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The Costco Thread - Ontario - 2014 - July to September

Can also confirm Kirkland vanilla ice cream is not stocked at the Mississauga South location as of last week, which has a more extensive iced treats selection than Etobicoke.

Sweet Japanese Curry at Yonge and Gerrard

Not authentic, basically. It had peppers, no taste of belachan, and no garlic chives. No wok hay as well.

I'd go back for the curry as the sample I had was tasty and the owners were both so nice, earnest, and proud of their food, all of which are increasingly rare qualities in Toronto food places.

Aug 09, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Costco Thread - Ontario - 2014 - July to September

Yes, I was checking the price of the toilet paper and the on sale name brand was still more expensive than Kirkland at regular price. I figured if Kirkland does go on sale, then that'd be an even better bargain!

Aug 07, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Costco Thread - Ontario - 2014 - July to September

Well, it's not precisely food-related in the nature of this board, but the dishwasher detergent and toilet paper. Good to know the laundry detergent goes on sale sometimes, thanks.

Aug 07, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Costco Thread - Ontario - 2014 - July to September

Do Kirkland brand items ever go on sale, besides when they get discontinued?

Anyone know if the Mississauga South store has frozen demi-baguettes? At the Etobicoke store, I only found frozen mini ciabattas.

Aug 06, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sweet Japanese Curry at Yonge and Gerrard

Have tried the char kway teow, which is not recommended at all. However, I did sample their curry and their homemade kaya jam. Both are pretty delicious and the latter has a strong pandan flavour. One jar is $5 (I think), but you need to reserve it a day ahead by calling.

Aug 02, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ice Cream, 2014

The durian gelato really is great. The aroma and taste is spot-on, the texture is good, and the durian smell is very strong. I would not suggest kissing a durian-hater afterwards because they'll hate it!

Also, I tasted the HK Milk tea and had the Vietnamese coffee. Although they were accurate in flavour, their texture was lacking and the flavour didn't linger as long.

I suspect it's because the base needs more a bit more (milk) fat in it to work, which is why the durian is good, but the other flavours I tried weren't as great.

Jul 09, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where can I buy Kimchi in Toronto?

Galleria kimchi has lasted me for 6+ months and I don't think it has ever become moldy or gone "off". I even had 10-month old Galleria kimchi in my fridge at one point, which went into an intensely flavoured kimchi jjigae and kimchi bokkeumbap. However, I do love super sour, aged, funky kimchi; I'll eat 5-month aged kimchi as banchan.

May 26, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sai Krok Isan ไส้กรอกอีสาน - are they on any Toronto Thai Restaurant menu?

In my limited experience, Wiang Kuk can be good-or-meh depending on their dishes. I've had a decent/good larb from them with hand-chopped dark meat, but I've also had a flavourless pork noodle soup from them.

For Thai, if I'm in Markham, I'll eat there, but to really satisfy a craving for Thai food, I prefer KSR, Sukhothai, or Sabai Sabai.

Mar 08, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sai Krok Isan ไส้กรอกอีสาน - are they on any Toronto Thai Restaurant menu?

You can find it at Wiang Kuk Thai Food, a food stall in the First Markham Place food court.

Feb 28, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Doughnuts/Donuts in Toronto: 2014

Markham location does do pizza everyday but doesn't have a wood-fired oven.

Feb 13, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Doughnuts/Donuts in Toronto: 2014

Apparently the Markham location gets its bread from the Scarborough location, so it was possible the doughnut I had was from the Midland location.

Feb 13, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Doughnuts/Donuts in Toronto: 2014

Got the chocolate dip from Calabria Bakery's Markham location and it is excellent. Agree that it's no frills, but just well-executed. The light, soft, tender base itself was fantastic -- better than GHD and JMD. The frosting/glaze wasn't as tasty as the one on the chocolate dip from JMD (too sweet but very chocolatey), but still serviceable and not too sweet.

The price also doesn't hurt -- only $1! magic, thanks for the rec; I will probably go back and try some of their other flavours. They said they had a vanilla doughnut with chocolate-banana frosting on Monday when I called.

Feb 12, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Hot Pot?

Hipot at Hwy 7/Chalmers. If you're going on a weekend, it'd be a good idea to make reservations.

Jan 31, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ramen Isshin - College and Bathurst

Jan 13, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

A quick review of Biff's

Went in June and October. Great service as usual for an O&B restaurant and good food. Would agree that the food is better than it has been in the last few years.

