Sunday, January 22, 2017


French-inspired Korean cuisine. Have you tried it before? Not me, at least not until I visited Doma back in December. Doma (Instagram: @domatoronto, Facebook: Doma) is a French-inspired Korean restaurant that meshes French cooking techniques with traditional Korean ingredients and flavours (or vice versa). According to Doma's website, their menu changes every month, which is in line with chef/owner Paul Kim's philosophy of using local ingredients as much as possible. Each month's menu would include Kim's new creations, as well as two to three popular dishes from the previous month.

Located on Clinton and College, the Doma space was previously occupied by Backwoods Smokehouse, and before that Red Sauce, and before that Acadia. The decor is minimalist and simple; clean lines with white walls and light-wood furnishings. I personally find the room a bit bleak. Also, maybe it's the OCD in me but because all the tables and chairs are angled diagonally, I had a really strong urge to move everything so that they would be parallel to the wall.

Anyway, enough about the room, let's talk about the food. I was really eager to try Doma because I always viewed Korean food as a more casual type of cuisine; as in, I've never experienced "Korean fine-dining" or "refined Korean food" before. Which is why I was really excited to try Doma, especially having heard that chef Kim studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa. Combining his knowledge in French techniques with his Korean background, I was pretty sure that Kim would be debuting a refined menu that none of us have ever tried before.

By the way, I love the long and slender cutlery at Doma. They are a more stylish matte black versions of the silver ones you would normally find in traditional Korean restaurants. 

Soju, Perilla, Maple, Lime, Ginger Beer
OLD BOY ($13)
Cucumber infused Boodles Gin, Rice Vinegar, Soy, Daikon

My friend and I chose the $65 per person tasting menu which consisted of an amuse, six courses and a dessert. You basically get to try the entire menu with this tasting so I highly recommend getting it.

Steam bun filled with mushroom, caramelized onion and sweet doenjang

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Spicy Mafia Hot Pot

It's f%^&ing frigid outside. It's so cold that when wind hits your face it stings. Ughhh! Well, for most Chinese people, myself included, one of the first things we think about when temps drop below 0°C is hot pot. Actually, "winter" is synonymous with "hot pot" for us. For whatever reason, we all suddenly crave cooking a bunch of raw stuff in hot broths.

Morals Village currently ranks as my favourite all-you-can-eat ("AYCE") hot pot place. With locations in downtown Toronto, Markham and Mississauga, it's really easy for me to get to. Food quality is on point, veggies are cleaned thoroughly and service is always good. They offer a wide variety of meats and veggies for all your hot pot needs, and their sauce station and sweet buns make me happy.

Having said that, not everyone who wants hot pot necessarily wants to do AYCE every single time. I certainly feel that way because 1) restaurants usually charge a higher price for AYCE, and 2) I don't want to give myself that added pressure of having to "eat my money's worth". Let's face it, when it comes to AYCE we all end up eating way more then we should, with most of us hating ourselves afterwards.

 Spicy Mafia (Instagram: @spicymafiato, Facebook: Spicy Mafia) in Markham is where you wanna be if you are looking for good, bargain hot pot that's not AYCE. From the same owners as Morals VillageSpicy Mafia is catered towards a younger crowd, made instantly obvious by the restaurant name itself and this large mural of mafia-style characters inside.

At Spicy Mafiaeach guest orders from a prix-fixe menu and gets their own personal mini hot pot.

Hot pot combos are either $12.99 or $13.99 depending on the type of soup base. The combos come with your choice of:

1) Soup Base: Signature Spicy, Exclusive Spicy, Housemade Pork Bone, Chinese Angelica or Sweet Tomato Pork Bone;
2) Noodle: Rice vermicelli, fresh rice noodle, instant noodle, rice or Japanese udon;
3) Meat: New Zealand spring lamb, sliced pork or certified Angus beef; and
4) 2 Dipping Sauces: House made sesame, chopped garlic in oil, spicy powder, herbal sauce, house made spicy oil, house made fermented bean curd, coriander or scallion.

Additional meats, seafood, veggies and other toppings can be added to your combo, and they range from $1.50 to $2.50 per order.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Dufflet After Dark: Dessert & Wine Night at Dufflet Beach

Happy New Year everybody! Sorry for going MIA for almost a month 😄 Looking back at previous years, I seem to always slack off in December when it comes to posting. I guess it's hard for me to want to stay home and write when there are so many things going on during the holidays. Come January, I would feel extremely guilty for slacking off; seeing all the backlog also makes me cringe! So, enough with the excuses, right? Let's get straight into it and start the year off with something sweet, Dufflet After Dark.

A dessert and wine night held on Friday evenings between 8pm to 11pmDufflet After Dark at Dufflet's Beach location offers guests a quiet and cozy oasis to relax, sip on wine and indulge in a variety of delectable cakes. 

What a warm and pretty room! The soft glow of tea lights creates such an intimate ambiance. The snowflakes combined with the view of the garden makes the space extra cozy; it's winter outside, yet it's warm and toasty at Dufflet (Instagram: @duffletpastries, Facebook: Dufflet Pastries).

I've been to this location before when Dufflet introduced their high tea service. Take a peek here if you're curious to see how this room looks like during the day (hint: it's just as pretty).

For $25 per person, guests at Dufflet After Dark can enjoy:

1) 8 different kinds of desserts, including a selection of cakes, pies and petit fours;
2) A complimentary glass of red, white or sparkling wine; and 
3) Dufflet drip coffee, Americano, espresso and Sloane Fine Teas.

Additional red, white and sparkling wines are available for $6-8 (5oz). Baileys coffee is also available for $5.