Monday, May 18, 2015

fresh off the boat

I'm turning more and more into a seafood person.

My mom told me about Fresh Off The Boat when it first opened and how badly she wanted to try it.

I absolutely love the name of this seafood joint. An urban asian twist on fresh seafood centred sandwiches? Girl, you know I love my puns.


On Friday, A and I both had the day off so we decided to get new piercings (we're rebels, shh). On our way there, we passed by the restaurant on Queen West so we decided to head back once we got some new holes in our ear.

It was pretty empty since it was 3pm on a Friday afternoon.


Their menu is written on a series of mini chalkboards lining one of their walls. The other wall is adorned with framed pictures of fishermen, boats, and the sea. The lighting fixture is even intertwined with thick fishing ropes to complete the look.




Oh, and they even have a shelf stacked with bottles and bottles of Sriracha. Because asians.


They're most famous for their Soft Shell Crab Sandwich, but since I wasn't in a crab mood that day, I decided on the Lobster Roll.

Believe it or not, I never really used to like lobster. This was actually also my first lobster roll, ever. The food arrived very quickly, but then again there was no one else in the restaurant so that probably played a factor... 


The Maine-styled lobster roll came served with a side of fries and their house broccoli slaw.


fresh atlantic lobster lightly dressed in mayo and celery chives, on a butter top sliced bun

As pricey as this was ($13.95), it was delicious. The lobster was very fresh and the celery added an extra crunch to every bite. I was not a big fan of their fries though, which were a little on the soggy side and lacked flavour. Their broccoli slaw was alright but could do with a little less dressing.

A ordered the Mediterranean Shrimp Sandwich.

It came on a longer bun (more like a sub), but she said it was also delicious and filling.

sauteed shrimp in seasoned tomato sauce, basil, and feta

Fresh Off The Boat is worth a visit. While their sides are a little lacking, their sandwiches are the star of the menu, which is ultimately what you're going there to eat anyway.

Fresh Off the Boat on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 15, 2015

millie creperie

Second on B and I's Kensington Market adventure was a stop at Millie Creperie.



Ever since I saw a picture of their Japanese Special Crepe, I knew I had to give this place a try.

Little did I know, this little shop is actually owned by one of my old friends from church! She came by the store midway through our visit and we were able to catch up. So Christinn if you happen to be reading this, here's a shoutout! :)

When we first got inside, there were no spots available. There are only about 3-4 tables in the tiny space, so we stood around awkwardly for a bit waiting for one of the groups to leave.

Millie Creperie serves a variety of different desserts such as crepes, gelato, and parfaits, but also offers a selection of savoury Japanese-inspired dishes.




I already knew what I was going to order, but B did some contemplating and decided on a scoop of Mango Gelato.


She originally wanted the Khao San Road Thai Iced Tea Gelato but sadly they were out for the day. This is something they work with KSR to produce, and only gets shipped to the store every so often. How delicious does that sound?!


This is my Japanese Special Crepe. Creamy green tea gelato wrapped in a warm, thin crepe.

strawberry, azuki, green tea gelato, matcha sauce, whipped cream


I honestly think this is one of my favourite desserts now, no joke. The green tea gelato was so creamy and meshed so well with the strawberries and crepe. It was like the equivalent of an Asian ice cream cone.

Millie Creperie has many other desserts that also sound absolutely delicious. I think I'm going to try a slice of their Mille Crepe Cake next time. It's a cake made up of 20 thin crepes stacked on top of each other, with light pastry cream between each layer. Definitely something different!


I know I say this a lot, but this is another place that would be perfect in the summer. A nice evening stroll to Kensington market + a stop here to grab dessert = the makings of a perfect summer night!

Millie Creperie on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 14, 2015

seven lives

Kensington Market is an area of Toronto I don't visit as much as I used to. My aunt used to live right next to it, so we would always walk through it on our way to Chinatown.

It's been so uncharacteristically sunny in Toronto recently. Dare I say... spring is coming?

B and I decided to go on a little Kensington Market adventure.

First up: Seven Lives.


It was 2pm, but it was still crazy packed. Then again, that couldn't be hard considering the space they occupied is super tiny. You enter, and you're already standing in the line to order (at least that was the case for us). There is one table to sit at, and everywhere else is [crowded] standing room.


They have less than 10 items on their menu, which they display on a hanging chalkboard.



Since we had plans to grab dessert afterwards, I only ordered 2 tacos. Good thing, because they turned out to be the heaviest tacos I'd ever seen-- they actually needed two tortillas to contain the weight of the filling.

Our food took about 5-10 minutes to get to us, so not too bad.

On the left is the Pulpo en Mole Verde (octopus), and the right is the Gobernador.

