It has been a few years since I visited the CN Tower; the last time was for a company dinner party at 360 Restaurant. I didn't even know about Horizons Restaurant until a friend of mine organized a group lunch earlier this past weekend for Winterlicious 2014.


The Horizons Restaurant is located on the LookOut level of the CN Tower. You have to buy a lift ticket for $15 (special price per person for Winterlicious) to go up the elevator to the restaurant as it's not free unless you dine at 360. Even though Horizons Restaurant does not spin like the revolving 360 Restaurant; it still offers a wonderful view of the city if you're seated by the windows.


The lift ticket for $15.00 (special price).
The menu is displayed right outside of the restaurant.
The menu for Winterlicious.

Unfortunately, we had a major mishap while trying to get to our reservation on time. My boyfriend's car snowed in and the tow truck wait was an estimated 2 hours. Luckily, my friend and her boyfriend were on their way and closed by to us, and they kindly gave us a lift. Many thanks to my two friends for helping us.

The boyfriend and I were hungry so we decided to order three Winterlicious to share between the two of us. We wanted to sample a little bit of everything on the menu and at $15 for each three course meal; who can really resist? The value of the meal was incredible as the food was delicious and we left happy with our lunch.

Additionally, our two lift tickets allowed us access to both the LookOut level and glass floor of the CN Tower. So I'd say that this is a pretty nice deal for those who also wants to check out the CN Tower. My friends and I spent a good 40 minutes on both floors taking photographs.

 Butternut Squash Bisque (dried cranberry chutney, maple crème fraîche).


The torn Romaine salad with black olives & oven dried tomatoes (shaved Parmesan cheese, roasted garlic cream) was simply presented on a large white plate. Despite it being a simple salad; I still liked the tangy dressing. It was a good refresher for the upcoming meal.


The browned crust of the salt cod brandade gratin (sundried tomatoes, artichokes, sour dough crostini) was full of crunch. Underneath the gratin was a mixture of lightly salted cod that was well-seasoned.


For those who want to steer from getting a Canadian dish; there is the curried lamb biryani (toasted almonds, dried fruits, saffron threads, and yogurt raita). It's a take on the popular Indian dish. I am not a huge fan of lamb so this wasn't a very enjoyable dish for me as the meat was rather dry. I did liked that the  seasoned fragrant wasn't too strong and the yogurt raita helps to enhance the flavor of the rice.


Out of the three mains; my favorite was the sweet onion braised Ontario pork & fennel sausage (warm lentil salad, lavender honey glazed parsnips). It was of a good size, and the overall flavor of the pork sausage was juicy. 

 

There was a choice of four mains, and we opted to not get the whole wheat spaghetti with broccolini & toasted pumpkin seeds (lima beans, roasted peppers, grated Pecorino cheese).


The pastry that accompanied the Newfoundland fisherman's pot pie (root vegetables, herbed puff pastry) was absolutely flaky and soft; I loved it. Additionally, the pot pie was definitely good comfort food that was perfect for the cold and snowy weather that we're having. The portion was also generous as there was a good amount of both vegetables and seafood in the creamy sauce.


The Southern Ontario apple crumble (vanilla bean ice cream) was extremely too sweet for my liking. The aroma of the cinnamon that the dessert emitted smelled nice, and the baked apples were topped with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice-cream.


The dark chocolate lava cake was a warm chocolate cake topped with Lindt milk chocolate ice cream. The inside of the cake contains rich and creamy chocolate that will satisfy many chocolate lovers.


Out of the three desserts; the spiced pumpkin cheesecake (toasted pumpkin seeds, cinnamon whipped cream) was by far my favorite. I haven't had anything pumpkin since pumpkins-season ended at Starbucks so this was a lovely treat. The cake was rich and I liked that there was a mild pumpkin flavor rather than the overwhelming taste of all pumpkin in the mixture. The slightly golden crust provided a nice contrast to the creamy texture of the cheesecake.


The staff was very accommodating and the service was quick and polite. We were a table of 8 people, and never once felt rushed by the staff the entire lunch. Overall, the lunch at Horizon was an enjoyable one and it's now on my list to return to check out what they offer on their regular menu.

 RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 4.4/5
Service: 4.4/5
Overall Dining Experience: 4.4/5
Price: $$$ || Menu
 
Address: 301 Front St W, Toronto, ON, M5V 2T6

Horizons Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Horizons Restaurant [CN Tower]

by on Wednesday, February 12, 2014
 It has been a few years since I visited the CN Tower; the last time was for a company dinner party at 360 Restaurant. I didn't even kn...
Sat, Dec 14, 2013 (Day #5)

I-Land Patio

I-Land Patio is an 660 square meters large patio area within the vicinity of the Shinjuku I-Land Tower. There are a variety of restaurants and shops at I-Land Patio, so it's a great place to relax if you're ever in Shinjuku. For those who enjoy eating outdoors; there is an open courtyard area with chairs and tables available.


Address: 6-5-1, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Open Hours: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

The L.O.V.E Sculpture

The LOVE sculpture is an iconic sculpture based on a pop art image by artist, Robert Indiana. There are countless versions of the sculpture worldwide, and luckily there was one in Tokyo. It is located right outside of the Shinjuku I-LAND Tower in Nishi-Shinjuku, and it's definitely not hard to miss.


Welcome to Akihabara


After finishing up taking photos of the LOVE sculpture; it was time to head to Akihabara. Akihabara is a district that is well known for their otaku culture (anime and manga), and a central shopping area for the latest electronics. It was unbelievable as to how many shops there were that was devoted to anime and manga.

Lunchtime @ Chimney

Date: Saturday, December 14, 2013    
Meal: Lunch
Location in Japan: Akihabara, Tokyo

Before exploring Akihabara and all of its glory; it was time for lunch. We randomly picked Chimney; an  izakaya that was along the route to Gundam Cafe.


The izakaya is located in a small alley a few steps away from the JR Akihabara Station, and it's right next to a 7-11.

They didn't have an English menu available but their menu consisted of beautiful colored photographs of the food items. I love how Japan displays their food menus; with photographs of every item, and also using fake plastic food at the front (which I will explain in another post).



I ordered the yakitori platter (¥819) which came with five skewers of grilled meat. I absolutely loved each skewer as the meat was tender, and flavorful. My personal favorite was probably the grilled chicken and sausage.


The soup base for the Japanese hot pot (¥680) was pretty, but there were a lot more veggies than seafood in the pot.



 We were both curious about this fish head dish (¥714 x 2 = ¥1428) so we decided to order two (one for the both of us). The sashimi pieces were different but I found the head to be quite hard to eat.


The chicken udon (¥580) was a decent dish but nothing too spectacular. Instead of alcohol, we decided to order two cups of coke (¥600).

The total cost for lunch was ¥4107 for the both of us.

Desserts @ Gundam Cafe

Originally, I wanted to have lunch at Gundam Cafe, but the menu didn't really appeal to me. Therefore, we decided to go to the Gundam Cafe for some desserts after lunch.

Exploring Akihabara

It was already getting dark in Akihabara when we decided to go exploring the district. However, the district is extremely bright due to the illuminating lights from all of the shops and buildings.

UDX Building of Akihabara Crossfield.
Gashapon machines are everywhere in Japan; prices vary between 100-500 yen.
I spent about an hour exploring K-Books and the other stores in the same building. The fourth floor was entirely dedicated to selling gashapon toys and figures. The toys here were a lot more expensive than what you'd find in the machines though as the higher-priced items were 800-1500 yen each (popular/collectible items).

Don Quijote

Don Quijote is a huge discount store in Japan and there are multiple locations in various cities. They offer a wide selection of Japanese products such as food, kitchen and cleaning supplies, costumes, figures, candies, cosmetics, health care and so much more. The Akihabara branch has 8 floors in total, and you can literally spend hours shopping there.



Quick snack @ Home Cafe (Maid Cafe)

Located on the 5th floor of Don Quijote is the @ Home Cafe; a popular maid cafe. Unfortunately, photography was strictly prohibited inside so I couldn't take any pictures of the interior. It was definitely an interesting experience having the maids addressing me as "mistress". However, like a majority of novelty and themed restaurants; people usually come to these places for their atmosphere and ambiance, and not the food. I opted for the @Home Cafe Special Omelet Rice (¥1,1000). I thought that my omelet was pretty overcooked but I did like the cute heart drawings with the ketchup on my egg.


Dinnertime @ Tsubame KITCHEN Marunouchi

Date: Saturday, December 14, 2013    
Meal: Dinner  
Location in Japan: Akihabara, Tokyo

 We decided to head back to our hotel after Akihabara. However, we were still hungry so we decided to look for a quick bite to eat. We definitely ate a lot more meals than we would in Toronto. Anyways, our last food adventure of the day was at Tsubame KITCHEN Marunouchi in Marunouchi Oazo.



Tsubame KITCHEN Marunouchi specializes in German sausages.


