Migrating…

Hey guys!

I just want to thank you all for visiting my page and reading my entries!

I’m planning to migrate to blogspot to customize my webpage more and make it more fun to read :).

I’ll link you guys once I finish!

Thanks for sticking around! :)

-ksdn

SodaStream/Kraft Launch Event

Hey there hungry hippos! Recently, I was given the opportunity, thanks to The Mint Agency to attend the SodaStream/Kraft Launch event. This was one of my first blogging events that I have ever been to, so I was extra stoked to participate in this.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when I arrived, I found myself in a beautifully decorated lounge-like floor. Here are a few snaps I caught.

Leaving our marks to help set the bubbles free!

So, which side are you on? Using plastic bottles, or SodaStream for reuse?

The adorable candy bar where people can fill up their SodaStream baskets.

Some more awesome decor. Super creative and neat.

The nice and cozy lounge area for some mix and mingle.

Getting all fancy pancy and modern-looking there, drink mixer ;)

The drinks served were all made from the Sodastream drink mixers flavoured by Kraft syrups (alcoholic optional).

The launch party comprised of the new syrups available by Kraft to mix with the SodaStream drinks.  The launch celebrates the following flavours:

  • Country Time lemonade
  • Crystal Light lemonade
  • Crystal Light raspberry lemonade
  • Crystal Light fruit punch
  • Kool-Aid grape
  • Kool-Aid tropical punch
  • Kool-Aid cherry

My personal favourite was the raspberry lemonade and the lemonade.  A fun way to spice up the drinks is to add gin or vodka with your bubbly drinks!  The carbonated drink mixes soooo well with a bit of alcohol :).

They also served some really delicious finger foods prepared by the executive chef at Brassaii.  Here are a few photos:

A delicious white meat chicken and pineapple skewer with flatbread topped with cheese and spinach

A fresh mouthful of sweet and salty all in one bite!

A bite full of complimenting flavours and textures – avocado, tuna, and crispy bread. Mmmm!

I know this isn’t a finger food, but I just had to post it. Aren’t they just soooo adorable?

This event was a really motivating and eye-opening step for me. I was able to meet a few new bloggers and learn about the blogging community. This launch party had an amazing atmosphere, with great music from the DJ, fun bubbly drinks and tasty canapés. I was able to gain new ideas and motivation to keep posting more regularly.  At the end of the party, we were all gifted with our very own SodaStream drink mixer, and a lemonade syrup!  My sister and I are SO excited to try this machine out for ourselves and start joining the environmentally friendly movement!  Now we have have the convenience of making our own soda drinks at home :).   The SodaStream starter kit comes with a 60L can of carbinator as well as 9 flavour samples.  These machines are sold everywhere – I’ve seen them on sale at Staples, Walmart, Target, etc.   So come on and join the movement and get your own SodaStream drink mixer today!

My SodaStream gifts of the night including the SodaStream starter kit and Country Time lemonade syrup.


Thank you again Mint Agency for inviting an event like this!  I had a blast and gained more insight and motivation to improve and continuing my blogging hobby!

- ksdn

Canoe Restaurant & Bar

I may be a bit late, but first this first – Happy new year, 2013!
So my friends and I decided to participate in this year’s Winterlicious (see here for the full restaurant list).  We decided we wanted to go to the renowned Canoe Restaurant & Bar because we always wanted we’ve heard so many good things about it.  One quick tip for those who are interested in going during a Winterlicious/Summerlicious – there’s no way you can book any later than the first day that they start taking reservations!  Seats/tables go by super quick!

Moving forward, Canoe is found on the top floor of one of the TD Towers Downtown Toronto.  The view that the 54th floor restaurant is phenomenal.  There’s an awesome view of Lake Ontario and CN Tower.  The restaurant itself is quite fancy, so I suggest that if you’re planning to go, it might be better to dress for the occasion.

Here are some pictures of the interior:

Canoe entrance – on the 54th floor of TD Tower

Interior of Canoe. An awesome view facing Lake Ontario and the CN Tower.

This is the Winterlicious 2013 menu that they offered. What I found really neat about it was that they also included wine and cocktails that match well with the dishes:

2013 Winterlicious canoe menu along with beverages that complement the meals.

So before our 3 meal courses, we were served an appetizer of two types of bread (sorry! I forgot the types of bread) and a mushroom dipping. I think the bread was some sort of sour dough, which I am not too fond of, but the dipping was very tasty.

Pre-appetizer: two different types of bread with mushroom dipping.

And the long awaited 3 course meals:

APPETIZERS:

I ordered this one. I found it quite flavourful and creamy. There was a strong spice flavour, which I found slightly overpowering, but I liked the incorporation of yoghurt in the soup.

Roasted Squash & Parsnip Soup Birch Yoghurt & Spiced Croutons. The majority of my friends ordered this dish (mainly because we wanted something chilly since the day was so cold too)

Sheep’s Milk Quark – Baby Greens, Beet Reduction & Crisps

MAIN:

The brisket was perfectly cooked, the meat would melt in the mouth and nothing was overly chewy. What I enjoyed the most was the contrast in texture of the oats and the cabbages really complimented the meat.

Slow Cooked Ontario Brisket – Steel Cut Oats, Red Wine Cabbage & Cedar Pickled Mustard Seeds

I really liked how the pork was so soft (almost like a pulled pork). Although, I found it a bit salty at first, I eventually grew to love it and the spinach soaked in the sauce was fabulous. However, I found the crispy things on the top of the dish quite questionable…haha.

Maple Braised Willowgrove Pork – Orecchiette, Crackling, Kale & Thunder Oak Gouda

DESSERTS:

Maple Gingerbread Pudding – Cranberry Preserve & Scorched Citrus Crème Anglaise


Most of my friends ordered this one. I was afraid it was going to be too dry, but I found that the apples with the contrast of the cake blended very well together. It was all in all, probably my most preferred dessert.

