Category Archives: Price ($$$)

Kinton Ramen

51 Baldwin Street, Toronto, ON
(McCaul St & Dundas St)
Tel: (647) 748-8900

Japanese Ramen seems to be a hot item in Toronto lately and most of the new shops appear to have insanely long line ups. I have walked by this place on Baldwin several times and each time I popped my head in to try to get a table, I’m told there’s a (min) 45-60 min wait. Luckily, it is on Baldwin and there are many near by cafe (John’s Italian is a good choice) to grab a glass of wine while we waited.

Other than in Japan and Vancouver, I have never had cheese with my Ramen in Toronto ..the combination tastes amazing. It’s a puzzle to me how the cheese melts so quickly even though the temperature of the soup isn’t scorching hot. And for some reason, this item is a popular favorite with the ladies. Guys generally like their Ramen with “extra” pork and butter (which is at least 3/4″ thick!!).

The only thing I was disappointed with was the cocktails. I ordered an Ichow (white wine with ginger ale) and it was only 1/4 glass full with ice!

But as for the line up (which I don’t generally do) .. All I could say was it was worth it!

• Cheese Ramen (soup broth is nice and creamy) – choice of lean pork or pork with belly fat
• Gyoza

Good to Know
• Best seats: At the back (The worst seats are ones at the front beside the window. Everyone who is standing around, starving, waiting for their name to be called is drooling and slobbering over the windows while watching you eat, bite by bite.
• Atmosphere: Casual and trendy (they use the brick blocks along their wall as their background design on their business cards)
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: N/A
• Patio recommended: N/A

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Kinton Ramen  on Urbanspoon


Khao San Road

326 Adelaide West, Toronto, ON
(Peter St & Richmond St W)
Tel: 647-352-5773 (KSRd)

A super busy Thai restaurant located near the financial/entertainment district downtown. This is one of my favourite Thai restaurants in the city but they do not take reservations. Unless I can make it there when it opens, I’ll have to pass because of the long line ups. Other than that, the food is delicious and the Thai ice tea is amazing .. It is nicely sweetened with a floral aroma and caramel flavour after-taste. If you’ve never tried this before, I strongly recommend it!

• Khao Soi (braised beef with noodles in curry sauce)
• Panang curry (red curry but more flavourful)
• Thai Ice Tea
• Tapioca pudding (if you have a very sweet tooth)

Good to Know
• Best seats: On the lower floor at the back (more privacy)
• Service: Good but not very personable due to the volume and flow of traffic
• Atmosphere: Simple, cozy and trendy
• Ideal for: Quick eats or lunch (I don’t recommend for business gatherings or conversations. Because of the noise and traffic, it’s very difficult to hear each other.)
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: N/A
• Patio recommended: Yes

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Khao San Road on Urbanspoon

Chez Laurent Restaurant

4965 Chez Laurent Restaurant
(Yonge St & Sheppard Ave)
T: 416-590-0909

Here’s a quaint family-owned restaurant/old style home located right on Yonge Street (just south of Sheppard). Although a bit run down, it complemented the ambiance .. cozy, homely and non-pretentious.
The food was spectacular and mostly homemade but it was the owner’s passion that gave the place its energy. This restaurant is truly a hidden gem within the city.

• Thin pasta wrapped with salmon, spinach and cheese (special, not on menu)
• White wine with cassis liquor (similar to a rose)

Good to Know
• Best seats: Next to the fireplace
• Service: Very friendly, knowledgable and passionate
• Atmosphere: Old fashion, traditional, cozy, non-pretentious; generally an older crowd
• Ideal for: Semi-casual gatherings; home cooked food lovers; pasta lovers
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: Yes
• Patio recommended: Yes

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Chez Laurent on Urbanspoon

Ten Ren’s Tea Time

111 Times Ave #101, Markham ON L3T 0A2
(Hwy 7 & Valleymede)
T: 905-881-8896

You probably recognize Ten Ren’s brand for their tea but very little people know that they also have locations for dining as well. The food was okay but their drinks are amazing. Flavours vary from the exotic fruits i.e. lychee to the more common ones i.e. green apple, available hot or cold.

• Pineapple Lychee Hot Tea
• Soft Ribs Green Tea Noodles in Soup

Good to Know
• Best seats: Booths at the back (for more privacy)
• Service: Slow but server made the effort to appear apologetic
• Atmosphere: Contemporary; trendy
• Ideal for: Casual gatherings; Tea lovers/dates
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: N/A

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Ten Ren's Tea Time on Urbanspoon

Blowfish on Bay

333 Bay Street, Toronto ON
(Bay St & Adelaide)
T: 416 860 0606

With Blowfish’s new location, combining art and Japanese cuisine just got more convenient for the folks in the Financial District. BF has the most tasty, innovative and delicious makimonos – ingredients include mango, curry and even popcorn … and they’re soooo good!!

• Makimonos
• Handroll – made with rice paper (not seaweed)
• Sakitinis (these are dangerously delicious because they taste like juice)

Good to Know
• Best seats: The round booth at the front
• Service: Friendly and helpful
• Atmosphere: Contemporary; trendy
• Ideal for: Date; business lunch; GNO; Sushi lovers
• Attire: Business casual; trendy; business
• Reservations recommended: Yes
• Patio recommended: N/A

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Blowfish on Urbanspoon

Osteria Ciceri e Tria

106 Victoria Street, Toronto ON
(Yonge St & Queen St)
T: 416 504 1992

A taste of Italy in the heart of Toronto at this nice, quaint Italian restaurant. A perfect little lunch getaway.

