Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Marble Slab

I've been to Marble Slab twice now, iq option both times at the Markham location (they only have one in Markham), and I gotta say that their ice cream does not impress me at all. The only reason I went this second time was because I had a 2-for-1 coupon; if not for the coupon, I'm not sure when my second time would've been. 

I know it's cool how Marble Slab have a vast variety of mix-ins which you can incorporate into your ice cream like fresh fruit, cereals, nuts, cookies, candies, etc., but in terms of the quality of their ice cream, I would much prefer Ed's Real Scoop or Greg's Ice Cream. The ice cream I had at Marble Slab this time was not creamy at all, too soft, and was already melting in my hands right after I paid for it. Not only was I not pleased with the ice cream itself, the waffle cone was hard, chewy, and pretty much STALE. I love waffle cone and I order waffle cone pretty much every time I have ice cream, so I know my waffle cone. I'm pretty sure it's the worse waffle cone I've ever had.

Let's talk about the store first. Besides the ice cream, the place was nice. It was very spacious and clean.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Third Time at Guu Izakaya

Kinda knew this was gonna happen, as in, the need for a second Guu post. My first post combined my first two visits there and this post documents my third time. With a decent sized izakaya menu, it is possible to order and try new things each time you go and also order old favorites. To avoid being repetitive,  I'm not going to post pictures of the three dishes that I ordered this time again, such as the Kabocha Korokke (Pumpkin Croquette), the Brie Cheese, and the Salmon Natto Yukke.

Fully expecting some sort of lineup, my two friends and I went on a weeknight at around 6pm, and lo and behold, no line up! Still, the only seats available inside was at the bar. We took that at first but later on realized that a table was better because with the three of us, its easier to chat at a table instead of sitting side by side. After waiting for a few minutes, we got a table =)

That night they had a beer special for their 6 month anniversary. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Maple Yip

Maple Yip, or "Look Yu" in Cantonese, is a Chinese restaurant located at the southeast corner of Sheppard and Midland (exact address is 4227 Sheppard Avenue East Scarborough, ON M1S 5H5). It is pretty much hidden in the furthest corner of one of the many plazas at the intersection so it maybe a bit difficult to find the restaurant if you don't venture around that area often. Let me assure you though, don't give up trying to find this place if you do decide to go because you may be missing out on one of the best Cantonese style restaurants in Ontario. Although Maple Yip doesn't have a website, here's a thread on chowhound about the restaurant. I know the posts there are a bit dated, but in my opinion, the content still holds true. 

I've been to Maple Yip twice now and both times I've really enjoyed the food (my parents have been there a lot more than me, for lunch and dinner). They offer really delicious Cantonese style dishes that you may not readily find at other Chinese restaurants. If no traffic, Maple Yip is around a 1/2 hour drive from where me and my family lives,  so if we do go it is because of a special occasion.  We went there several weeks ago on a weeknight to celebrate my parents' anniversary. The restaurant was packed solid! Pretty impressive for a weeknight.

Surrounding the restaurant you will find special menu items posted on the wall, written only in Chinese.

Friday, August 6, 2010

My Craft Blue Burger at Craft Burger

Thanks to FabFind (@FabFinder on Twitter) and their free $5 certificate at Craft Burger (@Craft_Burger), me and two friends went to Craft Burger for dinner one night a few weeks ago. When I saw this free coupon on FabFind, I immediately emailed a few of my foodie friends about it, and naturally most of them signed up an account with FabFind to get the coupon, and naturally a date was settled on when to go (some couldn't go because they work uptown). This is one of the good things about working downtown - the ability to go try out new places and restaurants right after work =)

I'm always trying to find good burger joints. There are sooo many burger places popping up in Toronto nowadays that it's seriously hard to keep up. Meanwhile, there's no way I would want to try every one of them because some may not be worth my time. I've asked a few foodies and most of them said Craft Burger is probably one of the best ones around.

There are two Craft Burger locations in Toronto, one on King street and one on Yonge street. I went to the one on Yonge street since it was closer to my friend's work.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Origin Restaurant

Lisa (@HipUrbanGirl) organized a mini all-girls Tweetup at Origin last night. I remember Lisa and I talking about going to Origin a month ago on Twitter, and being as organized and on-the-ball as she is, right away Lisa asked for available dates from everyone and BOOM! Reservations were made =) Thanks to Lisa, last night was a get together between five girls, enjoying good food and good conversations, really can't beat that, especially after a stressful work day! It was my first time meeting everyone IRL too so that was exciting =) I don't know about anyone else but I had a blast - there was never a dull moment as we chatted about work, relationships, school, vacations, food, and other girly things ^_^ Great to meet Aimee (@aimeemabelle), Rebecca (@bexz10), Lisa (@HipUrbanGirl), and Alysia (@blarkness). I cant wait to do another Tweetup with these wonderful ladies =)

I have been wanting to try Origin for quite a while now, ever since it opened a few months ago actually. I think I never got around to going because they serve tapas style, small plates for everyone to share, so to me, it was only ideal if a bigger group of people go (as in, more than two) in order to try as many dishes as possible. 

Drinks menu - we didn't order any booze since it was a school/work night. Also, we really came to Origin for the food only.

