BOSTON PIZZA, TORONTO

Are you ever so concentrated on something that all your surroundings are muted and all bodily needs (actually I'm just referring to the need to eat and the need to take a break) are shut off?

The other day I ended up coding for 6 hours straight for an assignment and feelings of being tired and hungry did not register at all during that time (if only I could be this hard working all the time).


It's time to eat. After I took all the pictures, boys were getting impatient, sitting restlessly, and only passive aggressively rushed my photo-taking ritual

Another day, we were enjoying the auto show so much that feeling hungry and tired did not cross our minds at all.
Charge your Porsche, change your phone!

But when we finally saw sofas (and a phone charging station!) our legs gave out, and the hunger kicked in.

I don't even like pizza, but I had a three slices (one of each), and even a half of a fourth!

Actually, we ordered two pizzas and a flatbread:

And some beer
Canadian was ordered. Cause we're Canadian.

Chicken ranch flatbread
Buffalo chicken, purple onions/shallots, ranch on some, no ranch on some. Was not very flatbread-like, but more like a thinner crust pizza. The four edge/corner pieces had 1/3 toppings 2/3 crust. Was so hungry I didn't even care though. Bad

Thin crust szechuan chicken
Very appealing to the asians in our table (4/4 of us were asian) cause of the familiar sriracha and sesame taste. But green onions were cut too large, there was too much of it, and made your breath smell too green onion-y. Chicken was bland cause it was breast that tasted like it wasn't marinated prior. Bad

Steak, onion rings, fries
Heavy, rich pizza because of the thick crust (okay, not thick but regular thickness), steak, curly fries, onion rings, several cheeses, sauce. Maybe better on a thinner crust so its less of a mouthful. Okay

Boston Pizza on Urbanspoon

Waitresses were attentive, but that was maybe because the place wasn't that full (Thursday night)
Would I go to Boston Pizza again? Probably not. 
"Maybe another location?" Nope, not even another location. Was never a pizza fan, and although I did eat more than I thought I would, that would have had to be due to my neglected hunger.


P/S

It's rare I stay in Waterloo on weekends because there's one important reason I go back home on the weekends:
To do a closet rotation.


What, there's new another bubble tea place in Mississauga?

Perhaps this is unknown to some people (my roommate(s) thought it was absurd), but how else will I be able to go through a season's of clothes without having to move my entire wardrobe?

And so the best way I decided was to periodically (weekly, biweekly) bring back all my clothes from Waterloo and bring in a set of clothes that I haven't brought in to Waterloo.

There it is - my random P/S of the post.
Continuing on with the bubble tea place:

That gives you menus disguised as magazines?

I ordered a warm Hokkaido milk tea. Apparently it comes with no sugar added (you're supposed to add it yourself). Which was weird because when I drank it, friend and I both thought it was sweet.

Yes, it is very much so a magazine

Proof that the menu is more magazine than menu.

Dear readers, what is your favourite menu to flip through?

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RECIPE: CHESTNUT MANGO MOUSSE

I did not make this cake with the intent of posting it up as a recipe on my blog so those who have nothing better to do for a good 6+ hours of a day and want to make some chestnut mango mousse can do so while enjoying the following step by step pictures. (I made it to satisfy my cake-making withdrawal symptoms. You know, shaky hands, inclination towards the kitchenaid mixer...)


Of course nothing will work out as planned - like how I've always wanted to blog about my pork ribs (yeah, I call them my pork ribs because they're pretty yummy), taking pictures all throughout the process, but always forgetting to take a picture of the final completed dish. So that never made it out (yet).

