tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-70069100352685031922016-01-26T08:45:53.822-05:00Spice City TorontoSpice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.comBlogger122125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-50288713102426782042015-05-07T20:09:00.000-04:002015-05-07T20:11:57.033-04:00Maha's: Beautiful brunch on the Eastside<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">There's something special about a restaurant on an unremarkable stretch of Greenwood Ave. that attracts a lineup at 11:30am on a Thursday. If you've been to Maha's Fine Egyptian Cuisine—and many of my blog readers have—you'll know its popularity is well deserved. The brunch spot, which opened last fall at 226 Greenwood Ave., offers a rare combination of fresh food, home-like atmosphere and excellent service.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div dir="ltr" style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HYiQNI3a0wQ/VTk1m1NsYQI/AAAAAAAAHQM/Hjmbm-7AyGw/s1600/IMG_0554.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HYiQNI3a0wQ/VTk1m1NsYQI/AAAAAAAAHQM/Hjmbm-7AyGw/s400/IMG_0554.JPG" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X63Bt8PMfYg/VTk1l1tMvhI/AAAAAAAAHQA/1mHmURlsGKo/s1600/IMG_0551.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X63Bt8PMfYg/VTk1l1tMvhI/AAAAAAAAHQA/1mHmURlsGKo/s400/IMG_0551.JPG" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;">I started off the meal with a cardamom latte, which was smooth and soothing, similar to chai. Then I tried the date grilled cheese, a luxurious sandwich crammed with oozing havarti, gouda and swiss and layered with buttery sautéed dates. The sweet/savoury combination may sound odd, but it's absolutely irresistible. On the side I had the cumin-dusted home fries, which had a nice sour kick from the pickled red onions.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;">For a neighbourhood cafe, Maha's takes an unusual amount of effort to create visually appealing dishes. The Cairo Classic is a carefully arranged platter of foole (ful), a chunky, rich stew made from fava beans. The foole is covered with thin slices of hard boiled egg and a crispy ball of falafel, which as per Egyptian custom is also made from fava beans, not chickpeas.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hplSxbSIu4I/VTk1ljDchJI/AAAAAAAAHP4/1yl-JkHc_bI/s1600/IMG_0545.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hplSxbSIu4I/VTk1ljDchJI/AAAAAAAAHP4/1yl-JkHc_bI/s400/IMG_0545.JPG" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Juyr7Ext2lI/VTk1lPhbwxI/AAAAAAAAHP0/SwU4OBzTteM/s1600/IMG_0548.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Juyr7Ext2lI/VTk1lPhbwxI/AAAAAAAAHP0/SwU4OBzTteM/s400/IMG_0548.JPG" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: start;">The big surprise is the pita bread. It resembles the tasteless white pita you see in the grocery store, but the similarity ends there. This slightly charred Egyptian pita or 'balady bread'—is made of whole wheat flour and is spongy, chewy and absolutely delicious.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i><a href="https://www.facebook.com/MahasFineEgyptianCuisine" target="_blank">Maha's Fine Egyptian Cuisine</a> is located at 22 Greenwood Ave., Toronto. Telephone: 416 462 2703. Operating hours are Monday to Friday 8am til 7pm; Saturday and Sunday 8am til 5pm.&nbsp;</i><a class="_5bkz _42ef" href="http://share.here.com/r/mylocation/e-eyJuYW1lIjoiTWFoYSdzIEZpbmUgRWd5cHRpYW4gQ3Vpc2luZSIsImxhdGl0dWRlIjo0My42NzE2NywibG9uZ2l0dWRlIjotNzkuMzI4NTMsInByb3ZpZGVyTmFtZSI6ImZhY2Vib29rIiwicHJvdmlkZXJJZCI6MjQ3Nzg5NDM4NjQwODA3fQ==?ref=facebook" id="u_0_12" rel="nofollow" style="color: #9197a3; cursor: pointer; display: inline !important; font-family: helvetica, arial, 'lucida grande', sans-serif; font-size: 11.9999990463257px; line-height: 16px; overflow: hidden; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank"></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i>Thanks to Lisa &amp; Gabby for the tip.&nbsp;</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><iframe src="https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m14!1m8!1m3!1d5771.726702877326!2d-79.32837180000001!3d43.67181169999998!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x89d4cb876ab23733%3A0x4b6c92aa9c56a517!2s226+Greenwood+Ave%2C+Toronto%2C+ON+M4L+2R2!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sca!4v1431043894594" width="600" height="450" frameborder="0" style="border:0"></iframe>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-90094559289957080002015-03-24T20:07:00.002-04:002015-03-24T20:20:49.474-04:00This crumbling Scarborough strip mall is home to some great Haitian home cooking<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">A small restaurant in a half-abandoned strip mall in Scarborough is serving up the vibrant flavours of Haiti. The opening of <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alabon-Libon-Caribbean-cuisine/502153689886593" target="_blank">Alabon Libon Caribbean Cuisine</a> at 623 Kennedy Road last May signalled a welcome return of Haitian food to the area, which is home to many immigrants from the island nation.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">In 2013, Haitian food, which is heavily influenced by French, African and Spanish cuisine, hit downtown Toronto with the opening of the trendy Black Hoof spinoff <a href="http://rhumcorner.com/" target="_blank">Rhum Corner</a> on Dundas West. It was followed by the 2014 opening of casual Haitian joint <a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2014/04/a-new-haitian-hotspot-hits-st-clair.html" target="_blank">La Creole</a> on St. Clair West. But meanwhile, the only remaining Haitian restaurant in Scarborough, <a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2012/03/this-former-coffee-time-is-now-hub-for.html" target="_blank">La Belle Jacmel</a>, had shut down unexpectedly after an ill-fated expansion.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_cx_dU1fanY/VQ4LPfR3njI/AAAAAAAAG0w/7Cd4X6zfFR0/s1600/IMG_0499.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_cx_dU1fanY/VQ4LPfR3njI/AAAAAAAAG0w/7Cd4X6zfFR0/s1600/IMG_0499.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-cE8x3vZ60Pw/VQ4LWSFhGcI/AAAAAAAAG1A/Ye5zZohLaZU/s1600/IMG_0512.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-cE8x3vZ60Pw/VQ4LWSFhGcI/AAAAAAAAG1A/Ye5zZohLaZU/s1600/IMG_0512.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="text-align: left;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: left;">So when I showed up at Alabon Libon, I was pleasantly surprised to see La Belle Jacmel's excellent chef, Marie-Claire Point Du Jour, in the kitchen. She opened the new place with her husband and daughter Nadege (above) in Corvette Plaza, on Kennedy north of St. Clair East. The name Alabon Libon means roughly "It's good, good," in Haitian creole.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">The plaza is slated for demolition to make way for condos, so rents are affordable and many storefronts are empty (although <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Berardinetti" target="_blank">Councillor Michelle Berardinetti </a>has an office here). The plaza's sign board hasn't been updated in ages, and lists an interesting collection of long-dead businesses.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-a6q5Wc4Fdug/VQ4LaKhq-8I/AAAAAAAAG1I/xaQMn1y4KO0/s1600/IMG_0515.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-a6q5Wc4Fdug/VQ4LaKhq-8I/AAAAAAAAG1I/xaQMn1y4KO0/s1600/IMG_0515.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XkJCVxTThmE/VQ4LSZow_SI/AAAAAAAAG04/7PrFncRfMQ8/s1600/IMG_0503.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XkJCVxTThmE/VQ4LSZow_SI/AAAAAAAAG04/7PrFncRfMQ8/s1600/IMG_0503.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br />I sampled a plate of goat meat and it was excellent. The goat was marinated overnight in a puree of<span style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;fresh green pepper, red pepper, onion, shallots and olive oil. Then it was fried to order and served&nbsp;</span><span style="text-align: center;">with a tomato-based sauce</span><span style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;on a bed of barely ripe plantains. The result was a hefty flavour-packed dish, nicely freshened up by fat chunks of perfectly ripe avocado.&nbsp;</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both;"><span style="text-align: center;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;"><span style="text-align: center;">To drink I had a thick, frothy juice made of beets, potato and carrot. Sounds a bit odd I know but it was very enjoyable, with a rich, fruit-like flavour.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rd5m8QXoquI/VQ4LMEDRfXI/AAAAAAAAG0o/fUUPzawgcik/s1600/IMG_0497.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rd5m8QXoquI/VQ4LMEDRfXI/AAAAAAAAG0o/fUUPzawgcik/s1600/IMG_0497.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-R8oet1QTDb8/VQ4tSaDgrmI/AAAAAAAAG1Y/1L-u0xVrGa0/s1600/IMG_0498.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-R8oet1QTDb8/VQ4tSaDgrmI/AAAAAAAAG1Y/1L-u0xVrGa0/s1600/IMG_0498.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Click to see full-sized menu</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: left;"><br />One of the restaurant's signature dishes is djon djon rice, made with mushrooms that only grow in Haiti. The hard-to-find fungus is brought in via Montreal, and attracts Haitians from as far as Ajax, Brampton and Mississauga. The djon djon rice is also a hit with local Jamaican, African and Chinese customers.<br /><span style="text-align: center;"><br /></span><span style="text-align: center;">Other Haitian classics on the menu include beet salad, macaroni pie, butternut soup (soup joumou) and meat and veggie stew (bouillon). The restaurant even has its own Haiti-inspired version of poutine, which includes chicken meat, Haitian-style chicken stock and&nbsp;mozzarella&nbsp;or blue cheese.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: center;"><br /></span></div></div><div style="text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: center;"><i>Alabon Libon Caribbean Cuisine is located at 623 Kennedy Road between St. Clair East and Eglinton East. Hours: Closed Monday, open 11am to 8pm Tuesday to Thursday, 11am to 11pm Friday, 10am to 11pm Saturday, 10am to 7pm Sunday. Telephone: 416 261 2870.&nbsp;</i></span></div></div><br /><li style="color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.3333330154419px; line-height: 14.9999990463257px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Alabon Libon in the comment field below.</span></li><li style="color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.3333330154419px; line-height: 14.9999990463257px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.3333330154419px; line-height: 14.9999990463257px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.3333330154419px; line-height: 14.9999990463257px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li><br><iframe frameborder="0" height="450" src="https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m14!1m8!1m3!1d23068.37155164247!2d-79.2647398539673!3d43.719973938169744!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x89d4ce3f7531af6f%3A0x6dc2cee5c8eabce4!2s623+Kennedy+Rd%2C+Scarborough%2C+ON+M1K+2B4!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sca!4v1426993162961" style="border: 0;" width="600"></iframe>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-25662018384956683852015-01-15T09:13:00.000-05:002015-01-15T09:25:20.208-05:00Sample the strange dishes of Macau, right here in Toronto<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Downtown Toronto chefs at restaurants like The People's Eatery and Oddseoul have made names for themselves by serving creative fusions of Asian and Western food. But the strange legacy of colonialism has produced culinary experiments that are far more inventive. One of the oddest real-life experiments has to be the food of Macau, the island city off the coast of China that was a Portuguese colony until 1999.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Macau, which is just an hour ferry ride from Hong Kong, is better known for its gambling dens than its hybrid Chinese/Portuguese cuisine. But if you're curious, there is one place I know of in Toronto to get Macanese food: a stall called Macau/Portuguese Food in the food court of <a href="http://www.nksmarkham.com/contact.php" target="_blank">New Kennedy Square</a>, an extremely busy Chinese mall on Kennedy Road south of Highway 7 in Markham. The restaurant was created by Joe Ng, a former chef at Macau's Mandarin Oriental hotel.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-obcW92JU3Mo/VLKiIW9UfCI/AAAAAAAAGAI/aVhF4nfu4Pg/s1600/IMG_0376.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-obcW92JU3Mo/VLKiIW9UfCI/AAAAAAAAGAI/aVhF4nfu4Pg/s1600/IMG_0376.JPG" height="357" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yKzADg9GmfU/VLKiIx_LnQI/AAAAAAAAGAQ/HNkoj8GGFkY/s1600/IMG_0378.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yKzADg9GmfU/VLKiIx_LnQI/AAAAAAAAGAQ/HNkoj8GGFkY/s1600/IMG_0378.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4LUIns3lsa0/VLKiIh3eATI/AAAAAAAAGAM/mAh2xqIvwbk/s1600/IMG_0380.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4LUIns3lsa0/VLKiIh3eATI/AAAAAAAAGAM/mAh2xqIvwbk/s1600/IMG_0380.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both;">As a non-Cantonese speaker, ordering food was a comedy of errors. There are multiple menus with several different numbering systems. After several attempts, assistance from another patron and an inexplicable four glasses of soy milk later, we had a feast of interesting dishes at the table.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>African chicken (below) is a classic dish of Macau. It's a tasty slab of chicken cooked with garlic and coconut milk and slathered with a slightly spicy red sauce. The dish is said to have been originally created by a Macanese hotel chef who was inspired by a trip to one of Portugal's African colonies.&nbsp;</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Eg39ubzeZjk/VLKiKPb9PjI/AAAAAAAAGAc/Ku_bvaOh2EA/s1600/IMG_0389.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Eg39ubzeZjk/VLKiKPb9PjI/AAAAAAAAGAc/Ku_bvaOh2EA/s1600/IMG_0389.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-w6CY_85CuGU/VLKiLv11DKI/AAAAAAAAGAo/6eojry75mHU/s1600/IMG_0391.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-w6CY_85CuGU/VLKiLv11DKI/AAAAAAAAGAo/6eojry75mHU/s1600/IMG_0391.JPG" height="290" width="400" /></a></div><br />The ox tongue in port wine sauce (above) has a definite Iberian flavour. The tongue is fatty and tender, like a carefully stewed brisket, and undeniably tasty.<br /><br />The pork cutlet (below) is another Macanese classic. The crispy coating and tangy tartar sauce make this a stand out dish. In fact my dining companion, <a href="http://adammcdowell.com/" target="_blank">writer Adam McDowell</a>, said it was even better than the similar pork chop bun he sampled during a <a href="http://jamesbondbrasil.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/jbbr_EW_Bond_Severine.jpg" target="_blank">his recent visit to Macau</a>.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JbtE-oql0d8/VLKiNzzrDII/AAAAAAAAGA8/H8Ov4__3wq4/s1600/IMG_0393.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JbtE-oql0d8/VLKiNzzrDII/AAAAAAAAGA8/H8Ov4__3wq4/s1600/IMG_0393.JPG" height="317" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-O7rxncpV1xY/VLKiPmRjmSI/AAAAAAAAGBM/xUWiDJWFq1A/s1600/IMG_0400.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-O7rxncpV1xY/VLKiPmRjmSI/AAAAAAAAGBM/xUWiDJWFq1A/s1600/IMG_0400.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br />Next up was the Macau-style lamb curry (above left), a mildly-spiced dish with good quality chunks of stewed lamb with red and green peppers. A surprise hit was the cod fried rice (above right). It was packed with a generous amount of Portugal's iconic fish, and topped with olives in in true Mediterranean style.<br /><br />Not only is this food unique in Toronto, it's also dirt cheap. Most things on the menu are $6 or less, so there's little risk in sampling a wide range of these fascinating dishes.<br /><br /><i>Macau/Portuguese Food (Macau &amp; Portuguese Five Star Hotel Foods) is located at New Kennedy Square food court, 8360-8362 Kennedy Road, Markham, just south of Highway 7. Telephone: 905 475 3868. Hours are Monday to Sunday 10am to 9pm; closed Wednesday.&nbsp;</i><br /><div class="post-body entry-content" style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.63636302948px; line-height: 1.4; position: relative; width: 450px;"><br /><br /><li style="font-size: 13.3333330154419px; line-height: 14.9999990463257px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Macau/Portuguese Food in the comment field below.</span></li><li style="font-size: 13.3333330154419px; line-height: 14.9999990463257px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="font-size: 13.3333330154419px; line-height: 14.9999990463257px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="font-size: 13.3333330154419px; line-height: 14.9999990463257px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li></div><br /><iframe frameborder="0" height="450" src="https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m14!1m8!1m3!1d46038.04937228057!2d-79.33266112719724!3d43.84799159863209!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x89d4d4332a037c9f%3A0xf9e55005d1a3dc38!2sNew+Kennedy+Square!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sca!4v1421021494706" style="border: 0;" width="600"></iframe>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-46969782891199810012014-10-28T21:05:00.002-04:002014-10-28T21:05:58.108-04:00Toronto's best Malaysian restaurant has a new spin-off<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">One of the absolute best Southeast Asian restaurants in the Toronto area is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2012/06/one-of-torontos-best-asian-restaurants.html" target="_blank">Gourmet Malaysia</a>, an&nbsp;oversized dining hall in Scarborough with a massive menu of Malaysian, Indonesian and Singaporean favourites. In September, the owners opened a new spin-off restaurant called <a href="http://gourmetsatay.ca/" target="_blank">Gourmet Satay</a>&nbsp;at 1348 Kennedy Road near Ellesmere Road in Scarborough.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1WvS2JpqNh8/VEw6-poEThI/AAAAAAAAFpk/j2ZtPgvzJUo/s1600/IMG_0061.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1WvS2JpqNh8/VEw6-poEThI/AAAAAAAAFpk/j2ZtPgvzJUo/s1600/IMG_0061.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UgiK5Mn6Opo/VEw7SlsK6TI/AAAAAAAAFqE/Auh3hRN4pI8/s1600/IMG_0080.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UgiK5Mn6Opo/VEw7SlsK6TI/AAAAAAAAFqE/Auh3hRN4pI8/s1600/IMG_0080.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Owner Amy Lim (centre) with cousin Shuen and son Nikola</td></tr></tbody></table><br />The restaurant hasn't even had its official opening yet, but fans of Gourmet Malaysia have noticed the similar sign at this dodgy strip mall on Kennedy and started popping by. The narrow restaurant has many of the same dishes as Gourmet Malaysia, although owner Amy Lim wants to add some specialty "hawker" or street food dishes here soon. A flyer for the new joint describes it as "food court style," meaning it serves dishes sold at bustling South Asian food stall markets. (In fact, it's similar in some respects to Gourmet Malaysia's precursor restaurant, the now closed cult classic <a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2011/08/great-street-eats-from-malaysia-served.html" target="_blank">Gourmet Garden</a>.)