Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Feasting Room

The Feasting Room (Twitter: @thefeastingroom, Facebook: The Feasting Room) is not a restaurant, but rather a weekly pop-up that occupies The Orbit Room (@OrbitRoomTO) from Thursdays to Monday nights. A six-month project designed to encourage Torontonians to "eat the whole beast", The Feasting Room focuses on a different animal each week by offering a six course blind tasting menu for $65 ($105 with wine pairing). Conscientious and sustainable eating practices is The Feasting Room's core belief and philosophy. 

The Feasting Room is a joint venture between Noah Goldberg (chef / owner who has worked at Lee in Toronto, DB Bistro Moderne in NYC, St. John in UK) and Mathieu Dutan (general manager who has worked at Bistro Bakery Thuet, Gamelle, La Palette and also trained as a sommelier in Paris) and it serves as a test to gauge the city's enthusiasm for nose-to-tail, off cuts and offal cuisine. A test for what, you ask? Well, a test before they actually dive in and invest in a permanent restaurant location! Smart. Very smart.

Dinner on the patio.

The Feasting Room always provides a diagram of the featured animal with the numbered parts corresponding to the course. Why is #5 floating in air?

Amuse: Rabbit liver parfait

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I don't know about you, but doesn't the word "Actinolite" sound like a chemical element from the periodic table? I think so :D But no, in all seriousness Actinolite (@actinolitefoodis the name of a new restaurant located on Ossington just south of Dupont. Digging deeper, Actinolite is actually the name of co-owner Justin Cournoyer's hometown (hmmm I can't imagine my home town "Mississauga" being a restaurant doesn't even sound half as cool as "Actinolite")

Husband and wife duo Justin Cournoyer (a cook for over 15 years and has worked at Susur for four) and Claudia Bianchi (a culinary TV producer for Food Network Canada and food stylist) opened 
Actinolite at the end of March, and boy they must be doing something right because Actinolite has already become a much-loved neighbourhood spot, gaining high praises all around. I went with several friends around two months ago for dinner and the meal has made quite an impression on me. Every course was rock solid and executed beautifully. In my opinion,  Actinolite's food is top-notch and the spot really deserves a lot more attention and buzz because it completely won me over.

Actinolite's space is modern, inviting, with a hint of country/small-town feel. It is stylish yet warm. I like it a lot.

An original survey map of Actinolite, a small town on the Skootamatta River in Eastern Ontario, in the Municipality of Tweed, in Hastings County, on Highway 37 just south of Highway 7 and north of Tweed. LOL see? I totally did my research.

Actinolite's menu is divided into first course, second course and sides. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lobster Love Contest - CLOSED

Thanks to S/T Food Events, I am giving away a PAIR of tickets (a total value of $78) to the Lobster Love event (Twitter: @LobsterLoveTO, Facebook: Lobster Love) taking place at the Evergreen Brickworks on Thursday, July 19, 2012, 6pm until Midnight!

For one night only, S/T Food Events will offer some of the freshest and most succulent East Coast lobsters you've ever tasted!!! 

 Each dinner (worth $39) includes a 1.5lb fresh Atlantic Lobster. You can have your lobster one of three ways at Lobster Love:

For the purist, tender, sweet and ready-to-eat. Just pull the succulent meat from its shell, dip it in a bath of your favourite sauce or butter.


A delectable mouthwatering lobster roll made with the meat of a 1.5 lb beauty.


No traditionalist can resist the smooth velvety texture, intoxicating aroma and rich, creamy taste of a Lobster Thermidor.

All entrees come with local, organically-grown potatoes and corn on the cob. A great selection of Ontario wines and beers will also be available at the cash bar.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Winner of West50 Pourhouse's 10-Course Tasting is...


Congratulations Norm! =D Chef Brendan Prong (@chef_prong) of West50 Pourhouse & Grille (@West50Pourhouse) will be in contact with you soon via Twitter with details on how to redeem you dinner. Congrats again and I hope you will enjoy your tasting at West50 Pourhouse!

