Food From My Tokyo Travels

I just came back from 8 days in Tokyo and thought I would post some of f the food I ate…

Tempura Seafood from a take out stand at Haneda Airport. This was one of my favourite meals believe it or not! The round thing at the bottom left corner is a tempura-ed soft egg; it was amazing, when I broke into it the yolk ran all over the rice. It was delicious.

Hash and Potatos and Pancakes (from Eggs n Things in Harajuku). This was my fourth time eating pancakes in Tokyo.

Cheese Hotdog from Freshness Burger (looks kind of gross, eh).

Melonpan Ice Cream from a stall in Shibuya. Yum Yum!

Shrimp Burger at McDonalds. The fries were cold, and the burger nothing special.

This pancake from J S Pancake Cafe was disgusting. How can someone mess up pancakes? Cost $30 and was totally inedible.

My BBQ beef meal on Nakamise Street, Asakusa. I had a lot of fun grilling my own lunch!

This peach juice from the vending machine was so delicious. These vending machines were everywhere throughout Tokyo.

Best melonpan ever! Folks, if you’re ever on Nakamise Street, please visit this melonpan booth!

Shave Ice on Nakamise Street. This shave ice was also delicious, better than whats offered in Hawaii! The serving was small, wish I bought a large size.

My burger from Teddy’s Burgers in Harajuku wasn’t the best. Meat was kind of strange and fries too salty.

Fluffy pancakes at Micasadeco & Cafe. I waited an hour in line and then another half hour for my pancakes… But it was SO worth it!

Conveyor belt sushi in Seibu Department Store. I waited a long time in line to eat sushi here. It was so good and the fish so fresh and generous sizes.

Pancakes with strawberries and macadamia nuts… And a whole mound of whipped cream! From Eggs N Things in Harajuku!

Ice cream cone from the convenience store. Already assembled.

My first meal in Japan – Japanese American brekkie at Royal Host in Shinjuku. I was starving and the bacon was so flavourful.

I don’t know what this was. I bought this nice looking bento box at Isetan Department Store. I don’t think there was any meat, but it was colourful… And tasted strange…

I did eat some ramen, but I didn’t enjoy what I had. I’m not sure what the name of the resto is.

I need to go back to Japan next year cus theres a whole bunch of foods I still need to try.

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Kage Restobar

When I heard about Kage Restobar, a modern Asian fusion restaurant open up in a not so great area of Hurontario and Dundas, I got really excited. And I was dying to try it out for a couple of months now. This restaurant is showing so many great feedback on Google… So finally, I went yesterday; here is my review!

Kage is in a corner of a plaza right across from Charlies. My first thought when we walked in was it was beautiful! The tiny restaurant seemed out of place in this rundown area of Mississauga; maybe Kage will be the pioneer in turning this area around…

The server informed us of the small sized plates, although I was already aware this resto serves tapas style items. She pointed a few things on the menu that would be more filling… The prices were high, but I still want to try out the food… At least once, right? So we ordered four plates from the menu.

She wasn’t kidding, when she said the plates were small! I didn’t realize they would be THIS small!

The first was a Tataki de Carne plate. $12 (I think)… Only five really thin pieces… It was very good tho, a nice zesty sauce and high quality beef, with some crispy lotus root garnish.

(Sorry, Picture quality was bad because the place was so dark… This honestly tasted good).

Taradito de Salmon – $14. This was sashimi with a spicy white sauce, and pickled jalapenos. This was great too but only five pieces.

Next, Pork Belly sandwich called Carne de Cerdo Ahumada on some sort of very soft bun. $17! This serving was decent for the expensive price. The pork was nice and tender and there was alot of sauce, and topped with a coleslaw. The bread was so soft it got soggy quicky and fell apart. The sandwich was a bit hard to hold.

Finally, a small dish of Yuka Fries ($7!). There was only about ten pieces and I wasn’t crazy about the aioli sauce (my daughter liked it).

Prices were too high. Even though Kage serves tapas sized dishes, I felt the servings were maybe a bit too small compared to the prices charged; it would be more reasonable if prices were lowered a few dollars per item.

Service was great; the server was asking us a lot of questions about how we found out about the place, etc. I guess they need the feedback in order to improve.

I feel Kage would be more at home in the Port Credit area… But again, it’s great to have something new and exciting in an area that is kind of backwards…. But I don’t think I will be visiting again, despite the service and food being awesome … It’s just too expensive. Our total price was $60! And we were basically the only customers.

Address:. Kage Restobar – 3038 Hurontario St #9, Mississauga, ON L5B 3B9

Kinton Ramen – Mississauga

We went to the newly opened Kinton Ramen today. Yesterday was their grand opening offering 1/2 price ramen. Of course the line up was crazy yesterday. So we took a chance and came today for dinner.

