Colette Grand Cafe – Disappointing Experience

Last weekend my sister and I thought we’d check out Colette Grand Cafe since we were in the area and we’ve always wanted to give their brunch menu a go. As we were getting seated, I couldn’t help but feel even more excited by my surroundings. The interior was decorated beautifully. 

Everything was fine at the beginning. Our waiter greeted us and took our orders. I couldn’t decide on what to order, so he recommended a couple of dishes to me. My sister decided to get the eggs benny and I decided to be more adventurous and got the croissant tart. I didn’t really know what it was, but it sounded good when our waiter described it to us. 

When our food came, I was disappointed. I sort of expected it to be amazing but it was just alright. The eggs benedict tasted a little bland; nothing about that dish screamed “I want more” or even worth mentioning again. 

Up til this day, I still cannot describe how I feel about the croissant tart. It literally was just a croissant crust filled with jam and blue cheese topped with a poached egg. It wasn’t really what I was expecting. Perhaps it’s just me, but I didn’t love the whole combination of the sourness from the jam and the saltiness from the blue cheese. The only thing that stood out was the croissant. It was warm and flakey. That by itself woud’ve been amazing. 

The thing that spoiled the whole experience for my sister and I happened at the end of our meal. After our server brought us our bill, we asked our server to pay with 2 credit cards. Right after we told him that we were paying with 2 cards, his whole attitude changed completely. His smile was gone and was replaced with a look of anger. He unwillingly took our cards and the whole exchange became super awkward. We didn’t think paying with 2 different cards would be that big of a deal. We thought it would be easier for him so he wouldn’t have to go back and re-do our bill to have it seperated. My sister even calculated how much each of us would have to pay (we just split the bill in half), and all the waiter had to do was to input the numbers. Everything would have added up to be the same, his tips would have been the same regardless if we paid with one card or 2. 

His reaction and how he handled this was totally unprofessional. Never would I have imagined to receive this level of unprofessional service at such a fancy “Parisian” cafe. Other than the fancy decors, I have nothing more to say about Colette. Needless to say, I was completely disappointed with this place and will not be going back there anytime soon; especially not for their overpriced, mediocre brunch. 

Eggs Benedict – $16.00

Jambon de Paris, baby spinach, butter croissant

Croissant Tart – $16.00

Blue cheese, poached egg, sour cherry mostarda

Parking: there’s a parking lot right across from the restaurant for $15.00 and can be parked until 6pm. I would suggest finding another street to park on to avoid the hefty fee.

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Sweetery Festival 2016

This year’s Sweetery Toronto Food Festival is their second year running and it’s bigger and better than before! Located at the David Pecaut Square, this sweet event is happening from today August 20th- August 21st, 2016- DON’T MISS OUT IF YOU LOVE SWEETS LIKE ME! 🙂 They’ve got game booths, food trucks, best of all endless dessert vendors to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth!

Gumballnado – $2.00

“It’s time for ratle battle! Chews your opponent, be the first to shake all the gumballs from one side of the bottle to the other, and win a prize.”

Donut Miss That Toss! – $2.00

“Complete the donut! Toss 3 of 5 donut bits into the hole to win a prize.”

George Brown Chefs!

Each post-graduate pastry student from George Brown College will be creating their own french masterpiece to share with everyone and this will also be a part of their final evaluation. Pressure is on!

The proceeds of what they made from today and tomorrow will also go towards their next semester in FRANCE! Support support support!

Cookie shots from Golden Crumb Biscuit

I’ve seen this everywhere on instagram before but never got to try it. Finally I had to chance to try it out today. What an interesting way of eating chocolate chip cookies! Have a small cup of milk and just pour it into the cookie cup!

Matcha Tea & Desserts @matchateadessert

Matcha soft serve and Hokkaido chiffon cupcake. The cupcake was amazing! Dig your spoon into the chiffon cupcake and matcha cream will fill your senses.

