Showing posts with label Now Closed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Now Closed. Show all posts
There has been an influx of west coast imports as of late to Toronto, and another added to the list is Ebisu on Queen (Toronto). They have been open for a couple of weeks, and are still in the mist of their soft launch stage. Ebisu Japanese Restaurant originated from Vancouver, as its first location opened in December of 2006. There are two locations in Vancouver and one in Richmond, along with two restaurants under the Kamei names. The brand itself is very well-known in Vancouver, and they hope to expand it in Toronto with this new outpost.

So, what is Ebisu? Ebisu translates as "Yebisu" - meaning the fisherman's god of fortune and good luck. Ebisu is the only one out of the Seven Gods of Fortune to originate from Japan.


I was invited about a week ago to attend a media tasting to try a few of their signature dishes (some from their Vancouver menu). Prior to their grand opening, I was here to give Muse Salon (upstairs of Ebisu) a try, where I had an enjoyable hair salon experience. Ebisu on Queen (Toronto) took over the former Sushi Queen space located at 204 Queen St. West, and had a complete renovation of the space. The newly opened Ebisu on Queen embraces the concept of izakayas with its paneled wood, and minimal decor giving it a contemporary tranquil feel.

The contemporary space is perfect for lunch or dinner with friends, but is also fitting for any occasions including watching sport games, birthday parties, large parties, and even romantic dates. Similarly to their popular Vancouver outposts, they offer an extensive menu of tapas dishes and drinks set in a lively sushi bar lounge. The extensive menu offers traditional Japanese fare with a mix of international flavours along with a huge selection of drinks.




The evening started off splendidly with an array of drinks from the Ebisu Drink Menu. We opted for the Maccha (Green Tea) Cocktail ($8.95), which was surprisingly light and refreshing.





The menu at Ebisu on Queen (Toronto) centered on contemporary and fusion Japanese food. In regards to fusion dishes, there were several dishes that were made of a combination of different culinary elements. An example of such dish was the Cajun Tuna Tacos ($7.50) - seared fresh tuna & shredded mixed salad dressed with our tantalizing house ginger saucewhich consisted of lightly seared tuna mixed with tomato, fresh avocados, and dressed with a house sauce. One of the issues that I found was the consistency, as one of the tacos was not evenly coated while the other was drenched. 



In addition to signature rolls, Ebisu offers three different kinds of seared box sushi (battera sushi) on the menu. Battera sushi was made by pressing sushi rice and fillet of a fish into a mould to create a rectangular shape, and then lightly seared with a blowtorch. Additionally, the battera sushi are topped off with different toppings to give each one a distinctive taste. It should be noted that the searing is done at the table by the server, so you can watch it being done.



Saba (Mackerel) Miso Battera Sushi ($11.50)





Salmon Motoyaki Battera Sushi ($12.50)


Out of the three options, my favorite was the Hamachi (Yellowtail) Jalepeno Battera Sushi ($13.50).



The Chowder Pot Pie ($8.95) was a dish filled with comforting flavors, and perfect for the cold winter. Flaky puff pastry tops a rich mixture of vegetables and clams.


In recent years, I have come to love Takoyaki ($6.95) - deep fried octopus balls topped with bonito flakes and house sauce. Whenever I am out at a Japanese restaurant, I would always order a side of octopus balls (just for myself). The ones from Ebisu on Queen (Toronto) were cooked perfectly that I ate 10 takoyaki without realizing it! They were nice and doughy on the inside with a good portion of octopus pieces, and generously topped with mayo and bonito flakes.


For those who love sake, the well-priced, Izumi Toronto Sake Sampler ($9) may be an option. Several izakayas don't have samplers available (prefer diners to buy full bottles), so the management at Ebisu decided to offer this option on their drink menu. This allows diners to sample a flight of three different Izumi branded sake; Sake Sangria, Nama Nama, and Teion Sakura for a set price.



The Oyster Motoyaki ($9.50) - fresh beach oysters, spinach, white mushrooms baked in a Japanese Motoyaki sauce, was pretty huge, and contained a good chunk of oysters baked into a half shell. It was pretty good - creamy and flavorful.


I have always enjoyed DIY aspects of some dishes, and the BBQ Beef Short Ribs ($10.95) - slices of thick & juicy Angus beef short ribs marinated in Korean influenced homemade BBQ sauce served with a mini BBQ grill on the side, was no different. It came out on a portable tiny grill, and diners have the option to grill them to their liking. The BBQ ribs were tender and well-marinated in a sweet soy sauce.


Real Crab Vancouver Roll (4 pcs is $6.50 and 8 pcs is $11.50) - crab & avocado wrapped in BC smoked sockeye salmon, is one of their signature rolls that is very popular in Vancouver.