For this cake I took pictures of the process and what seems to be like 100+ pictures of the final product. "So the recipe will be posted, right?" Nope, because I have no clue what recipe I used (just poured and weighed stuff at the top of my head)

But later decided I could do an impromptu pouring/weighing of ingredients here as well. And so that is how the recipe for mousse ensues:

Ingredients for the sponge cake base

***

Ingredients

A
1/4 cold water
1.5 tbsp gelatin
(x 2)

B
4 yolks
1/2 cup sugar

C
3 cups milk
1 tbsp rum
2 tsp vanilla extract

D
400g chestnut puree (unsweetened), room temperature
1/4 cup sugar, to taste

E
4 ripe ataulfo mangoes, pureed, room temperature
sugar, to taste

F
400 ml whipping cream, whipped

G
Sponge cake layer (as base of mousse)

***

Method

Before:
Trim cake to be slightly smaller than cake ring (cake pan with no bottom) so cake doesn't show on the outside
Room temperature chestnut and mango so the gelatin doesn't firm up immediately


I
In two small bowls of 1/4 c cold water each, sprinkle the 1.5 tbsp gelatin over top


II
Beat B
Heat C on stovetop until steaming, pour slowly into B, mixing well
Return to heat, stirring on medium-low until thick (runny pudding consistency)
Remove from heat

III
Combine D
Add half of II to D, mix
Microwave 1 bowl from I, mix into III


V
Fold half of F into III, pour on top of sponge cake base
Chill ~30 minutes in fridge (slightly set)


VI
Add blobs of chestnut puree on top of slightly set chestnut mousse




VII
Repeat III with mango and remaining bowl of gelatin
Add remaining F, fold
Pour on top of VI
Chill minimum 3 hours in fridge


IIX
Use hair dryer or torch to slightly warm sides of cake ring so the metal ring can slide off easily

IX
Decorate, serve




P/S

My girlfriends have been raving about Chatime and bubble tea (I am very inclined to believe that I have mentioned this before...), and I finally got to have some (with those girlfriends of course).

Tasting chestnut puree * butter = taking me to heaven and back

So now I understand why they always hype it up. And have it so often (or so it seems). 
Because it is delicious. 

Afternoon cakes + cocktails

Dear readers, next post is pizza!

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RECIPE: JAPANESE CHEESECAKE


Cupcakes were all the rage at one point, and at that point I didn't like them very much. I liked (and still like) a good layered cake - to - cream ratio that is not very well represented in a cupcake.



They say the real way to eat a cupcake by cutting the lower layer off and sandwiching the cream with the upper half . But in realistic situations, you eat a cupcake not sitting down, with a plate, a knife (serrated one too), and a fork (optional of course), but standing up, trying to speak to the few people gathered around you, who are also fidgeting with unwrapping the wrapper and not make a mess of cream on their face.



But these cupcakes are slightly different: no, they don't have cream on top, and no, they are not baked in the paper pleated cupcake cups, but the sturdy cups coated with a wax lining on the inside.

What does this mean?

It means you can scoop it out with a spoon. Like eating from JELL-O pudding cups, but cake on the inside.

With wild blueberry sauce

In this cake, cheesecake, the Japanese one, which is not rich and dense, but light and fluffy.
(from Christine's Recipes, who provides no-fail recipes)

***

Ingredients

A.
250 g cream cheese
250 ml milk
60 g butter

B.
6 yolks

C.
60 g flour
20 g corn starch

D.
6 whites

E.
130 g sugar

***

Method

I.
Melt A over low heat, mix

II.
Add B, mix

III.
Add C, mix

IV.
Beat D until soft peaks, medium speed

V.
Add E gradually, beating high speed
Until soft glossy peaks

VI.
Fold V into III in three additions

VII.
Bake 150C
Small cupcakes: 30 minutes
2 Rectangle: 50-60 minutes
2 Round: 50-60 minutes

IIX.
Let cool with over door open 10 minutes
Remove from pan
Cool completely
Chill in fridge 3 hours

***

You want to bake this on a low heat so the cake does not rise rapidly (causing cracks when it cools). Lower your temperature if you see this happening.

If the top gets too brown put a sheet of aluminum foil on top so it doesn't brown anymore.

Instead of placing in a waterbath (and having to wrap the pan in aluminum foil), put several ramekins of hot water in the oven right when you turn the oven on so its nice and humid in the oven before the cake goes in.

Chilled and not chilled makes a difference here - just like any other cheesecake.

Sweet cake

On a side note, Happy Belated Chinese New Years!

Radish cake


P/S

I'll be doing my co-op term in California this summer, in the Bay Area.
Where there will be lots of seafood (right?)
And lots of fruits (right?)

Or that just might be one of my many assumptions of California.

Oh yes, this weekend I finally tried Chatime (milk tea) and Baileys. apparently this has been a common practice for a long time because it is really delicious, and it is.


Green tea mousse, vanilla mousse, Baileys. Baileys is also good on any other sweet dessert or drink.

The Kalbi ribs from Spring Rolls in Toronto

Dear readers, have you started planning for your summer yet?

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HAN BA TANG, NORTH YORK

When I go out with the guys there are three things that always happen.

I. They will come exactly 1 hour or 1.5 hours after the time they said they initially were
II. I never know where we are going until halfway into the car ride
III. Music is loud in the car and we sing along to it

Back to point I: even though I know they'll be arriving later than they said they would, I always have this lingering hope that one day night they will come on time, so I get ready at 9 when they say, "Coming at 9".

But as always, they come 1-1.5 hours later.

So how was this night any different?
Basing on the first three points, it wasn't any different, it was the restaurant that made it different (not one of usuals). Which is also the reason why I came unprepared and took pictures with my phone and not camera. This place is famous for their infused soju and modern Korean dishes.


Very rustic, quirky, bare architecture

Which we enjoyed thoroughly.


And I don't even like tacos (it's true, my friends will tell the same), but this spicy pork taco was so delicious I had two.



Kimchi bulgogi poutine is just like what it sounds like. The acidity of kimchi help cut through the grease, and the meat provides some substance. They serve it in a shallow pan so that every fry gets an adequate dose of topping (because no one likes eating the plain and not soggy fries at the bottom).



"Because girls like white sauce" was what I said when they asked why girls like this dish so much. Things always sound better in my mind and sometimes I wish I talked less out loud. It came with a small side of pickled cabbage, which helps you eat more of the rice cakes drenched in cream sauce.



Chicken wings! Wow this was impressive. Because, they removed one of the two bones in the middle wing (my favorite part of the wing, because middle >  tip > drum), and deep fried it to a glorious crispy crunch.



Notice that curved edge of the cup rim! That curved edge hugs your lips - yes it did elevate my beer drinking enjoyment.


Beer? Yes, they have that here too. We got three pitchers: Hoegaarden (a light beer), Rickards (a dark one), and Sapporo (because we're at an Asian food place and need some Asian beer). Because the food was so tasty I nursed a pint of each with no problem!


Strawberry, then peach

I don't like fruit flavoured liquid drinks (that means smoothies excluded) very much. The only ones I don't mind that much are lemon juice (ratio of 1:1 with water, no sugar) and orange (with lots of pulp). So I don't like cocktails because the taste is very artificial fruity sweetness. 




They are known for their infused soju, which you can try all at once for a $15 soju flight. But we got 2 flavours instead. The peach, and the strawberry. I didn't like the peach soju cocktail. But the strawberry one was basically soju + strawberry YOP, and it was delicious. Would get that one next time (or just make it at home).

Han Ba Tang on Urbanspoon
It's on urbanspoon right hereee

Oh yes, and the environment in this place? Very nice - there is a wide mix of types of people here (different ethnicities), and the servers (including an ajumma) and waiters/waitresses are fun and friendly. 

The guys especially like the waitresses. And I especially like the waiters.



P/S

It's already more than a month into 2015, but last week I still wrote the year to be 2014 in my some of my lecture notes.
Sometimes I just don't think much.

Made some pumpkin tarts and she wanted them bad

Dear readers, when has your forgetfulness not caused an issue?

Read more...

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