Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My Wonderful Kitchen 十粥十 [Richmond Hill - Chinese/Hong-Kong]

At first glance, My Wonderful Kitchen 十粥十 looks like your standard congee and noodle place but it you look at their menu carefully, there's quite a few Hong Kong café specials that I have never see in Toronto.

Red Bean & Grass Jelly Freeze $3.95
Before all the fancy bubble teas, I remember having this. I just happen to be craving for this and this was just perfect dessert in a cup. Perfect proportion, the red bean wasn't made too mushy or sweet and a firmer grass jelly (compare to the softer ones in bubble teas) to give you something to chew on. Love the ice cream and the big mount of crush ice on top which was perfect when mixed up together and melted a bit so you can actually drink through the straw.

 Deep Fried Fish Skin $2.95
The best thing you can get for that price really, we weren't expected such a huge plate. You basically dip it in the soup before eating it and that's the way to go but I know a lot of other places that don't serve it with the soup. Dipping it right before eating just give it the extra flavor without turning it soggy like for say with a sauce on top.

Baked Rice w/ Tomato Sauce Pork Chop served in Bread Loaf $8.95
Basically it's a deep fried brick toast that's been hollow out to fit the rice inside. This is an super indulgence / carb overload dish. The bread was crispy and added a lot of texture, That aside the basic was done really well, the fried rice with egg wasn't oily and dry as it should be while the pork chop was fatty and moist and the tomato sauce was perfectly on point. Even without the fancy brick toast, I would happily order their baked pork chop rice which is my all time Childhood favorite.

Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival 2014 [Contest -Closed]

I'm giving away ONE PAIR of tickets to Sunday's
This will be the 3rd year Steam Whistle Brewing (@SteamWhistle) will be hosting The Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival (see post from previous year here, here & Winter one here)
Participating Brewers : 
Participating Food Vendors (Sunday) : 

Date: Saturday Aug 9th & 10th
Location: Roundhouse Park (55 Bremner Blvd)
Time: 12:00pm-7:00pm
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. 
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 Craft Beer Festival by @SteamWhistle http://goo.gl/AW2hOj #RHCBF

2) Like my facebook page here and share 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 August 6th 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 Tyler Ennis
* winner have been chosen randomly through random.org

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Prune [Stratford]

The Prune (@The_Prune_) being one of the founding restaurant in Stratford and being the training ground of a lot of Stratford Chefs School graduate, I just had to have dinner here. With Executive Chef Bryan Steele being a senior Cookery Instructor at the renowned Chefs School & local celebrity chef Ryan O'Donnell as Chef the Cuisine, I know we'll be in good hands.

They only offer prix fixe menu of either 2 course at $49, 3 course at $59 or 4 course at $69 but we were told that they would gladly serve any one dish. There's plenty to choose from, the menu consisted of 5 Appetizers, 3 Mid Course, 8 Main Course and 5 desserts plus 4 sides at $6/ea to choose from when we were there.

Butter infused dinner rolls

The Prune offer a very affordable wine list with a glass starting at $8 and a bottle starting at $35 only.

Pinot Noir, "The Duke", Ryan Crawford Project, Niagara, Canada, 2011 $40
Very easy drinking and only gets better when you let it air for a bit.

Chicken Liver Mousse, Armagnac Prunes, Brioche
The front of house manager took care of us that night, love how passionate and friendly he was with amazing recommendation and insisted to give us the liver mousse on the house, so we got an extra appetizer to share. This chicken liver mousse was incredibly smooth and light, even better paired with the not boozy tasting sweet & sour prunes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pukka [Summerlicious - Indian]

Since the media event here, I have been meaning to bring Ben back to Pukka (@pukkatoronto) but as usual never found the time. So when I heard about them having a Summerlicious Lunch for $15, I can't find any more excuse.

Strawberry Passion Fruit Mojito $9.80
Pomegranate Palmer $4.60

 Smoked Eggplant Tartare
~ served w/ Khasta Roti
The roti on the side was kinda dry and hard but love this vegetarian tartare which was packed with so many flavors. Light and Cold, perfect for summer

 Chicken 65
~ South Indian Fried Chicken, Chilli-tamarind glaze
Had this last time and it was so delicious that Ben definitely need to try. Thought this was a rather large portion for Summerlicious, give me some rice and this could easily be my main.

Mercer Hall [Stratford - Brunch]

We drove to Stratford Ontario this past weekend for some Savour Stratford events and being only 2 hours away, I am surprise that I have never been. And our first stop is Mercer Hall (@MHResto) for brunch.

Love the spacious space with the bar at the front which have a french bistro fill to it while the dinning area at the back is a bit narrower which felt more intimate.

Bacon Caesar $11.50
Not overwhelming with bacon flavors and perfect balance of spiciness.

