Food - Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free Options?: Yes to all
- Menu items are wheat-free and refined sugar-free
- Everything is locally sourced
- Spelt flour is used
- Golden Milk available
Cashew Milk Flat White, $4.50
Turkey Brie Open-Faced, $11
Dragonfruit Acai Smoothie Bowl, $9/$10
Wilder Food is a quaint cafe located in the Junction, tucked in the north-west corner of Keele and Dundas West. Spacious and cozy, Wilder Food offers a lovely array of breakfast and brunch items. If you bring friends or family, they have a selected assortment of games you can enjoy yourself with. I went through a couple of fun rounds with Exploding Kittens!
I got to try some of Wilder's menu items, including one of the specials which was the Turkey Brie Open-Faced, which was absolutely to die for! I'm not sure how often they would have this dish on special, but I highly recommend it if you see it on the menu. I also got to try the Dragonfruit Acai Smoothie Bowl, which I would like to describe as "summertime in a bowl". It's super refreshing, packed with healthy goodness and perfect after a good workout or when summer finally rolls around. The Cashew Milk Flat White was very rich and creamy. I don't drink flat whites normally so I can't really compare but I didn't mind it's thick texture at all!
If you live in The Junction or in a nearby area, I definitely recommend coming to Wilder Food for brunch. It's an underrated cafe with loads of Instagrammable and delicious plates for everyone to enjoy! Cause if these photos do not convince you, I don't know what will.
Restaurant: Yunshang Rice Noodle Address: Unit 5, 5285 Yonge St. Phone: 416-233-6662 Operating Hours: Mon-Sun 11:30 - 12 AM Website: www.yunshang.ca
Temporary Soft Opening Menu
Yunshang Bridge Rice Noodle, $19.99
Yunshang Rice Noodle with Mixed Mushrooms ($11.99) plus extra Seafood ($2.99) and extra Beef ($2.99)
Top left clockwise: Deep Fried Cuttlefish Balls, $6.99; Sliced Beef, Tripe and Ox Tongue in Chili Sauce, $8.99; The Salty Popcorn Chicken, $6.95; Cold Glass Noodle in Chili Sauce, $5.99; and Deep Fried Squid Tentacle, $6.99
Yunshang Rice Noodle is the largest Canadian-owned rice noodle chain that is opening their 9th location in North York. Under 3 years old, they are rapidly expanding with 5 more locations opening up across North America. Their base broth is made fresh from pork bones that is cooked for 12 hours daily. There is no MSG in their food and they cook with only the freshest ingredients.
I tried a few of their dishes, including their limited edition Yunshang Bridge Rice Noodle ($19.99)! This is set of rice noodles with assorted premium seafood presented beautifully on a wooden bridge. You get to choose between 5 different noodle soups. I chose the Coconut Curry Rice Noodle, which has a hint of spiciness. You first place all of your raw meat into the boiling soup. After you let it cook, you can place your rice noodles in to eat. This is definitely a creative way to display and eat Chinese rice noodle. I enjoyed the variety of toppings available.
My friend and I devoured the Deep Fried Cuttlefish Balls ($6.99), which we definitely recommend. The Salty Popcorn Chicken ($6.95) and Deep Fried Squid Tentacle ($6.99) were decent, but not much different from other Chinese restaurants. The one dish I advised everyone to stay away from is the Cold Glass Noodle in Chili Sauce ($5.99). I am not a picky eater but this was one of the few dishes I was unable to finish, and I always finish my plate.
For their grand opening celebration, Yunshang Rice Noodle will be giving away FREE Yunshang Bridge Rice Noodle to the first 100 people on March 15th and March 16th. It starts at 6 PM and only at their new North York location. No purchases are necessary and first come, first served (no reservations). After that for a limited time only, 50 Yunshang Bridge Rice Noodle sets are available daily.
Cafe: Hestia Address: 66 Wellington St. W Phone: N/A Operating Hours: Mon-Fri 7:15 AM - 4:30 PM, Sat-Sun CLOSED Website:https://en.hestiatea.com/
Drinks - Soy/Almond/Lactose-Free Options?: Yes to all, including oat milk! - Hestia has their own tea blends, straight from Montreal - Coffee beans from De Mello Palheta - Milk is steamed in all the lattes - All drinks can be iced upon request, no extra charge
Hestia is a Montreal tea bar that opened their second location in Toronto last August. It's located within The Path, so it's only opened during office hours on the weekdays. If you are not familiar with The Path, it's an underground network linking different business buildings and subway stations together. It can be quite a maze for someone who doesn't work in the Financial District. I looped around a couple of times trying to find Hestia, which was tucked away in a corner.
Hestia's mission is to serve you the best tea possible, with blends sent straight from Montreal. They serve the finest selection of tea and their matcha is the highest grade from Kyoto, Japan. This location does have espresso-based drinks for people that need their coffee before work. However, try the tea lattes if you can! Each tea leaves have already been measured out in vials, so you can guarantee that your drink will be steeped just right.
