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n10sity's Profile

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All day dim sum in downtown Toronto?

We usually crave dim sum toward the dinner hour, so we do Kowloon Seafood on Baldwin. It's not amazing but it's the best we've found for that time of the day. Our fave there is the sticky rice.

Hakka cuisine in Toronto?

We've just had dinner at 5 spices on Gerrard, and I felt it necessary to post my review on Chowhound (it's been over a year since my last post because nothing new has excited me enough to warrant a post). This is my third experience at a Hakka or Indian-style Chinese place (sorry not sure what Hakka vs. Indian Style Chinese is). First was Yueh Tung, second was Lin Garden- which actually turned me off the cuisine. But thought I'd try again and I'm so glad I did. In comparison to these two places, 5 spices is so much more flavourful and what I imagine a fusion between Chinese and Indian spices should taste like. We had a starter called something Bhel, which was a cold noodle salad with crisp fried noodles tossed with tomatoes, coriander and a nutty, sweet and spicy sauce. I've never had anything like it but I'm hooked. For mains we had Bombay Chicken and Chili Paneer (both come with basmati rice). The Bombay Chicken was amazing with true layers of flavour (unlike Lin Garden and Yueh Tung's chili chicken versions). And it wasn't deep fried chicken. The Chili Paneer was less unique, but still good - resembled sweet and sour sauce with a chili kick and some Indian type spices. But the paneer may have been the best paneer I've ever had because it was light and fluffy, not dense like I'm used to, with a golden brown exterior. Yummy! The service was very good. The only downside was that it wasn't licensed, but that's to be expected. They serve halal meat and they do take out (and perhaps delivery). Prices were comparable to other places and sometimes cheaper.

Yueh Tung
126 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G, CA

Lin Garden
1806 Pharmacy Ave, Toronto, ON M1T1H6, CA

5 Spices
1411 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4L1Z5, CA

Toasted sandwich maker

I have never seen the diablo, but I use a panini press - religiously - for my toasted sandwiches. Cost me about $35 at Wal-mart and I definitely got my money's worth. It's way better than those ones that dissect the bread in triangles. The make is Toastess in case you are interested.

Looking for Hainanese Chicken with Rice in Toronto

Just posted a rec on this thread for Lion City in Mississauga - sorry, don't know of one in Toronto.

Hainan Chicken Rice

Went to Lion City in Mississauga for the first time yesterday and they had really good Hainan Chicken rice with the proper garlic and chili sauces. At $7.50 it was a steal!

Highly rec this mom and pop restaurant - it will be a weekly trip out to Mississauga for us. Laksa broth was fresh, spicy and hearty, and we also had this amazing pork and shrimp wrapped in bean curd sheet dish. YUM! Much to my surprise, everything was well executed!

Best fancy Japanese (omakase preferred) in Toronto for cooked dishes (no raw seafood)?

I second Take Sushi. I have only ever been for omakase and my last time there, I recall that only 2 of the 9 courses were raw (one was lobster tail sashimi and the other was the sushi/sashimi course). I'm pretty sure any good omakase place will serve a cooked menu for you as long as you ask them in advance.

Best butter chicken in the Toronto area

I'll put a vote in for Rashnaa, the Sri Lankan restaurant on Wellesley - best I've had. Although I agree with pearlD that Banjara's version is good too.

Chicken croquettes in GTA ?

I've never tried (or heard of) the diner croquettes, but you might want to try the chicken or cod croquettes at some Portuguese churrasco restaurants or bakeries....

Upscale with great vegetarian options

Urban Herbivore wouldn't meet your needs - it's a veggie take out spot in Kensington market.

Searching for something like J. Lohr Cab or EXP Syrah

wow - didn't know i could do that - thanks!

Sep 13, 2007
n10sity in Wine

vegetarian thai + vietnamese

Cafe 668 is now open on Dundas just west of Manning. Haven't been to the new location but pass by it on my way home from work.

Looks pretty swanky - wonder if the prices have changed.... hope the food hasn't...

Coffee roasters in Toronto?

I will "third" I Deal - I love this place! I am there almost everyday for my caffeine fix - great prices too!

Good Sushi - Boundaries: Spadina to Dufferin, Bloor to King

I ended up going to Rikishi on Bloor and Shaw and was pleasantly suprised. Inexpensive, fresh sashimi and nigiri - though their salad was soggy (due to too much dressing). I had the sashimi which came with REAL japanese rice! Service is slow - takeout took half an hour, but luckily there was an African street festival on at the same time so I wandered about while waiting. I'll call ahead next time.

Good Sushi - Boundaries: Spadina to Dufferin, Bloor to King

Does Toshi sushi do takeout?

Good Sushi - Boundaries: Spadina to Dufferin, Bloor to King

Thanks for the recs!

Is Sushi Bon only good for rolls or is their nigiri and sashimi good as well?

Do you know what the address for Mezz Sushi is?