<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kx1A0faEmFM/VEw7C0IP7nI/AAAAAAAAFps/fELSBTBJ8Oc/s1600/IMG_0068.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kx1A0faEmFM/VEw7C0IP7nI/AAAAAAAAFps/fELSBTBJ8Oc/s1600/IMG_0068.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div><br />The dishes at Gourmet Satay are carefully prepared and packed with flavour. The satay doesn't taste like globs of peanut butter, but instead is made of fresh crushed peanuts and a surprising amount of spice.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>Nasi lemak (below) is an eye pleasing dish that offers a sampling of the wide range of flavours in Malaysian cooking. A mound of coconut-sweetened rice is surrounded by rich curry-leaf infused chicken, sweet shrimp, a fried egg and a punchy garnish of dried anchovies and peanuts, all for just $8.80.<br /><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bC2VW9pE53M/VEw7JUVVwEI/AAAAAAAAFp0/583lAfznnxM/s1600/IMG_0073.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bC2VW9pE53M/VEw7JUVVwEI/AAAAAAAAFp0/583lAfznnxM/s1600/IMG_0073.JPG" height="400" width="300" /></a></div><br />Nasi goreng (below) is a Malaysian classic, consisting of rice fried in thick, sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) and densely packed with veggies and seafood.<br /><br />Amy opened this restaurant so she can use the kitchen to supply labour intensive desserts like pineapple tarts and layer cakes for events at Gourmet Malaysia. She also plans on taking advantage of the space to store freezers full of imported goods from Malaysia.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-m7DKYTpK1vw/VEw7LVwlZ2I/AAAAAAAAFp8/dIG1uBftVw4/s1600/IMG_0075.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-m7DKYTpK1vw/VEw7LVwlZ2I/AAAAAAAAFp8/dIG1uBftVw4/s1600/IMG_0075.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">And the restaurant's hours? Well, hard to say exactly. As a blogger specializing in strip mall food I've been to an awful lot of plazas but this is definitely one of the sketchiest I've seen, with a porn shop, late night reggae bar, various massage parlours and many suspicious looking dudes sitting in parked cars in the evening.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">"Some customers don't like the area," says Amy. She originally planned to be open until 9pm but has gradually moved to closing earlier and earlier, so if you want to stop by before 5pm give a call first and ask if the restaurant is open. But let me assure you, these wonderful Malaysian dishes make the trip more than worth while.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i><a href="http://gourmetsatay.ca/" target="_blank">Gourmet Satay</a> is located at 1348 Kennedy Road, Scarborough, Ontario. Call for hours at 647 741 2468.&nbsp;</i></div><br /><br /><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.3333330154419px; line-height: 14.9999990463257px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Gourmet Satay in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.3333330154419px; line-height: 14.9999990463257px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.3333330154419px; line-height: 14.9999990463257px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.3333330154419px; line-height: 14.9999990463257px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com01348 Kennedy Road, Scarborough, ON M1P, Canada43.7615066 -79.27953860000002443.7614616 -79.279617600000023 43.7615516 -79.279459600000024tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-49892443799687514832014-10-06T17:49:00.000-04:002014-10-06T17:49:22.486-04:00Legendary North York jerk chicken restaurant gets a new home<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>Allwyn's Bakery has long been a legend amongst residents of North York. The <a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2012/12/hidden-behind-derelict-scarborough.html" target="_blank">location at Parkwoods Village Centre was obscure</a>&nbsp;to say the least, but <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Allwyns-Bakery/732508286790526" target="_blank">Allwyn's</a> had no trouble drawing a crowd of rabidly loyal fans thanks to its killer jerk chicken and dirt cheap prices. Now the restaurant has a moved into a more visible storefront at Donwood Plaza at 81 Underhill Drive.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-iFUGyWV4ucA/VDG8jAOQ5vI/AAAAAAAAFiM/CZNeCu775p8/s1600/IMG_20141005_113939.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-iFUGyWV4ucA/VDG8jAOQ5vI/AAAAAAAAFiM/CZNeCu775p8/s1600/IMG_20141005_113939.jpg" height="400" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4k9DTvC41Rs/VDG8XP2svoI/AAAAAAAAFiE/eOH5wlj9jtk/s1600/IMG_20141005_115435.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4k9DTvC41Rs/VDG8XP2svoI/AAAAAAAAFiE/eOH5wlj9jtk/s1600/IMG_20141005_115435.jpg" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Allwyn's regulars have flocked to the new location, which opened three months ago after the old space was given up to expand Shopper's Drug Mart as part of <a href="http://www.lennard.com/spaces/parkwoods-village-redevelopment" target="_blank">the Parkwoods Village redevelopment</a>. "There are lots of old folks and new faces," says stoic staffer and Jamaican immigrant Donald Simpson, who has worked for Allwyn's for almost 20 years. "It's much busier and there are lots of lineups," he sighs.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">The new location is still modest, but bigger and brighter than the previous space. There is one table and some stools so patrons can eat inside instead of scarfing down the food in their cars. Heck there's even a phone number now. But the basics haven't changed.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">"It's still the same food. It's great if you like spice," says Rich McDonald, a North York resident who's been going to Allwyn's for more than five years.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">The jerk chicken sandwich—moist and flavourful meat and crunchy coleslaw nestled between two airy pieces of coco bread—sells for just $4.25. The patties ($1.50) are pockets of spicy meat encased in dough that has the perfect balance of flake and chew. Plus there's a new addition to the menu—the spicy curries can now be enjoyed inside roti.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VHg-X7LD23c/VDG8SMp8aRI/AAAAAAAAFh0/kr68OkHiELs/s1600/IMG_20141005_115419.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VHg-X7LD23c/VDG8SMp8aRI/AAAAAAAAFh0/kr68OkHiELs/s1600/IMG_20141005_115419.jpg" height="400" width="300" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rT_vVMfs2OU/VDG8Ukc5OxI/AAAAAAAAFh8/ogSMd-UUiDY/s1600/IMG_20141005_121228.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rT_vVMfs2OU/VDG8Ukc5OxI/AAAAAAAAFh8/ogSMd-UUiDY/s1600/IMG_20141005_121228.jpg" height="400" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><i style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.63636302948px; line-height: 16.7999992370605px; text-align: start;">Allwyn's Bakery is located at 81 Underhill Drive, North York, Toronto. Telephone 647 859 6388. Hours are currently 11am to 10pm every day although they may be changing soon. &nbsp;&nbsp;</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.63636302948px; line-height: 16.7999992370605px; text-align: start;" /></div><br /><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.3333330154419px; line-height: 14.9999990463257px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Allwyn's Bakery in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.3333330154419px; line-height: 14.9999990463257px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.3333330154419px; line-height: 14.9999990463257px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.3333330154419px; line-height: 14.9999990463257px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li><br /><br /><iframe frameborder="0" height="450" src="https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d46116.75241048081!2d-79.32462249999996!3d43.7459284!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x89d4cd87d23c682b%3A0x1c5159d4dcaa76b9!2s81+Underhill+Dr%2C+North+York%2C+ON+M3A+1K8!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sca!4v1412616376770" style="border: 0;" width="600"></iframe>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-21368555589326788562014-05-06T19:12:00.001-04:002014-05-06T19:12:27.254-04:00Kick off summer with this killer Caribbean ice cream <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">After a meal at <a href="http://www.alisroti.ca/" target="_blank">Ali's Roti</a>, your stomach will be so heavy you'll be tempted to skip out on dessert. That would be a mistake. The Trinidadian restaurant has some of the best ice cream I've ever tasted.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bay4_-9aeAs/U17kJgfqakI/AAAAAAAAEQg/yqRPjTbg9l8/s1600/IMG_0975.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bay4_-9aeAs/U17kJgfqakI/AAAAAAAAEQg/yqRPjTbg9l8/s1600/IMG_0975.JPG" height="400" width="242" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LHp5gY226S0/U17kScW6lAI/AAAAAAAAEQo/bxawiw7eU7c/s1600/IMG_0984.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LHp5gY226S0/U17kScW6lAI/AAAAAAAAEQo/bxawiw7eU7c/s1600/IMG_0984.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br />Ali's is Parkdale's original roti shop on a strip that is practically a roti district today. Apologies to Roti Lady and Bacchus but Ali's is by far the best of the bunch. Trini-style dalpuri roti is dusted with spicy split peas and stuffed with hefty, flavourful goat, chicken or beef. Ali's also lays claim to being the first restaurant in Canada to sell doubles, a delicious street snack of chickpea curry slathered between two pieces of hot fried dough.<br /><br />Regulars have been coming here since the restaurant opened up in 1976, and it's not uncommon for people to tell owner Shiraz "Ali" Aligour (below, with his granddaughter) that they came there as children. The ice cream is certainly memorable.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dMcmDck5d00/U17kZK6AqeI/AAAAAAAAEQw/DTu59MdStcg/s1600/IMG_0980.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dMcmDck5d00/U17kZK6AqeI/AAAAAAAAEQw/DTu59MdStcg/s1600/IMG_0980.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_Dmiq5q5IO4/U17kfGsX85I/AAAAAAAAEQ4/G14GsNJTK1k/s1600/IMG_0979.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_Dmiq5q5IO4/U17kfGsX85I/AAAAAAAAEQ4/G14GsNJTK1k/s1600/IMG_0979.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br />The three flavours of ice cream—mango, soursop and coconut—are made on the premises. Ali starts with ripe fruit, adds cream, sugar and stabilizer and mixes it in a machine in the back. The result is an airy, delicious dessert that tastes much fresher than anything you can buy in the store. Plus it's not sickeningly sweet, like many tropical fruit ice creams.<br /><br />"Back in the day all over the Caribbean families would make ice cream with a hand crank on Sundays to make a treat for the kids," explains Ali. "It's expensive to make the ice cream here and we make very little profit on it, but it's something we do for the community because they enjoy it."<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DYG5t4e4di0/U17kk4Nl_dI/AAAAAAAAERA/6R-Oh-tZWcE/s1600/IMG_0982.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DYG5t4e4di0/U17kk4Nl_dI/AAAAAAAAERA/6R-Oh-tZWcE/s1600/IMG_0982.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><i><br /></i><i>Ali's Roti is located at 1446 Queen Street West at Lansdowne, Toronto. Telephone: 416 532 7701. Hours of operation: Open every day 11am to 10pm. &nbsp;</i><br /><i><br /></i><br /><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Ali's Roti in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li><br /><iframe frameborder="0" height="450" src="https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m14!1m8!1m3!1d23098.458330271238!2d-79.43634129577026!3d43.64177463793141!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x882b35adf200b4cf%3A0xadb6f19a0b76de5c!2s1446+Queen+St+W!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sca!4v1398729625083" style="border: 0;" width="600"></iframe>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-39753591114591711132014-04-09T21:59:00.001-04:002014-04-09T21:59:10.142-04:00A new Haitian hotspot hits St. Clair<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Haitian food is finally getting some love in Toronto. In the fall, Jen Agg from the Black Hoof opened a much acclaimed Haitian spin-off restaurant, <a href="http://rhumcorner.com/" target="_blank">Rhum Corner</a>,&nbsp;with her Haitian hubby Roland Jean. And just a few weeks ago, <a href="http://lacreole.ca/" target="_blank">La Créole</a>, a French Caribbean restaurant, opened up at 810 St. Clair Ave West, between Oakwood and Bathurst. It's a good thing, because since the closing of <a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2012/03/this-former-coffee-time-is-now-hub-for.html" target="_blank">La Belle Jacmel</a>, there had been no place to find Haitian food in Toronto.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aVtA5NYAy1E/U0Sk8r2BELI/AAAAAAAAD_A/rGB88j1SNc8/s1600/IMG_20140408_192457.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aVtA5NYAy1E/U0Sk8r2BELI/AAAAAAAAD_A/rGB88j1SNc8/s1600/IMG_20140408_192457.jpg" height="400" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GBQl74YnqV4/U0Sk9qHrQvI/AAAAAAAAD_Q/9XgqtIrvXhM/s1600/photo+2.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GBQl74YnqV4/U0Sk9qHrQvI/AAAAAAAAD_Q/9XgqtIrvXhM/s1600/photo+2.JPG" height="400" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: justify;"><span style="text-align: left;">La Créole serves food from the French Caribbean, including Martinique and&nbsp;Guadeloupe, but as the chef is Haitian, classics from that country dominate the menu. Marinad (shown below) are bits of fried dough, typically sold as a street food in Haiti.&nbsp;</span><span style="text-align: left;">Akra malanga are bite-sized fritters made of malanga, a starchy root vegetable. Both are served with tasty but searingly spicy side of shredded vegetables, called pikliz.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LFWn796a0iA/U0Sk6AVAsnI/AAAAAAAAD-o/h2i1RxtEyyY/s1600/IMG_20140408_181608.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LFWn796a0iA/U0Sk6AVAsnI/AAAAAAAAD-o/h2i1RxtEyyY/s1600/IMG_20140408_181608.jpg" height="283" width="400" /></a></div><br />Mains include le toro, a hefty, rich beef stew, and creole chicken, baked and coated with a spicy tomato sauce. Both are served with djon djon rice, made with the elusive djon djon mushroom only found in Haiti. "We get it from Montreal because you can't find it here in Toronto," explains owner Ben Cherette, a Haitian community organizer and event planner. Without a Haitian grocery in the city,&nbsp;La Créole&nbsp;is picking up the slack, and customers can purchase bags of djon djon, as well as sweet&nbsp;cassava, Haitian coffee and Couronne, a gaggingly sweet Haitian soft drink.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X52a3IGL8p0/U0Sk6aWLH9I/AAAAAAAAD-w/ajgC_IxdCWk/s1600/IMG_20140408_183200.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X52a3IGL8p0/U0Sk6aWLH9I/AAAAAAAAD-w/ajgC_IxdCWk/s1600/IMG_20140408_183200.jpg" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8n3eXnuKfeg/U0Sk6HA8IOI/AAAAAAAAD-s/1meLr8l8eI0/s1600/IMG_20140408_183206.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8n3eXnuKfeg/U0Sk6HA8IOI/AAAAAAAAD-s/1meLr8l8eI0/s1600/IMG_20140408_183206.jpg" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">In the next few months, Cherette plans to introduce new menu items from other French-speaking Caribbean islands, such as bokit sandwiches, which are also served at <a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2012/07/a-new-french-caribbean-hotspot-heats-up.html" target="_blank">Le Ti Colibri</a> in Kensington Market. He also wants to turn La Créole into a live venue. Thursdays you can learn kizomba, a sensual dance with Angolan origins that is popular in Haiti. Fridays and Saturdays will be live music and DJ nights, focused on sultry Caribbean genres like souk, compas and troubodour. &nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: center;">At the bar, Cherette will be serving cocktails, classic Haitian rums like Barbancourt, and cremas, a dessert-like drink made of coconut cream, cinnamon, anise and rum.&nbsp;</span><span style="text-align: center;">"We want to have things you can't get anywhere else and have people feel like they're immersing themselves in the French créole culture," explains Cherette.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i>La Créole</i><i>&nbsp;restaurant is located at 810 St. Clair Ave West; telephone: 416 651 8228.</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i><br /></i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i>Hours: La Créole is closed Monday. Tuesday to Thursday open 4:30pm til 10pm; Friday and Saturday 4:30pm til 11pm; Sunday 12pm til 6pm.</i></div><br /><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px;">Share your own thoughts on La Créole in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><iframe frameborder="0" height="450" src="https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m14!1m8!1m3!1d23084.92194685699!2d-79.43668012841002!3d43.67697122239032!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x882b347f37f6154d%3A0x5e21935095fb3ead!2s810+St+Clair+Ave+W!5e0!3m2!1sen!2s!4v1397008064610" style="border: 0;" width="600"></iframe>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-64999711198720998182014-02-10T19:55:00.000-05:002014-02-10T19:55:58.382-05:00Lebanese lunch, loaded with flavour<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Hidden in the back of a plaza at Dufferin and Finch is the perfect place to sample the wonderful ingredients that make up Lebanese breakfast and lunch. Haddad's Mid-East Bakeries consists of a small restaurant and retail shop, plus a kitchen in the back where the fresh bread is made. The 20-year-old restaurant<span style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;is mainly frequented by Lebanese and Armenian immigrants seeking out the tastes of home.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-CND-BaaXKBY/UtxeEpahTAI/AAAAAAAADsY/2_RyoNPbK2s/s1600/IMG_0940.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-CND-BaaXKBY/UtxeEpahTAI/AAAAAAAADsY/2_RyoNPbK2s/s1600/IMG_0940.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-C36_W5D208E/UtxeADymY6I/AAAAAAAADr4/Eae7BfHF3w0/s1600/IMG_0934.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-C36_W5D208E/UtxeADymY6I/AAAAAAAADr4/Eae7BfHF3w0/s1600/IMG_0934.JPG" height="400" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Strangely, the restaurant is named <a href="http://www.thymeandsesame.ca/" target="_blank">Thyme &amp; Sesame</a> on its website, although the signage on site calls it Haddad's. "They're going to change the name on the sign, but they haven't done it yet," explains Nadine Hajjar, a communications student who works part time at the restaurant.