My only quibble was that the sauce on my main (a sort of paupiette of pork stuffed with liver and forcemeat with a side of kale) in October was far too salty, but the dish overall was done well.

Jan 11, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Chowfind: An authentic tasting 'Instant' Singapore Laksa Noodle La Mien good enough for Chowhounders!

No MSG is listed on the ingredients plus on the front of the package, they state "No MSG added*". However, they added in fine print on the back "*Contains naturally occurring glutamate."

The ingredient list is pretty good for instant noodles -- only three to four un-/semi-pronounceable chemicals. I think the nutritional info/ingredients list is available in a photo on ramenrater's site.

However, your query prompted me to read the back of the package (I just had this for dinner) and I just ate 91% of my recommended daily sodium intake!

Flavour-wise, this is great for instant laksa at home. Would buy again if I have a craving for laksa. Easier to throw together than the Prima Taste Laksa meal kit and simpler for one person. I've tried the kit before and I think it's slightly better than the instant noodle (sambal chili and laksa leaves are included in separate packets), but the instant noodle is far more convenient.

Jan 06, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

vegetarian ramen?

The newly opened Isshin Ramen (College/Bathurst, few doors east of Sneaky Dee's) has vegetarian ramen.

Jan 06, 2014
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ramen Isshin -- College/Bathurst

Thanks to a tip from aser in this thread (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/929446), I checked out this newly opened ramen place, since I was in the area and I love tantanmen.

TL;DR review: tasty tantanmen, decent portions/price, would go again.

Space has seating for about 25-30 people, including a wall of cushioned, backed bar stools for all the single diners. It's spacious and seating seems comfortable. Only issue is the front door lets in drafts easily, but maybe they will address this issue with a curtain.

Menu has about 8-10 (?) different ramen, which range in price from $8.50 (?) to $10.25. There's red miso, shio tonkotsu sesame, shoyu tonkotsu, maybe a couple other shoyu-based ramen, and two veggie ramen.

You can add toppings like corn, an egg, chili oil, etc.. Desserts are also available.

Had the featured black tantanmen ($10.25), which had "thick, twisty" noodles, a thin, small slice of pork belly chashu, a small mound of ground pork in a sauce, some minced pickled veg (zha cai), diced garlic chives, and a drizzle of chili oil in a tonkotsu-based miso broth. Comes with a small suribachi and surikogi so you can grind up some black sesame to add to your broth (halfway through, they advise).

Bowl is a decent size. It's slightly bigger than Santouka and maybe about the same size as Sansotei.

Broth has a touch of creaminess and is enriched with ground black sesame. There's a bit of sweet nuttiness to the broth, which comes through despite the other powerful flavours of miso, chili, and garlic chives. My only quibble is that it was too salty. (Caveat: I have a fairly bad cold which has made me lose about 30%-40% of my sense of taste.) Although the broth is tonkotsu-based, it's not Santouka-levels of richness/fullness. There's no greasy feeling in the throat afterwards. It's a bit spicy, but not unbearable.

Noodles are a perfect match, since the slightly wavy, thick noodles capture the bits of miso, sesame, and ground pork. The noodles are nicely cooked for some toothsomeness (I usually order noodles katame/firm, but forgot this time), but they got softer as I got to the bottom of the bowl.

The amount of chashu was quite small, so I can't really give an opinion on it, except that it was cooked well and wasn't dry.

I would go back again to try the other ramen, particularly the shio sesame tonkotsu.

Here's their Yelp page (http://www.yelp.ca/biz/ramen-isshin-t...), which doesn't have any reviews yet, but contains the contact info and the hours.

Dec 30, 2013
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Fresh Burger Richmond Hill

Thanks for the rec, LJS2.

Tried the cheeseburger today and found the patty to be beefy and flavourful with a good crust (beefier than Five Guys and the Stockyards, less beefy than Holy Chuck, best crust out of all of them). Bun was perfectly sized for the patty (nice and squishy) and the burger maintained excellent integrity to the last bite, i.e., no slippin' and slidin' causing uneven amounts of patty, toppings, and buns in each bite.

Only negative for me was that I asked for the patty to be done medium well (a concession from the medium rare I really wanted after the stressed out looking cashier said they could do it, but he recommended against it) and it turned out well-done and dry. (Not surprising, since the patty is 100% sirloin.) Special sauce saved it, but I'm not a big fan of burgers which only depend on sauce for moisture, as opposed to a juicy patty and sauce.

Still, it's a tasty, balanced burger (I'd agree it's slightly better than Five Guys) and I'd go again if in the area to try the fries and see if they can do a medium-rare burger.

Dec 04, 2013
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Late afternoon coffee/tea near King and University

Little Nicky's Coffee (at Queen and Peter) isn't too far of a walk from the Shangri-La (maybe less than 10 minutes) and should be quieter.

TeaDotCoffee -- 233 College St. (East of Huron)

Passed by this cafe last night on my way to dinner, so I didn't grab anything, but has anyone tried it out?

They have a FB page up, but there isn't anything about their coffee on it, e.g., what kind of/whose beans they're using.

Nov 14, 2013
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

In Markham tonight - Markham Museum area or on the way?

There's also Elegant Chinese Cuisine on Hwy 7 (just east of McCowan, north side of Hwy 7). It's in the same strip mall area as Lick's and Congee Queen.

I've eaten there a few times with family over the past few years and have found the food to be decent to good.

Oct 11, 2013
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Toronto - Couple Cheap Recs?

Since you're checking out Sansotei, sounds like you're interested in ramen. If you can fit another bowl of ramen into your schedule, Santouka is highly recommended (if you haven't already tried it here or elsewhere).

Sep 18, 2013
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Pie Commission

Just had the braised beef rib pie -- a great pie with the whole mushrooms and chunks of potato or turnip and bits of sweet potato. I got lucky and got a luscious little morsel of braised beef at the end.The crust really stands out with its aroma and has a good level of flakiness.

Also bought some frozen (well, fresh because they ran out of frozen) pies -- Vegelicious (the kale pie), the butter chicken, the beef rib, and the beef 'n beer. Can't wait to try the Vegelicious one!

FYI, they don't have the Not a Chicken Pot Pie anymore and the Thai Green Chicken Curry Pie wasn't on the menu.

Sep 13, 2013
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Moon Cakes in GTA ? It's that time of year again...

If the Peninsula mini moon cakes at T&T are the egg custard ones, I found them so-so, taste-wise, when I was recently back in HK. Definitely different (good for those who've overdosed on the traditional type), but I wouldn't buy them for myself.

However, they're definitely a go-to moon cake if you want to impress someone, e.g., boss, in-laws, etc. (The Chinese man dressed head-to-toe in luxury brands standing behind me in line at Customs had eight boxes!)

Sep 12, 2013
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sourcing Guanciale in the GTA

Michael Angelo's Markham also had some guanciale about a month ago. Haven't checked if they still stock it.

Aug 19, 2013
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ontario sour cherries 2013

Metro may start carrying them soon, according to the most recent flyer.

Jul 10, 2013
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ben & Izzy's

Dropped by around 6:30 for a smoked meat sandwich. Wish I could write a review of it, but they were sold out. No sign indicating that they were sold out when I walked in and walked out, sandwich-less and greatly disappointed.

However, the 20 minutes or so I wasted while standing in line and ravenously hungry gave me the opportunity to observe just how the unprepared and poorly trained the staff is. The cashier did not know what the "B" in BLT on their own menu stood for. I also observed quite a few inefficiencies -- empty, uncleared tables, but people still waiting in line for a table; one person doing two jobs with 50% attention where they really should be only doing one job with 100% attention; people waiting 20 minutes for water and for their orders to be taken; etc. Unless you are willing to be patient and understanding, it mayn't be a good idea to go until the many kinks are worked out.

I might not be back, considering the location (not very convenient personally) and the expectations they built up with their many months of tweets. Their ambition and passion are admirable, but without execution, they've disappointed.

May 07, 2013
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)


Just had dinner there this weekend Good bread. Delicious soup and mushroom salad. I ordered the pork chop, but I ended up coveting my mum's mushroom/TVP pie after I had a taste, especially with the housemade ketchup. Interestingly enough, all vegetarian dishes were all overseasoned, whereas the meat dishes were all underseasoned (for my taste)

Dessert was meh -- gingerbread millefeuille with wine-poached pear. Great texture, but too sweet and too much buttercream.

Service ranged from friendly/accommodating to disinterested. They took a long time to serve up our mains. Two tables that ordered after us got their mains before us.

I'd go back for the soup, salad, and pie and to try the meat tourtiere and all the pastas, but the service was uneven.

Mar 05, 2013
lsk in Ontario (inc. Toronto)