Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Spicy Tofu [Recipe]

Spicy Tofu [Recipe]

I instagram this a week ago and seems like a lot of people are interested, as usual I do not have the exact measurements so please taste as you go. This is a very simple with minimal cooking recipe, hope you all like it.
Ingredients :
Firm Tofu
Minced Garlic & Ginger
Soy Sauce
Korean Gochujang Sauce
Rice Vinegar (optional)
Seasame Oil
Green Onions
Sesame Seeds
1) Pat dry your tofu with paper towel before slicing, it really depends on the tofu but some do have more water than others. If the brand you use tends to splatter a lot when you pan fried it, you may need an extra step. You may want to rub a bit of salt on it, let it sits for 10 minutes or so and then rice it and pat dry with paper towel.
2) Pan fried the sliced tofu, depending what kind of texture you want you can slice it thin or thicker. I like mine thin so it's crispy. I also tried to use a non-stick pan so I can use minimal of oil. Pan fry both sides until golden brown.
3) Mix the other ingredients together and taste as you go. I like to add a bit of Rice vinegar to it for the acidity and also to thin the sauce but it's optional (you can use water too if you find it too thick)
4) Top the tofu with the sauce or keep it on the side as dipping sauce.
Tip - I like to grate my garlic and ginger with a micro grater which make it a lot easier and for better presentation, you can leave the green onions and sesame seeds out of the sauce and sprinkled on top instead.

Philz Coffee [San Francisco]

We just happens to pass by Philz Coffee (@PhilzCoffee) on our way here and since it was on my to-try list and it's early in the morning, we just had to stop by.

Currently they have 18 locations with more to come and this was the Civic Center location in San Francisco (see all the locations here). It was early morning, so there was quite a line up with people on their way to work.

So many roast to choose from and made fresh manually, no drip machine here.

But I was here for their Mint Mojito Iced Coffee; after hearing about this from a friend, I made it my mission to come and try it since mojito is one of my favorite cocktail after all and it's combine with another love of my live COFFEE. This was very refreshing with plenty of mint leaves crushed just like you would a mojito (not fake syrup) , it was more milk/cream than coffee but I guest if the coffee was too strong it would overpower the mint taste. It was a super refreshing and yummy drink, loved it although it didn't satisfied my coffee addiction (oh well, I end up trying 2 other coffee places that day)
Will definitely try making one this summer since we don't have it here in Toronto (^_<)
Related Post:
State Bird Provision [Modern/California/DimSum]
Philz Coffee [Mint Mojito Iced Coffee]

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Megalomaniac [Ontario Winery]

Back in November, we went on a day trip to Wine Country once again mainly for Taste the Season and also to replenish our stock of wine for the holidays. I can't help by stop by Megalomaniac (@megalomaniacJHC) to check out their new tasting room and also to stock up.
Remember my post here where the tasting room was a tiny cave/cellar but now there a brand new building sitting on top of that original spot.

With the red walls and all those chandeliers, it was difficult to imagine what it use to be like. With the large space and the big windows overlooking the vineyard, I can only imagine a lot of future function being host here... maybe a candlelit dinner on this long table?! ♥

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Swan Oyster Depot [San Francisco]

Swan Oyster Depot being name one of the best Oyster Bar in the states (example here&here) and also being featured in Anthony Bourdain's Layover episode here, this was a must eat place during our San Francisco trip. Opened since 1912, this tiny 18 stools oyster bar is famous for it's hour long line up by both locals and tourist alike. To avoid the long line up, we decided to head there bight and early at 10:30am their opening time. The place was filled up right away and a line start forming outside, who would have guess there would be so many people who want oysters for breakfast.

It was a very narrow space with the bar running through the whole space with memorabilia and old pictures of the place

Love the setup in front of us with the crackers, mignonette, fresh horseradish and lemons

We were quickly offered some Sourdough Bread with tons of butter... Sourdough is basically synonym with San Francisco, I wonder if every restaurant there serve just that?! Don't get me wrong I like sourdough but I tend to prefer it on it's own with butter since the flavor is pretty strong, I find it a bit overpowering paired with other food.

Clam Chowder Bowl
Full of clams and potatoes, it wasn't very thick and heavy as I expected but still felt very hearty.

Clam Cocktail
All freshly shuck with all the juices served with a huge bowl of their cocktail sauce on the side. Love how they kept all the salty sweet juices since it's pure goodness. I thought the cocktail sauce was a bit too sweet, I prefer it a lot better on it's own since it was so fresh and sweet.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Wiseys Pies & Bakehouse

Saw some pictures online and just can't wait to try our the newly opened Wiseys Pies & Bakehouse (@WiseysPiesTO).

They served Kiwi-style meat pies here with tender, flakey crust and filled with rich, savoury ingredients but they also serve sweet latticed fruit pies.

A very cottage vibe, love this brightly lite spot here with the barn board wall.

We opted for the more traditional ones but they also have flavors like Butter Chicken and Thai Green Curry etc.

Mince & Cheese Pie $5.50
 This was our favorite out of the two we tried since it was more saucy and give you a much warmer feeling for this cold winter day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Patois [Chinese Caribbean]

Patois (@patoistoronto) is serving what they describe as "Caribbean meets Asian Soul Food" which is definitely better than the very scary word "fusion".

The d├ęcor is hard to describe with colorful chairs, the fun inflatable buoys, the big Mom sign at the back and black & white old photographs hanging on one wall... somehow everything just goes together and it's fun.

 Daily special on the board and love the bright red Juicy Jerk sign.

Not only do they have daily cocktail specials, they also served them in Chinese  teapots that can serve 3-4ppl at $40. Will have to get that next time.

Jamaican Patty Double Down $7
~ Two cocktail patties, bacon, Swiss cheese fondu, sriracha
The patties were nice and flaky and filled with yummy beef. Never would have imagine Jamaican patty would be so much better with cheese, bacon and sriracha.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Winter Chef Series - Marc Lepine [popup]

Matt Blondin of The Food Dudes presented Winter Chef Series, pop up sinners featuring top chefs from across Canada held between Dec 2nd and 21st. We attended the 3rd one featuring Marc Lepine of Atelier in Ottawa, a restaurant that I have been wanting to visit and what an amazing deal at $89pp for a 12 course dinner (+$45 for wine pairing).

 We were told to arrive early to hand and and enjoy some cocktail.

Guest Chef : Marc Lepine, Atelier, Ottawa
Host Chef : Matt Blondin, MBA Group, Toronto
Wines By: Mark Coster, Noble Estate, Toronto

Bottega Vino dei Poeti Prosecco, DOC, Bottega Spa, Italy

a needle in an avocado stack
~ avocado oil, lime

foie balls
~ foie gras, freeze dried fruit