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">A couple of Lebanese origin order the kashkaval ($6), a sandwich with melted kashkaval Bulgarian cheese and tomatoes. It's served on kaak, a bib-shaped flatbread with a hole in it, which makes it easy for <a href="http://pyramidscheming.wordpress.com/2010/06/#jp-carousel-371" target="_blank">mobile vendors in the Middle East</a> to display pieces for sale. The sesame-studded bread is perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nO1dvGy39rM/UtxeExxP8-I/AAAAAAAADsc/_YXG6_HlTCo/s1600/IMG_20140119_122846.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nO1dvGy39rM/UtxeExxP8-I/AAAAAAAADsc/_YXG6_HlTCo/s1600/IMG_20140119_122846.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">The couple also ordered the ful ($7.99), a stew of mashed fava beans with a surprising kick. Ful can sometimes be bland, but this version is oozing with olive oil and lemon juice, and packed with hefty chunks of garlic and hot chilis. The result is an intense, tasty spread that you can stuff into a giant flatbread, inflated with warm air and fresh from the oven. The sandwich is garnished with mint leaves, tomatoes, olives and green onion, a fresh yet comforting combination.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-aikKq1cwUqE/Utxd9pfkpcI/AAAAAAAADrg/OwJ4Wo-SFaw/s1600/IMG_0916.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-aikKq1cwUqE/Utxd9pfkpcI/AAAAAAAADrg/OwJ4Wo-SFaw/s1600/IMG_0916.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HlA4XiMHi_k/Utxd9lwTDWI/AAAAAAAADrk/KG-CQl7y-jk/s1600/IMG_0922.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HlA4XiMHi_k/Utxd9lwTDWI/AAAAAAAADrk/KG-CQl7y-jk/s1600/IMG_0922.JPG" height="400" width="302" /></a></div><br />Other popular items include the manakeesh—a sort of flatbread pizza. The version with zaatar—a spice blend of thyme, sumac, sesame and other spices—is popular, as is the one with akawi, a milder version of halloumi cheese.<br /><br />Haddad's also has a broad selection of savoury pastries, such as the spinach pie, which has a generous amount of spinach and a sour kick. The pies need to be purchased by the half dozen or dozen, with 12 costing between $8 and $12. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5ShMIo4rdTY/Utxd-Jl9L8I/AAAAAAAADro/NBUQbvM16mQ/s1600/IMG_0929.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5ShMIo4rdTY/Utxd-Jl9L8I/AAAAAAAADro/NBUQbvM16mQ/s1600/IMG_0929.JPG" height="400" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-My_KltdIask/UtxeBgk7HsI/AAAAAAAADsA/1i0x5cmoLec/s1600/IMG_0932.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-My_KltdIask/UtxeBgk7HsI/AAAAAAAADsA/1i0x5cmoLec/s1600/IMG_0932.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UkpViLHEJwk/UtxeCXDFwbI/AAAAAAAADsI/2c1Nbs6Eap8/s1600/IMG_0931.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UkpViLHEJwk/UtxeCXDFwbI/AAAAAAAADsI/2c1Nbs6Eap8/s1600/IMG_0931.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br />While you're waiting for your food, check out the groceries. There's a good selection of olives and spice blends, and other interesting items like grape molasses. I recently tried grape molasses at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2013/03/an-excellent-new-persian-restaurant.html" target="_blank">Tavoos</a>, and discovered that when blended with tahini, it's one of the most delicious combinations I've tasted, a lip-smacking Arabic sibling of peanut butter and jam.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iE2V-NxaJ8I/UtxeDEk78JI/AAAAAAAADsM/J4EE-FsvHxk/s1600/IMG_0939.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iE2V-NxaJ8I/UtxeDEk78JI/AAAAAAAADsM/J4EE-FsvHxk/s1600/IMG_0939.JPG" height="400" width="300" /></a></div><br /><i>Haddad's Mid-East Bakeries/Thyme and Sesame is located at 4610 Dufferin Street Unit 19B, Toronto. Telephone 416 661 8998. Hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday 8am to 4pm, Sunday 8am to 2pm.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><br /><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Haddad's in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=4610+Dufferin+Street,+Toronto,+ON,+Canada&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=4610+Dufferin+St,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario+M3H+5S4&amp;gl=ca&amp;ll=43.772855,-79.467963&amp;spn=0.072017,0.146255&amp;t=m&amp;z=13&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=4610+Dufferin+Street,+Toronto,+ON,+Canada&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=4610+Dufferin+St,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario+M3H+5S4&amp;gl=ca&amp;ll=43.772855,-79.467963&amp;spn=0.072017,0.146255&amp;t=m&amp;z=13&amp;source=embed" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-7148639531994099012014-01-20T19:09:00.000-05:002014-01-21T18:12:04.644-05:00Dumplings that are truly works of art<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i>***Update as of Jan. 21, 2014: I just learned this restaurant is now closed. Apologies, it has been a few months since I was there. If you know another restaurant serving Xian dumplings in Toronto, please get in touch.&nbsp;</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">A small restaurant at First Markham Place, a jam-packed Chinese mall at 3255 Highway 7 East, has dumplings like you've never seen before. Not only are these dumplings at Ling Long Legend extraordinarily tasty, they are handcrafted to look like miniature works of art. &nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-cPdtUF611NQ/UkeITWU0tOI/AAAAAAAADZg/bujbmnR6s88/s1600/IMG_20130928_151607.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-cPdtUF611NQ/UkeITWU0tOI/AAAAAAAADZg/bujbmnR6s88/s400/IMG_20130928_151607.jpg" height="400" width="300" /></a></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7ZSvrVvFf14/UkeIUsKTcFI/AAAAAAAADZs/sCVI0u9lVLE/s1600/IMG_20130928_134640.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7ZSvrVvFf14/UkeIUsKTcFI/AAAAAAAADZs/sCVI0u9lVLE/s400/IMG_20130928_134640.jpg" height="312" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I went to the restaurant with Zhixi Cecilia Zhuang, a Ryerson prof who shares my love of strip mall eats. In fact, Zhixi, who hails originally from southern China, researches ethnic retailing in Little India and the Pacific Mall in Markham. But even Zhixi was surprised to discover the strange and beautiful dumplings this restaurant has to offer.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Ling Long Legend has been around for roughly two years, and the name means 'delicate and beautiful,' explained Zhixi. Their delicious Ling Long dumplings, shown above, have a pocket of meat inside, topped with three separate chambers filled with egg, carrot and mushroom.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cTYB62N5fJs/UkeIVVfcYUI/AAAAAAAADaA/LFHPZMR0MZ4/s1600/IMG_20130928_134903.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cTYB62N5fJs/UkeIVVfcYUI/AAAAAAAADaA/LFHPZMR0MZ4/s400/IMG_20130928_134903.jpg" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-F4e40oNsy9Y/UkeIUM8hIBI/AAAAAAAADZo/gelhI9KdShs/s1600/IMG_20130928_134137.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-F4e40oNsy9Y/UkeIUM8hIBI/AAAAAAAADZo/gelhI9KdShs/s400/IMG_20130928_134137.jpg" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--HeL4YUQnXw/UkeIV5FgOSI/AAAAAAAADZ8/OrVbYeEzTeA/s1600/IMG_20130928_135351.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--HeL4YUQnXw/UkeIV5FgOSI/AAAAAAAADZ8/OrVbYeEzTeA/s400/IMG_20130928_135351.jpg" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br />The restaurant specializes in dishes from northwest China, a region known for its noodle and lamb dishes. In contrast, Zhixi explains, Cantonese food specializes in soups and fresh, steamed fare, while Shanghai food tends to be cooked longer with more seasoning.<br /><br />We tried an excellent braised pork pancake: a wonderfully intense meat stuffed between a two layers of bread with the consistency of naan. The spicy chicken in a pot with noodles, a classic northwestern Chinese dish, was also very good, with hand-pulled noodles, salty potatoes and fresh, crunchy peppers.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-e2ghPQSbJKY/UkeIWqpZb-I/AAAAAAAADaI/R2VsexvbCXU/s1600/IMG_20130928_135814.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-e2ghPQSbJKY/UkeIWqpZb-I/AAAAAAAADaI/R2VsexvbCXU/s400/IMG_20130928_135814.jpg" height="400" width="265" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-br22lhTZ3G0/UkeIXMsLPiI/AAAAAAAADaQ/yDY9A5uk4oo/s1600/IMG_20130928_140520.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-br22lhTZ3G0/UkeIXMsLPiI/AAAAAAAADaQ/yDY9A5uk4oo/s400/IMG_20130928_140520.jpg" height="400" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Co-owner Ailing Hu, shown above, hails from <a href="https://www.google.ca/search?q=xian+dumplings&amp;espv=210&amp;es_sm=119&amp;source=lnms&amp;tbm=isch&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=k7rdUp3hAtSJqQGC6YGoCw&amp;ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&amp;biw=822&amp;bih=455&amp;dpr=1.5" target="_blank">the Chinese city of Xi'an, where dumpling making is somewhat of an art</a>. It turns out that if you preorder a few days in advance, a party of ten can sample dumplings she makes in the shapes of animals, flowers and plants, handcrafted like little sculptures.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">She showed us her technique: in less than a minute she stuffed a ball of dough with meat and transformed it using just her hands and a few simple wooden tools into the shape of a fish. It was incredibly fast, like watching a sped up video of someone making origami. Then Ailing did the same thing to create a duck, complete with black sesame seed eyes.&nbsp;</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ru8mwrI8wSI/UkeIXjWvERI/AAAAAAAADaU/ZwNKSLJmpAQ/s1600/IMG_20130928_140916.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ru8mwrI8wSI/UkeIXjWvERI/AAAAAAAADaU/ZwNKSLJmpAQ/s400/IMG_20130928_140916.jpg" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-h3cxQs_Y_-w/UkeIYS4-n9I/AAAAAAAADac/4YJTB14R19w/s1600/IMG_20130928_141052.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-h3cxQs_Y_-w/UkeIYS4-n9I/AAAAAAAADac/4YJTB14R19w/s400/IMG_20130928_141052.jpg" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Q1ZBANhsIww/UkeIY1q4tRI/AAAAAAAADao/DW9GCrvjDTo/s1600/IMG_20130928_141359.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Q1ZBANhsIww/UkeIY1q4tRI/AAAAAAAADao/DW9GCrvjDTo/s400/IMG_20130928_141359.jpg" height="400" width="375" /></a></div><br />After, she prepared these adorable golden fortune dumplings for us. They are supposed to bring you good fortune, of course, and are filled with a smooth, sweet egg yolk paste.&nbsp;<span style="text-align: center;">I'll definitely be back to try the dumpling special and see more of these wonderful little creations.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="text-align: center;"><br /></span><span style="text-align: center;"><i>Ling Long Legend is located in First Markham Place, 3255 Highway 7 East, Markham. Tel: 905 477 9881. Hours: Open 11am to 10pm Sunday to Thursday, 11am to 11pm Friday and Saturday.&nbsp;</i></span><br /><span style="text-align: center;"><br /></span><br /><br /><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Ling Long Legend in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li><span style="text-align: center;"></span><span style="text-align: center;"><br /></span><span style="text-align: center;"><br /></span><br /><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=s_q&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=First+Markham+Place,+Markham,+ON,+Canada&amp;aq=1&amp;oq=first+markham+place&amp;sll=43.656877,-79.32085&amp;sspn=0.65376,1.31424&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=First+Markham+Place,+Markham,+ON,+Canada&amp;t=m&amp;z=16&amp;iwloc=A&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=First+Markham+Place,+Markham,+ON,+Canada&amp;aq=1&amp;oq=first+markham+place&amp;sll=43.656877,-79.32085&amp;sspn=0.65376,1.31424&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=First+Markham+Place,+Markham,+ON,+Canada&amp;t=m&amp;z=16&amp;iwloc=A" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-57064708412382599292013-12-09T19:24:00.000-05:002013-12-09T19:24:26.332-05:00The ultimate Japanese comfort foodIn an empty food court in the basement of a half-finished condo mall hides a gem of a restaurant. Kaiju, located at 384 Yonge Street in the newly built Aura condo, isn't easy to find. Look for a stairway half a block north of Gerrard, follow the corridor straight and then to the left and you'll find Kaiju, one of only two operating restaurants so far in this food court that is still under construction.<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fifTUeAlE9M/Up59fRGH_ZI/AAAAAAAADnE/jWYxFUpa_0Y/s1600/IMG_0870.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fifTUeAlE9M/Up59fRGH_ZI/AAAAAAAADnE/jWYxFUpa_0Y/s400/IMG_0870.JPG" width="400" /></a><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VQoQkx02R88/Up59geAXD5I/AAAAAAAADnQ/Lw8k2JVKdQI/s1600/IMG_0889.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VQoQkx02R88/Up59geAXD5I/AAAAAAAADnQ/Lw8k2JVKdQI/s400/IMG_0889.JPG" /></a><br /><br />The two-month old restaurant is pan-Asian, featuring dishes from Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, but the star of the show is the Japanese curry. Served as an accompaniment to a breaded, sliced pork or chicken cutlet, the curry is milder and sweeter than its Indian predecessor. Intensely thick, you have to eat the curry sauce when it's piping hot before it starts to turn into jelly. "It's made of fruits, vegetables and spices," explains owner Siak Khoon Chen. "We cook it for two days at a very low temperature."<br /><br />South Asian food lovers will also be interested in the selection of dishes from Chen's home country of Malaysia. While the posted menu only has a few specialties listed such as the hefty fried sambal udon, a longer printed menu behind the counter offers Malaysian dishes such as hokkien mee, char keow tiau and nasi kampung (aka nasi goreng).<br /><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-648X7j1Kg2U/Up59hQpG85I/AAAAAAAADnc/bZMUN4KqqdI/s1600/IMG_0882.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-648X7j1Kg2U/Up59hQpG85I/AAAAAAAADnc/bZMUN4KqqdI/s400/IMG_0882.JPG" /></a><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vhH87MOGbiE/Up59itqRP4I/AAAAAAAADno/Qq8AlwWLEKw/s1600/IMG_0884.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vhH87MOGbiE/Up59itqRP4I/AAAAAAAADno/Qq8AlwWLEKw/s400/IMG_0884.JPG" /></a><br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SVYjDiJ7wLY/Up59jhGLH2I/AAAAAAAADnw/aj7GdWphYDw/s1600/IMG_0890.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SVYjDiJ7wLY/Up59jhGLH2I/AAAAAAAADnw/aj7GdWphYDw/s400/IMG_0890.JPG" /></a><br /><br />Kaiju (Japanese for 'monster') has a charm that is lacking in most food court establishments. Chen brings the food out to the customers' tables, and don't be surprised if he recognizes you and remembers your order from a brief visit a month or two prior.<br /><br />The first converts to the restaurant are Ryerson and University of Toronto students living nearby. "I came down here one night and I got hooked," explains the Steven, a student originally from Glasgow who lives in a condo in the building. "It's the food quality and the friendliness."<br /><br /><i>Kaiju is located at 384 Yonge Street on the lower level; tel: 647 748 6338. Hours are Monday to Friday 11am to 8pm; Saturday 12 to 6.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><br /><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Kaiju in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li><br /><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=384+Yonge+Street&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=384+Yonge+St,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario+M5B&amp;gl=ca&amp;ll=43.659154,-79.382144&amp;spn=0.009702,0.018089&amp;t=m&amp;z=14&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=384+Yonge+Street&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=384+Yonge+St,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario+M5B&amp;gl=ca&amp;ll=43.659154,-79.382144&amp;spn=0.009702,0.018089&amp;t=m&amp;z=14&amp;source=embed" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-43230647526175946272013-11-07T20:00:00.000-05:002013-11-07T20:00:57.014-05:00Is Queen West ready for Sri Lankan food?Toronto is fortunate to have some great Sri Lankan food, but it's not easy to find downtown. Aside from a few Sri Lankan places around Parliament, like <a href="http://www.rashnaa.com/" target="_blank">Rashnaa</a>, you have to head up to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2011/05/tamil-strip-mall-get-six-amazing-dishes.html" target="_blank">Markham and Scarborough</a>&nbsp;to try the cuisine, which is perhaps described as a labour intensive, spicier version of Indian food, but with dozens of its own unique dishes. However, one Sri Lankan family is bucking the trend by opening up a Sri Lankan take-out spot right on Queen West at Spadina.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Y5sqJ-EEsGk/UktvaPpjbgI/AAAAAAAADeA/nz-d2AHFVTo/s1600/IMG_0819.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Y5sqJ-EEsGk/UktvaPpjbgI/AAAAAAAADeA/nz-d2AHFVTo/s400/IMG_0819.JPG" style="clear: both; float: center; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">In August,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.saffronspicekitchen.com/" target="_blank">Saffron Spice Kitchen</a>&nbsp;was opened up at 459 Queen Street West by the family that runs Esther's Soup Kitchen (Queen of Soups) at Cumberland Terrace at Yonge &amp; Bloor. It's a venture run in part by Esther, a Tamil woman hailing originally from Colombo, and her nephew Jacob.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">There are several soups of the day available of course, including a mulligatawny soup, an Anglo-Indian spiced classic served with hefty chunks of chicken, carrot and celery.&nbsp;</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7exG1YS_THw/Uktvakm0_gI/AAAAAAAADeI/QUChj0tXX24/s1600/IMG_0838.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" height="192" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7exG1YS_THw/Uktvakm0_gI/AAAAAAAADeI/QUChj0tXX24/s320/IMG_0838.JPG" style="clear: both; float: center; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PTdtggnJr_0/UktvbT-PISI/AAAAAAAADeU/ZSUD5HC3Aos/s1600/IMG_0815.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" height="400" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PTdtggnJr_0/UktvbT-PISI/AAAAAAAADeU/ZSUD5HC3Aos/s400/IMG_0815.JPG" style="clear: both; float: center; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" width="300" /></a></div>But the star of the show here is the kotthu roti. I recently visited Sri Lanka, and in the evenings there you hear the chop/chop/chop sounds of this dish being made on the street. It's prepared by chopping the morning's stale roti bread on a flat grill, throwing on heaps of chopped veggies, egg and spices, and mixing it all together to create a dish that tastes something like fried rice—but without the rice. It's a fabulous dish that would probably be popular across the globe if people knew about it.