Showing posts with label Price: $$. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Price: $$. 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 ...
I didn't know Lobster Suppers existed until my first visit to the island back in 2016. New Glasgow Lobster Suppers opened its doors in 1958, and has since become a popular tourist destination in New Glasgow, PEI. Upon arrival, you are asked to decide your entree & purchase your meal order before being seated. Gratuities are not included in the price of your meal, so if you're pleased with the meal and service, tip your server (in cash) before leaving. 

We started off the meal with a basket of homemade rolls and bread. The bread was to my liking - super fluffy. The salad on the other hand has been a hit/miss. 

All meals are served to you at your table and include unlimited appetizers, freshly steamed Cultivated Island Blue Mussels, non-alcoholic beverages and desserts. Appetizers available are salad sampler plate, coleslaw, PEI potato salad, garden salad, seafood chowder and tomato basil soup. 

Included in the meal is a bucket of Steamed Island Blue Mussels, which is completely refillable. Most restaurants charge $12+ for a single bucket of mussels, so this was a great deal to me. We finished 2 buckets. 

We both opted for the lobster entree, I got 1 pound ($36.95) and J got 1.5 pounds ($43.95). The lobster wasn't anything special, as it was just steamed with a side of melted butter. I appreciated the lobster being pre-cracked, so it made eating it much easier. 

We had our first meal here in 2016.

Ended the night off with the Coconut Cream Pie and a cup of coffee. 

J got the Pumpkin Pie (seasonal) with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Given the high prices of eating out in Charlottetown, I'd say that the price paid here (per person) was pretty good in value. Some people would probably group this place as a "tourist trap", which I can understand why as it's now on most lists of top things to do in PEI. However, it's a good deal for what you get. 

For our overnight, we had the pleasure of staying at The Waddell in downtown Port Hope, ON. The hotel sits on the banks of the Ganaraska River in heritage-designated downtown area of the city. The Waddell is conveniently located a couple of minutes walk away from the Capitol Theatre, and overlook the Ganaraska River. The bedroom features a Queen sized bed, air conditioning, private bathrooms, complimentary high-speed internet, and in-room Keurig coffee.

We checked into the hotel around 8:30 pm, and luckily we did it in the nick of time. Since it's a smaller hotel with no 24 hours reception desk, they do lock the doors at 9:45 pm. We took the elevator to the second floor, and was greeted with a cozy hotel room. The hotel was beautifully restored and each room features custom-built cherry or mahogany furnishings, and period features such as high ceilings and large windows.

It's a boutique hotel, so the design has a very small-town charm to it.

The complimentary amenities were of good quality and biodegradable.

On the main floor is Trattoria Gusto, where they offer Italian cuisine in a beautiful historic setting. In the morning, they do offer breakfast for hotel guests (complimentary with some rooms). We actually dined at Trattoria Gusto back in 2012, but this was the first time we stayed overnight. They don't serve breakfasts to the public, but it's open for brunch, lunch and dinner.

We both opted for the Gusto Breakfast ($11.50), which came with 2 eggs (any style), breakfast potatoes with roasted caponata, sausage or bacon, and toast.

Overall, the breakfast was good except the bacon. It was incredibly hard and tastes crisper than chips. 

I loved how central The Waddell Hotel is to downtown Port Hope. We were able to walk to many of our destinations from the hotel, and got a great view of The Salmon Migration flowing in the Ganaraska River. 

Address: 1 Walton St, Port Hope, ON, L1A 1M8

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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.

[Hotels & Resorts] The Waddell Hotel

by on Wednesday, October 03, 2018
For our overnight, we had the pleasure of staying at  The Waddell  in downtown Port Hope, ON. The hotel sits on the banks of the Ganaraska ...
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
On the outskirts of Toronto lies a stunning agricultural building designed by Fumihiko Maki. The Aga Khan Museum opened its door in 2014, and features historical artifacts from Muslim ancient civilizations. To the right of the entrance of the museum is Diwan; a beautifully-designed restaurant headed by celebrity chef, Mark McEwan. We were invited to return to taste their new summer menu inspired by tempting flavors from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, North Africa, and Turkey. Diwan is open for lunch from Tuesday to Sunday from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.

Diwan's decor evokes the luxury of a 19th century private Syrian home, and its menu draws inspiration from Middle Eastern cuisine. Additionally, the 65-seat restaurant is filled with natural lighting, giving it a bright, contemporary and modern ambiance, allowing guests a great view of the adjacent Ismaili Centre. Chef McEwan and his team have created a menu with their take on Pan-Islamic cuisine that includes starters like advice spiced calamari and halloumi salad, and entrees like lamb kofta meatballs, and harissa glazed salmon.

We started off the summer menu tasting with some mocktails from their wide range of drink options. We enjoyed it on the patio, which is now open for lunch. The patio has an incredible view of the beautifully landscaped Aga Khan Park designed by landscape architect, Vladimir Djurovic.


Advieh Spiced Calamari ($14) - with Aleppo Aioli 

Lamb Kofta ($14) - lamb meatballs, corn, and coconut curry with naan 

Photo Credit: Fred.BK

Grilled Octopus with Chickpea Salad
 ($17) - with Moroccan olives, stewed sweet peppers, and Aleppo aioli

Chicken Jalfrezi ($20) - tomato-based curry studded with peppers and onion, basmati rice, cashews, yogurt, and naan 

Borani-E-Bademjan ($11) - yogurt and eggplant dip in filo shell, onion, garlic, tumeric, cumin, dill, mint, lemon

My two favorite dishes from Diwan were the Advieh Spiced Calamari and Chicken Jalfrezi. The calamari was lightly coated in batter and well-spiced. The poutine on the other hand was full of flavors as the tomato-based curry was fragrant.

The Aga Khan Museum houses the Aga Khan family collection of roughly 1,000 rare objects and paintings from the 8th to the 20th century. Occasionally, they do have some temporary exhibitions that showcase arts from Muslim lands. After the tasting, we had the opportunity to tour the Aga Khan Museum's temporary exhibit, Syrian Symphony: New Compositions in Sight and Sound. It's on display until August 13, 2017, and it offers an immersive and interactive response from the artists to the current situation in Syria. I was completely immersed in the music and it provided a lot of insights into the conflict of the Syrian people. I highly recommend making a visit before it's gone. 

Photo Credit: Janey (foodrealm)

Photo Credit: Janey (foodrealm)

Photo Credit: Janey (foodrealm)

Photo Credit: Janey (foodrealm)

Photo Credit: Janey (foodrealm)

Photo Credit: Janey (foodrealm)

Address: 77 Wynford Dr, Toronto, ON M3C 1K1


Monday: Closed
(except holiday Mondays)
Tuesday: 10 am–6 pm
Wednesday: 10 am–8 pm
Thursday–Sunday: 10 am–6 pm


General Admission*
Friends: Free
Adults: $20
Seniors (65+): $15
Students:* $12

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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.

Summer Menu Tasting at Diwan

by on Friday, July 28, 2017
On the outskirts of Toronto lies a stunning agricultural building designed by Fumihiko Maki. The  Aga Khan Museum  opened its door in 2014,...