I definitely recommend their Matcha Latte and Chai Latte. They normally don't change out their menu because they want to do the classics. However, you can expect at least one seasonal drink on the menu. Hestia is perfect for tea lovers that are looking for their perfect blend that isn't from a teabag.
Restaurant: The Haam Address: 342 Adelaide St. W Phone: 416-977-7258 Operating Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 AM - 3 PM & 5 - 11 PM; Website:www.thehaam.ca
Seaweed Sashimi Salad, $12
Spicy Chicken Karaage, $14
Panko Soft Shell Crab, $14
Miso Eggplant, $10
Unagi Pressed Sushi, $15
Tokyo Rose, $11 (front)
On their website, The Haam states that they serve Korean food. In actuality it's more like Asian fusion with a mix of Korean, Japanese, and Mexican. I had the chance to try a few of their appetizers. I quite enjoyed the Panko Soft Shell Crab ($14) and the Miso Eggplant ($10), but I thought all the appetizers were quite good.
I got the Tokyo Rose cocktail, which was quite pretty look-wise but taste-wise it was simply a-ok. By the time my Unagi Pressed Sushi ($15) came out, I was already quite full from the appetizers alone. The Unagi Pressed Sushi is still an excellent dish and I wished I had more room in my stomach to enjoy it properly without overstuffing myself.
The restaurant is not that big so I suggest you make a reservation if you go in the evening or weekend. I think the diverse menu and atmosphere makes it a cute date spot. It's not overly fancy or intimate but the space is small enough to give you that cozy feeling. Not to mention they have some adorable menu covers, ranging from Studio Ghibli to Disney!
Do you fancy having your kitchen full of aesthetically-pleasing, but functional kitchen products? I had the pleasure of trying out some cute copper mugs that would fit into your dream kitchen from Moscow Muled, a Vancouver-based company.
The owners of Moscow Muled noticed a lack of copper mugs with interior nickel lining in the market. Many copper mugs you see are not lined with nickel, therefore acidic fluids (that could be found in cocktails) would cause a chemical reaction with the copper. This leads to copper ingestion and a negative impact to one's health. Moscow Muled aims to provide safe-to-drink and stylish copper mugs.
I received a couple of mugs to try out for this post. The mugs are handcrafted and hammered individually to create a lovely, yet simple pattern. Thus, making each and every mug unique.
Since I don't make cocktails at home, I decided to use it for some ice cream. It took three huge scoops of the maple-flavoured ice cream to reach the top. Each copper mug holds 16 ounces of liquid. So despite appearances, one mug holds a lot of liquid (which is perfect for when you are at a party). I added some Hershey's cookies and cream chocolate pieces, rainbow sprinkles and a Pirouette stick to complete this homemade treat.
I don't recommend using the mug for hot drinks. It will heat up really fast and burn you. So these mugs are best for cold drinks or of course, your Moscow Mules. If you would like to be creative, these mugs could be used as decor or holding office supplies as well!
I had the pleasure of attending The National Women's Show this past weekend! The last time I went was back in 2016, so I was excited to return. For attendees, the best part is if you get there before the doors open to get your hands on a bag full of free goodies.
My favourite part of The National Women's Show every year is the food section. You get samples among samples of food. A lot of it this year are from health-conscious and organic companies. I've got to discover many interesting ones, such as Bru Mustard, which is a line of mustards inspired by beer.
The Ten Spot was painting nails for free and I got mine done in a pretty, chromatic brown nail polish from Essie. I loved it! It was the first time I've ever done a free beauty service at the show. There was also free hairstyling at the show but unfortunately was booked up since day one.
I didn't have time for the stage shows but I definitely went around the food section several times! You can check my Instagram stories @torontocafefood to get a glimpse of the show!
I have the pleasure of returning to The National Women's Show this upcoming November. This is the ultimate girls' day out event! You get fashion shows, food sampling, free makeovers and so much more. If you buy your ticket online, you can get $3 off with my promo code TOCAFE.
Not only that, I'm giving out 3 pairs of tickets. Yes, there will be 3 winners! Head over to my Instagram post by clicking here and enter for your chance to win!
Company: Cheese Garden Product Type: Japanese cheesecakes, drinks and desserts Address: 5291 Yonge St. (North York); Unit G120, 3250 Midland Ave. (Midland); B58-4300 Steeles Ave. E (Pacific Mall) Operating Hours: Mon- Sun 11 AM - 10 PM (North York); Mon-Sun 12-10 PM (Midland); Mon-Sun 12-8 PM (Pacific Mall) Website:www.cheesegarden.ca
North York location
Yuzu Pistachio Double Fromage Cheesecake, $22.95
Double Fromage Cheesecake, $18.95
Uji Matcha Tiramisu, $11.95
Baked Cheese Tart, $8.85
Cheese Garden is a Japanese cheesecake shop that offers a variety of desserts with currently three locations in Toronto. I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peek of their new and limited edition Yuzu Pistachio Double Fromage Cheesecake ($22.95) in celebration of their second anniversary. This cheesecake is only available from October 13th through November 4th, with only 50 available at each store and one per customer! If you visit any of the Toronto stores on October 13th or 14th, you can get 50% off one pastry item (excluding the Yuzu Pistachio Double Fromage Cheesecake).
