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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Casa Manila #1

Casa Manila Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Hello Casa Manila Fans! I finally visited Casa Manila!!!
It's at York Mills road and Don Mills road. My ex-boyfriend who was Filipino, when we were dating, he was trying to get me to visit but I did not go. 

I had very much regretted not attending before. I am happy at the same time that I had an opportunity to experience Fine Dining Filipino foods from Casa Manila.  

I adored their restaurant's atmosphere. Magical. Cultured. Romantic. Boho-nature, tropical theme.

Our table was setup like this... 

There was a large family dining here. 

A bit of history here. I see that they have some Chinese in their family. I also notice a young Chinese boy working at the time. 

Ube Ice Cream! 

The sunniest spot in the restaurant...

First course : Chicken Chicharon Appetizers 

A funny story behind this. Noel, Danny's Flipino friend was talking about setting up a restaurant that sold only fried chicken skins. 
Well, it looks like Casa Manila beat you Noel. And they made it fancier. 

Deep fried chicken skin with Vietnamese pickles carrots and daikon, spicy mayo and chopped green onions. It was mind-blowingly good to the point where I hallucinated said "Who ate the fifth one?" There were four people at our table. Danny was like, "There was only four of those." I had to check back at my photos. I wanted to eat the fifth one so badly!

Second Course: Beef Consomme with chopped beef and vegetables – Nilagang Baka
This is probably the best Beef Consomme ever! I like hearty soups. The beef brisket was tender and soft. It wasn't too salty. 

So I was about to dig into the soup when I noticed their cutlery was unique. 

They were flat or 2-dimensional spoons and forks. 

Ok, so I confess, this is my second serving.

Third Course: Behold! Our Kamayan
Coconut Ginger Vegetables
7-UP Shrimp
Beef Kare Kare (Peanut beef stew)
Crispy Pata (Crispy Pork Hocks)
Chicken Adobo 

Everything was delicious in their own way. I gave my pork to Danny (I don't eat pork).

I remember the 7-UP Shrimp was sweet and tangy. 

Shrimp paste was very salty. I remember I enjoyed the third tan-brown sauce the best. It tasted like sweet peanut butter. 

On the Kamayan platter, the Beef Kare Kare (Peanut beef stew) and
Coconut Ginger Vegetables. Who knew peanuts and beef would pair up so nicely. The vegetables (purple eggplant, bok choi, green beans and squash) did this nice dance in my mouth and creamy coconut sauce was licked off of my fingers. Yes, I ate with my hands. It was messy, intimate, made the dishes taste better and I loved it! 

I just wished I had more purple eggplant! 

Dessert/fourth course: Halo halo for the guys. 
Sugar plum, beans, shaved ice, milk and pandan syrup
under layers of assorted fruits, beans, custard with 
Ube Taro Ice Cream and puffed rice flakes.

Bottom of the bowl

I had asked for just Ube ice cream. It wasn't on the menu but they were so sweet to make it happen! Thank you Casa Manila! So this was Marble Slab's Ube ice cream. I had Sapputo's Ube ice cream so I was expecting strong Ube flavour and that bright-dark royal violet colour. Marble Slab made their ice cream extremely diluted and pale. I guess I will be on the hunt for Saputo's Ube Ice cream this summer. 

After the halo halo was mixed. Serve with a ladle. It tasted like forbidden breakfast cereal! Imagine people ate this for breakfast. There would be no more hate, just love! I definitely tasted the rice puffs. Whoever is Filipino reading this is probably having a good laugh at this. 

Casa Manila deserves 5.0/5.0. You can see they put a lot of effort keeping the place clean, fancy and maintaining their wow factor. Their food was extremely delicious, flavourful and very unique. It was probably one of the most memorable meals in Toronto. Their quality in their ingredients is good to high quality. The server was so nice. He even offered to take the time to teach us how to eat with our hands and how to divide up the Kamayan. When I looked around, most of their clienteles were Filipinos, families, couples on dates and women having a girl's day out. One thing that I had noticed is that a lot of their customers wore semi-formal or church clothes. I showed up in casual wear. Well, I will know next time. 

Thanks for reading!

For more information:

Casa Manila  
Address: 879 York Mills Rd, North York, ON M3B 1Y5
Phone:(416) 443-9654

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tsujiri #1

TSUJIRI Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Hello Green Tea Fanatics!
I love green tea! When I saw photos on Zomato of Tsujiri, I knew had a strong intuition that I would love it! 

