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

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