Showing posts with label Media Events & Tastings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Media Events & Tastings. Show all posts
One of the current food trends in the city is Japanese soufflé pancakes, which has been quite popular overseas in Japan. Traditionally, these pancakes were served after weddings to symbolize good fortune. However, it has since become a staple item as an everyday treat, and I saw plenty of different chains in Japan serving them when I was there last month. 


 If you want some Japanese soufflé pancakes, then look no further as it's now available at Fuwa Fuwa Japanese Pancakes. The restaurant opened up in mid-May in the Annex neighborhood on Bloor Street West at Brunswick Ave. They had a promotion where they gave away 300 free pancakes per day during their opening weekend. I didn't brave the lines for their giveaway, but I did get a chance to attend a tasting a week and a half later. 

 I ended up going on a Sunday at around 6:30 pm, which I thought was a good idea at the time. Who eats sweet pancakes that late in the evening? I was wrong! There was still a line-up of people waiting for both take-out and dine-in. Luckily, I had a reservation so I avoided the line-up in the hot weather. Sorry to those who waited in line, and probably thought that I had cut them in line. 

Fuwa Fuwa Signature ($12.50)


 The kitchen staff appeared overwhelmed that day, and it resulted in a delay in getting the pancakes out in a timely manner. Not going to lie - I was slightly hangry, but I spent the wait time editing some blog photos. I think the process of cooking has gotten better since my visit, as my friend went a couple of days after I did, and she said she only waited 20 minutes for her pancake. So hopefully, people aren't waiting up to an hour for pancakes anymore. I do have plans to return to try the Tiramisu pancake next time, as it seems to be quite a popular choice.

I opted for the Crème Brûlée Pancake ($15.80), which consisted of two fluffy pancakes topped with a caramelized coat, crème brûlée sauce, and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.  The pancake from Fuwa Fuwa Japanese Pancakes was airy and had a nice fluffy consistency. It wasn't too overly sweet and the tangy fruits added a nice balance. I liked it! They also serve other flavors if creme brûlée isn't your thing like matcha cream and red bean, signature, raspberry/caramelized banana and tiramisu.


Unlike the North American styled pancakes, the ones from Japan are more of a cross between an egg souffle and a hot cake. The pancakes are made fresh to order, so there is often a 20-30 minute wait time for your order. Even in Japan, the wait time was around the same as I waited about 25 minutes for the pancakes at both Flipper's (Osaka) and Light Cafe (Nagoya).


Add a little happiness into your life with fluffy pancakes. Be sure to go on the weekday though if you don't want to wait in line for long.


Address: 408 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON, M5S 2N5

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Fuwa Fuwa Japanese Pancakes

by on Wednesday, May 30, 2018
One of the current food trends in the city is Japanese soufflé pancakes, which has been quite popular overseas in Japan. Traditionally, the...
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a media dinner hosted by The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. Personally, I have been to Florida before, but only to Orlando for Disney World and Miami. So, I was glad to attend the event, as I learned a lot about Greater Fort Lauderdale and what it has to offer as a tourist destination. 

  Greater Fort Lauderdale, located in Broward County, boasts more than 34,000 lodging accommodations at a variety of hotels, luxury spa resorts, and Superior Small Lodgings reflecting a “beach chic” vibe. The city is also home to near-endless sunshine as they get an average of 3,000 hours of annual sunshine. Perfect weather to soak in the sun, while enjoying the city's balmy breezes, tropical nights and warm ocean water. There are many things to do in the area such as dine at one of the thousands of restaurants and eateries, get immersed in a thriving arts and culture scene and indulge in top shopping. Want to learn more? Check out The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau's website for more information.

Photo Credit: Fred BK

One of my favorite appetizers of the night was the coconut shrimp. Loved it!
 Photo Credit: Fred BK

Greater Fort Lauderdale has since become a hot destination with a lot of amazing sights, activities and food that goes beyond just amusement parks. We got a taste of what Fort Lauderdale has to offer in terms of cuisine, as we were joined by three of Fort Lauderdale's hottest chefs and a world-renowned mixologist who all brought a little of the Florida sunshine to Toronto. It was very much needed as Toronto's weather can be quite fickle.


The guests that evening were as followed:

Chef de Cuisine Paula DaSilva, The Ritz-Carlton
Executive Chef Adrienne Grenier, 3030 Ocean, Harbor Beach Marriott Resort
Chef Christian Cobos, GG’s Waterfront
Jean-Pierre Belonni, Head Bartender, Mixologist, The Ritz-Carlton


Media personnel and bloggers were treated to an array of cocktail pairings and a delectable 3-course dinner at Market Kitchen (inside of the St Lawrence Market). The dinner provided us with a preview of how the food scene in Fort Lauderdale has evolved, and its cocktail scene is also getting more sophisticated as well.

You can check out more of the night festivities at #HelloSunnyTO


The first course was the Spinach Cavatelli - with clam Broth & garlic breadcrumbs by Chef Adrienne Grenier.


The second course was the Sauteed Fish - parsnip puree, corn succotash with homestead Carambola sauce by Chef Paula DaSilva



The night ended off on a sweet note with the Key Lime Pie by Pastry Chef Christian Cobos


We also learned that Fort Lauderdale is such a great cocktail city with plenty of bar and club options. So one can definitely get their drink on!



Here are some facts about Fort Lauderdale before you visit.

Climate: Broward's climate is tropical with an average year-round temperature of 76°F / 25°C and 3,000 hours of sunshine.  Winter temperatures average a mean of 66° F / 19° C; summer, a mean of 84° F / 29° C. January is the coolest month of the year and August is the warmest. The heaviest rainfalls occur during August and September.

Attractions:

Anne Kolb Nature Center -  a 1,430 acre wetland and habitat for native wildlife
        B-CYCLE -- bike sharing program
  Beach Place - a 100,000 square foot entertainment, retail and dining complex on A1A
        Billie Swamp Safari - lets you experience a Seminole Indian reservation in the Everglades via swamp buggy and airboat
       
Everglades Holiday Park - gateway to 750,000 acres of unspoiled Everglades; airboat rides, tours and fishing
     Hollywood Beach Broadwalk - 2.2 mile oceanfront pedestrian promenade which parallels the beach
Xtreme Indoor Karting - South Florida’s fastest indoor karting


Natural Attractions: In addition to Blue Wave beaches and waterways, Broward County has 288parks, 69 miles of live coral reef in a three-tier natural reef system, and the Everglades. Its 100+ artificial reefs and 18 major shipwrecks provide divers with a unique mix of tropical underwater experiences.

Dining and Entertainment: More than 4,000 wining and dining establishments and 132 nightclubs are located in Broward County.

Shopping: Sawgrass Mills, the world's largest discount mall, features the high-end Colonnade Outlets. Other shopping destinations include Seminole Paradise, Festival Flea Market Mall and Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop, the largest indoor/outdoor flea market in the South. The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale, an upscale shopping mall with stores such as Neiman-Marcus, Michael Kors and Cole Haan, is complemented by traditional Florida shopping avenues such as Las Olas Boulevard, Dania Beach Antique Row and beach boutiques.

Major Annual Events: Some major ones are Orange Bowl (Dec/Jan), Vacation Like a VIP (May-Sept, Turtle Walks (June-July), Fort Lauderdale Family Fun Beachfront Celebration (July 4), Hollywood 4th of July Celebration (July 4), Hollywood Beach Latin Festival (Aug) and Florida Panthers Hockey Season (Oct–Apr) .



Many thanks to The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and Resource Media for hosting the event. I had a great time, and learned a lot about Fort Lauderdale.

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Celebrity chef Akira Back's first Canadian namesake restaurant is now open in the Bisha Hotel Toronto. Located inside of the luxury boutique hotel, the restaurant offers a menu of Japanese cuisine with Korean flavors and Canadian twist. We had the pleasure of attending a media preview at Akira Back Toronto last week, where we were treated to a tasting menu of some of his best dishes. 


I was looking forward to the opening of his restaurant when it was announced earlier this summer. Akira Back has a growing reputation in the hospitality industry for the creativity that he brings to his culinary creations. Back's food is inspired by his passions for adventure, travel and culinary exploration. "Each of his restaurants features inventive menus that embody his life and travel inspirations throughout the world, representing the root of his culture and his culinary background in every dish. Akira Back is one of the most exciting names in the culinary world, growing rapidly across major international". (credit: press release) 


“Toronto is a cultural epicentre with a diverse and multi­cultural food scene, which is why I always hoped to have a restaurant here,” says Chef Akira Back. “The menu will feature a number of my signature dishes along with some new ones that were inspired by my time spent in the city.” - Akira Back
Throughout his career, he has many culinary successes, including being awarded the title of “Rising Star” by Restaurant Hospitality (2008) and has had the distinct honor of hosting the prestigious James Beard House dinners (2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012, 2013 & 2014). Besides having restaurants in the USA, he has opened several overseas locations such as Akira Back Restaurants in Singapore, New Delhi and Jakarta. Earlier this November, he was awarded a one Michelin Star by the 2018 Michelin Guide Seoul for his restaurant DOSA in Seoul, South Korea.


