Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mama's Fish House (Maui)

Mama's Fish House. When my friends mentioned going there, by the name of it, I seriously thought it was a local, casual, even hole-in-the-wall type of restaurant (must be the "Mama's" part..I don't know). Wow, was I ever wrong! When I went to their website, I noticed that not only did they take OpenTable reservations, they also had printable PDF menus. Mama's Fish House is also associated with "Inn at Mama's" which has beachfront cottages and garden cottages. Impressive and totally unexpected. Well, on my part anyway.

Everything was confirmed when we arrived at Mama's Fish House. Stunning scenery.

Originally a home on a private beach, there were sculptures, tiki torches, and tropical flowers along the walkway to the restaurant.

There's no doubt you're in Hawaii at Mama's Fish House...the decor says it all.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Star Noodle (Maui)

After a day on the beach yesterday, we headed back to the condo. While my friends went shopping in Lahaina afterwards I decided to stay back and take it easy. I also took on the responsibility of finding a place to eat for dinner.

I came across Star Noodle on Tripadvisor (ranked #10 in Lahaina) and with pretty decent reviews on Yelp (4/5 with 509 reviews) and Urbanspoon (92%), Star Noodle seemed like a good choice. Its website also indicated that Star Noodle's Chef Sheldon Simeon has recently won "The People's Best New Chef" in the Northwest & Pacific region from Food & Wine Magazine. Their online menu shows tapas-style plates with a mix of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai ingredients, and with chef Simeon's Hawaiian background, I was excited about Star Noodle.

Star Noodle is located at a really remote area away from all the tourist-y shops and restaurants in Lahaina. 

Food & Wine Magazine displayed at the entrance.

 A long communal table in the middle with smaller tables surrounding the perimeter

Monday, March 26, 2012

Geste Shrimp Truck (Maui)

I'm in Maui! First thing my friends and I did once we got off the plane was visit Geste Shrimp truck, a very popular food truck located about 10 minutes away from the Kahului airport on Kahului Beach Road. 

My friend Cindy and I shared the Hot & Spicy ($12) and my other two friends shared the Spicy Pineapple ($12). Both came with a dozen shrimps, crab mac salad & rice. Now that I look at the menu again I think I should have gotten the "Combo Plate"...only $2 more but with a hot dog too!

  Honestly, $12 with a crab mac & cheese and rice? That's literally less than $1 for some of the freshest shrimps in the world! Amazing.

Shown below is the Hot & Spicy (Spicy Pineapple looks exactly the same but with tiny pieces of pineapple in it). Best.Shrimps.Ever!!! They were all extremely plump, tender and fresh...literally finger lickin' good! Prepare to get your hands dirty though because they have their shells on. We all liked the Hot & Spicy more than the Spicy Pineapple (that is, if we had to choose). The crab salad was also fantastic; it had big pieces of crab meat and cleansed our palette between bites of spicy shrimps.

Google "Geste Shrimp Truck" and you will see all their stellar reviews on Yelp.

We are already thinking of going back to Geste Shrimp before we leave for the airport and try their Hawaiian Scampi or Lemon Pepper (and possibly the hot dog too).

Anyway, if you ever find yourself in Maui, hit them up! =D

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Acadia's 7-Course Tasting Menu

I'm a big fan of Acadia (@AcadiaToronto). I've been there for their regular menu, their tasting menu and have also dropped by several times for cocktails and appetizers at the bar. It doesn't help that Fuel House (@FuelHouseTO), my second home, is literally right across the street. But to tell you the truth, I fell in love with Acadia's shrimp & grits ever since day one and have cravings for them every now and then. Same with their corn those too.

Anyway, when chef Matt Blondin (@chefmattblondin) tweeted about a 7-course tasting menu for $39 about a month ago, I seriously thought he was joking. You know, him just messing around on twitter. Seven courses? For $39? At ACADIA? NO WAY. NOT POSSIBLE. Although the Asian in me really wanted to believe it, my brain told me it was simply too good to be true. 

So meh, I was wrong. For two-nights only, the $39 7-course tasting dinner actually happened and both dinners were completely sold out.

 I'm sure you have seen pictures of some of the night's dishes, if not all, on Twitter already. But like it or they are again!

Fish Skin - Smoked creme fraiche, fennel & dill pollen

Warm Scallop - Red brassica, wild mustard, celeriac, watermelon radish

Catfish - Pumpernickel, goat's curd, pickled egg yolk & white, onion tops

Monday, March 19, 2012


Chantecler (@ChanteclerTO), located on 1320 Queen St. W., is yet another new addition to the progressively popular Parkdale neighbourhood. Co-owners chef Jonathan Poon (formerly Woodlot, Delux, Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner) and front-of-house manager Jacob Wharton-Shukster (formerly Origin, Buca, Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner) teamed up to bring Asian-Canadian fusion cuisine to the city. 

The restaurant, Chantecler, is named after a chicken breed native to Canada and its name is proudly laid out in black tiles above the 1935 cast iron and enamel Moffat stove; it is fully operational (!) and chef Poon and his staff uses it as a finishing stove before plating. 

Really digging the bistro-style white tiled floors, thick wooden tables (which the co-owners built themselves) and the brick walls. Simple yet sophisticated.

We sat at the communal table by the front.

The Winner of the Purdy's Easter Prize Pack is...


Congratulations Melissa! =D Please email me at with your mailing address. I will forward your info to Purdy's Chocolates (they will be mailing you the prize). Congrats again and I hope you will enjoy all the delicious Purdy's Chocolates for Easter!

I also want to say a big THANKS to the 166 contestants who participated in the contest! 

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. Even though my contests in the future may not be exactly the same as this one, be rest assured that I will go through the same process with due diligence.

Here's a snapshot of the Excel spreadsheet where I tracked the #purdyseaster 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 an Easter Prize Pack from @PurdysChocolate! #purdyseaster". 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 Purdy's Chocolates for them to look over).

After weeding out the people that did not follow both Purdy's Chocolates and I on Twitter, I was left with 150 contestants. I went to "True Random Number Generator" from to randomly pick a winner for me from 1 to 150.

Thanks for playing ^_^

AltCareer - Find the Career You Want with the Perks You Need

Working at Liberty Village has its pros and cons. A major pro is that it's closer to home (I live in Mississauga) compared to when I used to work near the Eaton Centre. Parking is also way cheaper at King & Dufferin versus the downtown core. The commute itself is great considering that I don't have to be stuck on the Gardiner the entire time. Pretty sweet, right? I think so =) So what are the cons then? Well one major disadvantage in my opinion with regards to working at Liberty Village is this:

There is a lack of good lunch spots!

This blogTO article gets it right. A number of restaurants have closed down in Liberty Village over the past few months such as The Liberty, Liberty Noodle, Chuck and Co, Cinquecento Trattoria, and Liberty Belle Bistro. It's quite frustrating, to say the least =( Well, we'll see how Origin goes...

Although I'm in no way contemplating nor thinking about switching jobs (I love my job), it would still be nice to work in an area with good lunch spots. A lot of people I know view this as a requirement too, especially those that do not pack lunch. And this, folks, is where AltCareer comes in handy.

If you are currently unemployed and looking for a job or just want to browse around for opportunities, you should take a look at AltCareera new online job board that helps professionals find careers that offer more than just a paycheque (most of AltCareer's jobs listings right now are in sales, marketing, customer service or programming, but they'll be expanding that soon). Unlike other job sites, AltCareer lets you browse jobs by perkssuch as WORK FROM HOME, FLEX HOURS, COMMUTER FRIENDLY, DRESS DOWN, FLEX VACATION, CHILD CARE, REWARDS & RECOGNITION, just to name a few. And perks like PRIME LOCATION and GOOD EATS definitely takes care of the lunch dilemma!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Saturday Brunch at Nyood

I was invited by Nyood (@Nyood) to try their new Saturday Brunch menu last weekend. Nyood, formerly associated with celebrity chef Roger Mooking, is now under new management with a brand new chef, Ariel Coplan. Chef Coplan, who worked under Lorenzo Loseto from George Restaurant and subsequently at Café Grey (NYC) and Number One (a Michelin-starred restaurant in Edinburgh), has returned to Toronto as an executive chef at Nyood. Vittorio Colacitti (formerly George, Lucien) has also joined Nyood as chef de cuisine and the duo will be launching a brand new menu in spring (items on Nyood's current menu has been changed slightly).