Block 3 Brewery Co. - Sugar Bush Ale $6.50
Haven't had their beer before and this is a brewery that I have been meaning to visit, so I was excited to finally try this craft beer. This English Brown Ale had a sweet finish from the local maple syrup which complimented the coffee and dark chocolate notes really well. Love it!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Stop's Night Market 2014 - Day 2 [EVENT]

Thanks for the better weather for Day 2 of The Stop's Night Market of The Stop Community Food Centre (@TheStopCFC). I was lucky enough to be offer a media pass and early access. 

Although it rained a bit, it was nothing compare to Day 1 here and I manage to take some pictures of the carts that was designed specifically for this 2 day event.

~ Indonasian Street Style Chicken Satays w/ Peanut Sauce & Rice Cakes
This was one of my fave dish of the night, a classic that's made so well. They seems to be the only one who has those rice cakes in Toronto.

~ Smoked Eggplant, Cured Trout, Green Emulsion

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Marc Forgione [NYC]

Being the lesser known Iron Chef, I really didn't know Marc Forgione (@MarcForgione) had a restaurant in New York under the same name but being a big fan of the show, I am all up to give it a try.

Located on a rather quite street, there wasn't much going on around here. Love the cozy neighborhood feel with all the knick knacks on the shelves.

 Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2001 ~ $115

Love the freshly bake bread

 Cute Amuse Bouche

Monday, July 14, 2014

Luma [Summerlicious 2014]

I haven't been the biggest fan of Summer/Winterlicious for the pass few years due to disappointment after disappointment. This year, seeing that a lot more restaurant are having lunch option even on weekends, I decided to give it a try.

O&B Restaurants (@Oliver_Bonacini) have always embrace licious with all of their restaurants participating both lunch and dinner, they tend to keep up their quality and service better than a lot of other participating restaurant. Have been to Luma regular lunch (here) and Winterlicious (here) and since I am always a fan of the bustling TIFF Lightbox, I decided to give their Summerlicious Lunch a try at $20.

Sangria Rosa $11
~ rose, St-Germain elderflower, triple sec, white cranberry juice, seasonal fruit
With all the amazing cocktail out their, this felt short and after the first sip, I wish I ordered a glass of wine instead. Given lunch is only at $20, a $11 drink does definitely feel like a splurge.

Island Breeze $6
~ coconut water, cucumber, pineapple
This champagne flute size juice was a rather small portion considering their glass of wine only starts at $10.

Tossed Octopus Salad
~ chickpea, tomato, eggplant puree, almonds & harissa
Love summer and the bright summer colors that comes with it. Wish the octopus was served warm for better flavor and texture but it was delicious nonetheless. Love the regular chickpeas in contrast to the fried crunchy ones and the heat from the harissa. A bright and fresh summer dish.

Beerfest 2014 - Sunday July 27th Tickets Giveaway [Contest]

 I'm giving away ONE PAIR of tickets to 

Toronto's Festival of Beer (Twitter: @TOBeerFestival & Facebook: TOBeerFestival) is a celebration of Canada's rich brewing history, hosted by experts of the brewing craft from around the world. There will be over 300 brands feature!!!
Being one of the biggest summer festival in Toronto, I am always excited to attend 
(see my previous post here, here and the most recent Spring Session here
Other than beer, there will also be live entertainment, the Grilling Tent Experience and a lot of yummy food.
 Date & Time:
Friday July 25th, 4:30 -11:00pm
Saturday July 26th - Tickets are sold out
Sunday July 27th, 1:30-8:00pm
Ticket Details:  
$39.50 including admission, 5 sample tokens and a Commemorative Festival Sampling Cup. Other VIP and Early Access options also available at extra cost. Get your tickets here before it's all sold out.
I was lucky enough to be given an Extra pair of tickets to share with my followers
Contest starts now and ends on Tuesday July 22nd at 12pm noon.
Good Luck!!!
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/26c99b1/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, July 11, 2014

Srirachup & Delhi-licious Neal Brothers Chips [Snack]

I have long professed my love for Neal Brothers (@nealbrothers) Chips here and I was so excited to hear about the 2 chef inspired Kettle Chip flavors, Srirachup and Delhi-licious. My favorite Chef,  Chuck Hughes (@ChefChuckHughes) and Vancouver Based Vikram Vij teamed up with the brothers to create these unique flavors inspired by their own cooking style. 

It look like to me only Canadian love their ketchup chips and I just can't understand why, so good. Now Chef Hughes came up with a better version, ketchup with his favorite hot sauce (and mine) to create this amazing Srirachup flavor. With just the perfect amount of sour ketchup-y taste and heat with a hint of garlic. I am head over heal in love!

Chef Vij's vast knowledge of Indian cuisine and spice bland help create Delhi-licious which has a Garam Masala flavor. Very strong in spices, this is definitely not for everyone. I Personally enjoyed it but don't think I'll be craving for it that often thou.

