Sunday, December 31, 2017

Antikka - Cafe & Records

Cafe: Antikka - Cafe and Records
Address: 960 Queen St. W
Phone: 416-792-1855
Operating Hours: Mon-Thurs 8 AM - 9 PM, Fri 8 AM - 10 PM, Sat 9 AM - 10 PM, 9 AM - 9 PM



Drinks - Soy/Almond/Lactose-Free Options?: Yes to all
- Specializes in Armenian Coffee
- Coffee from Hale Coffee Roasters
- Tea from Genuine Tea
- Cold brew coffee from Station Cold Brew

Food - Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free Options?: Yes to vegan and gluten-free
- Vegan sandwiches available
- Gluten-free pastries available
- Fresh sandwiches everyday

Chaiwala Chai Latte, $4.75

Small Armenian Coffee, $3.50


Antikka is a cafe and record shop on Queen West that recently opened. With a mix of rustic and indie vibes, Antikka let patrons enjoy a great cup of coffee and discover their next favourite vinyl. The name of the shop pays homage to the owner's grandmother, who often used the word to describe something outdated (similar to antique).

They specialize in making Armenian coffee, a process that uses sand to heat up the coffee to a boil and has to be done twice before serving. If you choose to get their Armenian coffee, they are served in specialized handmade coffee cups from a merchant straight from Armenia. If you prefer your coffee to be sweetened, do tell them in advance. It's recommended not to add any sugar or sweetener afterwards but during the brewing process instead. I also had the chance to drink their Chaiwala Chai Latte, which is not overly sweet or bland either. I did not have to add any sweetener since it had a mild sweet taste to it already.

Antikka will be bringing in live music performance starting January so you check their social media for more information. They will also be opening their patio during the summer time, which you can look forward to in the warmer months. If you are a student living close by, this cafe is perfect since there are plenty of outlets and WiFi for you to use. If you are normally on Queen West, drop by for a drink or come and sell your preloved vinyls.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Khao San Road

Restaurant: Khao San Road
Address: 11 Charlotte St.
Phone: 647-352-5773
Operating Hours: Lunch Mon-Sat 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM, Dinner Mon-Sun 5-10 PM


Downstairs view from second floor

Second Floor


My Order: Pad Gra Prao, $16

I went to Khao San Road some years ago at their old location. The internet raved about how pretty the new location is so I decided to check it out. I went on a weeknight and was a bit disappointed that you weren't allowed to be seated until everyone from your party was there (not sure if this was the case for their previous location as well). I had to wait on the second floor in the meantime. By the time I could be seated, all of the individual tables were filled up and I was seated at one of the communal tables on the first floor.

If you're seated at a communal table, there are hooks under the table for you to hang your bag and coat (though they are quite low if you have a longer jacket). The chairs for the communal tables are also high without a back rest, so there might be difficulty finding a place to hang your jacket during the winter time. They have more seating on the second floor (that can be booked out for events), which also has a bar.

I had the Pad Gra Prao and it came out as expected, vegetables with fried pork over a fried egg and rice. Prices are $15.50 or $16 for their main dishes. Khao San Road is comparable in terms of menu and cost to Pai, which is just down the road. Overall, a cool and casual restaurant to check out and catch up with friends. Khao San Road Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Tabule (Riverside)

Restaurant: Tabule
Address: 810 Queen St. E
Operating Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30 AM - 10:30 PM, Fri 11:30 AM - 11 PM, Sat 12-11 PM, Sun 12-10 PM
Phone: 416-465-2500


From Beirut with Passion, $11

Sampler Platter with Babaganuj, Tabule, and Labni, $14

Garlic Tomato, $7.50

Lamb, $18.95


My friend treated me to Tabule (Riverside location) for my birthday. It's her favourite Middle Eastern restaurant in Toronto and she always raves about it. Since I've never been to any of Tabule's locations (the other ones are in Midtown and Bayview), I was up to see why my friend loves it so much.

We both started off the meal with From Beirut with Passion. This is a great cocktail for fans of sweet and fruity drinks. We decided to share a couple of appetizers. The Sampler Platter is perfect if you want to try three of the four Mezze Cold dishes. If you go for a full size dish, it might be a bit heavy on the stomach if you decide on something like Hummus or Babaganuj. Between my friend and I, the two appetizers and one entree each was quite filling. One appetizer is enough to share between two people since your main dish would be quite big.

