Mr.S' Birthday and the Tasting menu at George Restaurant

Before I start talking about my own stuff (nails, beauty and the like), just wanted to post about Mr.S’ birthday. It was the past Thursday. He was supposed to go out with his mom but she was struck by the flu. But for breakfast, I did whip him up a surprise.


Here is a pirate themed breakfast for him <3 The pirate picture was drawn by my cousin. Thank you, Hiro. (That's her internet name, I guess) What started it was that I knew he liked pirates. I mean treasure hunting, Uncharted, that type of stuff... Anyway, I found this neato kid's birthday card with pirates. That was it. Then I went to another store and found all these pirate themed goods. I just went crazy at the store and bought pirate cupcake toppers, pirate plates, and some tissue. I also went and bought him a decoy present which is a Pirates of the Caribbean lego set. A small one. It was on sale for $14.99. Anyway, I felt that the theme was incomplete and bought pirate ship cupcake holders and that was it.
Here’s a close up of the pirate ship. That’s an octopus shaped turkey dog. Yum. (the only one that contained the least amount of sodium)


Bear shaped bread pirate… hahaha! He’s the captain.

For dinner, I made crab cakes with quinoa. I have like an obsession with quinoa nowadays.

Anticipating that his mother was going to take him out on the day of his birthday… to a steak house… I decided not to take him to a steakhouse. I made reservations for George Restaurant. It’s just around the corner from where we live and it has no affiliation with George Brown College. We asked. However, the head chef does teach at George Brown and sometimes brings in his students to help prep for dinner service. (Which makes a lot of sense since there’s so many people in their kitchen. You can see them when you pass by the restaurant).

George Brown restaurant is pretty hard to find. I mean, sure you pass by and see a bunch of kids chopping stuff up but you don’t really notice the door to the restaurant. I guess you have to be ‘in the know’.

At first, I was not interested in getting the tasting menu… It’s like omakase but for western food, I guess. But after hemming and hawing, I finally agreed upon the tasting menu. A five course tasting menu is priced at $99 which includes cheese and dessert. (Menu here) So for the tasting menu, the chef pretty much chooses what to serve you. I already looked at the menu and only a few of the things matched up. They are also very good in accommodating your needs. But make sure you list out all the things you do not like/want to eat. I HAVE LEARNED.


First off – the bread. WHAT IN THE WORLD that piece of bread or flaky substance is so delicious. It’s like having yourself a samosa minus the filling. It is so delicious, I kept eating it.


Our amuse bouche of fried cheese tortellini with some mushroom puree. Okay, this is going to be quite a bad review in terms of telling you what to eat because the menu changes all the time ALSO our menu is a special menu that the chef chose for us so it’s a surprise! We had to listen intently to what the server was saying to figure out what we’re eating. So please, bare with me.


Mr.S’ first. It is a (fish) tataki with vegetables. There’s a sasame puree at the bottom middle which tasted like pistachio butter. Delicious. It was very good and the fish was very fresh.


This is either crab or lobster (seafood for sure) with avocado, salad! It was very good as well.


For seconds, I have a foie gras over tandoori chicken, mushrooms, and a poached quail egg. The foie gras at first tasted like the steak’s marbled fat until it started tasting gamey. Seriously, it tasted like the animal. I HATE THAT TASTE SO MUCH. Needless to say, the foie gras ended up on Omar’s plate. I’ve had it twice before but they were much more pate.


Mr.S had foie gras over pheasant, with vegetables. The pheasant was good – didn’t differ from regular chicken. He enjoyed the foie gras very much. Again, just wanted to remind you, in case you forgot, this was a blind menu. The chef picked out an item for each of us. I told them I didn’t want onions and big chunks of garlic so they did well in keeping with that…. UNTIL…..


The lamb. I can’t eat lamb for 2 reasons. 1, I can’t seem to eat cutesy animals. (oh who am i kidding). 2, I just hate the taste. It tastes like it smells. Take a whiff of the lamb at the petting zoo and there you have it. Mr.S liked lamb but not if it tastes very gamey like this one. The server was about to take it back but he offered to eat it for me. So I had the steak instead….


Guess what… slathered in goat cheese. OH LORDY. I did not enjoy this course very much. I picked at the steak for a little bit and ate the pierogies that came with Mr.S’ lamb.


Dinner also came with a cheese platter. Server tried to give me goat cheese again. I switched Mr.S and got his aged cheddar. Aged 10 years. Paired with the jam and the bread, it tasted just like grilled cheese on milk bread. So good.

I’d upload Mr.S’ cheese platter but I have nothing nice to say about it. LOLOL. He actually really liked it though. One comment: When the lamb was only half eaten, the server was quite worried about it. He told the main server and he asked us why we didn’t like it. He offered to replace it but we were already stuffed!!!


We also had an amuse dessert. It’s like a bite sized dessert and it was some sort of thai flavoured icecream (home made of course). Sour. Quite sour. With more sour fruits. LOL. SOUR SOUR SOUR.


Then the real dessert came. A plate of chocolate desserts. Chocolate creme brulee, chocolate mousse, (I lied this doesn’t have chocolate) some custard thing, and chocolate cake. OMG DELICIOUS. i do not like chocolate but this whole plate was full of yum.


Apple Pie for the birthday boy. Okay, now you know his name. Woops! LOL.


Almost forgot, here’s the picture of the restaurant.

In conclusion: It was definitely a great experience. The bill including taxes was $230 (tip not included). So if you have money to spend, go for it. Otherwise, wait for a special occasion to take someone to a tasting experience. They do have an A la carte menu if you want… The ambiance and atmosphere was great. They had odd music but other than that, it felt really comfy. We had a booth and they had a pillow next to me so I just leaned on it. The food chosen for us was great and the portions were good. If I were ever to go to another blind menu type thing, I would make a more comprehensive list of what I cannot eat.

So that leaves me with the question: What foods can you not stand at all?

Amazing Birthday pt.II

So I normally have shitty birthdays… I remember spending one of my birthdays walking down a long street, in the pouring rain, to go to the house of some girl I absolutely despise and passing by a dead squirrel (to add to the misery). Then one of them I spent studying for an accounting test which I really didn’t study for but aced anyway but because it was exam time, no one wanted to hang out with me. SOB. Oh and that’s what happened the next four years while people were at school, I didn’t really do anything. Last year was a step up! We went to the Dominican for my birthday. Okay, I expected Mr.S to make me lunch but instead we rushed and had Swiss Chalet… which I like btw. Finally, this year… it was awesomes.

Dec 3 part 2 | Let me continue… We arrived back at the condo after the macaron making class. We had some snack, played taboo, and had dinner at the Beestro. (not bistro). It had a nice welcoming atmosphere. Not intimidating with loud music. But also doesn’t smell like pee or alcohol for a pub/bar type thing. They also had food served outside of pubs so that’s good. That was some deelish macaroni. Liked the wings too. The server was welcoming and interacted with our group too.

After dinner, we ended up at the condo to play some more Taboo. I love this game. Only because I can never truly suck at it. I’m a great guesser … and a so-so clue giver. Well it’s partially my fault for not being a great clue giver but also I find that for some people, stuff don’t click in their head as quickly as me and my bff, Yuks. (pronounced Youks not Yucks). Like I told Mr.S “Shoes that you hate”. OMG. We had lengthy discussions about how much he hates them but he did not get it. I was hoping he’d say converse and then we could get to Chuck Taylors. And it happened a few times with other people. I guess something might be obvious to me but not to others. Lol. Surprisingly Amanda and Mr.S were a good pair and so were Mr.S and YC. YC and Yuks – let’s not even talk about it. And me and Yuks… it’s not even fair. That’s cause she’s a great guesser <3
The boys


The girls … and Danny! (clearly I don’t have many female friends in real life and I don’t care. Personally, it’s too high maintenance. You don’t even know what happened and next thing you know, you’re deleted off her Facebook page. HA!!)

Then we brought out the cake. This was baked by my bff, Yuks. I feel so loved! Speaking of baking, I also made a strawberry shortcake for that person I mentioned above. (cough) ….

It looks beautiful!! It was as if she bought it at the store. Very professional. Even has that chocolate cookie.


I get a strawberry. Oh and they urged me to cut the cake but apparently it’s bad luck if you do. UM They make me cut my own cake at work …. AND SERVE IT TO PEOPLE TOO… LOL!!

Re: Chuck Taylors – upon further discussion or me berating him saying HOW DO YOU FORGET SOMETHING YOU HATE … lol … we agreed that I should’ve “broken it down” for him and I came up with this: Gossip Girl something Bass (Chuck – yeah he knows who he is) and something Lautner or something Swift (Taylor). LOLOL

Dec 4 | So my actual birthday officially started at midnight. Our friends left sometime after. Then we went to bed and no, there was no surprise birthday breakfast… like they do in tv shows. So Mr.S told me to get ready while he’s at the gym and to be ready by 1. We rushed to Yorkville and … by mentioning Avenue Road, I knew it was afternoon tea. Only because I told him I wanted to do afternoon tea on my birthday. Now, it’s a question of where. (I had a feeling where it was)

And I was right. We ended up at the Four Seasons in Yorkville. I must say, it’s definitely not as pretty as a Fairmont. Mr.S went to Vancouver a few weeks ago for a business trip and was telling me about the Fairmont he stayed at and it was very high-tech and nice.


