ive been unemployed until very recently (yay for a new job ! new office ! yay for not starting til sept !) since i got back from my trip to asia, which means long days spent by myself at home while everyone else are at work . i try to fill up my days with doing whatever i feel like doing whether its staying under the blanket all day with my laptop and books, going for a coffee & a walk by myself, rearrange my room or .. bake ! given this type of opportunity, this year has been good for me, taking off 9 months from the real world . anyways, ive been wanting to attempt at red velvet cupcakes for way too long .
my first ever batch of red velvet cupcakes with creamcheese frostings
i couldnt be happier with little cupcakes . i was pleasantly surprised at how good they turned out for my first time ! they looked good, they even tasted good ! more than good ! they came out perfectly moist & fluffy . :)
i even packed some for the bf to take to work . they fit perfectly :)
i most definately havent mastered the frosting swirl yet, but look how close im getting ! my favorite of the bunch, i saved it for last then stuffed it in my mouth . nomnomnom :)
fluffy ! :)
if i learned one thing from my trip to asia, it would be my love for japan . their people, their language, their food, their rich history, their overall attitude, i love it all from every aspect .
unfortunately, toronto doesnt offer too much real japanese food . :( its extremely hard to find authentic nonsushi jap food in toronto . i tried out 2 from the very few recommendations i got .
MANPUKU 105 McCaul St. authentic japanese udon . yum . it was took us 3 tries to get here . the 1st time, we couldnt find it . its tucked away near the foodcourt in a business building attached to a residential building . weird . the 2nd time, they closed . please open longer ! :( finally the 3rd time, we got to eat some amazing udon .
any japanese restaurant owned by an actual japanese, and not koreans or chinese, in toronto automatically gets free brownie points (& high expectations) .
basic udon .
kenee believes if something is really good, you dont need any other things to make it fancy . so he ordered the most basic udon they had . it was good, but nothing out of the ordinary . well, except for its abnormally cheap price tag .
beef udon . my fav !
ugh, my mouth waters from looking at this picture . it was so homey and flavorful . the warm soup eased my stomach and the noodles were perfectly cooked . no skimping on the meat either . meat was tender and flavorful itself . best udon ive ever had ! not to mention cheap . ~$4 + $2 to make it combo with japanese noodle chips and takosen/miso soup/salad in middle of downtown toronto = amazing !
obviously i had to pick takosen to compare with the various takoyakis i had from japan . i loved takoyaki & okonomiyaki while i was there so ive been on the lookout for them in toronto . but they were nay . :( i dont think anything in toronto will beat that famous osaka takoyaki joint . my search continues .
AJISEN RAMEN 5229 Yonge Street im on a quest to find real authentic japanese ramen in toronto . ramen with pork based soup . mmmm ! my first impression on this restaurant was good . more than good to be honest . once you open the door, you see bright hot pink seats that cant be seen from outside . so japanese, i loved it . servers even dressed like the servers from ramen joints in osaka . when we walked in, they greeted us out loud in japanese . yay ! until they started to talk among themselves in cantonese . =|
when it came out, i was pretty impressed . large black ceramic extremely japanese looking bowl with 2 brown toned wooden spoon . i dont remember if it was supposed to have any meat in it, but there certainly wasnt any . compared to osaka ramen, it sucked ass . soup was watered down . i can literally taste the MSG in this soup . wheres the ork base soup full of flavor ? :( TWO THUMBS DOWN !! i hate you ajisen ramen for giving me such high expectation with your amazing exterior presentations . oh, my bf hates you too for being ridiculously overpriced .
one of the things i love the most about my city is st lawrence market . this place is my 2nd favorite place for a date with the bf . it has some amazing food & huge varieties of them !
CAROUSEL BAKERY theyre famous for their peameal on a bun . i didnt even know what peameal was until this day . apparently theyre the canadian bacon . they have all these review articles & thank you letters from celebrities hung on their store front .
peameal on a bun
bf got the peameal on a bun . it didnt look anything special until we took a bite . for me, it was pretty good, but the bf loved it . he even said he doesnt want any condiments on it cuz it was so good by itself . he ended up adding some horseraddish & mustard later tho . the bun was really good too .
CHURASSCO my pick from st lawerence market was churassco . i love this place from the bottom of my heart . not only do they have the best food, the people who work there are crazy nice as well . kenee once made the lady go back and forth to pick out his custard tarts soo many times that even i was getting extremely frustrated with him . but the lady was soo nice and didnt even make any negative gestures towards it at all ! and thats a LOT harder to do than it sounds .
i felt adventurous and got something ive never heard of before . tamarind juice . even with the pictures of it on the can, i still had no idea what they were . not even if they were fruits or veggies . :S it had a hint of what reminded me of sugarcane juice when you first take a sip, ending with the taste of nestea's iced tea taste . i dont like iced tea so it was just meh .
churassco chicken sandwich
i was sooo impressed with this sandwich ! it was one of the saran wrapped sandwiches sitting on the counter but all the fillings were so fresh ! especially the lettuce and the buns ! lettuce was nicely crispy, not too big not too small . i hate it when theres too little lettuce or too much lettuce sticking out everywhere . also, i thought the buns would be soggy from the sauce from, but not at all ! prettyy impressive ! the chicken was soooooooo good . from what i can tell, i think they use their own real cooked chicken and shred them to make the fillings . this makes my mouth water .
