Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sansotei Ramen

Sansotei Ramen was on Dundas right across the street from Spadina Garden.
I was in downtown toronto for a training course and I walked by this gem! There was also a Kenzo Ramen located right across the street, which I have tried as this is a franchise.

Sansotei ranks #1 or #2 in my opinion of ramen places in Toronto so far. I have been to about 5 different restaurants.

This was the simplest yet most delicious ramen I have had in Toronto! The veggies were quite standard you could add more and more at the cost of 50 cents per veggie, and the cha-shu was cooked to perfection! Extremely crispy, so much flavour, so delicious. The soup was tonkotsu based and was fantastic. Probably on the saltier side but I love the salty ramens. You can even see the egg cooked very well too! still a little runny on the inside! I got extra noodles at the cost of 2$ extra but that doubled the size of my meal! so good!

I don't know if this franchise exists outside of toronto but this was very good and one of my favourites! If i'm ever in the area again i will definitely come back!

I would rate this an 88% as this was so good.

Sansotei Ramen on Urbanspoon

Spadina Garden

I was in downtown toronto for a training course and I was by Dundas and Spadina.
Spadina Garden was recommended by Tatiana's sister so I thought to try it out!

Every meal came with wonton soup and it wasn't bad at all!

My co-worker picked up the black bean beef dish and the sauce in my opinion was quite strong,
meaning a little too salty. However after putting the meat and veggies on a bed of rice, this complimented the dish and made it very good!

 I ended up getting the Lemon chicken dish that I saw a neighbour eating. This dish was sub par... boooooo. The chicken was okay, the lemon sauce was lacking, so it felt like I was just eating deep fried chicken. BOOOOOO.

I probably wouldn't go back again but the food was alright and the price was quite cheap.
I would rate this place a 71%

Spadina Garden on Urbanspoon

Lula Lounge

Lula Lounge is a restaurant in toronto that serves a set menu with a dancing lesson!

I took tatiana here for our anniversary as I thought it would be fun to learn some dance moves and try it out! We walked in and this place looks like a dance bar, there isn't much seating locations for people to eat but it was a very red atmosphere. The pictures of the food I took were kind of hard to take as everything was red and dark.

As part of the set menu we decided to get two different appetizers and share! The first one was the tostada, pulled pork, lots of veggies, and a cream sauce drizzled on top. This was surprisingly really really good! This could have been a main if they served more! Zesty, hearty, creamy all in one.

Our second appetizer were chips and dip! We got three different kind of dips which were avocado, bean, and a fresh and zesty salsa dip.

Now to the mains! My jerk chicken burrito was fantastic, I would come back for this thing! It was packed with food, and the flavours were so good. Each section had its own sauce like the mexican flag which made it great! I didn't mix the sauces but instead ate each piece down the line getting to a new flavour after each colour.

Tatiana's dish was red snapper, this was a BIG piece of fish, I mean after I finished my meal I could barely finish the rest of the fish she had left for me. I was stuffed! Flavour wise it was quite bland and nothing to rave about.

Now my favourite part of this meal! Usually I'm not a fan of sweet things and desserts but this white chocolate mousse was the best mousse I have ever had. It was addicting now good it was! Meanwhile tat kep eating my dessert because hers was sub par. I believe she had an espresso cake.

After the meal the lights got a bit darker and the dancing lessons began! It was quite fun at first but then people outside started coming in! This quickly became a dance bar in matters of minutes!
We sat back down at our dinner table and were in awe of how many people showed up and started really dancing salsa! They looked like pros dancing around with their partners! It was so intimidating that we didn't even try to salsa after that!

So overall it was a very fun experience! the food was good, the atmosphere was fun, the drinks are always pricey but thats how it goes!

I would rate this place 75%, because i still had a good time and was satisfied with the meal!
Good anniversary date!

Lula Lounge on Urbanspoon

Kenzo Ramen

Kenzo Ramen is I believe a non-japanese run franchise. I've been to the one downtown and as well as Mississauga. The mississauga one is run by koreans so perhaps this is a korean franchise. They don't use the same symbols as us japanese in their menu's so I'm assuming the whole chain isn't japanese as well.

This place is a little pricier then the competitors and have some pretty bad ramen dishes. On the up side they do have a really good ramen here as well! Unfortunately the picture I took was one of the ones that did not taste good. The tonkotsu ramen here is very disappointing, as well as the shio and shoyu ramens as well.

On the up side, the King of Kings Ramen is VERY good. This is the dish I would get everytime. It looks spicey but is not spicey at all. The content and ingredients within it make the dish very good. It has ground beef and tons and tons of different kind of veggies that make it hearty.

I have also tried the Netsu ramen (supposed to be hot) but I believe the netsu and King of Kings is the same broth, very good not spicey at all.

Then I tried the ramen that isn't even on the menu!! There are 3 levels of spiceness to this ramen, at level 3 if you drink the broth and eat the whole thing the meal is free apparently!

I'm good with spices but not that good, I decided to try level 1. Level 1 was SPICEY, i wasn't sweating when I finished the meal but it was quite hot. The hot soup plus spicey food doesn't make it any easier! I believe I can handle #2 but probably not worth it, I can't imagine trying #3.

Now my favourite part! the Dumplings!! The dumplings here are fantastic! The bottoms are crispy, the inside is PACKED with meat, and the dipping sauce is very very very good.

The combination of these three together make this one of my favourite dumpling places. The only con to this is that it is expensive. Each dumpling is worth 1.50$ atleast because the dish is around 9$ and you get 6 dumplings.

Overall I would rate this place a 77% as they have alot of crappy ramens but they also have some good dishes as well! I would like to try the yakisoba or the donburis next time!

Kenzo Ramen on Urbanspoon

Santouka Ramen

Santouka Ramen this is probably my 3rd or 4rth try and a good ramen place.

Now that I'm catching up to my reviews I have eaten at other ramen places as well!
I would rank Santouka Ramen either #1 or #2 of the 5~6 restaurants I have tried so this place is good!

When I sat down at the bar I saw them making the broth and man it looked good! you could see all the bones sitting at the bottom and they were carefully getting all of the flavours out!

Tatiana got the standard Tokotsu ramen, this is her favourite type of ramen which is a pork broth soup. This was very good, the cha-shu was crispy on the edges and very tastey on the inside. The black mushrooms were a surprise and I loved the texture! Almost like jelly fish.

I got the Kara Miso Ramen, which is just spicey miso ramen. This wasn't that spicey but the colour looks intimidating! I have had many ramens to this day and this place is good. At a certain point i don't think you can make ramen taste amazing to the point of raving about it. Ramen is ramen, I have had BAD ramen but i'm accustomed to going to Japan and eating good ramen anyways! If i like it, then that is good enough!

Like I mentioned before in Toronto I would rank this place #1 or #2 next to Sansoutei Ramen.
I would go to either anytime and I would even go to Kenzo ramen as well as this seems to be located in a variety of locations.

Overall I would rate this an 81%
This place is good, not that expensive and quick!
Give it a try!

Santouka Ramen on Urbanspoon

Royal Shawarma

Royal Shawarma is a very small shawarma place in Oakville off of the QEW and Third Line exit.
This was discovered back in the day when I was working in Burlington, to this day this is my favourite shawarma restaurant!

This place gets some nasty reviews but the reviewers have no idea what to get. This place is famous for their chicken rice shawarma plate. Everyone who writes bad reviews talk about ordering beef, or salads, or anything other then the chicken shawarma plate. This is the GO TO dish! Don't order anything else just order this!

This is a mom and pop restaurant and the last time I went I believe the kids have started to take over the business! The food still tastes the same so I have no complaints!

Now to all the angry reviewers, yes this food takes a good 20 minutes to make but boy is the wait worth it! I have them in my phone so whenever I'm in the area, I call ahead and pickup the plates!

Now to the content of the plate! The chicken is cooked very well, still juicy, but very crispy! Great seasoning too. The rice is quite standard and isn't bad but man the garlic and hot sauce... man...
These two sauces combined offer the best flavour I have tried for shawarma!!

The hot sauce is not hot, more so flavour, almost like a sweet hot sauce this is a must!! Without both there is no reason to get the plate. Even Tatiana who can't eat anything remotely spicey can eat this! Its not hot sauce, they should rename it to god sauce or something. The garlic sauce is powerful and creamy but once you mix them all together the rice spreads the sauce around and makes it the perfect dish.

I rate this restaurant a 90% for its dish, however I have NEVER ordered anything else so I cannot judge the rest of the food. It seems like by reading the reviews that they all suck but this dish... is the golden plate.

Please support this restaurant, don't ever let it go out of business!!!
DO NOT order anything other then the Chicken Shawarma Plate, the dish is around 13$ and man is it worth it...

Royal Shawarma on Urbanspoon

Asian Legend

Asian Legend is a franchise chinese restaurant that is located in a variety of places in Ontario.
I have been to many locations and this blog is a review about the St. Catharines one that has newly opened.

So! Asian Legend was a restaurant we enjoyed going to in Richmond Hill. The price is cheap, the food is good, and they also serve Peking Duck!

This used to be our go to Peking Duck place in Richmond Hill however we believe the quality has dipped a bit there and decided to go elsewhere for Peking Duck. I still like the restaurant though! To keep a chinese franchise this good is something quite difficult to do as all restaurant chains would seem to differ, however they are quite consistent throughout!

I didn't take a picture of the soup dumplings because we had to return them as the dumplings had popped and the soup was all gone :(, however we asked them to replace it and they were very easy going about it! Good service in St. Catharines.

We decided to get this carrot, egg, spinach dish. I do not remember what it was called but this was very flavourful. It seemed like it was cooked in some sort of broth (vegetable broth maybe??) but it had tons and tons of flavour.

We then got the mapotofu, this had one chili symbol on the side but I love spicey things so i thought that 1 would be easy enough for the family to eat... boooooy was i wrong! This was spicey! Even I had trouble getting through it but it was still quite good! I have had better mapotofu but this place was still good.

Now to Tatiana and my brother's favourite dish, the dong po pork. This is usually not my favourites in food because I like lean meat. I do not like very fatty dishes. However, this was something even I could have! Usually there is a fat to meat ratio of 7:3 where 70% of the dish is fat and 30% is meat. This was more so 5:5 so there was still quite a bit of meat on it! I loved it! The fatty portion was melt in your mouth and there was enough meat there to give it that fibrey texture. I would definitely get this again.

We got many other dishes too but it was hard to keep track as they all come one by one and by the time I remember to take a photo we have devoured most of it already :)!

So lets get to the rating,
Overall I would rate this place a 77%, however I would rate this place in St. Catharines an 86%.
The reason I rate this place so highly in St. Catharines is because this is a white town. There are no good chinese restaurants unless you want American Chinese food and that is a disgrace to chinese restaurants. So for this franchise to come to this white town and open up a restaurant, good for you!

This is now my families favourite chinese place to go as they live in Niagara but because it is the only one I rate this very high!

I would rate the Markham Asian Legend a 70% as there are plenty of good chinese restaurants near by there, and I would rate the Richmond Hill Asian Legend an 80% because we used to love going there but have recently stopped.

Asian Legend on Urbanspoon Asian Legend on Urbanspoon Asian Legend on Urbanspoon