Hong Kong Milk Tea Crepe Cake from Daan Go by Chris Siu @bakersiu

POKEBALL BAO by @vronnie17

Cutest Macarons EVER!!!! by Chris Siu @bakersiu

Piggy: Maple Lap Chong (a play on Maple and Bacon flavor)

Cow: Rare Tofu Cheesecake flavor

Duck: Duck Egg Custard flavor

Iced Coffee Floats from Cool Beans

Crazy over the top iced coffee floats!! Perfect and refreshing with this hot summer weather!

Freshly made marshmellow from I Love Puffy Love

Sassy Sangria (pink) and Merry Mojito (green): created just for the Sweetery Festival! So fresh, soft and flavorful. I don’t think I’ve ever tried marshmellow this amazing before!

Kinako Kakigori (japanese shaved ice) from Oh My Gori!

Butter Tarts from Beverley’s Bakers

Surprisingly, this was not super sweet like I had imagined it to be.

Gelato Cookie from Carla’s Cookie Box

These cookies just look so darn adorable!

Cute handmade jewelry by SMITTEN 

They seriously look good enough to eat.

EX-TREME Chimney Cone by Eva’s Original Chimneys @ogchimneys

Unfortunately this specific flavor is still not available at the Sweetery Festival. This cone is only available from Ausust 26-28 at the Food Truck Frenzy at the CNE, by he Princess Gates.

Parking: street parking $4 dollars/hr

Toronto’s Festival of Beer 2016

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I had the pleasure of accompanying Grace from Food in the City Toronto  to this year’s Toronto Festival of Beer (#TFOB @TOBeerFestival) held from July 22 – July 24 at the Exhibition Place. This amazing event featuring 333 different Brews and many, many food vendors was presented by the Beer Store.

It was my first time going to the beer festival and I had an amazing time there! The whole time I was there, I thought to myself: “have i been living under a rock all these years?”. This was a great way to discover new beer and sample the ones that you’ve never tried before. Some people, such as myself, like sticking to what I know, and what I like. Occasionally I will wander and try something new; but I generally like sticking to a few brand of beers that I like. I now know what I’ve been missing out on.

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Upon entering the grounds, we were each handed a beer mug. Not only was this environmental friendly (since it’s re-usable), we also get to take it home after the festival as a souvenir ! Before you get too excited, make sure to purchase tokens at the tokens booth, as that is how you will pay for your beer samples. ( 1 Token = $1.00 ) Most beers cost 1 token for half a cup, 2 tokens for a whole cup.

What else was there to do other than sample tons and tons of beers? GIANT BEER PONG OF COURSE! Seriously, this was so much better than the regular-sized beer pong!

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Pommies Cider

I love ice drinks. That was why I had to try this apple cider slushie. I’ve never tried/seen cider slushie before and i’m glad i tried it. It was amazing! Super light and refreshing- perfect for a hot summer day. Best part of it was that it didn’t taste diluted at all!

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Other games such as giant-sized jenga.

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This was an amazing and super creative way to re-use the empty cardboard boxes. This booth had people to help create your dream hat out of empty boxes. There was a guy that walked around with a giant bat on his head. What a genius way to get rid of their boxes and advertise their brand at the same time! I love this idea! Creative and eco-friendly.

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Sample Sweden:

There was a whole section on Swedish beer. It featured 28 brands of Swedish beer. One that stood out to me most was Dugges’ Black Current beer. It tasted super sour, almost as sour as a lemon but it was different. I’ve never had beer that tasted sour before, so this was really interesting for me.

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One of my top favorites from this year’s Beer Festival. Crabbie’s Raspberry Ginger Beer!

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Bigg Macc Grilled Cheese – ground beef, Mac n ‘ Cheese, bright brand aged cheddar & secret sauce

This grilled cheese sandwich tasted amazing after trying beer after beer. Make sure not to drink on an empty stomach! Stop by the many food vendors and fill up before chugging more beer!