Looking for restaurant around BCE area

i second takesushi - consistently good sushi and quiet environment

Good Sushi - Boundaries: Spadina to Dufferin, Bloor to King

I know the sushi threads have been done to death, but I'm searching for a good middle-of-the-week sushi place (preferably one that does takeout) within a specific downtown area - west of Spadina, east of Dufferin, south of Bloor, north of King.

- the sashimi and nigiri is fresh
- the maki menu does not include cooked items (or at least they are not dominant)
- AYCE is NOT offered

Cooked items are irrelevant for this request - I just want good sushi!

And please... no recs for Japango.

Thanks in advance!

Searching for something like J. Lohr Cab or EXP Syrah

It looks like I can only get the Bogle Merlot here - do you know if that's any good?

Aug 23, 2007
n10sity in Wine

Casual rehearsal dinner Queen West

The options seem limited on Queen... too bad about the layout of Swan. Foxley has tapas, but I don't know if that would work for a party of 20. Bar One might have worked with their two sided bar (I think it would fit 20), but it tends to be loud with the after work crowd. Maybe Eat Cafe on Dundas and Dovercourt? There were a lot of positive reviews about them early on (a few years ago), and I've been meaning to check it out. Anyone else been?

Haka (Manchurian) style restaurants in the GTA?

I went to Lin Garden on the weekend to try Hakka food for the first time and I was definitely underwhelmed - maybe I got the wrong dishes? It was probably the busiest restaurant I've ever eaten in, so maybe the quality was inferior because of fast turnaround? As you can see, I'm trying to make excuses because I went on the rec of other hounds who really seem to like it there so there must be something good about it. Must've just been an off night?

Anyway, had the chili chicken which was sort of spicy, but had no other flavour complexities (I had to reflavour the leftovers the next day); Haka chow mein, which was good, but not sure what was "Haka" about it; chicken pakoras, again not spicy and not much flavour (had to squeeze a lot of lemon juice on it to add something) and the chicken was way undercooked; and the green beans, which was the best dish of the set.

I'll have to try other Haka places so I can have a better frame of reference... maybe Chung Moi next time?

Dinner party catering

How about traditional Afghan food? I've heard good things from coworkers about this catering collective, Afghan Women's Catering Group, but haven't tried them myself. Doubt they would provide a server, but would be memorable food - I certainly don't know of any Afghan restaurants myself...

Searching for something like J. Lohr Cab or EXP Syrah

Thanks Chicago Mike! My local vendor stocks one VERAMONTE CABERNET SAUV. MAIPO (FRANCISCAN) so will have to try it out!

Aug 21, 2007
n10sity in Wine

Hottest/Spiciest Dish in Toronto

I'd rec sichuan hot pot with sichuan peppercorns and a variety of chilis - you can tailor the amount of chilis they put in the broth. Medium makes my mouth numb and i never go higher than that, though you can... good luck! Flavor King is my fave and other hounds like Rolling Pot - you can search previous threads for addresses. And most sichuan places serve the "find the chicken in a pile of chilis" dish, which is about as self-explanatory as it gets!

Toronto Ethnic, on a student budget

While I rec’d By the Way Café in a different post for veggie friendly eating, I think in your case you’d be better off at other places since the prices are a bit higher than a student can usually afford, and if you’re not veggie you can do better elsewhere...

You've got lots of great choices here from the other hounds.

Here are my picks:

Ramen - Konnichiwa on Baldwin and Beverly/McCaul for miso ramen = $7.50; + 2 pc gyoza = $8.95

Pho (and other great Vietnamese dishes) - Golden Turtle on Ossington south of Dundas – around $5-7 depending on size

Sichuan Chinese food - PALS WT INTERNATIONAL 376 College at Borden for cheap, spicy Sichuan food - they have lunch specials for $5

Dim Sum - Forestview on Dundas east of Spadina, 2nd Floor

General student-friendly neighbourhoods

Chinatown - Spadina south of College – has a huge selection of all sorts of cheap asian food

Annex – Bloor, east of Bathurst to St. George – where lots of students live and hang out - has really cheap sushi, middle-eastern and pubs

Little Korea – Bloor, west of Bathurst to Christie – all sorts of mom and pop Korean eateries

Searching for something like J. Lohr Cab or EXP Syrah

Hi hounds,

I can't get my two fave sipping wines in Ontario (I have to go to other provinces to buy them)so I'm looking for alternatives that have the same sort of body and taste as the J. Lohr Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon or RH Phillips EXP Syrah. Any recs?


Aug 16, 2007
n10sity in Wine

First Timers To Toronto

Definitely agree about hanging out in Kensington Market and Annex areas. I would stay away from the touristy/chain spots near Second City and the Blue Jays venue (Rogers Centre). If you need to eat around that area, it might be better to go up to Queen Street (east of Spadina) and hit something like the Queen Mother Cafe or Rivoli for the atmosphere (which hosts a couple of sketch comedy nights BTW) - they are Toronto landmarks! Can't help you with the Danforth area, but in the Annex (University area), my fave brunch is at Insomnia and I've had good veggie dinner food at By the Way Cafe - lots of veggie and other selections and they have brunch too, I think, tho I've never tried it.

