Showing posts with label Media Events & Tastings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Media Events & Tastings. Show all posts
Kinka Izakaya had to re-brand in late 2015 due to the ending of a business agreement with a company from Vancouver. Therefore, all Toronto Guu locations at the time were renamed to Kinka Izakaya, which means "golden flower” in Japanese. The current name highly emphasized the idea of happiness, as that's the brand's mission - to offer guests delicious dishes, and providing high-quality service. Since then, they have continued to provide great food and excellent service with three locations in the GTA and one in Montreal.

Having been to various cities in Japan, I do feel as though I am transported back to Japan whenever I am here. Kinka Izakaya offers an authentic dining experience of popular Japanese eateries including taatami seating in the non-communal area. 

I have been to Kinka Izakaya a few times over the years, and have always enjoyed my dining experience here. Earlier last week, we were invited to check out the new Kinkalicious menu at the Bloor location. Kinkalicious is Kinka's take on the long-running Summerlicious, where they offer a set course meal for an affordable price. It's a great way to sample the menu without breaking the bank. It's available now until July 21, 2019, for groups of 2 or more. 

The 8-course menu offers a range of popular dishes that can be shared among friends and is only $29 per person (minimum of 2 people). If you're not into a tasting menu, then you will find that the menu offers a variety of traditional and modern specialties made for sharing. They also have monthly and daily specials as well including cheap Sapporo on Monday. 

 Instead of beer, I opted for one of my favorite drinks - Kinka Original Ramune ($4). Ramune is a popular carbonated soft drink originally sold in Japan, but it is also available worldwide. The drink is widely known for its distinctive codd-neck bottles design, where you need to use pressure to open the bottle. The drink available at Kinka Izakaya has been re-branded with the Kinka logo, and for every bottle sold, Kinka Family donates $0.50 to SickKids. So drink for a good cause!  

Course #1 -  We started our meal off with the Gomaee, which was blanched rapini in black sesame sauce. The black sesame sauce really added a nice kick to the veggie dish. 

 Course #2 - The second course was the Sashimi Platter. It was beautifully plated and came with a variety of fresh fish. Thickly cut too!

 Course #3 - Gyu Shabu Salad

Course #4 - The third course was the Angus Beef Yukke, which was angus beef tartare topped with scallion, raw quail egg yolk, and nori. It was a dish that I would never order as I don't eat raw beef, but my friend really enjoyed it. 
Course #5 - The Fry Platter was my absolute favorite of the night! It consisted of the three items that I always order whenever I am at a Kinka Family establishment including Kinton Ramen. Their gyoza is one of the best I've ever had, especially with the accompanying sauce. The takoyaki was plump and wasn't overly battered.

 Course #6 - The Kakimayo is very popular amongst diners. It's baked oysters with spinach, mushrooms, garlic mayo and cheese. A deadly (if you're lactose intolerant), but a yummy combination.

  Course #7 - Next up before dessert was the Kinoko Bibimbap, which is a hot stone with rice, mushrooms, cheese, and seaweed sauce. It's a vegetarian dish, and you can mix it yourself or ask one of the servers. This dish was really good!

  Course #8 - We ended the night off with a scoop of Matcha Ice-Cream. Very sweet ending!

I have a blog post on my visits to JaBistro in the works, but it's not an everyday place to eat. So if you're craving pressed sushi, then definitely get an order of Salmon Oshizushi ($13.50) - blowtorched Atlantic salmon pressed sushi. I really enjoyed it, and the ratio of salmon and rice was good. 

If you're unable to make it to Kinkalicious, don't fret! Kinka Izakaya also offers an everyday set menu with 10 courses for $35 per person. Overall, Kinka Izakaya is a very solid izakaya option in Toronto. However, I would not recommend going there if you have an aversion to loud sounds, or headache, as its atmosphere is very lively. Thank you to Kinka Izakaya and Jesika for hosting!

Address: 559 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1Y6

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

Kinka Izakaya - Kinkalicious

by on Sunday, July 14, 2019
Kinka Izakaya had to re-brand in late 2015 due to the ending of a business agreement with a company from Vancouver. Therefore, all Toronto ...
On April 7th, 2019, I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Toronto Bridal Brunch. It was every bit as dreamy as I pictured. As I walked through the flower-adorned entrance by Opening Night Flowers, captivation of my attention towards the glamour décor was met hand in hand with the elegant space.

