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Chinese Dessert Dinner Lunch Out with Markham Food Reviews

Dining in Markham, York Region

September 26, 2018

There are tons of delicious and diverse options if you’re looking for a place to eat in Markham. Being the largest municipality in York Region, fourth-largest city in the Greater Toronto Area, and Canada’s 16th largest city (source), there’s no doubt that the food scene is constantly growing.

We’ve highlighted four places across Markham that we hope you’ll enjoy.

Ding Tai Fung (First Markham Place)

Markham - Ding Tai Fung, First Markham Place

Markham - Ding Tai Fung, Xiao Long Bao, Soup DumpingsThis restaurant isn’t connected to the official Din Tai Fung in Taiwan, but it’s been around for about a decade and still a very popular choice for diners. We highly recommend ordering the spicy shrimp wonton and their famous xiao long bao (soup dumplings) shown above.

Cacao 70 (Downtown Markham)

Markham - Cacao 70 Dip Shop WafflesCacao 70’s Dip Shop just opened this summer and is already a hit among those with a sweet tooth. Their store is conveniently located near a lot of fantastic restaurants and across Cineplex Cinemas Markham & VIP. After your dinner and movie, stop by and indulge in some fondue or ice cream. Both the shop and their items are insta-worthy, so don’t forget to snap a pic and hashtag #MarkhamFood!

Old Firehall Confectionary (Main Street Unionville)

Main Street Unionville, Markham - Old Firehall Confectionary Main Street Unionville, Markham - Old Firehall ice creamAnother dessert option is the Old Firehall on Main Street Unionville (not to be confused with the other quaint area further east called Main Street Markham!). They have an assortment of ice cream cones, fine chocolates, and pastries to choose from. Once you’ve picked your dessert, take a stroll and admire the Unionville area.

19th Avenue Farmer’s Market (Markham North)

Markham, 19th Avenue Farmer's Market Markham, 19th Avenue Farmer's Market peppersIf you’re interested in seeing what some of York Region’s farmers have to offer, head north to the 19th Avenue Farmer’s Market! The market is always stocked with fresh produce sold both individually and in batches. There are also many more farms and farmers’ markets across the region – download the York Farm Fresh Map to find them all!

Regardless of where you go, York Region is full of amazing places to eat. Through YorkSafe, the York Region government is working to keep the restaurants you love safe and clean. For more information, visit york.ca.

This post was sponsored by York Region for World Tourism Day. Official hashtags are #LoveYR #WorldTourismDay and #WTD2018.

The Regional Municipality of York is not affiliated with Ding Tai Fung, Cacao 70, 19th Avenue Farmer’s Market, or the Old Firehall Confectionary.

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Lunch Out with Markham Food Reviews Seafood

Lunch at Diana’s Oyster Bar & Grill

May 24, 2018

Established in Scarborough in 2010, Diana Oyster Bar & Grill has been a longtime favourite for seafood-lovers in the Toronto area. Those who know about Diana’s seafood would talk about their juicy oysters and fresh seafood options.

To our excitement, Diana’s opened their doors in Markham three years ago! We had the pleasure of attending their grand opening event back then, alongside Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and other notable individuals. This new location is spacious and beautifully designed with a menu completely different from their Scarborough spot.

Lunch menu items at Diana's Oyster Bar & Grill Markham
Please note the only lunch menu item above is the Lobster & Crab Roll. The rest are available through their regular menu and priced separately.

One thing many people forget about is Diana’s set lunch options, which we had the pleasure of trying recently. Each item on this menu is $18 and all sandwiches are served with coleslaw and a choice of fresh cut potato wedges, soup of the day, mixed greens, or clam chowder.

Lobster & Crab Roll at Diana's Oyster Bar & Grill MarkhamWhile we haven’t tried everything on their lunch menu, we heard the Lobster & Crab Roll was a popular item and gave it a go. This was perfect! The roll was perfectly toasted and there was a generous amount of lobster and crab chunks.

Raw oysters at Diana's Oyster Bar & Grill MarkhamAnd if you visit them on a Tuesday or Wednesday, you’ll be able to take advantage of their all-day oyster special! Get a dozen Malpeque oysters for $15 or a dozen Fanny Bays for $24.

Other dishes you should check out…

Serrano Tuna at Diana's Oyster Bar & Grill MarkhamSerrano Tuna– Albacore tuna, cucumber, avocado, serrano chili, and ponzu dressing

We loved the mix of textures and flavours in this appetizer. It looks small, but it’s a great size for 2-3 people to share while waiting for their main dishes.

