Friday, May 30, 2014

Oast House Brewery [Niagara on the Lake]

Just like our last trip to Niagara on the Lake (notl), we took a break from our winery visit to stop by at a Beer Brewery (see post here) and we decided to stop by Oast Hose Brewery (@OastHouseBeer) during our Sip & Sizzle trip (see post here).

Don't you just love the bright red exterior of this refurbished barn, for sure you won't miss it when passing by. Oast House used only locally sourced products by Niagara farmers for their beer. Two accomplished sommeliers Cian MacNeil and Kevin Somerville plus Mike Berlis, a winemaker and brewmaster have all had a taste if Niagara wine industry and in 2012 decided to pursue their passion for beer. 

Love the old wine rack display 

The 2 of us shared a flight of samplers of their 3 feature beer of the day (they switch all the time)


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sip & Sizzle 2014 [Niagara on the Lake]

Have been meaning to go to Wine & Herbs happening each year in May at Niagara-on-the-Lake but this year they re-branded the event and mixed things up. Sip & Sizzle (@NiagaraWine) take place every weekend in May and 2 weeks ago, we manage to visit all 26 wineries within our 2 day stay at NOTL.

We usually prefer to stay overnight so that we don't need to rush and be able to visit all the wineries.

Day 1

Cabernet Franc Smoked Flank Steak, Grilled Marc's Mushrooms, Charred Tomato Vinaigrette
~ paired w/ 2012 Cabernet Franc Rose
Food was prepared by The Yellow Pear (@FarmtoTruck) and it was delicious. Interesting how the red meat  is paired with a rose instead of a red here but since it was served at room temperature it worked really well since it was really light and refreshing.We try to avoid wine tasting at these events but I definitely wanted to try some of their new Chardonnay and we end up splurging on a $44 Poetica 2004 Chardonnay that was so buttery smooth.

Honey Glazed Grilled Shrimp & Pineapple Skewer
~ paired w/ 2013 FRESH Moscato

Pork Pastrami Sausage with Riesling Sauerkraut
~ paired w/ 2012 Trius Riesling 

Grilled Pineapple served with Gelato di Carlotta's Coconut Gelato
~ paired w/ 2012 Pinot Grigio
The Gelato here was super delicious, definitely a must visit next time and it's perfect with the grilled pineapple which was reflected in the wine.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Gladstone Hotel [Media Tasting]

Passed by Gladstone Hotel (@GladstoneHotel) a thousand of time but have never been and never knew they had a restaurant. They are a boutique hotel featuring 37 unique artist/celebrity designed room and the restaurant is located right at the main floor.w/ large window that fill the room with light.

I was recently invited to a media tasting where Executive Chef Mario Paz is inspired by seasonal ingredients and the diversity of Toronto's food scene

Service was amazing, as soon as I sit down I was the night's cocktail was immediately bought over. The Blackberry Din & Tonic was simple but refreshing for a late Spring afternoon.

House Chorizo
~ with Avocado Salsa on a crispy polenta
 The perfect bite size to start the night, love the slight heat with the light creamy avocado to balance it out.
Mushroom Salad Roll
~ grilled king mushrooms w/ crispy vermicelli noodles, spring onion, radish and truffle hoisin sauce
 Though the mushroom was a tad chewy and it definitely lack the crunch needed in a salad roll

Blue Crab Salad
~ fennel-roasted tomatoes, coconut lime dressing on charred romaine heart

Frankly the presentation wasn't the greatest for this one but love the charred romaine which was different from the usual cold salad. This remind me of summer BBQ / patio season.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Shades of Blue [OOTD]

Outfit Details: 
Jacket - F21; T-Shirt - Joe Fresh; Skirt - H&M; Sneaker - Converse; Bag - Rebecca Minkoff

Went to Niagara on the Lake this past weekend once again for Sip & Sizzle, not only were we bless with perfect weather but also got a CTS Cadillac (@CadillacCanada) for test drive thanks to Klout .

Look at those cloud, aren't they so pretty and so fluffy looking... wish it was like that everyday or at least every weekend.

When out of town driving around, we love to stop by Antique Shop to browse and look at old things... although we rarely buy anything, it's still fun to look around

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Kampai Media Launch 2014 [EVENT]

I was once again invited to the Kampai Toronto Sake Festival (@KampaiToronto)Media Launch once again this year (see last year post here & event post here).

The Sake Institute of Ontario (SIO) proudly announces the 3rd Annual Kampai Toronto, the largest sake festival of it's kind in Canada taking place on May 29th at the Distillery Historic District once again (get your tickets here for $70).

In conjunction with Kampai Toronto, SIO organized the first sake tasting competitions held in Canada; Toronto International Sake Challenge (#TISC). Over the course of 7 hours, a panel of 6 judges, blind tasting of 129 sakes from Ontario, US and Japan breweries competing in 6 categories (Honjozo, Junmai, ginjo, Daiginjo, Sparkling, Nigori).