I had such a fun experience at this year’s Beer Festival. There were live music, games, food and alcohol. What could be more fun?! Not only that, I also got to learn and sample all these different brews of beer. It was really well organized and we didn’t have to wait long to get our beers or food. I can’t wait for next year’s Beer Fest; in the main time, let me stock up on some of my new favorites at the beer store! =)

Parking: no need to look for green P. There’s parking on site for $15.

 

Gusto 101

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Let me just start by saying this: if you love patio, this is definitely the place for you! Cool thing about Gusto 101 is that it has two patios for you to choose from. One on the ground floor, just beside the entrance; one is their rooftop patio. Although there are probably more patio space here compared to some of the other restaurants, it’s still a pretty popular spot for dine-in. So, be sure to call or make an online reservation if you know that you will be going there. If not, the line-up can get pretty long.

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I love their rooftop patio!!! Word of caution: walking up/down the stairs. The staircase to the rooftop patio is pretty dark, be extra careful when you are going up and down. It’s never easy to get to the good things in life. =)

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My friends and I came here for a bachelorette party. We started off our night with a pitcher of White Sangria. This wasn’t all for me…though…i don’t think i would’ve mind finishing 5 glasses of sangria.

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tomato sauce, mozzarella, ground fennel sausage, roasted peppers

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marinated mixed mushrooms, toasted tuscan bread, herbed ricotta, taleggio, olive oil

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tomato sauce, mozzarella, meatballs, smoked provolone

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portobello, porcini, oyster mushrooms, truffle cream sauce

This pasta dish was amazing! It was definitely the best of the dish of the night! It was earthy, creamy and the pasta was the right amount of chewiness. It wasn’t overcooked where the pasta became soft and soggy; and it wasn’t under-cooked where the pasta was still hard. I would totally recommend this dish to anyone!

Overall, great food, great service and totally loved the atmosphere!

Gusto 101 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tasty Tours Toronto: Kensington Market Sweet & Savoury Food Tour

Have you ever had times where you feel like you’re just bored of going to the same places over and over, week after week? You visit the same malls, the same cafes and restaurants because you just can’t think of anywhere else to go. Worst thing is, you don’t really have any other choices. It’s either you stay home and be bored, or you go out to the same shops you’ve been to the week before, the only thing different is the location of the mall. Truth is, I feel the same all the time!

Here’s an idea: play tourist and join a local tour! It’s actually surprisingly fun! You may think that just because you’ve lived in this city for such a long time, that you probably know all the places! Chances are, you probably don’t! This never even crossed my mind until last week, when I had the pleasure of accompanying Grace from Foodinthecitytoronto in joining Tasty Tour‘s Kensington Market Sweet & Savoury Food Tour.

To my fellow Torontoians, we all know that Kensington Market has some of the best diversity of foods: from sweet to savoury, from Asian to Mexican to everything else in between! You name it, they probably have it! There are some really well known restaurants that everyone knows about like Seven Lives and Dirty Bird, where there’s always crazy line-ups. People are always focusing on the super popular restaurants, myself included, and end up overlooking some of the other amazing places within Kensington Market. These hidden gems are the main focus of Tasty Tour’s Kensington Market Sweet and Savoury Food Tour. Audrey, the founder of Tasty Tours and also our amazing tour guide, brought us to all the other amazing places within Kensington Market and gave us a chance to sample the food from these restaurants.

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First Stop (Pictures above): Dingdong Pastries & Cafe | Located at: 321 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2E9

We got to sample their spring rolls! This bakery has been here forevers! Well, not forever but a really long time. Audrey (our tour guide), also gave us an in-depth history of how spring rolls came to be! Seriously, it was super interesting. If you are interested, and you are in Toronto, join one of Audrey’s tasty tours and she can tell you the story.

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Second Stop: Ten Ren’s Tea | Location: 454 Dundas Street West, Toronto M5T 1G9

Not only did we get to try some cold red bean lotus seed milk black tea and cookies, we got to learn about the traditional way of making tea and had a live demonstration of it.

