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Amber European Restaurant - BWV

Sorry, hadn't checked in on CH in a while. My SO is always watching what he eats, and will always order the thing that seems lightest on the menu, so I can't really fault him for his order. The main issue with the chicken (besides that it was terrible) is that it was described as 'oven baked', and he actually asked the server if it would take longer than mine, as he expected it would take longer than my fried schnitzel. She was very confused by this, and said no, they would take the same. Of course, being made on a Foreman grill, it would only take a few minutes! While I do agree that you shouldn't go to a specialty restaurant and order something that doesn't make sense, I don't think ordering an oven baked chicken dish should be that outside the realm of a kitchen's competency.

I guess I didn't accurately describe how bad both dishes were. If I were to have stayed home, defrosted a chicken breast and made it on my own Foreman grill, it would have at least been prepared decently!

And the more serious issue with the schnitzel was not its blandness (no discernible salt added), but that it was not cooked in enough oil to even be in contact with all of the breading. It was overall a mess. And to be honest, I didn't think ordering schnitzel in a Polish/Ukrainian restaurant would be a stretch. As I said, we do eat at Polish restaurants regularly, so I am familiar with what the food is supposed to taste like. Possible they were having an off night, but I don't think I need to go back to test that theory! Chopin and its excellent schnitzel, tripe soup, potato pancakes will continue to feed my cravings for good Polish food!

Jan 02, 2012
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Foodie destinations in Florida?

Wow, this is an awesome list of places to check out! Any thoughts on other locations, like Fort Meyers or Ft Lauderdale, or anywhere else? Thanks all!

Jan 02, 2012
sway in Florida

Foodie destinations in Florida?

Can anyone recommend any cities/towns in Florida with a high concentration of quality restaurants (at any price point)? I've been to Miami a few years ago, but only for a weekend. The only place that was memorable was Versailles, and more for the experience.
Would appreciate any recommendations for somewhere you could conceivably eat well at a variety of places for at least a month. Thanks!

Dec 30, 2011
sway in Florida

Amber European Restaurant - BWV

Just wanted to say I went to Amber tonight for the first time, and thought it was terrible. I was so disappointed, had been thinking about going for years and finally noticed the storefront so came by for dinner. The borsht was good, but my husband could see his Amber Chicken being made on a Foreman grill, not 'oven roasted' as described in the menu. My schnitzel was bland, barely warm, (did I mention flavourless?) and looked like it had been fried at the end of the day in not enough oil. I regret not going to our standby Chopin on Roncesvalles, which is reliably excellent. In fact, making our own Schnitzel and Foreman grill chicken and mashed potatoes would have been a much more satisfying meal. I don't tend to flame restaurants, but considering all the things I had read about Amber, this is one of my most disappointing dining experiences!

Nov 26, 2011
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Fish and chips: downtown Toronto

Hi gang,
Having just come back from London and engaging in a fish and chips discussion with a British co-worker, we are now fighting a desperate craving for good fish and chips. Any recommendations for anything half decent within a 15 minute walk from King St W and John St? I've trawled through the hundreds of replies on Fish and Chips in the GTA, seems for downtown, the closest is Harbord, which is a bit too far for us to get to during lunch hour. Thanks!

Oct 27, 2011
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Junction and surrounding areas -- Recommend Me Anything

There is a fish market on Drurie just north of Bloor, across from Grace and Angeline jewelery studio. I think it's called Snappers or something like that? Their fish is good, I buy bags of mussels there every so often, and buy fish from time to time, it's always been extremely fresh.

Aug 24, 2011
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Dim Sum in downtown Toronto

The place is called Dim Sum King.

Jul 04, 2011
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Dim Sum in downtown Toronto

I've gone to the one on the second floor about four times now, it's pretty good, but I don't think it was ass good as Crown Princess or Lai Wah Heen. Although I haven't been back to either in the last six months or so...sorry, I also don't remember the name either...

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Lai Wah Heen
108 Chestnut St, Toronto, ON M5G 1R3, CA

Crown Princess
1033 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3A5, CA

Jun 11, 2011
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Villa Restaurant Bloor West Village- Toronto West.

The food was positively vile when I went. My pizza was so inedible I picked at a few toppings and left the rest untouched, my husband's cannelloni was appetizer sized (at about $16?), lukewarm and served with metallic tasting tomato sauce. I actually had to race home with an upset stomach after dinner!

May 06, 2011
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Hawaiian Toast from Hong Kong airport...circa 1985?

Does anyone remember the Hawaiian toast from the HK airport? As a kid, I used to get it every time on my return flight home to Toronto, I think between 1980 and 1985. Does anyone remember what was in them? I tried internet searches and found it's a popular snack in Germany, but they make it with ham, cheese and pineapple. From what I remember, the version I used to love had cheese and minced shrimp. Can anyone help? Thanks!

Apr 13, 2011
sway in China & Southeast Asia

The Junction and surrounding areas -- Recommend Me Anything

Awesome, I think I'm going to print this out and take it with me! Thanks for the very detailed descriptions, much appreciated! I did smile at your 'might not be for everyone'... yes, I would agree that dish may not appeal to all tastes, though it does sound intriguing : )

Apr 09, 2011
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Junction and surrounding areas -- Recommend Me Anything

Can I chime in that I LOVE, love, love Delight. Their chocolates are the best chocolates I've ever had, and this is coming from someone who regularly eats chocolate as a breakfast food. We ordered about 500 as favours for our wedding two years ago, people still talk about them. Their ice cream is to die for, they are all either bursting with flavour or intriguingly complex. I constantly crave their hazelnut, mint chocolate and quebec blue cheese flavours. mmm... and although I've been going to Delight regularly for the past two years, I only went into Junction Fromagarie last weekend. I found the prices shockingly low! I let Jennifer choose my cheeses, and they were lovely. I think the average price was about $4-6 per 100 g for artisanal cheeses. They also carry Phuet breads and vacuum packed charcuterie.

Apr 07, 2011
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Junction and surrounding areas -- Recommend Me Anything

PSP, could you recommend any other viet dishes? 9/10 I order the 'special' pho with everything, and most of the other times I order other noodle soups. I've found it hit and miss when I order off my beaten track. I'm not sure I understand the appeal of broken rice, could you explain? I didn't enjoy it the one time I ordered it (it tasted like dry rice, not cooked with enough water?) but maybe it was an off day? Thanks!

Apr 07, 2011
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Junction and surrounding areas -- Recommend Me Anything

Love Buddha Pie! Margherita pizza is awesome! La Revolucion is pretty decent, the pozole is quite good.

Apr 07, 2011
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

New Sushi Restaurant Opening in the Junction

I was in a hurry when I wrote my last post, but I agree with 00CP on the table front. While service was friendly, they answered all my questions with a laughing "no, sorry". The issue for me, is that while small, they could easily fit at least 4-5 tables, they could have bar-height counters around the walls to stand at. I don't think it's a question of not having enough staff, as they had at least 5 people working there. They also said don't take credit cards (yet?), the combos don't come with soup or salad, and it's about a 30 minute wait for takeout.

Of course, those are the negatives, as I mentioned in my previous post, the fish was very fresh, and a true gem in an area that has been shockingly underserviced in the sushi department. They are very friendly, and the woman at the cash mentioned they had run another sushi place before, but with a different name.

Apr 07, 2011
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

New Sushi Restaurant Opening in the Junction

Happy to report Lan Sushi is very good and fresh! They only have a table (or two?), I asked if they were adding additional seating, she said maybe another couple of tables, but they plan on it being mainly takeout. We had the small sashimi/sushi combo (does not come with the usual soup/salad) and a dynamite roll. Yum, definitely the best of the local sushi places that I've tried! We had it last night, and I had to resist the urge to get it again at lunch today!

Apr 02, 2011
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Bringing the SO to Toronto for the first time, looking for advice...

My most memorable meal in T.O was at Colborne Lane. But only if exotic ingredients/molecular gastronomy is his thing. Love the Stockyards recommendation, love their fried chicken. Harlem (sister restaurant to Harlem Underground) is really yummy too. And Starfish is a great oyster bar, as is Rodneys by Bay.

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Colborne Lane
45 Colborne Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1P8, CA

Harlem Underground
745 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

Jan 12, 2011
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Good place for catfish

Southern accents. Love the blackened catfish!

Nov 03, 2010
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Habana Room on 48th st?

Just wondering if anyone's tried Habana Room? They had a special offer, and it's near my hotel. I'm only in NYC for a few days, so not sure if it's worth checking out. Thanks!

Oct 10, 2010
sway in Manhattan

What's your most disappointing dining experience?

I quite enjoyed my dinner at c5, though nothing beyond the pork belly really stood out. I thought it was pretty competent though, and loved the view. I recently had brunch, and must say the food was absolutely excellent! The service was friendly and casual. My bacon pancakes were to die for...simple but so good!

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

Hey guys, what's for lunch?

Osgoode Hall Restaurant closes from the end of June to September. The prix fixe is excellent for $21, I love the steak frites (when it's the Cumbrae Farms ribeye...mmm...) and the buttertart. I definitely agree that the seafood is a good choice, the fish is always great!

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Cumbrae's
1636 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

Osgoode Hall
130 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N6, CA

May 12, 2010
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Pasta Dough in a Kitchenaid Mixer?