Their menu is set up so you can choose which five antipasti (these are like tapas size) dishes you want and the option of adding a primo and/or secondo (similar to entrees).

• The anitpasti menu changes often depending on chef’s choice and what is in season.

Good to Know
• Best seats: Table next to the window
• Service: Nice and helpful
• Atmosphere: Contemporary; hip
• Ideal for: Date; business lunch
• Attire: Business casual; trendy; business
• Reservations recommended: Yes
• Patio recommended: N/A

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Osteria Ciceri e Tria on Urbanspoon

Fuzion Resto-lounge & Garden

580 Church Street, Toronto, ON M4Y 2E5
(Church St & Wellesley)
T: (416) 944-9888

What a fun night! I went on a Friday night and hung out at the Fuzion Lounge bar for their vocal night and Buddha Bar mixes. Boy, I was blown away with performances. One of the guest musicians, Nancy Silverman, played a chord on the piano and was able to substitute almost any song (requested by the audience) into that chord and it still sounded great!! Amazing!! Best of all … no cover and the food was delicious!!

Just so you know Fuzion is located near the “The Village” and as you may have guessed, most of the men in the room were tremendously good looking … too bad they’re not on my team!!

• Crispy Potato, Goat Cheese and Short Rib Croquette Kobe “Wrap
• Grilled Marquez Sausage, Smoked Eggplant Hummus, Za’atar
• Fusion Frites
• Cocktail – Raspberry Cipriani 

Good to Know
• Best seats: The nook for two on the 2nd floor in the lounge area (lots of privacy here)
• Service: Very friendly & nice
• Atmosphere: Modern, contemporary, artsy
• Ideal for: Drinks, date, GNO, music lovers
• Attire: Trendy, casual, smart casual,
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: Yes; beautiful garden patio on the 2nd floor

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Fuzion on Urbanspoon

Japango Sushi & Noodle Restaurant

122 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1P5
(University Ave & Dundas St)
T: (416) 599-5557

This is one of Toronto’s best kept secret and one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in the city. Delicious food, fresh fish, hospitable service and conveniently located … what else can I ask for? Okay, maybe one suggestion … a bigger spot.

This place is very small and the tables are tightly packed (reminds me of the tiny noodle shops in Japan) and fits about 20 people. Even though this quaint restaurant has very little space, they are not short of servers with about 3 sushi chefs and at least two waitresses at a time.

• Sushi – they serve a very good selection of (quality) fish (if you’re there for lunch, I recommend the Sushi Bento Box over the combo because you also get a small side salad and a daily appetizer, which could be grilled minced meat eggplant or fried tofu)
• Japango maki rolls
• Plum wine
• They also do Omakase (Chef’s choice) as well but you have them give them at least 24 hours advance notice.

Good to Know
• Best seats: Window seat right next to the wall (less traffic)
• Service: Very nice, friendly, always topping up my green tea cup (and the tea is so calming with the burnt rice aroma)
• Atmosphere: Quaint; tiny; wooden tables, bench and stools;
• Ideal for: Quick eat, lunch, take out
• Attire: Casual (If you can, I suggest not wearing anything big e.g. a big fluffy parka since it will be challenging to take it on and off in the restaurant and to find a place to hang it.)
• Reservations recommended: Yes. Quite often they will turn people away even though the restaurant does not appear to be full but the tables are already reserved.
• Patio recommended: No

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Japango on Urbanspoon


472 Queen St W Toronto, ON M5V 2B2
(Bathurst St & Queen St W)

Barchef is voted one of the world’s top cocktail bars! And I agree … especially since they make the “hottest and coolest” drinks in town, literally.

Known for their concoctions, Barchef serves notoriously fun and delicious “molecular” drinks. Mesmerized by the theatrical presentation, “Fire and Ice” is one of my favourites. It is served with one glass in flames, the second with nitrogen ice (with white foggy smoke flowing over the glass), and the third for mixing the two. Hence, the name “Fire and Ice”.

If you’re looking for something less conspicuous, they have a variety of other selections using various intriguing ingredients. If you’re not into alcohol, they also serve innovative virgin cocktails as well. Speak to the chef/bartender.

• Fire & Ice
• Strawberry & Lavender

Good to Know
• Best seats: Couches at the front of the bar
• Service: Friendly, helpful and outgoing (I forgot my camera so the bartender was kind enough to take the photo on this blog for me. Thanks Aaron!!)
• Atmosphere: Dark, artsy, gothic
• Ideal for: Drinks, date
• Attire: Trendy, casual, smart casual,
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

Barchef on Urbanspoon


609 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1MB
(Bathurst St & King St W)
(416) 603-2777


Here’s a cool concept: ex-convicts gets second chances to work (serve, cook, etc) at a high-end, fine dining restaurant for owner Chef Marc Thuet.

The idea of an ex-prisoner serving dinner could be discerning to some at frist. But speaking from experience, I really enjoyed dining there. Although our server looked like Adam Lambert, he was very pleasant and professional. (From an interview with Biana Zorich, co-owner of Conviction, they only hire ex-cons of non-serious crimes (i.e. petty theft), not ones that would make us cringe.)

• Onion Soup

Good to Know
• Best seats: No preference
• Service: servers are ex-prisioners but are professional
• Atmosphere: comfortable;
• Ideal for: Business, date,
• Attire: Smart casual, business
• Reservations recommended: Yes
• Patio recommended: No

Conviction on Urbanspoon