Toronto 2018: Meals Recap!

Toronto is the closest haven for good Asian food. Of course, after last year’s success with Asian Legend for Drew, I started thinking up some spots to go to already. There were some changes in plans but in general, it all tastes pretty awesome and we had a few nice chats and some great drinks.

Lets check out where and what we ate!

Day 1 Dinner: Kinton Ramen, Markham

Kinton Ramen

Hogtown Ale, Sake Mojito and Bamboo

Kinton Ramen

Chicken Ramen

On the day we arrived in Toronto and even the day after, we had still some snowfall and what beats winter like eating some hot ramen. It helps that my husband was so excited to go. And when we got there and they had the whole Yakuza game soundtrack sort of music blasting, it was super good for everyone’s mood.

Day 2: Moxie’s Grill and Bar at CF Fairview



Starters: Sushi Cones


Half rack ribs

Hunger after a long day at the zoo and then some shopping took us to a more convenient location at the mall. We have had Moxie’s before in Markham and Vancouver and both experiences either left us with a sour taste from bad service or kind of average food for the price tag. The one at this Fairview mall however gets a thumbs up in both categories. It had some delicious food and pretty decent drinks.

Day 3: Korean Grill House in Markham

Korean Grill House

Cherry Blossom (Gin + Orange Juice)

Korean Grill House

Special Bibimbap (Spicy)

Korean Grill House

Chicken Bibimbap

The original plan was to do the whole Korean grill experience since my  husband hasn’t tried it before but since we were all fairly tired after EGLX, we ended up just going with some bibimbap. I personally love it a lot but wasn’t feeling quite as hungry so just took the chicken bibimbap. In the afterthought, I probably should have gotten beef but it still tasted fantastic. There was a choice to add on the spicy sauce but I didn’t take any. My husband on the other hand took the special bibimbap which had chicken, shrimp and beef and also added in one spoon of the spicy sauce.

Day 4 Brunch: Ding Tai Fung Restaurant

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Soup-filled Steam Dumplings

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Fried Rice

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Fried Pork Buns

To wrap things up, we went for a lovely little brunch at Ding Tai Fung for a little dim sum. Of course, there was no denying the soup-filled steamed dumplings because they are my faves. We also ordered a few other dumplings and such from the menu as well as a fried rice to wrap it all up. Everything still takes very good. I haven’t been here in 2 to 3 years and its nice to see the food quality still very much the way I remembered it.

Overall, a great foodie trip (as much as it was everything else)! 
We had some nice chats and tried some nice cocktails and beers.
Awesome company usually makes it even better!

Toronto still has lots of great food that we’re going to be trying out soon (or next year)!
The recap of our two main highlights of the trip are coming up!


Battle of Ingredients 2018: Chinese New Year Edition

Welcome to the first Battle of Ingredients of 2018. Let’s call this Year 2! We didn’t get a full year for 2017 but this year, we are already much more organized. Battle of Ingredients has changed over the months and we are working with themed dinners more than we are working on ingredients however, we do try to stick within using seasonal ingredients available to the province of Quebec or ingredients related to the theme we are working with.

I have added Battle of Ingredients to the menu on top so you can check out any of the past events we’ve done that you may have missed in 2017.

The first Battle of Ingredients this year is a little belated celebration of Chinese New Year! Phoebe and I welcome everyone to enjoy this lovely event. Our best friend is back home so we luckily had her drop by to be part of this event along with the usual cast of guests.

Wine of the Night

Main Meal

Battle of Ingredients

Honey-Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry (Kim)

My contribution of the event comes from a recipe that Phoebe shared with me earlier in the week on Pinterest right HERE.

Stir-fry dishes always are a staple of a Chinese meal. I’m not a very skilled cook so this dish worked perfect for us. Its pretty easy to make. The original recipe asks for carrots but being the forgetful person I was, I picked them up at the grocery story to look at but forgot to put them in the basket so I replaced it with green beans. I kind of supersized the menu so I had to modify the sauce a little bit. My meal actually turned out to be a healthy blandness that I like but I offered salt and pepper to everyone to add if they preferred it stronger. The way to improve this one would be to use the chicken broth instead of water. However, this meal did make for some tender chicken as I did use thighs and vegetables had a nice crunch.