Spicy Sashimi ($8.95)


Pork Cutlet Curry ($12.95) - with organic green salad


If you want to try the ramen, then I would suggest dropping by for the lunch deals as they have a good selection of lunch sets. The lunch sets come with ramen, mini don, and a dish of today's appetizer for typically the same price as a ramen priced around dinner time.

Miso Ramen ($13.95)


Ramune (Japanese Soda) High Ball ($8.95)


Ebisu on Queen (Toronto) is open Monday to Sunday for both lunch and dinner. Check out their website for their full menu of seafood, vegetable, sushi/sashimi, hot stone rice bowl, ramen, and more.

Address: 204 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1Z2

Social Media: 


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

Ebisu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Opened in 2014, Little Fin is a casual seafood-centric eatery under the The Chase Hospitality Group umbrella. Earlier last month, they started serving breakfast with the addition of four new menu items. The new menu highlights the flavorful cuisine that Little Fin has to offer, and pairs perfectly with their freshly brewed coffee.



Their offerings include the following four items:

1) Peameal bacon sandwich "The Ultimate Brek-Fin Sandwich" ($7)
2) Smoked Salmon Bagel ($6)
3) Egg white, kale and goal cheese wrap "The (Egg) White Wrapper" ($5.50)
4) Crispy Chicken and Waffles Sandwich ($6.50)


The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the Dineen Building, and lies within the Financial District. Little Fin's new breakfast menu mainly caters to the fast lifestyle of the young professionals who work or reside in the area. The breakfast items are available for both eat-in, or take-out, and it's fairly priced. Breakfast is available every Monday to Friday from 8 am to 11 am.

Out of the four choices, I went for the Chicken & Waffles Sandwich ($6.50) - fried chicken, sweet waffles, maple-fancy sauce. It's a classic concoction with a slight twist. Instead of making the waffles crispy, Little Fin opted for soft waffles. This added a nice textural contrast between the crispy fried chicken and soft waffles. The well-spiced fried chicken is sandwiched between two waffles making it one of the best combinations for breakfast. I would definitely order this again for breakfast!

 

To celebrate the launch, Little Fin is currently holding an Instagram contest where one winner will win free breakfast every Monday for a month. The winner will be selected on April 8, 2016. All you have to do is post a photo with you and your breakfast, and use the hashtags #finfanbreakfast and #anyfinispossible. Check out the post on their Instagram here.


 Address: 4 Temperance St, Toronto, ON M5H 1Y4

Social Media:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/little.fin/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Little_Fin
Website: http://littlefin.ca/

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

Little Fin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Little Fin (Now Closed)

by on Wednesday, April 06, 2016
Opened in 2014, Little Fin is a casual seafood-centric eatery under the The Chase Hospitality Group umbrella. Earlier last month, they sta...
Roll Play Bar & Lounge started off as a board game cafe when they first opened, but has since re-branded itself into Toronto's first Asian cocktail bar. There was a change in ownership, and they decided to transition to a bar/lounge late last year. Roll Play Bar & Lounge now offers an extensive list of high-end Asian cocktails, wine & beer, while still offering some complimentary board games for customers to play. The location is slightly hidden, as it's located on the second floor of a building next to the BMV. You actually need to walk up to a long stairwell with pop art collages, which leads to the bar/lounge. According to their website, the space was created to be reminiscent of a bar in Hong Kong, and where customers can experience the Asian culture. 


The space felt modern and sleek with its exposed brick, dimly lit with a lot of black/red decor, wooden tables and chairs, and black booths. Great for larger groups or even an intimate date for two.


The food and dessert menu has been simplified to feature a small number of items. Unfortunately, we had dinner prior to our visit, so we didn't have room to eat so I can't comment on their food menu. However, Roll Play Bar & Lounge does have a great selection of 88 Asian-inspired cocktails that are named after well-known Asian movies. They have also brought forward a new concept where customers would roll dice to determine what drink they would get, and that's something they're pushing forward. I thought that it was a really interactive, and fun way to add to the atmosphere.


While we waited for our drinks, we decided to start a game of Jenga. Although, they did away with the board game cafe concept, they kept a few games that weren't too complicated, but still fun to play like Taboo, Jenga, Scrabble, Pictionary, and a few more. 



The Geisha ($14) - cucumber vodka, melon liqueur, grapefruit juice, Japanese green tea, and yuzu syrup.

 

 J opted for the Crouching Tiger ($12) - osmanthus infused soju, ginseng tea, osmanthus syrup, Asian pear, dried osmanthus.



The cocktails were well-priced for what you get, and tasted really good.

