Friday, June 27, 2008

I love sushi.

Hi! So, now I think I'll talk about sushi. As you Ottawanians must know, this is not a sushi town. We have the two fancy market sushi places, Kinki and Wasabi, which both have very good sushi at a very high price. What we don't have much of here is good, casual Japanese food at "Toronto prices". Not much at all, except for, (drumroll) my favorite sushi place, Sushi Fresh! Above the Lapointe seafood restaurant at 55 York St. (also recommended), you'll find the sushi restaurant. They have an extensive menu, with everything you need, tea without ordering, (what is this, ordering tea?) and good fresh fish. I wouldn't recommend the tempura, though, it's not quite right. And they're not licenced. Those are my complaints. But after trying not all, but many of the other options, I keep coming back.

Upon discovering that Sushi Fresh is closed on Sundays, Kris and I tried Totoya, on Dalhousie. The verdict: Good, but too expensive and I found the menu confusing and hard to order from.
We tried Sushi 88 on Somerset.
The verdict: Lots of options on menu, bad rice and fish situation.
Thank you for listening.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Mother's Dumplings, sigh.

It was actually Kris' idea for me to write a food blog. We were in Toronto at one of my all time favorite places to eat, Mother's Dumplings and I was raving about it. I always tell people who are going to Toronto that they must make a trip to Mother's. It's on Huron at Dundas, a block east of Dundas and Spadina, in Chinatown. It's a tiny little humble restaurant with mismatched furniture and only about 6 tables. The dumplings and noodles are all homemade right in their kitchen, which looks like anyone's kitchen in a home. We had lovely boiled pork and dill dumplings, steamed pork buns, and a green onion pancake, the best I've ever had. And we also ordered mango sticky rice not knowing what that would be. It was the most delightful dessert, sweet sticky rice with slices of mango laid on top, sprinkled with sesame seeds with a sweet, but not too sweet white sort of custardy sauce. So nice! Kris and I were very satisfied for a bill of only 18 dollars!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hava Java

Hava Java opened on Elgin Street under new ownership just as I was moving out of the neighborhood. I got to chatting with the owners before it opened while waiting for the wine store next door to open. They were super friendly and keen(not to mention stressed out), and gave me a couple vouchers for free coffee. How nice! So here's what I have to say about that place. I love it! The other day I had a cold mocaccino thing and asked for it not to be too sweet and it came out PERFECT. They have amazing scones and nice sandwiches and other snacks too. They take a while to make things, but it's because they care. One of the few independent coffee shops in town, it deserves lots of business.

What happened to Frescociello?

My very first post was inspired by the dinner I had at Frescociello with my boy, Kris. I was disappointed to find that my favorite pasta place had gone way downhill. The interior had changed, maybe for the better. The bad art was gone and there was brown paper on the tables, which I thought was cute. Sort of a New York casual Italian bistro feel. Then, upon looking at the menu, I saw that they no longer offer half portions of the pastas, and that was the beginning of the end. So, we ordered my favorite tomato/cheese/leaf salad, otherwise known as caprese salad (I think). The tomatoes were so under ripe they were almost white and very hard. And the basil was chopped very thinly probably to disguise that it was old and browning. I gave the presentation pretty low marks too. Then the pasta came and was a bit better, but I found the pasta undercooked and there was WAY too much garlic happening. I couldn't get rid of the garliciness for the rest of the day.
On the upside, the service was great and it was a lovely day.