Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Arriba Restaurant

I don't watch football. NFL or CFL. To be honest, I don't even know the rules of the game. But somehow I found myself at Arriba Restaurant two Fridays ago, watching a CFL game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with my friend Audrey, who also does not know anything about football. I know, right? What the heck? 

Well here's the low down. Audrey bought a groupon for Arriba and was supposed to go with a friend of hers that Friday night for dinner, but her friend suddenly couldn't make it so she asked me if I wanted to go with her. And I said sure, why not? Who cares if I don't know anything about football? I certainly don't. And there will be food! Which was a VERY IMPORTANT MOTIVATION.

Arriba (@Arriba_Toronto) is located within the Renaissance Hotel. The restaurant and lounge has an incredible view into the Rogers Centre. 

Photo Credit: Tripadvisor

The view from our table.

Audrey and I shared: Chicken Quesadilla - Roasted chicken, black beans, cheddar & mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions ($14)

Monday, October 29, 2012


Bannock (@Oliver_Bonacini), located at the south-east corner of Queen and Bay, is one of six Oliver & Bonacini restaurants in Toronto. Serving a menu that is "eclectic and approachably Canadian", Bannock pays homage to traditional Canadian comfort food while incorporating ingredients that are reflective of Canada's cultural diversity. A form of flat quick bread, bannock can be found integrated throughout the restaurant's menu in sandwiches and pizzas, as well as in the form of garnishes in soups, salads and main courses. Aside from being a dine-in restaurant, Bannock also has a grab-and-go café that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, offering an assortment of house baked pastries, breakfast wraps, salads, soups, stews, artisan sandwiches andddd bannock :) 

I was at Bannock last Tuesday night. Most of the tables were already filled before 6pm (and here I thought I was the only one that eats so early!)

Bannock Caesar - Vodka, Canadian imperial sherry, clamato, salsa, maple bacon ($9)

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Winner of the Culture.licious Cooking Event Contest is...


Congratulations Graham! =D Please email Culture.licious at to let them know that you're the lucky winner of my contest. I hope you will enjoy the Cooking Event with Kyunga as much as I did!

I also want to say a big THANKS to the 23 contestants who participated in this giveaway

Here's a snapshot of the Excel spreadsheet where I tracked the #cultureliciouscontest stream from day one of the contest. The tracking was done using chronological order, as in, #1 was the first person to enter the contest. To enter the contest, the person had to tweet "I want to win and attend a free @Culturelicious Korean cooking event worth &75! #cultureliciouscontest". Once the contest was over and everybody's entries from the hashtag stream were accounted for, I went through the list to check if everybody who entered actually follows me on Twitter (I also sent the list of contestants to Culture.licious for them to check).

After weeding out the people that did not follow us on Twitter, I was left with 21 contestants. I went to "True Random Number Generator" from to randomly pick a winner for me from 1 to 21.

The Winner of the Stubbe Chocolates + Choco-Locate Giveaway is...


Congratulations Brittany! Please please me at for details on how to redeem your $75 store credit at Stubbe ChocolatesI guarantee that you will enjoy all the wonderful truffles, bonbons, chocolate bars and more at Stubbe!

I also want to say a big THANKS to all the contestants who participated in this giveaway.

The rules of the contest were as follows: 1) You have to follow me (@foodieyu) on Twitter, and 2) You have to sign up for an account with Choco-Locate using Choco-Locate's iPhone App (or on Choco-Locate's website) USING YOUR TWITTER HANDLE AS YOUR USERNAME / LOGIN. You need follow both rules exactly in order to qualify for the contest. Once the contest was over, Choco-Locate sent me a list of all the new accounts registered ever since my contest started, I then checked the list to see who also follows me on Twitter. The 13 accounts below followed all the rules:

I went to "True Random Number Generator" from to randomly pick a winner from the above list.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Winners of Air Canada's enRoute Magazine Giveaway are....


