When I saw that you can catch Pokemon on Google Maps...

K&B Sushi

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Warning: You may begin to salivate after viewing these photos, especially if you're a huge sushi fan :)

I think half the fun of blogging (for me at least) is the processing of the photography that accompanies each post. With this one specifically, yes, it makes me kind of crave my all-time favorite Green Dragon roll again, but sushi is one of those things where it's best for me to have only once in awhile, for me to truly appreciate the wonderful taste it exudes.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I had lunch with a close friend of mine, Jem, whom I shared many good and bad memories back in university. I barely get to see this guy due to differing work locations, and despite living in the same city, we're both often tossed around by busy schedules. It was nice to see him after a month or so, because the last time I saw him, we were having a belated birthday celebration for me. With this guy, sushi and food photography is a big thing for him, so I'm grateful that there's a level of understanding for the extra shots of food I ended up taking :P

And onto the food!

Normally at an AYCE sushi joint, you would just get the traditional miso soup. At K&B? You have the choice to choose unconventional options such as the corn and egg white soup above. Loved this type of soup growing up so of course I chose this one!

Jem was raving about this dish even before we stepped in, haha. Stir Fried Udon noodle mixed with vegetables and chicken. A bit salty for my personal preferences, but aside from that, still pretty tasty! 

Chicken Katsu. No, we didn't order two, haha. Crispy and not too dry, so it's what you would expect (clearly I'm not a Chicken Katsu connoisseur...).

From left to right on the plate: Green Dragon Roll, Eel Skin roll, and Dynamite roll. Maybe I got lucky that day and landed with extra smooth avocado for the Green Dragon roll, or maybe K&B has the expertise to execute a better quality in their avocado based sushi compared to other AYCE places. Either way, I had never experienced the sensation of melt-in-your-mouth-smooth avocado on sushi before, so K&B already landed itself to be a place I'd consider for AYCE the next time if I ever got the chance.

When it comes to sushi, I'm open to try new pieces I have not yet tried before. I was completely fine with the Eel skin order, even though I would normally order pieces that are BBQ Eel. As I've learned that day, those two things may originate from the same animal, but the way it tastes is quite different. Not that I didn't enjoy it, it was certainly different than I had expected. The skin has a slight leathery texture that I was unfamiliar with, so I'd have to say that my preference still lies with barbecued eel as opposed to just its skin.

From left to right on plate: Spicy Avocado Roll???; Avocado and Cucumber Roll.

... Can you tell that I'm a huge fan of avocado yet? :)

Crab Meat Handroll, Shrimp Tempura and Salmon Teriyaki

Left to right on plate: Red Dragon Roll, combination of Crunchy Spicy Salmon Roll and Philadelphia Roll, and... I forgot what the last grouping was because Jem ate all of them. I have a feeling they were spicy rolls too, which would explain why I didn't touch any of them.

The Philadelphia Roll was another menu item I had never had before. The fact that it had "Philadelphia" cheese to begin with was a new taste experience. Not bad, but I would've preferred less cheese. Personal preference of mine, most definitely. 

Chicken Teriyaki Roll! Reminds me of the gigantic ones from Sushi One :) I liked these ones too. The Chicken Teriyaki wasn't too salty, and they weren't too big for my mouth to engulf in one bite.

Gotta close off with some green tea ice cream for dessert. Of course, Jem being Jem, would have mango ice cream :P

First time for everything

Friday, 21 March 2014

I'm glad I don't look like that though...

Art Inspiration: Janko Pocuca

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

While doing visual research for my job, I came across a piece by Janko Pocuca. I had looked at maybe a dozen or so graffiti pieces that day on Behance.net (and mind you, they were very well done), but this particular artist stuck out to me the most.

Usually, when you think of graffiti, you think of crazy, sometimes incoherent lettering that just look like abstract forms. Or maybe you think of bubble letters, or lettering that is legible, accompanied by ornamental aesthetics such as spray splatters, slick illustrations and a plethora of colours. Pocuca's work isn't short of the latter, nope. The thing that made him oddly distinct from the other graffiti pieces I've seen that day however, is the sheer whimsicality of his work.

If you look at the select few pictures of his work below, you'll see what I mean. In a way, his illustrative style kind of reminds me of Ren and Stimpy (wooo 90's kids would probably know which cartoon this is, not that I watched this cartoon much), just with more pleasing aesthetics. His characters have this non-sensical silliness to it that you don't find in a lot of graffiti. Maybe I haven't seen too many renowned graffiti or something, but I always had the impression that most graffiti artists just want their work to look cool, to have some sort of social documentary to it, or they don't really have a meaning behind it. 

Anyway, here is some of Janko's stuff:

Expansion begins...


