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Sansotei

Been there twice.

First time there, the noodles were overcooked. Chashu was great, soup was good. (Not the best I've tasted, but best up to now in Toronto). Was a bit annoyed by the cold egg yolk.

Second time last night, noodles were cooked just right, broth was about the same, Chashu while still good, was not as good as the first time. Egg yolk was still cold.

Compared to Kinton, I think Sansotei is better overall. Both had cold egg yolks, but the broth and chashu was better at Sansotei. Can't say which had better noodles cause I don't think Sansotei is probably still inconsistent based on my experience.

Only comparible ramen I've had in Toronto was Koyoi's limited quantity ramen on Wednesdays, that was a long time ago, not sure if they are still doing it. However, Koyoi charged $13 a bowl, where as Sansotei charged $9.50(I think...).

Anyway, can't wait til the other expected openings this year! :D

Sep 21, 2012
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

hon-mirin, where can I buy?

J-town doesn't have it. No idea how different it is, but that just make me want to try it more. :p

I wouldn't mind sharing a bottle, let me know if we get 6 :)

May 13, 2010
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Full House vs. Spring Villa for Banquet

We ended up having it at Full House, because Spring Villa only had a side room for us, so it wasn't ideal for a wedding.

I did set up my mother's birthday dinner there after my wedding, and I have to say, the food was better than Full house, but that's never a fair measurement because dinner and banquets are two very different beasts.

Haven't been there for about two months though, and I hear rumors that they changed chef, and food is not as good. Not sure how true that is.

-----
Full House Restaurant
328 7 Hwy E, Richmond Hill, ON L4B3P7, CA

Apr 15, 2010
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Izakaya Ju @ J-Town?

I went there last night hoping to try them out. Been talking to the owner at the stall for the last few months so was eager to try when I found out they finally opened.

Dunno how the food was cause I couldn't get a table, but I can say that the servers need to learn how to serve customers better.

When we first walked in, one of the table just freed up. So one of the servers told us that it only going to be a few minutes wait for them to clean the table. After waiting for about 5-10 mins, they have finally cleaned the table, and the server were about to seat us. At this point, another server came over, said something to our server. Our server then turn around, and told us that the table is not available, it has be reserved!

At this point, I was still ok, it might have been an honest mistake. So I asked, "how long is the wait?". This is when things turn odd. The first response was, "I don't know". Second try was, " 30 mins to an hour, may be longer." This is already at around 8:40pm and they close at 10pm. She kept on babbling different things, basically all of which were asking us to leave, so we turn around and left.

The whole episode left a bad taste in my mouth. I like the owner from my experience with him, but if this place is going to be successful, he should replace his staff with more experienced ones.

Apr 11, 2010
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

hon-mirin, where can I buy?

Hmm, I think the label in the picture says cooking sake, not mirin. Is that the right link?

Apr 06, 2010
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

hon-mirin, where can I buy?

Did you ever find this locally?

Mar 30, 2010
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Suggestions on where to get quality pork belly in Toronto

Yeah, I bought Berkshire pork belly at Famu(J-town) a few times. The quality is much better than the ones you get at regular Chinese markets.

In the span of a few weeks I bought 3 slabs of pork bellies from different sources- Famu, Superstore, Chinese Supermarket. I cooked them all the same way, and the one from Famu came out the best. Mind you, I really didn't expect a difference between the Chinese supermarket and Superstore, cause they probably have the same source.

Feb 02, 2010
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What happened to the "over bridge noodles" stall at First Markham?

Hmm have to go give that place a try next week.

I haven't updated the favorites for a while. The last time I updated it was when Nota Bene first opened. I thought I'd put some local restaurant in with some good international ones... There just aren't a lot of restaurants in TO at the the level or Arzak. Actually, I revisited San Sebastian and Barcelona earlier this year, there are probably a few restaurants from that visit that should be put into that list. :)

Le Dome is a favorite of mine for a personal reason, and I try to go there every time I visit Paris, and it is always an enjoyable experience.

Nov 21, 2009
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What happened to the "over bridge noodles" stall at First Markham?