We arrived at 5:15 pm; there was a small crowd outside, but we were willing to wait for our table. We got our table in 20 minutes. By the way, I really dont like the location where Kinton Ramen is, which is at those newer buildings near Square One – we have to pay for parking. Thats one of the reasons I dont go to Union Burger as often as I’d like to.

Anyway, Kinton Ramen is in a small space. Right now because they are a newly opened restaurant that everyone has been waiting for, the space is too small. It would be nice if the space was half a restaurant bigger. I think of Kenzo Ramen which is bigger than Kinton, and sometimes there is waiting room only… The restaurant is modern tho, and there is good energy and a good vibe.

We were seated at the counter which was great because we didnt want to share a table with strangers. All the servers were very nice and knew what they were doing.

Here is what we ordered:

We shared the Takowasabi. It was very good – nicely chilled, had a sweetness, but then you are hit with the powerful wasabi that instantly clears out your sinuses.

I ordered the Pork Miso Ramen, and I added an egg at the side. I chose thick noodles. This was quite good, the soup broth was not over salty, I could actually drink the broth. The egg was semi hard boiled and was cold inside. Warm egg would be nicer. We saw the cook torching the slices of pork; it was kind of neat watching him ‘cook’ the pork. It tasted great too, nice and tender and nice size pieces of pork.

We also ordered the Pork Spicy Garlic Ramen. This was very hot and spicy I could not eat it. My daughter loves very spicy and had no problem eating it. Her nose was running by the time she finished her noodles. BTW, we both could not finish our food we were so full.

We needed to eat dessert even tho we were full. I ordered the Black Sesame Soy Milk Pudding (tastes like peanut butter), and Roasted Green Tea Pudding. I preferred the first pudding while my daughter ate the second.

Food was great, service was great. We were satisfied after our meal. The lineup outside doubled in size when we left the restaurant.

Address:. Kinton Ramen – 4026 Confederation Pkwy, Mississauga, ON
Website: http://www.kintonramen.com

Mr. Gao Skewerhouse

Mr. Gao Skewerhouse is right next door to Nuri Village. I have been eyeing Mr. Gao for the longest time trying to decide if we should pop in or not. We always said ‘next time’. Well, finally we made it! BTW, Mr. Gao is a casual Chinese resto.

We entered the restaurant and was immediately greeted by a friendly server who let us sit where we wanted. All the servers working there were male and all were friendly and efficient.

The menu was pretty large that we spent a bit of time just reading thru it and trying to decide what we wanted. There were alot of clay pot soups, many spicy dishes, alot of lamb dishes are on the menu, and of course as their namesake – a variety of skewers. The prices were pretty good too.

Here is what we ordered:

Two skewers of chicken gizzards and two skewers of chicken hearts. The gizzards were too hard and chewy, almost like cartilage. The seasoning seemed to have a hint of curry. The chicken hearts were much better – softer, better seasoned and better flavoured.

The next dish is beef brisket and rice combo. The price was good at $9.99. I thought it was bland tasting and needed to add some hot sauce. The only type of hot sauce that was provided on request was Sriracha… BTW, I noticed alot of restaurants no longer place condiments on the table, you need to ask for it.

The final dish was the lamb and rice noodle in claypot. When I ordered it, I thought the dish would be dry, but it’s actually a noodle soup. Lots of meat in this dish, and also alot of bones. The soup had a tangy flavour, the noodles looked like spaghetti (but wasn’t) and had a nice texture. I added a nice dose of Sriracha into the soup.

So the total we paid before tip was $30, which wasn’t bad and the food was decent, tasted clean and home made. There were a few things on the menu that caught our eye so we will be coming back next week to try Mr. Gao again.

Address:. Mr. Gao Skewerhouse, 1170 Burnhamthorpe Rd. W.

http://www.mrgaomississauga.com

Nuri Village – Korean

(This is not my photo, I borrowed this photo from Yelp. I don’t claim credit for this photo).

My daughter and I have been eating at a ‘new’ Korean local joint close to us called Nuri Village, at the corner of Burnhamthorpe and Central Parkway.

We normally go to Song Cook, but thats getting boring going there all the time, and Nuri Village is much closer to us, and open late night. We recognize one of the ladies from Song Cook working here now as well.

Its also much more convenient, less busy, and looks nicer than Owl of Minerva.

First I’ll do my duty and post an interior shot of the restaurant.. see, much nicer ambience than Owl of Minvera.

I’m just going to post the photos of my food; don’t ask me what the Korean name is, I’ll just describe the dish. Hopefully you can recognize it on Nuri Village’s menu.

We started with the banchan, and ordered cream corn with cheese. (I am guessing Koreans love cheese because Nuri Village had cheese on lots of menu items. I didn’t like the cheese).

This is just Bulgogi with rice and an egg. (Egg wasn’t cooked enough).