Intended as a semi-intimate gathering for brides-to-be, the seated brunch was held at the luxurious Globe and Mail Centre and was the center wedding inspirations that day for every guest attending. An impressive line-up of elect vendors was present, and the event was chock full of wedding inspirations, from the ornate centerpieces, wedding services, wedding gowns showcase to the decadent sweets display.

We arrived at the registration table on the 16th floor, and the check-in experience went smoothly. Guests were asked to provide a cell phone number, and they would receive a text when their brunch table was ready. The main event was a full-service brunch presented by Presidential Gourmet, which was nothing short of being visually elegant and tasty.

The Globe and Mail Centre was a perfect fit for this event as it’s one of the very few venues in Toronto offering such a splendor panoramic city and lake views from the top floors. Combining elegance with contemporary sophistication, the soft light of the sun, and the beautiful tiled wooden floors was nothing short of spectacular, matched by its floor-to-ceiling windows and dazzling displays. In this case, the subtle touches of the decor and place settings by Detailz Couture Event Rentals have branded the event into a Parisian café sensation with the gram in mind – photo friendly! It was the perfect backdrop for a morning brunch.

There are many elements that come into play when planning the perfect wedding including food, venue, hair and make-up, photography and more. The Toronto Bridal Brunch was pretty much a one-stop-shop for brides-to-be and their bridal parties. This event was a stark contrast to the large bridal shows, as guests here were able to get more of a hands-on and personal experience from vendors and panel guests. It was pretty much a curated vendor marketplace.

 Upon entering the venue, guests were treated to complimentary mimosas. The mimosa bar by Juice Concepts definitely kept guests satisfied until their timed brunch seating.

Now onto the actual brunch at the Marie BrunchCafé. Named after one of history's most notable fashionistas, Marie Antoinette, the full-service brunch cafe by Presidential Gourmet offered plenty of treats for guests. We were promptly seated at 11 am, and on the table was a small selection of mini Parisian breakfast pastries for us to enjoy. My favorite was the buttery croissant!

Although the brunch entree menu only consisted of four options, Presidential Gourmet definitely showcased their culinary talents with a rather diverse menu. The options included Egg Benedict a la Marie, Brûlée Souffle Pancakes, Vegan Sweet Potato Waffle, and Modern Nicoise. My sweet tooth holds no bound, so I opted for the Brûlée Souffle Pancakes. Two pancakes came covered in a caramelized sugar crust, flambé bourbon cherries and topped off with Madagascar Vanilla Chantilly cream. It was light and fluffy, and rather reminiscent of the Japanese pancakes that have been popularized in Toronto.

 My guest opted for the classic Eggs Benedict a la Marie. A plate of soft poached eggs, smoked duck bacon, toasted brioche, blood orange hollandaise, frisee salad, and radishes.

After brunch, guests made their way to the elaborate desserts display from The Lenotre Patisserie Bar, where they can choose up to 2 desserts. It was an incredibly hard decision, as it all looked so decadent and aesthetically pleasing. I got the Strawberry Rose Beignet and Macaron.

After the brunch, we wandered through the venue to take a look at the vendors. There were a variety of wedding vendors stationed throughout the venue to help people with their wedding planning or just get inspirations. There was something for everyone like wedding makeup services by alistbeauty, interior design ideas by Art of Celebrations, and flower bar services by Willow and Stems.

Additionally, ample staffing provided by DGS Staffing Agency helped ensure that food and drinks were always well within arm’s reach. They did a great job of looking after the guests.

There was also a fashion show featuring gorgeous gowns by Valencienne and Sash & Bustle. Throughout the morning, there were a variety of things happening on the Weddingbells Conversation stage where panel discussions with a star lineup of wedding experts took place. Guests got the opportunity to listen and ask industry leaders questions about wedding planning and got insider tips and tricks.

A tremendous amount of work was poured to produce the event, and it clearly showed. The Toronto Bridal Brunch was truly filled with fantastic food, amazing music, and great vendors. I had an amazing time. The team behind the event definitely did an amazing job by providing an immersive guest experience.

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

Toronto Bridal Brunch 2019

by on Sunday, July 07, 2019
On April 7th, 2019, I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Toronto Bridal Brunch . It was every bit as dreamy as I pictured. As I w...
Our adventure in Port Hope started off at the Treetop Trekking Ganaraska in the Ganaraska Forest on a pretty warm Saturday morning. Located at the Ganaraska Forest Centre, this park offers ton of activities for those ages 9+.
Thanks to Port Hope Tourism, we got to partake in the zip line and aerial game treks ($59.99 per person), which is one of their most popular activities. Guests have up to three hours to complete the treks. Treetop Trekking consist of fun games like suspended bridges, Tarzan swings, swinging logs, cable traverses, and zip lines. Don't fret if you're new to this - as the park has a variety of courses ranging from beginners to advanced. 

