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Little Saigon - Richmond Hill

So did either of you try Pho Metro?

Headed there today for lunch after local client meetings!

Jul 23, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

LCBO Vintages July 19 release notes

Yah well my last bottle of Saz is half empty and the odds of getting more of it at this point in Ontario being fairly low......I decided to go big!

Jul 22, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

LCBO Vintages July 19 release notes

Yes except Elmer was nowhere to be found and I didnt mind trying this one out. Makes a mighty fine old fashioned! ;)

Jul 22, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

LCBO Vintages July 19 release notes

Speaking of bourbon - have you tried Rock Hill Farms?

Jul 22, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Little Saigon - Richmond Hill

Well from your write up alone another trip is past due as they have indeed sawtooth coriander and lime (along with other regular additions), so perhaps some other things have improved as well.

Jul 18, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Little Saigon - Richmond Hill

Check out Pho Metro

I would be surprised it you did not enjoy it.

Jul 18, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Little Saigon - Richmond Hill

I do not claim to be a Pho connoisseur as I have not tried the real mac-coy, however - have you tried the Pho at Pho Metro (Lawrence and Warden, original location)? My other yard stick is their vermicelli bowls, mainly the marinade on the pork and fish sauce quality.

Either way, sounds like a good addition to the currently abysmal scene that is 905 Pho - will try it out.

Jul 18, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Another new kid on the block - 'Yang's' Chinese Cuisine, MARKHAM

Your review was spot on, Charles.

Thanks - great (fairly) local spot!

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

Another new kid on the block - 'Yang's' Chinese Cuisine, MARKHAM

Tried this place based on your rec, Charles - and I must firstly thank you!

Interestingly enough, my wife and I got married at Le Parc, so it was a trip down memory (though not distant) lane.

We ordered a number of items, standouts included:

- Har Gow - though not the thinnest wrapper, the shrimp inside were cooked to perfection.
- Chicken Feet - Nice rendition, though very similar to CV.
- Beef Tendons - never had this before but I tried it based on your suggestion, very interesting texture, the sauce was fantastic - quite enjoyable.
- Shrimp Rice Rolls
- Tofu/Pea Leaf rice rolls
- Yam and mushroom steamed 'roll' - my wife loved this and ordered a second.
- Squid Tentacles - my 16 m/o loved these! The restaurant staff I think found it equally enjoyable to see a Caucasian baby mowing down on squid!
- Snow pea leaves/mushroom/water chestnut steamed dumplings - fantastic texture and execution.

Overall, I must say, for the location (far closer than our go to CV) and the quality, this may be our new local haunt.

Jul 08, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

When can we expect fresh strawberries in Toronto

Agreed - not at their peak, but have potential, and better than anything you could get in days/months past.

Jun 16, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

GTA's largest 'Har Gow'?!

Not just consuming, but 1 bite mouthful capacity limitations to Har Gow volume ratios!

Surely some prestigious school out there wants to be the first in the Dim Sum PhD category....

Jun 11, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

GTA's largest 'Har Gow'?!

Yes, the XLB I had at Northern Dumpling Kitchen are absolutely doable in 1 bite (and so darn good!!!)

I will have to experiment next time I am at CV and if any of my dining companions give me funny looks as I attempt to stuff my mouth, I will tell them Charles made me do it and it is in the name of scientific research!

Jun 11, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Izakaya Ju @ J-Town?

Went last night as I was in the area looking for Patio furniture.

Perhaps the hype (or positive feedback) I have read set expectations too high, but there were very few items (and we tasted a lot) which we actually enjoyed (Yakitori - Liver, hearts, thighs were all great - with sauce. Chicken skin was flabby (not a good way to put so much on one stick to achieve crispness)).

The udon was lacking in any flavour, all you could taste was a hint of bonito. Everything else was just ok.

The scary part is that the bill came to $95 for 2 people (1 beer had). Granted we ordered a bit too much, but I wanted to explore.

Not worth it.

Jun 11, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

GTA's largest 'Har Gow'?!

All in one bite!?

Even at Casa Vic, I cannot fit those beasts all in one bite (well I could, but not in any well mannered display....lol).

Jun 11, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Global Cheese

....did he ask for gruyere, roquefort and port salut? Did he not know what he was getting, or simply did not look? Did he taste the cheeses prior to purchasing? Something doesn't seem right...

As to Global Cheese, they are hit and miss. Years ago their quality was fairly consistent, now, its a shit show. Their 'specials' are often far over ripe nearly inedible cheeses which they will happily sell you.

The name eludes me, but there is a superior cheese shop just north west of Global in Kensington.

Jun 10, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ici Bistro - Comically Dysfunctional

I heard similar complaints from a table next to us when we were there as well.

I cannot however claim to say the same as you regarding the food. A few glimmers of proper execution, but mostly just duds. Entry level errors abound.

Jun 08, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Casa Victoria - A Michelin Star Calibre, Cantonese 'Surf & Turf' Chowmeet

Everything looks top notch.

I frequent CV for dim sum, but have never been for dinner.

This clearly....must be rectified.

Jun 06, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

A delicious authentic 'Real McCoy' Thai chowmeet at Khao San Road

After having been internet free (thank god for cottages!) for a few days I return to see this thread exploded.

I was not prepared to respond until I read syoung's post. Kudos for a succinct summation of the pertinent points above.

Jun 02, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Need North York recommendation for a 50th wedding anniversary dinner

I would second Quince - certainly above Paese.

Another option is Zucca, if they prefer Italian.

Jun 02, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

A delicious authentic 'Real McCoy' Thai chowmeet at Khao San Road

There is no debate as to the merit of the intentions of the owners of KSR.

The fact remains however that this is a fantastic example of social media marketing.

May 29, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

A delicious authentic 'Real McCoy' Thai chowmeet at Khao San Road

Speaking of boxed wine, a friend recently pulled out a 'box like container' of I believe it was called 'big house red' or some such from California for a BBQ. Not too bad given the method of containment and preconceived notions.

May 29, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

A delicious authentic 'Real McCoy' Thai chowmeet at Khao San Road

Great marketing ploy - invite some notable CHers to a dinner, anticipate subsequent postings, (hopefully) profit!

Either way, meal looks quite nice. Wines look/sound nicer.

May 29, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ontario Asparagus

Confirmed.

Recently got a batch of double thumb thick asparagus, at some whole just with good olive oil, and the rest went into an awesome ramp/zucchini/asparagus spread.

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

Question about Rowe Farms

Not sure where you get your info from, but from initial Googling, you are incorrect. Here is one link:

http://agricultureproud.com/2012/09/2...

May 21, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ontario Wild Leeks (aka Ramps)

Won't be great much longer.

May 19, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ontario Wild Leeks (aka Ramps)

Pleasure - hope you enjoyed.

Ramps are a beautiful thing, I made friends with a Korean couple picking wild celery near my house and invited them to pick some from my backyard as it is an absolute weed! Long story short, it turns out he was picking ramps that morning after I showed him a few we had, he went to his car and shared a good pound or so with me, at which point I gave him some of my ramp olive oil, later on that day he shows up with some home made kimchi (which we had discussed as well).

Too bad society has moved away from this type of social bartering/interaction as a source of budding friendships.

May 18, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Bread Lovers Rejoice ! (and get your car keys).

Nothing beats fire baked breads. I have a few local sources, but those varieties sound great, especially the hardy dark.

Someone needs to do a bread run, here's $20 towards gas!

Oh and ACE black olive is not terrible. Or at least it wasnt when I had it last. Lately we have been buying more whole grain sprouted breads.

May 14, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ici Bistro - Comically Dysfunctional

Some snafus is one thing, a dinner that should have taken 2 hours, turning into a 3.5 hour marathon with egregious mistakes along the way, another. Let's see how he handles the situation....based on your comments and similar to the like, I am even more curious now.

May 07, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Chowfind- Suliko- Georgian- Alness and Steeles

I was going to say, not much of what was listed here sounded like Georgian food - but I didn't want to rain on VV's parade, he likes it and that's what matters!!!

May 05, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ici Bistro - Comically Dysfunctional

After hearing sufficient praise which subsequently warranted a visit, 3 of us made our way to Ici Bistro on Saturday night.

I will preface the post with the fact that they did move to their new location at the Windsor Arms Hotel less than a week prior, however; one must assume that a restaurant of such acclaim and who has been around for a sufficient length of time could make such a transition to a new space (same staff) fairly seamlessly....but you know what they say about assumptions…..

Our party arrived around 6:30 (note the time) and placed our order just before 7. We decided to order 7 different dishes (dessert not included), most of which were 'app' sized, with a few mains to round out the meal. Our (lovely) server asked us if it would be OK for the chef to send them out one at a time to enjoy, and if we were in a rush, which we said would be fine and were not in any terrible hurry….

We began with an amuse of fried salt cod/sweet root veg fritters, accompanied by a spicy mayo (there was a theme of re-occurring faces and techniques throughout the night...more on that later). While the flavour of the fritter itself was fairly subdued, the spicy mayo countered the fritter nicely, and the execution of the dish was spot on, hardly any grease - a nice start.

Onto the menu…

Our waitress mentioned that the croquettes were made of 3 varieties, bone marrow, shellfish (lobster/crab) and a wild mushroom/truffle. The Bone Marrow was slightly overdone as most of it simply must have melted into the fat (yes, nature of the beast, but execution fell short); the shellfish rendition was served room temp and while the flavour was there, no detection of actual meat was present. The star of the show (and perhaps the night) was the wild mushroom/truffle - morels blanketed in a rich cream reduction, with croquettes filled with a puree of additional mushrooms and truffle hidden in between, was very good.

2 of us then shared a Lobster Bisque - overall, a nice dish, sans cream, which I appreciated given the restaurants apparent love of the deep fryer. A light broth, with nondescript foam, ginger oil and a shoestring enrobed, fried (slightly overdone) shrimp hung on the mug.

By this point, while we had enjoyed some of our meal, we had noticed that it was now almost 8:30 - having only been served 3 appetizer sized plates.

Our waitress confirmed that indeed the kitchen was slammed (it is only a 28 seat 'dining room' but they have a 'sitting room' around the bar that I believe the kitchen serves as well - my guess is that they did not account for the stress that may induce - but I digress) and that our next course would be out in a few minutes.

20 minutes passed and the Foie app made its arrival, 1 small lobe of seared and 1 small slice of torchon, a nice use of beet discs with a contrasting citrus glaze, and some protein reduction on the bottom.

After which came a main sized order of their Calamari, which I will say was perfectly executed, with a familiar face on the plate in the spicy mayo we saw earlier with our amuse.

At this point I made a comment to our waitress that while my original response was that we were not in a rush, we did have prior commitments and would need to move things along if possible. She assured me the next course would not be much longer.

It was past 9:00 when we saw her next, at which point I requested that we cancel 2 of the dishes (the scallops and the duck) and pre-order 2 soufflé’s (one of the attractions for my wife in the first place!) as at this rate we would not have been out of there till perhaps the next day!

She was very apologetic and clearly upset as it was totally out of her control, but she handled it fairly well (at least that which was within her control).

We then were served the Beef duo, 2 small pieces of tenderloin with a hunk of blue on one, and a slice of brie on the other, with the same mushroom sauce (not complaining, just saying!) that came with the croquettes, and more fried ‘stick’ croquettes this time. A forgetful dish, minus the sauce (I could have had a bowl of that and his bread and I would have been happy).

Next up, my wife loves gnocchi, so we ordered his Merguez sausage with gnocchi, full portion, which came out as a half portion, no gnocchi, just more random croquettes – the server saw the error (at least in the sizing of the plate) and said they would fix it right away. After we were done, the ‘second half’ came out, again, sans gnocchi, with some other new accompaniment in the shape of a white disc – The dish itself was a thrown together mess and I sent back second half telling them it was simply not as advertised.

We were nearly going to leave, but at 9:50 our Soufflés made it out, LOOKING nearly perfect! I commented that perhaps we were about to end on a high and that the tides had turned, sadly not so. The Soufflé was not properly mixed/combined and contained hard pieces of cooked egg white. The Englaise accompanying the Grand Marnier soufflé was far too thin and lacked any trace of vanilla, the Chocolate rendition equally disappointing.

I did not mention that one glass of wine ordered never showed up to the table – regardless; onto the humor…

The Bill arrives and was 100% on point, no desire to rectify a clear ‘night gone wrong’ so I asked to speak with the manager. It was clear that he understood the situation, but again, did not act as I would have expected (typically in the past in situations like this, one would be invited to come back for a dinner on the house to make up for a terrible experience – I have experienced this locally and abroad) but simply removed the 2 desserts and the 1 ‘sans gnocchi’ app.

I understand that for tasting menus, one should expect to enjoy a relaxed drawn out evening, perhaps 3-4 hours, enjoying 10-20 courses, but this was far from a tasting menu (1 plate per table, not each guest with an individual dish) and should never have approached a 3.5 hour marathon with such poor execution.

I plan on touching base with JP directly at some point as he should have an opportunity to address the situation and (hopefully) rectify it, so we shall see what transpires.

May 05, 2014
Sadistick in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
2