Showing posts with label Toronto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toronto. Show all posts
 Scaramouche is located on the corner of an unassuming apartment building on Benvenuto Place. Surprisingly, when you enter the restaurant, you will be greeted with a lovely view of the skyline, so booking a seat at a window table is highly recommended. We have been here twice a couple of years back and decided to return for mine and J's 10th-anniversary last year (July 2018) for nostalgia sake.


 The restaurant opened up in 1981 and has since become one of Toronto's top restaurants for business dinners and special occasions. Scaramouche's menu offers a fusion of traditional and modern culinary styles combining both French and Canadian cuisine. In doing so, they have become a culinary institution who has been celebrated by customers and critics for their commitment to making each dining experience a memorable one. They have received several recognitions in the media. Scaramouche placed #13 in the Toronto Life's 100 Best Restaurants and #36 on Canada's 100 Best last year.



We started off with Bread with Stirling Creamery Butter with Sea Salt for Two ($3). I was surprised that they charge for bread, as I have never been a restaurant (casual or high-end) that did that. However, they claimed on the menu that the small charge for bread will help us to reduce significant waste and half the proceeds will be donated to Community Food Centres Canada. 


Next appetizer was an order of 9 Oysters ($45) - served on the half shell with red wine mignonette, horseradish, and lemon. It's market-priced, so prices will vary accordingly.


J got an order of Tomato Soup ($17) as his appetizer. 


We also got another appetizer to share, the Hand-Made Ravioli ($22) - Cauliflower filling, double smoked bacon, radicchio, parsley and preserved lemon, and brown butter jus


For my main, I opted for the Grilled Filet Mignon ($50), which was an Ontario AAA beef. The dish consists of mushrooms, sliced shallot, haricot vert, and crispy pressed potatoes tossed in parsley garlic butter, and Bordelaise sauce. The steak was cooked to perfection and I loved the sauce.  


I also got a side order of Parmesan Fries($8) to go with my steak.


 Scaramouche Restaurant does offer specials of the day, so J ended up getting the Salmon Special ($38) as his main course.


Pineapple Juice ($8)


Scaramouche is very well-known for their Coconut Cream Pie ($14) - coconut custard, chantilly cream, white chocolate shavings, and dark chocolate sauce. It's their signature dessert, so I definitely had to get it. It was still as good as I remembered it. 


After dessert, I gifted J with two tickets to The King & I at Mirvish Princess of Wales for the upcoming weekend show. I am not a huge fan of musicals, but he is so I knew that he wanted to watch it.


The macarons were from Delysses! Their old location on King Street is now closed, but they do supply other vendors with their macarons and pastries.




Scaramouche Restaurant

by on Friday, July 19, 2019
  Scaramouche is located on the corner of an unassuming apartment building on Benvenuto Place. Surprisingly, when you enter the restaurant...
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 ...
On April 7th, 2019, I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Toronto Bridal Brunch. It was every bit as dreamy as I pictured. As I walked through the flower-adorned entrance by Opening Night Flowers, captivation of my attention towards the glamour décor was met hand in hand with the elegant space.



Intended as a semi-intimate gathering for brides-to-be, the seated brunch was held at the luxurious Globe and Mail Centre and was the center wedding inspirations that day for every guest attending. An impressive line-up of elect vendors was present, and the event was chock full of wedding inspirations, from the ornate centerpieces, wedding services, wedding gowns showcase to the decadent sweets display.



We arrived at the registration table on the 16th floor, and the check-in experience went smoothly. Guests were asked to provide a cell phone number, and they would receive a text when their brunch table was ready. The main event was a full-service brunch presented by Presidential Gourmet, which was nothing short of being visually elegant and tasty.


The Globe and Mail Centre was a perfect fit for this event as it’s one of the very few venues in Toronto offering such a splendor panoramic city and lake views from the top floors. Combining elegance with contemporary sophistication, the soft light of the sun, and the beautiful tiled wooden floors was nothing short of spectacular, matched by its floor-to-ceiling windows and dazzling displays. In this case, the subtle touches of the decor and place settings by Detailz Couture Event Rentals have branded the event into a Parisian café sensation with the gram in mind – photo friendly! It was the perfect backdrop for a morning brunch.