Thanks to The Siren Group (@thesirengroup) once again for sending me the new flavors together with a can of Great Lake Brewery beer.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Oyster Fest Brew-ha-ha ! An Oyster Stout Brewing Event

Every year Rodney's Oyster House (@RodneysToronto) host Oyster Fest, an annual fundraiser event to support Environmental Defense (@envirodefence), Canada's most effective environmental action charity. Last week I was invited to the pre-launch party of the 26th OysterFest happening Sunday July 20th.

It took place at the Amsterdam Brewhouse (@AmsterdamBH), who will also be participating in this year's event. 

 While waiting for everyone to arrive, we were quickly served a pint of their 416 Local Lager

We were walk through the process of making of the Oyster Stout beer right in their fermentation  chamber by Amsterdam's brewmaster Iain McOustra which will be ready by the time of the event.

 The Oyster Stout which has a slightly bitter and chocolate finish will compliment the Oysters very well. This is base on the same recipe that Amsterdam did for Rodney's 2 years ago. Using around 150 oysters including a lot of brine which is key to get that salty undertone and oats to give it that silky texture. After a week or so, oyster shells will be added and fill approx 1/3 of the tank which will add calcium to the fermenting process and act as a filter.

Then we were in a real treat where we go to taste 3 different type of Oysters paired with 3 different type of beer.

 Did you know there's over 300 types of Oysters in the world?!
Oysters are usually sorted based on species, size and quality. With quality attributes largely to the shape and look of an oyster. Oyster only grow up to 1/2" a year, changes sexes and produce millions of offspring annually. Rodney's oysters are classified into 5 grades : King (4"-5"), Queen (3.5"-4"), Price (3"-3.5"), Duke (3"-4") and Peasant (standard 3"-3.5"). 
Didn't know oysters that we eat are that old.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Azure [Summerlicious 2014]

We were once again invited back to Azure Restaurant & Bar inside InterContinental Toronto Centre (@ICTorontoCentre) for Summerlicious, had so much fun here and here.
As I've said it before and I will said it again, the space it a bit outdated but they can't do much about it but the food and service are amazing.

Heirloom Tomatoes
~ buffalo mozzarella + basil + figs + balsamic glaze
Love the bright color and it's so fresh and light, perfect for a hot summer day.

 Seared Tuna & compressed Watermelon
~ watercress + avocado + orange + cucumber + micro cress
Love love love the pickled compressed watermelon, this was my favorite dish of the night. Wish the tuna was a bit less cooked, a little red/raw center would be great. But love the tuna with the watermelon, even better with the creamy avocado.

Lucky Red [Asian]

Being a big fan of Banh Mi Boys, I just had to go try their newest venture Lucky Red (@luckyredshop). We already have lunch prior to that so we only tried 2 boas, so this will be a short and quick review. Located right next to Nguyen Huong, their family/parent's bahn mi shop which happens to be my favorite, proof of further gentrification of Chinatown.

Loving the huge light bulb sign with the Antique Chinese Door in bright red store front which pop out among the other older Chinatown store but somehow blend in as well. Inside, the huge 12 Chinese zodiac mural take center stage.

 With 11 savory and 3 dessert boa sandwiches and similar to Banh Mi Boys, order is place at the counter a-la-fast-food-style. Got the choice of Steamed or Baked Boa while you get deep fried boo for dessert.

Fried Oyster Steamed Bao $4.99
~ x.o sauce, mayo, lettuce
This just pop out to me, just had to try this first, love the crunchy deep fried oyster with the soft steamed bun. Somehow I couldn't really taste the x.o sauce but just mainly the mayo.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Prepd - Homecooking Made Easy [Contest - Closed]

I love cooking when I'm at home but finding time to do the grocery have always been tough for me. Love the recent idea of Meal in a Box, with all the ingredients and receipt delivered to your door once a week. Finding a good takeout place near us have been nearly impossible and it's even worst during winter where food arrives lukewarm. 

Tried Prepd (@EatPrepd) a few weeks ago and love the simple exact pre-measured recipes. Their goal is to help busy people like us cook fresh and delicious meals at home in 40 minutes or less.
At $60 for 2 servings of 3 meals, compare to the other meal in a box I tried (see post here) Prepd is on the cheaper side with easier to make recipes .

The kit came with everything that's needed except basic like oil, salt and pepper, just chop some of the ingredients up and you are good to go. The recipe card came with step by step instructions that even Ben managed to make one of them.

 Mushroom Barley "Risotto"
~ with Baby mixed greens, apple, almond and cranberry balsamic

 Fish Tacos
~ with home made guacamole and pickled red cabbage

 Chicken Shawarma
~ home made Tzatziki w/ salad and pita

Prepd was generous enough to give 2 of my lucky followers a free meal kit value at $60 each.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There was a small bug on Rafflecopter, so I had to pick the winner by hand using Radom.Org
The 2 winners are entry #93 - @emfriesen & entry #141 - @EldoLai