My Foodie Diary

Just another foodie with a camera.

Saigon Express Pho

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Pho with sliced rare beef

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Pho with sliced rare beef, beef meatballs, tendon, tripe

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Fried spring roll

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Milk tea

After going to pick a few things up from Tong Tai Supermarket, I was hungry so I stopped to grab a bite from Saigon Express Pho, located across from the supermarket in the same plaza. I thought that this would be mediocre pho as it looks like another hole-in-the-wall place, but it was actually quite decent. The broth had a distinct cinnamon flavour, but it was overall enjoyable. I’ll likely return if I’m at Tong Tai again.

Mabu Station

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Earl grey tea & black milk tea

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Taiwanese tea houses are somewhat of a rarity in Toronto, so I was happy to pass by one on the way home. Advertised outside was their buy one get one free promotion for take out drinks, so of course I had to drop by.

The black milk tea was done quite nicely, however the pearls were slightly hard and undercooked. The earl grey had too much milk. I wouldn’t buy these drinks without the promotion as they were quite pricey for their small size.

Mabu Station on Urbanspoon

Oh Geul Bo Geul

Banchan

Kimchi chigae

Pork bulgogi dukkbogi

Mandu

Simon and Martina from Eatyourkimchi had many good things to say about Oh Geul Bo Geul, so I decided to take a trip up to Yonge/Finch to try it for myself. 

The first thing that struck me was the fact that they provide 10 banchan dishes. 10 side dishes!! I had previously thought that even four banchan dishes was generous… Other than that, this was a really great meal. I had wanted to try their naengmyun as Simon from Eatyourkimchi raved about it, but it was freezing outside so I wanted something warm. But I’ll definitely be back once it warms up to try it out.

Oh Geul Boh Geul on Urbanspoon

House of Gourmet

Seafood fried noodle

Szechuan diced chicken with chili sauce

Pea shoots with four kinds of seafood

This meal was a disappointment. I had good expectations as there are several good reviews of this restaurant, but it failed to perform. The sauce in the noodles had too much corn starch and the chicken was not spicy at all. However the pea shoots were alright.

House of Gourmet on Urbanspoon

Messini Authentic Gyros (Danforth)

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Greek fries

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Chicken gyros

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Lamb gyros

This was my first time in Toronto’s Greek Town. I’ve never been to a Greek neighborhood before so it was exciting to see Greek restaurant after Greek restaurant.

The gyros were enjoyable but although this is the traditional way of preparing them, I thought that the french fries made the gyros a bit too heavy.

Messini Authentic Gyros on Urbanspoon

Royal Boonsik

Dolsot bibimbap

Banchan

Bulgogi deopbap

This meal was alright. The bulgogi deopbap was good, but the dolsot bibimbap was very oily and had a buttery taste.

Halfway through dining, the restaurant ran out of rice and several diners had to order something that didn’t contain rice (which is a must for most of the dishes) or wait ~20 minutes for it to be cooked.

Royal Boonsik on Urbanspoon

Guu Izakaya

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Tako

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Okonomiyaki

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Kurage

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Ebimayo

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Tuna Tartare

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Ikapiri

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Saba

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Karaage

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If you are looking for a quiet romantic dinner, this isn’t the place for you. Upon entering, you are welcomed with a loud greeting from all the staff in the restaurant. Throughout the dining experience, the staff communicate loudly with each other, which adds to vibrancy of the atmosphere. I have no idea what they are shouting, but from my limited Japanese vocabulary, in Guu with Garlic in Vancouver they make a loud announcement upon the completion of each dish. 

Each dish was great with the exception of the saba, which was a little burnt. However, the staff kindly took it off the bill. In terms of food/menu and atmosphere, Guu Izakaya strongly resembles Guu with Garlic in Vancouver. I definitely prefer this Guu over Guu Sakabar on Bloor, and Guu Otokomae in Vancouver.

Guu Izakaya on Urbanspoon

China Gourmet

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Cantonese chow mein

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Young chow fried rice

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Crispy ginger chicken

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I pass by this restaurant everyday and have never really thought anything of it. Just another greasy Chinese fast-food joint. So I was craving greasy Chinese food and decided to finally give this place a shot.

Given that it looks like your typical greasy hole-in-the-wall place, I had low expectations. I just wanted my greasy fix. But I was pleasantly surprised. The portions were large and the food was actually pretty okay and not as greasy as I thought it would be. My only complaint is that the fried rice could have had more meat/vegetables as it was about 90% rice. Other than that, food came out in less than 5 minutes, so that was nice too (there were no other diners and there were three cooks, so that is probably why). Food was served in take-out containers even though I dined in.

Overall not a bad place for quick Chinese food in the York Mills/Don Mills area.

China Gourmet Takeout on Urbanspoon

Bubbletease

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Tea of the day (earl grey), mango smoothie

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As a Vancouver native, I’m used to having a bubble tea joint on every other block. As a matter of fact, there are 5 places I can grab a bubble tea that are within a 5 minute walking distance from my Vancouver home. Now being a newcomer in Toronto, I’ve definitely experienced a heavy bubble tea withdrawal. Most seemingly-decent cafes are sparse and out of the way from where I live and go to school. There are several restaurants in Chinatown that serve bubble tea, but since their main focus is not bubble tea, all that I have tried so far have not been very great.

Upon finding Bubbletease I was very excited as this was the first bubble tea cafe I’ve been to in Toronto that resembles the cafes in Vancouver. What makes Bubbletease even better than a lot of cafes in Vancouver is that there are several options for your tea base and toppings. Most cafes usually only offer black or green tea as a base, but Bubbletease offers assam, earl grey, jasmine, pu erh, roasted rice, high mountain, and matcha. Where Vancouver cafes usually offer either tapioca pearls or coconut jelly, Bubbletease has a greater selection (I can’t remember all of them, but the fact that they offer popping pearls really stood out to me). The unflavored tea drinks are also quite inexpensive compared to the Vancouver equivalent, which hovers around the $5 range. 

I come here several times a week to have their tea of the day, where the casual size (medium) drinks are $1.50. The milk teas are always made with the right proportions (I am very picky about this), and the pearls are fresh and have the perfect soft/chewy texture. They also have some snack items on the menu, but I have yet to try them.

If you are in downtown Toronto and you’re looking for a really good cup of bubble tea, I highly recommend going to Bubbletease. 

Bubbletease on Urbanspoon

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