The Big Fat Greek Buffet touts itself as being "one of the first authentic Greek buffet restaurants to open in the GTA". I was here a couple of weeks ago for lunch with my family, as they haven't had Greek in a while. The price for the weekend lunch was a little steep at $15.95; given its limited selection. However, to play Devil's Advocate, the price isn't too bad as you get to taste a bit of everything. Considering the fact that most Greek platters are on average between $9 to $15 each of Greek restaurants.

The buffet stations are placed in the middle of the restaurant, and the dining area is up a few steps from it. I thought that their salad station had a good selection of mixed greens along with various toppings and salad dressings. For those who don't like salad, there were also macaroni, potato and a small seafood medley. For the mains, there wasn't as much meat as I'd have hope for lunch, but it was a decent selection. At least they had both chicken souvlaki and pork souvlaki covered, and also stewed chicken and stewed beef. The Big Fat Greek Buffet also offers some Greek dishes such as moussaka, pastitsio, beeftekia, loukanika. This is a buffet after all so you can't expect amazing quality, but for what it is; I thought that the food was good for what you get.

 All of the food items are made fresh in-house daily, and the souvlaki sticks were grilled throughout the day. You are allowed to take two stick at a time, but unfortunately there weren't that many on the hot plate to begin with. The Big Fat Greek Buffet is open daily for both lunch and dinner, and their prices are as followed:

Monday to Friday lunch ($13.95)
Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays lunch  ($15.95)
Dinner ($19.95 everyday)


Address: 5165 Dixie Road  Mississauga, ON L4W 4G1

The Big Fat Greek Buffet on Urbanspoon

The Big Fat Greek Buffet

by on Wednesday, September 03, 2014
The Big Fat Greek Buffet touts itself as being "one of the first authentic Greek buffet restaurants to open in the GTA". I was he...

Original Visit: September 18, 2013

Bymark is a fine-dining restaurant helm by the well-known chef Mark McEwan. It's located in the Financial District in downtown Toronto, so it's rather accessible by car and TTC. It was a rather spontaneous dinner as we didn't know what restaurant to go to until the last minute, hence the later than usual dinner time.


 The four of us (including his parents) were given the menu to peruse.


 We were offered complimentary toasted bread with butter while we wait for our food. The server went around with a basket of four different kinds of bread (I forgot the names).



 Being the only one at the table who loves oysters with every meal; my significant other got the oysters (4 got $15.40). It was market price so if you get oysters; the prices will fluctuate depending on the seasons.


 As I read through the starters; the lobster poutine definitely caught my eye. I decided to start with the
lobster poutine [crisp frites & classic bearnaise] ($27). The dish arrived, and it was a lobster shell containing golden cut fries and topped with warm classic bearnaise sauce. I was pleasantly surprised that the shell contained a good chunk of white lobster meat, and it was very filling.The bite-sized lobster chunks tasted delicious with the rich tasting sauce. Additionally, the fries were crispy and weren't overly oily.


 As for my main course, I opted for their surf and turf ($44). The dish arrived beautifully presented on a white plate and decorative with garnishes and cooked vegetables.


 The scallops ($38) dish.


My significant other decided on getting the U.S.D.A. 16 oz. Rib eye ($50). According to their menu, all of their rib eye steaks "are dry aged eight weeks." 


Overall, I had a lovely dinner at Bymark, and everyone else did too. I thought that our server was knowledgeable, and attentive despite having to wait about 4-5 other tables around us. The atmosphere is perfect for family dinners, casual business diners, and special anniversaries as well.


RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 4.3/5
Service: 4.3/5
Overall Dining Experience: 4.3/5
Price: $$$$

Address: 66 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5K 1M6

Bymark on Urbanspoon

Bymark

by on Sunday, August 24, 2014
Original Visit: September 18, 2013 Bymark is a fine-dining restaurant helm by the well-known chef Mark McEwan. It'...
Tab is a recent Toronto startup that aims to make dining out seamlessly easy. The free app has been out for a couple of months now, and can be downloaded in both the App Store and Google Play. Tab has partnered up with several restaurants where customers can pay their bills with the Tab app; eliminating the use of a physical credit card, or cash.
 
Tab currently has a roster of more than 20+ restaurants participating with this form of payment. Some restaurants that are accepting Tab are The Chase, Valdez, Thompson Diner, The Happy Hooker, Gusto 101, Copacabana Brazilian Adelaide, SPiN Toronto, and many more. The complete list of participating restaurants is here.


It's very easy to pay with Tab, and it can be done in 3 steps.

1) Check-in (create or join a tab).
2) Tell your server ("I am paying with Tab").
3) Enjoy your meal and pay with Tab at the end of the meal.

The app is very easy to use once you set up a profile (don't forget to add a picture of yourself and credit card information). Have the app opened when you're dining at one of the participating restaurants, and the location finder will automatically geolocate the restaurant on the app. Tab is pretty much a mobile wallet that not only allows you to pay/tip using your phone, but you can also split the bill amongst your friends (granted that they use Tab as well).


I was invited to the Leave Your Wallet at Home Wednesdays last week by Tab; held at the Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse. Each Wednesday for the month of August, both Tab and Uber, are featuring one restaurant where people can dine at. The deal is great as users get $20 off their bill if they use Tab to pay (using promo LeftMyWallet), and 20% off their Uber ride (using promo code: NOWALLETWED). This Wednesday (Aug 20); the event is being held at Spin and then Cafe Bar Pasta on August 27.

Last week Wednesday, I arrived at Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse around 7:30 pm for dinner, and was promptly shown to my seat. I am currently working on my full-review of Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse, which will be up soon.

Our server arrived at our table, and we told her that we were paying with Tab that night. She brought out the Tab-provided iPad and found our profiles on Copacabana's list of diners, and started our Tab. This was my first time trying out the app, but I thought that the app's interface was very sleekly designed, and it wasn't hard to use. Nearby restaurants are displayed clearly (with their address, how far they are from your current location) when you have your location settings on.


I found that by using Tab; it did provide a more personalized experience. Our server's photo and name were clearly displayed in the app, and our names were on it too. Depending on the customer service provided; you can also customize the tip by going into Payment => Default Tip to enter the tip percentage.



After we finished our meal, we checked out and paid with Tab. My receipt was emailed to me right away with the breakdown of the cost (including price of meal, tax, tip, and credits). The price at Copacabana was set, so it was easy to check the breakdown of the bill. However, I am not sure if the Tab bill will provide the breakdowns of every item ordered at other establishments with individual prices. However, the overall process of paying was quick, and we left soon after with no problems. Thanks to both Tab and Uber for hosting a fun event!

Bonuses:

New to Uber? Click here and get $20 off your first ride by using promo code NOWALLETWED.

 $10 Off Tab? Use my promo code TABLE0BB to get $10 off your first Tab meal.


Download: App Store
Download: Googleplay
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tabpayments 
Instagram: http://instagram.com/tabpayments/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tabpayments


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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was completely subsidized by Tab. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.
I met up with a friend for dinner at Korean Grill House up in Richmond Hill for dinner. Along the way, I was telling him about a dessert place called Sweet Note Dessert that I wanted to check out. We were surprised to see that Sweet Note Desserts was in the same Commerce Gate plaza as KBBQ. So we decided to head there after dinner at Korean Grill House for some desserts.

Sweet Note Desserts is a small dessert establishment offering milk bottle desserts, meringue melty, cupcakes, fresh butter cookies, and more. It's located in a rather busy plaza with a ton of restaurants and tea shops, so parking on the weekend might be a little difficult. A little after 8:30 pm, we entered the bright and cute establishment, and were greeted by the server. She was friendly, and told her that the soufflés take about 30 minutes to prepare. We per-ordered two and paid, and left our cellphone so she could call one of us when it was finished.


A majority of customers that Friday afternoon got their packaged desserts to go. However, there is a small sit-down dessert area where customers can enjoy their desserts and chat. Their sit-in dessert menu is rather limited but these desserts are freshly made upon order (soufflés and crème brûlée). I have a major sweet tooth so even on a full stomach of KBBQ meats; I still wanted to try out the soufflé.

