Aka Teppan Markham

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I visited Aka Teppan with a couple of friends a few nights ago for dinner located at the First Markham Place plaza. This wasn’t my first time here, but I was still pretty excited to go since I haven’t had it for quite some time. I still remember the first time I had dinner there, was when they first opened. The line would go out the door and the standard wait time was at least 30 minutes. Of course it would be busy; who wouldn’t like the concept of “DIY-ing” (sort of, not really) your meal on a hot sizzling plate?

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Thankfully, my friends and I didn’t have to wait long to be seated. I’m not sure if it was a little early for dinner, or maybe it just wasn’t as hyped up as before. Or, maybe it’s because they opened up a second location, so not everyone is jammed to one location.

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First thing I asked the waiter was: “Do you guys have any hot pot today?” I came here one time because I was craving for their mini hot pots, but they were sold out! That night, I left hungry and disappointed because they didn’t have what I wanted. So, despite the super hot summer-like weather we had the other night, I wanted to get what I couldn’t have the previous time. (And I did. But at least I wasn’t the only one that was crazy enough to get hot pot when it was 20 degrees outside.)

20160526_200239_mh1464315634560Supreme Beef with Rice – $9.49

One convenient thing about their sizzling plate dishes is that you get to control how well you want your beef cooked. If you like it a little more raw, you can remove them and just mix the rice up with the sauce. If you prefer more flavor and don’t mind the cooked beef, mix it with the rice until they’re all incorporated with the sauce.

20160526_200342_mh1464315589601Spicy Beef Udon – $12.99

20160526_200649_mh1464315701242Spicy Beef Udon – $12.99 (0.99 cents each to add egg + cheese)

Another great thing about the place, is that you can add extra toppings, at the cost of .99 cents per item that you add. Just look how amazing this spicy beef udon looks after adding the cheese and egg. AMAZING!

20160526_200516_mh1464315763480Hokkaido Gyunyu Milk Hot Pot – $16.99
Served with beef, udon, naruto maki, enoki mushroom, hakusai cabbage, shirataki noodle

The soup base was AMAZING! Tip: the longer you cook the soup, the creamier and thicker it gets! Just imagine all the ingredients in that creamy soup! Yum! This was worth every sweat drop that I had to endure! (Just kidding. Although, it did get pretty hot for me half way through the soup.) This would be perfect on a cold winter night!

Verdict– It’s pretty neat that you’re able to customize the dish to how you want it (sauce, ingredients, how well you want your protein cooked, etc). If you are picky about your food, this might be the right place for you! Overall, food was great; and an added bonus for me: they are visually appealing.

Parking: FREE PARKING! (Two of my favorite words!)

Aka Teppan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Patois

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Last week, I visited Patois with a few other food lovers like myself (@foodinthecitytoronto, @foodsoftoronto and @tdotglutton). Have you ever seen a bunch of foodies eat at a restaurant? Well, if you haven’t, you are definitely missing out on the funniest sight ever. We needed a table with natural lighting, and since Patois only has one table right by the window, we had to specially request for it when we called in to make the reservation a few days in advance. (Tip here is that they take reservation!)

One great thing I loved about Patois is that they have a sharing menu called “The Whole Shebang” for $119 (not including drinks, desserts, tax and tips). It’s a great deal because, for four people ording our own individual dishes, it probably would’ve added up to cost more per person. So, why not sample all their popular dishes!?

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Another look at our specially requested table! 🙂 Thankfully the nice and helpful staff from Patois can accomodate our request!

20160524_184425_mh1464141115123Jamaican Gimlet – $13 / $48
Spiced rum, coconut rum, pineapple juice, lemon, salted rim

20160524_184723_mh1464141187044Coconut & Rum – $14
Fresh whole coconut & bacardi rum

I loved my drink! It was so refreshing and fitting for the hot weather on that day. I especially love the visual asthetic aspect of this drink! (I have a thing for drinking out of a real fruit.)

20160524_190752_mh1464141417232Patois Rum Punch – $14 / $52
Earl grey infused white rum, peach liqeur, lemon, soda, OJ & pineabble

20160524_190320_mh1464141259486Edamame
Dashi Butter, Spicy Furikake, Bonito

All I got to say is that the sauce complimented the edamame perfectly. It really was seasoned to perfection. This was a cold dish, so it’s great to have during the summer when the weather is super hot.

20160524_190914_mh1464141701213Jamaican Patty Double Down
Two cocktail patties, bacon, Swiss cheese fondue, sriracha

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Closer shot of the Pineapple bun burger. Look how amazing that looks. It’s savory but it also has a hint of sweetness from the Chinese pineapple bun.