<br /><br />Kottu roti was supposedly created in Batticaloa, a coastal town in eastern Sri Lanka that was cut off during the civil war, a situation that Jacob says sparked some creative cooking. "During the civil war, Tamils had to make due with any food they could find, as supplies were cut off and they couldn't get food at the store," explains Jacob.<br /><br />Saffron Spice Kitchen's version of kottu roti is true to what you'll sample in the island nation. It's hefty, intensely flavourful and punched up with a mouth-warming amount of chili.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AiKXIDInDTs/UktvcsSh5-I/AAAAAAAADes/b3yPQxIQk8M/s1600/IMG_0803.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AiKXIDInDTs/UktvcsSh5-I/AAAAAAAADes/b3yPQxIQk8M/s400/IMG_0803.JPG" style="clear: both; float: center; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WIpKxzpEiO0/Uktvdl1RwZI/AAAAAAAADfE/lkrcXJZnLLo/s1600/IMG_0804.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WIpKxzpEiO0/Uktvdl1RwZI/AAAAAAAADfE/lkrcXJZnLLo/s400/IMG_0804.JPG" style="clear: both; float: center; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" /></a></div>The dish may be a hit in Tamil-heavy Scarborough, but is it ready for prime time on Queen West? Saffron Spice's owners certainly think so. "Oh yeah," says Esther. "We're already crazy busy at lunch time. A lot of people call and ask for kottu roti and they know what it is."<br /><br />Soon they plan on introducing Queen Street patrons to some new Sri Lankan flavours. They'll be offering egg hoppers—wonderful, golden rice flour crepes with eggs cooked into them—as well as string hoppers—a noodle type dish served with dahl or curry.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cfGMC6S4hXQ/UktverL9FnI/AAAAAAAADfU/q-5kCFMjfDI/s1600/IMG_0817.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cfGMC6S4hXQ/UktverL9FnI/AAAAAAAADfU/q-5kCFMjfDI/s400/IMG_0817.JPG" style="clear: both; float: center; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" /></a></div><div style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><i>Saffron Spice Kitchen is located at 459 Queen Street West just west of Spadina. Telephone is 416 203 0222. Hours are Monday to Friday 11am to 10pm. Saturday and Sunday 11am to 9pm. There are a few seats at the counter to eat but the restaurant focuses mostly on take-out.&nbsp;</i></div><br /><br /><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Saffron Spice Kitchen in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li><br /><br /><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=s_q&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=459+Queen+Street+West&amp;aq=&amp;sll=43.656877,-79.32085&amp;sspn=0.677606,1.288147&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=459+Queen+St+W,+Toronto,+Ontario+M5V+2A9,+Canada&amp;t=m&amp;z=14&amp;iwloc=A&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=459+Queen+Street+West&amp;aq=&amp;sll=43.656877,-79.32085&amp;sspn=0.677606,1.288147&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=459+Queen+St+W,+Toronto,+Ontario+M5V+2A9,+Canada&amp;t=m&amp;z=14&amp;iwloc=A" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small><br /><br /></div>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-18843333747062824162013-10-09T20:42:00.000-04:002013-10-09T20:42:04.956-04:00Seriously good jerk chicken comes to Kensington MarketIt's not hard to find jerk chicken in this town, but all too often it's dry and flavourless. Food lovers in search of good jerk have had to go to Scarborough to pick up the excellent sandwiches at <a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2011/07/jerk-chicken-so-good-it-will-blow-your.html" target="_blank">Fahmee</a> or <a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2012/12/hidden-behind-derelict-scarborough.html" target="_blank">Allwyn's</a>. But now there's a new restaurant serving top notch jerk chicken, smack dab in the middle of Kensington Market.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wJs73pZSWBc/UlXrb31wbkI/AAAAAAAADg4/Z9nKHTFK2Fw/s1600/IMG_0847.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wJs73pZSWBc/UlXrb31wbkI/AAAAAAAADg4/Z9nKHTFK2Fw/s400/IMG_0847.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-elCBnCVORfE/UlXrZy-IIvI/AAAAAAAADgY/necvNJlGDOU/s1600/IMG_0862.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" height="400" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-elCBnCVORfE/UlXrZy-IIvI/AAAAAAAADgY/necvNJlGDOU/s400/IMG_0862.JPG" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;">In June,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/EatRastaPastaJamaicanTakeOut" target="_blank">Rasta Pasta</a>&nbsp;opened at 61 Kensington Ave., a tiny space formerly occupied by Hogtown Charcuterie. Previously, Rasta Pasta had a brief stint inside the <a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2011/05/great-new-patio-in-kensington-market.html" target="_blank">Latin Mall</a> on nearby Augusta Street. The name Rasta Pasta reflects the Jamaican heritage of co-owner Magnus Patterson, and the Italian heritage of his partner, Mary Neglia.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;">You can get oxtail, curry goat or even the namesake dish, Rasta Pasta, which consists of tricolour pasta in the rasta colours with, um, tricolour peppers. Skip all that and go for the jerk. The "lunch special"—a small container of jerk chicken on rice—is just five bucks.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;">The chicken is purchased around the corner at St. Andrew Poultry and marinated in a spicy sauce for two days. Then it's steamed in the oven, and transferred onto the oil drum barbecue outside the shop, where it's roasted for half an hour.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2ydeDBCTwrY/UlXraaDXBYI/AAAAAAAADgk/94ol3XeElOE/s1600/IMG_0849.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2ydeDBCTwrY/UlXraaDXBYI/AAAAAAAADgk/94ol3XeElOE/s400/IMG_0849.JPG" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-voe5KWNtKcM/UlXrbVrM8eI/AAAAAAAADgs/cI9iT8wxP6E/s1600/IMG_0852.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-voe5KWNtKcM/UlXrbVrM8eI/AAAAAAAADgs/cI9iT8wxP6E/s400/IMG_0852.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;"><br class="Apple-interchange-newline" /></div>It's a similar technique to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2011/12/awesome-toronto-street-food-grilling.html" target="_blank">nightly oil drum Jamaican BBQs</a>&nbsp;that take place on Eglinton West, but the chicken at Rasta Pasta is much better. It's incredibly moist, with an intense, smoky flavour that doesn't just coat the surface but saturates every bite. Get it while it lasts, because Rasta Pasta's reputation is quickly growing. If you get there too late in the day, they may be out of their soon-to-be-famous jerk. <br /><div><br /></div><div><i>Rasta Pasta is located at 61 Kensington Avenue, Toronto. Tel: 647-501-4505. Hours are 11am to 8pm Tuesday to Sunday; closed Monday.</i></div><div style="clear: both; text-align: NONE;"><br /><br /><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Rasta Pasta in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li></div><br /><br /><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=s_q&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=61+Kensington+Avenue,+Toronto&amp;aq=&amp;sll=43.656877,-79.32085&amp;sspn=0.677606,1.288147&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=61+Kensington+Ave,+Toronto,+Ontario+M5T+2K1,+Canada&amp;t=m&amp;z=14&amp;iwloc=A&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=61+Kensington+Avenue,+Toronto&amp;aq=&amp;sll=43.656877,-79.32085&amp;sspn=0.677606,1.288147&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=61+Kensington+Ave,+Toronto,+Ontario+M5T+2K1,+Canada&amp;t=m&amp;z=14&amp;iwloc=A" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-78811777342474356322013-09-12T21:54:00.000-04:002013-09-12T21:55:32.927-04:00A new location for the popular Pakistani joint King Palace—kind of<div>Many Torontonians are familiar with King Palace, a late night joint on Church Street with a huge array of Pakistani dishes. The place is a magnet for Pakistani cabbies, late night partygoers and downtown residents who want to spend $10 for an enormous, spicy meal. Now there's a new location of the popular chain...sort of.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>I was recently biking downtown and saw the familiar signage. I was interested to see that a new location of King Palace had opened up at 236 Sherbourne at Dundas, but as I slowed down to check it out, I realized the sign said <i>King Place</i>, not <i>King Palace</i>.&nbsp;</div><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fIpsYuEmvC0/UjJOlK1BZtI/AAAAAAAADJM/tvh7XQb8S2o/s1600/IMG_20130912_121405.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" height="400" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fIpsYuEmvC0/UjJOlK1BZtI/AAAAAAAADJM/tvh7XQb8S2o/s400/IMG_20130912_121405.jpg" style="clear: both; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" width="400" /></a></div><br />Turns out King Place is pulling a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2011/02/coffee_lime_vs_coffee_time/" target="_blank">Coffee Lime</a>&nbsp;and mutating the name of an existing, established business. One of the business partners of King Palace, Mr. Butt, left the partnership and set up King Place on Sherbourne in April.<br /><br />Inside everything is the same as the Church Street restaurant, right down to the handwritten signs on the counter. There is a large selection of dishes like kashmiri chicken, lamb curry and seekh kebabs, served with naan or rice and a drink in combos that are generally around $9 to $11. Given that the food is cooked hours before and then microwaved, it's certainly not the greatest. But what King Place lacks in quality it makes up for in quantity, and two people can easily share the enormous plates.<br /><br /><br /><div align="center"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GGsELjs5ouc/UjJOmDPqxOI/AAAAAAAADJk/03IMSz0RqM0/s1600/IMG_20130912_122059.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" height="270" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GGsELjs5ouc/UjJOmDPqxOI/AAAAAAAADJk/03IMSz0RqM0/s400/IMG_20130912_122059.jpg" style="align: center; clear: both; float: left; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px; text-align: center;" width="400" /></a></div><div align="centre"></div><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rZD-_70hN84/UjJOno2jEmI/AAAAAAAADKI/-BTfF0G8SWY/s1600/IMG_20130912_122248.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rZD-_70hN84/UjJOno2jEmI/AAAAAAAADKI/-BTfF0G8SWY/s400/IMG_20130912_122248.jpg" style="clear: both; float: left; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div style="clear: both; text-align: LEFT;"><br />King Palace regulars will remember that the new restaurant is located just a few blocks north of the original King Palace location at Sherbourne and Richmond, which was torn down a few years ago to make way for a condo. And the Pakistani cabbies have flocked back to their old hood, filling the parking lot with their vehicles as they stock up on some late night fuel.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hBvecz4xO7M/UjJnHGMWhyI/AAAAAAAADLk/JFHCuZrOxXU/s1600/butt.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hBvecz4xO7M/UjJnHGMWhyI/AAAAAAAADLk/JFHCuZrOxXU/s400/butt.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><br /><i>King Place is located at 236 Sherbourne Street at Dundas; telephone number is 647-352-0786. Hours are 11am to 6am, seven days a week. The food is halal.</i><br /><i><br /></i><br /><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on King Place in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li><br /><br /></div><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=s_q&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=236+Sherbourne+Street,+Toronto,+ON,+Canada&amp;aq=1&amp;oq=236+s&amp;sll=43.656877,-79.32085&amp;sspn=0.60607,1.31424&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=236+Sherbourne+St,+Toronto,+Ontario+M5A+3X2,+Canada&amp;t=m&amp;z=14&amp;ll=43.658087,-79.371042&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=236+Sherbourne+Street,+Toronto,+ON,+Canada&amp;aq=1&amp;oq=236+s&amp;sll=43.656877,-79.32085&amp;sspn=0.60607,1.31424&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=236+Sherbourne+St,+Toronto,+Ontario+M5A+3X2,+Canada&amp;t=m&amp;z=14&amp;ll=43.658087,-79.371042" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-20847936198767402682013-08-26T17:34:00.000-04:002013-09-07T13:31:21.655-04:00A very special Ethiopian restaurantToronto has dozens of Ethiopian restaurants, but Queen Street East's Keeffaa Coffee is truly unique. Located on Queen East near Parliament—one of the only parts of downtown yet to gentrify—<a href="http://keeffaacoffee.weebly.com/" target="_blank">Keeffaa</a> is a cross between an independent coffee shop, a hippie organic cafe and a traditional Ethiopian restaurant. It's a strange mix but the somehow the elements combine to make a friendly place with some truly innovative dishes.<br /><br />Like many good cafes and bars, Keeffaa is an extension of the personality of its owner, Elsabet Wubie. A bubbly, free thinking artist, Elsabet has her paintings displayed on the cafe's walls. "I cook just like I paint," she says. "I don't use recipes. It just comes to me."<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><center><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-148K0ykT2nE/Uhu-bpBZM3I/AAAAAAAADD4/A-ciZX_A1tE/s1600/DSC02478.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><br /><img alt="" border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-148K0ykT2nE/Uhu-bpBZM3I/AAAAAAAADD4/A-ciZX_A1tE/s400/DSC02478.JPG" style="clear: both; float: left; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" width="300" /></a></center><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OwCiDmrjKDI/Uhu-ccElFZI/AAAAAAAADEA/KMn1FOkkaV0/s1600/DSC02475.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OwCiDmrjKDI/Uhu-ccElFZI/AAAAAAAADEA/KMn1FOkkaV0/s400/DSC02475.JPG" style="clear: both; float: left; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" width="400" /></a><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div style="clear: both; text-align: LEFT;">The quaint back patio is a meeting place for new age types—don't be surprised if you find yourself invited into a conversation on healing techniques or the materialism of Western society. If that doesn't turn your crank the food certainly will.<br /><br />The menu is subject to Elsabet's mood, so just ask what's on offer. On one visit I had a cold ginger/mango/lime drink punched up with cayenne, which was surprisingly refreshing. On another visit I had the popular Mexican hot chocolate. For $5, This frothy, rich bittersweet drink has a complex flavour that beats the hell out of anything you can buy at Starbucks. It contains a shot of espresso made from Elsabet's blend of Ethiopian beans, boiled the same way it was made on her grandfather's coffee plantation in Ethiopia.<br /><br />In fact, the restaurant name, Keeffaa, is an alternate spelling of Kaffa, the place in Ethiopia where coffee originates, says Elsabet. She likes to combine espresso with different flavours, like ginger, mint or cayenne.<br /><br /><align center=""></align><br /><center a="" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eCxF2Z34VDU/Uhu-dpv7OwI/AAAAAAAADEY/hXSAk4tJr-E/s1600/DSC02492.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eCxF2Z34VDU/Uhu-dpv7OwI/AAAAAAAADEY/hXSAk4tJr-E/s400/DSC02492.JPG" style="clear: both; float: left; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" /></center></div><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jz74EQXC6JA/Uhu-eC7acAI/AAAAAAAADEk/kmIui2z9Tuw/s1600/DSC02499.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jz74EQXC6JA/Uhu-eC7acAI/AAAAAAAADEk/kmIui2z9Tuw/s400/DSC02499.JPG" style="clear: both; float: left; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" /></a><br /><br /><br /><div style="clear: both;"></div><br /><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; color: black; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px;">When it comes to cooking, Elsabet blends the techniques of Italy, where she lived in her teen years, with the influences of her mother, who was a culinary healer in Ethiopia. The menu is also influenced by the preferences of the customers, who gravitate towards vegan and gluten free options. Some dishes are better than others, but the ones that succeed are truly memorable.&nbsp;</div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; color: black; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; color: black; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px;">Elsabet's papaya salad will change the way you think about the fruit. It's a savoury dish served warm and torqued up with ginger, garlic, lime, sweet syrup and her trademark "Ethiopian cayenne" blend of cayenne, sea salt, sundried garlic and cardamom. "I've never had papaya like that," enthused one regular customer.<br /><br />The vegetarian planner ($12) comes served on a tray of injera—Ethiopia's spongey, addictive flatbread—which is made out of fermented teff, a type of African grass used to make flour. On top are chunks of kale, beets, lentils, yellow split peas and a fiery tomato salad.<br /><br />The restaurant closes at 7pm, so make sure you head there early—and don't wait too long. Keeffaa is best visited while the weather is still warm enough to enjoy the beautiful back patio.&nbsp;</div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; color: black; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; color: black; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GBiOK58DPMo/Uhu-e7EM16I/AAAAAAAADEw/ghtcAosQiHs/s1600/DSC02490.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GBiOK58DPMo/Uhu-e7EM16I/AAAAAAAADEw/ghtcAosQiHs/s400/DSC02490.JPG" style="clear: both; cursor: move; float: left; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px;" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><i>Thanks to Mike D. for the tip.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><i>Keeffaa Coffee is open Monday to Saturday, 9am to 7pm. It's located at 368 Queen Street East, just east of Parliament. Tel: 416 349 0900.</i><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Keeffaa Coffee in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li><br /><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=368+Queen+Street+East&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=368+Queen+St+E,+Toronto,+Ontario+M5A+3A8&amp;gl=ca&amp;t=m&amp;z=14&amp;iwloc=A&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=368+Queen+Street+East&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=368+Queen+St+E,+Toronto,+Ontario+M5A+3A8&amp;gl=ca&amp;t=m&amp;z=14&amp;iwloc=A&amp;source=embed" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-84247092368042743052013-07-19T16:29:00.000-04:002013-07-26T09:09:55.220-04:00The real Somali culture of Toronto<div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: start;"><div style="text-align: left;">If your only information about Toronto's Somali community comes from the news media, you could easily come to believe that the community is comprised entirely of drug dealing, gun toting thugs. A visit to Dabagoye, a Somali restaurant located a few streets over from the infamous Rexdale house where Rob Ford posed in a photo with alleged gangsters, reveals another side to this Toronto community of 80,000 people.