A post wouldn’t be complete without my face on it.


Mr.S looking cute and Duffy <3 You can't tell but it was starting to rain outside. Oh the power of the iphone.... lol. So I want to be honest and say that I love afternoon tea not because I'm crazy about tea (although my kitchen begs to differ) but because I love the atmosphere and the idea of just having a nice afternoon with Mr.S or friends, and getting served cute little things.
Here is our tray.

Shrimp salad. I wanted to give you a more detailed menu but I looked at the site and it’s totally wrong. Well, not updated… Anyway this was really deelish. We made sure that there were no onions in our sandwiches. SO it won’t turn out like last time at the Fairmont. Okay, just to let everyone know… just because you have one bad experience at a Tea place, doesn’t mean it will be like that next time around. So I’m not crossing Fairmont off my list. I mean there’s only so many places in Toronto with Tea. Also, they change it once a quarter, maybe. And there’s seasonal menus too. So yeah, don’t write them off just yet.


This tasted weird. You know those dried chinese mushrooms … they have this taste to it. Well that’s what this tasted like. It’s supposed to be roast beef or something.


Salmon gravlax. (think smoked salmon but not smokey? It’s cured though) Very delicious. Next time I host afternoon tea, I’ll see if I can get my hands on some…


Cucumber, dill, cream cheese sandwich? Very um refreshing.


To end the sandwiches, here’s the Apple and cheddar sandwich. Yum. It has this smokey cheese taste.

Then we had scones. They had the cream + lemon curd type of thing available as spreads. OMFG yum. Seriously.


On to desserts. Okay, I only bothered taking pics of this one cause the cream looked really good. Bad idea eating the cream in one bite. I had to eat some of the carrot cake to balance it out. HAHA.

So we went to the Hudson Bay Centre to buy some stuff. Well it was Mr.S, being last minute, buying me a card. I AM UPSET THAT ONLY TWO PEOPLE WROTE ME CARDS BECAUSE I PAINSTAKENLY WROTE ONE FOR EVERYONE.

We got home and he took some time writing the card in the bed room.

Tada.

I loved it when I saw it in the store, but I love it even more now. It actually smells really good. Feel free to smell me next time. HAHAHAHA.

Then the next surprise was also not a surprise cause I like to keep guessing. We’re going to Wizard of Oz! YAY. I am too tired to write a review at this point. It was just so much fun. There were songs from back in the day and new ones like Lady Gaga (ugh). The lady chastised me for taking a picture at the beginning but I managed these two.

It’s now a tradition to watch these Ross Petty productions!

So what traditions do you follow? – not so much cultural but just something you do with your family every year…

I leave you with a picture of Duffy.

Amazing birthday weekend! Part I | A tale of failed bbqs and the art of macaronnage :)

Amazing bday weekend trumps a Catalina Island complaint post so …. yeah!

Dec 2nd | Okay, so it’s not part of my birthday weekend but it’s part of the weekend that my birthday falls under so… We went to dinner to Swish by Han on Wellington. I DO NOT recommend going there. Lol. I mean I dislike fusion restaurants, and not too keen on korean food to begin with. BUT I thought because it’s fusion korean, it should fix it. I poured through their limited menu a few times before going there. Anyway, first complaint, dude greeted me with whats up! I don’t like that. LOL. Next, refused to accept my Open Table cert. Okay so I didn’t call ahead to tell you, but I made a reservation. What’s the big deal? It’s cash-value. It’s not like I’m giving you some discount thing or whatever. (Plus the cheque said the restaurant had to honour it) And why do they need to know in advance? Does that mean they’re giving us lesser quality food? I understand if it’s a prix-fixe thing and whatnot but this is regular meal and the Open Table cert./cheque is like cash. WTF! What upset me was his attitude when he declined it and did not apologize. APOLOGIZE TO ME! Anyway, seafood crepes were not up to standard. I can get this for cheaper somewhere else and it will satisfy me. Where’s the seafood crepe sauce btw? Next, the main was like some bbq table set (“galbi” or so I said to the server) that comes with apps and whatnot. I got the apps but what about the whatnot or my wantnots. I was expecting tofu stew, and some other set. I wasn’t able to complain at that time since I did not remember it came with those things (til reviewing the menu at home after I was fuming). So no tofu stew for Anndie and Mr.S. Okay, so we wouldn’t have eaten it BUT the fact of the matter is – it did not come. Furthermore, the “galbi” was square little pieces of meat. Wasn’t super tender, nor was the marinate to die for… so I don’t see the price = quality. It’s like price > quality. The bill was $61 (tax and tip included, I guess) for 1 app, 1 main, and 1 drink (which is 3 shots). We normally get 3 rolls, and 2 orders of sashimi for less than that and we would be like stuffed by then. Craving meat? Go to the Korean Grill house (many locations) for $14.99/pp + tax & tip instead. Or if you don’t want to cook your food, go to Copacabana on Eglinton for $40/pp + tax & tip.

