The Biryani Walla (Toronto)
Gastro World
by Gastro World
5d ago
Aside from soupy noodles, one of my favourite foods is a bowl of infused rice. Once grains are cooked with spices and stock, it absorbs so many flavours and creates a wonderful comforting bite. It’s a dish that's universally loved: paella, casserole pot rice, risotto, dirty rice, jambalaya, and of course the Indian biryani… just to name a few. Enter the Biryani Walla, which offers a selection of biryani that's dizzying – meat or vegetarian, bone-in or boneless – you’ll want to try them all. Settling on the boneless mutton biryani ($16.49) our table was impressed. The grains of basmati were dis ..read more
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Bread & Butter (Toronto)
Gastro World
by Gastro World
1w ago
Walking into Bread and Butter feels like you’re entering grandma’s house. It’s cozy and old fashioned, the smell of food beckons coyly, and there’s a warmth (in terms of temperature and hospitality) that feels familiar. And just like my grandma, meal begins with soup. Their goulash ($9) arrives steaming hot and emits a comforting fragrance. I could taste the spices teeming in the broth, creating a rich flavour profile with a hint of heat. Filled with chunks of beef, vegetables, and fluffy teaspoon-sized dumplings, it’s a hearty soup that could become a meal with a side dish. I did find it a ..read more
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Bar Poet (Toronto)
Gastro World
by Gastro World
2w ago
Shakespeare’s famous saying proclaims, “If music be the food of love, play on.”  It aptly reminds me of Bar Poet, a restaurant that blends top 40 tunes from past and present, an eclectic comfort food menu, and arcade games. And by the end, the 2-hour seating limit flies by and all we want to do stay longer. The arancini ($15) was seriously good. Made with mushroom risotto, there’s an earthiness to the creamy rice ball that’s stronger than the cheese only versions. But add in sambal cream and chili oil and that hit of heat goes so well with the comforting starter. Somehow, we ordered a l ..read more
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The LC Café 老朱餐廳 (Toronto)
Gastro World
by Gastro World
3w ago
As Asian plazas pop up across Scarborough, I am marvelled by how some older ones re-invent themselves to attract new patrons. Tucked amongst two new sparkling plazas is the unnamed 3290 Midland Avenue, an institution that I’ve visited throughout my lifetime. Still bustling like in the 90’s, this area is now home to The LC Café, a bright and contemporary Hong Kong café.   Their deep-fried HK style shrimp toast ($12.99) was an ideal seafood to bread ratio, the toast topped with shrimp paste and a butterflied shrimp. Indeed, the toast was slightly greasy (expected from this dish), but it ..read more
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Otto’s Trattoria (Toronto)
Gastro World
by Gastro World
1M ago
If song writers were to remake popular songs to update them for the 21st century, I wonder how Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song would change. Could chestnuts still be roasting on an open fire? I can’t remember the last time I’ve had roasted chestnuts, especially not during Christmas. And do families really cook anything over an open fire anymore? The closest foods that come to mind are barbequed meats and pizza, but I guess “tomahawks and pizza cooking on an open fire” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. Regrettably, you now have a glimpse of my chaotic inner mind.   Perhaps it’s ..read more
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Ore of And/Ore (Toronto)
Gastro World
by Gastro World
1M ago
Read mainstream articles written about And/Ore and their two-in-one concept and stunning décor are well cited characteristics. With that in mind, I’m not going to rehash these details and instead focus on Ore, the restaurant located on the bottom floor of the building. As you descend by elevator into the cavernous dining room, it gives off a haunting tunnel-like ambiance. It’s here they serve their 8-course tasting menu ($150) with an optional wine pairing ($80) that’s begins with a glass of champagne and ends with a cocktail (in our case, a floral espresso martini). The starting bites were ..read more
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Osteria Rialto (Toronto)
Gastro World
by Gastro World
1M ago
Osteria Rialto was one big, pleasant surprise. In need of a last-minute reservation to be close to after-dinner festivities, we booked the restaurant based on availability versus reviews. Their menu offers a selection of Italian staples that looked adequate. It’ll likely be a safe but forgettable meal, I thought. My first bite into the suppli cacio e pepe ($12 for two pieces) and Rialto already brought the arancini to another level by combining it with a mozzarella stick. There was a nice cheese pull to the rice croquette encapsulated by the creamy risotto with a liberal sprinkling of black ..read more
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Sushi Yugen (Toronto)
Gastro World
by Gastro World
1M ago
Omakase is like the ramen craze from a decade ago. Every season I hear about another Japanese restaurant offering a chef’s menu – some at $100 or less, while others in the hundreds of dollars. It’s difficult to decipher which are good, the options seem endless. I’ve heard of Sushi Yugen and their $98 main counter omakase and determined it’s a place that maybe I’d visit. It wasn’t until a friend who indulges in a lot of fine dining mentioned the restaurant, giving their chef’s table menu ($275/person) a high recommendation that I finally booked a reservation. And I was not disappointed. The h ..read more
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Zunyan Fine Dining & Banquet 樽宴大酒楼 (Toronto)
Gastro World
by Gastro World
2M ago
If you’re in the mood for dim sum on a weekday, consider Zunyan Fine Dining & Banquet where any small, medium, or large dish is only $5 for the entire lunch period. Order before 11:00am on weekends and the price inches up to $5.25. Their sui mai with fish roe (L) is solid with authentic flavours and the pork not overly pulverized. Just break into it before eating as they were not cooked through on one of my visits. Oddly, the har gow is considered an XL and therefore not included in the special. But, if you’re a fan of shrimp dumplings, the shrimp and chive dumplings (L) is a close subs ..read more
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Shunoko (Toronto)
Gastro World
by Gastro World
2M ago
Most people visit Shunoko for the $100 omakase and may skip their a la carte menu. Admittedly, it’s not extensive, comprised of appetizers and nigiri by the piece with a few handrolls and maki for good measure. Yet, it’s a great option for those who want a quick and/or lighter meal. The butter on fire roll ($19) would elicit a fire emoji. While it has a delicate and tender consistency, the little pops of crunch and flavour changes gives the maki interest. While it sounds weird, the hint of bacon and nuttiness from sesame gives the typical shrimp, avocado, and cucumber combination an unexpec ..read more
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