I also want to say a big THANKS to the 77 contestants who participated in the giveaway! 

Here's a snapshot of the Excel spreadsheet where I tracked the #10courseatWEST50 stream from day one of the contest. The tracking was done using chronological order, as in, #1 was the first person who entered right the contest. To enter, the person has to tweet "I want to win a 10-COURSE TASTING MENU FOR TWO at @West50Pourhouse! #10courseatWEST50". Once the contest was over and everybody's entries were accounted for in my spreadsheet, I went to check if they actually followed me on Twitter (I also sent the below list of contestants to chef Brendan Prong at West50 Pourhouse to look over).

After weeding out the people that did not follow West50 Pourhouse, Chef Brendan Prong and I on Twitter, I was left with 62 contestants. I went to "True Random Number Generator" from to randomly pick a winner for me from 1 to 101.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Omakase at Noka

Opened around a month and a half ago, Noka (Twitter: @nokatoronto, Facebook: Noka Japanese cuisine & sushi bar) is yet another Japanese restaurant in the Annex. *NODS* yes, you read right, another one! I'm now really curious as to how many Japanese restaurants are on Bloor between Spadina and Bathurst...anyone know? Maybe if I'm really bored one day I'll go count. Anyone care to join me? LOL!

Located beside Menchie's Yogurt, Noka serves not only lunch and dinner but also happy hour everyday (see Noka's hours here).  From 3pm to 5pm, and 10pm to close (12am or 2am depending on day), Noka's happy hour menu includes a variety of appetizers, tempura, rolls and sake bombs(!). I think it is a pretty smart move on Noka's part to open late because the Annex is always bustling even at 2am in the morning! Noka also gets another thumbs up from me in terms creating pre-opening buzz; they started tweeting weeks before their opening night. Even now, Noka is doing a fairly decent job in tweeting regularly and engaging with other tweeters.

I went to Noka last week with a friend of mine to celebrate my birthday :)

Chef Cheng Lin behind the sushi bar.

Nigori Sake. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Apron Strings Contest

As roles in the family are changing, fathers are seen in the kitchen more and more. According to Stats Can, in 1986, 40% of men aged 25-54 were involved in household work like meal prep / cooking, post-meal clean-up and laundry. By 2005, that number jumped to 59%. In the 70s, 1 in every 100 stay-at-home parents was a father. Today, that figure is 1 in 8.

For this Father's Day, Fiesta Farms (@fiestafarms) is encouraging everybody to submit their favourite memory, story and / or recipe about their father or grandfather in the kitchen and is looking for submissions about the worst / best meal / dish they've ever made.

The contest runs until the end of June and the top 3 stories will win a Fiesta Farms gift certificate. All entries will also be featured on the Fiesta site during the month of June!

*~Submit your recipe or story HERE~*

Also, make sure you check out Fiesta Farms' "Apron Strings" Project, an online portal featuring videos, stories and recipes. It is currently featuring five videos of fathers and grandfathers from different cultural backgrounds. Very cute and interesting :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

West50 Pourhouse's 10-Course Tasting Menu Giveaway - CLOSED

I'm giving away a 10-COURSE TASTING MENU WITH BEER PAIRINGS FOR TWO prepared by Chef Brendan Prong (@chef_prong) at West50 Pourhouse & Grille (@West50Pourhouse).

Read about my dinner at West50 Pourhouse last week!


1) You MUST be following me (@foodieyu), Chef Brendan Prong (@chef_prong) and West50 Pourhouse (@West50Pourhouseon Twitter;


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

I want to win a 10-COURSE TASTING MENU FOR TWO at @West50Pourhouse! #10courseatWEST50

Please note the following:
*Limit one entry per person*
*I'll be keeping track of the #10courseatWest50 hashtag throughout the contest so don't worry =)*
*Prize is valid until June 15, 2013*
*Cannot be used on Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, or New Year's Eve* 
*Must make reservation ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE*


Contest starts on Monday, June 11 and ends on Friday, June 15 at 12PM.