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Third Stop: Moo Frites | Location: 178 Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T 1L8

They are known for their amazing, moist Belgian fries and lots and lots of different dipping sauces. What we got to sample that day was their CLASSIC POUTINE! Who doesn’t love poutine!? The owner also gave us some background of how he came up with the idea of bringing Belgian fries here and the whole science behind making the perfect fries.

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Fourth Stop: Toronto Popcorn Company | Location: 147 Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T

Their popcorn flavors are endless…

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Fifth Stop: El Arepazo | Location: 181 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2L4

El Arepazo specializes in arepa: a round, gluten-free cornbread sandwich that is stuffed with a variety of meats, cheeses, veggies, and salsas. I’ve never had anything like this before. I didn’t even know what an arepa was until Tasty Tours. From the above picture, you can see that one arepa is different from the other ones. That is because it was a vegetarian arepa. Another thing that makes Tasty Tours so good is their attention to people’s dietary needs. They do try and accommodate and pay special attention to everyone’s dietary restrictions to the best of their abilities.

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Sixth Stop: Pancho’s Bakery | Location: 214 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2L4

If you live in Toronto, you must have heard about the infamous churrocone from Pancho’s Bakery. During the tour, we got to try their churros with our choice of strawberry sauce, chocolate sauce or condensed milk.

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Seventh Stop: Wanda’s Pie in the Sky | Location: 287 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2M2

MINI MINT CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES! YUM!

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Eighth Stop: Blue Banana Market | Location: 250 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2L7

It’s a quirky shop that sells everything from fun gifts to tasty chocolates and candies.

Overall, I had a super fun time! I can tell that Audrey put a lot of thoughts and efforts into the tour. She provided us with lots of fun facts and history about the places we’ve visited. It’s too bad that it was raining that day, otherwise it would’ve been perfect! This was a total new experience for me. I’ve never thought about joining a local tour and pretend to be tourists. I learned a lot, got to meet new people, and tried places that I normally would’ve never tried. I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something new- and it’s about time that I did because I would’ve been missing out on so much!

Join one of the Tasty tours and try it out! Enter “Wendieats” as the promotional code when you sign up and get 20% off adult tickets booked until september 30, 2016 (tour can take place after this date. Just needs to be purchased before September 30th.)

Big Beef Bowl – Hand Pulled Noodles

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Oh how I missed blogging! I’ve been neglecting my blog for the longest time! 😦 I had all these places that I wanted to blog about but never got around to it because I had to study hard! I love to blog…I love staring the gazillion shots that I took of the exact same thing and choosing which one I would eventually use. But enough about how much i miss blogging and lets get started on Big Beef Bowl!

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Big Beef Bowl is a small, homey restaurant located near Yonge and Finch. They specialize on traditional hand pulled noodles. If you have any doubts about whether or not you’ll actually be eating fresh pulled noodles…worry not! You can look straight into the kitchen and see the chef pulling at the noodles non-stop.

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Wood ear fungus with cucumbers- $2.99

This is honestly probably one of the best things to eat on these hot summer days right now. This dish is served cold, and trust me- it will definitely leave you feeling refreshed.

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Chicken Shitake Dumplings- $5.99

I had to order this after reading the name. For me, I’m used to seeing pork dumplings with chives or cabbage or shrimp. But I have never tried dumplings made of chicken and shitake!! I was super excited to try it and needless to say, it did not disappoint.

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Braised Beef Brisket- $7.99 (s) | $8.99 (l)

One thing that is special about this restaurant is that not only do you get to have freshly pulled noodles, you also get to choose how thick you want your noodles to be! You get to choose from round noodles to thick flat noodles- both with various different sizes for you to choose from. I couldn’t help but go for the thickest noodles they got and it looked amazing!