Sweet Note Desserts offers two kinds of fresh soufflé; vanilla or chocolate. Additionally, you have a choice of one sauce from the following list: chocolate, raspberry, mango, strawberry, or guava sauces. Each order of soufflé is $8.75, which to me is a complete steal.


My friend got the vanilla soufflé + sauce ($8.75) - mango sauce. 


I opted for the chocolate soufflé + sauce ($8.75) - strawberry sauce. DISCLAIMER: mine got deflated because I was too busy trying to take a decent picture of my friend's item -___-" So it wasn't because the dessert was poorly made; I just took a little bit longer than I expected. I enjoyed the soufflé as it was airy, and fluffy. Before mine was deflated; it looked visually appealing and it was quite large. I didn't think it was overly sweet, but I liked the balance of sweet and sour that the sauce itself added to the flavor.






You can follow me on my personal Instagram at http://instagram.com/miso___sw33t =)

Address: Unit 61-63 505 Hwy 7 East Markham, ON L3T7V6

Sweet Note Desserts on Urbanspoon

Sweet Note Desserts

by on Saturday, August 16, 2014
I met up with a friend for dinner at Korean Grill House up in Richmond Hill for dinner. Along the way, I was telling him about a dessert ...
The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo is one of the premier luxury hotels located in the heart of Roppongi. One of the things on my itinerary was to experience afternoon tea in Tokyo, and the menu from the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo caught my eyes. The reservation was made a month in advanced, and the hotel clerk took her time with me (language barriers) so that was appreciated. We had an extremely day ahead of us, and booked the afternoon tea for the 2 pm time slot. The rest of the time included exploring Harajuku, Sumida Aquarium, and shopping at the Tokyo Skytree Solamachi (popular shopping mall in Tokyo).

It's located in a rather affluent area of Roppongi (Tokyo Midtown), but away from the bustling area of tourists. The street leading up to the hotel was relatively quiet with a few more hotels within the vicinity. Afternoon tea takes place at the Lobby Lounge & Bar located on the 45th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo. We were seated in the middle of the establishment looking outwards to the large windows filled with natural light. There was a spectacular view of Tokyo.

The wait staffs were all refined, polite and extremely helpful. My cup of tea was never empty, and they often came by to check up on us. Japan doesn't have a strong tipping culture, so they refused to accept additional tips. Ritz-Carlton Tokyo does have a mandatory 13% service charge but that's clearly stated on the bill and menu. 

Sign that points to the steps of the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo.
The lobby with the elevator to the 45th floor.
Lobby Lounge & Bar.


In terms of prices; afternoon tea in Tokyo seems so much more expensive compared to the places in Toronto. The afternoon teas available in Toronto are no more than $50 per person. However, this was our first time in Japan, so we wanted to make the best of it. I opted for the Afternoon Holiday Tea (¥5,000) and he got the more expensive option; Ritz-Carlton Afternoon Tea (¥7,500). The second one had more delicacies such as foie grias terrine and caviar which I got to try as well.

There was a bit of a wait but our 2 three-tiered metal stands finally arrived with its elegantly presented items.








Afternoon Holiday Tea (¥5,000) --- $54 CAD

Pate de Champagne, champagne jelly
Crab Charlotte
Turkey sandwich, cinnamon honey flavor
Jambon, cream cheese in crepe
Goat cheese, chestnut crostini

Strawberry yoghurt verrine
Paris-brest
Macaroon
Truffle
Caramel orange chocolate
X-mas cookie

Lemon & raisin scone with clotted cream

Close ups of some of the items from the Afternoon Holiday Tea.

The Ritz-Carlton Afternoon Tea (¥7,500) --- $82 CAD

Foie gras terrine, truffle coulis
Salmon mousse, smoked salmon
Smoked scallop and tuna tartar, sour cream
Chicken terrine, mushroom, dried tomato
Crab, avocado, caviar
Prosciutto ham, prosciutto mousse

Strawberry yoghurt verrine
Paris-brest
Macaroon
Truffle
Caramel orange chocolate
Christmas cookie
Lemon & raisin scone with clotted cream