Monday, December 29, 2014

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon [Las Vegas]

Name Chef of the Century, of course I had his restaurant while I am in Vegas but Joel Robuchon (@RobuchonLV) $425pp Tasting is way out of our budget, so we went next door to L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon next door. It's the culinary workshop of the gourmet mastermind, featuring counter service where everything is prepare right before your eyes in the open kitchen.

I will always love an open kitchen concept since it's just fascinating to watch the chefs working on the dishes but thought the decor of the the space here is a bit dated.

They have a 5 and 6 course prix fixe menu for $78 or $105pp as well as a $159pp 12 course Seasonal Discovery Menu but a la carte is also available. With dishes of $25 and up, the prix fixe is really the best choice. We decided on the 5 course option which include an amuse bouche, 2 Entrées, 1 main and 1 desserts. 

Amuse Bouche
~ Foie Gras parfait with a port wine and Parmesan foam

Les Endives
~ Endives méli mélo with foie gras shavings and blue cheese

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tacos El Gordo [Las Vegas]

Found this place when I was looking for late night eats when doing my research for our trips and there's but positive reviews. We happened to pass by when exploring the North side of the strip (older part) and decided to give it a try. Taco El Gordo (@TacosElGordoBC) is probably the best cheap eat on the Strip, just North of Wynn Hotel, they serve authentic fresh tacos with all kinds of fillings.

At $2 a taco, you can't go wrong and this was the place we miss the most after leaving Vegas. Wish we got the chance to go back a 2nd time before we leave.
Why don't we have something like that in Toronto? 

Basically like a fast food place but here you order first and then go to the cashier to pay. There's minimal seating inside but they have quite a big section of seating outside.

Seeing this totally reminded me of street food in Hong Kong where a big pot of internal goodness is simmering and ready to be chop/cut...

Taco De Buche (Pork Stomach)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Borealia [Canadian]

Derived from the Latin word for "northern", Borealia (@borealia_to) was one of the names proposed for Canada at the time of Confederation. Owned and operated by culinary married couple, Evelyn Wu and Chef Wayne Morris, Borealia does not serve your typical "Canadian Food" like poutine or Nanaimo bars.... instead they draw inspiration from the historic foods of the natives, early settlers and immigrants from the 18tha and 19th centuries.

Love the Canadian theme décor with the wooden expose beams along the ceiling, the fur throws, and wood logs.

Chopsuey Croquettes
Didn't get to try this one 

Devilled Chinese Tea Eggs

Bison "Pemmican" Bresaola
~ Wild Blueberry JuniperVinaigrette, Lardo

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pukka [Holiday Season - Indian]

This is my 3rd visit to Pukka (@pukkatoronto) and that show how much I enjoy this place to be back again (see post here and here).

I find that there was a lot of improvement compare to my first two visit and their menu changed quite a bit but some of he dishes that I didn't like before had a major improvement. Great Job!!!

Eggplant Tartare $8.70
~ tandoori smoked + khasta roti
This time the khasta roti was crisp and this was a light great start to the meal. I usually find Indian dishes to be rather heavy but they have lighter options here at Pukka which I love.

String Chaat $9.60
~ string vegetables, sprouts, rice crisps, pomegranate, mango, chutneys + yoghurt
Not sure if the ratio of the ingredients or what they changed, this was a lot tastier than when I had it during my first vist. Love the refreshing taste and flavors from the mango and pop of juices from the pomegranate.

Tandoori Chicken Tikka $13.50
~ herb-infused + tamarind chutney
Was a bit thrown off by the green color but it was moist and so yummy. They only blended fresh herbs and yogurt for the marinade, no dozens of spices involve. Simple yummy goodness.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Parlor Foods & Co. [Canadian]

Ben ask me recently what's Canadian cuisine really? Same as American? We were trying to think of dishes that's originated from Canada and trust me, our list was rather short... So I remember the recently opened Parlor Foods & Co. (@parlorfoods). Seeing the menu, I guess Canadian cuisine is more about the ingredients than the dish itself... what you think?

Love the entryway of wood logs, I was already expecting to be transported to a rustic Muskoka cabin and indeed... love the high barn board tables and the coffee burlap sacks covering the ceiling

They do not have a menu online since it changes daily depending on the ingredients of the day.

Heard that their cocktails are amazing, so I just had to try but I had to say good job on the all local wine list.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Han Ba Tang [Korean]

I am a huge fan of Korean food so much so that Ben always says that I must be a Korean in my previous life, so I was thrilled when I was invited to one of the newest addition to the Yonge and Sheppard area, Han Ba Tang (@Han_Ba_Tang) media tasting.

The place is quite easy to miss since they only have their Korean sign since they wanted to preserve the storefront green tile sign that ceased production back in the 40's.

As soon as we walk in the place, I felt in love with the décor that looks like everything have been found at an Antique Market... love the vintage-ness. They described their décor as "industrial vintage" with the expose brick walls, worn floor tiles, reclaimed wood.... there's just quite a few pieces that I would love to own (^_<)

Han Ba Tang translate to "one full round"
Soju cup shaped light sign, what a great attention to the details which if I wasn't told wouldn't have notice although I took a few picture of it already ♥

So warm and inviting!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Here & There [Las Vegas]

When we go on vacation, we try to get the earliest flight possible even if it's slightly more expensive since I do not want to waste a day of my vacation and also not to waste the night of hotel stay. If you arrive at your destination later, you may need to stay an extra night which means paying an extra hotel night. So we got our tickets for 7:30am which basically means waking up in the middle of the night to make it to the airport (as you can see the sleepy face on the picture to the left).

This post will mostly be pictures that we took here & there in Vegas that I want to share and also share some tips that I learn from this trip.
(first time seeing a rainbow on the plane)

As you may already know, I was in Vegas back in October for friends' wedding and also an excuse for a getaway, but frankly there's really not much to do except gambling or clubbing/partying.. which I do neither, I am a total retired party girl.
(have to see Vegas both day & night which can be totally different)

So I did what I love most, eat & shop. We were there for 4 days and I got to spend time with the bride-to-be + the girls and with time left to spend with Ben. Me and Ben end up walking and explore the whole strip, it took us 2 days to be exact and it was definitely a lot of walking... so make sure to wear super comfy shoes and a fold up flats is totally necessary for night out in heels (trust me I learned it the hard way).
(love the older light sign from the older hotels)

Although I took my fair share of taxi with the girls, when going out with Ben we mostly took the Monorail which is cheaper and pretty convenient since there's a stop at our hotel (post here). Depending how long you are staying, there's 1 to 7 day unlimited tickets and we got the unlimited 4 day pass for $36 only... and the good thing about them is that they start from the hour you bought them and not the day of which we have been able to use on our 5th day morning for our last ride to the airport (we stayed on the North End of the strip, so we ride to MGM to catch a cab to the airport which is so much closer - $40 vs $15)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Coca-Cola World [Las Vegas]

Being the tourist that we are, we just have to go to the typical M&M Shops and Coca-Cola World, hopefully to get some gifts for friends and family back home.

But we were surprise to find a snack bar on the second floor and for $7 you get 4 ounces of 16 sodas from around the world. I am definitely not a soda drinker but thought this was rather fun and probably one of the cheapest activity you can find on the strip (^_<)

Taste of the World 
Tray One:
Inca Kola from Peru; Fanta Pineapple from Greece; Stoney Tangawizi from Tanzania; Sprite Ice from Korea; Thums Up from India; Fanta Melon Frosty from Thailand; Smart Watermelon from China & Crush Lemon from Bahrain
Tray Two:
Lift Manzana from Mexico; Fanta Kolita from Costa Rica; Bibo Kiwi Mango from South Africa; Sunfill Mint from Djibouti; Smart Apple from China; Beverly from Italy & Mezzo Mix from Germany

This was more than enough for 4 people to share and it quite fun, it's like tasting different cuisine and you could definitely taste the influence of each cuisine in these drinks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Craftmas Beer Experience [CONTEST]


I'm giving away ONE PAIR of tickets to 
Hoppy Holidays! Warm up this season with the inaugural Craftmas Beer Experience at District 28 , one of the newest, coolest venues in Toronto! For those of you who have craft beer on your Christmas wish list, Jolly Old Saint Nick will be stuffing your stocking with the golden beverage at this event! Each brewery will feature something festive whether it be a one-off cask, a holiday seasonal brew or a Yuletide beer cocktail
28 Logan Ave, Toronto, ON, M4M 2M8
 Date & Time:
Thursday Dec 4, 2014 at 6pm-11pm

Ticket Details:  
$25 in advance (Include 5 Sample vouchers) & $35 at the door
Get your tickets here ASAP
Promo Code: 
Enter HOPPYHOLIDAYSFB to receive a complimentary Tallboy with advance tickets purchase online

Good Luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Jean Philippe Patisserie at Bellagio [Las Vegas]

Drop by Bellagio and can't resit not to try Jean Philippe Patisserie. It is a European style pastry shop by World Pastry Champion Chef Jean Philippe Maury.

The famous chocolate fountain that everyone probably have seen a picture of before.

Everything look so good but too bad we are already so full, so we only got to choose one....

Friday, November 21, 2014

Essen [Jewish - Brunch]

Have been a big fan of Quinta (see post here), even had my Birthday dinner there last year; so I was pretty bump when i heard they are closing. But no worries, the owner Chef Leor Zimerman replaced it with Essen (@essen_toronto) which serves Jewish fare with a Middle Eastern twist.

Essen in German means "to eat" and Chef Zimerman intent on drawing inspiration from personal family history. Here they try to promote family style dinner and can't wait to try it out.

We decided to head over for Brunch since we never get the chance for Quinta, we had high hope since it's the same owner/chef. The space didn't change at all except for the sign up front, I personally love the spaciousness here (hate those chair bumping chair at most restaurant these days).

Jewish Banh Mi $12
~chopped chicken liver, fried beef salami, grainy mustard, pickled carrots, red onion
Love the fried salami but wish there was more of the chopped liver which I could barely taste it on top of the strong mustard and pickled taste. The homefries was crispy delicious.

Brisket Hash $14
~ peppers, potatoes, onions, fresh chillies, herbs, poached eggs
This was perfect for brunch where I still get the runny poached eggs, potato combo plus some meaty goodness.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

KU NOODLE [Las Vegas]

Another restaurant at our hotel and by my now fave chef José Andrés once again. We were skeptical to try a Chinese Noodle place my a non-Asian chef... Since we became fan of the chef, we decided to give Ku Noodle a try.

The space is bright and very simple

 We sat by the kitchen where you get to see the noodles made right in front of you.
Rolling, pulling, chopping....

 Golden Pork Mein 金玉滿屋 $16.88
~ Belt Noodle, Red Braised Pork Belly, Pickled Watermelon Radish, Fried Garlic, Gold
 Melt in your mouth fatty goodness and love the yummy sauce which can be a bit salty which is offset by the pickled radish. Good but doesn't justified the price tag for this small bowl.
(we can't help but miss the noodle back home here)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Neon Museum [Las Vegas]

The Neon Museum (@NeonMuseum) have been on my list of places to visit since I first saw picture of the place and that was the first thing that went on my recent Vegas trip to do list. Love taking pictures, Instagram-natic?! That's the perfect spot for the likes of me and I have been trying to choose some of my faves that we took that day but I still end up with that many =P

"Founded in 1996, the Neon Museum is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic and cultural enrichment. The Neon Museum campus includes the outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard, a visitors’ center housed inside the former La Concha Motel lobby and the Neon Boneyard North Gallery which houses additional rescued signs and is available for weddings, special events, photo shoots and educational programs."

They do not allow walk in and must book their guided tour which is $18 per person. Make sure to buy your tickets online in advance in order to get the date and time you want.

The guided tour was very fun and informative, this was definitely one of the highlight of the trip.