Left: octopus in green mole / Right: smoked tuna, shrimp, cheese

B chose the Baja Fish (left) and Gobernador as well.

Left: battered and deep fried mahi mahi w/ house sauce / Right: smoked tuna, shrimp, cheese

There were so many ingredients at play with each of these tacos, every bite was jam packed with flavour. I really liked my Pulpo en Mole Verde, which I ordered because I wanted to, of course, be adventurous (shocker, I know). 

We actually got surprisingly full! My only complaint would be that the juices from the tacos would drip out as you were eating them, and the basket they're served in didn't exactly do a good job of catching the drippage. 

I actually ended up having to wipe the table afterwards, but I'm sure that could have also been because we were eating with our jackets still on, trying to keep our tight spot in one of the standing areas.

I think I'd go as far to say that this is now my favourite taco place in the city.

They do have some weird hours though-- they're only open Wednesday to Sunday, from 12-7pm. Kind of a miss, since they'd be losing the dinner crowd, but it's still definitely worth a visit if you can find the time.

Seven Lives on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 7, 2015

wilbur

I love tacos.

(Who doesn't?)

S took me to a new place on King West that she absolutely loves, Wilbur Mexicana.

It was a Saturday night and it was packed. Loud music played as you entered the restaurant.

You pick up a menu and line up to order.

Apparently their Queso Fundido is amaaazing, however they were out of it for the day. I guess that goes to show exactly how good it is!




I snagged a table as S went to put in our order. They gave us a number/sign/football guy so they would later know where to bring our food.



While we waited, I hit up the salsa bar to choose my condiments. They also had rows and rows and rows of hot sauce! 

I went with the Habanero and Asada salsas.




After a short wait, a server came and brought us our food. We ordered the Baja Fish, Bulgogi, and Chicken Tinga tacos.


The Baja Fish and Bulgogi tacos came in a flour tortilla, and the Chicken Tinga came in a crispy corn tortilla. All of them came with a side of tortilla chips.

Baja Fish (top) - beer battered mahi-mahi, cabbage, pico de gallo, chipotle crema
Bulgogi (bottom) - cabbage, sriracha crema, pear, sesame seeds

Chicken Tinga - guacamole, cotija

The ingredients in the tacos worked very well together. There was also a great tortilla to filling ratio-- something that is definitely important when it comes to tacos. Overall these were great and pretty filling for their size.

Their chips were also perfect in thickness and crisp. I can only imagine how good they would've been with the queso...

Wilbur is a great addition to the King West strip. The fare is affordable and the food is delicious. The next time you're in the area and don't feel like going to one of the swankier restaurants King West is notorious for, be sure to check this place out instead!

Wilbur Mexicana on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

soma

Like any other Torontonian last month, my roommate and I went to the Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District.

She had never been, and I had only ever gone at night.

It was the day of my birthday, and we had some time to kill before my birthday dinner (see my last post).

It was a Saturday and it was super sunny outside, so naturally it was packed.

At one point we tried lining up at a Kinder booth, only to be denied once we got to the front as it was only for kids 12 year olds and under... Can't blame us for trying though, you got to take photo booth pics and get a massive Kinder egg!

My one main goal for our trip was to try Soma Chocolatemaker's hot chocolate. I've heard great things about it, and have been trying to find something in Toronto that matches the hot chocolate of Pret a Manger (why can't they open locations in Canada already?).


Once we found Soma, we had to wait in a line before we were allowed to be let in. I guess a lot of people had the same idea as me! After about 5-10 minutes, we were let inside where we were greeted by, yup you guessed it, another line.



One of the employees came around with menus so we could order first and then pay right when we got to the cash.

We both ordered their Classic Hot Chocolate, in a mug with milk.


I did some exploring while we waited for our turn to pay. The inside of the store also showcased their chocolate making "factory".




Tay Swift, anyone?


And now, the moment of truth!



Verdict? I was disappointed.

The first few sips I took tasted like... baked beans. Chocolate mixed with beans.

After a while it started tasting better, but I could never get that initial bean taste out of my mouth. I did like the consistency of it however. It had a medium level of thickness which I think is ideal for hot chocolate. My favourite part was the chocolate bits at the very bottom.

The hot chocolate was definitely a great pick me up for the cold winter outside. If anything, it helped warm our hands as we walked around the rest of the market.



I picked up a packet of their Mayan Hot Chocolate to try at home. I have always loved the combo of chili peppers and chocolate.


Although their Classic Hot Chocolate was a little bit of a miss, I do think I'll return one day to try some of their chocolates. Maybe I'll try the King West location next time. There shouldn't be lines there, right?

Soma Chocolate on Urbanspoon