We arrived to the reception area, where we had to sign waiver forms and given wristbands. Once that was completed, we were grouped together and fitted with our helmet and harness. Prior to getting onto the trekking courses, everyone has to complete an orientation course. This process was to make sure that everyone was capable of using their equipment, and understanding of the rules. You also have to do a free-fall test to see whether you can pull yourself up or not - if you do lose footing. All of the courses are pretty high up from the ground. Overall, the check-in was very efficient and they do take safety very seriously at Treetop Trekking Ganaraska.

Don't forget to read and follow the rules.

The two beginner courses are Porcupine and Woodpecker. Despite being labelled as "easy" courses, it was a pretty intensive workout. I can't imagine how much harder the other four courses are like. 

 The courses present different levels of challenge. You are welcome to progress through them all, or go back to redo the ones you enjoy most.  

We had a blast at Treetop Trekking Ganaraska, and it's definitely a great place for family, friends, and teams to enjoy a day up in the tree tops. 

Address: 10585 Cold Springs Camp Rd, Campbellcroft, ON, L0A 1B0

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Disclaimer:  This post is in collaboration with the Municipality of Port Hope. Thank you for sponsoring the visit to Port Hope. All of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Milestones Grill and Bar is a restaurant chain under Recipe Unlimited (used to be Cara) serving up Canadian cuisine. There are over 40 locations across British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. The one I frequent the most is the Queensway location, as it's centrally located in the same plaza as Cineplex Odeon Queensway Cinemas (my go-to theater). 

 Earlier last week, I was invited to check out their new "Cantina Menu Event", which is available until September 2, 2018. The new menu features several Mexican-inspired dishes that are perfectly shareable. 

 J started the evening off with an order of the Mayan Mule ($9.75) - Sauza Silver tequila mixed with blackberry purée and fresh citrus juices topped with ginger beer and served in a traditional copper mug. The Mayan Mule is a variation on the Moscow Mule, and has a nice balance since the tequila isn't too strong.

The Mexican Street Corn Dip ($12.75) - Fresh roasted corn blended with three cheeses, roasted poblano and serrano peppers, and a tomato tomatillo pico de gallo. Served with our classic tortilla chips was a great appetizer to start with. It was creamy, and a great combo of Mexican street corn and cheese. One of my personal favorites of the night.

Another appetizer on the menu is the Three Amigos Fish Tacos ($15.25) - Crisp fried basa on a soft grilled white flour tortilla. Each taco came with a nicely battered crisp fried basa and topped with melted Mozzarella cheese, napa cabbage jicama slaw, cilantro lime dressing, chili avocado aioli, pico de gallo, avocado and fresh cilantro. Good portion size too! You can also add an extra taco for another $5.50. 

 I love seafood, so my entrée option was the Honey Chipotle Shrimp ($26.50) - Jumbo shrimp covered with a honey chipotle glaze, alongside a cilantro crema for dipping. Served with fiesta rice and seasonal vegetables. The Chipotle flavored shrimp was topped off with crispy chips and had a nice blend of sweet & savory seasoning. I also appreciate that they didn't skimp out on the shrimp, as it came with 9 pieces of plump shrimp. However, the fiesta rice was a little soggy to me, but it was still an enjoyable dish.

If you're not into shrimp, then you can opt for the Chili Lime Chorizo Chicken ($22) - Grilled chili lime chicken breasts topped with chorizo sausage, roasted poblano cream and Monterey Jack cheese. Served with Mexican fiesta rice, seasonal vegetables and fried plantain.

One problem that I find with restaurant chains is location inconsistency, and you can't judge an entire brand if the service if off-putting at a specific location. However, I do go to the Queensway location as they're relatively consistent with their service. Our server for the night was attentive and friendly. I noticed that he was pretty much like that with other tables as well - so it was not just a media thing. The Cantina Menu Event at Milestones Grill and Bar is only here for a limited time, so hope you guys check it out soon!

Address: 1001 The Queensway, Etobicoke, ON, M8Z 6C7

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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.

Milestones Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato