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Duck Eggs Toronto?

I just noticed in the Asian supermarkets I frequent, that none of them seem to carry duck eggs anymore? They come by the dozen in plastic cartons. Does anyone know what happened to the supply?

I'm referring to fresh duck eggs, and not the preserved salted variety. Thanks!

Apr 12, 2014
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Question about Rowe Farms

When I used to work as a meat clerk, my department manager made about $25.xx/hr. This was in a chain based grocery store btw.

Apr 08, 2014
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Buy, Buy, Birdie?

It's possible they placed the whole bird in a vacuum seal and sous vide cooked it at low temperatures, before quickly placing it in the broiler to crisp up the skin.

This was the method developed by George Pralus in the Troisgros restaurant in France to cook Foie Gras. Which resulted in a higher yield and better texture in the product.

Apr 08, 2014
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Bakeries that bake birthday cake from scratch

Most commercial bakeries have a practice of mass producing cakes and than freezing them for later use. But cakes baked from scratch are naturally denser than store bought packages.

I rmb watching a ep of America's Test Kitchen where they did a comparison of store bought cake and ones they made from scratch. The store bought variety was lighter and more airy than their home made version, which is attributed to the leveners, tenderizers, etc that was included in the mix of store bought packages.

Mar 10, 2014
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

'Bero' - Went!!

The Rabbit was good, and like you mentioned it did taste like good quality free range chicken. The quality of the rabbit was fine, but I wish we didn't get the rack as I found it a bit fiddly to eat with a knife and fork. So it didn't eat elegantly imo. I think it would've been easier if they boned out the loin from the rack and serve the rabbit as medallion pieces instead.

Mar 04, 2014
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

'Bero' - Went!!

I dunno, the addition of crispy Serrano Ham would solve the issue of texture, but it might be too salty and overpower the delicate flavour of snails.

I remember in the Rabbit dish I had, they included some fried enoki mushroom. If they included that in the gnocchi dish, it would be a more cohesive dish. As the mushrooms wouldn't overpower the other components and provide great contrast in texture.

Mar 03, 2014
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

'Bero' - Went!!

I went to Bero a few weeks back, and thought the meal was good but not great imo. Me and my cousin went with the multicourse tasting menu, and had most of the same dishes you did, but we ordered an additional dessert of Asian Pear Tart with Earl Grey Ice Cream.

Some of the things that I didn't really care for was the brioche that accompanied the Foie Gras dish. The Foie Gras dish by itself was great, but I didn't think the house made Brioche that accompanied it was that good. I certainly appreciate the novelty and the concept behind it, using duck fat instead of butter to make the bread. But I've had much better store bought brioche than the in house made one that was served and felt they missed their mark on this one.

Another item was their Gnocchi with Snails, that was overhyped up by the server. When I ate it, it was texturally really flat and one dimensional. I understand the garlic crisp are suppose to add contrast in texture, but it wasn't enough imo. I think they would've been better off making the gnocchi the traditional method, by pan searing them after cooking them in boiling water.

I'm not dismissing the restaurant as a great dining destination, however there are components that need reworking.

Mar 03, 2014
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Kitchenware store in Toronto that won't break the bank

First and foremost, Tap Phong is a restaurant supply store, which supplies commercial based goods to restaurants, hotels, etc. These goods are intended to constantly used and beaten up during service and still be held in good condition. Some of their merchandise is a mixed bag (i.e. glassware, plates, cups, etc) and are inferior quality. But certain items, such hotels pans, robocoup, knives, utensils (rubber spatulas, tongs, wooden spoons, etc) are commercial grade. These are the exact same items sold at Nella and other restaurant supply stores in Toronto, but for much cheaper.

Think of Tap Phong like No Frills. Not everything in the store is of great quality, but for staple merchandise/groceries (cereal, canned soup, frozen vegetables, etc) it's the exact same stuff whether you buy it from there, or Metro, Loblaws, etc. The only difference is that you're paying less for these same goods at No Frills vs other grocery stores.

Feb 23, 2014
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Does Splendido only have multi-course fixed menus now?

Can someone confirm if the promotion is applicable only if you order both the tasting menu with wine pairings together? Or can you just try the tasting menu and still receive the discount?

Thanks!

Feb 23, 2014
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Kitchenware store in Toronto that won't break the bank

You can check out the restaurant supply store (Tap Phong) on Spadina, north of Dundas near Kensington Market. Though they have a lot of "made in China" ware, a lot of their merchandise is for commercial use in restaurants, catering, hotels, etc. So the merchandise is good quality and the prices are better than other restaurant supply stores in the city (Nella, Nikolaou, Dinetz, etc).

Feb 22, 2014
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO: veal bones

About a yr or two back I was able to acquire some veal bones from Sausage Partners (now another Olliffe branch)* by Greenwood and Queen.

If you're planning on using the bones to make stock, an alternative would be to make a brown chicken stock with some pork bones thrown in for depth and complexity.

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

36% to 40% cream

I've definitely seen it at their Queen's Quay, and St. Clair West locations. I might've seen it at their flagship store at the former Maple Leaf Gardens.

Dec 20, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

36% to 40% cream

At the higher end Loblaws, I've seen Devon double cream with 48% milk fat. IIRC $8 for 250ml.

Dec 19, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Christmas at Toronto: Good idea or not?

I know someone already mentioned this but I would also recommend you check out a store called "Tap Phong", located on Spadina near Kensington Market.

