SAKE SUSHI BAR, TORONTO (reno'd)

At one point the guys came here so often (at least once a week) that they were all chummy with the owner and all the waitresses/waiters.

But then they started discovering the other Asian bars (because our favourite waitress stopped working at Sake and went to O-Bar).

And I almost didn't go to Sake Bar ever again, until the guys found out they were going under reno and changed owners as well. It is now changed from Korean to Japanese (no side dishes and no creamy corn on a sizzling plate). Yes, the waitresses are Japanese too!

More upscale than Sake Bar prior to owner change, and food is better (so you can enjoy even if you're sober)

Sashimi salad. A large bed of assorted veggies and a hearty serving of chopped sashimi. Spicy, tangy, sweet dressing with a bowl of rice, mixed like bibimbap. Good

Chirashi. Chopped sashimi, avocadoes, rice and my fave Kewpie mayo. Okay

Ikayaki. Grilled squid, so tender and not chewy at all. So fun to eat sauce was good too. Good

Karaage. Pretty looking but nothing to special about taste. Okay

Nuggets cut on the diagonal, alfalfa sprouts (which are super popular in sandwiches here in Santa Clara). Just regular nuggets, no comment

We had Sapporo and Canadians that night.


No more cloth to separate the booths, they have real booths now
The dolls on the side stayed. The red lights are all new

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P/S

We went to SF this week, visited Dolores Park, and a few places which I do not remember the name of (as usual). Food was eaten, pictures were taken.

My SF excursion will be shared next week!

Dear readers, have you made your summer vacation plans yet?

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RECIPE: VICKI'S JAPANESE CHEESECAKE

People in and all around Toronto have been talking about Uncle Tetsu's cheesecake for a while now - how there's a two hour wait line, how you're limited to only purchasing one cheesecake per person, and how wonderfully delicious it is.

My friend who passed by the infamous line up hyped it up, but wouldn't wait in line for me.

My friend who did wait in line ate it all and only told me so when the entire cake was gone (which took like 5 minutes to eat, or so they said).

So I made it for myself.

And then I got addicted and made it two more times:

So instead of waiting in line for Uncle Tetsu's cheesecakes to come out fresh from the oven, make them in your own oven.

~ Ingredients ~

A
250 g cream cheese
50 g butter
60 ml milk

B
5 egg yolks
20 g flour

C
5 egg whites
90 g sugar

~ Method ~

I
Melt A in a pot over medium heat, mix. Do not boil.




II
Remove from heat, mix in B
III
Beat whites until soft peaks on low, then medium

IV
Add sugar in whites, beat high


Fold C into batter 3 separate times

VI
Pour into parchment lined inside, foil wrapped outside spring form tin or cake ring

VII
Bake 300 F 60 minutes

IIX
Remove from tin, cool on rack

Let cool to room temperature or put in the fridge to cool. Cutting it while it's still hot can be messy unless you use a sharp knife dipped in hot water after each cut.





P/S

Loving the California weather (albeit slightly chillier than Toronto at the moment), and most importantly, the work culture here.

The Korean family I live with (am comfortable enough already to call this place my second home and the family here my second family) took me around during my first weekend to get a taste of Santa Clara:

 This restaurant was owned by the uncle I live with's friend. The uncle personally painted the swans for his good friend's opening.

Alviso park

 Jin's Bakery: spent an afternoon on the outdoor patio with coffee and baked goods

Palm trees be everywhere

 Dear readers, I'll be revisiting an old time bar in the next post!

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PEACH SPONGE CAKE

No recipe for this one because my sponge cake recipe is already here:


Mom requested a simple birthday cake 

I'd like to announce that I've landed in California (for a few days now), and all my presumptions of Santa Clara have been shattered and walked-on all-over

I. There is a beach close by. Other than the nicer weather and terrible bus routes, Santa Clara is much like Mississauga.

II. I will find a beachside ice cream shop to work at. Refer to I.

III. I will join a gym and stay fit.  There are no gyms within walking distance of my home here.

IV. I will go on after work/ weekend morning jogs. Laziness has conquered my body.

Tip: When slicing and layering, place the top layer on the bottom, cut side down. This way, even if the baked top is not flat, you can arrange the middle layer on top to ensure a super flat top.

Then, that aside, my Korean has been honed to a point where I can be understood by my landlords and I can understand them as well.

My lack of biking skills has been brought to light. So much so that my landlord suggested against me riding the bike to work in fear that it would cause me more trouble than walking (which is very true - I encounter difficulties in starting the bike on the slightest upwards incline road).

Canned peaches in water are easier and faster to drain upon a moment's notice than that canned in juice (thicker and may seep all over the whipped cream topping)

Not surprisingly, my sweet tooth has stayed closely by my side, constantly reminding myself to eat dessert again, and again (which has been half-replaced by the never ending supply of fruits at work). 




P/S

I said I would give you a recipe for making that super crispy skinned peking duck:



I. buy chinese style roasted duck from the place that makes it the best. Tell them not to cut it for you.
II. At home, right before you serve the duck, heat a deep pot of oil (1 inch)
III. When the oil bubbles when you put a chopstick in, hold the duck by the neck, legs in the pot.
IV. Ladle the super hot oil all over the duck so the skin sizzles and crisps.
V. Serve with homemade crepes, cucumber slices, green onion, hoisin sauce

Next post is based on the ever so hyped Uncle Tetsu's Cheesecake, which I made at home because no one wants to wait in line for 2 hours and be limited to just buy 1 of his delicious cheesecakes.

Dear Readers, go stock up on some cream cheese already!


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K-POCHA, MISSISSAUGA

Round II:
Having missed two of our beloved friends earlier, we met them at K-pocha, our Mississauga gathering place for 2-ish years.


In the past (summer time) they gave out copious side dishes, including white pickled radish, bean sprouts, spicy cold tofu.



Now its just their staple thousand island cabbage salad and buttered corn.

Best corn is still sake bar before they've changed owners and its was cheesy and buttery and sizzling on the hot plate.



K-pocha is good for food and good for drinks. We just get combos every time - the choices from the combo menu encompass all the good dishes from their overall menu. Anything spicy is good, and anything "fried chicken" is good. 

Needless to say, the spicy fried chicken is very good.


The very necessary string of Christmas lights in your Korean bar


What other comments? Let's see:

Birthdays = free shots
Spicy pork is very yummy
K-Pocha Restaurant on Urbanspoon Click to add a blog post for K-Pocha on Zomato
Well then this has become a very disappointing post - I've been trying to dig up some old food pictures from K-Pocha but can't find any.

So then I will let you decide how good this place is by going there for yourself.





P/S

Customer loyalty exists when you go to family owned stores:

Where you can get extra salmon belly.


Dear Readers, do you take advantage of knowing your local markets?

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