I just tried making pasta dough with my KA standmixer (just mixing an kneading using the hook), I have a separate pasta roller). I haven't made it in about four years, so was pretty rusty. The dough did not come together at all in the mixer, it was pretty disappointing. I ended up doing it by hand, and the dough came out pretty tough.

May 09, 2010
sway in Home Cooking

Anyone eaten at Dancap Catering Resto. at Jersey Boys' theatre?

Great question! I was thinking about it myself to save time before the show, but was definitely hesitant! There's a tonne of good restaurants in the area if you decide to eat elsewhere. I'll probably hit Asian Legend if we don't do the prix fixe.

Apr 22, 2010
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Essence Wedding Cakes

Sorry, it was the chocolate raspberry truffle cake that I had at another friend's wedding. It had a weird play-doh texture that I didn't like. But I recently had the chocolate fudge cake (it was a large sheet cake, so similar to a wedding cake) and it was excellent. You can't really go with the tasting (ironically), they don't taste anything like the way their fresh cakes, as you said they are defrosted. I *think* I remember them saying they bake the wedding cakes the morning of, so they should be fresh and moist. My mocha cake was delicious, a thousand times better than at the tasting.

Apr 01, 2010
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Mid-range restos near the Germain hotel?

I went to Chez Victor last summer when the Entertainment district was having some kind of promotion, the nature of which escapes me now, possibly a Wed. night special prix fixe? The pork belly they served was to die for, really, I order pork belly all the time and no pork belly has ever measured up. You should check if they offer any kind of special promotion when you're there, it may be worth your while. I love Le Select, I've never had anything but excellent food there. I've been to Milagro for Valentine's, which is of course not a good yard stick to judge a restaurant by, but the food was terrible, not properly cooked or at proper temperature (some food was room temperature or lukewarm). I assume if others recommend it, it is probably fine on regular nights, but I've never been inclined to try again.
You are also very close to chinatown, if you're looking for asian. In which case E-Pan is a good bet for somewhat upscale and traditional Cantonese cuisine.

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E-Pan
369 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2G3, CA

Le Select
432 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V1E3, CA

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

What's your most disappointing dining experience?

I concur about the lack of atmosphere and mediocre food. Further, if you want to be known for your poutine, you should make decent fries. There is no point putting braised short ribs and foie gras on soggy, undercooked fries. And the service was terrible. I really wanted to try the canard au jarre, but it wasn't available. The waitress had to take our drink orders twice, she didn't tell us about the prix fixe or the specials, which I would have ordered had I known! They even made a mistake on the bill (undercharging, not overcharging, but still!).

Mar 29, 2010
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Salad King

I too have been eating there for well over a decade. Other favorites that haven't been mentioned are include green curry chicken, evil jungle prince, kari noodles, siam noodles and thai fried rice. I'm embarassed to say I have tried the chicken ball fried rice that an ex-bf used to order, and it's actually good!

Mar 19, 2010
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Caterer needed for a West End reception...

You could try La Petite France, at Bloor and Islington. It's a bistro with really reasonably priced food, so I'm not sure what they can do, but they might be able to do a lot with your budget. You could also try My Place, which is Brad Long's pub at Jane and Bloor. They have exactly the type of food you are describing, but I'm not sure they can hit the price point. Good luck!

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La Petite France
3317 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M8X1E7, CA

Mar 19, 2010
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Fat Cat Bistro not honouring gift certificates (moved from Ontario board)

ylsf, it was a gift card. The restaurant's response was that they specifically will not honour plastic gift cards because they were issued by a third party. They would only paper gift certificates that they provide to charities.
As I prepared the cards to send back to concierge service, I did note two things: 1) the address of the Eglinton location is printed on the back, along with the telephone number and website. So I guess this backs up your argument that the cards could have been issued before the second location, though if it is one owner, I'm still not sure why they wouldn't be accepted at both locations? 2) Also on the back of the card is the statement "This card is issued exclusively by Fat Cat Bistro", which goes against the restaurant's premise that a third party had issued the card.

I believe I paid $90 for the $100 gift cards, and I think it was before Christmas, so I thought I would keep them on hand as in case of emergency gifts for foodie friends, or else treat someone to a nice dinner if they weren't needed.

Mar 19, 2010
sway in Not About Food

Discussion of Fat Cat Bistro's policy moved to Not About Food

I had posted a thread re: not being able to use a gift card at the Roncesvalles location of Fat Cat Bistro on the Ontario Board, which has been moved to Not About Food. As I wondered how local area chowhounds would know to look on the non-region specific board, the moderator suggested I post a topic here with the link to give you all a head's up:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/695007

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Fat Cat
126 Atlantic Ave, Toronto, ON M6K1X9, CA

Mar 18, 2010
sway in Ontario (inc. Toronto)