&nbsp;</div></div><div><br /></div><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IoR2PEjvgbI/Udnn_7F8O3I/AAAAAAAAC6A/bT7G8Mtl2DM/s1600/IMG_0778.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IoR2PEjvgbI/Udnn_7F8O3I/AAAAAAAAC6A/bT7G8Mtl2DM/s400/IMG_0778.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uSj2T0Vq1y0/UdnoAR1DFrI/AAAAAAAAC6I/x1V9FQvoq4s/s1600/IMG_0771.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uSj2T0Vq1y0/UdnoAR1DFrI/AAAAAAAAC6I/x1V9FQvoq4s/s400/IMG_0771.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6FQfwNB6ZoI/UdnoAxtrY_I/AAAAAAAAC6U/7ZWdQs7hDxA/s1600/IMG_0772.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6FQfwNB6ZoI/UdnoAxtrY_I/AAAAAAAAC6U/7ZWdQs7hDxA/s400/IMG_0772.JPG" /></a><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Dabagoye shares double-billing with an African church in this desolate industrial strip of Martin Grove Road near the airport. You won't find the restaurant mentioned on Yelp or Chowhound, but it's well known to Somali-Canadians living in nearby apartment complexes or coming to the city from places like Brampton, Hamilton and Kitchener.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">My Somali-Canadian friend Maram heard about the restaurant through her relatives at a recent family wedding. The name Dabagoye comes from the nickname of the family who runs the place. It means "tail-cutter," a reference to their northern Somali grandfather's practice of cutting the tails of his camels as a way to brand them and avoid having them stolen. Maram explains that it's common practice for a family to receive a nickname based on their head of household's traits: for example, you might be called "Crazy Mohammed" or "Ali Big Ears" thanks to your father's standout features. &nbsp;</div></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-q0vZPwLjTko/UdnoBUyh4QI/AAAAAAAAC6g/6SAu6CWogqM/s1600/IMG_0764.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-q0vZPwLjTko/UdnoBUyh4QI/AAAAAAAAC6g/6SAu6CWogqM/s400/IMG_0764.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-P_IhmUGeyxI/UdnoBxZzcpI/AAAAAAAAC6s/dwETL2cpH8k/s1600/IMG_0760.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-P_IhmUGeyxI/UdnoBxZzcpI/AAAAAAAAC6s/dwETL2cpH8k/s400/IMG_0760.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: left;">Somali food blends African cuisine with Italian colonial influences, and the results are fantastic. &nbsp;First off comes a bowl of veggie soup that has a surprisingly intense flavour thanks to the goat meat broth.<br /><br />Enormous platters start coming to the table in quick succession. The goat meat chops are incredibly tender and fall off the bone with a soft nudge. Seasoned with garlic, lemon and pepper, it's certainly much better than the same dish served at the downtown Somali restaurants. A second plate comes with a mountain of dense couscous coated in a wonderful spinach and okra sauce.<br /><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: center;"><br /></span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: center;">Somali meals are served with a banana. Maram explains that you chop it up and eat a piece of banana with each bite of rice, which adds some interesting texture to the meal.&nbsp;</span>The traditional green chili hot sauce may be extremely spicy, but it also adds a complex lemon flavour to the rice.</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tK5WzDaNT_k/UdnoCaBL8oI/AAAAAAAAC64/hg5abmb5FL0/s1600/IMG_0773.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tK5WzDaNT_k/UdnoCaBL8oI/AAAAAAAAC64/hg5abmb5FL0/s400/IMG_0773.JPG" /></a></div></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ERrJKCzeJMw/UdnoC9BRxQI/AAAAAAAAC7E/GwgS9F3S838/s1600/IMG_0780.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ERrJKCzeJMw/UdnoC9BRxQI/AAAAAAAAC7E/GwgS9F3S838/s400/IMG_0780.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="clear: both; text-align: CENTER;"><div style="text-align: left;">Owner Kos Ahmed (above centre, with her family) quit her corporate accounting job a couple years ago to open the restaurant with her family. Previously she didn't have much contact with the Somali community, but today she has a strong connection.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">She hopes that people realize that a few bad people don't represent her community as a whole. "There are many good people," she says. "The Somalis I know are educated. They are engineers and pilots, they are brilliant people." Head to Dabagoye to see it for yourself.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><i>Dabagoye is located at 1274 Martin Grove Road, Toronto. Tel: 416 742 3653. Open seven days a week. Hours are Monday to Thursday 11am to 10pm; Friday and Saturday, 11 am to midnight; Sunday opens at 11 and closing time varies. This restaurant is halal.&nbsp;</i><br /><i><br /></i><i>NOTE: During Ramadan (until Aug. 8, 2013) the restaurant opens at 5pm.</i></div><br /><br /><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Dabagoye and Somali food in Toronto in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span><div style="color: black; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; line-height: normal;"><br class="Apple-interchange-newline" /></div></li></div><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://www.google.ca/maps?f=q&amp;source=s_q&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=1274+Martin+Grove+Rd,+Toronto,+ON&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=127&amp;sll=43.695136,-79.593112&amp;sspn=0.031091,0.056047&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=1274+Martin+Grove+Rd,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario+M9W+4X3&amp;ll=43.708722,-79.579065&amp;spn=0.124335,0.22419&amp;t=m&amp;z=12&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://www.google.ca/maps?f=q&amp;source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=1274+Martin+Grove+Rd,+Toronto,+ON&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=127&amp;sll=43.695136,-79.593112&amp;sspn=0.031091,0.056047&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=1274+Martin+Grove+Rd,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario+M9W+4X3&amp;ll=43.708722,-79.579065&amp;spn=0.124335,0.22419&amp;t=m&amp;z=12" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com9tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-6820265285550997712013-06-22T22:02:00.003-04:002013-06-22T22:02:58.216-04:00Snake gourd, oxtail, fresh channa and other culinary wonders at Iqbal Halal Foods<div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://iqbalhalalfoods.com/" target="_blank">Iqbal Halal Foods</a> is one of the pioneer ethnic grocers in Toronto. Established in 1991 at 2 Thorncliffe Park Drive,</span>&nbsp;this large halal superstore is a well loved destination for Thorncliffe Park's large South Asian community. Another great thing about Iqbal is the location: nestled on the edge on an industrial zone in Thorncliffe Park, it's one of the closest ethnic supermarkets to the city core.&nbsp;</div><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-a2AWmBBDOZY/UU9_9uPOw3I/AAAAAAAACsI/YyRB5tqbRbA/s1600/IMG_0171.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-a2AWmBBDOZY/UU9_9uPOw3I/AAAAAAAACsI/YyRB5tqbRbA/s400/IMG_0171.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Efav2gb3N4w/UU9_-ChVseI/AAAAAAAACsU/lo86lEMD8Vg/s1600/IMG_0120.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Efav2gb3N4w/UU9_-ChVseI/AAAAAAAACsU/lo86lEMD8Vg/s400/IMG_0120.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-01MLURGRDFw/UU9_-YnwLZI/AAAAAAAACsg/W57gRaA8m_g/s1600/IMG_0119.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-01MLURGRDFw/UU9_-YnwLZI/AAAAAAAACsg/W57gRaA8m_g/s400/IMG_0119.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;">I started my visit to Iqbal's off with breakfast in the adjacent Iqbal Kebab &amp; Sweets Centre. For $6.95 you get a spicy potato dish <i>aloo, </i>a chick pea curry called <i>chhole</i>, two fried <i>puri</i> breads, a garnish of Indian pickle and some bright orange cream of wheat. The cream of wheat, explained one of our fellow diners, Nazmul, is made with ghee (Indian clarified butter) and spices, while food colouring gives the dish its orange hue.&nbsp;</div><br /><div style="text-align: left;">In the grocery store next door, Nazmul, who hails originally from Bangladesh, kindly offered to show us around the store. First stop was the bread section. There's a wide selection of Afghan flat breads, pitas, naan, chapati and paratha. If you want to make your own dosa or idli, a type of Indian/Sri Lankan breakfast cake made from fermented lentils, you can buy premade batter.&nbsp;</div><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wDdSZGnWVXo/UU9_-27ZQGI/AAAAAAAACss/Rum2dx9T8eo/s1600/IMG_0124.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wDdSZGnWVXo/UU9_-27ZQGI/AAAAAAAACss/Rum2dx9T8eo/s400/IMG_0124.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fvTrLbUvr5U/UU9__UU-qKI/AAAAAAAACs4/dq2jSsqQQRs/s1600/IMG_0128.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fvTrLbUvr5U/UU9__UU-qKI/AAAAAAAACs4/dq2jSsqQQRs/s400/IMG_0128.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RoX-62dYM8Q/UU9__uSUSMI/AAAAAAAACtE/z8-KLfFUJsc/s1600/IMG_0131.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RoX-62dYM8Q/UU9__uSUSMI/AAAAAAAACtE/z8-KLfFUJsc/s400/IMG_0131.JPG" /></a></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">The produce section features some veggies you're unlikely to find at many other groceries in town. Iqbal's sells fresh channa—raw, unprocessed chick peas—as well as raw (unroasted) peanuts, which are strangely squishy to the touch. You can sample banana flowers, which can be made into salads, fritters or stir fries. In addition to more familiar vegetables like bitter melon and okra, you can get snake gourd, a long, thin vegetable that resembles a serpent, and betel leafs, a mild stimulant chewed with betel nut.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">For cheese lovers, there's a good selection of paneer and Middle Eastern cheeses, such as akawie (a milder version of halloume), string cheese and the Palestinian nebulsi.&nbsp;</div><br /></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-a_LXIOya1xM/UU9__7BlKPI/AAAAAAAACtQ/6JZAWSR6jq8/s1600/IMG_0140.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-a_LXIOya1xM/UU9__7BlKPI/AAAAAAAACtQ/6JZAWSR6jq8/s400/IMG_0140.JPG" /></a><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-paAEMRZ4HMA/UU-AAUg7pHI/AAAAAAAACtc/NtAeZTh6WKM/s1600/IMG_0152.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-paAEMRZ4HMA/UU-AAUg7pHI/AAAAAAAACtc/NtAeZTh6WKM/s400/IMG_0152.JPG" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Y6LpggMwUBE/UU-AAnhkt0I/AAAAAAAACto/0ujYfPG7mQw/s1600/IMG_0154.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Y6LpggMwUBE/UU-AAnhkt0I/AAAAAAAACto/0ujYfPG7mQw/s400/IMG_0154.JPG" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZD0SfqoMMmY/UU-ABdiWAgI/AAAAAAAACt0/l0D_0bud9ho/s1600/IMG_0158.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZD0SfqoMMmY/UU-ABdiWAgI/AAAAAAAACt0/l0D_0bud9ho/s400/IMG_0158.JPG" /></a></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">The main attraction of Iqbal's is the meat counter, explains the grocery's co-owner, Anwar Tejani, who hails originally from Pakistan. "People come here because they can get everything in one place. They can get their meat, spices, rice and flour. There are so many traditional things like sweets that they can find here."</div><br /><div style="text-align: left;">There's a large queue at the meat counter, as people wait for their numbers to come up. In the back, a small army of men chop up the meat for customers, largely by hand with small knives. You can get various cuts of chicken, beef and lamb, plus more unusual things such as cow feet and tongue, oxtail, and nahari beef, ready to be made into a type of south Asian stew. I had the butcher cut me some goat chops, which were easy to grill up on my barbecue, sprinkled with a box of Shan spices recommended by Nazmul.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dsh0OV8YlQ8/UU-ACCqVbEI/AAAAAAAACuM/gKwFwH0wTjc/s1600/IMG_0165.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dsh0OV8YlQ8/UU-ACCqVbEI/AAAAAAAACuM/gKwFwH0wTjc/s400/IMG_0165.JPG" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-eVnCyfqITIU/UU-ACtPQ_xI/AAAAAAAACuY/yaV5K7tptfI/s1600/IMG_0168.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-eVnCyfqITIU/UU-ACtPQ_xI/AAAAAAAACuY/yaV5K7tptfI/s400/IMG_0168.JPG" /></a></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-T6RHzrrHFGo/UU-ABvhHnoI/AAAAAAAACuA/nADVwO0kH_g/s1600/IMG_0166.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-T6RHzrrHFGo/UU-ABvhHnoI/AAAAAAAACuA/nADVwO0kH_g/s400/IMG_0166.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;">Iqbal's also boasts a stash of rice that would get you through a famine, and a selection of bottles containing rose water, orange blossom water, mint water and pussy willow water. These specialties are used for cooking as well as for medicinal purposes. Last but not least, &nbsp;there's an adorable little ice cream hut outside, serving up fresh juices, shakes and faluda, a South Asian drink made with rose water and jelly pieces.&nbsp;</div></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ScYZmbvsdd4/UU-ADOzr3RI/AAAAAAAACuk/K9hxtvNihbk/s1600/IMG_0174.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ScYZmbvsdd4/UU-ADOzr3RI/AAAAAAAACuk/K9hxtvNihbk/s400/IMG_0174.JPG" /></a><br /><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><i>Thanks to Gabby R. for the tip.</i></div><div style="text-align: left;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: left;"><i>Iqbal Halal Foods is located at 2 Thorncliffe Park Drive, Toronto. Tel: 416 467 0177. Meat department 416 467 9112. Hours: Monday to Sunday, 7am to midnight.</i></div><br /><br /><li style="color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Iqbal Halal Foods in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333015441895px; line-height: 14.999999046325684px; margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li></div><div style="clear: both; text-align: CENTER;"><br /></div><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=2+Thorncliffe+Park+Drive&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=2+Thorncliffe+Park+Dr,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario+M4H+1G9&amp;gl=ca&amp;ll=43.70602,-79.351172&amp;spn=0.069989,0.147457&amp;t=m&amp;z=13&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=2+Thorncliffe+Park+Drive&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=2+Thorncliffe+Park+Dr,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario+M4H+1G9&amp;gl=ca&amp;ll=43.70602,-79.351172&amp;spn=0.069989,0.147457&amp;t=m&amp;z=13&amp;source=embed" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-64048630498385941032013-05-06T20:03:00.000-04:002014-11-04T11:29:19.150-05:00This insanely popular strip mall joint serves up the best of Northern China<div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;"><i><b>***Update as of November 2014: Silk Road has moved to 1852 Dundas Street West in Mississauga.</b></i><br /><br />What kind of hole-in-the-wall strip mall restaurant requires reservations? On a Monday!?</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">When I recently visited Silk Road, a tiny Chinese restaurant in a strip mall in Etobicoke, I was shocked to find out that not only were there no tables available, but waiting wasn't an option—they were fully booked all night. A week later I booked a table (the waiter warned me the tables have a one hour maximum) and I headed back out to Silk Road to see what all the fuss was about.</div><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-A0PPhTkeplE/UX8iXIvaAjI/AAAAAAAAC1c/ZfDfkIh4N4I/s1600/IMG_0178.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-A0PPhTkeplE/UX8iXIvaAjI/AAAAAAAAC1c/ZfDfkIh4N4I/s400/IMG_0178.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X3VSqrqifKU/UX8iXwRqgcI/AAAAAAAAC1o/U4LEcPgGCIs/s1600/IMG_0187.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X3VSqrqifKU/UX8iXwRqgcI/AAAAAAAAC1o/U4LEcPgGCIs/s400/IMG_0187.JPG" /></a><br /><br /><div style="text-align: left;">The sign outside the restaurant is faded and unreadable and the tiny parking lot seems designed to provoke accidents, but this is the place to be if you like northern Chinese food. People waiting for a table stand&nbsp;awkwardly&nbsp;in the centre of the restaurant, and even a reservation isn't a guarantee that you'll be seated promptly. As you wait, you can watch huge troughs piled high with noodles and meat being placed before large groups of trendy looking Chinese 20-year-olds, adorned with pink nail polish and iPads.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">The food is worth it. Blending influences from southern Chinese food and the dishes of Muslim people to the north, the food is heavy on lamb and spice.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">The excellent lamb and noodle soup ($9.99) is a salty, savoury broth with chili and cilantro chunks that float to the surface. Underneath are impossibly long handmade noodles and ribs with tender lamb meat that easily falls off the bone. &nbsp;</div><br /></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-avNsHETNANM/UX8iYuQUScI/AAAAAAAAC10/fyxRFHUw2_g/s1600/IMG_0189.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-avNsHETNANM/UX8iYuQUScI/AAAAAAAAC10/fyxRFHUw2_g/s400/IMG_0189.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mnceCJ8vIho/UX8iZZp0IoI/AAAAAAAAC2A/t0vtkgi3KNU/s1600/IMG_0193.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mnceCJ8vIho/UX8iZZp0IoI/AAAAAAAAC2A/t0vtkgi3KNU/s400/IMG_0193.JPG" /></a><br /><br /><div style="text-align: left;">The spicy chicken stew ($28) is a gargantuan plate best shared amongst a gang of friends. The platter is weighed down with hefty, blunt chunks of leek, ginger, whole garlic cloves, red chilis, green peppers and tangy dried jujube fruits. Underneath are handmade sheet noodles that are thick like lasagna noodles and whole chicken legs, saturated in a dark, intense gravy.</div><br /><div style="text-align: left;">The lamb skewers have a wonderful cumin smell that wafts all the way out the back door and to the suburban streets a block away. But the meat is fatty and chewy—for better lamb skewers check out&nbsp;<a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2013/02/the-perfect-chinatown-snack-shack.html" target="_blank">BBQ Store</a> or <a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2011/04/if-you-love-lamb-you-will-be-crazy.html" target="_blank">Chinese Halal Restaurant</a>. Stick with the noodle and rice dishes, and you'll go home happy and very well fed.&nbsp;</div><br /></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hy5xKkUUcvM/UX8iZzBGd3I/AAAAAAAAC2M/TMNbC9IJ4R4/s1600/IMG_0199.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hy5xKkUUcvM/UX8iZzBGd3I/AAAAAAAAC2M/TMNbC9IJ4R4/s400/IMG_0199.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="clear: both; text-align: CENTER;"><div style="text-align: left;"><i>Silk Road is located at 438 Horner Ave., Etobicoke. Tel: 416 259 9440. Hours are Monday to Saturday 3pm to 10pm; Sundays and long weekends closed.&nbsp;</i></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><ul style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.4; margin: 0.5em 0px; padding: 0px 2.5em; text-align: center;"><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Silk Road in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li></ul><br /></div><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=438+horner+ave+etobicoke+ontario&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=438+Horner+Ave,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario+M8W+2B3&amp;gl=ca&amp;ll=43.60337,-79.539069&amp;spn=0.07247,0.147457&amp;t=m&amp;z=13&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=438+horner+ave+etobicoke+ontario&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=438+Horner+Ave,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario+M8W+2B3&amp;gl=ca&amp;ll=43.60337,-79.539069&amp;spn=0.07247,0.147457&amp;t=m&amp;z=13&amp;source=embed" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-72380007146463295972013-04-21T17:29:00.000-04:002013-04-21T17:30:31.425-04:00A visit to Scarborough's new ethnic food superstore<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Forget about the ethnic aisle. Lovers of international food will be in heaven when they step inside the new 75,000 square foot <a href="http://alpremium.ca/" target="_blank">Al Premium</a> store in Scarborough. It's located at 1970 Eglinton East near Warden and it first opened in December.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Al Premium isn't an ethnic store serving people from one country or region—instead it has food from all over the world. There is a heavy emphasis on Asian, North American and Middle Eastern foods, but Latin America, Europe and Africa are also represented. Check out my photos below for a tour.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wUfdssBff6Y/UTPug5EMGvI/AAAAAAAACnU/etS3aNZvLgM/s1600/IMG_20130120_144823.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wUfdssBff6Y/UTPug5EMGvI/AAAAAAAACnU/etS3aNZvLgM/s400/IMG_20130120_144823.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Al Premium is located in a former Rona building.</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gClJ0WROH7A/UTPusMdYnzI/AAAAAAAACnc/rGvrEX13L24/s1600/IMG_20130120_133704.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gClJ0WROH7A/UTPusMdYnzI/AAAAAAAACnc/rGvrEX13L24/s400/IMG_20130120_133704.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The store attracts a diverse customer base of people living in this stretch of Scarborough.&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ElUrtgrBWSk/UTPvR6YslwI/AAAAAAAACnk/_HXsqIJZU5g/s1600/IMG_20130120_132115.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ElUrtgrBWSk/UTPvR6YslwI/AAAAAAAACnk/_HXsqIJZU5g/s400/IMG_20130120_132115.jpg" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">There's a good selection of Middle Eastern cheeses, including akawie, which is similar to halloumi, and Palestinian nabulsi.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-low_Woeqb5I/UTPvSfMwiKI/AAAAAAAACns/cYz09KPYfZE/s1600/IMG_20130120_131932.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-low_Woeqb5I/UTPvSfMwiKI/AAAAAAAACns/cYz09KPYfZE/s400/IMG_20130120_131932.jpg" width="376" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">A display of Caribbean spices.&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YKsAmEn3iVU/UTPvSlPfJNI/AAAAAAAACnw/WeeuigSKpdY/s1600/IMG_20130120_132155.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YKsAmEn3iVU/UTPvSlPfJNI/AAAAAAAACnw/WeeuigSKpdY/s400/IMG_20130120_132155.jpg" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">There are a few different types of Middle Eastern flat breads, such as lavash.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-f2axT_K4IP8/UTPvSxa-gyI/AAAAAAAACn0/AGBwlNblSvg/s1600/IMG_20130120_132331.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-f2axT_K4IP8/UTPvSxa-gyI/AAAAAAAACn0/AGBwlNblSvg/s400/IMG_20130120_132331.jpg" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The large halal meat counter offers various cuts of goat, beef and lamb.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yzj79gOdWh4/UTPvTRBmFDI/AAAAAAAACoE/1viAjURyOW0/s1600/IMG_20130120_132748.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yzj79gOdWh4/UTPvTRBmFDI/AAAAAAAACoE/1viAjURyOW0/s400/IMG_20130120_132748.jpg" width="352" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The fresh fish counter is a hit with Al Premium's Chinese customers.</td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vVlvgLRAE8Y/UTPvTiuckHI/AAAAAAAACoM/k0uJPLcSHAE/s1600/IMG_20130120_133239.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vVlvgLRAE8Y/UTPvTiuckHI/AAAAAAAACoM/k0uJPLcSHAE/s400/IMG_20130120_133239.jpg" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Al Premium's vice-president of corporate affairs, Manoj Biswas, shows off the selection imported produce</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4cEoeoQjNQw/UTPx2KQBxaI/AAAAAAAACp8/afGMRi17UGU/s1600/IMG_20130120_133854.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="font-size: medium; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4cEoeoQjNQw/UTPx2KQBxaI/AAAAAAAACp8/afGMRi17UGU/s400/IMG_20130120_133854.jpg" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Rice galore.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pVc4uNR9dv0/UTPvT1XkE-I/AAAAAAAACoY/2DE-RX1HdgQ/s1600/IMG_20130120_135031.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pVc4uNR9dv0/UTPvT1XkE-I/AAAAAAAACoY/2DE-RX1HdgQ/s400/IMG_20130120_135031.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">If the store doesn't carry an item you want, Manoj will offer to bring it in.</td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8yHJbqEnnGI/UTPx2HDK-eI/AAAAAAAACqA/MG6M__GNi3k/s1600/IMG_20130120_140639.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8yHJbqEnnGI/UTPx2HDK-eI/AAAAAAAACqA/MG6M__GNi3k/s400/IMG_20130120_140639.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="font-size: 12.499999046325684px;">There is a cafeteria where people eat food from the hot food counter and drink espressos and juices from the coffee bar.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZC9iZd6wom8/UTPxHyXoDCI/AAAAAAAACpk/ekwFVMc3kII/s1600/IMG_20130120_140213.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZC9iZd6wom8/UTPxHyXoDCI/AAAAAAAACpk/ekwFVMc3kII/s400/IMG_20130120_140213.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The hot food counter offers dozens of Asian dishes, such as curries and noodles.</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-u-VG99OQ-58/UTPvVRiJ82I/AAAAAAAACos/fqEfvt3q5Gs/s1600/IMG_20130120_140126.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-u-VG99OQ-58/UTPvVRiJ82I/AAAAAAAACos/fqEfvt3q5Gs/s400/IMG_20130120_140126.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">There's even a tandoori oven behind the counter.&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yKvIsopF1z0/UTPvWELmNbI/AAAAAAAACo8/3kgDCq1RV_c/s1600/IMG_20130120_140135.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yKvIsopF1z0/UTPvWELmNbI/AAAAAAAACo8/3kgDCq1RV_c/s400/IMG_20130120_140135.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Garlic naan cooking in the tandoori oven.&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5OEeA1ypOME/UTPvXRUabeI/AAAAAAAACpY/xqn5udV2vhw/s1600/IMG_20130120_140830.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5OEeA1ypOME/UTPvXRUabeI/AAAAAAAACpY/xqn5udV2vhw/s400/IMG_20130120_140830.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Butter chicken, lamb curry,&nbsp;garlic naan and freshly grilled kebab.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px; text-align: left;"><i>Al Premium is located at 1970 Eglinton East near Warden in Scarborough. Tel: 416 751 3666.&nbsp;</i></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px; text-align: left;"></div><ul style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.4; margin: 0.5em 0px; padding: 0px 2.5em;"><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Al Premium in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li></ul><br /><br />Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-84707745002163295992013-03-29T13:48:00.005-04:002015-01-19T22:22:04.714-05:00Tavoos: An excellent new Persian restaurant is now open on College Street<div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;">Residents of Dufferin Grove/Brockton Village were excited on Good Friday to discover that the long renovated space at 1120 College Street at Dufferin is now open. Turns out it's the home of Tavoos, a Persian restaurant from the same owners as <a href="http://www.pomegranaterestaurant.ca/" target="_blank">Pomegranate and Sheherzade</a> at College &amp; Bathurst. The restaurant's full name is Takht-e Tavoos, which means Peacock Throne, a reference to historic Persian rulers.&nbsp;</div><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-owA6lebtUYU/UVXIYn2UC4I/AAAAAAAACzk/uOXXFwt3iFM/s1600/IMG_20130329_123323.jpg"><img alt="photo of Tavoos restaurant, exterior shot" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-owA6lebtUYU/UVXIYn2UC4I/AAAAAAAACzk/uOXXFwt3iFM/s400/IMG_20130329_123323.jpg" title="Tavoos restaurant, exterior shot" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gdDgCN2y_9w/UVXIZGuiygI/AAAAAAAACzw/2713CxHAAJ0/s1600/IMG_20130329_113818.jpg"><img alt="photo of sign outside Tavoos restaurant" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gdDgCN2y_9w/UVXIZGuiygI/AAAAAAAACzw/2713CxHAAJ0/s400/IMG_20130329_113818.jpg" title="sign outside Tavoos restaurant on College Street in Toronto" /></a><br /><br /><div style="text-align: left;">A full year of renovations in this former bakery space have paid off. The room is ornately decorated with eye-catching Middle Eastern rugs, pottery and murals. You can choose between traditional Persian seating and regular tables and chairs. Pre-revolutionary Persian pop music floats through the air.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: right;"><div style="text-align: left;">So far Tavoos is only open for breakfast and lunch, but there are plans to expand to dinner later on. Tavoos's menu is different than Pomegranate, with a fusion feel and a focus on brunch items.</div></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_IxQS-QpIGk/UVXIZfh9jKI/AAAAAAAAC0A/Lx2-8Fq3UGU/s1600/IMG_20130329_114836.jpg"><img alt="photo of Tavoos inside" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_IxQS-QpIGk/UVXIZfh9jKI/AAAAAAAAC0A/Lx2-8Fq3UGU/s400/IMG_20130329_114836.jpg" title="Interior shot of Tavoos" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yzt8NNdIK60/UVXIajP9VTI/AAAAAAAAC0I/5Ad16KqUppA/s1600/IMG_20130329_114937.jpg"><img alt="photo of artwork at Tavoos" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yzt8NNdIK60/UVXIajP9VTI/AAAAAAAAC0I/5Ad16KqUppA/s400/IMG_20130329_114937.jpg" title="Artwork at Tavoos" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XddQjYumoVg/UVXIbDRaK5I/AAAAAAAAC0U/ehaQwNbDcWw/s1600/IMG_20130329_115000.jpg"><img alt="photo of the floor booth at Tavoos restaurant" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XddQjYumoVg/UVXIbDRaK5I/AAAAAAAAC0U/ehaQwNbDcWw/s400/IMG_20130329_115000.jpg" title="floor seating at Tavoos restaurant" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><br /><div style="text-align: left;">The knowledgable waitress explains the traditional way of eating dizi sangi, a clay pot stew made of lamb shank, chick peas and white beans, to one of the first diners. You take the pieces of meat out of the stew and soak up the remaining broth with pieces of the flatbread; then you use the remaining bread to scoop up the meat and beans. Other specialities include haleem—a bowl of spiced wheatberry porridge—and kalleh pacheh, a Persian soup made from sheep head and hooves.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1vFh_VAGCPI/UVXIcQNnzQI/AAAAAAAAC04/EWcVkVIZKSg/s1600/IMG_20130329_114919.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img alt="photo of the menu " border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1vFh_VAGCPI/UVXIcQNnzQI/AAAAAAAAC04/EWcVkVIZKSg/s400/IMG_20130329_114919.jpg" title="Tavoos's menu" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Open image in new tab to see the full-sized menu.</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">I opted for one of the breakfast dishes, the Tavoos Soltani Special. It was a sort of omelette with two sunnyside up eggs served on top of wonderfully crispy spiced potato chunks. The perfectly prepared plate comes with two pieces of puffy, fresh flatbread, olives, tiny grilled tomatoes, pieces of creamy, rich feta and walnuts. The olives were a surprising treat, as they were coated with a sweet pomegranate and walnut paste.&nbsp;</div><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gOuL1aiA-1E/UVXIbQt9z7I/AAAAAAAAC0g/bHO_3Wpioec/s1600/IMG_20130329_120647.jpg"><img alt="photo of tea" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gOuL1aiA-1E/UVXIbQt9z7I/AAAAAAAAC0g/bHO_3Wpioec/s400/IMG_20130329_120647.jpg" title="Persian tea" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Wc_HuKX--zE/UVXIb9xG20I/AAAAAAAAC0s/3VvtywooQwo/s1600/IMG_20130329_121017.jpg"><img alt="photo of Persian breakfast" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Wc_HuKX--zE/UVXIb9xG20I/AAAAAAAAC0s/3VvtywooQwo/s400/IMG_20130329_121017.jpg" title="Persian breakfast" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;"><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: left;">It's a strong start for Tavoos, and with curious passerbys popping their heads in regularly to check out the space, it seems destined to do well here in this up-and-coming neighbourhood. I look forward to trying more dishes as the menu expands.&nbsp;</span><span style="text-align: left;"></span></div><span style="text-align: left;"></span></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: left;"><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: right;"><i><br /></i></span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: right;"><i>Tavoos is located at 1120 College Street near Dufferin in Toronto. Telelphone: 647 352 7322. The restaurant currently opens at 10am and closes in the mid-afternoon. Tavoos is closed on Easter Sunday and Monday.&nbsp;</i></span><br /><span style="text-align: right;"><i><br /></i></span></div></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><ul style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.4; margin: 0.5em 0px; padding: 0px 2.5em;"><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Tavoos in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li></ul></div><div style="clear: both; text-align: CENTER;"><br /></div><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=s_q&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=1120+College+Street&amp;aq=&amp;sll=43.656877,-79.32085&amp;sspn=0.60607,1.369171&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=1120+College+St,+Toronto,+Ontario+M6H+1B5,+Canada&amp;ll=43.652468,-79.432989&amp;spn=0.037882,0.085573&amp;t=m&amp;z=14&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=1120+College+Street&amp;aq=&amp;sll=43.656877,-79.32085&amp;sspn=0.60607,1.369171&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=1120+College+St,+Toronto,+Ontario+M6H+1B5,+Canada&amp;ll=43.652468,-79.432989&amp;spn=0.037882,0.085573&amp;t=m&amp;z=14" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com8tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-5231380446448252342013-03-21T22:56:00.000-04:002013-03-21T22:59:50.102-04:00Falafel frenzy: Dr. Laffa fans flock to the restaurant's new location <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Toronto is in love with Dr. Laffa. Converts have been frequenting&nbsp;<a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2012/10/tasty-jewish-meals-served-inside-sukkah.html" target="_blank">Dr. Laffa's Magnetic Drive location</a>, buried deep inside a bleak industrial park near the 407, for a few years now to eat amazing Iraqi-Israeli food. The world-class falafels and shawarmas are served inside a stretchy, fresh bread (laffa) baked on site in a clay oven.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">A few months ago word got out that <a href="http://drlaffa.com/" target="_blank">Dr. Laffa</a> was opening up a new location south of the 401 and Toronto's Jewish community—as well as the city's food writers—have been salivating with anticipation. The wait is now over, as Dr. Laffa On The Go opened Wednesday at 3023 Bathurst just south of Lawrence.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qPL8pMM0PpE/UUu6Ok5TsHI/AAAAAAAACqY/XaDZ8oftlgA/s1600/IMG_0113.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qPL8pMM0PpE/UUu6Ok5TsHI/AAAAAAAACqY/XaDZ8oftlgA/s400/IMG_0113.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wojgBAA-jEA/UUu6Rh6n0KI/AAAAAAAACqg/e7yloFL0thI/s1600/IMG_0058.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wojgBAA-jEA/UUu6Rh6n0KI/AAAAAAAACqg/e7yloFL0thI/s400/IMG_0058.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-u-W617vG62A/UUu6UX4NQEI/AAAAAAAACqo/QvkId1MTm-E/s1600/IMG_0062.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-u-W617vG62A/UUu6UX4NQEI/AAAAAAAACqo/QvkId1MTm-E/s400/IMG_0062.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>I visited the day after the opening and the place was a mad house. The small shop was crammed with people lining up to place their orders. It was a mosh pit of screaming toddlers, patient teens and religious Jews wearing kippahs and black hats. The location is mostly take-out, although there are a few stools at the edge where you can eat.<br /><br />A staffer struggled to make his way through the chaos with a giant vat of laffa dough. By 8:30 the cashier announced they were—gasp—out of shawarma. It took a half hour to get to the cash and another 15 minutes or so to get our food, but no one was complaining.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NJdWucBPyj8/UUu6coA3jeI/AAAAAAAACq4/MV-viAIaRcw/s1600/IMG_0074.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NJdWucBPyj8/UUu6coA3jeI/AAAAAAAACq4/MV-viAIaRcw/s400/IMG_0074.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jij-VBaD-nI/UUu6gAeVjhI/AAAAAAAACrA/JBCCv7FCHVg/s1600/IMG_0079.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jij-VBaD-nI/UUu6gAeVjhI/AAAAAAAACrA/JBCCv7FCHVg/s400/IMG_0079.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ajXBV4umxcM/UUu6rV_SJ_I/AAAAAAAACrQ/8exlOkP-npw/s1600/IMG_0083.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ajXBV4umxcM/UUu6rV_SJ_I/AAAAAAAACrQ/8exlOkP-npw/s400/IMG_0083.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-B-A1g-_N7OU/UUu62sl5T1I/AAAAAAAACrg/UCoU8XNXoAs/s1600/IMG_0101.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-B-A1g-_N7OU/UUu62sl5T1I/AAAAAAAACrg/UCoU8XNXoAs/s400/IMG_0101.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br />"We're happy there's a Dr. Laffa in the neighbourhood so we don't have to schlep up north anymore," says Miriam Rosenberg, a dentist who lives in the neighbourhood. "The food is fresh and it's interesting, because it's Israeli food with an Iraqi spin. It has a different flavour and I like it better than regular Israeli food."<br /><br />There is no question the food is worth the wait. The chicken pieces in the shawarma are juicy yet crispy around the edges. Sabich is an addictive, oversized sandwich filled with an impossible amount of goodness: smokey roasted eggplant, a boiled egg, hummus, lettuce and falafel balls. Each giant sandwich is wrapped in the chewy, elastic laffa bread, which isn't quite like any other bread I've tasted. You can buy pieces of this excellent bread on it's own, steaming and fresh from the oven.