Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Isshin Ramen [Japanese]

Open by the same people of the popular Kingyo Izakaya, Isshin Ramen (@ramenisshin) sound promising. Ben being the ramen fanatic thathe is have been wanting to try them out even before it opens. So this past Saturday after a cold outdoor event, we decided to head there to warm up with a bowl of ramen.

I have to say this is a rather good location , away from all the other ramen shops on Dandas. They do not have a sign up yet when we went and we basically parked right in front of it without noticing it.

There's not much to talk about decor wise, very basic with the open kitchen by the front and a dragon mural along one side of the wall.

At Isshin Ramen, they have a total of 8 ramen to choose from including 2 vegetarian options.

Japatine $5.20
~ Fresh cut fries topped with fresh mozzarella, Japanese curry gravy, seaweed & green onions
Love the name, the presentation and it look great on picture but it lack all the yummy sloppy goodness of a poutine. As you can see, it's rather dry with barely any gravy that I couldn't really taste the curry flavor. Also wish there was more cheese.

Tonkotsu Shio "Sesame" Ramen $8.95
~ Pure tonkotsu broth seasoned with a blend of natural salts, topped with sesame seed, bamboo shoots, black wood ear mushrooms, marinated soft boiled egg, slow braised pork belly cha-shu, green onions & thin wavy noodles.
I wouldn't say it was bad but there was nothing outstanding compare to the other ramen places. The noodle had a slight soapy taste while the broth was good, it was not amazing. Love the motar & pestle sesame which was definitely fun to grind up and it does change the flavor of the broth in a very subtle way, that's why we were encourage to add it half way through.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Queen and Beaver [Feasting Menu]

I have been to The Queen and Beaver Public House (@QueenBeaverPub) a couple of times now (see old post here) and this time around, there was 12 of us this time so we decided to try out their Feasting menu (see their menu here, contact them for details since menu may varies).

Innis & Gunn Scotch Barrel Aged 13oz (Scotland) $8.95
McAuslan Cream Ale (Quebec) $7.25
Durham Brewery Black Katt Stout (Ontario) $7.25

 Venison Cobbler w/ Cheddar Scones 
Roast Bison

We order 6 portion each at $360 total ($30pp), both are from their feasting menu with a minimum of 5-6 order per dish.

This Venison Cobbler was hearty and delicious but totally wish it came with some sort of carb or bread to mop the sauce.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Sake Bar Kushi [Japanese]

I have been meaning to try Sake Bar Kushi (also known as Kushi Izakaya) since they first opened but never made it due to it's not so ideal location. Last weekend, I was so lucky to be invited to try their new and improved menu and I was more than thrilled to oblige.

As we walk in, we immediately felt in love with all the wooden booths and the long communal table in the middle with the sake bottles as dividers. The booths really gave dinner some privacy and the whole place was pretty quite unlike most izakaya.

Always love izakaya menu, love the square format. Here's the sake list and there's quite a bit of variety with different price point. Quite a few of my faves available.

Spinach Gomaae
~ blanched spinach w/ sesame sauce
Love how this had just the perfect amount of sauce/dressing and it was light a not overly salty. I must have tried so many places where it's drenched in overly salty sauce.This was perfect.

 Ebi Mayo
~ Deep Fried prawn served with mustard mayo sauce
Tasty but wish it was the whole shrimp with the shell still on. It's way more tastier.

 Draft Sake Shiboritate 180ml
Personally not my fave sake, will def choose something else

 Pork Belly & Chicken Leg Skewers 
~ one each w/ sea salt & terriyaki sauce
Have to say that we were both disappointed with these skewers, it was rather dry and bland. The one with the terriyaki sauce was a bit better since it gave them a bit of moisture and flavors.

Kodako Karaage
~ Deep Fried Baby Octopus served w/ chilli mayo
Love this, wish more restaurant would served these. Nothing better than deep fried dishes while drinking (^_^) Perfectly crispy thin batter with perfectly tender baby octopus.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Agave Y Aguacate [Mexican]

After waiting forever for Agave y Agucate (@AgaveyAguacate) to re-open since they closed up in Kensington Market, they finally set shop at 35 Baldwin St. Have been a big fan of Chef Francisco Alejandri (@aguacave) and they have acquire even a stronger following after being feature and praised on Anthony Bourdain's Layover.