Grilled AAA Black Angus Striploin at Diana's Oyster Bar & Grill MarkhamGrilled AAA Black Angus Striploin – AAA Black Angus striploin steak, portobello mushrooms, garlic mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and veal jus

For those who can pack in a little more during lunch, why not try the steak? This juicy steak was done medium rare (just the way we like it) and the garlic mashed potatoes was DELICIOUS!

Bouillabaisse at Diana's Oyster Bar & Grill MarkhamBouillabaisse – Lobster tail, shrimp, mussels, clams, assorted fish, vegetable-fish broth, and rouille-croutons

This dish is for the true seafood lover. The lobster tail was large and the clams and mussels were fat and juicy. Everything went really well with the broth and is best eaten immediately while it’s warm! (We took a while to get to this because we were busy taking all of the above photos!)

Thanks to Diana’s Oyster Bar & Grill for sponsoring this blog post.

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Dinner Japanese Lunch Reviews

Coupons to Teriyaki Experience

February 13, 2017

We’re excited to announce that Teriyaki Experience is launching their new Winter Warmers Soup Collection this month! A new soup broth, ramen (with soybean paste, pork bone, or served cold), and miso soup have been introduced to their menu and are available at all Teriyaki Experience locations.

Teriyaki Experience Shrimp and Chicken Ramen Bowls
We ordered the chicken ramen with mild broth and shrimp ramen with spicy broth along with six gyoza dumplings.

Teriyaki Experience Chicken Ramen
Interested in trying one of the new Winter Warmers items? We have two coupons for you!

Get $1.00 off any soup and a BOGO free ramen coupon by signing up here!

Ramen noodles at Teriyaki Experience

Looking for a Teriyaki Experience location in the York Region? Check out their full list of locations.

Thanks to Teriyaki Experience for sponsoring this blog post.

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Dinner Local Events Lunch Out with Markham Food Reviews

New Captain’s Boil Location in Newmarket

January 16, 2017

New Captain's Boil location
Captains Boil Newmarket - Seafood
With several locations across Canada, The Captain’s Boil is rapidly expanding – and with good reason too! If you’ve never heard of them, think steaming lobster, king crab legs, shrimp, mussels, and more boiled in mouthwatering cajun-inspired sauces. Customers can pick from one of three special sauces along with their preferred level of spice. They also serve other dishes including  rice, chicken, and (our fave) cajun fries.


Now, Newmarket residents can rejoice! The Captain’s Boil just opened up at Yonge and Mulock, so you don’t have to travel down south to enjoy delicious seafood boil. Their official grand opening is this Friday, January 20th. And for two weeks (until February 3), customers can receive 10% off starting January 20th by claiming a Facebook offer or checking in on Yelp. Students can also take advantage of their special lunch deals.

Captains Boil Newmarket
A couple of Markham Food representatives had a chance to visit the Newmarket location before its grand opening. Like the rest of their restaurants, the attention to detail in the decor is evident. The Newmarket restaurant is spacious, has a sports bar separate from the dining area, and a VIP room with speakers and TVs.

Anyone who loves seafood would have an amazing time at The Captain’s Boil.

Happy dining!

Photos by Christy Yao Photos.

Thanks to The Captain’s Boil for sponsoring this blog post.

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Chinese Lunch Reviews Taiwanese Vietnamese

Good and Quick Lunches Around Markham and Richmond Hill

September 13, 2016

I admit that I’ve been a big foodie since I graduated. I only started aggressively blogging about food and restaurants since the start of 2016. I have worked around the Markham and Richmond Hill areas for 10+ years. Throughout the years, I have sampled many cuisines from many of the restaurants in the area and have even helped organize corporate food events.

During some days of the work week, my colleagues and I may have only 1 hour available for lunch. Most of the time, it is really good to get out of the office and enjoy great food to refresh the mind and spirit.

Here are my recommendations for quick – but good –  lunches in the area depending on the type of cuisine you are craving for.

Restaurant #1: Pho 88

Cuisine Type: Vietnamese

Satay Pho at Pho 88 in Scarborough
Reasons: Though this location is in Scarborough, it is close enough to the York Region border that those who work in Markham can access it easily. Once you get a table, the pho dishes come out really fast (like within five minutes). The restaurant is styled like a cafeteria and you get seats pretty quickly.  Fast and good food, consistent taste, and fast service with no nonsense. I used to eat only bun (vermicelli) dishes, but their restaurant had such great pho it converted me and I never went back. My favourite dish is the Satay Pho above.

