water dripping down
The chef spice up the lobster with garlic and "baked" it, so the meat was not soggy

Kansas City Steak 34 ounce
This was one of my favorite cut of the night. 
The steak were very tender and juicy though not as tender as tenderloin
**All their steaks are aged for at least 35-42 days **

Top Sirloin 23 ounce
This was still an excellent cut. A bit more chewy compared with the Kansas

Vegetable Side

Risotto Side

Mushroom Side

**All their dessert are made in-house FRESH**

Crème brûlée
My favorite and it was a huge one
Very creamy. Love it!!!
Most of the biscotti I got the the supermarket were way too dry
This one has the right moisture yet very crunchy
Blue Berry Cheese Cake
I was so full already, I couldn't describe it anymore but it tasted excellent
Apple Flutte

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fin Izakaya

Date: April and June 2010
Location: 55 Eglinton Ave E, Toronto, ON M4P

It has been awhile since I decide to update the blog. The main reason is I am being lazy. However I didn't stop searching around the cities and found out delicious food.

I went to Fin Izakaya earlier this year and this restaurant didn't disappoint me at all. A lot of people had been talking about Guu Izakaya. However, I just can't find the motivation to go there. Anyway, let's go back to Fin Izakaya. I tried different dishes in Fin and their food are おいし (delicious). I also had the chance to try out Japanese sake which really opens up my eyes. My C.C. and I fell in love with 玉乃光純米大吟釀 right away as it has a very distinct aroma. Alright, it is dull to just look at words so here comes the pictures. 

Beef Tataki Salad
A very refreshing starters. The dressing was just right not too sour.
The beef tataki is briefly marinated in vinegar with a hint of ginger.

Ika Sugatayaki
The Ikayaki tasted great but nothing too special about it.

Mentaiko is salty and I don't taste anything. No wonder Japanese always have mentaiko on rice.

The soup base was excellent although I have no idea what it was made of.
The beef was marinated just right, very tender.
This is one of my favorite dishes.

Fin's Special Dinner Bento
We were still hungry after all the dishes we ordered, so we ordered a bento box.
This is a great choice for people who never try Fin before.
It has three different layers including 6 starters, sushi, and sashimi.

First Layers

Seaweed Salad
Nothing special but tasted better than T&T

Fresh raw octopus marinated with wasabi and lemon juice. Love this!

Gobou no Wasabi Ae
Julienne strips of cooked burdock root dressed with wasabi mayonnaise.
A very traditional Japanese started. burdock tasted just like a raw potato without the starch taste

Second Layer

Vegetable & Shrimp Tempura
The coating was just right, not too oily

Duck meat with spicy powder on top
I can't find this on the menu but I am pretty sure it is duck.

Tebasaki koshou
Crispy fried chicken wings. OMG this is a dish to die for.
The chick wings were not oily at all yet juicy. A very good dish with beer.

Third Layer

Sushi and Sashimi
I didn't come to Fin for sushi and sashimi so not much a surprise to me.
However it filled my stomach ^0^

We ordered "Sake Flight" - a choice of 3 samples of sake (1oz each).

Tamanohikari 純米大吟釀 玉乃光 備前雄町
This is the best zake. Aromatic and rich.
Takara Plum Wine 梅酒
Good for girls as it has a very sweet taste.
Hakkaisan 八海山
This one has a hint of spicy taste after I swallow it into my thoat

Lychee and Tropical Calpis Jucie Vodka Cocktail
I didn't taste any alcohol in my drink.