This is a bubbling Bulgogi soup. Had the sweet taste, I’m not really a fan of sweetness in my hot food. I prefer savoury foods.

I can’t remember what this hot pot is called. It contained ramen, hotdogs, spam, etc. We saw the table beside us order it last time so wanted to try it. I hated that process cheese slice (like I said, Nuri put cheese on alot of their dishes; Koreans love this?). I got annoyed of eating this hot pot after a bit; was very salty after awhile.

Kimchi cheese fried rice! They must’ve used a whole bag of cheese! The rice was good, but the cheese got annoying.

Kalbi ribs.

Some seafood soup with homemade noodles. This dish was huge and loaded with noodles. I had to bring it home. Flavour a bit bland and was salty after a bit. But I would order this again and share with someone else.

Lastly, Unagi. I think this is new on the menu. I didn’t try it so can’t comment on the flavour. But we received a very nice sized portion of fish and rice.

Address:. Nuri Village, 1170 Burnhamthorpe Road West, Mississauga, ON.

YUN – Rice Noodle Soup in Mississauga

YUN is in the Grand Park plaza where a sushi restaurant used to be. We were hungry after coming back home tonight and were originally going to stop by the Kelsey’s in the same plaza. But decided to stop by YUN. It’s been here since late summer, but we are only trying it now. YUN serves noodles hot pot style!

Walking into the restaurant I was quite impressed – the decor and atmosphere was very nice, dark grey and dark woods and exotic birds. It almost had a mystical feel to the place.

We looked at the menu to decide how we wanted to order. Either we could share a hotpot for over $35, or we can get our own individual bowl for $11+. We decided each to order our own bowls. I ordered the YUN original for $11 and added lamb for another $2.75. my daughter ordered the spicy broth for $12 plus added lamb. Our individual soups came with an assortment of sides to throw into the soup broth.

The presentation of our soups was quite impressive. First the sides came in a square tray with multiple compartments to hold all the sides. There was also quail egg, which I love. Plus spam and corn, fish cake, etc. The rice noodles came in a separate dish. BTW, the rice noodles are refillable. The soup came in a mini bubbling calderon, it was so neat. And of course we had our oversized wooden ladle.

I just threw everything in at once. The bubbling soup was so hot it cooked the lamb as soon as it hit the water. I added a few drops of hot sauce to give my broth a bit more kick. My daughter spicy soup was a tomato base so had the spice plus a bit of different flavour – it was quite nice. She also still added a few drops of hot sauce to her already spicy soup.

We really enjoyed our noodle soups and eating at YUN. It’s a great alternative if you get tired of eating pho (which I am). The only downside of YUN is they only accept cash, which was almost a disaster for me since I don’t carry any cash on me. Lucky my daughter had just enough to cover our bill. PHEW!

Update:. October 14, 2018 – I stopped going to YUN shortly after my initial visits. The reason was the server demanded that I leave my $10 change as tip… This was for a $20 meal…

YUN:. 3960 Grand Park Drive, Mississauga, ON

Eva’s Original Chimney Cones at Square One

Eva’s Original opened recently at Square One. Right next to Simon’s. 

I have never heard of Eva’s before, they serve real soft ice cream in rolled dough called chimney cones.  The chimney cones are dusted with cinnamon, sugar, etc. and then baked on a rolling rotisserie.  The whole set up at Square One is quite neat as you can see the whole making of your ice cream chimney.

The menu topping offerings are very diverse.  The cones are not cheap tho, approximately $10 per cone.

I just had a Mini OG, which was plain vanilla ice cream with a strawberry garnish.  Was under $6.  Oh yeah, at the bottom of the cone was a chocolate ball to plug the hole. (looked like a Lindt) 

The dough is supposed to be warm and soft, but my chimney seemed a bit burnt, was cold, hard and tasted burnt as well.  I’ll have to find a way to ensure I get a fresh off the press cone.. The ice cream was high quality.

Going back today to try another flavour.

Oh yeah, as you could see from the photo above, Love Me Sweet Japanese Cheesecake is coming too!

Eva’s Original – Square One, Mississauga, ON

http://www.originalchimneys.com

Afternoon Tea at Dufflet Pastries

Firstly, this review is on a little cafe situated not in Mississauga, but in the east end Beaches area.

There are a number of Dufflet bakeries around GTA; the head office and outlet is on Norseman in Etobicoke; and we all know that various grocery stores sells cakes made by Dufflet.  But who would’ve thought that Dufflet Pastries also serves afternoon tea!  That’s exactly where I spent my afternoon yesterday – drinking tea, eating finger desserts and sandwiches with a tea group.

This Dufflet is a cute little spot in the Beaches area and there was a little room in the back of the store where you can eat your lunch or pastry, or have afternoon tea.  The place is cute and tranquil, don’t you think?  Almost Zen-like. I love the goldfish painting on the wall. The little garden is cute, don’t you think? It was really hot sitting right in the sun.