Restaurant #2: Mei Nung Beef Noodle House

Cuisine Type: Taiwanese

Mei Nung Beef Noodle House in Markham
Reasons: If you want to taste Taiwan, these is the closest thing. This restaurant is famous for their beef noodle soups and stinky tofu side dish. The dishes normally come out quickly. Beware of the clothing you wear into the restaurant because the stinky tofu smell can stay on you.

Restaurant #3: Northern Dumpling Kitchen

Cuisine Type: Northern Chinese

Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) at Northern Dumpling Kitchen
Reasons: This place offers great tasting dumplings and other northern Chinese cuisine for very reasonable prices. My friends and I really like their steamed, boiled, and fried dumplings along with the shredded pork cold dish. I personally think that their xiao long bao is the best in Toronto. Their service speed is good for a fast lunch.

Restaurant #4: Phoenix Restaurant

Cuisine Type: Hong Kong Style Cafe

Minced beef with rice at Phoenix Restaurant
Reasons: Even though there are three locations, this location has more space for seating and parking. They have a large menu when it comes to HK-style foods. Their meals are very consistent with each visit. The pricing isn’t too expensive and you will definitely leave feeling full. Their dishes come out very quickly (within 5-10 minutes). My favourite dish is the Fried Pork Chop with Maggi Sauce on Rice.

Locations

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All You Can Eat Local Events Out with Markham Food Reviews

Review of The Stop’s Night Market 2016

July 4, 2016

Imagine being able to try food and drinks from over 90 local restaurants from across the city for only $100. This was exactly what we did when we attended The Stop’s (5th annual) Night Market last month.  Along with the all-you-can-eat/drink perk, the admission fee goes toward The Stop’s programs to increase access to healthy foods and confront the underlying issues that lead to poverty and hunger.

The Stop's Night Market 2016

The event runs for two nights, with vendors operating out of one-of-a-kind food carts created by local designers. Here are a few we managed to capture (before the lines started forming). To view all of the carts displayed this year, visit The Stop’s Facebook album.

Nest and Simpsons food cart designs by Spoke Creative and The Hunger

Left: Cart design by Spoke Creative // Right: Cart design by The Hunger

Cassette food cart design by Amanda Ghantous

Cassette food cart design by Amanda Ghantous

Most people definitely wouldn’t be able to eat everything offered, but luckily, we came in a group of four. Through teamwork and dedication, we managed to try something from nearly every vendor that night!
Duck Fat Mini Donuts from Sugar Mamma's Mini Donuts

Duck Fat Mini Donuts from Sugar Mamma’s Mini Donuts

Steam Whistle's Premium Pilsner

Steam Whistle‘s Premium Pilsner

Blue Goose Fried Chicken with spiced pomegranate glaze, zaatar, and green onions by Bar Fancy

Blue Goose Fried Chicken with spiced pomegranate glaze, zaatar, and green onions by Bar Fancy

Vanilla Bean Rhubarb Donuts - "A Homer J Simpson Classic" from Tori's Bakeshop

Vanilla Bean Rhubarb Donuts – “A Homer J Simpson Classic” from Tori’s Bakeshop

Sodas from JUST Craft Soda (We really liked the pear/vanilla one.)

Sodas from JUST Craft Soda (We really liked the pear/vanilla one.)

Jerk Chicken on a Fried Bao from Patois

Jerk Chicken on a Fried Bao from Patois

Frankie's Meatballs with red sauce & pickle salsa verde from Bespoke Butchers

Frankie’s Meatballs with red sauce & pickle salsa verde from Bespoke Butchers

This year’s Night Market was an overall success – feeding tons of hungry attendees, featuring amazing food/drink vendors, and raising $215,000 in support of The Stop’s critical food access and community-building programs. If you missed out this year, follow The Stop on social media to be updated on next year’s event.

Two points we’re going to keep in mind for next year:

  1. Come hungry.
  2. Minimize the bulk. Since there was a lot of juggling this year (food, drinks, utensils, etc.), it’s best to come with as few items as possible.
  3. Wear close-toed shoes that we don’t mind getting a little dirty. The event is on gravel, so there are a lot of rocks and sand which can hurt. 😉

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Dessert Dinner Drinks Lunch Out with Markham Food Reviews

Smash Kitchen Review – Out with Markham Food

March 27, 2016

Back in February, we co-hosted a blogger tasting event with Smash Kitchen at their restaurant to try out some of the new items on their menu. Not only did we have amazing food that night, but we had the best company! The 10 bloggers who attended this tasting were well-fed and had an amazing time socializing and trying out Smash Kitchen’s dishes. Some of us were return visitors, while others were trying the place for the first time. Here’s a look at some of the things we had.

