Monthly Archives: February 2011

Rodney’s by Bay


56 Temperance Street, Toronto, Ontario
(Queen St & Bay St)
Phone: 416-703-5111
www.rodneysbybay.com

If you’re an oyster fan and in the core downtown area, you’d be happy to hear (at least I was) that Rodney’s has opened up a location tucked off of Bay Street. This place is much smaller than the original location but is a cozy place to hang out for after-work drinks/dinner.

Recommendations
• Oysters – served super fresh (as always); try the variety of sauces but be warned that Danger Bay is suicidal hot). In the photo, you’ll see:
Kusshi (top)-creamy and melon-flavourish (hold off on the garnishes and sauces for this one; maybe just a squirt of lemon)
Kumamoto (bottom)-creamy and saltier
• Roasted Fig Salad (sorry, this was so temptingly delicious I forgot to take a photo)
• Grilled Calamari
• Chianti

Good to Know
• Best seats: Table #5 (the table at the corner with the sofa)
• Service: Good
• Atmosphere: one large room with a big bar right at the centre and a few tables along the side and back of the restaurant (because of the size there is only one washroom for each sex)
• Ideal for: After-work gatherings; date
• Attire: Business, smart casual
• Reservations recommended: Yes (especially on a Friday night which is extremely busy)
• Patio recommended: No

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rodney's By Bay on Urbanspoon

Advertisements

Xe Lua Vietnamese Cuisine


625 Gerrard Street East
Toronto, ON M4M 1Y2
(416) 466-5887

There are a number of Vietnamese restaurants in this part of the city. (In fact, on the same block). Deciding on which one to try can be mind-boggling.

Xe Lua has a number of locations in the GTA, including Chinatown and Scarborough. This particular location, Broadview/Riverdale area has been around for years! Although I think their broth (they use for Pho) is tasty and flavourful, I’m concerned about how clean their kitchen is. I’ve had a few experiences where I’ve found “foreign objects” (i.e. a small piece of wire and cement) in my food on separate occasions. Maybe, it was just my luck?!

Recommendations
• Pho – rare beef noodle soup
• Tomato Beef Brisket Stew – served with chunks of beef and carrots that are soft and juicy from the stewing process. Another flavourful dish. This item can be served with noodles or bread.

Good to Know
• Best seats: No preference
• Service: Okay
• Atmosphere: Simple. Chairs and tables are closely packed back-to-back.
• Ideal for: Casual, quick eats, take out
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Xe Lua on Urbanspoon

Ravi Soup


322 Adelaide Street West Toronto, ON M5V 1R1
(Spadina & Queen)
T: (647) 435-8365

Nothing like a nice big bowl of soup to warm up in winter days like these. Soup is my comfort food so accidentally stumbling across Ravi’s was godsent!

As you can tell from the photos, this restaurant is very small and has limited seating capacity. There’s basically one community table and two other small tables at the back.

Recommendations
• Ravi Stew (with chicken, edamame, wild rice, baby spinach, potatoes, carrots, yams, cilantro and shallots)
• Freshly baked tea biscuits

Good to Know
• Best seats: No preference
• Service: Very friendly
• Atmosphere: Basic
• Ideal for: Quick eat or takeout
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

RaviSoups on Urbanspoon

Que Ling Vietnamese Restaurant


248 Boulton Avenue Toronto, ON M4M 2K1
(Gerrard St E & Broadview Ave)
T: (416) 778-4038

Tucked away in a small side street, this tiny Vietnamese restaurant is one of Toronto’s undiscovered gems. This small family run restaurant has approximately 6 tables and a very simple menu with 10 or so items. (If you plan to go for dinner, note they close at 7pm.)

Recommendations
• Item #1 Vietnamese Steam Rolls with Meat – freshly made when ordered so it nice and soft
• Item #4 – Rare Beef Rice Noodles in Soup
• Shakes made with real fruit (if you are daring, try durian which has a strong pungent flavour that is an acquired taste; otherwise, other flavours available include jack fruit, mango and strawberry).

Good to Know
• Best seats: No preference
• Service: Nice
• Atmosphere: small, basic, two TV sets suspended from the ceiling on opposite sides of the restaurant
• Ideal for: Casual, quick eat
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Que Ling Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Caplansky’s Delicatessen


356 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1S6
(College Ave & Bathurst St)
T: (416) 500-3852

If you are a deli meat lover, you will love this place. Caplansky specializes in hand-smoked and hand-cut smoked meat. I’m not much of a meat eater myself but found their deli sandwich fresh and the meat was smoked to perfection.

