Category Archives: Food Guide

Shiso Tree Cafe Part 2

Those who have been following my blog know I love this small place in J-Town.  From what I know about Shiso Cafe, it’s a Japanese-Italian fusion.  I decided to have my belated birthday celebration and mini reunion with my high school friends in May.  We went on a Friday and the place was packed!  Thankfully, we were seated in a corner room with tatami mats -which I love.

We decided to share an appetizer and a friend suggested the fries because she had them before.  We had the Okonomiyaki fries.  My friend was not joking when she said they were amazing.  I had no idea fries could taste this good.

Okonomiyaki Fries

Our table had a variety of main dishes, all pasta.  The menu is mostly made of pasta dishes or appetizers.  They do have a large menu of beverages and a separate menu for dessert from Bakery Nakamura.  To sum this up quickly, the pasta by itself is pretty average but the combination of the dish is what them delicious.  The taste is consistently on the mild side so if you love bold tastes this might not be for you.  I had the shrimp okonomiyaki pasta and it is now my favourite pasta.  The okonomiyaki flavour was just enough throughout the dish to stand out and there was no excess or lack of sauce for the amount of pasta given.  They gave a decent amount of shrimp and all our pastas came with a small piece of toast.  Overall, I thought it was pretty decent for the price range (around $10-$15).  If you’re a heavy eater or a growing adolescent then you wouldn’t be satisfied with the amount here.

Shiso Clam White Wine Pasta

Smoked Salmon a la Creme Vodka

Pasta

Pasta

Shrimp Okonomiyaki Pasta

Finally, we come to the desserts!  I actually cake and tea prior to this dinner which was probably not a bright idea, but I can’t say no to food.  We tried the sesame creme brulee that was popular in online reviews and I thought it was really well done.  If you’re a fan of sesame like me, you should not hesitate to order this!

Sesame Creme Brulee

If my love for this place wasn’t apparent enough, I will blatantly say that this is one of my favourite cafes in my area.  I am craving those Okonomiyaki fries as I write this.  If you’re a fan of fusion styles then you should give this place a try!

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An Afternoon at the Distillery District

My friend and I visited the Distillery District in downtown Toronto a month ago.  We arrived in the morning so the place felt a little empty.  If you plan to visit, you should check online to ensure the restaurants or cafes are open.  Fortunately, the restaurant I looked up was open.  The place is quite unique with the pieces of art in the area (I believe there is a Artscape around?).

Summer Day at the Distillery District

We went to Archeo for lunch.  The interior seems to be heavily focused on art and I was surprised to see it so empty.  Our waiter was extremely friendly and patient.  The menu had a bit of everything and we ended up ordering the potato pizza with a dessert.  The pizza was amazing! The crust was a little burnt on one side, but it was thin and had a nice texture overall.  The sauce didn’t overpower the other ingredients which was a pleasant surprise.  I felt it was a well-balanced dish though I would have loved to have more potatoes in it.

Potato Pizza

For dessert, we had the honey ricotta cheesecake that came with what looks like a poached pear.  The pear and cake was delicious, but I thought the sauce at the bottom was the best complement in the dish.

Honey Ricotta

Later on, we left for Balzac Coffee, a cafe that I spotted when we first walked in.  The interior was very nice and reminded me of those cafes I often see in movies, the cookies and baked goods placed within a small glass dome on the counter.  Sadly, I was too awestruck to take pictures of the interior.  I ordered a cafe au lait while my friend decided on an iced latte.  The cafe au lait was just right for me -I’m not a big fan of overly sweet drinks.

Old Reliable Coffee

Balzac's Coffee

We were a little pressed for time so we left right after grabbing our respective drinks.  Overall, I loved spending time at the Distillery District -partly because it was a new experience for me, but I thoroughly enjoyed the calm atmosphere there.  If you haven’t been to the Distillery District, I think it’s worth the trip!

 

Trichilo’s Ristorante

Trichilo’s is located on Richmond Street in London, Ontario.  The interior was nice though I will warn you the lighting is very dim.  I went with a large group of people and we ordered different dishes.  I didn’t take pictures of everyone’s dishes as I was not familiar with many of them.

The menu is average and a little limited.  Most of the menu items are what you would find from any Italian restaurant.  I decided to stay safe and ordered the spaghetti with meatballs.  My friend who shared similar sentiments ordered a lasagna.

The spaghetti and meatballs were average. The spaghetti was a little dry for me.  The meatballs were huge and pretty decent although I found it lacked seasoning.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

The lasagna was filled with a lot of meat as well -my friend almost couldn’t finish it – and is very filling.

Lasagna

A few other dishes that we tried were the carpaccio and cioppino.  The carpaccio was excellent and I wish there was a bit more on the plate.  The cioppino received quite the negative response as the mussels seemed to have turned bad and there was a smell.  I’m not sure if this is a normal occurrence or an anomaly.  We told the waitress and she came back telling us the chefs said it was a new batch of mussels -we felt it was unnecessary to press further as the response was rather unfriendly.

Couch area

Our waitress did check up on us frequently and was quite friendly.  I think the mussels incident might have soured the mood a little.  Overall, I won’t be visiting this restaurant again as my experience was disappointing.  There was nothing that truly popped out as a “must try” item from their menu, the prices were on the higher side for its plainer dishes, and the overall experience makes it less than stellar.

Dinner at La Grotta

February was a month of birthdays.  To celebrate, we went to La Grotta on Main Street, Unionville.  It was a while ago and I can’t remember all the details of the dinner.

First, we ordered red wine.  I can’t remember the name (sorry!) but I remember it was sweeter than most wines I’ve had.  The waiter was very kind and helpful.  He helped us pick a suitable wine for our dinner.

Wine

 

I had the gnocchi.  The sauce was the best part of the dish.  You can taste the freshness and the sauce complemented the gnocchi well.

Gnocchi Gorgonzola

 

My friends tried the Surf n’ Turf.  It was the ‘one of the best steaks’ he has ever had.  Another friend had the chicken and commented that it was your average dish.

Surf n' Turf

Chicken Parmigiana

 

For dessert, we tried the chocolate brownie, the tiramisu, and the creme brulee.  The brownie dish looked very filling but I’ve heard it was delicious.  The tiramisu is rather average so it was a little disappointing.  I found the creme brulee to be satisfying but not particularly mind-blowing.

Brownie

Tiramisu

Creme Brulee

 

The menu is a little limited so if you’re looking for a huge variety you might want to consider another restaurant.  Otherwise, I think most would be satisfied with the quality of the food here.  I must comment on the exceptional service here.  Our waiter was extremely attentive and helpful throughout the dinner.  As I was the first to arrive, he kindly made light conversation and even told me more about the restaurant.  I would definitely recommend La Grotta if you’re looking for a nice quiet dinner or a place for a special occassion.

 

 

Lunch at Prince Albert’s Diner

Having heard much about Prince Albert’s, my friend and I decided to visit the diner.  Located on Richmond, it is located fairly close to the university campus -definitely a plus for hungry students.  I’ve visited the diner once in the past a few years ago when I had to stay late at school to finish a project.  I did not remember much of that time except how rushed we were and that the food was edible.  Having the opportunity to visit during my free time helped improve my experience.

I’ll start by commenting on my first impression.  The diner exterior is painted in bright colours -yellow and red if I remember correctly.  It has a nice touch of individuality and statement.  The interior is what you would expect from local diners, decorated to match the outgoing and classic exterior look.  It gives you a comfortable feeling when you walk in.

I read a lot of reviews recommending the milkshakes here so I decided to order one.  I had the chocolate milkshake and I have never drank so much milkshake in one sitting.  The portion was huge!  I got two full cups of milkshake!  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, seeing the price of the milkshake was on the slightly higher end.  As for the taste, I am definitely a big fan of their milkshake! You can actually taste the chocolate and creamy flavour of the milkshake rather than the usual overload of sugar.  I would actually make a trip to this diner for the milkshake alone.
Chocolate Milkshakes

Chocolate Milkshake

I had the BBQ Swiss burger while my friend had a burger with bacon and mushrooms.  My burger came with sweet potato fries!  The burger was decently sized and the entire plate accomplishes the objective of filling one’s stomach.  The meat was above average though personally I would have liked less sauce -I’m not a sauce person.  My friend enjoyed her burger a lot and I doubt the sauce was overpowering in any aspect.

Lunch

BBQ Swiss Burger

 

The menu is decently priced.  The staff were courteous and frequently came to ask whether we were enjoying our meal.  The atmosphere is nice and I can picture the diner as a great place for students to hang out with their friends.  I believe Prince Albert’s is a nice experience for anyone looking for a casual meal or comfort food.