Normally I would post an entry on a food place based on first time experience, but for this place, this is different. I wasn't expecting to go to Joey's for a second time so soon, so I couldn't quite call this a 'tbp' just yet :P

The first time I knew of its existence was when my close friend from university mentioned to me that he was going to a friend's birthday gathering at that restaurant downtown. I hadn't realized then that Joey's was a franchise with multiple locations, and that it was more similar to Moxie's as opposed to the 'The Keg'esque impression that I had when I heard of his experience there. Somehow I conjured this idea that I would probably never really go there unless if there was some sort of super special occasion, which explains why I was surprised to find myself there with a couple of coworkers late last year. We went to the location at Yorkdale since it was relatively easy to get to.

I realize now that I had neglected to take pictures of the interior the first and second time around. I guess I got so caught up in the conversations I had with my coworkers/friends that I forgot :( For both times we dined on the ground floor, so I still have no idea what the upper floor looks like. Maybe the third time's a charm and I'll be able to accomplish both...?

Jody absolutely loves mojitos, so the first time we went, she ordered a pomegranate flavored one. That alone was enough to convince me to order one myself.

I was scanning the menu when I came across a dish that I thought would be interesting to try — Lobster Grilled Cheese. I love seafood in general, but there is a special place in my heart when it comes to lobster. I personally think it's the deliciousness and rarity of eating lobster cooked "Chinese style" that makes it so exciting for me every time I do get to eat some.

For 15 bucks, this was not a bad choice at all! I was thoroughly pleased that the cheese in the sandwich was not overwhelming my taste buds and didn't left me feeling nauseated or "bleh". It wasn't too salty and there was just the right amount of lobster meat to create a harmonious blend of flavours. The salad was satisfying too. I found myself looking forward to every almond(I don't remember entirely... it may have been pecan) nut I could find in there to taste that tangy-sweet-but-a-tiny-bit-of-sour flavour and usually salads are not something I am crazy about. It's not that I hate salads, they're just not that exciting to me.

The second time at Joey's, Jody ended up ordering what I had the first time, but with fries as a side, as opposed to my salad the first time around.

I wanted to try something different, so I ordered the Chicken Fettucine Alfredo instead.

Again, this dish had the right amount of sauce without making me feel sick of the cheesy taste. The chicken was cooked with enough tenderness that would make me finish the meal peacefully, but I think that an even softer texture would truly allow a 'wow' to escape my lips. Overall, it was a good meal, and personally, the amount of pasta was good that I wasn't overly full or left still hungry.

The good company and excellent service by the waiting staff contributed even further to pleasant night out, so I don't regret a thing.

Until next time!

3/15 & 3/16th

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Truth be told, I shouldn't have just limited my title to this weekend, but considering how my last "miscellaneous" post was during the weekend, I thought maybe that would be a good title.

My weekend so far (even though it's about to end... pretty much)? Good and unexpected.

I started off with Friday night eating dinner with a couple of coworkers/friends at Joey's. I'll have a separate post sometime later!

I didn't expect to stay in the Richmond Hill/Markham area the majority of my Saturday, but aside from certain events that didn't necessarily concern myself personally too much, it turned out to be a good thing being in that location. By chance, I discovered an additional franchise expansion of a dessert/bubble tea place that I haven't gone to in a really long time, so it was nice to revisit and also try out new items on their menu. Here's a sneak peak of what made my afternoon:

I didn't have much time to myself on Saturday as much as I'd like to, but I at least spent a good majority of the day finishing the scarf I was working on for the past two weeks as a very belated Christmas present for a friend of mine. While I couldn't take a picture of the actual infinity scarf due to planning conflicts, here is a photo of the leftover yarn:

And aside from that, I have managed to finish the 2nd joker claptrap and start progress on the Ace of Clubs card,  but otherwise, my Borderlands playing cards personal project has been on a standstill. I will slowly get this done though. I just wish the outlet in the kitchen of my workplace would actually work so that I can migrate my laptop there without having to worry about its' crappy battery life : /

In the meantime, I am almost bursting at the seams when it comes to upcoming food posts on this blog. I want to post about Ryoji, Joeys (as I've mentioned earlier), the place I went to yesterday and now, the AYCE sushi place that I went with one of my closest friends today!

food posts everywhere :D

Speaking of which, aside from taking a million pictures of the food and sharing life stories with him, we also chilled a bit afterwards. He loves mangoes, so when I told him about the 5.99 deal (for a crate of 12 mangoes!) at T&T supermarket, we just had to go so he could buy his own crate :P

Yes, he is hugging multiple crates of mangoes hahah :P

For the last several hours of this weekend, I guess I'll catch up on errands, start editing pictures, writing some food blog posts and relax a bit :)

Throw Back Post: WVRST

Thursday, 13 March 2014

My boyfriend and I went to WVRST late last year, but I never got around to posting about it until now (hence that's why it's a "Throw Back Post", or TBP in short for future references???). WVRST specializes in different kinds of hot dogs — from German sausage to the good ol' American styled kind, there is a good variety to choose from. They even have kangaroo sausage!

I didn't manage to take a photo of the outside sign that night (probably because it was a bit chilly and we wanted to get inside), but the way they spelt their name reminded me of how one of my really close university friends would spell certain words, making it look uber hipster. Yes Jem, I'm definitely looking at you :P

I've always been more of a hot dog person than a burger person. Maybe it was the fact that there is more surface area to indulge in my (sometimes) unhealthy obsession with ketchup, versus the compact area of a burger patty? Haha I don't know. Either way, I enjoyed the food for that night. I ordered Italian sausage while my boyfriend ordered German. We both added onions and sweet peppers as sides, and exchanged bites to taste what each other's hot dogs were like. The Italian sausage tasted sweet and chewy, just right up my alley. I was a bit surprised because half the time, Italian sausages would be a bit spicy too, but this one didn't have any of that. I'm a total softie when it comes to spice, so ++ appeal points for me :)

The only criticism I had was that for $6, the hot dogs weren't that big, so for someone with a bigger appetite than I, they would probably need to order a side of fries to accompany their main order. So quality wise, definitely uncommon and well prepared, it's just that you're paying more for quality than quantity.

If I happen to be on King and craving a hot dog, I would definitely stop by WVRST again.

Until next time!

That one dim sum trolley lady...

Sunday, 9 March 2014

I'll admit, my Cantonese ain't the best. But when you combine that with a beyond murderous look from the trolley lady (maybe she was enraged by my amateur speaking skills?!), you have someone who feels scarred for life. Kidding about the scarred for life part, but still applies to a good portion of that day.

Early March Weekend

Nothing like a calming Sunday at Starbucks to work on outstanding things — including drafts for upcoming blog posts. It's just a shame that this place doesn't serve my favourite drink of all time, the Matcha Green Tea Latte. Oh well. The Chai Tea Latte comes as a close second.

I haven't gotten the opportunity to devote whole weekends to myself as of late, so this Sunday is like gold to me. Being able to devote some time to doing the things I want to like finding new music to add to my collection and getting errands out of the way has been soothing to the soul.

I'm not going to make a complete separate food post for this, but I went to Glow at Don Mills Shopping Centre last night for a friend's surprise birthday party. I wasn't particularly hungry when I arrived, so I ordered an appetizer instead. For $10, the Lobster Mac and Cheese wasn't that bad (maybe this is my subtle way of making up for missing out on Rock Lobster?)

It's really small, so I wouldn't suggest on ordering this as a whole meal. There were bits and pieces of lobster, making the dish about 95% pasta and 5% lobster. I'm not going to lie, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of lobster. Hopefully I can go to Rock Lobster one day to satiate my craving for seafood. Otherwise, the mac and cheese was okay. Nothing special...


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The moment you've been waiting for has finally arrived! I apologize for being two weeks late — I had to deal with some personal matters that took awhile, but now I finally have time to write here :)

After Ryu, I thought I had been to all the decent ramen places in downtown Toronto. Then I stumbled across a BlogTO post about Raijin. I was a bit skeptical at first because some of the comments were dissuading, claiming things like, "Oh, I got food poisoning from there" or some other sort like that. Then again, quite a few commenters have complained about Touhenboku (I'll probably post about this another time later too, for the curious) and I found it to be alright.

The last time I went to College and Yonge to eat somewhere was for Korean BBQ almost 3 - 4 years ago, so I wasn't the most familiar when it came to that area. There was an initial confusion as to which direction to head to, but my boyfriend and I managed to head to the right way.

Upon entering the restaurant, my first impression is that this place is the most spacious out of all the ramen places I've been to. There's a decent number of seats in varying arrangements (boxed group, the usual long table with booth/cushioned seats at the wall, and bar style like the photo below) with ample walking space. It's bigger than Santouka and it apparently has a completely different dining section at the back (or so my boyfriend says, I never got to see).

The atmosphere is also distinctly quiet, as opposed to the usual animated and loud Japanese greetings from the waiters/waitresses (not that they wouldn't greet you!). Furthermore, I think Raijin has the most decorated interior as well, especially when you manage to fit this guy:

And they even conveniently placed a Valentines' Day special on their centre piece! The menus were also a nice touch, since it was printed on paper reminiscent to Japanese paper.

I don't remember very clearly, but I do believe that Raijin's menu had an assortment of soup bases and ways they prepared the noodle. I really do wish I was able to at least take a picture of one of their menu pages, but I was so busy flipping through that I never got the chance to :(

 As usual, my boyfriend ordered Chicken Kurage as an appetizer for his ramen. I ordered the standard Shoyu ramen with pork and egg, while he ordered ramen with a garlic soup base.

I'd say for the price and quality, Raijin is one of the more bang for the buck places. While it's not the absolute best ramen in the world (realistically speaking), it does have a respectable quality and I would go there again if I was craving for some ramen.

Oh, I almost forgot!

For the people who have a sweet tooth, one thing Raijin has that most ramen places don't have, is a dessert menu :)

I didn't get to try it, but if I go there again, I'd definitely try their Ko-hee-zelee!

Until next time!