I've never been to Nyood before this brunch. To be honest I never associated Nyood with "food" but more so a club or lounge. I mean if you've ever been to their Sunday Brunch or "Le Brunch" (I haven't been to one but here's a video of it) you will know why I never took Nyood seriously as a restaurant. Really, can you blame me? O_o Although it seems like "Le Brunch" is here to stay, I'm hoping that by bringing serious chefs on board with the addition of a no dancing, no extreme boozing and a no dress-code required regular Saturday brunch, Nyood will begin to appeal more to the know...regular people like you and I? I don't know about you but a tight dress with a pair of high heels will never be part of my brunch attire lol

Can't deny it. Nyood is gorgeous.

I brought a friend along for brunch. We had a tasting and tried five items from Nyood's Saturday brunch menu. I started off with their strawberry & lychee mimosa.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shamrock Caesar & Shamrock Shake for St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day. Drinking. Green stuff everywhere. Drinking. Green Beer. More drinking. Green everything, Drink everywhere!!!


Did you know that originally, the colour associated with St. Patrick was blue? But over the years the colour green and its association with the day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration as early as the 17th century.

Shamrock, a three-leaved plant, was used to explain the Holy Trinity the pagan Irish, and wearing and displaying shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of St. Patrick's Day.

All this shamrock talk really leads to two things on this post: The Shamrock Caesar and McDonald's Shamrock Milkshake.

Caesar, my favourite drink of all time, is Created by Mott's Clamato Caesar (@CanadasCocktail) Mixing Officer, Clint Pattemore (@CaesarClint), the Shamrock Caesar is extremely festive and GREEN

The Shamrock Caesar

2 oz.       Guinness Beer
1.5 oz.    Clover Infused Jameson Irish Whiskey
2 Dash    Nag Jolokia Pepper Sauce
2 Dash    Worcestershire
3 Grind    Fresh Cracked Salt and Pepper
5 oz.         Mott's Clamato Infused with Clover and Rosemary
Rim          Fresh Cracked Salt and Pepper
Garnish    Lime wedge, green cherry tomatoes

1) Combine all ingredients (except Guinness) in a mixing glass full of ice. 
2) Roll three times and strain into rimmed serving glass full of ice.
3) Garnish by pouring the Guinness on top over ice, securing a lime wedge on the glass, and green cheery tomatoes on top.

Can someone make me a Shamrock Caesar? Pretty please? ^_*

Well, in case nobody answers me, I went for a non-alcoholic shamrock drink: 

McDonald's Shamrock Shake

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Niagara Street Café with Chef Steve Gonzalez

Now that chef Nick Liu (@Ninjachefnick) has left Niagara Street Café (check out my post on his farewell dinner at NSC) and is starting his new project, Gwai Lo (@GwaiLoToronto) with Kristina Kuypers (@deKuypers) (formerly of the Black Hoof, Splendido and the Drake Hotel), guest chef Steve Gonzalez (@latino5spice) (formerly Origin, Top Chef Canada) is now manning the kitchen at Niagara Street Café until the end of this month. I strongly suggest you go and check it out. Why? Because it is a great opportunity to preview what chef Gonzalez has to offer when he opens his own Latin restaurant and ceviche bar in Toronto (once he finds a location). And seriously, who wouldn't want to be fed ceviches, whole steamed fish, sancocho, chicharron, empanadas and other delicious Latin dishes???

Chef Steve Gonzalez (Photo Credit: Swallow Food)

I did not waste any time and headed to Niagara Street Cafe last Friday night. I opted for a tasting menu with wine pairings. I'll let you know my thoughts at the end of the post.

Bread with Chili Lime Butter

Clam and Chorizo with Uni Coconut Foam

Monday, March 12, 2012

Purdy's Chocolates Easter Giveaway [VIDEO] - CLOSED

Easter is just around the corner! Don't believe me?

Easter is on Sunday, April 8, which is less than a month away! CRAZY how time flies =D

Anyhoo, whether you celebrate Easter or not, wouldn't it be nice to win some chocolates? More specifically, a decadent Purdy's Chocolates Easter Prize Pack worth $50?


Watch the video below to see the fabulous Easter pack I'm giving away ;)


1) You must be following both me (@foodieyu) and Purdy's Chocolates (@PurdysChocolate) on Twitter


2) Tweet the following sentence, exactly as shown: 

I want to win an Easter Prize Pack from @PurdysChocolate! #purdyseaster

*Limit one entry per person*
**Contest is open to Canada except for Quebec**


Contest starts on Monday, March 12 and ends on Friday March 16 at 12PM.

The lucky winner will be chosen randomly from and I will announce the winner on Monday, March 19. 


Friday, March 9, 2012

The County General

Splendido's co-owners Carlo Catallo and Victor Barry took over Oddfellow's old space at Queen & Shaw late last year and opened up The County General (if you have nothing else better to do you can read my extremely old post on Oddfellows from April 2010 heh). Unlike SplendidoThe County General is a casual and laid back restaurant. It also has great hours: you can have lunch there on weekdays, go for brunch on Sundays, dinner seven days a week, late night snacks till 3am from Thursday to Saturday and even takeout!

My friend and I went to The County General (@CountyGeneral) last Sunday night at around 6:30pm. There were only two tables available when we walked in and 5 mins later the other one was taken as well.

Ruby Tuesday - El Dorado 12yr, Cassis, Cranberry juice, Orange zest ($12)


Roasted Bone Marrow ($5)

It may be surprising, given that the bone looks tiny, that there was actually a lot of bone marrow in it. We both had a very generous layer of delicious bone marrow on our toast. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I've been to Ursa twice now; first time for drinks at the bar with my party guru friend, Kristina from Not Your Average Party (@notyouravgparty) where we had cocktails, a bottle of Cava (hey it was a Friday night, don't judge lol) and shared two appetizers: the Hamachi and the Whitetail Tartare with Blueberry Cured Foie Gras. We both thought the appetizers were phenomenal; especially the foie gras, which had a subtle blueberry tone and was so buttery. After that night I wanted to go back to Ursa for a full meal. 

Ursa serves contemporary Canadian cuisine, focusing on using modern techniques and dehydrators that preserve the nutritional value of their ingredients as much as possible. Having said that, there's still meat on Ursa's menu (albeit in smaller portions) as well as alcohol *phew* =D The cocktail I had the first time was "A Rose By Any Other Name" with Wray & Newphew Overproof Rum, Vermouth Muddled Limes, Rose Water, Golden Cane Sugar, Citrus was delightful~

Dangling LED bulbs at UrsaIt's all about the cool lighting these days, huh?

Monday, March 5, 2012


Cowbell (@cowbellresto), located in Parkdale, is known for having a chalkboard menu that is revised daily. As their website says, doing so "not only announces the day's offerings, but gives a window onto the farms and seasons of Southern Ontario". Chef and owner Mark Cutrara (@mcutrara) is all about cooking exclusively with organic and naturally raised ingredients and serving delicious food in an unpretentious bistro.  Cowbell opened in 2007 where Chef Cutrara processes whole animal carcasses, including cow, elk, deer, pig and lamb, into aged steaks and chops to house-made charcuterie, sausages, carpaccio and burgers. A carnivore's dream really. 

I was really looking forward to trying Cowbell's burger for our Dish Duel tasting since their burger is one of the best in the city. It is no wonder that Toronto Life asked Chef Cutrara to give readers some tips in how to make the perfect patty.

I immediately felt like I walked into a cowboy movie when I stepped into Cowbell. The rustic chandelier, wall scones, the benches with rich red accents and the soft yellow/golden lighting all ties together for a very western decor.

Cowbell's menu.

My Caesar. I wanted to order a second one but seemed a bit excessive given it was only 6:30pm on a week night.