Battle of Ingredients

Ginger-Garlic Abalone (Phoebe)

Phoebe went with a lovely abalone dish. Abalone is a staple of a classy Chinese dinner ingredient. Sometimes the simplest way to make a dish is to go back to the basics. She used frozen abalones along with ginger and garlic on the top and put it to steam. It still had a little bit of the fishy taste here but to us, it was still very good. However, she did forget to bring green onions which would have helped with added a little more flavors to mask the seafood taste that some people (aka my husband) doesn’t like.

Sticky Rice (Outside contribution aka my mom)

Sticky rice is one of the Chinese dishes that you can find at dim sum restaurants and its also one of my favorite things to eat. Luckily, my mom had a potluck the day before and she contributed the sticky rice that one of her friends made to use for our Battle of Ingredients. It was delicious. One year, I will figure it out and I’ll give it a go.


Tangerines, Dark Chocolate & Wife Cakes

I slacked off on my original plan to make Baked New Year Cake (recipe HERE) and Egg Tarts (recipe HERE). However, we did have some tangerines which is pretty normal to have for a Chinese New Year fruit dessert as well as some Wife Cakes, which is a delicious Hong Kong pastry made with winter melon. Without any coordination, both Phoebe and I ended up picking up some Theobroma Chocolate from Costco. I like the Raspberry flavor Dark Chocolate one and she got the Original 72% Original Chocolate one.

That wraps up our Chinese New Year Edition of Battle of Ingredients!
We had a few months of hiatus but we are back!
We are getting back into the groove of things 🙂
Our next one will be next month with a little Easter celebration!

Recap: Goodfood #14

Its been a whirlwind of movie reviews over here lately with the Ultimate 70s Blogathon and Valentine’s Marathon tag teaming it, which is great but I’d like to change the pace a little (if just for myself).

Let’s take a quick recap at the Goodfood box last week!

Singapore Noodles with Haddock & Pickled Turmeric

Singapore Noodles

I love Singapore noodles! However, I also have no idea how to make it before this box obviously. It was definitely pretty nice especially since we don’t usually eat haddock and that was a nice change. However, this one is quite fancy with having to grind our own turmeric. If you haven’t used turmeric before (like myself prior to this experience), when they say it stains, boy does it stain? My fingers were yellow for two days after some intense scrubbing throughout. The taste of the dish was somewhat worth the hassle . It had a nice taste and the spices were really nice. The pickled turmeric also came out decent, although honestly, I was a little worried to eat it in fear of my mouth turning yellow. If I were to do this meal again, I’d probably just get some grinded turmeric instead and save some of the hassle.

Creamy Gnocchi with Mushroom, Sundried Tomatoes & Green Beans

Creamy Gnocchi

I had this meal without the creamy sauce and the cheese. This portion is my husband’s who got all the sauce and cheese so it looks slightly overwhelmed unless you love cheese like he does. He liked this one a lot. To be honest, the meal tasted really good just with the lactose-free base. I did overcook the gnocchi which was my fault since I normally fried gnocchi instead of boiling it like pasta.

One Pan Greek Chicken with Roasted Vegetables, Feta & Crispy Croutons

One Pan Greek Chicken

This is the actual version of the meal with the feta cheese. Mine was without the feta cheese. This one is actually really easy to make and tastes very good. Its mostly 15 minutes preparation then its popping in the oven. I can’t emphasize how much I love efficient cooking solutions especially when this one not only had really tender chicken and oven baked bread which turned into some delicious croutons.

Pork Burgers with Homemade Sauerkraut, Roasted Red Peppers & Potato Salad

pork burgers

Last meal we cooked was pork burgers. Whenever burgers are a choice, that week probably ends up ordered. I never knew my husband had such a deep love for sauerkraut until he wanted to get this burger. So this box taught me homemade sauerkraut which was fairly easy since these boxes always ask us to pickle one thing or another. No complaints since I have learned that while I don’t digest raw vegetables well, pickles is a different story. It also had a delicious pork patty with some amazing spices along with a potato salad which included making our own dressing. All of the above worked so well together.

Overall, last week’s box was pretty decent. A lot of the bad was my own fault for overcooking. The burger was great. Despite staining my fingers, the singapore noodles were also really good and then the one pan chicken was delish and efficient whole the gnocchi turned fairly well also.


Goodfood #13

Time for a lovely food post! I’ve been writing about books and movies and TV series that this is a nice little break! 🙂

We’re onto another Goodfood box. My darling friend Phoebe (aka Starry Traveler) suggested that I do a video unboxing of Goodfood after this one. Due to the PC issues I talked about earlier today, that will be something I’ll look at in the future once that is settled and operations get back to usual.

Let’s check out this box!

Seared Salmon Ramen with Black Salt Miso, Carrots and Mushrooms


The first meal of the box was the ramen. Its been pretty chilly here with quite a few storms so its always nice to have some warm soup for some heat and comfort. This meal was a lot of fun to make. I was able to multitask a lot of it and timed it all fairly well. There is some chopping involved with the carrots but other than that, its nothing complex. Its also why I love making ramen bowls. This one tasted quite good. Salmon has gotten so expensive that when we get boxes with them, its the rare occasion we actually buy it anymore. This box’s highlight was the black salt and we sprinkled it on top of the fish and it added a really nice flavor to it.

BBQ Tofu Subs with Pickled Cucumber Ribbons and Yellow Beet Chips


Our hesitation for this box went to Tofu Subs. My husband really doesn’t like tofu too much but he opted for this one. Surprisingly  for both of us, it was incredibly delicious. I don’t know if its the sauces they use or just the combination of everything, it was really delicious. The pickled cucumbers were good but a pain to cut especially since I don’t own a mandolin so it was just cutting it as thin as I could with a knife. The beet was kind of annoying to peel as well. This meal has a lot of prep work to it. However, the results were worth it. Writing this up, actually reminded me of something I need to message Goodfood about.

Pork Chops with Agrodolce Sauce and Roasted Vegetables


I had no idea what agrodolce sauce was before but our little menu card gave a delightful description of it. I’d be lying if reducing the sauce had me a little worried because usually the worst results are anything we need to reduce. Surprisingly, it actually turned out quite good. This one is rather sour though. However, I love roasted veggies and the spices blended so well with the sauce to make the pork chops really delicious.

Harissa-Honey Chicken with Spiced Zucchini and Sugar Snap Peas Couscous


Finally to the Harissa-Honey chicken. My bowl didn’t have any  harissa because hot sauce is not my thing. We’re not a big fan of this type of couscous however, the blend with the spiced zucchini and the snap peas actually gave it quite a nice flavor. On top of that, the only issue I had was the instructions on how to make the chicken felt a little inexact and my chicken turned out looking really burnt. Normal because there was honey but I also wondered why it wasn’t blended before. However, despite the burnt bits, it was very good as well.

I’m keeping nice and short today. 4 delicious meals, some nice surprises and nice flavors in the box. My favorite overall for this box would have to go to the Tofu Sub. The Seared Salmon Ramen definitely comes very close to a fave here as well.


Recap: Goodfood #12

It’s time for the next recap of Goodfood!

I seriously can’t reiterate how much I’ve been loving these boxes. In fact, you’ll see that we are absolutely surprised at how some of the more experimental choices have truly shocked us in how much we’ve enjoyed them. Without further ado, let’s see what we got this past week!

Olive Crusted Haddock with Barley Risotto and Roasted Fennel


First up is always the fish dish because fish needs to be made within 3 days of receiving it. Usually I like to do it within the next day. We don’t eat haddock frequently but this tastes really nice. The olive brings a interesting twist to it. My husband loves olives so it was right up his alley. Props to the barley risotto which is always nice because whenever I go out, the traditional risotto will always have milk or cheese in it and this dish is lactose-free. We’ve made fennel in a few ways now and it is one of those vegetables that takes some getting used to, however, I do say that till now, the roasted version might just be more preferred way.

Smoked Paprika Chicken with Kale Lollipops and Crispy Chickpeas


The overall favorite of this week’s selections goes to this one. There are some nice elements here. I like that we had to roast the chickpeas and season them. The chicken was spiced with smoke paprika and was fried on the pan and then put into the oven. The kale lollipops which was pretty much baby kale actually works the best in the oven. Because of everything have to get into the oven at different times but the times for flipping and such actually worked to our advantage to double duty the oven and cut down some cooking time. Its a fairly simple dish that yielded some delicious results.

Cuban Spiced Steak with Mango & Cucumber Salsa


Next up is the easiest dish to make in the whole box. We don’t eat steak a lot nowadays. Not only is it expensive but red meats are getting harder to digest in general. This one did have some nice flavors. I had to take it easy on the salsa and ate mostly the mangos since I don’t eat raw vegetables. However, I’m not sure if it was the meal or not but I believe whatever cuban spices are, something didn’t sit too well for myself. It could be the spices or the red meat itself so I’m not going to blame the dish because it is good and I have a very sensitive digestive system. However, my husband did seem to be fine and he really liked it as well.

Pork Banh Mi with Pickled Vegetables and Spicy Mayo


Last one was the one I was looking forward to making the most. I’ve been eating banh mi’s since I was a kid. The fact that I couldn’t eat raw foods stopped me from buying them for the last 10 years. This one included pickling vegetables which sounded fun. While still raw, I’m actually pretty okay with pickled vegetables and to be fair, I exceeded their at least 10 minutes requirement quite a bit and I think that did the trick. The longest part for this recipe was the preparation because there was the grating of the daikon and the carrots. Then the thinly sliced cucumbers. I also didn’t make the meat patties as flat as it should have been so we ended up slicing them in half to fit the entire ciabatta bread. However, let me tell you: it was all worth it because it was so incredibly delicious. I’d make this again in a heartbeat. Its not exactly like how the ones I used to eat but it was still very tasty.

Overall…this week’s selections were pretty decent. A lot of new favorites and we liked pretty much all the meals and loved at least two of them. A few inspirational dishes that we’d like to try again if we gather up all the ingredients. Some nice ideas here and well-balanced flavors!


Recap: Goodfood #11

Goodfood has really been a great experience so far. We’ve learned so much about foods from different cultures and also, learning how to make different meals and just seeing what works for us and doesn’t. This box has some really interesting ingredients and recipes that we were looking forward to try out because it looks tasty. The highlight for this box was kumquats which I’ve seen before as it is an asian citrus fruit but never actually cooked anything with personally. These boxes have also helped us fall into a fantastic routine where we alternate cooking weeks between us so that we get to both share the cooking and the dishwashing responsibilities (for the most part). A little slice of our everyday lives shared here as well, I suppose!

Let’s check out the menu!

Spiced Vegetable Tagine with Couscous

Spiced Vegetable Tagine

My husband volunteered to make this meal which was incredibly sweet of him, especially with these vegetarian meals, they are just a chopping nightmare. I’m possibly the clumsiest and slowest chopper in the world so anything with this amount of chopping just means, I’ll stand there for the at least 30% longer than the recipe says chopping away carefully so that I don’t end up chopping my finger or something. However, the Spiced Vegetable Tagine was great. It had sweet potatoes and eggplants and zucchinis and the tastes meshed together perfectly. My only deal with it is that I’m not a fan of this type of couscous so I really would prefer to not use this type anymore. The sauce did however help make it blend in a little better.