The lucky winner will be chosen randomly from and I will announce the winner on Monday, June 18.

GOOD LUCK!!! ^_^

Friday, June 8, 2012

Lettuce Sundays at Chantecler

Big fan of Chantecler right here :) I practically ordered their whole menu when I went for dinner  a couple of months ago. Ever since then I've been recommending Chantecler (@ChanteclerTOto all my friends (you can read about my dinner here). 

With regular service from Wednesday to Saturdays (at least for the summer), every Sunday from now on at Chantecler will be all about LETTUCE WRAPS! My friend and I went to Chantecler's first ever #lettucesunday last Sunday. 

Served communally on a first-come, first-served basis, Chantecler will be offering lettuce wraps with big helpings of meats, assorted pickles & condiments at $19 pp until 1am every Sunday (or until they run out of food). You can also order extras on the side (they will be rotating the sides depending on what's available at the time and what's fun). 

 That night's drinks special: Soju Mojito w/ Yuzu & Shiso Leaf  ($10)

Below are two orders of lettuce wraps:

Assorted Lettuce & Rice Cracker (replaced steamed rice that evening)

Slow Smoked Pork Shoulder w/ Brown Sugar and Soy
Braised Beef Rib w/ Fermented Bean Paste

Thursday, June 7, 2012

West50 Pourhouse & Grille

Are you a beer drinker? A beer fanatic with a beer belly? Or maybe just someone who enjoys a pint or two after a rough day at work? I'm actually "none of the above" since I'm more of a wine drinker but still, that didn't stop me from being completely floored by West50 Pourhouse's vast selection of beers. With over 21 suppliers and importers, and currently offering 111 different beers (which changes weekly) and 115 taps,  West50 Pourhouse is the largest Pourhouse (i.e. largest selection of draught beer) in Canada. IMPRESSIVE! I think the picture below really says it all.

Totally oblivious to me, West50 Pourhouse (Twitter: @West50Pourhouse, Facebook: West50 Pourhouse & Grille) is actually only a 10-minute drive from my house. See what I mean when I say I'm never in Mississauga? If it weren't for chef Brendan Prong (@chef_prong), chef de cuisine at West50 Pourhouse, reaching out to me on Twitter, I would have never found out about his restaurant. Seriously, the power of Twitter never ceases to amaze me!

I took a look inside West50 Pourhouse's keg fridge. It holds on average 250 kegs at a time. Because every beer has a limited shelf life, West50 Pourhouse tries to rotate in new beers, mostly seasonals, from local micro breweries as often as they can.

Much like his older brother chef Nic Prong (@NicCanCook) from Ten Restaurant & Wine Bar, chef Brendan really wanted me to try out his food at West50 Pourhouse. So, just like my fabulous tasting at Ten Restaurant around a month ago, I felt really lucky that I was invited to indulge in a tasting menu with beer pairings (new to me!) at West50 Pourhouse last week. Seriously, the Prong brothers spoil me rotten =P I'm not complaining though LOL.

Oysters - Connecticut Bluepoints
Beer: Delirium Tremens (Belgium 8.5% abv)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Being a Roving Twitter Reporter for Toronto Taste 2012

Like last year, I took my job very seriously at this year's Toronto Taste.

As an official Twitter Reporter for #TorontoTaste's social media team, I tweeted my butt off on Sunday, May 27th, 2012 (for those of you who follow me on Twitter I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about =P). 

 My Toronto Taste attire consisted of a long stretchy dress (as room for stomach expansion was critical and absolutely necessary) and a pair of comfy flats. Armed with my iPhone for tweets / pictures (didn't take my SLR, too heavy) and phone charger, I was beyond ready. As the night went on though I felt more and more like a pig (an even bigger one than usual) because I ate non-stop! I'm not even joking.

With over 60 restaurants and 30 premium beverage purveyors, it was impossible to try everything, so no, I did not try everything I took pictures of but really, it was close enough.

Ready for some massive scrolling? =D