1. JingLoh
2. Yvonne T.
3. itslunchtimeca
4. Yyztwinkie
5.Jeff M.
6. Orsolya
7. polar bear
8. Nic
9. Peter Visima
10. Nicholas Wong
11. Cindy Y.
12. Grace
13. David D.
14. Lina
15. Frank L.
16. Audrey
17. Carmen
18. April
19. Adil
20. Andres Busse

Since I was going to give away 20 enRoute magazines anyway and exactly 20 people commented on my post, you are all winners! Please email me at with your first name, last name, and address at the LATEST by Thursday, November 1st. If I don't hear from you by then you will NOT get a magazine. I will be forwarding all addresses to enRoute (they will be mailing the magazines to you).

Here are the winners of Canada's Best New Restaurants 2012

1. Edulis (Toronto)
2. Model Milk (Calgary)
3. Ursa (Toronto)
4. Acadia (Toronto)
5. Pastaga (Montreal)
6. Hopgood's Foodliner (Toronto)
7. Grand Electric (Toronto)
8. Keriwa Café (Toronto)
9. Borgo (Calgary)
10. Nora Gray (Montreal)


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Open for dinner from Tuesday to Sunday and brunch on Saturday and Sundays, L'ouvrier is a restaurant and bar located on Dundas West. Whenever I hear people talk about L'ouvrier it is usually about their brunch. Unfortunately, because I can never drag myself out of bed early enough on the weekends and lineups for brunch being the norm in the city, dinners are always the way to go for me. My friend, Audrey, and I decided to go to L'ouvrier for an early Sunday dinner a couple of weeks ago.

A large open space with white walls, concrete floors and tables with various shapes and sizes (and also can see the lone red table in the cocktail picture below), the decor at L'ouvrier (Facebook: L'ouvrier Kitchenbar, Twitter: @louvrieris all about minimalism.

L'ouvrier's philosophy (from their website): 

"L'ouvrier offers an eclectic menu of contemporary Canadian food paired with unpretentious yet impeccable service. A comfortable environment with modern design elements provides the perfect surrounding. Harmony between functionality and style shape the dining room. Borrowing from the Japanese and Finnish tradition of refined form juxtaposed against natural/organic materials, it strives to create a new Canadian tradition of craftsmanship and style. Allowing 'fine' dining to become accessible to l'ouvrier (the working man). 

This simplistic & honest approach extends to the menu as well. Local artisanal ingredients, traditional techniques and classic pairings are contradicted by playful, contemporary food presentations. To us it is crucial to maintain loyalty to the cuisines we borrow from, while striving to create something to call our own. A kitchen/bar representative of our morals, values and relentless dedication to food and drink."

Dark n' Spicy - Sailor jerry rum, ginger beer, house preserved ginger soaked in vanilla ($8)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Air Canada's enRoute Magazine Giveaway - CLOSED

I've partnered up with Air Canada's enRoute Magazine to do this fun giveaway!

As you may be aware, enRoute Magazine is about to announce its 11th edition of Canada's Best New Restaurants 2012. The hotly anticipated Top 10 list is highly respected throughout the industry from chefs to suppliers to diners and guarantees a packed house for the winning destinations. 

From 2011: #5 - ICI BISTRO

From 2011: #7 - CAMPAGNOLO

Canada's Best New Restaurants 2012 will be featured in the November issue of enRoute. Normally only available in-flight, readers who comment with their guess will be eligible to win 1 of 20 November issues (hard copies) in this contest!

enRoute will be announcing the results on Canada AM on Thursday, October 25th and the magazine will be available as of November 1st. 


Comment below as to which restaurant you think would make it to this year's enRoute Magazine's Canada's Best New Restaurant 2012.


*Limit one entry per person*
*I will be collecting ALL the entries once the official announcement is made on October 25th (i.e. even guesses that did not make it to the Top 10 list are counted). I will then randomly select 20 winners from*
*The winner will be announced with a blog post*
 *I will be forwarding the winners' addresses to enRoute as they will be mailing the magazines on my behalf*

GOOD LUCK!!! ^_^

Friday, October 19, 2012

Culture.licious Cooking Event Giveaway - CLOSED

Do you like Korean food? 
Do you want to learn how to prepare some of the most popular Korean dishes? 

If you said YES to one or the other, or better yet, BOTH, then READ ON!

I'm giving away ONE spot to Culture.licious' Cooking Event with Kyunga taking place on Saturday, October 27 @ 11AM at 713 Lansdowne Avenue (nearest intersection: Bloor & Lansdowne). This class is worth $75!