There are many elements that come into play when planning the perfect wedding including food, venue, hair and make-up, photography and more. The Toronto Bridal Brunch was pretty much a one-stop-shop for brides-to-be and their bridal parties. This event was a stark contrast to the large bridal shows, as guests here were able to get more of a hands-on and personal experience from vendors and panel guests. It was pretty much a curated vendor marketplace.

 Upon entering the venue, guests were treated to complimentary mimosas. The mimosa bar by Juice Concepts definitely kept guests satisfied until their timed brunch seating.

Now onto the actual brunch at the Marie BrunchCafé. Named after one of history's most notable fashionistas, Marie Antoinette, the full-service brunch cafe by Presidential Gourmet offered plenty of treats for guests. We were promptly seated at 11 am, and on the table was a small selection of mini Parisian breakfast pastries for us to enjoy. My favorite was the buttery croissant!


Although the brunch entree menu only consisted of four options, Presidential Gourmet definitely showcased their culinary talents with a rather diverse menu. The options included Egg Benedict a la Marie, Brûlée Souffle Pancakes, Vegan Sweet Potato Waffle, and Modern Nicoise. My sweet tooth holds no bound, so I opted for the Brûlée Souffle Pancakes. Two pancakes came covered in a caramelized sugar crust, flambé bourbon cherries and topped off with Madagascar Vanilla Chantilly cream. It was light and fluffy, and rather reminiscent of the Japanese pancakes that have been popularized in Toronto.



 My guest opted for the classic Eggs Benedict a la Marie. A plate of soft poached eggs, smoked duck bacon, toasted brioche, blood orange hollandaise, frisee salad, and radishes.


After brunch, guests made their way to the elaborate desserts display from The Lenotre Patisserie Bar, where they can choose up to 2 desserts. It was an incredibly hard decision, as it all looked so decadent and aesthetically pleasing. I got the Strawberry Rose Beignet and Macaron.





After the brunch, we wandered through the venue to take a look at the vendors. There were a variety of wedding vendors stationed throughout the venue to help people with their wedding planning or just get inspirations. There was something for everyone like wedding makeup services by alistbeauty, interior design ideas by Art of Celebrations, and flower bar services by Willow and Stems.






Additionally, ample staffing provided by DGS Staffing Agency helped ensure that food and drinks were always well within arm’s reach. They did a great job of looking after the guests.

There was also a fashion show featuring gorgeous gowns by Valencienne and Sash & Bustle. Throughout the morning, there were a variety of things happening on the Weddingbells Conversation stage where panel discussions with a star lineup of wedding experts took place. Guests got the opportunity to listen and ask industry leaders questions about wedding planning and got insider tips and tricks.

A tremendous amount of work was poured to produce the event, and it clearly showed. The Toronto Bridal Brunch was truly filled with fantastic food, amazing music, and great vendors. I had an amazing time. The team behind the event definitely did an amazing job by providing an immersive guest experience.

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

Toronto Bridal Brunch 2019

by on Sunday, July 07, 2019
On April 7th, 2019, I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Toronto Bridal Brunch . It was every bit as dreamy as I pictured. As I w...
About two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending one of Toben Food by Design‘s pop-up dinners at their new partnered venue, Grace. Guests were treated to an amazing family-style dinner in a multi-faceted space. Grace was the perfect backdrop for the evening: a beautifully designed space using a mixture of heritage tones and contemporary touches.

Blog by me, and edited by EventSource.ca. Read my blog and more pics here.


For those who desire some Asian influence and nostalgia in their meal, I highly recommend checking out Toben Food by Design‘s Lǚkè Pop Up Series: I. “Meaning Traveler in Mandarin, Lǚkè transports each guest to a different location by combining flavour, design, style and service for a full globetrotter experience in your very own city.”



Pop-up dinners are not new in Toronto, but to execute one with such exceptional food is what sets this one apart. The Lǚkè dinner embodies the small community closeness of the Asian culture, without sacrificing the privacy and space to which western dining culture is accustomed. Having traveled all over various parts of Asia, both Chef Toben and Chef Liam brought forth their inspiration from their trips straight to the dinner tables in the most wonderful way.

Upon entering Grace, guests are escorted to their communal tables, and drink orders were taken. The inspiration from their Asia travels is quite evident right from the presentation of the tables to the subtle nuances across the 8 courses we had the pleasure of enjoying. Each course was carefully prepared with consideration of its Asian influence such that the overall experience was an adventure in itself.

The three specialty cocktails (Taramind Sour, Sake Cocktail and Thai Coconut) perfectly complemented all of the Asian-inspired dishes.  I opted for the Thai Coconut, a sweet mixture of white rum, lemongrass syrup, lime bitters and coconut water. Yum!



As a seasoned traveler myself, I’ve had the chance to experience my share of Asian cuisine and can attest to the fact that the best cuisine out there really stimulates all five taste senses: saltiness, sweetness, bitterness, sourness, and umami. The dishes prepared by Toben certainly did just that: it is clear that a lot of attention was placed into ensuring that each one of these flavors was incorporated and balanced across the 8 delectable dishes.

We began dinner with three snacks. First up, deviled eggs which were carefully crafted with miso-crème fraiche yolk – a sensational taste of its Italian origin coupled with an Asian accent thanks to the red shisho, and Liam’s cured salmon roe. These were to die for, and the general consensus of our table was that we wished we had more of them!



The second snack was the Vegetarian Hot and Sour soup, which was the dish we found incorporated the greatest amount of Asian influence. With its exotic mushrooms, and 5 spice lotus root chips, this soup did not shy away from its Asian heritage leaving a very savory experience in one’s palette.

The third snack served as a tasty palette cleanser to the first two dishes, “resetting” our respective palette in preparation for the main meal. I cannot think of a better way to do it than using Hamachi Crudo paired with baby cucumber, and various herbs. This dish’s origin is actually Italian and serves as an answer to the Japanese Sashimi. The idea here was to bring the ocean to your dish without countering the natural flavors. This dish itself was light, gentle and served its purpose in preparing us for the main courses.

 

The first main course was Jumbo Fried Chicken Wings accompanied by its own set of Bachan – Kimchi, Cucumber Salad, and Picked Daikon. Over the last several years, Korean Fried Chicken (KFC) has popped up everywhere and has earned its staying power for a very good reason. The idea of having bachan Korean sides that are light and breezy, followed by fried chicken really elevated the flavours as opposed to fried food on top of fried food that you typically find at most fried chicken restaurants.








The next main course was the Charred Octopus, another very well-known Italian dish, seasoned with Black Bean Pineapple, and Lime. The two chefs cleverly fused an Asian staple food to this dish that every Asian household is very well aware of: Lap Cheong Sausages. The sausages were cut into tiny pieces to create a visually pleasing presentation, but also added flavor that complemented the octopus.



We ended off the main meal with a rather intricate salad consisting of many ingredients. The Shaved Winter Vegetable Salad composed of Kohlrabi, beets, heirloom carrots, Brussels sprouts, dandelion greens, radishes, pumpkin seeds, heirloom cherry tomato, and drizzled in a creamy golden miso dressing. I liked that it was filling and packed with flavor.



Wok Fried Water Spinach is an essential dish in Asian home-style cooking and restaurants. Toben’s version mixed oyster sauce, lemongrass, galangal and garlic to re-create a classic vegetable dish.

The night ended off on a sweet note with the Black Tea-Sea Salt Creme Caramel. Simply divine!



Overall, the evening certainly lived up to its goals of delivering guests that true globetrotter experience. Every detail of the dinner from start to finish was meticulously arranged, which culminated into a fantastic dinner and overall guest experience.

We look forward to the next pop up event hosted by these two seasoned traveler chefs! If you’re interested in giving this meal a try, the next event in the Lǚkè Pop Up Series: I will take place  at Grace on April 5th at 7 pm.