Recommendations
• Build your own deli sandwich with one of the smoked meats
• I was also strong recommended to try the tongue – let me know how you like it.

Good to Know
• Best seats: No preference
• Service: Nice
• Atmosphere: retro; diner
• Ideal for: Casual, meat/deli lovers
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

Caplansky's Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

Honey Garlic Restaurant


1661 Denison St, Markham, ON L3R 6E4
(Kennedy Rd & Steeles)
T:(905) 470-7730

Ginger & Onion (see older blog) was such a success that the owners opened up another restaurant, Honey Garlic, just up the street of Market Village. The food is almost as good and the line ups are just as long. But Honey Garlic has better promotions (if you’re a deal seeker).

This is one of the few Chinese restaurants that still uses the trolley to push out the dim sum dishes. I tend to like this concept because I can see what it is before ordering. Many restaurants now have a sheet of paper for you to enter your selection instead.

Recommendations
• Steamed Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf
• Fried Octopus Tentacles – it is dipped and fried with batter here; tempura style
• Baked Tapioca Pudding

Good to Know
• Best seats: Along the windows
• Service: Mediocre
• Atmosphere: many booths and tables of fours (This place was previously Swiss Chalet. I think they kept the original layout of chairs, etc but redesigned the furniture and decor.)
• Ideal for: Family, smaller casual gatherings
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No
• Promotions: See photos (please call the restaurant for updates)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Honey Garlic Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Ginger Onion Cuisine


7131 Kennedy Road, Markham, ON L3R 0T4
(Kennedy Rd & Steeles at Market Village)
T: (905) 479-7730

This is a very popular place for dim sum. People are willing to line up for hours during peak times. I admit the food is good but I don’t have the patience. Rather, I would suggest going early, no later than 10am, on the weekends to avoid the rush.

This is one of the few Chinese restaurants that still uses the trolley to push out the dim sum dishes. I tend to like this concept because I can see what it is before ordering. Many restaurants now have a sheet of paper for you to enter your selection instead.

Recommendations
• Fried Octopus Tentacles
• Fried Fish
• Baked Egg Tarts
• Coconut cake

Good to Know
• Best seats: Any along the windows
• Service: Okay
• Atmosphere: Big venue; tables still quiet close to each other
• Ideal for: Family, casual, dim sum lovers
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ginger & Onion Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Nakwon Korean Restaurant


5594 Yonge St Toronto, Ontario 
(Sheppard Ave W & Yonge)
(416) 590-1435

Nakwon is one of the oldest Korean restaurants in the area of Yonge and Sheppard. I like coming here if I’m nearby because of the convenience (right by the subway station and a few parking spaces at the back).

Recommendations
• Korean BBQ
• Gamja Tang (pork bone soup)

Good to Know
• Best seats: in the small rooms
• Service: Okay
• Atmosphere: Simple; pine wood picnic bench-style chairs and tables.
• Ideal for: Casual
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

Nakwon Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Toshi Sushi


565 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1M1
(Bathurst St & King St W)
(416) 260-8588
www.toshisushi.ca

A decent Japanese restaurant that is perfectly located if you plan to go clubbing along the King St W strip. If you are there just for the sushi, I recommend doing the combination platters than ordering a la carte (individually). Else, if not in a hurry, I’d encourage you to try the omakase (chef’s choice)

Recommendations
• Omakase (chef’s choice) – a number of small dishes (appetizer portion) that the chef chooses to make. Note: you need to give them at least 1 day notice in advance is required.
• Sushi platter

Good to Know
• Best seats: At the back of the restaurant
• Service: Good
• Atmosphere: simple; narrow but long (when you walk in, you’ll see more seats at the back)
• Ideal for: Casual, sushi lovers
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

Toshi Sushi on Urbanspoon

Penrose Fish and Chips


600 Mt Pleasant, Toronto, ON M5G 1P5
(Eglinton Ave E & Mount Pleasant Rd)
T: (416) 481-9444
www.penrosefishandchips.com

One of the best fish & chips restaurants in the city! These guys sure know what they’re doing. They’ve been around since 1950 and I hear many celebrities (including Barbara Streisand) come here when they’re in town.

Recommendations
• Halibut & Chips
• Chowder – rich and creamy

Good to Know
• Best seats: No preference
• Service: Okay
• Atmosphere: simple diner style
• Ideal for: Casual, quick eat or takeout
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

Penrose Fish & Chips on Urbanspoon