Culturel.icious (Twitter: @Culturelicious, Facebook: Culture.liciousshowcases cooks of international backgrounds who love and are passionate about cooking their signature dishes while sharing their personal stories through an interactive 2-3 hrs cooking event. Guests journey to different lands and acquire the knowledge of different cultures and traditions, as well as learn about foreign ingredients and cooking techniques. 

I attended this very same cooking event (at a different venue) a couple of weeks ago where I had a terrific time! During Kyunga's class, along with making various Korean dishes, she showed us the secret ingredients that make up the sweetness of the Bulgogi marinade sauce and a delicious Korean pancake that is both great for an appetizer or main course. Below are some pictures from the class (see my full post here):


1) You MUST be following me (@foodieyu) and Culturelicious (@Cultureliciouson Twitter;


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

I want to win and attend a free @Culturelicious Korean cooking event worth $75! #cultureliciouscontest

*Limit one entry per person*
*Contest is tracked by the #cultureliciouscontest hashtag stream*
*Click here for information regarding event location*


Contest starts on Friday, October 19 and ends on Thursday, October 25 at 12PM.

The lucky winner will be chosen randomly from and I will announce the winner on Friday, October 26.

GOOD LUCK!!! ^_^

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Buca Revisited

Went to Buca (@bucatoronto) last week with my friend Peter. First time at Buca for Peter, third time for me. Having said that, I was more than happy to go again when he suggested having dinner there; the last time I was at Buca was back in February for their Enoteca Tasting menu (absolutely phenomenal experience, one of the best meals I've had this year) and the time before that was more than two years ago with a group of friends for my birthday, where we ordered from the regular menu. Oh, I should also mention that the restaurant is gorgeous! Every time I walk in I'm in awe at how beautiful Buca is. So nope, I did not mind going again :)

Cocktail for me. A glass of Chianti for Peter.


Because the bread knots made quite an impression on me two years ago, I insisted on ordering them again. 

NODINI - Warm bread knots with olive oil, rosemary, garlic and sea salt ($7)

Peter was in charge of ordering everything else.

OLIVE CALDE - Warm marinated olives ($6)

SOPRESSATA - House cured spicy calabrese pork sausage 
LINGUA DI MANZO - House cured grass fed beef tongue rubbed with black pepper
BURRO DI BUCA - House cured pork fat whipped with spices

RICOTTA DI BUFALA - Whipped fresh water buffalo milk whey cheese finished with tuscan spice and quebec floral honey
SOVRANO BUFALA REGGIANO - Prized reggiano wheel made from buffalo milk, aged 5 years
VENTO DE ESTATE - Firm sheep's milk cheese aged in hay, slightly sweet and earthy

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stubbe Chocolates + Choco-Locate Giveaway - CLOSED

Chocolate lovers rejoice 'cause you guys are gonna like this one :D

Brought to you by Stubbe Chocolates & Choco-locate:

The winner of this contest will receive a $75 store credit at Stubbe Chocolates. Choose from a wide selection of truffles, bonbons, chocolate bars, tortes, etc. How you want to spend your $75 at Stubbe is entirely up to you!!!

Check out more pictures and my write-up on Stubbe Chocolates here.

A shout-out to Choco-locate for sponsoring this giveaway :)

Choco-locate (Twitter: ChocoLocate, Facebook: Choco-locate) is a FREE iPhone app designed to help users locate premium chocolates in the independent chocolate shops, based on the user's preferences and current geographic location. 

It includes a directory of local chocolate shops with their profiles, as well as chocolate events that are happening in your area.


1) You MUST follow me (@foodieyuon Twitter;


2) Download the FREE Choco-locate iPhone App in the App Store (LINK HERE) and sign up for your Choco-locate account using your TWITTER HANDLE as your LOGIN / NICKNAME (or register for an account on if you don't own an iPhone)

*You MUST use your Twitter handle as your login name when you sign up for your Choco-locate account. It is the ONLY way I know you've entered*
 *The $75 store credit must be used all at once (i.e. no carry over)*
*Prize is not applicable to Stubbe's workshops*
*Prize is only applicable at Stubbe's Toronto location*
*Prize must be redeemed before June 30, 2013*


Contest starts on Tuesday, October 16 and ends on Tuesday, October 23 at 12 PM.

