Thursday, June 23, 2016

My Trip to Toronto | What I Ate

Given my boyfriend is a food blogger, a big portion of our trip to Toronto was dedicated to trying out some delicious food. I did some pretty intense research (thanks to Zomato and my sources in Toronto) beforehand to see which places I needed to check out. Well, today I want to share with you all that we ate on the trip. To read on, click......
Bahn Mi Boys | Mahi Mahi Bahn Mi
Bahn Mi Boys:
I've always found Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwiches to be pretty boring and the hip Bahn Mi places like DD Mau in Vancouver are just too overpriced and overrated. Therefore, my expectations weren't very high for Bahn Mi Boys. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the sandwiches here. I tried the mahi-mahi Bahn Mi and the papaya salad. The sandwich was very flavorful, packed with plenty of fish and veggies. It was so good that I actually went back a second time, although I found the fish this time to be slightly burnt. Nevertheless, though, it was a damn good sandwich for only $8. The papaya salad was pretty good as well, nothing overly impressive but it made a nice side. The wait is very long here and the small number of tables are usually packed so takeout is probably the way to go.

Eggspectation Restaurant-Cafe:
My boyfriend loves eggs so we had to visit a place called "Eggspectation". I ordered the mushroom burger with a sunny-side-up egg on top. The fries were pretty sad and dry and the patty was unfortunately underseasoned. The cheese and mushrooms were also super greasy but the sunny-side-up kind of made up for it. Overall, though, this place was pretty disappointing.
Eggspectation Restaurant-Cafe | Mushroom Burger
Okonomi House | Squid Okonomiyaki
Okonomi House:
After a day of sightseeing, we stopped by a small Japanese restaurant that serves okonomiyaki, a savory Japanese pancake filled with lots of veggies and meats. We tried the squid okonomiyaki and really enjoyed the juicy squid meat. The pancake is soft and fluffy and the top was slathered with delicious sauces. We also got an order of yaki udon; it was not anything special but it was very filling and yummy.
Okonomi House | Yaki Udon
Pai | Khao Soi
Located minutes away from Le Germain where we stayed, Pai was definitely the restaurant on the top of my list due to my love for Thai food. This place was packed on a Thursday evening. We put our name on the list but got a table pretty quickly. We ordered the Pad Thai (of course) and the Khao Soi, which was pretty much curry with noodles. The Pad Thai was very saucy and delicious but man was it pricy! At $17, it's definitely the most expensive Pad Thai I've tried and there's no way to justify that price. The Khao Soi was super flavorful but it was a bit too salty and I thought it didn't have enough noodles. I can definitely see the hype about this place but having visited many great (and more reasonably priced) Thai places in Vancouver, Pai is not a place I would recommend for reasonably priced Thai food.
Pai | Pad Thai
Bosk | Tomato Soup
For one of our fancier dine-outs, we visited Bosk at the Shangri-La Hotel. They had a set brunch menu for $39 per person. I chose the tomato soup and the Bosk Burger. The soup was very delicious and creamy and it had a small piece of cheesy bread dipped within. The burger was just okay, it's quite hefty but it was slightly underseasoned. The restaurant is of course very beautiful and the servers were friendly and attentive.
Bosk | Bosk Burger
On one of our last evenings in Toronto, we visited a hip Southern eatery in Beaconsfield Village called Omaw. We visited on a Sunday evening when they had their Sunday Supper set menu for $35 per person. We started with a very unique and delicious salad with mixed greens. Next. we had the most amazing grits, which was super rich and creamy. The main course consisted of asparagus, stuffed chicken leg, and BBQ ribs. The asparagus was very tender but it was drenched in quite a lot of oil which made the veggie a bit too greasy and drippy.
Omaw | Sunday Supper Set Meal
Both meats are very well cooked; the chicken was super juicy and the ribs fell easily off the bones. Unfortunately, though, both meats were really salty; the ribs were so salty that I couldn't even finish my serving. Last but not least, we were treated to a small sliver of a lemon pie decorated with large flakes of meringue. Overall I really enjoyed the place, the variety and portions were all very good and if only the meats weren't so overseasoned, this would have easily been the best meal of our trip.
Omaw | Sunday Supper Set Meal
Buca Osteria & Bar:
Another fancier places we visited was this Italian restaurant called Buca Osteria & Bar, which, from my understanding, is a sister restaurant to the other Buca restaurants in Toronto. We visited for lunch and I ordered the Bigoli pasta, a duck egg pasta with duck ragu. The ragu was very delicious but the pasta was way too al dente for my liking, and for $21, the portion was pretty darn small. I am all for fine dining but I think the portion here was a bit unreasonable. With that said, the service was superb and the restaurant is very beautiful.
Buca Osteria & Bar | Bigoli
Uncle Tetsu's Japanese Cheesecake:
One of my most anticipated food place was Uncle Tetsu's Japanese Cheesecake, a bakery known for their fluffy and airy Japanese-style cheesecakes. We made sure to come here right when they opened to avoid the infamous block-long lineup. Was it worth it? Heck yes! 
The fluffy cheesecake is like a cross between a chiffon cake and the classic American cheesecake. The lightly sweetened cake tastes best when it's fresh out of the oven, when it basically melts in your mouth into the most delicious and creamy heavenliness. We also tried the madeleines here, which are quite large. They are buttery and yummy without being too rich or sweet. Basically, if you are visiting Toronto, you need to come here!
Uncle Tetsu's Japanese Cheesecake | Original Cheesecake
Bang Bang Ice Cream | Burnt Toffee & Oatmeal Cookie
Bang Bang Ice Cream:
Located right across the street from Omaw was an ice cream shop called Bang Bang Ice Cream. We lined up for around half an hour and ordered the burnt toffee oatmeal cookie ice cream sandwich. I was very disappointed that when we got to the counter we were told that their waffle cones (which was what we lined up for) would be another 40 minutes wait. I think it's kind of ridiculous for a place with such a large volume of customers to have only two griddles, making for crazy long wait times. The place should have at least put up a sign informing the people lining about the long wait.
Anyhow, the ice cream was a bit too sweet to my liking and there were way too few toffee pieces. The oatmeal cookie had a nice and chewy texture but again, it was way too sweet. We were warned by a couple of passerbys while waiting in line that the place isn't worth the hype and I sadly have to agree.

