Showing posts with label Toronto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toronto. Show all posts
Happy Lemon is a China-based tea chain that has quickly expanded globally since its opening. The company was founded in 2006. and has branches in over 100 different cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Taipei, Hong Kong, USA and Canada. They are also the freshly handmade bubble tea franchise chain shop floated on the stock exchange market in December 2014.


 I was introduced to the brand early last year at an Instagram meet, and I believe they have opened a few more locations since then. The mascot of Happy Lemon is an easily recognizable one ... literally a large anthropomorphic happy lemon.


Their menu includes a range of drinks such as milk tea, yakult, smoothies, but their most popular one is their rock salted cheese series. The salted cheese series is my favorite, and it's described as "creamy and enriched cheese mixed with rock salt." I have been to Happy Lemon on a few occasions, and most of the time I get the Green Tea with Salted Cheese, which I highly recommend to try.


Earlier last week, I also attended a Yelp Elite Event at the new Vaughan Happy Lemon location. The location was huge and super vibrant in colors (mainly yellow). The space is adorned with several decals showcasing the drinks and the brand. Overall, the experience was nice as two members were on hand that afternoon and the process to redeem the free drink went rather smoothly. Lots of drinks to choose from the menu!

Like many BBT shops, the routine to order is pretty simple:

1) Choose your drink
2) Choose size
3) Choose hot or cold
4) Choose topping
5) Choose sweetness and ice level 

Milk Tea with Pearl Sago and Puff Cream 


Mango Matcha Latte



FLASH GIVEAWAY

I would love for you guys to try the drinks. Therefore, I have teamed up with Happy Lemon to provide 3 FREE drink vouchers (medium drink) to TWO (2) WINNERS. Enter below to win :) The two winners will be contacted on Thursday (June 21) morning, and vouchers will be mailed out ASAP with Fedex Express (next morning delivery).

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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



[FLASH Giveaway] Happy Lemon Canada

by on Monday, June 18, 2018
Happy Lemon  is a China-based tea chain that has quickly expanded globally since its opening. The company was founded in 2006. and has bran...
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...
No Yolks were created in 1976, and is the world’s first no-cholesterol noodle. The noodles contain no sodium, low in fat, and best of all... no cholesterol. No Yolks are made with Durum wheat semolina, corn flour and egg whites. It is a smarter alternative to regular egg noodles, and very versatile. There are plenty of different recipes that you can make with their noodles.


No Yolks are the #1 selling noodle in Canada, and available in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit every recipe including: Extra Broad, Broad, Medium, Fine and Dumpling. Over the weekend, we made seafood pasta using a package of Extra Broad Noodles, and it was enough for two people. The pasta is 1/2" wide, and make a great alternative in dishes that ordinarily would call for pappardelle or fettuccine.



A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending an exclusive culinary speed dating event at the CN Tower. The event features CN Tower Executive Chef John Morris, and 10 up-and-coming chefs from George Brown Chef School. Media guests and bloggers had the opportunity to sample each chefs’ creations, rate the dishes, and the three top scorers took home a $2,000 scholarship prize for courses at George Brown Chef School, courtesy of event sponsor No Yolks® noodles.

The event commenced with a cooking demo of a romantic Valentine’s Day dish by CN Tower Executive Chef John Morris. He unveiled practical cooking tips for preparing easy, delicious meals in under 30 minutes.

 
 
 

 Chef Akhil Hajare - Tomato and Maple Glazed Pasta


 Chef Kshitiz Sethi - Royal Rose Pudding



  Chef Janikka Murray - Mushroom and Bacon Stroganoff


Chef Stephan Kopatch - Pan Seared Lamb Chops with Port Wild Mushroom Sauce


 Chef Stephen Rooke - Egg Noodle Sashimi Pizza


 Chef Will Thorne-Morris - Fine Noodle Fideo


 Chef Walker Freeman - Wine Noodles with Pesto, Pancetta, Mascarpone, and Parmesan Crisp


 Chef Meshal Mustafa - Alfredo Fritter with Garlic Chicken


 Chef Tamara Saslove - Waffle Kugel with Caramelized Onion & Apple


Chef Lucas Hum - Eggless Bacon Carbonara


 Good luck!

Giveaway Time

Enter to win TWO (2) cases ($60 worth) of No Yolks. Contest is open to all Canadian residents (excluding Quebec), and will end on 02/20/2018 (Tuesday).
There are no shortage of restaurants in Toronto, as the city offers an impressive range of international foods without needing to travel abroad. You don't have to travel far to have a taste of a Sunday Roast dinner, as you can now find it at Weslodge. Situated in the heart of King Street West is Weslodge, a modern saloon-inspired restaurant by Ink Entertainment. Weslodge is pretty distinguishable by its illuminated, slab-lettered marquee lights and large yellow doors. Once inside, you are welcomed into a large space furnished with cutting-edge design and decor.

I have been to the restaurant on two occasions for dinner, and a couple of weeks ago had the pleasure of trying their Sunday Roast Dinner. What is Sunday Roast? It is a popular traditional British meal that is typically served on Sunday, and typically shared with families and friends. The dinner concept originated from England, but is also popular in many parts of Ireland as well. 


The restaurant prides itself on their extensive selection of expertly mixed classic drinks, which I had the chance to try. My cocktail was mixed by one of the mixologists at the bar, and it was sweet to my liking.




Weslodge introduced their version of the Sunday Roast Dinner earlier this past December, and it's now available every Sunday from 3 pm to close. The dinner is $35 per person, and features roast meat (beef or lamb) served with the following accompaniments; Yorkshire pudding, potatoes, seasonal vegetables, a jug of gravy, and choice of dessert. 


I really enjoyed the Potatoes, as they were golden, crispy, and didn't taste oily to me. 


The meal also came with a dish of Seasonal Vegetables, which change often depending on the season. Personally, I found the vegetables too salty for my liking, so I didn't touch much of it.  


Yorkshire Pudding is an English food made from batter, and is usually part of the traditional Sunday roast. I have never had such a huge Yorkshire Pudding before, and as a carbs lover ... I certainly welcome its size.


For my meat option, I opted for the Roast Beef, which did not disappoint. The roast was cooked to pink, so it was medium on the outside, while being fairly rare on the inside. I loved it! It was tender, perfectly cooked, and full of flavor. Although the gravy was very good, I didn't need to drown my meat with it.  


Another meat option is the Roast Lamb, which J got. He liked it too! 


For dessert, I got their Sticky Toffee Pudding - vanilla ice cream, which is also available on their regular dessert menu. It was a great ending to a wonderful meal.


Apple Crumble Pie - cinnamon ice cream 





Overall, the Sunday Roast at Weslodge was an enjoyable dinner. The service was attentive, friendly, and non-pretentious. Mondays are usually the worst, so the Sunday Roast Dinner at Weslodge is the perfect way to make your weekend feel a little longer. 


Address: 480 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1L7

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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.

Weslodge - Sunday Roast Dinner

by on Friday, January 12, 2018
There are no shortage of restaurants in Toronto, as the city offers an impressive range of international foods without needing to travel ab...
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 ...