The Panel of judges : Richard Beauroy. Richard Feldkamp, Michael Pataran, Zoltan Szabo, 
Micheal Tremblay and Hiro Yoshida

Here are the Category Winners of TISC 2014 :

Nigori Category : Rihaku 'Dreamy Clouds' Tokubetsu Junmai Nigori
Brewery : Rihaku Shuzo, Shimane Prefecture
Seimaibuai : 58% (Rice Polish rate of 42%)
Rice: Gohyakumangoku
Tasting Note: Unlike most Nigori, this was bright and lean in the mouth with a very soft sweet rice flavors with nuttiness and slight fruit flavors

Honjozo Category : Takatenjin 'Sword of the Sun' Tokubetsu Honjozo
Brewery : Doi Shuzo, Shizuoka Prefecture
Seimaibuai : 60% (Rice Polish rate of 40%)
Rice:Yamada Nishiki & Haenuki
Tasting Note: Bright flavors with melon, pear and banana aromas with a subdued acidity in the butter-tinged flavor. Clean, dry & rich, an easy drinking sake that offers depth and versatility.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fat Pasha [Middle Eastern]

Being a big fan of Rose & Sons (post here), I just can't wait any longer to try out Anthony Rose's latest venture, the much buzzed about Fat Pasha (@fatpasha).

I am so glad that Toronto seems to be on a Mediterranean / Middle East trend right now, bringing sophistication to the once cheap eats of $5 Shawarma. Aren't we all a bit tired of tacos?!

Reservation is available both online and by phone and I have been able to grab a 5pm Saturday reservation just 2 days prior. I sure am glad to have made a reservation since the place fill up in no time and saw quite some people with no reservation got turned away.

Love the menu design but it can be confusing but our waiter was there to answer any questions we may have.

 Pistachio Sour $13
~ Rye, Sherry, Lemon, Pistachio Orgeat, Albumen, Apricot
Sweet, nutty and way less sour than expected; it was a very well balance drink that I have been able to sip through the entire meal

Lavedula $9
~ Gin, Lemon, Lavender Syrup, Mint
Love the tartness of this drink and appreciate that the lavender is very very subtle here (hate the feeling of eating/drinking potpourri)

 Daily Salatim $22
~ Spicy Carrot Salad, Garlic Fried Tomatoes, Rapini Tabuleh, Beet Root Relish, Dill Cucumbers, Chopped Eggplant & Tahini w/ Holy Land Pita
 After seeing pictures of this online and I just had to order it, just look at the amazing colors. Trust me, it's definitely a salad that's worth the price tag and it was quite filling that this could be easily shared between 4 people. Love everything here but my fave have to be the creamy delicious beet root relish and the eggplant tahini in the middle which was prefect with the pita.

Childhood Dressing ♥ [OOTD]

Outfit Details:
Dress - UO (sale for $15); Sunnies - no brand (street vendor); Necklace - H&M; 
 Bag - Vintage Coach (eBay); Sneaker - Converse (Little Burgundy)

Got this dress on the sale rack with extra 50% off for $15, what a deal. Have always love flowy flowery dress for summer and since it's not that hot yet, this short sleeve version was perfect. And pairing it with a pair of white sneaker kind of remind me of what I use to wear as a child... maybe when I was 5 (^_^)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Lady M Cake Boutique [Dessert ~ NYC]

 Lady M Confections (@ladymcakes) was highly recommended by a foodie friend who goes to NYC a couple times a year, so it was very high on my to eat list. We drop by this "fancy food court" location right before a lunch reservation nearby.

Signature Mille Crêpes
Who can resist 20 layers of paper thin delicate buttery handmade crêpes layered with light pastry cream and the top caramelized till golden. And out of the 2 flavors we tried, we agreed that it's our favorite with the buttery creamy goodness and the caramelized top was just AMAZING. It was just heavenly, light creamy goodness and yes, light and creamy can be in the same sentence. Melt in your mouth good

Boxcar Social [Coffee]

Boxcar Social (@boxcar_social) which is named after the train bridge and old station just across the street is a cozy two storey house offering a curated, rotating list of coffees from different roasters across North America.

Love the atmosphere and you can feel the love for coffee here... Coffee is approached with such passion here, each cup is ground to order since it depends on the type and use of it. And I know of no other coffee shop in Toronto who has coffee flights on their permanent menu.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Rainy Day [OOTD]

Outfit Details:
Sweater - Zara; Skirt - F21; Coat - Uniqlo; Bag - Kate Spade; Rainboots - Hunter (Little Burgundy)

 This was an outfit I wore a few week ago on a wet rainy day to an outdoor event (Beerfest Spring Session here) at Evergreen Brickworks. I try to dress in thicker layers than usual since I know I'm going to stay outdoor for a period of time and with puddles around, my rain-boots is definitely a live saver (hate wet feet). 

I have been having really sore shoulders lately from my heavy bag, so I have been trying to switch to smaller bags during the weekend when I got to put the extra stuff in the car and have Ben carry the camera. Any tips in reducing the load of your handbag?!

Oh Geul Boh Geul [Event]

Oh Geul Boh Geul have been one of my go to Korean restaurant for Korean Table BBQ for years and it got even better when they added a patio at the back. Being a big Korean food fan, I was so excited to be invited a few weeks ago for a tasting and got to try some dishes that I never got to try it here.

One of the reason Korean food is awesome, all the free side dishes (banchan).

Really wish we got some rice for these following 3 dishes, they are definitely meant to eaten with rice

LA Ribs - Kalbi (Short Ribs) 
Love kalbi, always perfectly marinated with the perfect amount of fat.

 Grilled Mackerel

 Bulgogi (beef)
Usually love to order the spicy version since I do find this usually too sweet for my liking. If I do eat it, I like it with some spicy kimchi.