What is yuzu, you may ask? With a quick Google search, yuzu is a citrus fruit that looks like a wrinkled lemon. It's quite sour and tart so yuzu is normally used for flavouring. The Yuzu Pistachio Double Fromage Cheesecake consists of three layers: the frozen yuzu mascarpone cheesecake at the top, with the baked pistachio cheesecake encrusted with sugar roasted pistachios in the middle, that all lastly sits on top of the pistachio sponge cake. The cake is covered with pistachio sponge cake crumbs and is decorated with gold flakes and a yuzu-shaped chocolate. The crumbs are incredibly fluffy (which reminds me a bit of fake snowflakes).
The flavour of the Yuzu Pistachio Double Fromage Cheesecake is quite unique. I enjoyed it more the second time around when my taste buds got used to it. It would definitely appeal to people who like flavours like matcha or hojicha. I think the presentation of the cake in the wooden box is absolutely adorable and is perfect for a birthday or small party.
If you feel that the yuzu pistachio flavour may be out of your comfort zone, try their classic Double Fromage Cheesecake ($18.95) instead! This is perfect for people who like original flavoured products that are kept simple without all the fuss, but is still delicious.
I also got to try the Uji Matcha Tiramisu ($11.95) and Baked Cheese Tart ($8.85). The Uji Matcha Tiramisu is a very light and easy dessert to eat. The Baked Cheese Tart is similar to an egg tart but is a lot sweeter and spongier.
Check out Cheese Garden for their second anniversary to try any one of their pastries for 50% off on October 13th and 14th and can get your hands on the limited edition Yuzu Pistachio Double Fromage Cheesecake (which runs until November 4th).
Company: Full House Desserts Product Type: Traditional Hong Kong desserts Address: 9425 Leslie St. & 4750 Yonge St., Suite 121 Operating Hours: Thurs-Tues 5-11 PM, Wed CLOSED Website: www.fullhousedesserts.com
Full House Sago, $7.49
Mango Pancake, $8.99; Durian Pancake, $10.99
Full House Desserts specializes in traditional Hong Kong desserts. They have two locations, one in Richmond Hill and the other in North York. I was invited to review their desserts and share my thoughts!
I visited their North York location, which is conveniently located by Yonge and Sheppard if you are coming off the subway line. The North York location is a take-out shop where items are already prepackaged and ready to be sold. They have a selection of hot desserts, such as the Black Sesame with Almond Soup ($5.99) and Sweet Ball with Sweet Ginger. I opted to try their cold desserts instead because I couldn't take the food home right away.
The Full House Sago ($7.49) contains mango and pomelo pulp. If you are a fan of mango, you would love this pudding dessert because it packs a punch. In comparison, the Mango ($8.99) and Durian Pancake ($10.99) is full of fresh cream with the fruits stuffed in the middle. They are incredible soft and fluffy to cut through, quite similar to Japanese pancakes! The pancakes can be left in fridge for a couple of days without losing any of the freshness. I like the pancakes because the fillings are delicious; but I prefer it in small doses since I'm normally not a cream person. It's perfect for sharing since you receive two pancakes per order. If you love cream fillings, then definitely give these pancakes a try.
The consistency and taste from these Hong Kong desserts are quite different than what I am used to. If you haven't had traditional Hong Kong sweets yet, Full House Desserts is a great starting point. I think these treats would be a hit at Asian family parties!
Restaurant: Ricci's Pizzeria Address: 8401 Weston Rd. Phone: 905-850-8325 Store Hours: Mon-Wed 11 AM - 10 PM, Thurs 11 AM - 10:30 PM, Fri-Sat 11-12 AM, Sun 3-10 PM Website: www.riccispizza.ca
Greek Chicken Wrap, $10.50
My Order: Tortellini, $11
Despite being a self-appointed Torontonian, my physical home is in Vaughan. Ricci's is an iconic restaurant in the Woodbridge community. This was actually the very first time I stepped foot into this popular Italian joint, despite being a local resident for almost two decades.
Ricci's is set up like a fast food place where you place and pay for your order at the cashier. Then you have the option to take-out or eat-in (they also deliver for you lazy people out there). I decided to eat-in. I probably waited about 8-10 minutes for my order before they called out my name and brought the food to my table. Ricci's has a very chill and laid-back atmosphere. It's great for people and families that want the dine-in experience without the price tag.
I went for the Tortellini ($11) and my sister ordered the Greek Chicken Wrap ($10.50). We also grabbed Fries ($5) as a side. Both dishes were quite filling. The pasta dishes are inexpensive compared to other Italian restaurants, but the wraps and sandwiches are probably a bit more expensive compared to most places. The Greek Chicken Wrap ended up being very oily, so beware if you decide to order it.
I wouldn't say my mind was blown away by the food. But if I was looking for an affordable and decent place to eat out in Woodbridge, then Ricci's would be my top choice.