Dec 3 | After our 10 hour sleep (we woke for an hour to eat some snack), I woke up got ready and cleaned the condo. So Mr.S did most of the cleaning but I did some stuff too ya know. For example, I hid the basket of clothes in the laundry room… among other things… My bff, Yuki came over with her DBF, YC (dear boyfriend for those who are not in the know lol). YC brought over a big present! The sheets from Potter Barn. Love! <3 And to add to that love, they brought over a cake. (pic later). We rushed out to the streetcar stop and headed to Le Dolci. We would’ve gotten there earlier had we gone on the earlier streetcar (whatever nbd), and had I not just stood there looking at my phone. I mean, I really should trust my instincts. We were right in front of the place, I just didn’t see the address to confirm my instincts. First impression – what a freaking beautiful lobby!!!!!! Second thing – we were late OMFG! Lol..


Beautiful lobby. Why can’t our condo do that? I mean … they probably spent so much money on those garbage paintings. (There was a painting I was eyeing on Galerie Christin the other day and found out it costs $5500 … so I assume they’re mostly around that price range). Seriously!


My bff, Yuki, and I. <3
Amanda and I <3
Tis me, measuring icing sugar on the electric scale. Buy me one? It’s $10 at Canadian Tire. 🙂


We’re all taking turns with the measuring!


First appearance of Mr.S and YC for this post! Woop. Some more measuring involved… hahaa


Random yummy pics – but of course those are on display and not for eating.

So we did two macarons. One is pumpkin and one is a mint chocolate. I have not tasted them yet… I am quite scared LOL. Anyway, we got to do the piping of the macarons. (Learned the proper technique) Plus, we also did the piping of the filling. I’m disappointed it wasn’t as hands on as I thought but I should’ve gotten that from the fact that it was only 2 hours. And there was the issue about the oven malfunctioning. It was losing heat. I can tell it really frazzled the instructor. From her sweet personality, you can see hints of OMFGIAMSOANNOYEDWITHTHISRN peaking out.


Mint chocolate!


The right macaron size? Haha. Actually, this may be a little too tiny.

Nevertheless, I had loads of fun. I’ll continue this tomorrow with stories from the evening and the actual birthday. Wheee.

Giveaway Winner + Winterlicious reviews!

Congratulations to Afef! She won my first ever giveaway! Sorry for not posting this sooner. I was just really busy with various things! So I assigned each person ‘ballots’ with numbers and used the randomizer and tada! She’ll be winning $30 credit towards her ELF purchases! 🙂

But since there were only a few people who joined my giveaway, I’m giving away $10 e-cert to those who participated anyway! Thank you all for your support! (and that’s to all my readers)

Anyway, I have been busy with preparing a presentation (for something I will discuss later on), taking Mr.S out, spending time with friends, making semi-fail macarons, planning for a potential trip to London and Paris(like 95%). And for those dinners, there’s something called Winterlicious. This year I had the chance to go to two restaurants. One is Far Niente and one is Canyon Creek Chophouse.

Far Niente : I wasn’t planning on going to Far Niente but last minute plans (I didn’t want to make dinner) so i gave them a call and they had a table available at 6:30 and I jumped on it. You can view their Winterlicious menu here. We both had the Lobster Bisque which he quite enjoyed but I like mine with more chunks of lobster and having less of a consistency of a potato soup. For the main I had the Black Angus Top Sirloin Steak and he had the Crusted Mustard Glazed Chicken. Yum. LOL. I give it .. 6.5/10 – its steak. What can I say? It was in some wine sauce I didn’t really care for. The pot pie was onion-ey (according to Mr.S), I thought it was alright. And for dessert, we both had Apple Oat Crumble. This was delicious! sauf the sour apples. Bleh. And Mr.S’ dessert came with a candle (yay!) No pictures because we were in discussion of something important. LOL.

Canyon Creek Chophouse : I’ve been planning to go here for a while now (only because I know Yuki really loves this place). I had the Caesar salad to start. Again, what can I say? It’s salad – isn’t that like a generic taste? LOL. For the main I had KBBQ marinated Steak which was good, I quite liked it – 7.5/10 (Best steak was probably the one I had at Toula for Winterlicious and also a steak I bought/cooked) BUT the side was like – wtf? It was rice, I thought it was safe. I thought wrong. I didn’t touch it at all. Dessert was hot and sour and I had the crumbly part and cream at the top which was yummy! This is why I’m not a food critic, I just eat food, take pictures and make them! =P THE END