I ordered the grilled sausage (¥890) and a side order of bread (¥210). Had I known that the portion of this dish consists of nothing more than one piece of sausage; I'd probably gotten another dish. However, the sausage was definitely delicious and full of flavor.


My boyfriend ordered  the homemade vienner sausages & eisbein (¥1100).

After dinner, we decided to call it a night and headed back to our hotel.
Miga Korean & Japanese BBQ is a fusion restaurant located up in Mississauga. The original plan was to go to Sushi 168, but the estimated wait time for a table for two was 1.5 hours. That was a really long wait for an AYCE, so we decided to go next door to Miga Korean & Japanese BBQ.

The price for the weekend (Sat) AYCE dinner was slightly steep as it was $26.95 per person (drinks are not included). However, I am rarely in Mississauga so I'm not sure if that's the normal price range of AYCE places in the area. Looking through the menu, I noticed that a majority of the cooked food is traditional Korean dishes. The only Japanese food that they do offer are rolls and udon. The list of rolls wasn't extensive as they only offer 15 different rolls; many are basic rolls too. I am a huge Korean food fan so I was happy with the selection. However if you prefer Japanese food more then you will surely be disappointed.

The great thing about uptown restaurants is that it's usually free parking. There is an allocated parking in the front of the restaurant with a decent amount of space. Additionally, I thought that the rule regarding any leftover food was rather excessive as you'd be charged $5 per unfinished dish. That sounds pretty crazy to me considering the portion for each dish is pretty small. However, we ate everything that we ordered so I am not too sure how lenient they are with this rule.
Seafood selection was not that great
The seafood selection was not that great -- it was pretty much limited to crab legs and very small shrimp.  I think there was probably something on t - See more at: http://www.goodeat.ca/2011/09/im-sucker-for-mashed-potatoes-eagles.html#sthash.mXqZY55m.dp


The menu was conveniently on a single laminated sheet.


The side dishes that we got were vinegar radish, kimchi, seaweed and potato. Nothing special, just standard bachan dishes.


The Miga salad was a lot larger than I expected. It was probably twice as large as what you would regularly get at sushi restaurants as a complimentary dish. The salad was lightly dressed in a tangy sauce, but some pieces of lettuce were quite large.


The udon soup portion was extremely small; I had to order three of them. The broth was average and it came with a few pieces of udon noodles, one mushroom and one piece of fake crab.


The bulgogi (marinated beef) was soft and marinated perfectly with a sweet sauce.


I didn't like the pork at all as I found it rather bland and a little on the dry side. 


The chicken was coated in a thick marinade and it was sealed in nicely with the meat. Additionally, I liked the contrasting slightly spicy and sweet flavor of the chicken.


Whenever I order noodles, I must have it spicy. So I was happy they had stir fried spicy noodle with beef on the menu. For those don't take spices very well, there is a non-spiced version of the same noodles. The presentation was rather plain but I enjoyed the dish a lot.


The fried calamari was horrible and I had to force myself to finish the dish. The batter was absolutely tasteless and the calamari was overly chewy; making it difficult to chow down.


I don't think anyone can really screw up tteokbokki (rice cakes) as it's quite a simple dish to make (from personal experience in the kitchen). Anyways, I enjoyed the tteokbokki a lot here as it had a lot of flavor and there was a nice spicy kick to it.


Bibimbap is a signature Korean dish that is served in a bowl of rice topped with assorted vegetables and a fried egg. The presentation of the dish was rather nice looking for an AYCE and it also tasted good.


Another personal favorite of mine was the kalbi (marinated beef short rib) dish. The meat quality wasn't the greatest since it is AYCE but I thought it was grilled well.


I was too full from all of the cooked Korean dishes that I didn't order many rolls. I opted for the spicy salmon roll (3 pcs) and crab roll (3 pcs). As expected, it was very plain tasting and the rice was a little too sugared down.

As for service, our waitress was friendly without being intrusive, quick, and attentive. It was a nice change compared to the lack of service that are often found at many uptown Korean restaurants (based on personal dining experience). Additionally, the food arrived quickly to our table and our empty plates were constantly being cleared.

RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 3.7/5
Service: 4/5
Overall Dining Experience: 3.8/5
Price: $

Address: 2382 Dundas St W, Mississauga, ON, L5K 1R7

Miga Korean & Japanese BBQ on Urbanspoon

Miga Korean & Japanese BBQ

by on Saturday, February 01, 2014
Miga Korean & Japanese BBQ is a fusion restaurant located up in Mississauga. The original plan was to go to Sushi 168, but the estimate...