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Classic Beef- $7.99 (s) | $8.99 (l)

Another aspect of this restaurant that I love so much is that they have such simple menu where you only have to choose between 4 different flavors of noodles you’re craving for. Some places have pages and pages of menu to choose from and sometimes, by the end of it, i still don’t know what i want. Not saying that i don’t appreciate the variety of foods I get to choose from, but sometimes, simplicity is best.

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Spicy corn with cheese- $2.99

Last but not least, I had the spicy corn with cheese. I only have one word for it…AMAZING! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

Overall, I enjoyed everything about this place! I especially love their corn! It’s fast, tasty and inexpensive. (My fav kind of meal!) It’s a really small place, and probably easily missed. But it truly is a hidden gem! If you live close by, or happen to be in the area, it’s definitely worth the visit!

Parking: paid street parking

 

Big Beef Bowl Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Brunch @ La Societe

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I love brunch! What I love even more is when a restaurant takes reservation for brunch! My friend and I visited La Société located on Bloor St West last Saturday. I must have walked along Bloor Street numerous of times in the past, but I never actually noticed La Société. I’ve noticed the ground level patio before, but never really thought anything more of it. Needless to say, I was quite shocked when we got to the restaurant and realization finally hit me. My exact thoughts were: “I never knew this was a brunch spot”. What surprised me even more was that the restaurant extended to the second floor.

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Once you get to the second floor, you have the option to dine indoors or sit out on their patio. Of course, my friend and I chose the latter option. It was a gorgeous day with the perfect weather for sitting out on the patio.

20160604_115741_mh1465402205594Mimosa – $15.00

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Blueberries and maple syrup butter

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BEST PANCAKES EVER! To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of pancakes, but I cannot get enough of the ones from La Societe. Seriously, I can’t even begin to describe how amazing this was! It was so fluffy and soft that it literally melted in my mouth! Not only that, its got a little crunch on the side of the pancakes, so when you take a bite, you get a little bit of that crunchness and the rest just meltted. This is a must try dish! If you haven’t tried it, you are missing out! I would go back just for this pancake alone; of course, this wasn’t the only tasty dish!

20160604_121658_mh1465402098093Parisian Ham Benedict – $15.00

Dijon glazed ham, hollandaise, pommes Lyonnaise

Here at La Societe, eggs Benedict get their own section on the menu. I just thought it was an interesting fact to bring up. One thing I anticipate the most when I get eggs Benedict is to dig my knife into the middle of the poached egg and see the yolk running out from the egg. I remember going to brunch at a restaurant one time and when I cut through my poached egg, it was completely cooked. You can’t imagine how completely upset and disappointed I was.

20160604_122813_mh1465402040530Short Rib Hash – $20.00

Braised short rib, poached eggs, hollandaise and pommes Lyonnaise

This dish was amazing. Eggs poached perfectly, the potatoes drenched in the shortrib’s marinade and the braised shortrib itself- heaven! Flavoring of the short rib was perfect and the short rib itself was super soft and tender. I have a weird “fear” about braised short ribs. When they’re not prepared properly, it can be a real pain to chew. Just imagine chewing for the longest time, and it still doesn’t seperate properly in your mouth, making it super uncomfortable to swallow. That is what I’m afraid of. However, the braised short ribs from La Societe was so amazing that I barely had to chew! It was the most amazing feeling ever!

20160604_122856_mh1465402129099Crisp Bacon – $4.00

My Friend and I were craving for some crispy bacon that day.

Verdict: THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE BRUNCH SPOT! Service was amazing, and food was amazing! I had such an amzing time here. What made it even better was the fact that we sat outside and had a view of Bloor Street. I felt so relaxed sitting there, even with the busyness of the cars and the shoppers passing by just below me. It also shocked me that there was not a huge line up of people outside the door to be seated. I feel like there should’ve been. Maybe because many people have the misconception that this place would be super expensive? I don’t know. Whatever the reason is, I am glad that my friend and I discovered this place and that we didn’t have to wait long to be seated!

Parking: paid street parking / green P

La Société Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato