Saturday, 23 February 2013



15 Toronto Street
Toronto ON

101 College Street
Toronto ON

330 Bay Street
Toronto ON

Service: 2 . 5 / 4
Ambiance: 3 / 4
Food: 3 / 4
Price: $$

AM and I went to  Mercatto on Bay for date night last Saturday night.  The restaurant provides a wonderful ambiance which includes a trendy yet comfortable atmosphere. The comfortable decor goes with the reasonable prices and interesting variety of menu options, we were surprised to find that the restaurant was quite empty, as the quality of the food was high and the prices were right. My only guess would be that the place was quiet due to the service. Our waitress was unfriendly and seamed a little annoyed to be waiting on us.  We tried to not let this ruin our time at Mercatto, as everything else about our meal there was lovely.

We started off with the SALUMI AND CHEESE PLATTER, which included three different cured meats and two cheese options. The meat and cheese was accompanied by some apple slices, bread sticks, and mixed olives. As always, AM was thrilled with this dish. For him nothing beats cheese and meat.

Next, we shared the FRITTO MISTO large pieces of calamari and shrimp lightly battered and quickly fried to perfection. Each piece was tender, crispy and well seasoned. We were happy that, the portion was quite large, for we both could not get enough of this.

I decided to go with the STICKY LAMB RIBS. I had never had lamb ribs before so I had to give it them try. The lamb was served with a warm creamy celery and potato salad, which turned out not to be  an overly exciting side. The ribs, however were very flavourful and saucy, although they were extremely fatty. If you have high cholesterol, then stay away from this menu item. There was only about two bites of meat on each rib, so it would have left me very hungry if we had not ordered those  apps.

AM ordered the SPAGHETTI, and loved every bite of it. The al dente spaghetti was tossed in a zesty tomato sauce and topped with large chunks of fresh mozzarella cheese and a mountain of parmesan cheese. As a huge fan of spicy food we thought it could use a few chili flakes but even without that every last bite was gone by the end of the night.

Would we go back? Yes, but hopefully we would get a more friendly server.

Fritto Misto

  Mercatto on Urbanspoon Mercatto on Urbanspoon Mercatto on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 13 February 2013



321 King Street
Toronto ON

Service: 3 / 4
Ambiance: 2.75 / 4
Food: 2.75 /4
Price: $

The other night I met up with my friend DF for a mid-week early dinner. We decided to go to the Red Tomato to take advantage of their weekday deal where all their menu items and beers are just five dollars at the bar. The bar had a nice set up intimate and dark which bordered on tacky. During the day, I could imagine it to be a bit of an eye sore. The bartender slash server was really friendly and attentive, without hovering too much over us as we ate. Since everything was only five bucks, we decided to get a few things and share them. Be warned: although the prices are small, the portions are quite sizeable. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs; we ordered five dishes for the two of us and could not finish.

First out of the gate was the ROASTED BABY BACK RIBS with cumin-chipotle-honey-BBQ sauce. The ribs were served with a black bean salsa and cabbage slaw.The meat was juicy, sticky and tasty, but we both agreed that the slaw and the salsa stole the show.

As recommended by the bartender we went with the CHIPOTLE SHRIMP TACOS. The tacos were filled with a large portion of shrimp and house made tangy tomato salsa, fresh guacamole and a chipotle aioli. The taco shells were warm, soft and thin which allowed the fillings to really shine.

We weren't sure how big the portions were going to be, so we added a pasta dish to our order. We decided to go with the LINGUINE WITH JUMP FRIED SHRIMP. The pasta was nicely cooked and tossed in their famous jalapeƱo tomato cream sauce. The dish was very rich and quite large, so we were happy to be sharing it.

The highlight of the night was when the BLACKENED SALMON arrived. The salmon was well cooked with the skin still on, which added a nice crispy texture to the soft flaky salmon. We were happy to see a side of the black bean salsa and sweet corn on this dish too, for we really enjoyed it with the ribs and were ready for more. Although, if we had only ordered those two dishes we would have been disappointed to have the same side on both plates - not too creative.

Last but not least, we had the COCONUT SHRIMP. The large jumbo shrimp were covered in shredded coconut and deep fired. The shrimp were still juicy, we could tell they were made fresh in-house, which was nice.

Would we go back? If we were in the area and wanted some drinks and a snack, then yes.

The Blackened Salmon

Red Tomato on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 10 February 2013



2404 Dufferin Street
Toronto, ON 

Ambiance: 2 / 4
Service: 2 / 4
Food: 3 / 4
Price: $

I have been going to Thai Shan Inn since I was just a little girl. Its one of the best Thai restaurants I have ever been t, so I am surprised that most people in Toronto have never heard of it. It is located in a little bit of a sketchy neighbourhood but it's worth the risk to taste this food. The portions are extremely generous and personally made by Louisa using her family recipes which results in authentic flavours..  Although the presentation of the dishes is nothing to rave about the food is something you wont be able to stop talking about. Be warned, if you have any allergies or like to make substitutions, this is not the place for you, as most of the staff and members don't speak English.

We generally order the same things each time we go. We start with the TOM YUM KOONG SOUP: A large bowl of traditional spicy Thai soup made with lemon grass and topped with mushrooms and shrimp. This spicy, lemony soup is so delicious.  however, it can get quite spicy so make sure you have a few tissues on hand for your nose.

 I always make sure to order a VEGETABLE SPRING ROLL. But I am the only one who does- it's too oily and greasy for most. But look at the size of it! So big and full of veggies and glass noodles; Mmm Mmm.

This MANGO SALAD is like none other. Fresh, tangy, green mangos are mixed with a medley of peppers, red onions, ground chicken and fresh fragrant coriander. These simple ingreadiannts are then tossed in a sweet and sticky dressing. The sweet dressing mixes with the sour mango in a unique way that you will never forget.

How can you go to a Thai restaurant with out getting a PAD THAI? So of course this is something we order every time. The stir-fried rice noodles are combined with a house made sauce, peanuts, egg, green onions, tofu bean sprouts,chicken, shrimp and a pile of fresh chili flakes on the side to spice it up if you would like. Mmm my mouth is drooling just thinking about it.

 Lastly, if we go with a large group we also order the YELLOW TAIL DEEP FRIED FISH. The fish is deep fried to perfection and then covered in a homemade red chili tamarind sauce with ground chicken and mushrooms. Don't be afraid of the head and tail - this crispy fish is a house specialty!

Would We go back?  For sure!

Yellow tail deep fried fish

Thai Shan Inn on Urbanspoon

Monday, 4 February 2013



Shops at Don Mills
10 O'Neill Rd
Toronto, ON M3C0H1

Service:  2 . 5
Ambiance: 3
Food: 2. 5

The famous fan favourite of the States has finally made its way up north. The first location opened up at the shops at Don Mills in July. The menu, portion sizes and quality of the food is exactly the same here as it is down south, the only thing that has changed is the price. The Canadian dishes cost on average are about $4 more in Canada than their American counterparts. 
I went with a large group which was great because we got to order quite a few menu items to share.

The CRISPY GREEN BEANS came first. Not something I would typically order because I don't really love heavily batter foods. Most of us just picked at the dish as we waited for the others to arrive, and most of us agreed we would not order them again. not exciting enough to justify all those calories. 

When the TUNA TATAKI CRISPS arrived we were all excited. Who doesn't love a thick slice of seared sushi-grade Ahi tuna? The tuna was placed on a crispy wonton, and topped with fresh diced Ahi tuna, crisp cucumber and scallions all of which were tossed in a citrus-sesame soy sauce. We all thought the flavours were bold and fresh.

The NORTHERN STYLE SPARE RIBS were actually delivered to our table by accident. However, at P.F. Chang's, when they make a mistake their policy is to give you the dish on the house to sample for next time. The ribs were tender, wok-braised and served with a five-spice salt. None of us really loved the them because they were dry and lacked flavor, but we enjoyed the fact that they were free.

We remembered the CRAB WANTONS  as being one of our favourite dishes when on vacation in Florida, so we gave them a try here too. The crispy wontons were filled with a creamy mixture of crab meat, bell peppers and green onions, and served with a spicy plum sauce. The filling had a lot of bell peppers, green onions and cream cheese, but was a little light on the crab.

Most of the food so far had just been mediocre so when the SLAT AND PEPPER PRAWNS came we were hoping for more. They did not disappoint. The crispy prawns were stir-fried in a salt and pepper mix of chili peppers, black beans, ginger and green onions, and were served with a spicy mustard sauce. The large prawns were well seasoned, and juicy; the light touch of batter added an nice crunch to each bite.

Next came the ORANGE PEEL BEEF which was tossed with a mild chili sauce and fresh orange peels. The beef was full of flavour, although it was battered prior to being tossed with the chili sauce, which caused the beef to become soggy. Too bad really, because the flavours were nice.

Lastly, we had the MONGOLIAN BEEF. Tender flank steak wok-cooked and then quickly tossed with scallions and garlic. We all loved this dish the beef was so tender it melted in your mouth. It was a nice way to end off the  otherwise mediocre meal at P.F. Chang's.

Would we go back? At some point in time probably, but not any time soon

Salt and Pepper Prawns

P.F. Chang's China Bistro on Urbanspoon