Thursday, September 29, 2016

Jinya Ramen Bar [Japanese]

Being the ramen addict, Ben just had to try out the newly open Jinya Ramen Bar (@jinyaramenbar) adn after eyeing it's renovation for months already.

Jinya is a chain ramen shop with multiple locations in the US and Canada, being the first location in Toronto, I was excited to try this popular place.

Love the space with pretty big comfy bar stools and not overly hot like most ramen places.
Love the eye catching display of red and black ramen bowl on the counter.

Pork Gyoza
This was a lunch special where you get to add $2 to your ramen for an app and a soft drink. This was the only thing I like with thin moist wrapper... this was perfect.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Simit & Chai Company [Cafe / Sandwich]

Finally made it to Simit & Chai Co  (@simitandchaicompany) after seeing so many Instagram post this summer. This is a Turkish bakery and cafe specializing in Istanbul/Turkish bagels (simits) and teas.

With the high ceiling and not much tables, the cafe feel especially spacious with all the mismatched furniture and patch of expose brick walls

Istanbul Fog
Since they sepcialize in tea, Ben decided to order tea instead of our usual coffee but wish he had ordered the Chai since the name suggest, it should be their top speciality. 

The Street $5.00
~ simit + cream cheese + olive paste
Love love it, love the crispy flat texture and the large amount of sesame on top plus never though that cream cheese and olive paste goes so well together.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Campechano Taqueria [Mexican / Taco]

Campechano (@campechano_to) means no fuss and what's great is they take reservation.

Love the colorful murals with the school chairs with the open kitchen at the front... all the yummy smell coming through is just amazing. It's quite spacious with more seating at the back room and patio.

They have a rather small menu which I love, with only two appetizers, 2 sopes, 9 tacos and 1 dessert to choose from.

Aguachile $15
~ branzino, shimp (spicy)
Love the extra spicy kick to this and the mix of both shrimp and fish.. and those tortillas chip are just too good, I can munch on it all day plus they were nice enough to give us a refill.

Love the fresh press corn tortillas in house made to order and that alone make me wants to come back.

Camarones $6.50
~ Chipotle shrimp, pineapple (spicy)
This was so good, love the perfectly cooked shrimp with the yummy chipotle sauce and the sweet pineapple. This was relatively not spicy compare to the ceviche.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Can Solé [Seafood - Barcelona Spain]

Can Solé (@CanSole_1903) was founded back in 1903 as an Fisherman tavern at the Barceloneta port, it is tucked away on a narrow side street with not sea view whatsoever. La Barceloneta area have recently been transform into a beach /port-side playgrounds for visitors, so I was surprise that there's still such authentic and old restaurant on the side streets from the beach.

The decor is minimal and very old schooled with white table cloth and photos of celebrities who've visited over the years. I was surprise to see an open kitchen where you can see all the cooking taking place.

Although their main clientele are locals, come of the staff still understand English which makes our lives so much more easier.

Nuvol - D.O.Montsant, Bodegas Edicionsi Limitadas 20.50
~ 90% Granatxa Blanca, 10% Macabeu 
Not very familiar with Spanish wine at all, especially their white so we asked for recommendation and our waiter kindly suggest this bottle. It paired really well with our seafood feast with floral peach tropical notes which was very refreshing and lively.

La Boqueria Mercat [Barcelona - Spain]

Our first stop in Barcelona was La Boqueria Mercat which is a large public market, it's not only a meat & vegetable market since that would be a bit meaningless for tourist like us but they have bars selling both food and drink which makes it a popular lunch spot.

We took a walk on La Rambla and get off mid way at the market which has a side entrance there. This is probably one of the most popular street in central Barcelona, a tree lined pedestrian street which stretches 1.2 kilometers. It was pretty crowded with a lot of pavement cafes and souvenirs stalls, but please make sure to be careful of pickpockets at places like this.

The market is really a treat to the senses with such great colors, sound and smell, it's really worth a stop even though the bars a a bit overprice compare to some of the local restaurants but really, dirt cheap compare to here in Toronto for such freshness.

So many fresh fruits and juices, some of them difficult to find here in Canada... we even grab some pre-cut ones to eat on the go.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Laguardia [Spain]

Laguardia is a very small town in the nothern part of Spain, near our first stop Longrono. If you are in the area, make sure to drop by and an hour is all it take.

The place lies over a hill and surrounded by a wall, all the streets still have a medieval feel to it, as if you are in a movie. There's no car inside the walled town with very narrow roads.

 We went there on a Sunday and there was all kind of activities going on including reenactments

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Captain's Boil - Little Italy [Restaurant Opening - Seafood]

This is my second time to Captain's Boil (@thecaptainsboil), Toronto's 1st seafood boil restaurant. I have been to the 1st location a while ago and this is already their 5th location in the GTA area with plans for many more.

 After visiting the 1st location, I was actually kind of disappointed that it wasn't as good as the one we had in Las Vegas (see post here) and so much more expensive... but I change my mind with this location, it was fresh well cook and well season and more worth the price tag in comparison.

No wonder it's expanding so quickly, everybody loves seafood right?! And what's more fun than eating with your hands while wearing a bib.

I was lucky enough to be invited to their pre-opening Media Dinner, although the staff could be better train, owner Amy and Marlon made sure we had everything we need and was very generous. And love the spread they had put out for us to take picture, what a great presentation!

Love the ceiling which was design to resemble the hull of a boat.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Boxcar Social - Harbourfront [Café-Bar]

I have been a fan of Boxcar Social (@boxcar_social) 1st and 2nd location (post here & here) of the cafe-bar hybird  concept and so of course I was excited to hear that they opened up a 3rd location at Harbourfront Centre. It was the best yet with it's prime location next with a lakeside view, perfect for people watching and maybe after a walk through the free art installations at The Power Plant (@ThePowerPlantTO) next door. 

It has the same concept as the 2 other locations with a rotating hard to find coffee roast, a great affordable local and international wine list per glass or bottle (may I add, what a generous pour), around 20 Craft Beer on tap and a great selection of Whisky.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Muskoka Brewery's 20th Birthday Bash [Event]

Muskoka Brewery (@MuskokaBrewery) celebrated their 20th Birthday at the Evergreen Brickwork last month and invited a bunch of Ontario Craft Breweries to celebrate. Each brewery bought with them a special "birthday brew".

Love the Mad Tom mask, too cute and work great as a fan on that hot day.
Love the Kirby's Kolsch with the peach flavor and the sour Saucy Piegeon which ran out and too slow to get a second.

Henderson Brewing (@Hendersonbeerco)
~ Tamarind Chili Ale (4.2%)
This infused Blonde Ale was our favorite that night, def have seconds and thirds. Love the slight sourness of the tamarind just with a touch of spice.

Manantler Craft Brewing (@manantler)
~ Sane Tim Belgium Saison (5%)

Left Field Brewery (@LFbrewery)
~ Cranberry Saison

Indie Alehouse (@indiealehouse)
~ "Shallow Waters" Raspberry Lemongrass Saison (4%)

~ Rhubarb Saison

~ Mojito Wit (lime & mint Belgian Witbier) & 12 Minutes to Destiny (Hibiscus Pale Lager 4.1%)
Their Hibiscu Lager have always been one of my favorite but this time the Mojito Wit was super refreshing for this especially hot day.

~ Raspberry Saison (3.5%)