Almond Cake – Niagara Apple Compote & Salted Caramel Sauce


The spice in the chocolate was subtle yet evident. I found it a bit overwhelming after taking a few bites. However, I enjoyed the marshmellows a lot. I found it refreshing in contrast to the strong spiced chocolate flavour. I found the contrast in texture also quite satisfying.

Spiced Chocolate Panna Cotta – Marshmallow Graham Cracker Crumb

The total of the lunch was a $25 price fixe + tax and tip. The atmosphere of the restaurant was very nice and higher tier. I thought it was very cute of the waiters to wait until the table was finished completely before they all gathered to retrieve our plates. They also timed the presentation of the dishes. All in all – service was extraordinary, atmosphere was very nice, and food was pretty decent. I would have to say it’s a bit overrated though compared to what it really is though..I just got so hyped up from everyone telling me its the BEST restaurant in Toronto! I still think it was a great experience and super fun and tasty, though.

Here’s my rating:
- atmosphere: 9.5/10
– value: 7/10
– food: 8.5/10

The regular priced items are slightly pricey (or so I find), so if anything just find a time to go during Winterlicious or Summerlicious!
Oh yes, and happy Chinese new year!

Canoe Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

-ksdn

Shiso Tree Cafe

Hey all!  Sorry for the hiatus :(, but I’m finally back with another review!  Actually, I’ve been meaning to make lots of reviews – I’ve been taking many many photos of food, but I just haven’t had the time to write the blog and post pictures.  Since I’m more available again, hopefully I’ll be able to share some pictures of succulent (or not) food and my overall opinion.

This post will be dedicated to my visit to Shiso Tree Cafe with C.  The unique thing about this restaurant that it it’s a Japanese-Italian fusion restaurant, specifically famous for their Italian pastas mixed with a spice of Japanese culture.  C and I were really looking forward to going here because it just seemed so one-of-a-kind type of thing.  Also, being a Torontonian, I always find it quite amusing because the vast majority of Japanese restaurants are actually not owned by Japanese people.  However, this restaurant is actually owned and served by Japanese people – it’s authentic!

Here are some pictures of how it looks:

This restaurant is tucked inside…you won’t be able to see it on the street. Walk into Jtown, and keep going inwards :)

Interior~


The interior. It’s really nice and cozy, but a little small in my opinion. It’ll probably be difficult to find a spot during busy hours.

For you curious monkeys out there, did you know what shiso is? It’s actually a Japanese herb related to mint and basil, with an aroma of cinnamon, anise, basil, and citrus. How cool is THAT?

When we saw the menu, we just wanted to try everything because everything just sounded so interesting! Here’s a glimpse of the pasta menu:

This is the pasta menu (you’ll have to tilt your head to read this, sorry!) Soo much to choose from *-*

Less talking, and more pictures!  Here’s what we ended up ordering!

For starters:

Okonomiyaki fries. I love the flavour of okonomiyaki, so this would be my bias. But the flavour did get a bit salty after a while.

Free complimentary salad. I’m not a big salad fan, so this wasn’t too spectacular.

Shiso clam vongolé – white wine, olive oil, garlic, bacon, tomato, fresh Manila clams & shiso


In my honest opinion, this was sort of a disappointment for me. I found it quite bland and lacking in flavour. I didn’t taste the wine at all and it just felt like I was eating a load of oil ><. Haha, I think I'm making it sound worse than it actually tasted. Nonetheless, the toast was goooood :D.

Sukiyaki – thinly sliced beef rib eye cooked in house made Japanese soya sauce (shoyu)


This, was no question, the best dish that I had that night. It was so flavourful, and again, to my bias, I love the original sukiyaki :D. The beef was juicy and cooked well. Oh yes, the toast dipped in the sauce is a perfect combination!

I asked C for her opinions about the dishes, and she felt the same :D. Sorry, I don’t have the prices for the things we ordered..I forgot them :P! I approximate that the pastas were around ~15-20 and the okonomiyaki fries was ~10. Finally, for dessert, C and I shared a (matcha, if I recall correctly) green tea toast. I wouldn’t say this dish was too special, but the toast was good and it was a nice close to our meal.

Toast with (matcha?) green tea syrup.

In conclusion, I think I would come back to this place – the dishes are fun, unique and interesting. In my opinion, I would return to satisfy my curiosity of the other dishes than my taste buds, though.

Here’s my rating:
- atmosphere: 8.5/10
– value: 7.5/10
– food: 8.5/10

Stay posted! I’m planning to make more posts soon~

Shiso Tree Cafe on Urbanspoon

-ksdn

Starbucks half-price frap lovers

Hey all!  This will just be a really quick post!  For all your Starbucks lovers out there, it’s that time of year again!  From May 4-13 between 3-5pm, they will be providing you with your most favourited Starbucks fraps for 1/2 off!

Some of my favourite frap flavours…

  • green tea (my alll timeee favouritee!!!)
  • white chocolate mocha
  • coconut

These also come in your won preference of decaf, shots, syrup, different types of milk (whole, 2%, nonfat, soy), or adding espresso shots or decaf.

I’ll be looking forward to try the new mocha cookie crumble Frappucino!!.

So, why don’t you make a reminder to hit up a Starbucks at your own convenience to catch the 1/2 off frap and maybe even take advantage to try new flavours!

Click here to find a location of Starbucks near you sponsoring this event!  http://www.starbucks.ca/store-locator?utm_source=happy-hour&utm_medium=email&utm_content=hero&utm_campaign=frappuccino-ca

Enjoy and let me know which fraps are YOUR favourite!!

Until next time!!

-ksdn