I was not wowed by my experience but I enjoyed the food and atmosphere. They have big windows so during the day it's lovely to have lunch there. The Tabule Riverside location is also perfect for families in the area that are craving some Middle Eastern food in a nice sit-down restaurant. Tabule Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, November 26, 2017

[Event] Toronto's Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown 2017

Event: Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown
Location: The Fermenting Cellar
Date: November 14, 2017

On November 14th, 2017, the annual Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Chowdown was held in the Distillery District. 14 Toronto chefs brought out their best chowders for judging. Chefs Joey Gray and Chris Torgis from Bruce Wine Bar were selected as 2017 Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Chowdown Champions. Which was exciting because I voted for them out of the 14 chowders I've tried. The actual winner of the People's Choice Award instead went to Charlotte Langley from Scout Canning. 

If you love chowder, then this is the event for you! You get an unlimited number of chowders and alcoholic beverages from companies including Walter's, Georgian Bay Spirit Co., and more. You will be full before you hit your 14th chowder because I sure did. I actually ended up discovering Georgian Bay's Vodka Smash and Gin Smash at this event. I quite enjoyed both drinks! If you don't like the strong alcoholic taste in your drinks but prefer fruity cocktails or mixed drinks, then I highly recommend checking out Georgian Bay Spirit Co. It's a refreshing drink that you can have during the summer or after a long day of work.

Definitely come out and check the event next year if you haven't been to one already! I forgot how great it was when I first went two years ago but this year totally killed it!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Chez's Restaurant

Restaurant: Chez's Restaurant
Address: 588 College St.
Phone: 416-792-1550
Operating Hours: Mon-Thurs 5-11 PM, Fri-Sat 5 PM - 1 AM, Sun CLOSED



Scallops, $19.50

Cauliflower Salad, $16

Rum and Eggnog, $14


Chez's Restaurant is created by Mike Bradshaw that was inspired by his experience as a chef in Europe for a decade. He worked at two Michelin-starred restaurants and decided to bring a French bistro with European influence to Toronto.

I had the pleasure of trying two of the appetizers, which were the Scallops and Cauliflower Salad. My favourite out of the two was definitely the Scallops. The tarragon jus added a sweet and tangy flavour to the scallops. The Cauliflower Salad was okay, but it didn't stand out and I would not order it again. The Rum and Eggnog is a delightful drink for anyone who's feeling festive this winter. I found the 1 oz. rum portion to be a lot stronger in taste than I expected. However, it's perfect for anyone who is a fan of rum and eggnog!

Ingredients are always made fresh and kept no longer than two days. Mike tries to keep waste to a minimum by only buying required ingredients for the day and if he runs out, the menu item would not be available for order. On top of that, Chez's Restaurant gives back to local communities by donating to non-profit organizations, including Covenant House. Mike provides full meals for those in need or donate leftover ingredients.

Chez's Restaurant has a higher-end pricing but the menu is not permanent and changes out seasonally. There will be a Christmas menu released during the first week of December. You can either choose between an a la carte menu or a prix fixe menu for the upcoming holidays.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Ricarda's - Summerlicious 2017 Edition

Restaurant: Ricarda's
Address: 134 Peter St. 
Phone: 416-304-9134
Operating Hours: Mon-Wed 7 AM - 10 PM, Thurs-Fri 7 AM - 10:30 PM, Sat 9 AM - 10:30 PM, Sun 11 AM - 3 PM


Summerlicious 2017 Menu

Ricarda's Quiche

Pan-Seared Red Snapper



This past summer, I tried Ricarda's for the first time for Summerlicious. The lunch menu was $23 plus taxes for their three-course meal. I had the Ricarda's Quiche, Pan-Seared Red Snapper, and Tiramisu. I enjoyed my Summerlicious meal thoroughly, and after looking at Ricarda's regular menu, this was quite a steal! The three course meal was not overly filling and hit that sweet spot of contentment. The restaurant's atmosphere is lovely, perfect for a weekend brunch or an evening dinner date. I definitely recommend checking out Ricarda's if you are looking for a slightly higher-end restaurant downtown for a date or other special occasion. If you find that it's out of your budget, definitely try it for Winterlicious or Summerlicious! Ricardas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato