Monday, June 24, 2013

Crush Wine Bar's Sandwich Showdown

For this entire week, Crush Wine Bar (Twitter: @CrushWineBarTO, Facebook: Crush Wine Bar Toronto) is hosting "Sandwich Showdown" (#sandwichshowdown) in which their chefs compete each day for a chance to be featured on Crush Wine Bar's upcoming lunch menu. 

Below is the schedule for the sandwiches that Crush will be featuring each day:

Monday, June 24th
Jonny's California Club vs. Taylor's Tuna Tartin

Tuesday, June 25th
Kain's Halibut Club vs. Clarky's Prosciutto Swiss

Wednesday, June 26th
Ricky's Fancy Fried Egg vs. Raven's Fried Chicken Club

Thursday, June 27th
Edgar's Porchetta vs. Paddy's Slow-braised Chicken

Friday, June 28th
Ian's Lamb Meatball Sub vs. Kain's Kimchi Reuben

So what's in it for you? Well when you visit Crush from 12PM - 2PM this week, you get to try BOTH sandwiches for just $8.50 (what a steal!) and then vote for your favourite. Crush Wine Bar will even give you $5 off your next visit. 

The Crush gang looking fierce

I'll be there on Wednesday to check out Ricky's Fancy Fried Egg Sandwich and Raven's Fried Chicken Club. Will I see you there? :)

Note: please call Crush Wine Bar @ 416.977.1234 to make reservations.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mavrik Wine Bar

In 2011, good friends Elizabeth Choi and Joanne Park pursued their shared passion in wine by leaving their careers in the corporate world and opening Mavrik Wine Bar on West Queen West. By means of their modest wine bar, co-owners Choi and Park have since then dedicated themselves to helping small production wineries by showcasing their wines at Mavrik (these wines are often limited batched wines that can't make it to LCBO due to production limitation.)

Last Thursday night, Mavrik Wine Bar (Twitter: @MavrikWineBar, Facebook: Mavrik Wine Barheld an intimate VIP reception where they featured a menu of four healthy tacos with cocktails and small production wine pairings.

Warm wood tones and bricked walls give this tiny wine bar a very cozy and homey vibe. No pretentiousness here at all.

Mavrik's wine list consists of small production wines and bubblies.

A peek inside Mavrik's kitchen from the bar.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Boxed at Happy Child

After a year-long hiatus and his brief run as head chef at Leslieville's wine bar Skin + Bones, chef Matthew Sullivan (@GastroMatthew) returns to Boxed (Twitter: @BoxedToronto, Facebook: BOXED), a pop-up dinner series launched by Sullivan himself two years ago. 

Boxed's latest dinner took place on June 3rd & 4th at the Queen West bar Happy Child (Twitter: @happychildbarFacebook: Happy Child) and at $70 per head, guests were served a Taiwanese-style, locally-sourced six-course meal alongside drink pairings.  

Similar to the supper club's previous events, tickets to this Boxed dinner were sold online with the event's location revealed through email a couple of days prior.

Courses that night were paired with a selection of cocktails and Ontario VQA wines chosen by Sullivan.

Father's Day at JaBistro

I took my parents to JaBistro on Saturday night to celebrate Father's DayWe sat at the sushi bar because: 

1) My parents have never, ever, ate at the bar before at any restaurant; and 
2) When you order kyukyoku at JaBistro's sushi bar, each piece of sushi is served individually, one after another. 





"Dinner at JaBistro is easily the best we have had in Toronto- My Dad :)

Related Posts:

JaBistro on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 17, 2013

Nome Izakaya

Restaurants outside downtown Toronto are not my forte. Nothing against them but there's just not enough of ME to go around (I also blame the stupid traffic, can't get anywhere at a decent time.) It would be perfect if I can replicate myself - I would love to have one "me" in downtown, another "me" in midtown / uptown (i.e. anything north of Eglinton), a third "me" in the west-end and also a fourth "me" that just stays home for my Mom's cooking. Heck, spread me around the world (ok that sounds weird) but imagine the possibilities! Think of all the hidden gems in the world, all the food you can stuff your face with! Incredible. *SIGH* A girl can dream, right? 'Cause yeah these are totally the things I dream about. 

Sorry, I digress. Back to reality. Back to TORONTO. 

My foodie friend Alex (@tsangzillavs) introduced me to Nome Izakaya a couple of weeks back. Nome, on Yonge just north of Sheppard, is practically Alex's second home (helps that he lives two minutes away from it.) He's always there so this obviously peaked my interest. Izakaya? Midtown? Highly recommended by a fellow foodie? I'm down. Even if it meant driving (more like crawling) on the 401 doing 60 km/hr in the rain two Saturdays ago. OK I'm exaggerating. It wasn't that bad. But close enough.

From Nome's website:
"Nome Izakaya is a Japanese tapas restsaurant and lounge located at 4848 Yonge Street in Toronto. Specializing in the freshest sashimi delicacies and boasting the city's best oyster bar, Nome will surely impress you."

Once we sat down, I let Alex do all the ordering. It was a nice change :)


The Winner of the sip & Savour Ontario Giveaway is...


Congratulations Emily! =D You have just won a ticket to sip & Savour taking place on Wednesday, June 19th at 7:30 pm at Toronto's Distillery Historic District's Fermenting Cellar! Please email me at with your first and last name and we'll go from there :)

And thanks to all the contestants who participated in the contest

Here's a snapshot of the Excel spreadsheet where I tracked the #foodieyucontest hashtag from day one of the contest (if you don't see your tweet in the hashtag stream, it means there is no entry from you. Sorry. Read this to find out the possible reasons why your tweets are not showing up.) The tracking was done in chronological order, as in, #1 was the first person to enter the contest. To enter, the person has to tweet "Hey @foodieyu I want to win a ticket worth $85 to @sipandsavouron! #sipandsavour #foodieyucontest". Each person may tweet once a day for the duration of the contest. Once the contest was over and everybody's entries were accounted for, I checked to see if they follow me on Twitter.

After verifying, I used "True Random Number Generator" from to pick the winner from the 51 entries.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Prince Edward Island Cook-Off Challenge

With rolling hills, long white sand beaches, red sandstone cliffs and ocean coves, Prince Edward Island has a reputation as a province of lush landscape and magnificent natural beauty. Aside from being Canada's largest producer of potatoes, the small island thanks to its long coast line, also boosts an abundance of fresh fish and a variety of shellfish such as lobsters, oysters and mussels. Incredible. I love seafood. And did you know that last year, Zagat ranked PEI as one of its eight top off-the-beaten-track locations in the world? PEI, the only location named in Canada, was ranked second in a list of eight dining locations all over the world from Cornwall, England, to Vieques, Puerto Rico, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is very impressive guys. I know my heart skipped a beat upon finding that out... I now want to book a culinary trip to PEI pronto!

A very close second to actually being in PEI was the opportunity to be one of four judges for the Prince Edward Island Cook-Off Challenge on Tuesday (#TasteofPEI). Held at Mildred's Temple Kitchen, students of four culinary schools from across Ontario went head-to-head in a culinary competition using fresh ingredients from PEI and foraged ingredients like fiddleheads, dulse, cattails and spruce shoots.

Michael Smith, Prince Edward Island's food ambassador and celebrity chef, was the host of the PEI Cook-Off Challenge. Chef Michael Smith is one of Canada's best-known chefs and is a passionate advocate for simple, sustainable home cooking. He is the host of Chef Micheals Kitchen, Chef Abroad, Chef at Home and Chef at Large seen on Food Network Canada. 

Before the competition, guests indulged in delicious oysters and appetizers made from local and foraged ingredients from PEI such as:
- Oysters
- Chilled pea puree with lobster, shrimp and crab cakes
- Green tea and fennel infused salmon with a fennel and citrus slaw, mussels, seared beef and mashed potatoes
- Strawberry and rhubarb soup

Friday, June 14, 2013

My New Hello Kitty Plush! [VIDEO]

This is not a food-related video. Well, it is. Somewhat.

Hello Kitty Apparently Has a Reversible Plush Line Straight from Hell - Gizmodo


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

sip & Savour Ontario Giveaway - CLOSED

I'm giving away ONE ticket to sip & Savour Ontario!

Every year, Forefront Communications partners up with Houselink, a charitable organization dedicated to providing homes and local opportunities to people recovering from mental illness, to bring you sip & Savour Ontario. Now in its 9th year, sip & Savour Ontario continues to thrive in bringing locally grown gourmet cuisine with Ontario’s VQA wines to create an evening of indulgence at it's finest. 

The event will be taking place at Toronto's Distillery Historic District’s Fermenting Cellar on Wednesday, June 19th from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm. 

Experience Ontario's finest wines paired with local eats prepared by some of Toronto’s finest chefs:

Your winning ticket will include all food and wine at the event!


1) You MUST be following me (@foodieyu) on Twitter:


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

Hey @foodieyu I want to win a ticket worth $85 to @sipandsavouron! #sipandsavour #foodieyucontest

*For your entry to be valid, you need to tweet the above sentence exactly as shown*
*You may tweet once a day for the duration of the contest. Re-tweeting others do NOT count as a valid entry*
*Contest is tracked by the #foodieyucontest hashtag stream. If you don't see your tweet in the hashtag stream, it means there is no entry from you. Sorry. Read this to find out the possible reasons why your tweets are not showing up*


Contest starts on Wednesday, June 12th and ends on Monday, June 17th at 12PM. 