Nothing fancy decor wise except for this two-story Madonna graffiti and crystal decanter lights

Paloma $12

Negra Modelo $6

Sopa Tarascan $7
~ Pinto Beans & Tomato Puree w/ ancho chile, cream, fried tortilla
Love the smokiness of the ancho chile and the tomato base just elevated the flavor even more.
We were told not to mix it up to get the layers of different texture and flavors, each ingredient seems to add depth and richness to the soup. The cubes of Queso Panela cheese was a great addition.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Recipe for Change ~ a FoodShare Event

Save the Date for Deliciousness
FoodShare Toronto (@FoodShareTO)  is a non-profit community organization whose vision is Good Healthy Food for All. Founded in 1985 to address hunger in Toronto communities, FoodShare takes a unique multifaceted and long-term approach to hunger and food issues. We work to empower individuals, families and communities through food-based initiatives, while advocating for the broader public policies needed to ensure that everyone has adequate access to sustainably produced, good healthy food.

On Thursday February 27, 2014, Toronto's St. Lawrence North Market will play host to  FoodShare's fifth annual RECIPE FOR CHANGE event, bringing with it a feast that is second to none in order to boost healthy food and food literacy in our schools.

I have been dying to attend the event since I saw so many good eats from last year event with over 30 top chefs from the GTA area plus 20 VAQ wines and 6 local beers for tasting. And at $125, the event is an amazing deal and a great opportunity to support FoodShare's work to create a healthy future.

Here are some of the Chefs that's participating that I am the most excited about :
(see complete list here)
Derek Valleau, Pukka (@pukkatoronto)
Luis Valenzuela, Carmen (@carmensayz)

And the Beverages offerings :
(see complete list here)

Here are some more recent coverage of their work in schools that this event support as well :

 Hurry, get you tickets here (^_^)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Jack Astor's Winter Fling Festival - Craft Beer [Event]

I have been invited to Jack Astor's (@Jack_Astors) for the preview of their "Winter Fling Festival" which is happening now until January 19th.  The festival is to encourage their customers to stray from their usual beers and have a fling with craft beers.

The beer featuring in Ontario location are:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Nails - 2013 Holidays [NOTD]

I just can't stay away from glitter for the holidays, I just can't help it (^_^) And with all the pretty colors and texture that comes out during that time is another temptation. I try not to go as shiny as I tend to (see last year's post here)

Formula X For Sephora in Vroom (Metalic Rose Gold)
Formula X For Sephora in Meteoric (Top Coat - black, white and rainbow Glitter)

Sephora by O.P.I in Charged It (copper gold)
Formula X For Sephora in Demolition (Top Coat - blue, turquoise, lime and orange confetti)

JaBistro [Wordless Wednesday - Japanese]

This is my 4th post for JaBistro (@JaBistro222) (see post here, here & here) and since most restaurant are not open during the Christmas holiday we didn't have much choice, so we headed back to one of our fave restaurant.

Watari Bune "Ferry Boat" Junmai Ginjo - Ibaraki $95
 Angus & Uni $18
~ angus beef & uni carpaccio, uni cream sauce

 Sashimi Platter $50

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Festival [Contest - Closed]

I'm giving away ONE PAIR of tickets to 

Steam Whistle Brewing (@SteamWhistle) will be hosting a Winter Craft Beer Festival at Roundhouse Park. Who will dare to join me for this crazy Canuck Winter fun?! Are you Canadian enough? I personally am up for the challenge since I had so much fun during their past two Craft Beer Festival (see my posts here & here). 

The festival showcases beers from the association of Ontario Craft Brewers, who have a passion to re-kindle and keep alive the spirit of traditional brewing. Independent ownership, smaller batches, artisanal styles, quality ingredients, all-natural and undiluted beers are hallmarks of their Brewing Philosophy & Standards.

The event will benefit the Toronto Railway Museum in Roundhouse Park

Date: Saturday Jan 25, 2014
Location: Roundhouse Park (55 Bremner Blvd)
Time: 11-5pm
Ticket Details:  
Sampling Glasses can be purchased in advance for $20 here or for $25 at the door.
Beer will only be served in the official glasses with beer sampling tokens costing at $1 and food can be purchased with cash. 

Come Early:
The first 500 people through the gate get a signature Winter Roundhouse Craft Beer Fest toque!  
aking place in Roundhouse Park in the heart of downtown Toronto, Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival was created to provide beer lovers the opportunity to sample Ontario's finest craft brews and delicious eats from Toronto's best Food Trucks, all in a pleasant park setting. Bring down a picnic blanket and stay a while! - See more at:

How to Enter 
1) Follow me @kiki_BFF on Twitter & Tweet the following 
Hey @kiki_BFF I want to win a pair of tickets to Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Festival by @SteamWhistle #RWCBF

2) Like my facebook page here and comment on the link to this post for an additional entry.