Walking into the restaurant, I was in awe of the space as it paid homage to traditional Japanese culture with contemporary ornamentation. "Subtle nods to Japanese culture will appear through refined and intimate details which balance the central design feature, a full­-length cove ceiling showcasing a colourful custom graphic". The overall interiors contain several neutral elements with bold wooden decor, which creates an intimate yet classy environment that appeals to a wide range of diners.




The menu at Akira Back Toronto features a number of his signature dishes, along with several new ones that were inspired by his visit to Canada. The tasting menu that night consists of five courses with wine pairings that perfectly complement each specific dish.


[First Course] 

Tuna & Mushroom Pizza ($22) - truffle oil, micro shiso


[Second Course] 

Jeju Domi ($22) - orange tobiko, red sorrel, chojang

Salmon Tiradito ($21) - roasted peaches, Kizami wasabi, spinach cilantro


[Third Course] 

Eggplant Miso ($12) - sweet miso sauce


Rock Shrimp ($17) - sriracha ranch

(photo credit: @akirabacktoronto)

[Fourth Course] 

Seared Halibut - mushrooms, soy beurre blanc,

(photo credit: @akirabacktoronto)

48 Hour Wagyu Short Rib ($32) - root vegetables, quail egg, braising jus


[Dessert] 

Black & White Sesame Matcha Cake - salted agave ice cream


Yuzu Citrus - sable crumble, strawberry gelato 



“Akira Back is an extremely talented chef on the cusp of exploding internationally and we’re excited that Bisha will be his first location in Canada. After interviewing many recognized chefs over a three­year period, I felt that Akira Back’s talent and uniqueness would be the perfect match for Bisha Toronto to make it a complete hospitality experience,” says Charles Khabouth, Chairman, ICONINK. (credit: press release) 


All of the dishes were perfectly crafted to combine the various cuisines that Back is influenced and inspired by. The use of fresh ingredients definitely enhanced the flavors of the dishes, particularly the two mains (halibut and short rib). The night ended with not one... but two desserts. The elegant desserts consist of two very popular Japanese flavors; matcha and yuzu. My favorite was the black & white sesame matcha cake, which was rich in flavor and creamy in texture. I loved matcha desserts, so this definitely hit the spot for my sweet tooth! Akira Back Toronto is definitely a welcoming addition to the city of Toronto for its visionary dishes that encompasses the combination of Asian and North American cuisine. Can't wait to be back!


** Pictures by Cherie. Visit her Instagram and Blog to check out her feeds **
** Pictures of Chef Akira Back by Akira Back Toronto **

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Akira Back Toronto

by on Friday, December 08, 2017
Celebrity chef  Akira Back 's first Canadian namesake restaurant is now open in the Bisha Hotel Toronto . Located inside of the luxury ...
Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) opens today! Prior to their official opening date, I had the opportunity to attend CNE Media Preview Day where bloggers and media got a sneak peek at some of the creative concoctions from this year's The Toronto Star Food Building. We got to sample several innovative foods for 2017 at the CNE. The CNE opens Friday Aug, 18 and runs until Monday, Sept 4, 2017. For this year's Canadian National Exhibition, the food vendors have combined traditional carnival eats with trendy ingredients.

We started the morning off with some coffee and treats from Tim's Horton's.


Deep Fried Cheese Curds from the King of Curds



The Juicy Oink from Hot Bunzz Street Cuisine


Pickle Balls from Canadian Bacon Pickle 


Iced Caps from Tim Horton's



Pancake Bowls from Eat My Bowls


Last Samurai from Yatai


Dragon's Breath Crepe from Eative




Strawberry Shortsteak from Philthy Philly's


Stacked Philly Cheesesteak from Philthy Philly's


Vegan Poutine from Dutch Frites


Cricket Cone from Bug Bistro


 Takoyaki (Crispy Octopus Balls) from Japanese Karaage Cuisine


Campfire Smore's Cones from Chimney Stax


Fried Cheese Balls 


Spaghetti Donut Balls from Fritta



The Colossal Coliseum from San Francesco's Italian Sandwiches


Popcorn


All Canadian Red Hot Burger from Bacon Nation


What-A-Melon


Sugar Mountain from Cake Shack


The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) runs from Aug. 18 to Sept 4, and admission is $18. There is also a discounted rate of $6 if you go after 5 pm from Monday to Thursday. That is an amazing deal! Besides the food, there are tons of attractions this year like the Aerial Acrobatics & Ice Skating Show featuring Canadian figure skater Elvis Stojko, CNE Gaming Garage, Innovation Garage, and CNE Aquarama. 

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEx
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/letsgototheex/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/letsgototheex
Website: http://theex.com/

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.