One lucky winner will be chosen randomly from and I will announce the winner shortly after on Monday, June 17th. 

GOOD LUCK!!! ^_^

For additional details on sip & Savour Ontario, please visit:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Being a Roving Twitter Reporter for Toronto Taste 2013


On Sunday, June 9th, the city’s finest chefs and celebrated beverage purveyors gathered at Toronto Taste in support of hunger relief in our community. Held at the Royal Ontario MuseumToronto Taste, now in its 23rd year, has raised over $9 million for Second Harvest, enough to provide over 23 million meals for adults, children and seniors. One ticket to Toronto Taste enables Second Harvest to rescue and deliver 500 meals.

For three years in a row, I've been an official Twitter Reporter for #TorontoTaste's social media team. I want to emphasize again just how honoured I feel every year to have the opportunity to take part in such an amazing event.

Part of my duty as a Twitter Reporter is to arrive at the event early,

So that I can find out what each station is serving.

Especially taking note of the vegetarian and gluten free options. Globe was serving a shrimp ceviche and a vegetarian ceviche (#TorontoTaste #veg)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Stockyards: Smokehouse and Larder

Torontonians who love BBQ knows about The Stockyards, Tom Davis' modest BBQ joint on St.Clair West. If I can sum it up in one sentence, I would say that The Stockyards offers modern renditions of classic comfort food for all your BBQ cravings. Because whether it be a fried chicken over belgian waffles at 9am in the morning, a grab-and-go BBQ beef brisket sandwich for a quick lunch, or a big juicy Beast Style Burger or Butter Burger for dinner in front of the TV, The Stockyards has you covered (well besides Mondays when they are closed.) And if you ever find yourself in the mood for a "carnivorous binge", make sure you get your butt at the restaurant 5pm sharp on Tuesdays, Fridays or Sundays for their whole rack BBQ pork ribs and/or whole smoked chicken. Believe me, it is worth it and it will change your life. 

Despite the fact that The Stockyards opened four years ago in 2009, their 48-hour brined and marinated fried chicken and authentic wood smoked Carolina style BBQ still attracts a lot of buzz:

With only 1,500 square feet and 18 seats, The Stockyards (@thestockyards) is a tiny restaurant with wood ceilings and a long, open kitchen. Guests sitting at the bar has a view of the kitchen where they can watch their food being prepared. With The Stockyardslimited space, it is obvious why take-out is so popular.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Viamede Resort (Part II)

After a much needed nap from the day's adventures, Cindy and I made our way to The Inn at Mount Julian, Viamede Resort's fine dining restaurant, for dinner. The Inn at Mount Julian boosts a cellar collection of 100 different wines, a 7-course gourmet tasting menu and seasonal dishes, house-cured charcuterie and items foraged directly on site.

The Inn at Mount Julian is one of the two oldest buildings on the Mount Julian property. Based on an 1873 survey and development plan, The Inn at Mount Julian was probably built some time between 1865 and 1875. 

We were in beautiful room....

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Viamede Resort (Part I)

WOOHOO! Weekend getaway! I've been looking forward to a weekend getaway since...since forever! I'm all for "escaping" the city from time to time. It's not that I don't like the city - I'm definitely a city girl and I love Toronto with all my heart - but I think everybody needs to physically remove themselves, if and when the opportunity arises, from the hustle and bustle of the city. I'm sure you all know that Toronto, although not quite as crazy as NYC, can be a bit overwhelming at times and therefore I think it is good for the mind, body, and soul to get out of town and recoup once in awhile, even for just a few days. Having said all that, imagine my excitement when I was asked whether I would be interested in a two-night stay at Viamede. Hm...YES?! PLEASE, AND THANK YOU! :D 

So two Fridays ago, my friend Cindy and I left work a bit early for our "mini road trip" to Viamede. It was obviously not early enough since the traffic getting out of downtown was TERRIBLE. However, all that was soon forgotten when we arrived at Viamede. It also helped that we passed by a huge snapping turtle crossing the road just minutes before arriving at the resort (I seriously contemplated stopping and turning the car around to take a picture but I didn't, and I totally regret it.) But I was happy 'cause If seeing a snapping turtle crossing the road is not an indication that we are no longer in the city, I don't know what is.

The Viamede Resort (Twitter: @Viamede, Facebook: Viamede Resort), just 30 minutes north of Peterborough, is nestled in the woods on the north shore of Stoney Lake, one of Ontario's most beautiful lakes. Viamede features over 50 rooms and private rental cottages, three restaurants and a full service spa. We stayed in one of Viamede's 19 waterfront Kawartha cottages. Our traditional log style cabin was fully equipped with a kitchen, TV, A/C, BBQ and coffeemaker. Cindy and I had our own bedrooms too.

Just steps from our cabin is this beautiful view of Stoney Lake.