Sangria at Smash Kitchen

No tasting is complete without drinks. ; ) These are the Red and White Sangrias with fresh fruit. Yum!Ahi Tuna Wontons - Smash Kitchen

Above: Ahi Tuna Wontons // Below: Beef Cheek Poutine

Beef Cheek Poutine at Smash Kitchen

Out of the eight different appetizers we tried, the Beef Cheek Poutine was crowd favourite as we devoured it almost immediately (after taking our pics, of course).

Smash Kitchen - Sunday Platter

Smash Kitchen - Sunday Platter

The Sunday Family Platter was so epic that we had to show it to you from different angles. Consisting of buttermilk fried chicken, BBQ ribs, homemade maple bacon & cheddar biscuits, L.A. mac & cheese, grilled andouille sausage, and grilled corn, this platter will feed your entire family! We shared two platters between 10 people and that was more than enough considering we had a lot of appetizers to begin with.

Smash Kitchen - Apple Dessert

Above: Apple Smash 2.0 // Below: Smash Mini Donuts (Background: Strawberries & Cream Mini Donuts)

Smash Mini Donuts at Smash Kitchen

Two of our favourite desserts from the six we had that night… the delicious hot apple cinnamon crumble underneath cold maple walnut ice cream and the tiny donuts dusted with cinnamon sugar and caramel sauce. *insert heart eyes emoji* All of their desserts were good to be honest, but these were amaazzinggg and perfect for sharing!

Hope we made you hungry. ; )

Address: 4261 Hwy 7 East, Unionville, ON
Phone Number: (905) 940-2000

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Dinner Drinks Japanese Lunch Out with Markham Food Reviews Snack

Donburi Restaurant Review – Out with Markham Food

February 4, 2016

The word “donburi” means a rice bowl consisting of meat, vegetables, and other ingredients cooked together and served over rice. Of course, this dish is extremely popular at the Donburi restaurant in Thornhill. Donburi is one of the few Japanese restaurants that don’t serve sushi. This opens up our options whenever we’re craving Japanese food that’s not sushi-related. We’ve tasted many things from their menu and nothing disappointed us. If you plan on going as a group, we recommend ordering multiple side dishes and entrées to for sharing.

Spicy gyu fries - DonburiSpicy Gyu Fries

When we visited, this was one of the newer items on Donburi’s menu. The fries had just the right amount of everything in it – spiciness, crispiness, and softness. We finished this quickly and were craving for more.

Beef tataki - DonburiJ1 – Beef Tataki ($9)

This lightly seared and marinated beef was surprisingly very flavourful, especially after dipping it in the citrus-soy sauce. We recommend eating it with a piece of the red onion to get the full effect of this appetizer. We’ve ordered the beef tataki a few times already and still aren’t sick of it.

Beef with ponzu sauce - DonburiS7 – Beef with ponzu sauce ($2.50)
Beef sirloin steak with ponzu sauce and grated daikon radish.

We’ll be honest – this skewer was small for two people, so we barely remember how it was. If you’ve ever tried it, let us know how you like it in the comments below!

Takoyaki - DonburiJ7 – Takoyaki ($5)
A delicious ball shape snack with diced octopus hidden inside.

Takoyaki are one of our favourite Japanese snacks. These octopus balls were perfectly warm, soft, and full of flavour.

Chicken omurice - DonburiD10 – Chicken Omurice ($8)
Chicken fried rice in a tomato base wrapped in a thin egg omelette.

This is personally one of our favourite entrées at Donburi. It might look small in the photo, but trust us…there is a LOT of rice packed in there. This is good enough for two or more people if you’re sharing multiple dishes.

Umami Don - DonburiD15 – Umami Don ($10)
An indescribable flavour bomb that will explode in your mouth.

The Umami Don includes unagi (eel), spicy mayo, cucumbers, dashi stock, and of course, rice. The description on their website was right. This was an explosion of flavour! We love the mix of ingredients as there was a unique taste and texture with every bite.

Calpis Fusion Drink - DonburiCalpis Fusion – A mix of mango Calpico and aloe.

Of course, we needed a drink to go with our meal so we each had the Calpis Fusion. This refreshing beverage is only available for a limited time (we don’t know how long) and is perfect if you’re looking for something sweet and cool to go with your meal.

Address: 505 Highway 7 #93, Thornhill, ON L3T 7T1
Phone Number: (905) 597-6505
Tip: Donburi is located at Commerce Gate, so there is plenty of parking.

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