Sunday, December 27, 2015

Restaurant: Cacao 70

Rating: 3.5

This new restaurant in distillery district has been coming up all over my Instagram feed. Sice my friend has never been to the Christmas market, we decided to come check it out.

The restaurant and bright and open. It was a short wait to be seated on a Thursday night but soon got very busy. The wait got longer and I can see that it was bound to happen since it took a long time before your order was served.

There was a one pager savoury menu, half of which was their brunch menu. The dessert menu was a book and had many many choices. There were pizzas, cakes, crepes, fondue and more.

We settled on getting two hot chocolates, a savory pressed crepe and a dessert pizza.

I got the vintage hot chocolate and chose semi sweet. There was melted chocolate in a cup and hot milked was served on the side for you to mix in. I found this drink very rich and could not finish it.

My friend had the spicy hot chocolate. This was a darker chocolate so it was thicker than mine. She also said it was very rich and could not finish as well.

Hot Chocolates

We had the vegetarian pressed crepe which was filled with egg and spinach. This was a very thin crepe and I found it quite ordinary.

Vegetarian Pressed Crepe
For the pizza, we got the quarter size pizza meant for one person. We had the triple chocolate. The pizza was quite good and came with strawberries and bananas on the side, with white chocolate to dip into. I found the fruit to be very refreshing after all the rich chocolate.

Triple Chocolate Pizza

Overall, I would stick to their desserts and not the savory dishes. The dessert was delicious and I wish I had more of it. I found the hot chocolate too rich to finish on my own so it would be good to share a hot chocolate or have a cup of coffee to pair with the dessert.

Cacao 70 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Restaurant: Moxie's

Rating: 3

With a group of 15 people, my friend had made a reservation ahead of time. I got there a few minutes early with a few other friends. We were led to a table which was occupied. The hostess seemed confused and went back to check if they were just waiting for these customers to leave. We were there waiting on the side for about 15 minutes in front of this table which was near the kitchen. I finally went back to the front to check what was going on and saw that some of my other friends had arrived. It turns out they were told that the table is being set up and we were forgotten behind. Not a good start to dinner.

After waiting for quite a while longer, we were finally seated. We had two servers for our tables but they had not split the table amongst themselves so there was some confusion when we were ordering since they thought each other had asked certain people already.

The food also came out after a long wait. However, this is understandable since we had a large group. I had the herbed chicken alfredo. There was a good portion of sauce sitting at the bottom of the plate but the top was slightly dry. The penne at the top was much better after being mixed into the sauce. I really liked the creamy sauce. The chicken was in small bite size pieces and flavourful. Overall, I enjoyed the food.

After we were done eating, we were not given the dessert menu until much later. The servers didn't come back until 15+ min later to take orders. When dessert was done and it was time for the bill, it wasn't a surprise that both getting the bill and paying took forever. For big groups, 18% tip is automatically applied.

I was disappointed overall by my experience at Moxie's. I felt that the staff were confused and the service was just very slow. This seemed consistent across the different employees that i encountered. I did enjoy my food but for larger groups, I would not recommend coming here.

Moxie's Grill & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Restaurant: AKA Teppan

Rating: 3.5/5

AKA Teppan is a restaurant similar to Pepper Lunch that specializes in food that comes on a hot plate. I went to the downtown location and it was clean and looked neat with the white tables. We were seated right away and given menus.

We ordered the okonomiyaki fries ($6.99) to share and I had the supreme beef teppanyaki rice ($9.49). The okonomiyaki fries was a nice sharing portion and was topped with seaweed and bonito flakes. There was a generous amount of okonomi sauce and mayo. It was good and tasted like okonomiyaki but I found it a bit too sweet.

Okonomiyaki Fries
The teppanyaki rice came with a good portion of beef and corn. In the middle of the rice was a chunk of butter that you need to mix up with your dish. I saw the employees mix some of the dishes for other customers. While I did enjoy my dish, I found that there was too much sauce. I think that I would have enjoyed it more if I had gotten some add ons such as mushrooms which would help lessen the sauce to food ratio. I would have also liked it with more black pepper. I prefer Pepper lunch based on my experience in Vancouver.

Supreme Beef
The service was very good though. The employees were all very friendly and it was easy to flag someone down for more water. When the fries came, we were asked if we wanted small plates so we can share the food more easily. They also made sure we were ok with them clearing any finished plates.

I would come back again to try another dish or a dessert.

Atlantic Salmon
Grilled Chicken Pasta

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

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Restaurant: Dumpling House

Rating: 3.5/5

I came to Dumpling House in Spadina with my parents on a Saturday around noon. The restaurant was already full and we waited about 5-10 min for a table. There isn't a lot of space to wait because their open kitchen was in the front, so you would have to line up in a single file.

Between the three of us, we ordered the pork and celery steamed dumplings ($7.59 for 15), pork and chive pan fried dumplings ($7.99 for 12), shrimp and pork pan fried dumplings ($7.99 for 12) and marinated intestine ($6.99). We ended up using two small take out boxes for the food we couldn't finish.

The steamed dumplings were good and juicy. I did preferred the pan fried dumplings though. The two pan fried dumplings were quite similar. While I did find pieces of shrimp, my mom would have preferred more. The intestines came over a bed of vegetables soaked in the soy marinade. As you reach for pieces from the bottom, it was quite salty. I think I will stick to deep fried intestines instead.

During our meal and after our meal, there was constantly a line up. The employees were quite quick when we asked for more tea and the bill. I noticed that they do sell frozen dumplings as well so I may come back for that another time.

Marinated intestines
pork and chive dumplings
pork and celery dumplings
pork and shrimp dumplings

Dumpling House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Restaurant: Joon's

Rating: 4/5

Joon's is a Korean restaurant that specializes in table cooking. You can spot it's orange sign on Yonge street near Yonge and Sheppard. This is very close to Sheppard station on the subway. It also seems like there is parking at the back since we saw many people come through the back doors. Upon arriving at 6:45pm, the restaurant was about half filled with customers. We were seated promptly and served with water.

The dak galbi is popular here. With any of the table cooking dishes, you have to order at least two portions of the entree. With a group of four, we ordered three portions of the dak galbi with rice cake, vegetables, noodles and sweet potatoes along with four bowls of rice. We ordered it with the Joon's spice level. I usually order it with cheese but opted out this time. This was more than enough for us (two males and two females).

It took quite a while before we were served our food. This is because they cooked it inside and just served the pan to us, rather than having it cook in front of us with a portable stove. This meant that the dish started cooling down a bit through our meal. There were also four side dishes - potato, radish, broccoli and kimchi. The dak galbi was delicious with a good mix of all the items. I did find that that it was not as spicy as it was in the past. There was still a kick to it since I reached out to my water a couple of times.

Dak Galbi
It did get busier through the night, and that's when it was hard to get any service. It took a few tries before we were able to get more water. It also took a bit of time to get our bill but you can tell that the employees were trying to work quickly. I do enjoy the food here and order the dak galbi every time that I am back.

Joons Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato