Sunday, October 31, 2010

UPDATED: Toronto Marathon Weekend - Oct. 15th - 17th

Updated with Lucy's comments in green below.

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As I mentioned in a previous post, Lucy and I took a trip down to Toronto. I was heading down to cover the marathon. (Looking for your official photos? Go to Marathon Foto.)

We took the morning bus, so Lucy and I arrived early in the afternoon - just in time for lunch. Maybe it's just me, but after a 5-hour bus ride, I just don't have the energy to walk around downtown Toronto for something decent to eat. Luckily, Kenzo Ramen is around the corner - quite literally, too.

Let's talk about the amazing ramen, shall we? Just as I did the last time I was here, I had ordered the shio (salt broth) ramen. Soon after we gave the gentleman our order, our ramen arrived.

Kenzo Ramen: Shio
My bowl was perfect. The slice of naruto, two small sheets of seaweed, slivers of green onions and slices of bamboo shoots all added a different texture and taste dimension.

Kenzo Ramen: Cha Siu
What gets me every time I have this ramen is the cha siu. The tender, juicy slices of cha siu were oozing of the flavour of pork. Look at the marbling! Nothing about that slice of cha siu was dry. Surprisingly, I finished my bowl with ease.

Lucy ordered the tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen. I think it's because of the soft boiled egg.

Kenzo Ramen: Tonkotsu
The difference between her bowl and mine, other than the type of soup, naruto, bamboo shoots, green onions, soft boiled egg, a few pieces of bok choy, a bit of fried garlic (scraped on the side of the bowl), and pickled ginger (the pink stuff on top).

The creamy, porkiness of the soup was amazing.  The last time we visited, I tried some of Jimmy's tonkotsu ramen, but I don't remember what it tasted like (blame Gravol).  I was impressed with how well the garlic paste and ginger cut through the rich broth.  The soft-boiled egg was pretty good, but I enjoy my yolk runnier.  Also, the bok choy was slightly overcooked and limp.  It was a solid bowl of ramen that certainly hit the spot, but I plan on trying another flavour next time.

Kenzo Ramen: Bill
We both left pretty happy with lunch.

As an aside, we had a less-than-friendly greeting as we entered the restaurant.  When we arrived at the restaurant, it looked like the end of the lunch rush (people finishing their ramen up/waiting/paying the bill). I saw a waitress helping out some customers toward the back of the restaurant, but other than that, no other waitress/waiters were visible. There was a table free right beside us, so we decided to take a seat. All, but two, tables at the front of the restaurants were empty, so I thought it would be fine. Apparently it wasn't...

A waiter popped out of the back of the restaurant and approached us. This was the brief conversation.

"Hi, it's just the two of us."
"Okay. Next time, please wait at the front to be seated."
"Ah, okay, sorry."
"It's fine. But, *Pointing at the piece of paper that read, 'Please wait to be seated.'* next time wait until someone helps you to a table."

 At the time, I just shrugged it off as I was starving. The only thing going through my head was the soup and cha siu I was about to eat. Reflecting on what had happened on the subway ride later, I became upset at how he delivered the message. Sure, we shouldn't have been so impatient and just seated ourselves. But come on, is it really necessary to point at the crumpled piece of paper? I found it demeaning and offensive. We got it the first time, sir. Yeah, thanks.

 Later that evening, at our hotel in Mississauga, Lucy and I had a bit of trouble finding dinner. What we eventually settled on was a health nut's dream.

Pizza Nova
A pepperoni pizza from Pizza Nova. They had a walk-in special, so why not. It was pretty good that night. I remember discovering Pizza Nova after being fed up with Pizza Depot earlier this year. The main thing that draws me to Pizza Nova is their sauce. It's brighter and tastier than Pizza Depot's. Lucy noticed small pieces of tomatoes in the sauce, too. Points in her book, I'm sure. There wasn't a lot of cheese, so it made it really easy to eat. We killed it in no time.

Although it was fast food pizza, I was impressed with the aroma.  The sauce was simple but delicious because it wasn't heavily spiced.  I liked how the clean taste of tomatoes shone through, and the little pieces of tomato bits brightened each bite.

We also ventured around the area to pick up other food. Once we were back at our hotel room, in front of a Leafs game, we put everything we had to consume on the table.

Junk Food
Our gourmet dinner was pretty cheap, too! Let's see what we had... assorted Timbits, apple juice, honey nut Cheerios, wasabi peas, sour fruit slices, (watered-down) Powerade, and Iced Caps made with chocolate milk instead of cream. Yum!

It was horrible and yet delicious all at the same time.  We definitely didn't overeat, which helps a lot when you have a spread of complete crap in front of you.

The next morning, we missed the hotel's complimentary breakfast. Ah well. Feeling pretty worn out from traveling the day before, Lucy and I just loafed around until noon. Just like the night before, we struggled to decide what lunch would be. There was a BBQ place behind the hotel, but it was closed. We ended up walking down the street towards a place called Iron Chef. I wasn't in the mood for Japanese, but with the lack of choice, I was just going to suck it up. As we got closer, a small bakery caught my attention.

Looking around the small bakery, Diana's Pasticerria, I noticed that they had a selection of freshly baked loaves of bread and sweets. In the far corner, there was a deli counter. Diana Pasticceria was a cute place. We walked towards the deli counter, noticing that they serve sandwiches. We stood there for a few minutes, unsure of what to order. What made things worse was the cold stare of the two older ladies behind the counter. They were intimidating! Not in the elderly-Chinese-woman way. Had they have been Asian, I wouldn't have been fazed.

"What should I get?" I asked Lucy, hoping she'd toss me a lifeline.
"I don't know. What do you feel like?" With that comment, she had tossed me to the wolves. Lovely.
"Hi, can I get... uhh.... a.. uh... *staring over the many different deli meats* prosciutto and capocollo sandwich?" I asked one of the ladies, without making eye contact.
"Capocollo?" she snapped impatiently.
Was I only allowed one type of deli meat? "Uh.. yeah.. capocollo." I answered, hoping I wouldn't be harmed for my choice.
Nodding towards the cooling shelves at the front of the store, the scary lady asked, "can you get me your bread?"

I went over to the shelves, got a sheet of waxed paper and grabbed the closest thing to me. I walked back to the deli counter and handed the bread over. Phew. I'm safe.

"What kind of cheese?"
I froze. My heart pounded in my ears. All I could think of was the one with holes. "The on... Swiss.. Swiss please."

They were freaking scary.  Not outwardly rude, per se, but definitely not welcoming or friendly.  Not sure if I'd go back because of the atmosphere.  Seeing everyone else being treated the same way - even the regulars - made me feel a little better though.  They're just terrible with customer service skills, I suppose.

Capocollo Sandwich
This was the finished product. The lady finished putting it all together not long before Lucy's was. I really wished I had prosciutto or some other kind of meat. It needed more flavour. The bread was fine.

It looked rather boring.

Speaking of Lucy's sandwich... While the lady, with her cold back facing us, making my sandwich took her time putting it all together, the other lady stepped up behind the counter. Up next to the spotlight, Lucy ordered the veal Parmesan sandwich.

The first piece of veal that the lady grabbed in the container of tomato sauce wasn't that large. She quickly put it back and grabbed a giant piece of breaded veal. That's more like it! 

Veal Parmesan Sandwich 2
The piece of veal was larger than the baguette.

Also on the sandwich was mushrooms and pepper. They were fished out of some sort of liquid. The lady didn't drain them before she put them on Lucy's sandwich. Oh man, her sandwich was going to get soggy.

Veal Parmesan Sandwich 3
It would've been really good if the bread wasn't soggy.