20160524_191059_mh1464141793793Crunchy Chinese Salad
Napa cabbage, romaine, wonton crisps, spicy plum dressing

20160524_194740_mh1464142027907Jamaican Coleslaw
Creamy cabbage, carrot and scallions

20160524_195042_mh1464142232124Dirty Fried Rice
Red sausage, sweet soya sauce, Cajun trinity, peas and farm egg

This is the true definition of Chinese and Jamaican fusion! I’ve had a lot of fried rice before, but not many comparable to this dish!

20160524_195507_mh1464142129573Juicy Jerk Chicken
Churrasco, rotisserie roasted

20160524_205146_mh1464142430162Fancy brownie for dessert?! Yes please.

Verdict: Everything on the Whole Shebang menu were amazing! I was a bit skeptical about the whole Chinese and Jamaican fusion, but after going to Patois, I WANT MORE! Great service (very accomodating and informative), and amazing food! Next time I go back, I will definately try out their other items that weren’t on the Shebang menu!

Parking: Paid street parking

Patois Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

MeNami

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My sister and I both love a good bowl of udon, so we decided to check out MeNami over the long weekend. MeNami, located at Yonge + Finch specializes in the traditional taste of Japanese Udon. They serve udon made in various ways (cold, soup base, baked, stir-fried). If you are in a sharing mood, MeNami offers tapas and pots (sukiyaki pot, oden..etc).

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I knew that this was a pretty popular restaurant destination, but I wasn’t expecting all the tables to be filled up during the long weekend. Had we arrived a few minutes later, my sister and I probably would’ve had to wait to be seated. Luckily, we beat the rush by a few minutes and got the perfect seats! It felt like we were at an indoor patio from where we were seated.

20160523_125743_mh1464034586503Corn Kaki-Age – $5.00
Corn Niblets, Honey Butter Mayonnaise

I love this dish. The honey butter mayo compliments the corn niblets perfectly. I dare you to stop at just one or two! For sure you will not be able to stop! I couldn’t!

20160523_130754_mh1464034671781Black Sesame Puree Udon with Beef – $15.00
Beef, Schichimi, Green Onion, Red Pepper Thread, Baby Spinach

Not only was this dish visually appealing, it had a unique taste to it. Definitely not what I was expecting (in a good way).

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20160523_130854_mh1464034745318Tempura Udon – $11.50
Shrimp, Seasonal Vegetable Tempura

Verdict: I would definitely go back! However, I would stick to ordering non-soup based udon like the black sesame or the baked udon. Those are probably more worth your money, whereas the regular soup udon you can get anywhere else for much cheaper price.

Parking: Paid street parking.

MeNami Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Afternoon Tea @ Butter Avenue

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I don’t go to afternoon tea often, but when I saw the new afternoon tea menu from Butter Avenue (Yonge & Lawrence location), I couldn’t resist. The whole experience cost $50.00 + 15% gratuity (tax not included). It can be purchased and booked through their website.

20160521_1208271001 Nights– A smooth, refreshing blend of Roasted Almond and Rooibos Chai teas with cardamon and fresh apple spices.

20160521_120832Marvellous Moon– Classic Magic Moon tea enhanced with the summery fresh flavors of orange and strawberries. This could be enjoyed iced as well.

20160521_121807Quiche- Quail egg with bacon bits.

20160521_123611Our second savory item on the menu. Tiny salted buns with jam + butter

20160521_123724Selection of sweets and macarons.

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20160521_125457Mini version of Butter Avenue’s Jardin Rosa Mir: Strawberry cheese cake mousse with almond dacquoise, passion fruit gelée, raspberry crumble, pink chocolate wrap

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Verdict– Grab your bestie or your significant other and enjoy an afternoon of being pampered. I loved the whole experience! The service from our server was exceptional! It felt like I was treated like a princess! (I might be exaggerating a little bit) Atmosphere there was nice and relaxing, perfect to enjoy your afternoon tea. If you cannot finish everything on the menu (like me), they will pack it nicely for you to take home. Perfect to have for dessert after your dinner, or maybe a late-night snack!

Parking– Street parking
Butter Avenue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wahlburgers

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Thanks to Grace from Food in the City Toronto, I had the chance to have a taste of what Wahlburgers is all about! I’ve always been curious about Wahlburgers in the past, but just never got the chance to pay them a visit. Thankfully, we went at the perfect time, since they added a new Surf n’ Turf Burger just in time for #NationalBurgerDay coming up this Saturday.

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There’s two options available: dine in (there are plenty of space) and take out.

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20160520_180304BBQ Chicken Nachos – $13.70 / Vegetarian Option – $11.75

pickled jalapenos, spiced cheese mix, olives, sour cream, avocado, salsa

20160520_181052Almas Macaroni – $6.95 / side portion $4.50

Elbow macaroni, red onion, sweet peppers, parsley, served with mom’s creamy mayo dressing

The dressing behind the macaroni in the picture is Paul’s signature wahl sauce. One of the secret ingredient is sriracha, but very subtle so that it’s not overwhelming. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this sauce! If i could, I would add this in EVERYTHING!