custard tartsbest effing custards tarts everrrr !! these are usually the reason why we come to st lawrence market in the first place . i can eat these all day, everyday . thee best munchies . we took the leftovers home, smoked & played rockband & ate these little gooey goodies all night . both the custard and the pastries are made to perfection . & theyre not stingy on their custard fillings either .
my most favorite place for a date is kensington . i love everything about kensington (well, minus the occassional crackhead bums) . theres soo much to see & soo much goodies to eat . when i want to spend some time just with myself, i usually bring myself here . i just love the atmosphere . its my absolute favorite place to be . it creates so much positive energy for me . it makes me feel like good, confident, creative, carefree, adventurous .. its one place where my tastebuds just dont stop dancing . definitely my happy place . :)
PEROLA'S SUPERMARKET ive read so many amazing reviews on the little kitchen at the back of this little latin store . i just had to go there . one of the best things in the world for me is the sensation of a brand new flavor ive never had before in my mouth . i dunno about anyone else, but cactus taco was something extremely new for me . cactus taco !!!they had condiments including their amazing, amazing hot sauces on the counter .
pork taco & chicken tacowe weren't too excited for the pork & chicken taco . i thought it was really weird to have shredded pork in my taco . but they were soooooooooooooooo tasty ! the sauce they use was absolutely mouthwatering & the fillings were soo juicy .
cactus tacoit was our first time ever trying a cactus taco . i was really really curious of what cactus would taste like . my heart was fluttering as she handed it to me . it consisted of the bean paste (oh, soooo good !), little small chopped up cactuses, finished off with melted cheese on top . the bf thought they'd be a lot like aloe and didnt want one . he had just one bite of mine and ordered his own . i think that says more than enough . it was NOTHING like what we thought they taste like . it wasn't mushy or jello-y and it definitely didn't taste anything like aloe . it tasted like its been pickled which surprisingly worked so well together with the bean paste and the cheese .
then we washed it all down with a drink called manza lift . i really dislike heavier carbonated drinks like coke, orange pop, grape pop .. etc. this was an apple flavored carbonated drink, apparently from coca cola . it was one of the best carbonated drinks for me . i loved the apple flavor and the lightness of it .
EMPERIO LATINHO right next door to perola's, i dropped by for some of their famous pupusas . this also was a little kitchen, but bigger than perola's, at the back of a store .
beef & cheese pupusai ended up ordering 2 pupusas and they gave me a little hot sauce & little coleslaw salad in a little bag tied in a knot . these 3 things work so well together, it makes your tastebuds dance in happiness . this pupusa was a thick corn tortilla filled with beef & cheese . see, anything that tastes like corn bread arent really my thing . my first bite was just of the corn tortilla so i thought i was going to be disappointed . until i reached the beef & cheese part . when i reached that part, it was like a christmas in my mouth ! it was soo good, it actually made me enjoy the thick corn tortilla . with the coleslaw salad & hot sauce, it was heavenly . this was probably one of the most homey food ive ever had outside my or others' house .
golden kola ! haha . first thing i thought of when i saw this was the clear pepsi kenee always talks about . but this didnt taste like coke at all . it was basically a clear, golden lighter cream soda .
on monday, the weather was so gloomy . it looked like it was gonna piss on us . we thought it would be perfect to go to CNE since there would be no crowds . we got ourselves two $3 umbrellas from china town and headed down .it was gloomy, but still, ive never ever seen CNE this empty before . there were actually rooms to swing my arms around without hitting anyone, everywhere ! haha amazingggggggg ! it didnt even rain too much, which was nice but i dont think i wouldve minded .
we were so hungry, we went straight to the food building . i got the fish & chips and the bf got the montreal smoked sandwich . fish & chips were surprisingly better than average . fries were lightly crispy on the outside, full of soft, melt in your mouth potatos on the inside . fish was lightly battered just the way i like it and had actual fish meat inside !! not one of those fake fish meat, real fish meat ! it was buttery soft ! mmm .. the bf got the smoked meat sandwich without any expectations so he said it was pretty good . but i took a bite with the memories of the famous schwartz deli from montreal, it sucked ass . schwartz needs to open up a toronto location pronto !
best effing thing ever . i couldve easily had 5 of these . the warm waffles were so moist and fluffy, the icecream was rich . they had them outside too but the ones in the food building gave out free coffee for the same price . warm moist fluffly waffle with rich vanilla icecream along with hot coffee was a LOT more than i wouldve asked for . yum .
foot long corn dog
but the real reason why the bf wanted to come here so bad was for the .. fried butter balls ! as artery clogging as fried butter ball sounds, and as much as my brain told me pull away, something told me i need to at least try a bite even just for the sake of it . so i did .oh booo . is this what people were going nuts about ? the guy told us on the weekends they had a 2 hr wait line . i wouldve been pissed if i had to wait 2 hrs for these . we thought we'd be biting into an actual ball of butter but it was mostly just all buttery soggy on the inside - funnel cake battered fried ball . it was just a wee bit more buttery than some hk style pineapple buns you get from chinese bakeries ! i couldnt even try the chocolate covered pop corns cuz they were too busy to make them making these stupid things . if you want these 4 little fried butter balls for $5, you might as well save your money and go get yourself those buttered pineapple buns from the chinese bakeries for a dollar . trust me, little wee less buttery but still artery clogging enough to be in the category as these balls .
i love food . one of the best things in the world is the sensation of a brand new flavor in your mouth and trying to describe them in words . i am so thankful that im where i can try all different types of authentic foreign food . im definitely leaned more towards live to eat spectrum rather than eat to live .