Sweet Jesus:
Known for their decked out soft serve, Sweet Jesus is located in the heart of the Entertainment District. This place also had a huge line but it moved very quickly. We got the Cookies, Cookies, Cookies and Cream, which was covered in cookie butter, oreo crumbs, and cookie crumbs. Aside from the crazy toppings, the ice cream is super creamy and I loved that it was only lightly sweetened, which pairs really nicely with the more decadent toppings.
Sweet Jesus | Cookies, Cookies, Cookies & Cream
Butter Avenue:
While window-shopping on Queens Street, this fancy bakery caught my attention. I think the place is better known for their macarons but it was these beautiful mini cakes that really won over my heart. They are pricy at ~$7 each but they are just so precious. The Strawberry Cheesecake (or that's what I believe it was) had a nice tartness and the Matcha Mousse Cake was filled with the most delicious ooey-gooey lava center.
Butter Avenue | Matcha Mousse Cake & Strawberry Cheesecake
Momofuku Milk Bar:
Last but not least, Momofuku Milk Bar was one of our fave visits of the trip because they had some amazing cookies. I mean, they were so good that we never really got a chance to get a picture of them (before munching them down). I tried pretty much all the varieties but the Walnut Maple and Corn Cookie were definitely the best! Something about them is just so darn addictive. Let's just say a large portion of our luggage were filled with Momofuku Milk Bar cookies.

So my recommendations for must-try places are definitely Bahn Mi Boys, Uncle Tetsu, and Momofuku Milk Bar! What Toronto culinary gems have I missed? Share with me in the comments below!
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