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All You Can Eat Dinner Japanese Reviews

Best Japanese AYCE Restaurant in Markham

October 6, 2015

Kaka All You Can Eat

KaKa All You Can Eat is one of GTA’s newest all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurants. Located at First Markham Place, it has become a highly popular local gem in the York Region area with constant lineups regardless whether it is a weekday or weekend. Please note that even though this places serves an a la carte weekday lunch, this review will be based on their buffet menu. Branded as an upscale AYCE Japanese spot, KaKa aims to provide a premium innovative experience to their guests. Rest assured that despite its name, which might be a branding tactic, the restaurant provides a pleasant surprise and breath of fresh air to the buffet scene. Since opening two months ago, the buzz about this place has exploded on social media and I’m happy to share what all the hype is about!

Sushi - Kaka All You Can Eat

While this Markham restaurant costs just a tad higher than most AYCE restaurants, it is well worth the ‘premium’ price. Expect to find top notch quality and items that you don’t normally find at a Japanese buffet. To give you an idea, KaKa serves aburi sushi (blow torched sushi), oshizushi (pressed sushi), spring egg (poached egg), oysters (baked with cheese), and a variety of in-house specialty desserts (green tea creme brulee, mango lychee slush, blueberry cheesecake, cappuccino custard cup, etc). Be prepared to be wowed by presentation too! The offerings from this place is not something you’ll find at any run-of-the-mill Japanese buffet.

What really sets KaKa apart from its competitors is its ambience. It has a very modern and classy feel to it reminding you of a proper sit-down restaurant. Additionally, the iPad ordering system makes the entire all-you-can-eat-experience seamless and fun. It’s not exactly a new concept but I suspect not everyone has been exposed to this cutting edge technology of ordering.

At the end of the day, everyone is just looking for new experiences. KaKa delivers on that front by bringing to the GTA a new concept to the saturated AYCE market providing superior quality food and service than its competitors. The uniquely delicious menu offerings, friendly attentive staff and welcomingly relaxed environment makes KaKa a leader in the food industry. Maybe this will be a new direction for all Japanese buffet restaurants in the future? Being a repeat customer, KaKa All You Can Eat has impressed me enough to highly recommend this place for everyone to try.

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Reviews

All About Olive Oil at Olive That! Tasting Bar

October 2, 2015

Olive That Markham

Olive That Markham

I was never a fan of olive oils. The smell was never amusing to me and I wanted nowhere near it (not to mention adding it in my food, HELLLLL no). I assumed this was because of the lack of exposure I had to olive oil while growing up as a child. I mean, what other kind of fat does the typical Chinese household cook with other than vegetable oil?

A few weeks ago, I had to pleasure of meeting Val, the owner of Olive That! Tasting Bar (who, by the way, is seriously one of the sweetest and most outgoing ladies EVER). Shout-outs to Jo (@JoannaSable) for the intro! Olive That has more flavours of balsamic vinegar and olive oil than you can ever think of. Some balsamic vinegar flavours include Wild Berry, Dark Chocolate (I kid you not this tastes like chocolate), and Gravenstein Apple (this was a blogger favourite!), and more. If you want to learn some interesting facts about olive oils, please read on.

Olive That MarkhamFood photo credit goes to the talented @Hypebelly
Kale salad dressed with Limonato Olive Oil and Apricot White Balsamic
Caprase salad drizzled with some Hojiblanca EVOO and 18-year balsamic
Strawberry bruschetta toasted with EVOO, spread with goat cheese, and topped with reduced dark chocolate balsamic

During our conversation, we came up with the idea of inviting some of our fellow food-loving friends over for a private tasting party at the Markham location. Since Val already has experience from hosting them before, this couldn’t be more perfect! We got to enjoy appetizers and a dessert that were made with goodies from the store (image above) and tested samples of different oils and vinegars (no, they were not gross; quite refreshing, actually) sold by the store. Val had us fooled because the last sample of olive oil we tested was actually from a regular grocery store! She had us all desperately reaching for our cups of sparkling water (which rids our palates of the oil). Many of us compared the taste and smell to paint! Here’s why:

  1. Not all extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) are made the same. 70% of grocery store olive oils are not true to their labels. This means that slapping an EVOO sticker on a bottle doesn’t make it the real deal.
  2. Only less than 10% of the world’s olive oil is actually EVOO. Real EVOO doesn’t stick to your mouth. It should have a refreshing aroma and taste. When breathing it in, you should feel a pepper kick at the back of your throat. That’s the polyphenol in the olive oil, validating its freshness. All of the EVOOs from Olive That are lab-tested and are the freshest in the world because they source them from both hemispheres.
  3. Olive oils have excellent health benefits. When consuming the right ones, EVOOs can provide health benefits such as fighting heart disease, reducing the chance of getting Alzheimer’s (by 40%), act as a natural anti-inflammatory, and also proven to retard breast cancer genes.