3) You may tweet once a day for addition entry

Contest starts now and ends on Wednesday 22nd at 12pm noon.

One lucky winners will be chosen randomly and the winners will be announce shortly after the end of contest. 
Good Luck!!!

The Contest is now closed :
And the winner is @DonJames76
* winner have been chosen randomly through

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Huntsman Tavern [Canadian-Comfort Food]

The Huntsman Tavern (@TheHuntsmanTO) have been open for a few month at the former space of Red Fish which was rather short lived.

The new owners definitely did a great job revamping the space from the wall lined with small shiny blue tiles that reflect all the bare hanging light bulbs and the decanter lights by the bar was a very nice touch.

The menu is designed by Chef Mike Tan (Oddseoul, The Saint) which had done amazing job combining soul food with a British flare while the cocktail menu by Aja Sax (the Emerson, County General)

Guinness $7.50
Ben just felt like Guinness which is one of his fave beer but they also offer a selection od seasonal Craft Beer here.

Baker Street $13
~ Jameson, Drambouie, Apple Cider, Chai Tea, Lemon
A very easy drinking cocktail but even thou I love the idea of an Apple Cider Cocktail and Chai tea, this falls a bit flat with very muted flavors of every single components.

Tourtiere Pies $13
~ Wild Boar, Tallow Crust, Tomato Cranberry Relish, Cara,melized Onions
Flaky moist golden crust with rich savory flavorful boar which was perfectly spiced, but together with the sweet tangy relish was what stole my heart.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Carbon Bar [Canadian]

Bought to you by the same team behind Nota Ben, The Carbon Bar (@TheCarbonBar) definitely have big shoes to fill.With food bought to you by the same and only Chef David Lee, it's was very promising. We headed there last Saturday for the Birthday of fellow foodie Justine (@foodigatorJ) since the large space is perfect for hosting larger group.

Love the super high ceiling with the brick wall, the booths and the big round light fixture that was perfect for the space. Love the brightly lit room instead of the dark restaurants that I am rather bored of, it's just so much more lively... and really, I like to see what I am eating.

Love how they have bits and pieces in the decor which is nod to the space former self such as a Disney rehearsal space, City TV Broadcast studio and nightclub Electric Circus.

 Collective Arts (@CollectiveBrew) ~ Rhyme & Reason $7
This extra pale ale was rather sweet malty flavor which is very easy to drink. Love how the brewery use all those different arts pieces as their label. This is their Label #1 by Halifax artist Rich Aucoin

Cannonball Wine Compny (@CannonballWines) ~ Sonoma 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon $20 for 8oz

 Queso De Cabeza $13
~ fried suckling pork, pork & beans, hen's egg, pickled beets
Don't you love the idea of having breakfast/brunch for dinner (^_^)
This is a rather large app to have on your own, so I would recommend sharing this since it's rather filling. Love the melt in your mouth fatty flavorful piece of fried suckling pig; let's just say everything on this plate was delicious even the 2 slices of brioche toast.

 Crisp Chicken Skin $6
~ sweet chilli vinegar
What can I say, it's crispy goodness, perfect with the vinaigrette which cut down the fattiness.
But I would have to say rather pricey for 2 small piece of chicken skin.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

iYellow Wine Club's Holiday Wine Jam [EVENT]

Have heard how the iYellow Wine Club's (@iyellowwineclub) Wine Jam are very fun and I was so excited to attend their last wine jam of the year after having such an amazing time at their wine class here. Took place at the historic Burroughes Building on Queen West and featuring more than 60 wines both from local and import, all of which are available for tasting. I love how all the featured wines are very affordable and available at the LCBO. Hate to taste a wine that I like only to find out it's only for private ordering with minimum order of an entire case.

Tickets were $60pp including all the tasting and food.

~ Bacon Jam Grilled Cheese + Butternut Squash Soup + Poutine
Everything was delicious, will have to stop by their new store for a sandwich

~ Roast Pork Sammie
This was not only great food porn but amazing tasting as well, I have tried so many suckling pigs that have rather tough skin but this was very crispy and flavorful. We both can't help but went back for seconds.

~ Estate Cabernet-Merlot 2010 $24.95 LCBO# 395855
~ Cuvee Catharine Brut Rose $29.95 LCBO# 217505