It's a restaurant supply store with everything you could ever want (knives, utensils, pans, etc). Seeing as how you checked out Chan Chi Kee, I think you'll really like this store.

Happy Holidays! :D

Dec 13, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Cupcake liners and Baking Cups

You can try a restaurant supply store called Tap Phong on Spadina near Kensington market. They sell a wide variety of bake ware and supplies. Even if they don't have it in store, you can show them the item you're looking for and they'll order it for you.

Nov 18, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

"Sweet Note Dessert" - Gem of a find in Markham and offering the BEST Souffle in the GTA, period!!

By industry standards, I mean the average mark-up for a product for baked goods. You can't really compare the pricing structure/strategy of a bakery with a restaurant. Their apples and oranges. With the exception of bread, the industry standard for bakeries is usually 2-3 times the total cost of ingredients for whatever product their selling. The average markup for a restaurant is higher with 3-4 times the total cost for ingredients. The real money maker for a bakery/cafe isn't in the baked goods, it's through coffee/tea with the markup being 5-6 times it's cost.

In this case with the souffle, it's basically composed of whipped egg whites, pastry cream and whatever flavoring agent you're using (i.e. raspberry jam for raspberry souffle, or melted chocolate/cocoa powder for chocolate souffle).

So if we break down the food costs for 1 chocolate souffle with raspberry coulis:
$0.75 - 2 eggs
$0.25 - sugar
$0.50 - milk
$0.25 - flour
$0.50 - butter
$0.75 - chocolate
$0.25 - cocoa powder
$1.00 - raspberries
Total - $4.25

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

"Sweet Note Dessert" - Gem of a find in Markham and offering the BEST Souffle in the GTA, period!!

Are you referring to the speed of service or the pricing model of their products? I haven't been down there myself, so I can't comment on how the service is, but from the listed price by Charles of $8.75 for a souffle is reasonable by industry standards.

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

"Sweet Note Dessert" - Gem of a find in Markham and offering the BEST Souffle in the GTA, period!!

That's an acceptable wait time for a souffle made to order. If her pastry cream is already made in advance, she would still have to take 5-10mins to whip up the egg whites and melt the chocolate, 5mins to butter, dust and fill the ramekins and 10-15mins to bake the souffle in the oven.

Nov 13, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Beef Suet or Tallow?

The Butcher Shoppe offers ground suet:
http://www.butchershoppe.com/products...

Nov 12, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Canard a la Presse at Edulis

The 3 week advance notice is probably due to the nature the duck is killed. It's strangled to retain the blood versus the traditional method of having it's throat slit in the abattoir.

Oct 23, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Canard a la Presse at Edulis

Oct 23, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where to get an ethically raised duck in/near Toronto?

What's the difference in eating quality between Pekin and Muscovy ducks?

Oct 16, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Where to get an ethically raised duck in/near Toronto?

IIRC ddpoultry gets their birds from a Mennonite farm, and I've seen them carry frozen ducks on occasion.
http://www.ddpoultry.com/

Oct 14, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

East Asian grocery near east Danforth (Greenwood-Coxwell)?

+1

Or you could go to Pape station and take the 72A bus down to T&T supermarket.

Sep 24, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Shoto & Allergy's

"Mustard consumption in different countries varies according to local food habits. Mustard can be found in barbecue sauce, fish paste, ketchup, tomato sauce, marinades, some mayonnaise, processed meats, sausages, piccalilli, pickles, pizza, salad dressings and salad oil. Mustard is also used in various traditional remedies and as a laxative, expectorant and antiseptic agent for the treatment of various gastrointestinal, respiratory and skin diseases."

^ Maybe the mustard could be an ingredient in the fish paste, which could be a component in the dashi?

Sep 20, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO - (pink) curing salt

I think it's mixed with salt, as I wasn't sure myself so I mixed it with salt and it only provided a "light pink" cure for my home made sausage.

Sep 16, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Per Se/Alinea 'like' restaurant in Toronto?

I think these days, it doesn't have as much to do with the location but with economy. Even restaurants like Per Se and the French Laundry dropped their prices down and offered reduced price fixed menus in accordance with the market.

So I dunno if people can say that Toronto just doesn't have the market to support a upscale fine dining 3 star restaurant like the French Laundry or Per Se? If you look at the history of Thomas Keller, when he opened his first restaurant Rakel in New York, it closed due to the stock market bottoming out and not because of the location. His business partner wanted to a more casual style bistro and Keller parted company to later open the French Laundry.

When Keller opened up the French Laundry, the economy had improved, but it was located in the middle of nowhere in Napa Valley. His restaurant eventually became a destination restaurant, due to it's reputation in adherence to excellence in both food, and service.

Imo there will always be a market for upscale, fine dining Michelin starred restaurants, but whether the Canadian market can supply one of this caliber is a different story.

Sep 14, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Leslieville - great fried chicken now that Paulette's is gone????

The way they fry their chicken is, but the seasoning/spices isn't nearly as salty. Also, make sure you pick up some of their yellow gravy. Some customers actually only come for the gravy :d

Sep 02, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Leslieville - great fried chicken now that Paulette's is gone????

Not the same as Paulette's, but Chick N Joy by Queen/Woodfield is a local favourite.

Aug 30, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Pork Belly Prices

Most of the Chinese supermarkets I've been to, carry pork belly at around $2.79-2.99/lb.

Aug 16, 2013
asagiri in Ontario (inc. Toronto)