Danny and I waited a few feet behind their entrance. We waited approximately 30 minutes. It was worth it! 

This was not the far end the room. There were more people behind me in the room. There was about 30-35 people waiting in a long "S" shaped line. 

Next time, I would like to try a Green Tea Cream Puff. 

These girls who assembled the desserts were Japanese. They took their time. They were calm. And they looked and looked at the details of each and every dessert to ensure it resembled the photos. Some of them even wore nose guards which looks like upside down thin, clean goggle-shields. Shouldn't everyone in the food industry be wearing these? I've always admired the Japanese culture and their obsession of cleanliness. 

I took some shots of other people's desserts while waiting. 

Danny ordered a Yuzu Citron Float. He loved it! His regret was that he should have ordered a large. I was like I never tried Yuzu Citrons before. When I took a sip, I immediately knew what it was. Koreans drink Yuzu Tea which looks something like this at Galleria Market. 

My mother gifted a jar to one of my sister's teacher (Caucasian woman). 
When my mother attended a parent-teacher's night, the teacher was like, "Oh thank you for the marmalade!" My mother was like, "What?". Then the teacher clarified, "Oh the lemon jam, you gave me? I loved it with toast!" My mother was like, "Ummm... yeah...ok..". My mom returned home chuckling and she told me the story.

This appeared the most frequently ordered. I have no idea what that brown stuff is. Brown rice? 

I ordered the small Tsujiri Milk Float. I wished I had requested for some more ice cream. I really enjoyed it. It had a strong matcha taste to it followed by dreamy, creamy, sweet notes. It was excellent! I'm definitely returning to Tsujiri. They deserve a 4.5/5.0. It is a long line up but I had no regrets. 

For more information:
Address: 147 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5G 1C5
Phone:(647) 351-7899

Monday, April 18, 2016

My First Time at Red Lobster (Dundas & Bay)

Red Lobster Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Hello Seafood lovers! 
So I've never visited Red Lobster. Danny have been talking about Red Lobster and their Cheddar Bay Biscuits. He thought they were "The Best Biscuits ever!"

We had visited the Bay and Dundas Red Lobster on Saturday April 16, 2016.

A live lobster tank that was right at their entrance. The host greeted us and asked if we watched a booth seat. Yes please! 

We got the best seats in the house. These booth seats can seat up to four people comfortably. This was a great bed for a short nap after the meal. 

Tadaah! The cheddar bay biscuits! They tasted pretty processed but they were tasty and addictive! I asked our server, "Is there crack in the biscuits?" They were fluffy, soft, salty and cheesy. 

He had garden salad with a thousand island dressing.

I had my garden salad with Italian dressing. The salad wasn't too fresh but the cherry tomatoes were. 

Lobster Lover's Dream
It had a rock lobster tail with a sweet split Maritime lobster tail. I chose the grilled green beans and the tomatoes as my side. There was also lobster and shrimp linguini Alfredo. 

I finished this first..

I prefer regular lobster. Dipping the lobster meat in the butter definitely brought out the sweetness. It was seafood heaven! I loved it! 

Then this second..
The pasta was creamy and very cheesy. Danny kept on trying to steal some. The green beans were sadly skinny and dried but the grilled tomatoes tasted great and very flavourful! It tasted like sun dried tomatoes re-hydrated.

The rock lobster tail was salty and had an earthy and rock taste to it. I would know because I licked a rock before when I was a child. I wasn't too crazy about the rock lobster. 

Admiral's Feast
It states, "Walt's favourite shrimp, bay scallops, clam strips and a fish fillet, all fried to a golden brown." Danny chosen grilled green beans and roasted tomatoes for his side.

I loved the way how they cleaned the shrimps on both sides so it has a crystal clean taste.

Clam strips 

We were unsure what type of fish this was. Danny guessed it was a piece of haddock.

This Red Lobster deserves a 4.0/5.0. Overall, the meal was fantastic! Two things I did not like. It tasted very processed and the vegetables needs to be more fresh. It reminded me of eating McDonalds. They were very keen on presentation. The server brought out the foods in the largest circular tray I had ever seen! He pulled out a fold-able, wooden, tray stand for the Voila Effect! When I looked around, most of their clients base were multicultural but mainly Caucasian and older adults. The place was clean and well kept. The staff members were friendly, helpful and I will say patient. We took awhile to order. I will definitely see myself coming here once a year to satisfy my seafood cravings.

For more information:
Red Lobster 
Address: 20 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5G 2C2
Phone:(416) 348-8938