The sandwich had a lot going on.  The veal cutlet was moist and juicy, and all of the extra toppings (peppers and mushrooms) added depth and spice to a basic sandwich.  I especially loved the mushrooms because they were so full of flavour.  It was apparent that they had been cooking for a long time.  The sandwich quickly became a total mess as the bread began to disintegrate and all the ingredients began sliding around.  It looked like I massacred the sandwich after I finished.  And I wasn't able to finish the sandwich in the end... it was just way too big.

After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to wind down from the stressful experience.

That night, we met up with Liz for dinner. We met up at a small, but popular, Korean restaurant right outside of Finch station. It was a Saturday night, so we weren't surprised that it was full. What was surprising was how short the wait was. We were lucky to have a large group of friends ahead of us that were seated shortly after we arrived. The restaurant was full of Koreans. That's a real good sign you're in the right place.

Once we ordered, all the banchan (side dishes) and salad arrived.

Nakwon Restaurant 4
Seasoned bean sprouts and fish cakes.

The fish cakes were sweet and chewy - one of my favourites.  My only complaint is that they weren't spicy enough.

Nakwon Restaurant 5
Potato and chap chae. I loved these potatoes. They're covered in a slightly sweet sauce. Yum!

The chap chae was okay.  I prefer my own version, which has a lot more flavour, but I did finish this one without complaints.  The simmered potatoes were sweet and sticky, providing a nice contrast with the pickled banchan.

Nakwon Restaurant 6
Beans and pickled, shredded daikon. I'm not sure what you call these beans, but they're real good.

I think the beans were soy beans, but I'm not sure.  They were seasoned with soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil.  They were barely cooked, so they retained their bite and were almost crunchy.  I had never seen this dish before, but they're one of my new favourites.

Nakwon Restaurant 3
Seaweed and kimchi.

Their kimchi was gooooooooooooooood.  Spicy and slightly sour, it was probably less than a month old.  It had a hint of ginger and packed a punch of garlic.  I'm sure Jimmy would approve.

Soon after the ban chan arrived, our seafood hot pot ( aka haemool jungol) arrived. 

Nakwon Restaurant 2
Here's one side. I see some sort of small fish, tofu, wood ear mushrooms, noodles and watercress.

Nakwon Restaurant 1
On the other side, squid (looks like it was precooked), mussels, and gochujang. There's hidden treasure at the bottom. Keep reading and you'll find out what it was.

Once cooked, this is what everything looked like.

Nakwon Restaurant 7
It doesn't look like much, since the hot pot is really shallow.

Nakwon Restaurant 8
Let me reveal the treasures. Sliced rice cakes and daikon. Yum! I love daikon in soups. Towards the end, bloated rice cakes and strands of the noodles were found. It's too bad they weren't eaten earlier, cause when you ate the over-done rice cakes and noodles, it was mush.

According to the menu, all their hot pots serve two people. I think they meant that they serve two men, cause the three of us seemed to struggle.

It was so much food!  We ate for nearly an hour, and we still only got through two-thirds of it.  I was amazed at the freshness of the seafood, especially the pieces of fish.  By the end of the meal, the dduk that we forgot about had absorbed all of the flavours of the soup, but they were practically mush.

We were about halfway through the pot when our other dish arrived.

Nakwon Restaurant 9
Seafood pancake (aka haemool pahjun).

I wish I had more space in my stomach, cause this was so good! Unlike other restaurants that would be stingy, Nakwon packed the seafood. Me thinks it's because ajummas (older Korean women) would throw a fit if they were stingy.

I totally agree!  There was an amazing amount of seafood.  I could eat this for an entire meal.  It was crispy on the outside, slightly chewy and soft on the inside.  I've never been able to get my vegetable/seafood pancakes to this texture, but now I don't have to try, haha!

Nakwon Restaurant 10
Look at all the squid! There were sweet pieces of shrimp, scallops and other fruits of the sea. Since it arrived late, we only had enough space for a piece or two. The rest was packed up to go. Man that would have been a tasty late night snack.

Everything there looked amazing. A lot of people ordered the gamjangtang, that night, which is a delicious looking pork bone soup. I'm definitely ordering this or the gamjangtang jungol (hot pot version) next time - and there will be a next time. =]

I definitely left the restaurant with a smile and a bit of a waddle. And you know another thing that made me smile? 

Nakwon Restaurant 11
The price of a delicious Korean dinner.


I had to leave the hotel super early the next morning. Funny enough, I ate the same breakfast as I did last year before covering the Toronto marathon. Breakfast bacon bagel meal without the nasty pepper sauce. I guess it has become my pre-event breakfast. The Toronto marathon went by smoothly, though the sun liked to play behind the clouds. The weather was gorgeous though.

After the event, Kelvin and I headed to Chinatown for a quick lunch. Kelvin wanted pho, but we found a parking spot in front of a ramen place, so we went there instead. The ramen place in question was Ajisen Ramen. I've heard of this place before, while doing a quick search for a good ramen place for Lucy and Jimmy on a trip they took a while ago.

I had ordered the cha siu ramen, while Kelvin ordered a seafood ramen. We also got an order of agedashi tofu that was pretty good.

Image courtesy of Kelvin

The cha siu wasn't as good as Kenzo. In fact, the cha siu here was dry and not very juicy. I noticed that they added fried garlic oil which was tasty surprise. I didn't enjoy the bean sprouts, but hey, I rarely enjoy bean sprouts. I didn't mind the soft boiled egg.

Does anyone know what the deal is with the weird spoons? I don't get it. It's like a wooden ladle.

Anyway, it seemed like Kelvin enjoyed his bowl of ramen. He didn't really say anything about it. He polished it off though, so it had to be tasty.

Image courtesy of Kelvin 

Image courtesy of Kelvin

After lunch, I rushed back to the bus terminal and caught the bus home. And with that, another slightly stressful, but awesome trip to Toronto came to an end.



Kenzo Japanese Noodle House on Urbanspoon

Pizza Nova on Urbanspoon

Diana Pasticcerea Cafe on Urbanspoon

Nak Won Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Ajisen Ramen on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I did a radio interview with CBC's radio show, All in a Day, just over a week ago, about the Canadian staple, macaroni and cheese. Wanna listen to it? It's a really awkward interview cause I was so nervous. Still want to listen to it? Click this. And hey, starting tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 29th) at Metro, Black Diamond cheese bars and cheese strings, and Sargento shredded cheese will be on sale for $4.99. That means that you can make mac and cheese yourself! There's no excuse now. Don't know how to do it? Well, try my recipe below.

Before you do though, I want to say that these measurements aren't exact. I didn't spend countless hours/days/weeks testing this recipe to perfection. In fact, the producer of the radio show asked me to send over a recipe just over an hour before I headed downtown to their studio. If you know our family, you know that we rarely use recipes. When we cook (and even sometimes bake), we just rely on our past experiences and avoid our past mistakes. We go by the look, feel and smell to create the finished product, wether it be Lucy's meatloaf, my mom's experiments with making you tiao, or my version of mac and cheese. Anyway, here's the recipe.

My Mac and Cheese

1 cup                        Macaroni, Rotini or Baby Shells
4 tsp                        Butter
4 tsp                        Flour
2 cups                     Milk/Water
1½ tsp                   Chicken Bake/Broth Mix (I use the bright yellow one)
1½ cup                   Cheese (I use old cheddar, but sometimes make it with mild cheddar)
Sprinkle                  Black pepper

As I mentioned, above, these measurements are approximate. It’s all about the proportions.

  1. Boil some water and add enough salt to make the water taste like salt water. Cook the pasta to your liking (my dad likes it a lot softer, so he just leaves it to cook longer). I cook it until it’s al dente, which takes about 8 minutes (just like the back of the package says). Strain the pasta, set it aside and do not rinse the pasta.
  2.  While the pasta is cooking, bring out butter, flour, milk/water, chicken bake and slice/shred/cut the cheese up. Be sure to have more than enough of everything close by, in case you need to make adjustments.
  3. Once the pasta has been strained, add the butter and flour into the pot over medium heat. Stir and cook the roux until it starts to turn golden.
  4. Add milk to the roux and stir/wisk until there are no more lumps. This is béchamel sauce.   
  5. Turn off the heat and add half of the chicken bake. Stir and taste. If you need more, which you probably will, add a bit more, stir, taste and then see if you need to add more. You don’t want to have the chicken bake too strong, as the cheese will add more salt to the sauce.
  6. Add the cheese and strained pasta.  Season to taste with black pepper, more cheese and chicken bake. Serve while it's hot. 
This recipe feeds about two people.

Tips/trouble shooting (aka mistakes that I've made in the past):
  • If you over cook your pasta to the point where you or a loved one can't eat it, just dry them out on a baking sheet over a day or two. Use it for soups. You would rather under cook your pasta, because you can let the pasta finish cooking in the sauce (just add a bit more liquids to your sauce and let the pasta sit a bit longer before you serve)
  • If you're unsure if you'll be able to do Step 2 in under 8 minutes, just get everything ready beforehand. Oh, make sure you have all the ingredients before you start making this. I've tried to make mac and cheese before, only to find out someone had just finished all the cheese. This has happened to me a few too many times, which is why it's best to have done your mise en place.
  • I use old cheddar and sometimes mild cheddar, but I'm sure you can use something else if you don't like those two. If you want to make the mac and cheese gooey, add mozzarella.
  • Be sure to turn off the heat once you're about to add the cheese. If you don't, the cheese will separate on you.
  • If you add too much chicken bake, just make more sauce. You can put some of the extra sauce into a container and fridge for future use.
  • If it looks like you need a bit more sauce, just add a bit more of milk/water. Then add a bit more cheese if it needs more cheese.
  • Too much cheese ruins the dish! I didn't think it was possible, but just trust me on this.
If you decide to try out my recipe, please let me know if it turned out.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dim Sum Overload - Oct. 8th

One of my cousins from Toronto had been working in Ottawa for about a year. She was moving back to Toronto that weekend for a new opportunity and wanted to treat everyone to lunch. There were 12 of us there.

Round 1:
We had ordered quite a bit at the beginning - or so I thought.

Seaking Restaurant: Dim Sum 1
Rice noodle rolls with youtiao. The youtiao wasn't soggy this time. They served it with some Hoisin sauce and sweet soy sauce. There wasn't any peanut/sesame sauce in sight, unfortunately.

Seaking Restaurant: Dim Sum 2
Squid tentacles that were dipped in a batter, instead of the traditional dry coating.

Seaking Restaurant: Dim Sum 3
Shrimp ha gow. They were a bit over steamed. The skins fell apart when you tried to grab one.

Seaking Restaurant: Dim Sum 4
Seafood chow mein. By the time I took this picture, most of it was gone. 

My cousin also ordered a plate of my noodles (aka rice noodles with beef and chinese greens), but I forgot to take a picture of it. The sauce was very bland. The only thing saving it was a hint of smokiness and lots of soy sauce that was on the table.

Seaking Restaurant: Dim Sum 5
Fried turnip cakes.

Seaking Restaurant: Dim Sum 6
Rice noodle rolls with shrimp. As you can see, they were stingy with the sweet soy sauce. Does anyone know how they make it? I've read that all they do is add sugar to regular soy sauce, but I don't think that's the case.

Seaking Restaurant: Dim Sum 7
Deep fried shrimp balls. They were alright. I still think Yangtze makes it the best, but I haven't been there in ages, so I'm not so sure if it's still good.

Seaking Restaurant: Dim Sum 8
Deep fried taro dumplings with minced pork filling.

Seaking Restaurant: Dim Sum 9
Pork and shrimp siu mai, along with some deep fried glutinous rice dumplings filled with minced meat.


Round 2:
My cousin ordered some more items, as everyone inhaled the first round rather quickly. More of the usual: siu mai, cheun fan (steamed rice noodle rolls), etc.

Seaking Restaurant: Dim Sum 10
Lo mai gai (lotus leaf wraps).

Seaking Restaurant: Dim Sum 11
Scallop ha gow. The scallop had been pureed and mixed with shrimp. I wish there had been more scallops, maybe even chunks of scallops.

Some desserts were ordered at this point, as everyone started slowing down.

Seaking Restaurant: Dim Sum 14
Egg tarts.

Seaking Restaurant: Dim Sum 12
Steamed buns filled with "custard", and red bean paste filled glutinous rice balls. The "custard" wasn't a proper custard, but rather a moist eggy cake. Disappointing.


Round 3:
One of my uncles dropped by from work. Since we didn't have many savory dishes on the table, my cousin ordered even more! Everyone was full at this point. Just keep this in mind.

Seaking Restaurant: Dim Sum 15
Steamed squid.

Seaking Restaurant: Dim Sum 13
Chicken feet in black bean sauce, siu mai and another plate of my noodles was ordered, among other dishes. This time, the sauce was flavourful and a lot more smoky. Unfortunately, I had no more space in my stomach. With a few more bites, everything was finished.

And that was lunch. Everyone left with full stomachs and a bit of a waddle.

I'm going to miss my cousin, but she's only down Highway 401. Thanks for an awesome lunch!


Sea King on Urbanspoon

Lunch at Jadeland - Oct. 5th

Lucy and I had some errands to run downtown, one of them being in Chinatown. I was hoping to get dim sum when we arrived at Jadeland, but we were too late. Not really sure of what to order, we decided to keep it simple and familiar.

Stir-fried rice noodles and beef. We used to order this all the time, until I learned the name of my noodles. People say that this dish show how good the chef is, as it takes really quick, yet gentle hands, and a really hot wok (for the smokiness). This is known as "wok hei".

Lunch at Jadeland 1
Today, the noodles were a bit lacking in seasoning. There was a bit of smokiness present, but it wasn't strong enough. I usually hate bean sprouts in anything because of the flavour, but the bean sprouts in this dish didn't have any. The chef added a bit of ginger to this, as well, which was a nice surprise. It helped cut down the grease a bit.

The second dish we ordered was the sizzling beef. I believe it was called Cantonese style beef, under the sizzling plate category of the menu. If you've been following the blog, you know I love this dish with noodles.

Lunch at Jadeland 2
The beef wasn't tenderized to the point where you're questioning if it's actually meat. And the chunks of tender beef were pretty large. The amount of sauce was decent, while the taste was fine.

We weren't expecting anything spectacular from Jadeland. It's no House of Gourmet, but we knew that.


Jadeland on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pan Chancho, Northern Dumpling Kitchen, and Kenzo Ramen - June 23rd/24th

We made a trip down to Toronto for my graduation at the end of June. Jimmy, Andrew, Lucy and I stopped in Kingston first. By the time we arrived, it was around 10 in the morning. Jimmy's brother met us for breakfast at Pan Chancho.

Pan Chancho, Kingston
Pan Chancho, Kingston
Lucy ordered the croissant and the apple cider french toast with creme fraiche and maple syrup.

Pan Chancho, Kingston
Andrew and I got the croissant breakfast sandwich with bacon. Jimmy had the croissant sandwich with chorizo instead. It came with a BBQ-ish salsa. I felt like the croissant was a bit dry. It wasn't anything special.

Pan Chancho, Kingston
Henry had the smoked salmon platter. He definitely enjoyed it. It's a good thing, too, because Jimmy and Andrew were eyeing it the whole time.

Most people wanted to go to Sima Sushi for butter fish sashimi, but I'm glad we came here instead. Sure, it wasn't that great, but it helped settle my stomach. I wonder why I keep getting car sick. Does anyone have any tips to prevent it - other than drugs?

We arrived in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) just before my graduation. Needing a quick snack before getting my gown, Lucy and Andrew picked up two spicy patties in a bun from the Ackee Tree, located in Humber College.

Ackee Tree, Humber College
A bit of ketchup and hot sauce, and it's ready to go down the hatch.

After grad, we checked into the hotel and took naps/showers before meeting up with Liz for a dumpling dinner. Guess where we went? Here's a hint... I've gushed about the dumplings here and here.

The Northern Dumpling Kitchen, home of the amazing chicken potstickers.

IMG_0604 copy
Aren't they beautiful? The potstickers were just as tasty as all the other times. I'm starting to drool just thinking about it.

Northern Dumpling Kitchen, Richmond Hill
The xiao long bao (aka XLB or soup dumplings) are also really good here. The skin is so thin that you can see the filling. You know, out of all the times I've been here, the dumplings have only arrived empty of soup once. They also rarely stick to the steamer/wax paper and rip. It has never happened to me before, though Lucy ripped one after she eagerly picked one up. If you ask around, I'm pretty sure other people have had the same experience. It's so sad when there's no soup in the soup dumplings you order, and when the dumplings rip and spill the soup.

Northern Dumpling Kitchen, Richmond Hill
A bit of vinegar and ginger slivers on my spoon await a plump dumpling.

Northern Dumpling Kitchen, Richmond Hill
You are so fat - oh how I love thee!

Northern Dumpling Kitchen, Richmond Hill
Take a peek inside.

Because Andrew and Jimmy needed more substance than dumplings and a plate of stir fried rice cakes, we ordered a few more dishes.

Northern Dumpling Kitchen, Richmond Hill
Fried pork intestines.

Northern Dumpling Kitchen, Richmond Hill
Some veggies: stir-fried snow pea shoots.

Northern Dumpling Kitchen, Richmond Hill
The surprisingly tasty dish was Andrew's lamb noodle soup. This picture doesn't do it justice at all because here, the clear broth looks flavourless. Quite the contrary, my friends. It was full of lamb flavour in a wonderful, slow simmering stock.

After dinner, we grabbed bubble tea at the Ten Ren on Warden and Steeles Ave E (in the Metro Square). Lucy added another cup to her collection. I'll get a picture of it later.

The next day, we dropped by Kenzo Ramen for a quick lunch. We didn't want to spend too long downtown because it was the G20 Summit weekend.

Starting with the simplest ramen.

IMG_0608 copy

Kenzo Ramen: Shio

I ordered the simple shio (salt) ramen. This was so much better than the shoyu ramen I had last time! The soup was refreshingly simple. But the flavour is so remarkable. Just trying to decipher what went into making the broth/stock made my head hurt. It takes an amazing chef to make it taste this good.

The photo was taken from another trip to Toronto.

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IMG_0616 copy
Jimmy had the Tonkotsu (pork broth) ramen.

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IMG_0614 copy
Lucy had the Sapporo-style (named after the city, not the beer) miso ramen.

IMG_0613 copy

IMG_0619 copy
Andrew's Orochong (spicy) ramen. His bowl of ramen had veggies that had been stir-fried to a smoky perfume (wok hei), and added to a spicy, yet flavourful, soup. We all enjoyed the smoky dimension of the Orochong ramen.

IMG_0629 copy
The cha siu, I have to mention, is different from the Chinese version. Both are delicious though! This super moist and tender slice of Japanese cha siu is bursting with unadulterated pork, whereas the Chinese style cha siu is marinated in spices. You can never get enough of either. Just look at the marbling!

Just like Lucy and Jimmy's first visit here, we wolfed everything down in record timing. Random fact, we saw a motorcade go by when we were leaving. Yup.

It's getting late. Need to pack and get ready for another trip to Toronto. I'm off to help cover The GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon. Good luck to all racers!

Update: Lucy and I returned to Toronto during the marathon weekend. There was a lot of food, of course.



Pan Chancho Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Northern Dumpling Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Kenzo Japanese Noodle House on Urbanspoon


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