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ge9gAlKBE_0/UUu67yq_QeI/AAAAAAAACro/5l--OEutOZs/s1600/IMG_0108.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ge9gAlKBE_0/UUu67yq_QeI/AAAAAAAACro/5l--OEutOZs/s400/IMG_0108.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><i>Dr. Laffa will be closed next week for Passover. The restaurant is closed Saturdays for the sabbath, although this location will be open after sundown this Saturday, from 9pm til midnight.</i><br /><i><br /></i><i>Dr. Laffa is located at 3023 Bathurst just south of Lawrence. Tel 647 352 9000 or 647 352 9001.&nbsp;</i><i>Hours are Sunday to Thursday 11am to 10pm; Fridays 11am to 4pm.</i><br /><br /><ul style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.4; margin: 0.5em 0px; padding: 0px 2.5em; text-align: center;"><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Dr Laffa in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li></ul><br /><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=3023+Bathurst&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=3023+Bathurst+St,+North+York,+Ontario+M6B+3B5&amp;gl=ca&amp;t=m&amp;z=14&amp;iwloc=A&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=3023+Bathurst&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=3023+Bathurst+St,+North+York,+Ontario+M6B+3B5&amp;gl=ca&amp;t=m&amp;z=14&amp;iwloc=A&amp;source=embed" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-76593141834830564502013-02-17T16:54:00.001-05:002013-02-17T16:54:53.511-05:00The perfect Chinatown snack shack<div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;">My favourite spot in downtown Chinatown is a mysterious little shack labelled 'lamb kebab.' It has a&nbsp;idyllic&nbsp;poster of sheep in a green meadow with a couple dozen freshly grilled lamb skewers floating above them in the perfect blue sky.&nbsp;</div><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TtfrCLjeCmE/USFDE69H0oI/AAAAAAAAClU/puQIoGJrqXw/s1600/IMG_20130217_135513.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TtfrCLjeCmE/USFDE69H0oI/AAAAAAAAClU/puQIoGJrqXw/s400/IMG_20130217_135513.jpg" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-KjOcpAMH6-c/USFDFenG-GI/AAAAAAAAClg/GuPa0pOH10c/s1600/IMG_20130217_134131.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-KjOcpAMH6-c/USFDFenG-GI/AAAAAAAAClg/GuPa0pOH10c/s400/IMG_20130217_134131.jpg" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: right;"><div style="text-align: left;">The official name of this take-out stall is Cai Die Xuan Food and according to its city registration, it's located at 494 Dundas Street West. However, on it's own flyers it says it's located at 492 Dundas Street West and it's simply called "BBQ Store." Never mind—just look for the dreamy lamb poster on the north side of Dundas just east of Spadina and you'll find the place.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">The three-year old stall serves a wide range of street food you'd find in China, with some dishes hailing from the north and others from the south. The most popular dish is the northern-style lamb kebab—you can get two skewers for $3. They are grilled right in front of you and staffer Shiming Zhang coats them with a generous amount of cumin and hot pepper.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XHQnNeudI3s/USFDGn5CxFI/AAAAAAAACl4/P7B3CZz6K-E/s1600/IMG_20130217_134344.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XHQnNeudI3s/USFDGn5CxFI/AAAAAAAACl4/P7B3CZz6K-E/s400/IMG_20130217_134344.jpg" /></a></div></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gRu3G4Z9bT4/USFDF8AtaKI/AAAAAAAACls/DPVj7cvNfbE/s1600/IMG_20130217_134254.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gRu3G4Z9bT4/USFDF8AtaKI/AAAAAAAACls/DPVj7cvNfbE/s400/IMG_20130217_134254.jpg" /></a><span style="text-align: right;">&nbsp;</span></div></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7FDsjTbUb1I/USFDJwYngnI/AAAAAAAACmo/F522QCifAgM/s1600/IMG_20130217_134535.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7FDsjTbUb1I/USFDJwYngnI/AAAAAAAACmo/F522QCifAgM/s400/IMG_20130217_134535.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: left;">Shiming also recommends the squid, cut into curly, taut chunks, skewered and slathered with barbeque sauce. Cuttlefish balls are dense, springy marbles that pack a tasty, fish-intense punch. Adventurous eaters can sample pork hoof, pig blood, deep fried smelling tofu and duck gizzards. Grilled sweet potatoes and corn on the cob are also popular.&nbsp;</span></div></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: left;"><div style="text-align: left;"><div style="text-align: left;">"People always eat on the street in China, so when they come here, they feel like they're back home," explains Shiming, who wears his winter jacket in an attempt to stay warm in the sub-zero temperatures in the stall. "They eat here and they feel good."</div></div></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zEYQuiGR2PM/USFDIsvEBZI/AAAAAAAACmQ/DnxV9coKNGs/s1600/IMG_20130217_134109.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zEYQuiGR2PM/USFDIsvEBZI/AAAAAAAACmQ/DnxV9coKNGs/s400/IMG_20130217_134109.jpg" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dzSEQhqtvPI/USFDK6ZoagI/AAAAAAAACm0/zVsiJsGAECo/s1600/IMG_20130217_134751.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dzSEQhqtvPI/USFDK6ZoagI/AAAAAAAACm0/zVsiJsGAECo/s400/IMG_20130217_134751.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><div style="text-align: left;">If you're at the BBQ Store, make sure to try the sugar-coated haws (below). This is a skewer of haws, a candied fruit that comes from the Chinese hawthorn. The outside is very sweet, while the centre is pleasingly tart.&nbsp;</div></div><div style="clear: both; text-align: CENTER;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Dpi7V33eMrU/USFDH5JKcOI/AAAAAAAACmE/55g3l316S5s/s1600/IMG_20130217_134058.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Dpi7V33eMrU/USFDH5JKcOI/AAAAAAAACmE/55g3l316S5s/s400/IMG_20130217_134058.jpg" /></a><br /><i><br /></i><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><i>Thanks to Seb for the tip.</i></div><div style="text-align: left;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: left;"><i>BBQ Store is located at 492 Dundas Street West, just east of Spadina. Tel: 647 994 8710. Hours are 12:30pm to 9pm every day, although they sometime shut early on quiet nights.&nbsp;</i></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /><ul style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.4; margin: 0.5em 0px; padding: 0px 2.5em; text-align: center;"><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on BBQ Store in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li></ul></div><br /></div><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=s_q&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=492+Dundas+Street+West,+Toronto,+ON,+Canada&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=492+dunda&amp;sll=43.656877,-79.32085&amp;sspn=0.652761,1.370544&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=492+Dundas+St+W,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario+M5T+1H1,+Canada&amp;t=m&amp;z=14&amp;iwloc=A&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=492+Dundas+Street+West,+Toronto,+ON,+Canada&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=492+dunda&amp;sll=43.656877,-79.32085&amp;sspn=0.652761,1.370544&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=492+Dundas+St+W,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario+M5T+1H1,+Canada&amp;t=m&amp;z=14&amp;iwloc=A" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-33992511259480286632013-01-07T20:42:00.000-05:002013-01-07T23:17:15.821-05:00A made-in-Toronto roti empire expands westward<div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;">The legendary Gandhi's Indian Cuisine has a new sibling restaurant: Maurya&nbsp;East Indian Roti Cuisine&nbsp;just opened up at 2481 Lakeshore Blvd West in Mimico (map below). This means there are now five restaurants in the Toronto area serving Gandhi's spicy Indian curries inside a roti. Indeed, these Indian-style rotis may be on their way to becoming a classic feature of homegrown cuisine in our city.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Maurya, named after an ancient Indian kingdom, opened up in November on the site of a former burger joint. The co-owner is Urmila Vayalpati, the sister of Gandhi's Avtar Singh. Urmila also owns another Gandhi spin-off, Parkdale's Mother India, as well as <a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2011/09/new-york-subway-is-back-in-business.html">New York Subway</a> on Queen West.<br /><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jfDXlmtt6TM/UOnjhDO2atI/AAAAAAAACeA/qt9mpzPxcwI/s1600/DSC01308.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><img alt="" border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jfDXlmtt6TM/UOnjhDO2atI/AAAAAAAACeA/qt9mpzPxcwI/s400/DSC01308.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-e3JGXEI2t3Q/UOnjhuYJbzI/AAAAAAAACeM/hms0AN_ouQM/s1600/DSC01320.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><img alt="" border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-e3JGXEI2t3Q/UOnjhuYJbzI/AAAAAAAACeM/hms0AN_ouQM/s400/DSC01320.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Also in the Gandhi empire is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2010/10/roti-time.html">Roti Time,</a> originally owned by Singh but subsequently sold, and <a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2012/09/indian-style-roti-that-rivals-gandhis.html">Roti Cuisine of India</a>, run by a former Mother India employee. The chefs at each restaurant bring slight variations to the food, but the basic recipes remain the same as Singh's original creations at Gandhi.<br /><br />Urmila, originally from South India, spent five years working at the counter of Gandhi before taking over Mother India. Two years ago she moved to Etobicoke and started thinking about opening a restaurant in the area. Selling the concept hasn't been difficult, as "most of our customers here know Gandhi and Mother India," she says.<br /><span style="text-align: right;"><br /></span><span style="text-align: right;">In I</span><span style="text-align: right;">ndia, fire-baked roti bread is served as an&nbsp;</span>accompaniment&nbsp;to a meal. Wrapping a curry in roti is a hallmark of the southern Caribbean, something that evolved out of cuisine brought to the region by Indian labourers. However, at Gandhi and its related restaurants, the curries served are the original Indian spice blends. "Caribbean curries use powder and we use paste," explains Urmila (pictured below with co-owner Benjamin Nanneti). "We use ginger, garlic and onion."<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SFkKzcPcytM/UOnjiRCBxeI/AAAAAAAACeY/nAam-lTPyuI/s1600/DSC01318.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SFkKzcPcytM/UOnjiRCBxeI/AAAAAAAACeY/nAam-lTPyuI/s400/DSC01318.JPG" /></a></div><br />The curries at Maurya are spiced with chili powder, tumeric, and other spices, and slow cooked for eight or nine hours. When you order one, the chefs take a ball of dough and feed it into the roti machine, which flattens it into a thin sheet. The chef throws it onto the grill until the skin bubbles and chars ever so slightly, while another chef heats up the curry on the stove. He adds spice in to get to the customer's requested level of heat. Maurya uses a more reasonable scale than Gandhi's, which is known for its scorching levels of spiciness. Even Urmila says she can only stomach a Gandhi 'mild'.&nbsp;</div></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-c0VXYHajXcQ/UOnjihEqgcI/AAAAAAAACek/9roTmS1ZbeI/s1600/DSC01325.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-c0VXYHajXcQ/UOnjihEqgcI/AAAAAAAACek/9roTmS1ZbeI/s400/DSC01325.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZUDA8OgQghY/UOnjjAdx__I/AAAAAAAACes/fWR3WowK4xE/s1600/DSC01326.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZUDA8OgQghY/UOnjjAdx__I/AAAAAAAACes/fWR3WowK4xE/s400/DSC01326.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ySS7rVXSseE/UOnjjUxbTBI/AAAAAAAACe8/uTCrliaUs88/s1600/DSC01329.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ySS7rVXSseE/UOnjjUxbTBI/AAAAAAAACe8/uTCrliaUs88/s400/DSC01329.JPG" /></a><br /><br /><div style="text-align: left;">The two rotis I sampled were delicious. While milder than Gandhi's, they had the same telltale dimpled roti skin. Each hefty package weighs as much as a brick and when you cut into them, searing steam escapes.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">In the butter chicken roti ($11.95), a creamy, bright orange sauce flecked with fenugreek leaves blankets the tender meat cubes and firm potato chunks.&nbsp;The saag paneer roti ($9.95) is filled with a dense stew of mushy, green spinach and slightly chewy cubes of Indian cheese (paneer).&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">The banana lassi makes a great&nbsp;accompaniment. The sour yogurt is counterbalanced by the sweetness of the banana, creating a thick mixture that resists your attempts to inhale it through the straw. All in all, Maurya is a great addition to a classic Toronto tradition.&nbsp;</div><br /></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-39oqsavxPFs/UOnjkGzDIzI/AAAAAAAACfI/lcrO0zAXoCA/s1600/DSC01332.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-39oqsavxPFs/UOnjkGzDIzI/AAAAAAAACfI/lcrO0zAXoCA/s400/DSC01332.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-trBLvpWP4c8/UOnjk6grEjI/AAAAAAAACfU/pcOuVMGMXyI/s1600/DSC01335.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-trBLvpWP4c8/UOnjk6grEjI/AAAAAAAACfU/pcOuVMGMXyI/s400/DSC01335.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="clear: both; text-align: CENTER;"><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><i>Maurya East Indian Roti Cuisine is located at 2481 Lakeshore Blvd West, Toronto, 647 748 6001. Hours are Monday to Friday 11:30 am to 10 pm; Saturday and Sunday 12pm to 10pm. It takes around 10 minutes to prepare a roti, and you can phone your order in.&nbsp;</i></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><ul style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.4; margin: 0.5em 0px; padding: 0px 2.5em; text-align: center;"><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Maurya in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: initial;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit or let me know about updates or errors at SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209775785163904308697.0004b1bbcfaa3211e95a1&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;vpsrc=0&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" target="_blank">Spice City map of Toronto</a></span></li></ul><div><br /></div><div><span style="color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><span style="line-height: 14.999999046325684px;"><br /></span></span></div><div><span style="color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><span style="line-height: 14.999999046325684px;"><br /></span></span></div></div><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&amp;source=s_q&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=2481+Lake+Shore+Blvd+W,+Toronto,+ON&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=24&amp;sll=43.622159,-79.51355&amp;sspn=0.06698,0.147285&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=2481+Lake+Shore+Blvd+W,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario+M8V+1E1&amp;t=m&amp;z=12&amp;iwloc=A&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&amp;source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=2481+Lake+Shore+Blvd+W,+Toronto,+ON&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=24&amp;sll=43.622159,-79.51355&amp;sspn=0.06698,0.147285&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=2481+Lake+Shore+Blvd+W,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario+M8V+1E1&amp;t=m&amp;z=12&amp;iwloc=A" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-3265292752965139522012-12-19T19:32:00.000-05:002014-10-06T18:14:04.604-04:00Hidden behind a derelict North York strip mall, you'll find some of the best jerk chicken in Toronto<div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;"><i>Update as of Aug 2014: <a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2014/10/legendary-north-york-jerk-chicken.html" target="_blank">Allwyn's has moved and is now located at 81 Underhill Drive. Read new post here.</a></i><br /><br />Many of Toronto's Jamaican restaurants are in a sorry state. All too often you get a bland mountain of rice obscuring some fossilized bits of jerk chicken. But North York/West Scarborough locals know that for the juiciest, freshest jerk chicken, you need to head over to Allwyn's.</div><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0_xyXxYZu_4/UMQN3aPeuWI/AAAAAAAACb4/l1POWMnGHc4/s1600/photo%2B1.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0_xyXxYZu_4/UMQN3aPeuWI/AAAAAAAACb4/l1POWMnGHc4/s400/photo%2B1.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rOxesSD8YOE/UMQN3nAYUxI/AAAAAAAACcE/JGxB08TivLo/s1600/photo%2B3.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rOxesSD8YOE/UMQN3nAYUxI/AAAAAAAACcE/JGxB08TivLo/s400/photo%2B3.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LesI4h3mYKg/UMQN4f3BB4I/AAAAAAAACcQ/2SSI9deXF5o/s1600/photo%2B4.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LesI4h3mYKg/UMQN4f3BB4I/AAAAAAAACcQ/2SSI9deXF5o/s400/photo%2B4.JPG" /></a><br /><br /><div style="text-align: left;">This is one of the more obscure locations I've come across in my Toronto food travels. Allwyn's is behind Parkwoods Village Centre, an aging strip mall located at 1277 York Mills Road, between the Don Valley Parkway and Victoria Park Ave. Go behind the strip mall and walk through a dark, covered alley and you'll find the place.<br /><br />A tiny room really, this bare-bones restaurant has been serving take-out food from this location for 19 years. Allwyn's is not listed on the mall's sign, and don't bother phoning ahead either—the owner hasn't kept up with the phone bills, so the number is out of service. There used to be a website, but it doesn't seem to be up any more.&nbsp;</div><br /></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bWjN9BqxZpg/UMQN45YMWZI/AAAAAAAACcc/YPwL0KM7WNA/s1600/photo%2B2-2.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bWjN9BqxZpg/UMQN45YMWZI/AAAAAAAACcc/YPwL0KM7WNA/s400/photo%2B2-2.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-spYwfbD6P9I/UMQN5Gg5hsI/AAAAAAAACco/s4Pdmj1IO6E/s1600/photo%2B1-1.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-spYwfbD6P9I/UMQN5Gg5hsI/AAAAAAAACco/s4Pdmj1IO6E/s640/photo%2B1-1.JPG" height="640" width="480" /></a><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Staffer Donald Simpson, a native of Jamaica, has worked here off and on since the beginning. He also works at <a href="http://www.spicecitytoronto.com/2011/07/jerk-chicken-so-good-it-will-blow-your.html">the legendary Fahmee bakery</a>, which supplies Allwyn's baked goods. "A lot of people come here through word of mouth and say it's one of the best places," explains Donald. "It's the way we season the chicken."</div><br /></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DCuE-NoX25M/UMQN5XcfXJI/AAAAAAAACc0/QQgAVGywmII/s1600/photo%2B4-1.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DCuE-NoX25M/UMQN5XcfXJI/AAAAAAAACc0/QQgAVGywmII/s400/photo%2B4-1.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JoV4mouJh1U/UMQN55dl_xI/AAAAAAAACdA/i5A0mKc9qX8/s1600/photo%2B2-1.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JoV4mouJh1U/UMQN55dl_xI/AAAAAAAACdA/i5A0mKc9qX8/s400/photo%2B2-1.JPG" /></a><br /><br /><br /><div style="text-align: left;">Customers of all ages and backgrounds stand in line, waiting for their favourites. Some have been coming for decades, after being lured in during their grade school days by the super cheap prices: a jerk chicken sandwich served on a cocobun topped with crisp coleslaw is just $3.70. If you're not going to eat the sandwich right away, Donald carefully packs the components separately so the coleslaw doesn't make the sandwich soggy.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">"The pricing is reasonable and the food is good quality," says Crystal, who drove here with two coworkers on their lunch break. "We always debate what we're going to get but at the end we always get the jerk sandwich."<br /><br /></div></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-67BxnN8WkJg/UMQN6YN8RoI/AAAAAAAACdM/J2bgYlnGz0E/s1600/photo%2B1-2.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-67BxnN8WkJg/UMQN6YN8RoI/AAAAAAAACdM/J2bgYlnGz0E/s400/photo%2B1-2.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NyIIufVQwWs/UMQN61rxr7I/AAAAAAAACdY/CudMxrl3uGg/s1600/photo%2B5.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NyIIufVQwWs/UMQN61rxr7I/AAAAAAAACdY/CudMxrl3uGg/s400/photo%2B5.JPG" /></a><br /><br /></div><div style="clear: both; text-align: CENTER;"><div style="text-align: justify;"><span style="text-align: left;">The boneless jerk chicken doesn't disappoint: it's moist and glistening, coated with a warm blend of spices.&nbsp;The curry goat is also excellent—the potent, spicy flavour is balanced by the meat's tenderness.</span><span style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span><span style="text-align: left;">The Jamaican patties are also top notch. Thick and bready, with a flaky yellow skin, they are filled with a moist, punchy meat paste.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span style="text-align: left;"><br /></span></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span style="text-align: left;">Overall, you're sure to be impressed: not only is this one of the truly excellent places for Caribbean food in Toronto, it's also one of the great food secrets of the city.&nbsp;</span></div><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><i>Photos courtesy of H. Thanks to <a href="http://www.inyourmouthtoronto.com/">Ken from In Your Mouth Toronto</a> for the tip.</i></div><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><i>Allwyn's is located behind the Parkwoods Village Centre at&nbsp;<span style="text-align: left;">1277 York Mills Road, between the Don Valley Parkway and Victoria Park Ave. No telephone. Cash only.&nbsp;</span></i></div><br /><ul style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.4; margin: 0.5em 0px; padding: 0px 2.5em;"><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Allwyn's in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/spicecityto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #2288bb;">Twitter</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spice-City-Toronto/153932871347132" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;">like it on Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit at &nbsp;SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;oe=UTF8&amp;msa=0&amp;msid=209775785163904308697.0004a18419171c0c4a7ed&amp;t=p&amp;z=2" style="color: #2288bb; text-decoration: none;">Spice City Toronto world food map</a>.</span></li></ul><br /><br /></div><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&amp;q=1277+york+mills+rd&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=1277+York+Mills+Rd,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario+M3A&amp;gl=ca&amp;ll=43.760648,-79.325804&amp;spn=0.066825,0.1478&amp;t=m&amp;z=13&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&amp;q=1277+york+mills+rd&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=1277+York+Mills+Rd,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario+M3A&amp;gl=ca&amp;ll=43.760648,-79.325804&amp;spn=0.066825,0.1478&amp;t=m&amp;z=13&amp;source=embed" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com11tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-27553959540219448752012-11-28T21:21:00.000-05:002012-11-28T21:21:22.099-05:00Roti perfection, Malaysian-style<div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;">Malaysian food is one of the world's great cuisines, so I was excited to check out <a href="http://www.restoranmalaysia.com/" target="_blank">Restoran Malaysia</a>, in Richmond Hill (815 Major Mackenzie Drive East at Bayview). The bustling, sprawling restaurant is one of only a handful of places in the GTA that serve Malaysian food. But when the first dish arrived at my table, I was disappointed.&nbsp;</div><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mgw37FutROI/UFUGzYAMeKI/AAAAAAAACOE/DuEXWLUcOy4/s1600/DSC01287.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mgw37FutROI/UFUGzYAMeKI/AAAAAAAACOE/DuEXWLUcOy4/s400/DSC01287.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-d41h6C0nxXc/UFUGzo98P7I/AAAAAAAACOQ/bDloCcr2zN8/s1600/DSC01303.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-d41h6C0nxXc/UFUGzo98P7I/AAAAAAAACOQ/bDloCcr2zN8/s400/DSC01303.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;"><b style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">The mutton and beef skewers were tough and chewy. They were coated with an overly sweet marinade, and the accompanying satay sauce was sugary, like a dessert. </span></span></b></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"> </span></span></b></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">The nasi goreng was also a let down. Normally this is a wonderful Southeast Asian fried rice dish is packed with all kinds of great meat and veggies, held together with a syrupy version of soy sauce. But Restoran Malaysia's version tasted like your standard take-out Chinese fried rice with flavourless pieces of chicken, shrimp and frozen vegetables. But soon some items appeared at the table that more than made up for the meal's mediocre beginnings. </span></span></b></div><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-OkoFNAIexdo/UFUG0GJz8WI/AAAAAAAACOc/LDGPsu8s8fU/s1600/DSC01292.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-OkoFNAIexdo/UFUG0GJz8WI/AAAAAAAACOc/LDGPsu8s8fU/s400/DSC01292.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8kfwW3_y68w/UFUG0veUHfI/AAAAAAAACOo/STbNlS3HSxU/s1600/DSC01296.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8kfwW3_y68w/UFUG0veUHfI/AAAAAAAACOo/STbNlS3HSxU/s400/DSC01296.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;">It was the roti. Oh, the roti. This&nbsp;exquisite&nbsp;flat bread is called roti canai or roti prata in Malaysia, and it has roots in Indian cuisine. The thin chewy bread is slightly crisp and toasty on the outside. Served with a bowl of intense, rich curry sauce, I could eat endless amounts of the stuff. &nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><b style="font-weight: normal; text-align: start;"><b style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></span></b></b></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b id="internal-source-marker_0.12196395196951926" style="font-weight: normal; text-align: start;"><b id="internal-source-marker_0.12196395196951926" style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="vertical-align: baseline;">"People</span><span style="vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> come here from Malaysia and say the roti here is better here than at home," boasts chef and owner Howard Chew. "We made 35,000 pieces of roti here in the last six months."&nbsp;</span></span></b></b></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><b style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span></b></span></b></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><b style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It's made in the restaurant kitchen on a griddle, and consists of just flour, milk, sugar, salt and ghee (clarified butter). "</span><span style="vertical-align: baseline;">You h</span></b><span style="vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">ave to it eat right away," says Howard. "It's crisp on the outside, but if you take home, it becomes all soft."</span></span></b></div><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YNOgeEVMthE/UFUG1HbMtZI/AAAAAAAACO0/SCzLhuNuYa0/s1600/DSC01294.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YNOgeEVMthE/UFUG1HbMtZI/AAAAAAAACO0/SCzLhuNuYa0/s400/DSC01294.JPG" /></a><br /><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><b style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">While Indian curries are flavoured mainly with ground spices, Malaysian ones get their flavour from fresh ingredients such as ginger, shallots, chili pepper and garlic. "Malaysian food uses fresh ingredients like Thai food, but the cooking style is similar to Indian food," explains Howard. </span></span></b></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">The Singapore Laksa (below) is also excellent. It's a bowl of chewy noodles, fried tofu, chicken and saucers of fish cake, doused in an intensely flavourful bright orange liquid. "It's made with<b id="internal-source-marker_0.12196395196951926" style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> galangal, dry shrimp, chili, shallots, coconut milk and lemongrass," explains Howard. </span></b></span></div><br /><div style="text-align: left;">While the menu certainly has some misses, the roti and laksa make a meal at Restoran Malaysia well worth the trip.&nbsp;</div></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-a3FAn2_qpuE/UFUG1mCqUxI/AAAAAAAACPA/EiB-0SOMe3s/s1600/DSC01295.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-a3FAn2_qpuE/UFUG1mCqUxI/AAAAAAAACPA/EiB-0SOMe3s/s400/DSC01295.JPG" /></a><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span> <br /><table class="ts intrlu" style="background-color: white; border-collapse: collapse; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 12.499999046325684px; text-align: left; width: 100%px;"><tbody><tr><td style="line-height: 1.24; padding: 0px;" valign="top"><div style="text-align: left;"><i><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="font-size: small;">Restoran Malaysia is at 815 Major Mackenzie Drive East, &nbsp;Richmond Hill, Ont. Tel&nbsp;</span><nobr><span style="font-size: small;">905 508 1432. Its hours are Monday closed; Tuesday 11:30 am to 10pm;&nbsp;</span></nobr></span></i></div><i><nobr><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: small;">Wednesday &amp; Thursday 11am to 10pm; Friday &amp; Saturday 11am to 11pm; <br />Sunday noon to 10pm. &nbsp;The food is halal.&nbsp;</span></nobr></i></td></tr></tbody></table></div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"></div><div style="clear: both; text-align: CENTER;"><br /><ul style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 14.166666030883789px; line-height: 1.4; margin: 0.5em 0px; padding: 0px 2.5em; text-align: -webkit-auto;"><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Restoran Malaysia in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/SpiceCityTO" style="color: #2288bb; text-decoration: none;">Twitter</a>&nbsp;and like it on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/SpiceCityToronto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;">Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit at&nbsp;SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;oe=UTF8&amp;msa=0&amp;msid=209775785163904308697.0004a18419171c0c4a7ed&amp;t=p&amp;z=2" style="color: #2288bb; text-decoration: none;">Spice City Toronto world food map</a>.</span></li></ul></div><br /><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=815+Major+Mackenzie+Drive+East&amp;aq=f&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hl=en&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=815+Major+Mackenzie+Dr+E,+Richmond+Hill,+York+Regional+Municipality,+Ontario+L4C+9X2&amp;t=m&amp;z=13&amp;iwloc=A&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=815+Major+Mackenzie+Drive+East&amp;aq=f&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hl=en&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=815+Major+Mackenzie+Dr+E,+Richmond+Hill,+York+Regional+Municipality,+Ontario+L4C+9X2&amp;t=m&amp;z=13&amp;iwloc=A&amp;source=embed" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7006910035268503192.post-23813436109038407082012-11-05T19:38:00.000-05:002013-09-12T20:31:45.938-04:00Sizzling dishes from Central Asia<div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">***UPDATE AS OF SEPT. 2013: THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED***</span><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: inherit;">Former U.S. presidential candidate Herman Cain lampooned his lack of familiarity with the central Asian country of Uzbekistan. "If someone asks me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan I'm going to say I don't know," he quipped during his short-lived run for office.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">However, if Cain makes it to Toronto, he'll have a chance to educate himself on the culture and food of Uzbekistan by visiting North York's Tashkent restaurant near Keele and Steeles.&nbsp;Tashkent, named after the Uzbek capital city, is tucked into a strip mall in an industrial area between an adult video store and a&nbsp;licensed&nbsp;massage parlour.&nbsp;</div><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hP6vwPfajsw/UEpsvDO7sOI/AAAAAAAACMg/V0APe9bydNI/s1600/DSC01283.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hP6vwPfajsw/UEpsvDO7sOI/AAAAAAAACMg/V0APe9bydNI/s400/DSC01283.JPG" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DexalTCwiW4/UEpsv-ENPbI/AAAAAAAACM4/R7RQmOd_4X0/s1600/DSC01279.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DexalTCwiW4/UEpsv-ENPbI/AAAAAAAACM4/R7RQmOd_4X0/s400/DSC01279.JPG" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: left;">The restaurant is a central meeting place for Toronto's Uzbek community, which is based in Thornhill. &nbsp;Interesting fact: Uzbekistan is a rare doubly landlocked country, meaning that it doesn't have access to the ocean, and neither do any of its neighbours.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">I started out with an order of manti, the classic Uzbek steamed lamb dumplings (below). They're big and stretchy, and a patron implores me to abandon my clumsy attempt to eat them with a knife and fork in favour of my hands. "This type of food you eat with your fingers," she tells me.&nbsp;</div><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ctkRc543EeI/UEpswxoB5PI/AAAAAAAACNQ/W_v8q-zz6zI/s1600/DSC01267.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ctkRc543EeI/UEpswxoB5PI/AAAAAAAACNQ/W_v8q-zz6zI/s400/DSC01267.JPG" /></a><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2NE7meHAsVU/UEpsxUN2FlI/AAAAAAAACNc/QL5wD1qUTx4/s1600/DSC01274.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2NE7meHAsVU/UEpsxUN2FlI/AAAAAAAACNc/QL5wD1qUTx4/s400/DSC01274.JPG" /></a><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Next up is samsa (above), a steaming baked pastry filled with lamb meat. The crust is delicate and flakey, but it's the tangy tomato herb sauce makes this memorable.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: center;">Dgiz-biz (below) is a meat-heavy entree of lamb and beef meat, fat and bone, slow cooked until wonderfully tender in its own juices. It's served inside a bowl made of crisp Uzbek bread, which somehow resembles a taco salad bowl. Eating the dill-infused hot chunks of flesh is very satisfying.</span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">It's not uncommon to have many lamb dishes in one sitting. "A typical meal might be eight courses of lamb," explains the server Vlada. "There will even be lamb in the salad. There's a lot of fried food and everything's made from scratch."<br /><br />Vlada (below) is originally from Kazakhstan (which borders on Uzbekistan) and she was delighted to discover Tashkent when she recently moved to Toronto from Hamilton. "I was so happy to find the taste of home."</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-njY9hlMfxpM/UEpsxmBkZkI/AAAAAAAACNo/dkBUCzPD_O8/s1600/DSC01278.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-njY9hlMfxpM/UEpsxmBkZkI/AAAAAAAACNo/dkBUCzPD_O8/s400/DSC01278.JPG" /></a><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7L1jg51Lu5Y/UEpsvUMaJwI/AAAAAAAACMs/2kvpZK6DOaE/s1600/DSC01280.JPG"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7L1jg51Lu5Y/UEpsvUMaJwI/AAAAAAAACMs/2kvpZK6DOaE/s400/DSC01280.JPG" /></a><br /><br /><span style="text-align: left;"><i>Tashkent Restaurant, 800 Petrolia Road, Toronto. Tel: 416 667 0737. Hours are Monday noon to 10pm; Tuesday closed; Wed &amp; Thurs, noon to 10pm; Friday &amp;&nbsp;Saturday,&nbsp;noon to midnight; Sunday noon til 11pm.&nbsp;</i></span><br /><br /><ul style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 14.166666030883789px; line-height: 1.4; margin: 0.5em 0px; padding: 0px 2.5em; text-align: -webkit-auto;"><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Share your own thoughts on Tashkent restaurant in the comments field below.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Follow Spice City Toronto on&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/SpiceCityTO" style="color: #2288bb; text-decoration: none;">Twitter</a>&nbsp;and like it on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/SpiceCityToronto" style="color: #888888; text-decoration: none;">Facebook</a>.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;">Recommend a place for Spice City to visit at&nbsp;SpiceCityTO at gmail dot com.</span></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: inherit;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal;">Sample the best food from around the world without leaving the GTA</span>&nbsp;with the&nbsp;<a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;oe=UTF8&amp;msa=0&amp;msid=209775785163904308697.0004a18419171c0c4a7ed&amp;t=p&amp;z=2" style="color: #2288bb; text-decoration: none;">Spice City Toronto world food map</a>.</span></li></ul></div><br /><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&amp;source=s_q&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=tashkent+toronto&amp;aq=&amp;sll=41.376809,64.599609&amp;sspn=16.306027,36.826172&amp;gl=ca&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=tashkent&amp;hnear=Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario&amp;t=m&amp;z=11&amp;iwloc=near&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&amp;source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=tashkent+toronto&amp;aq=&amp;sll=41.376809,64.599609&amp;sspn=16.306027,36.826172&amp;gl=ca&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=tashkent&amp;hnear=Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario&amp;t=m&amp;z=11&amp;iwloc=A" style="color: blue; text-align: left;">View Larger Map</a></small>Spice City Torontohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18064491744195858218noreply@blogger.com4