Fondue for one?

I would second Cafe Taste and definitely agree that Jeremy is flexible and helpful - plus the atmosphere is cozy and relaxed -- conducive to enjoying fondue for one.

Szechuan north of Steeles

Jimrice - try this thread.

It may be a matter of semantics, but what kind of szechuan you are looking for? Many Cantonese food serve "szechuan" dishes that are not that spicy or indicative of the cuisine found in Sichuan province in China. Chances are that in Markham you'll find authentic Sichuan food (but it will be spelt this way), which is incredibly spicy and features sichuan peppercorns, and lots of chilies. My fave used to be Spicy Mama in the Peachtree Plaza (see my post in the thread above) but that closed down. But I think their next door neighbours are still in business and the food is just as good - with helpful pictures to visualize the menu items. Don't remember what it's called but it has Spicy in the name somewhere, I think.

Good luck!

Toronto -- Veg Friendly?

There's also Get Real on Ossington - a nice vegan/veggie cafe for brunch or early dinner close to the gallery district, in case you were interested in that sort of thing.

Kensington has King's Cafe, which is quasi asian and has fake meat offerings and Herbivore, which I've heard good things about. I still think Kensington's about the best place to hang out on weekends (during the day) to people watch and learn new things about different cultural foods.

Baldwin Village, renowned for its patios, has Veggie Haven, and most restaurants there (or anywhere in Toronto for that matter) have veggie options.

If you get hungry around dinnertime on your way up from Niagara, you can exit on Hurontario (Hwy 10) in Mississauga and drive about 5 min to Brar Sweets, which is a fabulous and ridiculously cheap ($10.99 per person) Indian buffet and sweet shop that serves only veg food. Have the wonderfully seasoned grilled veggies. Mmmmm.

I definitely have to agree with the Fressen (for a nice dinner and ambience too) and Fresh recs too.


Konnichiwa – homestyle Japanese food (long)

My SO and I found ourselves in Baldwin village last night and couldn’t decide what to eat – until we read Konnichiwa’s menu, which made me crave some homestyle Japanese food like my mom makes. I hadn’t been there in a couple of years, so I was surprised when we entered into the cozy but empty restaurant, which only had one other table filled with older Japanese folks – which was rare to see, and boded well.

The menu had expanded since I was last there, and I found to be much similar to other lower-end Japanese places out there but with less emphasis on sushi and more on daily regular Japanese food, boasting mixed plates and bentos, noodles (ramen, soba, udon) and donburis, and curries as well as special fish entrees.

Despite the heat and humidity of the day I opted for the ramen with a miso/garlic broth topped with pork ($7.50) with a side of gyoza (for $1.50 extra), since I haven’t had ramen in ages! My SO went with the mixed plate ($15) including salmon teriyaki, yakitori and assorted tempura (which came with salad, miso soup and rice). We also ordered avocado maki ($3) and spicy tuna maki ($5.50).

Our server was attentive and sweet and we received our salad and gyoza orders promptly, followed by our maki orders. The salad was underdressed and your typical iceberg lettuce with one obligatory tomato slice, but par for the course when it’s part of a combo.

The gyoza, on the other hand, was a big hit. It was succulent and juicy, with a big hunk of filling nestled within vs. the tiny portions of meat served at other establishments. The best part of the gyoza was that it was steamed and served with the traditional shoyu and vinegar dip, vs. other places where it’s served with the dashi broth that comes with tempura (usually filled with MSG).

The miso soup was filled with lots of wakame (seaweed) and tofu, and made with darker miso (and again, no MSG!). Very flavourful in the Japanese fashion – i.e. not in your face and no added salt. Our maki came with delicious white pickled ginger and tasted much less like preservatives than other places. The tuna was very fresh and supple, and the roll had just the right texture, flavour and density of rice.

On to our mains. My SO loved the mixed plate – the salmon was perfectly grilled, and the tempura was oh so crisp. He even loved the yakitori, which he generally won’t touch anywhere else.

And the piece de resistance – the ramen. Wow – I’m even drooling thinking back to it now. I’ve read in other threads that some CHers found the broth to be boring, but my miso/garlic broth was incredible! It was just the right amount of flavour (I didn’t need to add the spice salt or spicy oil that they brought out) vs. Kenzo broth which I found to be too salty, oily and overpowering (more like a Korean broth) for ramen. The noodles were a tad overcooked, but still delicious, and the pork was really flavourful. What broth I couldn’t finish, the SO did – even though he’s not a “soup person.”

I will definitely be back more regularly, especially since the meal was so inexpensive compared to the quality of the food. Everything came out to under $50 after tax, tip and a beer, and we were really and happily full.

Another note, all of the servers, owner, and chefs are Japanese, and there was another Japanese table that came in halfway through our meal. Might be important for those CHers out there who are looking for an authentic Japanese meal. I would definitely take my Japanese family there.