 For dessert, there was only one option that night, so we ended up getting the burnt marshmallow waffle and ice-cream ($14). The dessert consisted of four waffles topped with burnt marshmallow, drizzled with chocolate sauce, and served with vanilla ice cream and banana slices. 



I have never been here during their early board game phrase, so I can't really comment on how well they transitioned. However, it's a fun place to hang out, drink cocktails, and play games with friends, or even on dates. I thought that the ambiance was nice, and the music wasn't too loud so conversations can easily be made with one another.

Address: 10A Edward Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1C9

Social Media

Instagram: http://instagram.com/rollplaynow
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rollplaynow
Website: http://www.rollplaybar.com/

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

Roll Play Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
I had the pleasure of attending a menu tasting at MoRoCo Chocolat to try their afternoon tea service and brunch a couple of weeks ago. MoRoCo Chocolat is a restaurant and chocolate boutique nestled in the affluent Yorkville neighborhood. Established in 2008, the restaurant offers a French inspired menu for lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, desserts and afternoon tea. As you walk into MoRoCo Chocolat, you are greeted by the bright chocolate boutique filled with various pastries, and treats such as hand-crafted chocolate, and macarons; all available to-go.



The interior of the restaurant area of MoRoCo Chocolat is heavily influenced by French decor, as the space is truly reminiscent of a Paris cafe. The subtle yet sophisticated details of the dark walls with the crystal chandeliers and mirrors blend both modern and traditional decor. It's also furnished with purple detailing, and velvet couches. Although, the couch was comfortable, it was unfortunately way too low for my comfort.



Looking through the menu, MoRoCo Chocolat offers an extensive menu of contemporary French bistro fare including two Parisian café staples; the croque monsieur, and croque madame. I had plenty of those two French dishes while in Paris, so I opted for the afternoon tea service instead.

J decided to get start the afternoon off with a warm cup of cappuccino ($7) - served with a macaron. I think it's great that each cup of beverage comes with a macaron on the side.



Missing Paris - I got us a pot of Breakfast in Paris (tea) to share as well - our tea master's version of a traditional breakfast blend. Created with smooth summit level black teas from three top growing regions. A full body with depth and refined balance. The tea was perfectly light, and tasted great with both milk, and sugar.





Next up was my choice of afternoon tea, which I opted for the MoRoCo High Tea ($60), which comes with the following:

Choice of a selection of our tea or sipping chocolate
Choice of truffle mac & cheese or daily quiche
Fresh MoRoCo scones served with devonshire cream, lemon curd, and an assortment of seasonal preservers
A variety of lovely mini pastries

Like most traditional afternoon tea, it's served on a three-tier stand. The first course is from the bottom tier, which consists of four finger sandwiches. If my memory serves me correctly, the sandwiches were cream cheese with cucumber, smoked salmon, avocado/mushroom, and L.T (lettuce/tomato). My favorite was the smoked salmon, as the creamy cream cheese was the perfect complement to the smoked salmon.




The middle tier was fresh MoRoCo scones served with Devonshire cream, lemon curd, and an assortment of seasonal to be used as a spread. It came with two large scones; classic, and chocolate. I really enjoyed the classic scone with the Devonshire cream - completely heavenly. On the other end, the chocolate scone was a little overly sweet for me, but if you love chocolate, then this scone is for you.





Finally, the top tier consisted of sweets including a passionfruit macaron from their front boutique. It was a great end to a lovely afternoon tea with the mister.
 




The afternoon tea also gives you the option to choose one of two savory items available, and I ended up choosing the truffle mac & cheese. The dish consisted of macaroni topped with crispy layers of cheese, truffle, and buttery panko. This was a tasty spin on the comfort food that is mac & cheese. Lastly, there's also a full-size version of this dish on their brunch menu.


J opted out of the afternoon tea, and ordered the Classic Benny ($15) - poached eggs with roasted peameal bacon, topped with hollandaise sauce, and our finest mixed cheese, served on an English muffin, and a side order of sausage ($6) off the brunch menu.

 


 

If you're looking for a place to chat over some tea, and pastries, then look no further. As one of Toronto's leading afternoon tea establishments; MoRoCo Chocolat has that to offer, and more. The staff were knowledgeable, and attentive to details. I wasn't able to finish my mac & cheese, so our server quickly packed it up to go for me, which I appreciated. I was all sugared out that day, but I will definitely be back to MoRoCo Chocolat to get a box of their colorful macarons.


Social Media


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

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

MoRoCo Chocolat (Now Closed)

by on Wednesday, December 02, 2015
I had the pleasure of attending a menu tasting at MoRoCo Chocolat to try their afternoon tea service and brunch a couple of weeks ago. MoR...