Reservations are needed tho, and they don’t accept large groups – maximum reservation size is one table of four.  If there is a no show in your group, Dufflet will still charge you for the empty seat.  That’s what happened to our group, someone didn’t show up and the three of us had to cover for the no show.  So, let’s just say this afternoon tea was on the pricy side for this reason.

We each received a pot of tea of our choice.  The tea brand was Sloane tea, I believe this tea is high quality.  We received two trays of sandwiches and pastries.  The sandwiches were of two sorts – smoked salmon with cream cheese, and cucumber with cream cheese.  It hit the spot as we were hungry.  There was one type of scone with cranberry (very fresh, I enjoyed this), fruit compote and clotted cream.  Also a very good selection of finger pastries.  I was quite surprised the quality was high. (Much better than that English tea room on Markham Road, that’s for sure. 

The service was on the unprofessional side tho.  It was efficient, but that extra something was not there.  I guess customer service really isn’t their forte.

Address:. Dufflet Pastries, 1917 Queen St. East, Toronto, ON

http://www.dufflet.com

Radica’s Hot & Spicy Caribbean Cuisine

I didn’t realize there was a Radica’s Hot & Spicy in Mississauga.  I was very aware of the location in Brampton, as my coworker recommends it highly.  And I love roti and curry.  I used to go to Drupati’s and Alima’s regularly.  Now I can go to Radica’s Hot & Spicy at Dundas and Winston Churchill Blvd.

Radica’s is very clean and spacious inside where you can order your food at the counter and then sit at the table and chairs to eat your meal. They cater to UberEats customer regularly.

I ordered a large boneless chicken roti, and my daughter ordered a large lamb roti.  As usual, our rotis were humongous.  

We both asked for mild, but my chicken was spicy. White chicken meat mixed with potato and curry.  I thought it was a little bit salty, but overall I loved my food.  I also had hot sauce on the side.

The lamb roti was delicious as well.  Large chunks of tender lamb and potato and curry.  The lamb was not as hot spicy as the chicken.

Two large rotis with two pops came to $25. Now I need a trip to Trinidad for sure!

Update August 28, 2016
I’m eating my leftover chicken roti and I have to say that it is even more delicious today than it was yesterday when I bought it. The flavours have all melded together so it tastes amazing. The roti is still soft and stretchy even after I microwaved it. Radica’s is #1!

Address:. Radica’s Hot & Spicy – 3105 Winston Churchill Blvd. Mississauga, ON

http://www.radicas.com

Border MX Mexican Grill & Cantina

Border MX is so close to me and has been open for probably almost two years.  Even though I’ve been eyeing the place since it opened, I finally made my way over there tonight.

Border MX Mexican Grill & Cantina is located in that dingy, rundown plaza on Hurontario, just north of Dundas…  Sigh, that plaza could’ve had so much potential.  One of my excuses for not visiting Border MX is because of this particular location…

Anyway, the restaurant is much smaller than I thought it would be.  And it already looks worn out, and plus the place smells like the dingy plaza. the place also was a bit on the warm, stuffy side.  Despite this, Border MX seems pretty popular and has a regular flow of customers.  We got there around 4:30pm and pretty soon, all the tables were pretty much filled.  Latin music was playing loudly, making me soon feel like I was on vacation.

The menu has a nice variety of dishes to choose from including TAMALES!  We had to order that for sure.  Plus, we added a chicken soup, and Nachos with beef (Cabos).

The Chicken Soup came to us only luke warm.  It had a nice spicy flavour with bits of rice.  It was a bit on the oily side, as you can see a top layer of oil floating around.

The Tamales with chicken came next.  I’m sort’ve spoiled because the first and only time I had tamale before this was in Texas and they were prepared homemade, homespun recipe and they were humongous. They were so delicious and those are the tamales where I will be forever rating other tamales against… So of course, the tamales at Border MX failed big time.  These came small (basically a third of the size of the ones we had in Texas).  There wasn’t much chicken inside, and they were also dry.  Plus, the tamale had a strange (plastic-y) taste.

The Cabos (beef nachos) were very good and I enjoyed it alot.  The serving size was bigger than I expected, as it was big enough to share.  The nachos are home made, the refried beans tasted great on the nachos.  The salsa and sour cream were on the skimpy side though.

Overall, Border MX probably serves one of the better Mexican foods I’ve had in Toronto (SeƱor Burrito might be better;. I’ll have to visit again and compare) – their prices are good. I’ve been to other more expensive, more decorated Mexican places in GTA, but this one is not pretentious and the food here tastes better.  Despite the location, I will make it a point to come here more often.  There are more dishes on the menu I have to try.

Address:. Border MX Mexican Grill & Cantina – 3085 Hurontario St. Mississauga 

http://www.bordermx.ca