The waiter came by and explained to us how the menu works (basically explaining to us that its small dishes for everyone to share). He recommended 2-3 dishes per person, and he highly recommended the 32 oz ribeye steak, priced at $70 (stated as market price on the menu). But we all know that there was no way we were gonna order steak at Origin.

After we ordered, I asked the waiter if it was OK for me to take some pictures of the restaurant, mainly of the open kitchen. He said no problem. I think it is always good to ask, especially when I knew that Claudio Aprile, the head chef of Origin, wasn't too pleased about all the picture taking at his restaurant (or at least with people taking pictures with flash). Anyway, although I was given an OK, I still snapped these pictures relatively quickly. I guess I'm paranoid.

As Aimee knows from reading my blog, I ♥ open kitchens!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Steamed Pork Dumplings at Ding Tai Fung

Ding Tai Fung is a Shanghai dim sum restaurant at First Markham Place, a busy Chinese plaza located in Markham (3255 Highway 7 East to be exact). My boyfriend and I frequently go there because he literally lives 2 minutes away from the mall - we go there for food as well as movies (they have a Cineplex there). If you're looking for good Asian eats of different variety, First Markham Place is the place to be - they have Vietnamese food, Japanese, Korean, as well as Hong Kong style cafes, and of course your Chinese restaurants, which can be broken down to noodle and congee places, dim sum places, and Cantonese style restaurants. I probably haven't covered everything since these are just from the top of my head, but if that still doesn't entice you enough to take a drive to the suburbs, they also have a cheap food court inside the mall hahaha =D

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jules Bistro

It's always great to be able to have dinner with a good friend after a stressful day of work. It was one of those much needed, catching-up, dinners that Cindy and I had a month or so ago at Jules BistroJules Bistro is again one of Cindy's recommendations, which I have 100% faith in. It's quite a distance from my work but very close to Cindy's...this works out perfectly since I get off work much earlier than her - this gives me a chance to take a nice walk after a long day sitting at my desk.

It is pretty neat how you can see the specials on the chalkboard that is clearly displayed at the front of Jules Bistro. Clever! This is great advertising for people walking by.

Gotta love those prices!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Trevor Kitchen and Bar (Summerlicious)

I organized a Tweetup event, with the help of Summer (@summer_luu), during the first week of Summerlicious at Trevor Kitchen and Bar. When the Summerlicious menus first came out online, I was so swamped with work during the day and too tired at night to check out any of the menus or restaurants for this year's event (I usually do so very diligently twice a year during Summerlicious and Winterlicious). Thankfully, Summer had  Trevor in mind so I didn't have to think about anything else and was just responsible for booking the reservation.

At first, we were going to have about 12 people for dinner, but when I called Trevor, they said for any group larger than 8, they require a deposit of $35 per person (basically the cost of one Summerlicious dinner). With that in mind, we scaled down our invite to 7 people since it was ridiculous for anyone to fork out $420 for deposit. Also, it would definitely complicate things if some people decide to cancel last minute. At the end of the day, 6 of us came out for dinner: Sean (@InSeansOpinion), Evelyn (@eviechiu), Jenna (@JennaStothers), Shay (@shalynsays), Summer and I.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cottage Fun

The cottage is great. Cottage > Camping for me. I have never been camping before and I know that I shouldn't write off something that I haven't tried, but I have no interest in camping because I know I cannot deal with no running water and sleeping in a tent - so why torture myself haha? Cottage all the way baby~ 

My first time at the cottage was 3 years ago and I haven't been back since, so when my friend asked me if I was interested in going again during the labour day weekend, I did not hesitate to reply "YES OF COURSE!"

I don't know whether I love the cottage because of this particular cottage I get to stay at every time or whether all cottages are just as great. This huge cottage is in the little town of Coboconk. It is owned by my friend's friend's parents - they rent it out in the summer time to friends and family (and strangers? not sure). This cottage has two floors: the second floor is like a loft, open concept - it partially surrounds the cottage where you can overlook the common area on the first floor. It has three bedrooms, a kitchen, two washrooms with shower, and tons of space. The only thing lacking is A/C, which I am totally fine with. Basically, this cottage is like a huge house situated right by the lake. This time around I even had my own bed room! SWEET =D 

The picture above is the back of the cottage. And the picture below is the view from it - so beautiful and peaceful. 

We arrived Friday night and left Sunday, so basically like a normal weekend. It was super fun! Some of us went on the paddle boat while some of us went on the canoe. Other times we would chill or nap, I sunbathed a bit too =)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Duggan's Brewery

My colleagues took me out to lunch for my birthday awhile back. Before heading out, they asked me where I wanted to go. The first place that popped into my head was the Beer Bistro (I haven't had their frites in ages, cravingggg even right now). Unfortunately, one of my bosses took a client there for lunch the week before and politely asked if I can make another suggestion. What can I say? "No its my birthday and I call the shots"? Um. No. Not really. So I thought for awhile, then remembered seeing a foodie friend's pictures of her dinner at Duggan's Brewery on Facebook before and the food looked quite good. I suggested Duggan's Brewery and off we went. It is literally a two minute walk from my work. 

I don't really drink beer. I find that it fills me up too quickly so I usually pass on it. But this never deters me from going to a pub as long as they have good food and good munchies. My colleagues ordered the first two beer on the list below: German pils and Asian Lager (pictured above).

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