Yeah, that's the kind I am looking for. I've been to that place, it wasn't very good though. The one that was in First Markham food court was better, although wasn't quite as good as Spicy Mama. Their business was pretty good though, so I thought may be they just moved somewhere else.

Nov 20, 2009
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What happened to the "over bridge noodles" stall at First Markham?

Anyone know what happened to the "over bridge noodles" stall at First Markham? Went there today, and it was gone. The place that replaced it is just sad...

Failing that, anyone know of a place that good for Yunan noodles? After Spicy Mama folded a few years ago, haven't seen any place that's really good.

Thanks

wciu

Nov 20, 2009
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Japanese knife sharpening

I'd befriend a Sushi chef and ask them to do it for you as a favor. ;)

Feb 28, 2009
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Good restaurants in Scarborough.

I used to go to Aoyama all the time when they first opened, but haven't been for a long time. Their quality went down when they were getting a lot more people. Not sure if they are better now, will go back and check them up sometime.

Some more suggestions:
- Pho Vietname(Kennedy and Ellesmere) is good for Pho and Vietnamese rice dishes.
- Kenny's Noodles at Midland and Shepperd is good for certain dishes(some can be crappy), they have the best Ox Lungs with Vermicelli in the city.

Feb 28, 2009
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Full House vs. Spring Villa for Banquet

Reporting back after a meal at Yang's and Full house.

Full house, impression is standard Chinese restaurant, no surprises. The Squab is pretty good though.

Yang's is definitely more expensive than Full House in terms of the menu-about 60% more. The question is, is it worth it?

We tried one of the special menu they have with Swift's nest soup and Abalone. The menu came with a dish, we ordered the Tofu with Shrimp eggs and sea slugs. We also ordered stir fried scallops and Steamed Chicken with Ham.

The "supreme" broth that makes up the base of the swift's nest soup was exceptional, the crab meat was fresh and tasty, very good. One of the main reason we ordered the menu is that we want to replace the standard shark fin soup with swift's nest soup for environmental concerns, and this dish definitely did not disappoint.

Next came the abalone, it was served with a piece of sea slug as well. Both were very disappointing, the low point of the meal. The abalone was overcooked, and way too soft, and the sea slug was tasteless. The captain explained that the abalone is not the standard ones we get in the banquet, which they would make to order instead of being pre-made, and refrigerated, so it would be better. The one in the banquet menu would also be bigger etc. But, the quality of this dish is definitely making me think twice.

Next up was the scallops. The dish is pretty standard except for the size of the scallops-they were huge! Unlike most Chinese places, Yang's didn't slice one scallop into two or three, you get 9 or 10 jumbos. So even if they charge about $10 more than your regular places, it's worth it. Also the taste was not surprising, I didn't expect it to be. I just wanted to try dishes that are similar to the "two hot meat" dishes in banquet to see the quality, and I can see that they didn't skim on the ingredients for sure.

The Free Range Chicken with Chinese ham was the best dish of the whole meal in my opinion. It was more a homely dish, but whenever I see "Yuan" ham with anything, I tend to want to try it. :p The chicken was very tasty, and the ham was exception, loved it!

The last dish was the Tofu with Shrimp Eggs and Prince(baby) Sea Slugs. Another not so good dish. One problem is that they didn't put enough shrimp eggs in to the dish. They should have just skipped it all together or add a lot more in. The amount they put in didn't give any shrimp egg taste, and made it look and feel like they didn't clean the sand from the baby sea slugs. While on the subject on baby sea slugs, they were really tasteless too, so was not impress. But, because Yang's make a very good "supreme" broth, the sauce itself was very good and the side veggies also tasted very good.

The desert was a Red Bean Soup. Definitely one of the better ones. I think they put some Honey Date in to provide its aroma as a background to the soup. We were pleasantly surprised-mostly because how little we were expecting when we saw red bean soup. :)

Anyhow, overall, I was pretty impressed with Yang's. Just need to make up our minds about whether the price difference is worth it. Overall though, we have more confidence in Yang's than Full house.

Feb 14, 2009
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What is Toronto's best Sushi?

Yeah, must be a new rule, or may be only on weekends... I almost always try to get the bar seats and don't always have omakase, but I usually go on weekends. It's better, more specials.

syoung, I agree the pie is definitely good too. Yum yum. :D

Feb 13, 2009
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What is Toronto's best Sushi?

