Monday, October 31, 2011


Fishbar (@_fishbar) on Ossington is a tapas style wine bar dedicated to oysters and seafood. The Ossington strip is home to some of my favourite restaurants in Toronto such as Pizzeria Libretto, Foxley, and Golden Turtle. It's definitely a very happening neighbourhood in terms of food.

I went with a group of seven friends to Fishbar several weeks ago. We wanted to try it out because Fishbar is very active on Twitter, constantly tempting their followers with pictures of ceviche and oysters haha. Most of the seafood offered at Fishbar is also sourced locally and is Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood.

The sign outside Fishbar (left) and a list of oysters available that day written on the mirror near the entrance inside the restaurant (right).

Oysters on the bar.

Our table was at the back of Fishbar. As you can see, the restaurant is very long and narrow.

My view...

A cool set of mirrors above me. However, my friend Diana (@pronosher) didn't like it after awhile as she was getting a bit dizzy from looking at it (especially because the ceiling fan was on). 

Octopussy Martini - Vodka, fresh oyster (2 oz, $11) - I had to get this because it is Fishbar's signature cocktail. I didn't like it though; I found it really salty. Others took a sip and thought it was ok...maybe I just don't like martinis.

Shrimp Caesar Cocktail - Fresh horseradish, vodka, wild caught shimp (2oz, $11) - Went back to my favourite cocktail, the Caesar (I couldn't finish the Octopussy Martini). This is not just any normal Caesar but a SHRIMP Caesar with a ball of horseradish on it! Ohhh this was so good and tasty =) I could drink probably 3 to 4 of these.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

F'Amelia Giveaway Contest

Did you read about my dinner at F'Amelia last week? The pillowy-soft gnocchi and the amazing thin-crust spicy pizza called Divalo? Did you drool? Did you craveeeeeeeee? =D

If so, this is your perfect chance to go try F'Amelia out for yourself!

I'm giving away a $50 gift certificate to F'Amelia!

See below for contest rules.


1) You MUST be following both me (@foodieyu) and F'Amelia (@FAmeliaRisto) on Twitter


2) Tweet the following sentence, exactly as shown, nothing before or after it

I want to win a $50 gift certificate to @FAmeliaRisto! #FameliaGC

*Limit one entry per person*


Contest starts on Saturday, October 29th and ends on Saturday, November 5th at 12PM.

The lucky winner will be chosen randomly from and I will announce the winner on Monday, November 7th.


This is not a sponsored post

Friday, October 28, 2011

Coach House Shortbread [VLOG]

Nicki (@ViewTheVibe) and I were invited to Coach House Shortbread's 25th year anniversary celebration at their new bakery and retail space located at 235 Carlaw Ave (lower lobby) at the Wrigley Building. 

When I read our invite, I was surprised to see that wine was involved. Wine and shortbread? I've never heard of this kind of pairing before but sure I don't mind =)

When we arrived at the party, Baker and Founder of  Coach House Shortbread Company, Carl Stryg, told us that pairing shortbread and wine may strike some as unusual but for him, it's a natural fit. Together with sommelier Marlise Ponzo from Crushing on Wine, Carl selected a number of wines that with the shortbread, produced surprisingly complementary flavours. There was a number of excellent wine pairing suggestions for almost each flavour of shortbread.

Watch View the Vibe's Eye on the Vibe Blog as I drink wine and eat shortbread, all night long (Nicki was on detox so I was "in charge" of usual =P). 

Coach House Shortbread's retail space featured a glassed-in kitchen where customers can see the shortbread being prepared and packaged. I can honestly say that the savoury shortbreads from Coach House Shortbread are now one of my favourite things. 

Here's a breakdown of the different flavours from Coach House Shortbread

Original - Made with fresh unsalted butter, pastry flour, cornstarch and confectioners sugar and a pinch of sea salt
Lemon - Made with fresh unsalted butter and lightly flavoured with organic lemon zest
Pecan - Same recipe as original with finely chopped fresh pecans
Almond & Sugared Rose - Toasted almonds with fragrant crunch of sugared rose petals
Orange & Cardamon - Orange zest combined with cardamon and a hint of ginger
Cranberry - Cranberries and creamy butter
Lavender - With organic lavender flowers
Dark Chocolate & Fleur de Sel - Callebaut dark chocolate chips with Fleur de Sel

Spicy Asiago & Garlic - Asiago cheese with oven-roasted garlic and chili peppers
Gorgonzola & Pistachio - Gorgonzola paired with toasted pistachios
Cheddar & Chipotle - 10-year-old Canadian cheddar paired with the smokiness of chipotle peppers
Stilton & Rosemary - Stilton cheese with a touch of rosemary and coarsely ground black pepper.

All the lovely packaging and wrapping is done entirely by hand using recycled paper (98% post consumer fibre)! They make great gifts too because they are just so beautifully wrapped ^_^ I may get some for Christmas actually (which is less than two months away...eek).

Marlise Ponzo, Sommelier, from Crushing on Wine, was busy pouring wine all night and explaining to guests about the various wine pairings. Below are some combinations that we tried:

Stilton & Rosemary with German Riesling or a Valpolicella
Walnut & Bella Vitano with Cremant Rose
Gorgonzola & Pistachio with Vin Santo
Cheddar & Chipotle with Chardonnay
Spicy Asiago & Garlic with a medium dry Sherry

Coach House Shortbread can be ordered for delivery through They also participate in the One of a Kind Show in Toronto and Vancouver as well as shows in Ottawa, Balls Falls and Nepean.

Retailers in Ontario
Dags & Willow, Collingwood
Jacobson's Concept Gourmet, Ottawa
Mrs McGarrigles, Merrickville
Cookes Fine Foods, Brockville / Kingston / Picton
The Culinarium, Toronto
Dinah's Cupboard, Toronto
The Cheese Boutique, Toronto

There was no way I was going to leave without buying some shortbread so I bought "Gorgonzola & Pistachio" as well as "Spicy Asiago & Garlic". ♥♥♥

*This is not a sponsored post*

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Winner of the $50 Gift Card to Chez Cora is....

Sally Chan

"If you leave an egg sitting in vinegar, within a couple days the acid will dissolve the calcium in the shell. The skin or membrane of the egg will be left to hold the egg together"

Congratulations Sally! Please DM me on Twitter or send me an email to let me know your mailing address so I can send you the $50 gift card to Chez Cora. Remember to order eggs when you're there! =D

Thanks to all 30 participants who took the time to share a fun egg fact! ^_^


F'Amelia (Twitter: @FAmeliaRisto, Facebook: F'Amelia) is a new Italian restaurant located on Amelia St. in Cabbagetown. The restaurant is literally a little house which I think is extremely cute and unique (I love dining at cozy places like this). The restaurant opened around a month or so ago and has already created quite a buzz in Toronto. F'Amelia's kitchen team consists of Executive chef, Maurizio Verga (formerly Splendido), sous-chefs James Harrison (formerly Splendido) and Michael Angeloni (formerly Splendido, Black Hoof).

The decor at F'Amelia is very rustic and traditional; you literally feel like you're dining in a little house in Europe.

Wines by the glass written on a large chalkboard. 

Can't wait to try their wood oven pizzas!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Gourmet Food & Wine Expo Giveaway Winners are...


Congratulations! =D Each of you have just won a pair of tickets to the 17th Annual Gourmet Food & Wine Expo! Your tickets are only valid for the Sunday, November 20th entry to the show (please note that sample tickets are not included with your entry tickets). DM me with your first and last name and I will then give you the details on where to pick up your tickets. 

Congrats again and I hope you and your +1 will enjoy the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo!

I also want to say a big THANKS to the 135 contestants who participated in the contest. What an amazing turnout!

To ensure my followers that I am 100% honest when I say the winner is picked RANDOMLY, I will always show you guys how I went about tracking each contest. 

Here's a snapshot of the Excel spreadsheet where I tracked the #FWExpo stream from day one of the contest. The tracking was done using chronological order, as in, #1 was the first ballot entered right after the contest went live. An entry ballot was given for each contestant that tweeted "I want to win a pair of tickets to the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo! #FWExpo". I then checked to see whether or not each contestant follow me on Twitter (see contest rules here). 

I used the "True Random Number Generator" from to pick four winners for me.

Next giveaway is on Saturday, October 29th. Stay tuned! =D

Sushi Couture

There is just a ridiculous number of Japanese restaurants on Bloor; yeah you know what I'm talking about, that stretch between Bathurst and Spadina, it's insane! I don't know exactly know how many Japanese restaurants there are but all I know is that every time I walk or drive by the Annex, I'm always in awe. Having said that, I also have no desire to try any of them except for Sushi Couture, reason being that the chef at Sushi Couture used to be at Japango (see my Japango post here when I went for their omakase).

I've been to Sushi Couture twice so this post will combine pictures from both dinners.

The white chairs and red booths really stand out inside Sushi Couture. I think the clean lines and the overall decor gives Sushi Couture a more higher-end feel compared to the other Japanese restaurants on Bloor (at least from the outside anyway). I find the spotlights really bright but they do dim it later on.

Daily sashimi special for the night is written out (left) and I ordered hot sake one time (right). Sooooo good especially after a long day at work.

Salad & miso soup came with our sashimi dinner.

Sushi Burger - Not at all what I expected as it looks nothing like a burger; we thought it would be two pieces of the fried rice patties with sashimi in the middle or something. I guess this is more of an open face burger? =D Anyway, my friend and I really enjoyed this because the fried rice "ball" was hot and crispy with the rice not too densely packed.

Agedashi Tofu - deep fried bean curd ($3.99) - Hot, soft tofu with a slight crispy shell, these were a great start to my second dinner at Sushi Couture.

Friday, October 21, 2011

World Egg Month Challenge + Giveaway - CLOSED

October is World Egg Month and Egg Farmers of Ontario (@EggFarmersOnt) are celebrating the great work that our Ontario egg farmers do for us everyday. I was also asked by Egg Farmers of Ontario whether or not I would be interested in getting involved in the celebration and participate in an egg "challenge". Okay, I'm not naturally competitive but when it comes to food challenge...yeah sure, bring it on! =D

The challenge involves taking a basket of ingredients provided to me by Egg Farmers of Ontario and making my own version of French Toast. These ingredients (and a few extras) can be used to make Dianne's "Cinnamon Spice French Toast with Maple Syrup Apples", a recipe provided with the basket of goodies (Dianne McComb is an egg farmer in Lucan, Ontario). 

I was encouraged to "use the eggs and take it to the next level by whipping up my own perfect French Toast recipe (or add my own secret ingredient)".

I knew I wanted to use Dianne's recipe as a base and just come up with a variation to it as I'm not the most creative person (I would probably end up wasting a lot of brain cells if I were to come up with a whole new French Toast recipe). Anyway, when I noticed the jar of strawberry jam ( jam) I immediately thought of peanut butter & jam sandwiches; I have the biggest craving for PB&J sometimes (I enjoy feeling like a kid when I eat it) and so why not try making a PB&J French Toast? And instead of apples, use bananas? I'm pretty sure people have done PB&J French Toast already but hey, it's new in my world! So I used the jar of peanut butter at home and bought bananas from Longos and here it is...

♥ Food Junkie's PB&J Cinnamon Spice French Toast ♥

My PB&J French Toast was not "perfect" and definitely had no "secret ingredient" but still, I gotta say I enjoyed my creation a lot. I did not use syrup when I was eating this PB&J French Toast because the strawberry jam that I placed on top and the bananas in between provided all the natural sweetness. The peanut butter with it was soooo tasty too! This PB&J French Toast was really fragrant because I used Dianne's spice mixture recipe =)

Let me quickly show you what I did:

1. Spread two pieces of bread with peanut butter and place sliced bananas on top of one.

2. In a large bowl, crack open two eggs and admire their beauty =P

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Gourmet Food & Wine Expo Giveaway - CLOSED

I'm giving away FOUR pairs of tickets to this year's Gourmet Food & Wine Expo

A pair of tickets is worth $36 (or $40 at the door)!

The Gourmet Food & Wine Expo is the event that food and drink lovers across Ontario look forward to every year, with the opportunity to sample over 1,500 fine wines, beers and spirits and savour the culinary stylings of Toronto’s best restaurants.

This year's Expo welcomes Celebrity Chef Chuck Hughes, host of Food Network's Chuck’s Day Off.


1) You must follow me (@foodieyu) on Twitter,


2) Tweet the following sentence, exactly as shown (nothing before or after it PLEASE):

I want to win a pair of tickets to the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo! #FWExpo

That's it. You're now entered into the contest =)


Contest starts on Wednesday, October 19th and ends on Sunday, October 23rd at 12PM.

Four winners will be picked randomly from and I will announce the winners on Monday, October 24th. 


Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post

Monday, October 17, 2011

Alsace's Whites & Rhone Valley's Reds at Lee Restaurant

I have been invited to attend a fusion food and wine pairing event next Tuesday, October 25th, at Lee Restaurant which will feature critically-acclaimed wines from Alsace and Rhone Valley:

A group of chefs will be competing against each other where they will design and create a four-course menu paired with two wines each from Alsace (Alsace Sylvaner, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer) and Rhone Valley Wines (Ventoux, Cotes du Rhone, Cotes du Rhone Villages, Gigondas). They will then be judged by renown food and wine experts, led by restaurateur and chef, Susur Lee. 

The participating chefs are:
Scott Bailey, Ancaster Mill
David Sider, Langdon Hall
Craig Madore, Le Canard Mort
Misha Mesterenko, Marben
Christopher Palick, Paese Ristorante
Shane Straiko, Pantages Hotel
Jason Maw, The Bowery
Stephanie Guth, Toca by Tom Brodi
Gaetano Ferrara, Ultra Supper Club
Ben Denham, Veritas

The judges are:
Susur Lee, Lee Restaurant
Lesley Provost, Good Food Revolution
Nadine Anglin,
Ian Campbell, Drinks Ontario
Laura Ruffolo, LCBO

Two winning chefs will be selected that night at the gala dinner
All the above participating restaurants will feature wines from the Alsace and Rhone Valley regions in their restaurants for a special promotion from October 20th to November 11th.

I'm stoked about getting a chance to meet and see these chefs go head-to-head with their 4-course gastronomic menu creations and wine pairings!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post

Friday, October 14, 2011

Williams Landing

Williams Landing is one of several restaurants that opened up recently in Liberty Village (another one being Bar Vespa - blog post to come later). Williams Landing is located on a building's second floor so their patio is above ground level (not a rooftop patio though because there are more levels....their patio is just extended out). The patio is very spacious with ample seating and is great for any occasion - whether it be happy hour, lunch, dinner, private parties... it can fit a lot of people. When my friends George, Chris, Carmen and I went for lunch, we simply couldn't pass up the patio (even though there was a slight breeze every now and then). It was a gorgeous day with lots of sunshine.

The set up of the bar and TVs remind me of South of Temperance (same owner).

The view from our table looking out.

Since it was such a lovely day a lot of people sat on the patio. The decor inside Williams Landing is very simple with clean lines. I love the light wood used throughout the restaurant. The space is very bright and inviting.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Country Style Hungarian Restaurant

When my friend Richard told me he wanted to have dinner at Country Style, I thought he wanted coffee and donuts for dinner. For real? Little did I know, Country Style is a Hungarian restaurant on Bloor Street West in the Annex. Once I found out that this particular Country Style does not serve donuts but rather Hungarian cuisine, I was really excited since I have never had Hungarian food before (maybe I have come across it in one way or another but for sure not in a Hungarian restaurant). Before we went, Richard also told me about the "meat platter" there. That got me very intrigued.

Country Style has a diner style decor with red and white checkered tablecloth, vinyl chairs, and wood paneling. Nothing fancy for sure but still very comfortable.

I usually don't post such big pictures of menus but since Country Style doesn't have a website, here it is.

The 5 of us - Richard, Robin, Mack, Diana and I - slowly nibbled on the bread as we chatted.

Cherry Soup ($4.75) - This was not on the menu but somehow Richard knew to order this =) The soup was served slightly chilled but not cold. Very refreshing for a hot summer's day. 

Breaded Cheese ($9.95)