Roasted Chicken, Potatoes & Nantes Carrots with Kumquat & Shallot Pan-Sauce


The highlight of the box was kumquat and it was incorporated in the sauce here. Making this dish was pretty fun. It was some roasting and the way they roasted the chicken first with cooking on the pan and then popping it in the oven actually makes the chicken have a fantastic texture. On top of that, the sauce matched well and the vegetables balanced out the flavors and spices. Both my husband and I loved this meal a lot.

Potato & Pea Baked Samosas with Mango Chutney & Boston Lettuce Salad


We’re not big on any of the meals that have Indian spices mostly because it makes the house and fingers smell like the spices at least the next 24 hours. I scrubbed and the faint smell on my fingers were still there. However, for myself, it was worth it. I thought the samosas were really fantastic. The mango chutney Goodfood provided meshed with it perfectly and the filling was delicious and easy to make. My husband was okay with it but not too enthusiastic.

Ground Pork Bulgogi Bowl with Marinated Cucumbers and Jasmine Rice


We’ve been a huge fans of these bowls and one pot meals and stuff like that. Its really nice and efficient. They are easy to put together. The recipe here works really well as its smart to start marinating the cucumbers right at the start of the menu. It also added a little bit of vinegar in the rice that gave it a nice touch. The meal itself was delicious and simple but worked well together. My husband was a huge fan of it as was I. A definitely winning recipe here.

Overall…this box was quite the winner. We had two meals where we both loved a lot. One where we liked quite a bit and only one meal that we were split on. My fave does have to go to the roasted chicken though. I learned quite a bit from that meal alone especially since we love cooking chicken.


Recap: Goodfood #9

Goodfood is a nice routine for us now. Its actually motivating us to cook more regularly even when we don’t order the box. I do have to say that I’m feeling like our lifestyle is becoming more balanced and healthier.

Last week’s box was a bit of some more experimental choices for us however that is also the charm of this experience.

Squid Ink Pasta Puttanesca with Haddock


Squid Ink Pasta Puttanesca with Haddock

I’ve only had squid ink pasta once before in Hong Kong surprisingly. However, I do like it and this dish is pretty good. Its fairly simple to make plus haddock is one of those fishes that we like to eat but never make enough of since salmon turns out to be our default fish to buy and cook. This is a simple dish and I think perhaps one of the few meals in these boxes that I made very easily and almost on par with the time they said would take on the recipe card.

Fajita Bowl with Refried Beans & Fresh Tomato Salsa


Fajita Bowl

The husband chose this one. Suffice to say that its not my favorite meal by far. It was somewhat of a pain to make as it took a lot of coordinating multiple tasks at the same time. Its not complicated though and the chicken tastes delightful. It does pack a little heat in the spices for both the chicken and the peppers. However, the refried beans did turn out tasting better than I had expected them to which is always a plus.

Black Garlic Ramen with Shiitake Mushrooms & Bok Choy


Black Garlic Ramen

The vegetarian meal of the box is the black garlic ramen. Black garlic is also the highlight ingredient that was highlighted for this box. While I didn’t read a lot into it since its been busy, at first glance, it feels like a soy sauce infused garlic. However, I love to choose the oriental noodle meals here because I’m Chinese and it saves me from having to go to the Chinese supermarket which is almost always full of people whenever I have time to go. Back to the meal, simple to make and put together and packs a lot of lovely flavors and tastes so very good.

Provolone-Stuffed Burgers with Rosemary Oven Fries & Aioli


I know that this was a provolone stuffed burger but I let my husband decide on it and for the fact that I can’t have the stuffed cheese, he just made the patties and added the cheese on top. The aioli sauce is pretty good. I would have liked to know how much lemon juice instead of saying the remainder quarter as all lemons will have different amounts so ours turned out quite sour. The balance was lost although it was easy to  see that if there was less lemon juice, it would have been great. The fries also were really good. I never thought of crisping garlic and rosemary as a topping so it was fun to learn that. My husband is the burger connoisseur and he loved this one a lot.

That’s it for last week’s Goodfood box!
A lot of hidden gems here. Some delivered better than others but overall, efficient and tasty meals.