The lucky winner will be chosen randomly from I will announce the winner on Friday, October 26.

GOOD LUCK!!! ^_^

Friday, October 12, 2012

Rémy Martin Presents "The Heart of Cognac Experience"

Rémy Martin is currently hosting a series of educational events between October 9th and November 3rd with the goal of educating Torontonians on the art and craft of cognac, while at the same time showcasing its versatility. I was invited to "The Heart of Cognac Experience" this past Wednesday. The event was held at 155 Liberty Street in Liberty Village, which is literally across the street from my office! Scoreee!

Since my friend Reggie (@reggieramone) also works in the area, I invited him to come with me. The event was fun and interactive, an intimate evening of blending and tasting. We had the opportunity to sample cocktails made with Rémy Martin V.S.O.P and blend our own flavour of cognac. But because we both had to leave early for another event, we missed out on tasting Rémy Martin's new seasonal blend, Coeur De Cognac, in advance of its Canadian consumer release, and the XO Excellence Cognac, which was brought over directly from a cask from the Rémy Martin cellars in France. We totally MISSED OUT *sigh* Anyway, here are some pictures I took with my iPhone at the event :D

The reception bar.

Bottles of XO Excellence & V.S.O.P on display with the Louis XIII in a special glass display.

We had a choice of four cocktails from the bar. Reggie chose an Old-Fashioned (top) and I had the Spicy Toddy (bottom). I loved mine! Cinnamon-y and a bit fruity...kinda like apple pie.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Alimento Fine Food Emporium

Alimento Fine Food Emporium (Twitter: @alimentofoods, Facebook: Alimento Fine Food Emporium) is an Italian fine food shop and restaurant which opened its doors around a year ago. Located right at the corner of King and Brant, I pass by it quite often but never had the chance to go in. Luckily, I was invited by Alimento last week for dinner at BarMozza.

BarMozza is a huge space with several tables in the main area and a large bar at the back (which serves coffee and baked goods in the morning and cocktails at night). The decor is simple with wooden floors, exposed brick walls, glass tables and black chairs; a nice change of scenery compared to other King West establishments. Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, you will probably find something you like at BarMozza; there is a wide selection of appetizers, salads, pastas, pizzas, mains, and of course an incredible selection of cheese and deli from its Mozzarella Bar (pictured below on the left).

Across from the Mozzarella Bar is BarMozza's signature glass cheese vault.

Before dinner, I took a quick tour of Alimento's grocery store, Mercato. Situated right beside BarMozzaMercato carries a large selection (over 300 types) of specialty Italian, European and local cheese, deli, as well as groceries (i.e. olive oils, pastas, dairy, cookies, preserves), frozen and prepared foods, imported olives and in-house antipasti.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Stubbe Chocolates: A Sneak Peek

Stubbe Chocolates (Facebook: Stubbe Chocolates), located on 653 Dupont St (Dupont & Christie), is a family run business for six generations. It all started when Johann Heinrich Petrus Stubbe established Stubbe Chocolates on May 9, 1845, in the northern German city of Meppan. In 1989, almost 150 years later, Heinrich Josef Stubbe moved the company to Canada where today, he and his son, Daniel, continue their family's passion with two locations, one in Toronto and one in Ottawa.

Specializing in chocolates and 
using European recipes with the finest ingredients around the world, Stubbe offers some of the finest handmade truffles, chocolates, tortes and pastries, with everything made on premise. In addition to what you see in store, Stubbe also does a wide range of wedding cakes as well as workshops for adults (Introduction to working with chocolate & Introduction to making truffles), children (Children's chocolate workshop) and corporate and private events (i.e. private workshops, chocolate tasting, etc.) 

So why am I doing this "sneak peek" on Stubbe Chocolates? Lets just say I have an AMAZING giveaway next Tuesday, October 16, with Stubbe and Choco-locate (Twitter: Chocolocate, Facebook: Choco-locate). And seriously, when I say something is amazing, I'm NOT kidding! And for all you chocolate lovers out there, my giveaway will be INCREDIBLY drool-worthy...and that's a promise.

Showcasing all their chocolates on one side with an open kitchen at the back where all the goodies are created, Stubbe Chocolates is a very spacious, neat and inviting space.