Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

pammycakes's Profile

Title Last Reply

Bistro Camino is Hiro and a Chowfind

I agree. Have been here twice in the last few months and both times we were one of two tables. It's definitely worth a monthly visit !

Group dinner suggestions: Leslieville

I'd definitely go with Tomi-kro as well. Always great food and ambiance is hip and sophisticated and a little less loud than Gio's.

Unless you're in to very average pub grub, there's a dearth of good restaurants in the Beaches, which is too bad cause it's close to where I live.


I've got to say, I went to Okonomi house several years back and it was certainly anything but authentic. They're Okonomiyaki didn't have cabbage in it, which is strange cause in Japan, that's one of the main ingredients of it. A big dissappointment. I've been to the T&T Naniwa-Taro and it was alot better than Okonomi house. They also have Tako-yaki which my husband and I both enjoyed.

Taro's at J-Town has them as well, but unfortunately, they're not hot off the grill.

Sushi Kaji (Pictures)

"I have no clue what some of you think that the premium at expensive restaurants is for. It's very little to do with the ingredients."

I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but I have to tell you, with Kaji, it really is very much ALL about the ingredients--why else would you go to a strip mall in Etobicoke? Unlike other sushi joints, Kaji really does track down the best of the best in terms of his ingredients. My husband is from Japan and has taken many of his Japanese clients there who have all been thoroughly impressed with the quality of the food. You'd pay a heck of a lot more for the same meal in Japan I can assure you.

As for buying a round of drinks, it's really not customary to do so in Japan or to tip at all for that matter. I'm not saying you shouldn't receive a thank you, but it's not necessarily all that surprising to me that you didn't receive the 'gratitude' you were expecting.

Chowfind at Main and Danforth

Just returned from Bistro Camino on the Danforth between Main and Vic Park (across the street from the Canadian Tire).

The restaurant used to be Japanese, but the owner decided to change things up and has now gone with a French/Mediterranean kind of theme.

Basically, the menu is a lot of more of the European "standards." Coq au Vin, Duck L'orange, Beef Stroganoff. So if you're looking for super-inventive stuff, this probably isn't the place for you. There's zero high-end attitude and the prices--incredibly cheap (though we don't want to let them know this) for what you get. For starters we had the beef carpaccio appetizer ($6) and then I had the Coq au Vin ($13 including soup or salad) and my hubby had the ox tounge. Both were good, though I thought my husband's was great--very tender and well-seasoned. Mine was slightly oversalted, but for $13 (which also included steamed veggies and roasted potatoes), I was quick to forgive this slight miscalculation.

Desert--a fresh fruit tarte with a chocolate custard was great, while the creme caramel was good, but in fact more a japanese-style pudding.

Our total bill for the carpaccio, 2 mains (which included sides and, as I said choice of soup or salad), 2 desserts, 2 glasses of wine and one pop came to $62 with tax. While Bistro Camino doesn't have a hip vibe (feels a bit like a fresher 'old school' restaurant) or a hot location both the service and food were excellent value for the money. And while I love the food of many cheap and cheerful Asian restaurants, sometimes it's nice to go for an inexpensive meal where the tables AREN't lined with plastic table clothes to haul away the post-meal dishes. We only found out about the place because it was written up in a local Japanese newspaper (my mate is from Japan). The only thing I managed to find online in English was this:

Chowfind- Djerba La Douce- Tunisian

I totally agree with VVM that this is a total find and the food is delicious. I would caution though, that people looking for a lot of atmosphere here will not find it. It's very much hole in the wall. The food is definitely way beyond average though and the owner is great (though you may need to be patient if there are more than a few people in the restaurant).

More Authentic Japanese Food!

I haven't been to Aoyama, so it's hard for me to comment (though I've been to Katsura which I thought was good but my husband thought was nothing to write home about).

I think Sushiman is the best time if you sit at the counter, as the master is quite a prankster, but I feel the kitchen at both Ichiriki and Sushiman are good bets.
The raves about Aoyama and the value for money reputation it's garnering, make me want to check it out. None of them, by the sounds of it have spectacular atmosphere. Such, seems to be the fate of good Japanese in Toronto.

I'm still waiting for someone to open a really good Izakaya. The restaurant of the same name on Front Street is, to me, expensive and overrated, especially if you compare it to Hapa in Vancouver (cheap, chic and delicious!).

More Authentic Japanese Food!

Really? Had no idea. We took my husbands parents (visiting from Tokyo) there a month ago and they were suitably impressed.

Ematei off Queen West also has some of the best "authentic" atmosphere, but I find the food a bit hit a miss (last time it was a hit).

Niagara Falls, Ont., good food? Not pricey

I'm looking for the same. I've been to Niagara Falls a few times and so far the only meal I liked was at Napoli. The Toronto Star also mentioned it

There was a pretty cute Vietnamese place a few years back but it appears to have shut down. Other than that, I think it's chain food and other tourist trap crap!

If you had never eaten in Toronto before...

Contemporary/fusion: Tomi Kro (Queen St. East)
Greek seafood: Pantheon (Danforth/Chester)
Hole-in-the-wall Tunisian (no alcohol): Djerba (Danforth/Coxwell)
Cheap Downtown Thai (instead of eating at the food court in the Eaton Centre): Salad King
Unpretentious Italian: Grappa (College St. in Little Italy) or Balladini’s (Queen St. East, Leslieville)

More Authentic Japanese Food!

I lived in Japan for 5 years and my husband is Japanese, so I guess we're pretty in tune with authenticity. Our favourite place is Sushi Kaji on the Queensway, but it's expensive (cheapest set is $80). What lots of people may not know though is that Kaji now operates a small sushi bar in the back of Le Cafe Michi (a Japanese style coffee shop) at a strip mall around Pharmacy and Finch. It’s a ‘poor man’s version’ of sushi Kaji, but is still great.
Another place we really like is Zen at a different strip mall in Scarborough, this one at Eglinton East and McCowan (which makes it close enough for the Japanese workers at Honda to head there for lunch). Not crazy about their kitchen but their sushi is probably second on my list and omakase is about $50-$60 (plate is around $25).
Finally, if you’re downtown, both Sushiman (Richmond and Victoria) and Ichiriki (Bloor/Church) are reasonable and authentic. Sushiman is also quite a character which makes sitting at the bar pretty fun.

Best Chowhound Cities

Okay here are my picks in no particular order:

Osaka (I was going to say Tokyo, but after thinking about it and reading another reviewer's I'd say they're right--more bang for your yen)

Ubud, Bali
Tuscany,Italy (technically not a city, but I never had a bad meal anywhere in the region!)
Ho Chi Mihn
and my hometown--Toronto!

Aug 03, 2006
pammycakes in General Topics

Foodie tourists from NY coming to Montreal in early September looking for recomendations

Last time we went to Montreal (we're from Toronto), we stumbled on Brunoise on some foodie's blog. Her review was dead on. The place was great. Because we didn't have reservations we ended up sitting at the bar for dinner, which turned out to be great as we got to chat with the owner (who was delightful, provided us with a dessert sampler and wouldn't let us tip him to boot!)

Fabulous food at what I'd consider an amazing price. The prix fix sets ranged from about $28-$40 for 3 courses and were well worth it! Great attention to detail and great atmosphere. We went almost a year ago and haven't stopped talking about it!

Can't wait to go back this weekend!