The best way to experience Zen is to sit at the sushi bar. Seiichi and Jackie are both very helpful. With the wait staff, it depends on who you get, some are better than others.

If you don't know what to get, and are not seated at the sushi bar then:

1. Ask waitress what the kitchen specials are, theses are base on what they get in and are seasonal, some examples are Kanpachi Kama, Grilled Sardines, different types of fish head cooled with burdock, etc. The other night I had a kakiage with sakura ebi, which was really good.

2. For sushi, you can ask for Omakese, that's $45 a head, and you don't need to know what to get. :) This is probably the best deal in Toronto. Or, if you want to got for something cheaper, then order a Tokujyo Sushi and a Matsumae Sushi. Both are good. That would cost you about $25 a head for two.

3. Order Black Sesame Ice Cream for Desert... Yum!

But get a seat at the bar if you can, it's way more fun. :)

Feb 12, 2009
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Full House vs. Spring Villa for Banquet

Went to check out Yang's on Sunday. Looked pretty good, going to have dinner there this week to see how the food is.

Price point is probably slightly higher than Spring Villa. The menu we looked at were about the same price but with Spring Villa, we get Japanese Abalone instead of Middle Eastern, and more Swallow's nest as well. One big plus at Yang's is that it's small enough so that we would be the only ones there to have a banquet, where is Spring Villa will have 2 banquets in the same night.

Anyway, will be going to the different places to try out the food before we decide. :)

Feb 09, 2009
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

toronto noodle adventure - suggestions wanted

When V2 first opened, their noodles had a much stronger ammonia taste than now. I think they've improved a lot. No where close to what you can get from the better ones like "Wing Wah" or "Mak Un Kee" for sure, but it's Toronto. :p

It's kinda funny that you mentioned how but the wonton is though, we were talking about the exact same thing as we were eating it last night. I actually don't understand why "sai yung" is so big, as suppose to the ones that can be hiddened by the noodles in a smaller bowl. It must cost them more to make them so big. Just seems counter intuitive.

Feb 07, 2009
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What is Toronto's best Sushi?

Thirded. Actually, I'm heading there in about 15 mins. :D

Feb 07, 2009
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Full House vs. Spring Villa for Banquet

Just wanted to get some opinion on Full House and Spring Villa for Wedding banquet. My fiance and I went around to different Chinese restaurants today to look at the different venues and menus. Since we are having a destination wedding, we won't be inviting a lot of people, so we were looking for smaller more intimate places.

Of the ones we visited today, Full house and Spring Villa are our top choices. However, one thing about Full House that concerns me is that there seems to be very little booking, which seemed kinda weird.

Spring Villa is also pretty good, but more expensive than Full House by quite a bit, is the difference worth it?

Any opinions on the two would be appreciated. :)

Also, are there other places that you guys would suggest we check out? Thanks!

Feb 07, 2009
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

toronto noodle adventure - suggestions wanted

Sort of had a noodles night last night. Had the "Over the bridge" rice noodles in First Markham place's food court, which was much better than expected. The best I've had since Spicy Mama closed down. Then went to V2 for HK style wonton noodles, good as always. :)

Personally, I think Chinese noodles are much more interesting than Ramen, at least in Toronto....

Feb 07, 2009
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Fig Leaved Gourd

Came across this in a recipe in a Chinese cookbook, looks pretty interesting. Has anyone seen these in Toronto? If so, where can I find one?

Thanks!

Oct 12, 2008
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Zen

Hey Googs. I didn't mean to make it seem like a high pressure situation, and it wasn't. I enjoy things like that and know the people at Zen well enough to feel very comfortable there. So it wasn't a problem at all, was more like a game between friends.

Aug 19, 2008
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Zen

Have to say that I agree with skyline, Otoro at Zen is not consistent. I've had really really good ones there, and some not so good. However, the dinning experience as a whole has always been good for me, which is something I can't say about Kaji or Michi. That's why Zen's my favorite.

I'll give you another example. My girlfriend really likes Shiso. We used to order Umeshiso to finish off a meal. After doing that for a few times, Jacky started putting shiso into some pieces of sushi, or use shiso instead or nori for our orders. Things like this make you feel that the chefs really do care about you, and that(IMO) makes the food taste better. Needless to say, my girlfriend loves Zen. :)

Aug 11, 2008
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

J-Town ~ Open Now: Sakana-Ya & Famu (+ photos)

I got the Berkshire chops from Famu and tried it this past Saturday, just salt and pepper nothing else. It was pretty good, but sliced too thin, would have liked it to be a bit thicker.
Will probably try the Wagyu this weekend.

The quality at Sakana-Ya seems to have gone down from 2-3 weeks ago but don't take my word for it, I am only judging visually....

Aug 11, 2008
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Zen

Omakase just mean that you trust the chef to give you the best. So that's open to interpretations. :)

If you order Omakase, reserve a seat at the Sushi bar. Part of the joy of ordering Omakase is the interactions with the Chefs, and you don't get that unless you sit at the sushi bar. And Soari san and Jacky are both fun guys to talk to.

Zen is by far my favorite Jap restaurant in town. It's not as fancy as others, but the people is great and you get really really really good stuff from time to time. (Not that their normal stuff aren't great, but once in a while, they get a very high grade o'toro, or some special fish that cost $15-20 a piece in Japan in the Omakase, those are the times that you remember. :)

Once, they give me 2 pieces of otoro, and asked me which I prefered. They were testing if I can tell the difference between 2 sunazuri(a special part of otoro), one is a piece from a wild blue fin, another one is a piece from farmed blue fin. Fortunately, I picked the right(wild) one, otherwise, I am not sure they would have laughed at me. :p

Anyway, it's a great place, with great food, and great people. So enjoy your omakase. :)

Aug 08, 2008
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Dying for Thai

I agree, Chieng Mai is the closest I can find to the real thing in Toronto. It's not great but it taste like Thai food. It quite quiet every time I go, so I am glad they are still around after all this time... :p I suspect the food is probably saltier and spicier than what people are used to in Toronto though.

Aug 08, 2008
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Dying for Thai

Take a look at the Summerlicious menu and see if you like what's on there. It's basically items from their regular menu but for appetizer for example, you get 4 dishes from the regular menu, but each at a smaller portion than normal.

If you really would like to try different things, you can do what I did, which is one person order from the Summerlicious menu, the other person order stuff from regular menu that's not on the summerlicous menu.

Aug 08, 2008
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Dying for Thai

Just came back from a dinner at Mengrai. Read about it, just have to try it out. I had the Lemongrass Coconut Soup, Avocado King Prawn, #54 Red Curry, my partner had their summerlicious menu which consisted of a platter of appetizers, fried morning glory and pumpkin soup, the main course with red snapper with coconut tamarind sauce.

If I looked at this meal as a fusion meal, it would be pretty good, but it wasn't good Thai food....

Overall, all the dishes were too sweet and not well balanced. The tastes on many of the dishes were also muddled together, instead of having a type of clean complexity that's a characteristic of good Thai food.

It's hard to describe what I mean, but in Thailand, when you eat something, you can distinguish the different flavors and aroma in a dish easily and cleanly. All the flavors and aroma remains intact, yet all interact with each other in a way that's really pleasing. This was not the case with my meal there.

Overall, I am the happiest with the Lemongrass Coconut soup. The Mango salad that came with the summerlicious menu was way too sweet, and I can hardly taste the fish sauce. (That was the case with most dishes, which was weird to me.)

My Red Curry was interesting because of the Lychee in it, but using white meal instead of dark meat for it was just a mistake. The meat was completely overcooked... The fish wish the summerlicious menu was much better, but still not great Thai food...

So overall, it was ok but not great. Mind you, if I looked at it as fusion, I would say it's good, but if I look at it as Thai food, it is disappointing....

Jul 29, 2008
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Zen

Few people mention their Matsumae Sushi, which I like quite a lot. Their grilled sardines, when available, is really good too.

Jul 29, 2008
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Dying for Thai

Linda's is ok, westernized Thai food that taste pretty good. Definitely not authentic though. (Although I must say, don't think an authentic Thai place can stay open in TO...)

Jul 29, 2008
wciu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)