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20160520_181232Surf n Turf – $16.96

Their feature burger consists of 5 oz beef patty, lobster meat, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, housemade lemon chive mayo

20160520_181011The “eh?” Burger – $10.45

5 oz beef patty, peameal bacon, fried egg, smoked cheddar, lettuce, mustard mayo, ketchup & mustard

The thing I love about this that I had the option to opt out the buns for the lettuce wrap. (If you’re a little health conscious like me, this is something that can make you feel a little better about chowing down a burger!)

Verdict– I can’t ever forget the Wahl Sauce!

Wahlburgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Quantum Coffee

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I first found out about Quantum Coffee when my friend showed me a picture of the Crème Brûlée cappuccino from their instagram page @quantumcoffeeco. I couldn’t stop thinking about it ever since. That very same day, we made a trip to see what it’s all about. I have to admit, I am a crazy coffee and sweets addict. So when an opportunity where I get to have both at the same time, I had to jump on that. 🙂

The outside appearance of Quantum Coffee is so distinct, you cannot miss it!

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This chic interior was the firs thing that I noticed right when we stepped into the cafe. I instantly fell in love with the simplicity and spacious design of the cafe.

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The simple menu made it easy to look at and to chose from. Sometimes when places have crazy items on the menu, I get so overwhelmed that I end up getting frustrated from looking at it and not knowing what to order.

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For people that want to grab a light bite, they have various baked goods to choose from.

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I can totally imagine myself to be a successful author like J.K Rowling and sit here all day long just scribbling away on my notepad and watch people walk by. 🙂

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At the other end of the cafe is where the magic happens! It’s rare to see the cash register separated from the coffee making station. Right when you walk in, the right side of the cafe is where you order and the left side of the cafe is where they make the amazing lattes and coffee.

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Quantum Planck – Crème Brûlée cappuccino

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Latte

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Verdict– If I could, I would just sit here all day long and just keep drinking their Quantum Planck! I just love this coffee shop, not just because they have amazing drinks. It’s also because of the ambiance of the whole place and all of the friendly staff here. It’s a place where I feel that I can relax and have a peaceful time while I have my coffee. For me, those are important qualities that I look for in a coffee shop: a place where I can  have a moment to just slow down and not feel the rush of the big busy city.

Quantum Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tasting Event at Té

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Last week, I had the pleasure of accompanying Grace from Food In the City Toronto to a tasting event hosted by , a Taiwanese and Korean fusion tapas restaurant located at 70 Ossington Ave. Needless to say, I was exploding with excitement on the inside- I got to have two of my favorite cuisines together, at the same time!

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Marbled Te Egg Shooter – Single $1.00 / Round of Four $3.00

Taiwanese spiced tea egg

If you are Taiwanese like myself, you will instantly be reminded of all the snack runs to 7/11 convenience store. If this is the first time you are trying the tea egg, then you’re definitely at one of the best, if not the best place to have it. This amazing shooter will not leave you disappointed. This is how a traditional Taiwanese tea egg is supposed to taste like and trust me, one will not be enough!

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Unadulterated Ssam – Meat $14.00 / Tofu $11.00

Red lettuce leaf wraps, each layered with thin slice of sweet-pickled winter radish, fresh garlic, sweet red chili paste and a choice of one protein. (Bulgogi, Grilled pork belly, Sweet and spicy pork belly, Pan-ried tofu)

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Crispy Ramen Jalapeno Poppers – $5.00

Bite sized jalapeno and creme cheese in a spicy ramen noodle crust

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Braised Pork Crostini – $11

Chopped Taiwanese slow-cooked pork belly on toasted French baguette slices

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Dark-Spiced Taiwanese Fried Chicken – Two for $9.00 / Four for $16

Marinated in traditional Taiwanese spices, battered & fried, finished with pepper-salt seasoning

The chicken was juicy, tender and spot-on on the traditional Taiwanese taste.

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Toasted Kimchi Ravioli – $10.00

Panko crusted jumbo ravioli squares filled with a kimchi- spiked ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan blend, finished with drizzle of honeyed wasabi pesto sauce

The key here, is that everything about this dish starting from the ravioli to the honeyed wasabi pesto sauce was created in-house from scratch.

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Kimchi Deviled Eggs – $6.00

Hard-boiled eggs re-dressed with kimchi paste, sesame and yolk mash, topped with bacon

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Salsa Trio – $9.00

Fresh kimchi-spiked tomato salsa + guacamole + corn salsa, served with tortilla chips

My favorite was the kimchi-spiked tomato salsa. I just love the Korean twist! The subtle taste of house-made kimchi brought this salsa to a whole new level!

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Bachan Set – $10.00

Sampling of the three traditional Korean side dishes: par boiled spinach tossed in garlic and sesame oil, sweet soy-braised shredded beef brisket, mini omelet rolls

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Té Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato