Japango is a quaint establishment located conspicuously on Bay and Dundas. I have heard that the lunch hour can be quite busy sometimes so it's a good idea to make a reservation beforehand to ensure a seat at the 20-seater restaurant.


The modest space was simply decorated with wooden accents and boxes.


I opted for the Japango Deluxe Dinner which is a pre-fix course meal ($35.00). It comes with miso soup, green salad, tempura, sushi miso black cod and ice-cream.

 The green salad was topped off with a gingery sauce and sesame seeds; it had a tangy taste to it. The miso soup wasn't spectacular so nothing more can really be said about it.


It was refreshing that the tempura (shrimp and yam) was not too oily and that the batter was light.


Instead of the miso black cod, I substituted it with beef teriyaki. The
beef teriyaki was well-presented with a few stir-fry vegetables. Overall, the dish did not disappoint as the beef teriyaki was both tender and moistly marinated in the sweet sauce.


For the price point of the meal; I was surprised that the platter did not include a wider selection of nigri sushi. Rather the selection was quite traditional with tuna, salmon, sea bream, butter fish nigri sushi and 6 pieces of California roll. Despite the minor selection, I enjoyed the sushi as it was very fresh. The amount of rice balanced the ratio size of the fish and the rice was well-flavored.

Although our server was not the friendliest; she was relatively prompt to take away the empty plates and refilled our green tea. Furthermore, the price point may be higher than nearby competitors, but Japango do offer high-quality sushi.


Pictured: Green tea ice-cream


Pictured: Bluefin tuna belly (o-toro) sashimi ($23.00)


Pictured: The chicken (white) dinner ($18.00). It comes with soup, salad and rice.


RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 4.3/5
Service: 3.8/5
Price: $$$ || Online Menu

Address: 122 Elizabeth, Toronto, ON, M5G 1P5

Japango on Urbanspoon

Japango

by on Sunday, October 20, 2013
Japango is a quaint establishment located conspicuously on Bay and Dundas. I have heard that the lunch hour can be quite busy sometimes ...
Name: Chocolate Tales
Cuisine: Chocolate making and decorating workshops

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to try one of Chocolate Tales' workshops. I have a very sweet tooth so I was excited to attend my first chocolate making class. Chocolate Tales offer many different kinds of workshops (classic chocolate making, truffle making, decorating with chocolate, and tempering class) at various locations in the GTA. I attended the 90 minutes "Classic Chocolate Making Workshop" that took place at the St. Lawrence Market (93 Front Street East, Toronto, ON, M5E 1C3). This specific class allows you to make several chocolate molds, and truffles. As I entered the kitchen, I was handed a delicious cup of Belgian hot chocolate to drink prior to the workshop. The hot chocolate tasted really rich and it was fitting for the chilly weather. 


Our chocolate connoisseur for the afternoon was David Levy (Chocolate Dave); who is both the owner and one of the teachers at Chocolate Tales. He began the workshop by introducing the history of chocolate and gave some tips on how to make your own chocolate. Throughout the presentation; small plates of "Origin Chocolate" was making their rounds around the class, and we got to taste test them. 


After the taste testing; it was time to create and decorate some chocolates. Since Halloween is quickly approaching; everyone was given a Halloween themed chocolate mold. We were also provided with various items that can be used to decorate the chocolates; white chocolate, creamy milk chocolate, coconut shavings and cocoa powder. 


So to start, I was given a cup of milk chocolate to fill my Halloween themed chocolate molds. Afterwards, I was free to use any of the provided items that are listed above to decorate my chocolate pieces.


 The next activity was making our own truffles, which are traditionally made with chocolate ganache. Everyone was given their own ganache block to play around with and we had the choices of rolling them into balls or use the provided metal shape cutters. To decorate the truffles, we had a few options from coating it with milk chocolate, drizzle designs using white chocolate, or topped it off with either coconut shaving or cocoa powder.

 Chocolate Tip: It is best to coat the ganache balls in the milk chocolate first before decorating it so that the shaving would stick after it cools.

 

The final activity of the day was decorating our own lava cake. Honestly, the cake had a nice chocolaty aroma and I just wanted to take a bite out of it. However, I couldn't as there was still raw eggs in the batter. We were instructed by David to decorate the lava cake to our personal liking, and then they will cook it for us in the oven.


 I decided to topped my lava cake with some coconut shaving and swirled some milk chocolate onto it.

 

Everyone at the workshop is now waiting for their truffles to cool down and the lava cakes to cook.


At the end of the workshop, we were given packaging to take our decadent chocolate creations home. Everyone then went to the front of the class to get their cooled truffles and cooked lava cakes.

 

My chocolate truffles have finally cooled down. It looked quite messy but it was delicious nonetheless!!


 The chocolates are neatly wrapped up.


 It was an enjoyable afternoon and needless to say ... all of the chocolate was devoured by the next day. Chocolate Tales is a fun activity to do with friends, family members, significant others etc ... Additionally, it is also suitable for all ages and the company also offers private parties.


They are currently offering a 45% discount on all of their workshops, so don't forget to check out their website for more information. 

Thank you to Cocoa Kelly for the invitation, I had a great time.

------------------------------------------------

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

Chocolate Tales

by on Thursday, October 10, 2013
Name: Chocolate Tales Cuisine: Chocolate making and decorating workshops Website: http://www.chocolatetales.ca/ A couple of wee...
There aren't that many Thai restaurants uptown where I live so I usually have to trek downtown for it. A friend and I decided to meet up for dinner to catch up over some Thai food. She recommended Khao San Road as she ate there before, and liked it. The place is a small restaurant offering several authentic Thai dishes. It is named after a street in Bangkok, Thailand, that is now commonly known as a "backpacker ghetto".


We arrived a little after 6:00 pm and noticed that there was a small line already forming (they open for dinner at 5 pm). One of waitresses then took down the names of the people in lines, and names would be called once the tables are unoccupied. My friend and I were seated at a long communal table that was occupied by a party of 8 people (who were together). Honestly, I am so used to eating at establishments with communal tables that it doesn't ruin my dining experience (as some people do like privacy more than others).

My friend had a very heavy lunch at her workplace, so she ordered a drink and fresh rolls (po pia pak sod gai yaw) ($7.00) which were filled with homemade chicken sausage, lettuce, carrots, mint leaves, and Thai basil. It was served with tamarind sauce topped with peanuts and coriander. I tried a roll and thought that it was a light appetizer to start with. 


I opted for the Pad Thai (street style) ($14.00) which seems to be getting consistent high reviews online. The dish was delicious and I liked the combination of the savory flavor of both sweet and spicy. Additionally, the fresh noodles are stir-fried in tamarind sauce so there's no ketchup flavoring to the Pad Thai. However, I made the biggest mistake in getting "Thai Spicy" as I initially thought that I had a high tolerance of spice ... I was very wrong. I started to tear up badly but that's another story on its own.

Despite my lack of judgement over my tolerance of spice; I thought the service was great. Our waitress saw my "silent cry of pain" and asked if "I was doing okay?". After telling her that I was okay; she walked away only to return a few minutes later with a complimentary Thai iced tea. She was friendly to begin with but I really did appreciate this gesture on her part.

The Thai iced tea ($4.50) is an infusion of Thai spices and black tea mixed with condensed milk and served with ice. It is a very refreshing drink that compliments the spicy dishes.


RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 4.4/5
Service: 4.5/5
Overall Dining Experience: 4.4/5
Price: $$ || Online Menu

Address: 326 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON, M5V 1P7

Khao San Road on Urbanspoon

Khao San Road

by on Friday, October 04, 2013
There aren't that many Thai restaurants uptown where I live so I usually have to trek downtown for it. A friend and I decided to meet ...
Although not all beauty products have listed expiry dates on the packaging; they do have a specific shelf life.



Blush and Face Powder: Both of these beauty products can last up to 2 years when stored in a dark and dry place.

Concealer (liquid): It is highly recommended that you throw it out after 1 year.

Concealer (powder and stick): Can last up to 2 years.

Eyeliner: Can last up to 2 years.

Eyeshadow (powder): It can last up to 2 years. However, throw it out when it gets really flaky or dry.

Foundation (liquid): Throw it out after 1 year. Try to keep your foundation bottles out of the sunlight.

Lipgloss: If you notice that your lip gloss has become extra sticky; it's time to throw it out. Estimated shelf life is about 1 year.

Mascara: Throw it after 3 months as it can get clumpy.

Nail Polishes: It really depends on the brand and quality but it can last between 1-2 years. Throw it out if you notice that the lacquer is drying up and clumpy.

Perfume: Store your perfume bottles in a cool and dark place if you want the scent to last longer. It can last up to 5-7 years if stored properly.

[Beauty] Cosmetics Shelf-Life

by on Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Although not all beauty products have listed expiry dates on the packaging; they do have a specific shelf life. Blush and Face Powder: ...

The opening of the Momofuku Milk Bar was very much hyped this summer. It's a popular bakery spot in New York City, and the baked goods are now available for consumptions in Toronto. I finally got a chance to stop by to get their infamous "crack pie" and cookies this week, and I am completely sold on it.


Rather than a full-on bakery, the baked goods are stored in a refrigerated 12.5 x 6 foot cube on the second floor of the Momofuku building. Inside you will find a small selection of their best sellers from NYC which include cookies (blueberry & cream, compost cookie,
corn, and cornflake marshmallow), crack pie (slice or whole) and b-day truffles. Additionally, there are also baking mixes, cookbooks, pins and t shirts available for purchases as well.


There are various pink and metal bins that carry prepackaged crack pie and cookies on
the left side of the cube (when walking in) and merchandises are on the right.


After looking around, I decided to get the corn cookie ($2.00), compost cookie ($2.00) and a slice of crack pie ($6.00). If you love the crack pie, then there's an 10-inch crack pie for $48.00. 

 

The two cookies have chewy and soft textures which I really liked. 

The corn cookie contains sugar, butter, unbleached wheat flour, corn flour, corn powder, and eggs. 

The compost cookie contains a mixture of various ingredients including butter, unbleached wheat flour, sugar, brown sugar, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, graham crumbs, potato chips, eggs, milk powder, cream, and coffee grounds ... hence its appropriately titled name. 

 

Looking at the package, the main ingredients used to make the crack pies are butter, sugar, brown sugar, cream, egg yolks, oat and wheat flour. So based on the ingredients only, I knew that it'd be really sweet which I didn't mind as I have a huge sweet tooth.

 The sweet and buttery confection that is the "crack pie" was everything that I had hoped for and more. The pastry itself was chilled, sweet, and had a nice gooey texture that I enjoyed. The toasted crust provided a nice crunch which went well with the soft filling.

RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 4.4/5
Service: N/A
Overall Dining Experience: N/A
Price: $$$ || Online Menu

Address: 190 University Ave (second floor), Toronto, ON, M5H 0A3

Momofuku Milk Bar on Urbanspoon

Momofuku Milk Bar

by on Thursday, September 12, 2013
The opening of the Momofuku Milk Bar was very much hyped this summer. It's a popular bakery spot in New York City, and the ba...