We all had such a great time at Olive That. It feels awesome to know more about what the types of olive oils we’re putting in our mouths. You can also private tasting party at Olive That! Bring 10 friends or more for an entertaining and tasty evening. What’s more fun than sipping on some 18-year aged balsamic with a group of close family and friends?

Olive That Products

Besides oils and vinegars, Olive That also sells cute products for your kitchen.

 

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Chinese Dinner Japanese Lunch Reviews Vietnamese

5 Noodle Spots to Avoid in Markham

September 15, 2015

We’re Janice and Joel from Blunt Food Review and we enjoy eating – we eat out A LOT! The next logical step to this was to start blogging about our gastronomic adventures. We like to keep things short and simple (a.k.a. BS-free), and we know most people do as well when it comes to food; hence Blunt Food Review was born.

Eating in Markham is always a hit-or-miss. With so many noodle choices, it’s easy to walk into a random restaurant and be disappointed. We just wish that we had a list of these ‘misses’ early on, which is why we compiled this list. We hope this will help you on your noodle adventures in Markham!

Niwatei

Niwatei - Chashu Ramen
Bluntly reviewed by Joel

If this isn’t the saddest looking bowl of ramen ever, then I don’t know what sadness is! I ordered the Chashu Ramen at Niwatei within J-Town with high expectations and I have to say that my expectations were crushed. The egg was overcooked, which you can clearly see in the picture. The chashu was not tender and quite hard to chew.  The soup was bland and worst of all, the noodles were overcooked. This was quite simply a mediocre bowl of ramen.

Mei Nung Beef Noodle House

Mei Nung - Beef Noodles
Bluntly reviewed by Janice

Mei Nung Beef Noodle House at First Markham Place has a high Yelp rating so I was excited to give it a try. Unfortunately I was quickly disappointed by my bowl of noodles as I chewed through the tough beef brisket. In addition, the entire restaurant smells heavily of stinky tofu, which doesn’t really go away and seeps into your clothes.

Beef Noodle King

Beef Noodle King - Beef Brisket Noodle
Bluntly reviewed by Janice

Beef Noodle King is a small restaurant slightly hidden behind First Markham Place. I knew I shouldn’t expect too much going into the restaurant when I saw that it was empty at lunch on a Sunday. The beef was surprisingly soft but the soup was bland and noodles were overcooked. The tacky velvet wall décor didn’t help much either.

Deer Garden

Deer Garden - Fish Soup Noodles fixed
Bluntly reviewed by Joel

This is a bowl of Fish Soup Noodles at Deer Garden, which is a favourite amongst noodle aficionados. Unfortunately, my bowl of noodles was quite disappointing. I can sum up the disappointment with one word – bland. The soup was watered down to the point where I could barely taste any fish flavour. I hate to say it, but I’ve had better from Deer Garden and I expect better from them.  Until they can keep up their consistency, I’ll be avoiding this place for now.

Pho Pad Thai

Pho Pad Thai - Pad Thai
Bluntly reviewed by Joel

This is the Pad Thai that I ordered at Pho Pad Thai. Please lower your expectations because they do not serve traditional recipe Vietnamese or Thai food here! I learned my lesson to not order Pad Thai at Viet/Thai combination restaurants following this dinner: when a Pad Thai is red in colour you know that they simply use too much ketchup for the sauce. It ends up not tasting like Pad Thai at all and more like ketchup with noodles!

Do you agree with our reviews? Let us know in the comments below!

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Chinese Dinner Out with Markham Food Reviews

My Wonderful Kitchen Review – Out with Markham Food

September 13, 2015

Earlier this year, we were invited by My Wonderful Kitchen to try out some of the dishes on their menu. One of the more popular dishes sold here is their baked bread loaf with your choice of sauce, and spaghetti or rice with a meat topping (which we’ve tried and loved). At this point, we were already fans of the restaurant as we’ve dined there a few times already. The service/staff has always been consistent: fast, friendly, and attentive. We tend to order the same things every time we go, so we used this as an opportunity to venture out of our comfort zone.

Click through the gallery above for photos.

F08 – Thick vermicelli noodle soup with minced pork and preserved vegetables ($6.49)

After trying their (ultra) Spicy Vermicelli Noodle Soup with Beef Intestine & Beef (F09, $6.49), this dish tasted rather bland. There were a lot of noodles, but not enough meat and veggies on top.

Steamed oysters with black bean sauce and garlic

We didn’t know that My Wonderful Kitchen served steamed oysters and were pleasantly surprised when they placed this in front of us. The oysters were delicious! Both toppings were good, but if we had to choose, we’d go with the black bean sauce. We went back the same week to order it again, but they were sold out.

P09 – Stir-fried turnip patties with curry sauce ($6.99)

This was a different take on the traditional Chinese turnip patty dish and we didn’t know what to think of it. It tasted exactly like curried Singapore noodles (minus the noodles). Overall, it wasn’t a bad dish, but we prefer regular stir-fried turnip patties.

Z08 – Sweet & sour fish filet with crispy rice cakes ($11.99)

Crispy rice cakes aren’t what we’d usually order, but this was recommended by our host. Even though they were generous on the sauce, the rice cakes were by no means soggy. It had just the right amount of crispiness that blended well with the soft filet. You can definitely feel the different textures when you take a bite.

P03 – Pan-fried stuffed eggplant, green pepper, and tofu ($7.29)

We order this every time we go out to dim sum, so you can call us “experts” on this one. ; ) This had a lot of black bean sauce compared to other restaurants, which made it a tad salty. This wasn’t entirely bad though, as we ordered it again on a separate visit.

L02 – Fried rice with soft-shell crab, pineapple, and garlic ($12.99)

This is one of our favourite dishes and is a must-have if you’re ever dining here. We’ve tried other variations at other restaurants in the area, but this one takes the cake on both taste and presentation. The chefs are generous on the toppings because every bite has something different in it.

Address: 350 Highway 7 #101, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3N2
Phone Number: (905) 889-1088
Tip: The front entrance and parking is actually at the back, opposite of Hwy 7.

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Dessert Drinks Local Events Out with Markham Food Reviews Snack

Night It Up Review 2015 – Out with Markham Food

September 13, 2015

Our team was invited to Night It Up‘s media tasting on July 25 where we sampled some dishes from a handful of food vendors. Night It Up (NIU) is known to sell snack foods, but boy, we were well fed! By the end of the tasting, we were stuffed with two full-sized bubble teas and a lot of food.

The people behind Night It Up, Power Unit Youth Organization, organizes this annual three-day event to raise money for charity. Last year, they raised $10,000 for UNITY and this year, their beneficiary was the Yellow Brick House. We love that NIU not only gives back to the community, but it brings people together. People from all over the Greater Toronto Area drop by this event every year to join in the fun and eat authentic Asian street food.

In case you missed our coverage on Instagram, below are some photos we took along with mini reviews.

Egg waffle with green tea ice cream and fresh fruits - Night It Up!Egg waffle with green tea ice cream and fresh fruits at Sweety Bird ($6)

We prefer our egg waffles to be light and crispy, but thought this was a bit too thick. This dessert is extremely photogenic though, as it received the most comments and likes of the night!

Crispy taro and potato chips - Night It UpCrispy taro and potato chips at Happy Twist

Watching the vendors create this was really fun. They stick a whole potato into the machine and these chips spin out in one long piece. They spread out some toppings (BBQ, spicy, garlic powder, etc.) on their table for customers to use, but we thought they tasted pretty good plain.

Grass jelly roasted milk tea and wintermelon iced tea - ChatimeGrass jelly roasted milk tea and wintermelon iced tea (both with grass jelly) at Chatime

What can we say? These drinks were greatly appreciated on a smoldering hot day, especially at an event where there is a stove or BBQ every few metres.

Sakura Mochi Milk - Sakura mochi, Sakura milk, leaf powder, & aduki red beanSakura Mochi Milk – Sakura mochi, Sakura milk, leaf powder, & aduki red bean at Kakigori ($8)

We only took a photo of this because it was such a beauty, but it sure looks and sounds delicious!

Deep fried kimchi - MeNu Food TruckDeep fried kimchi at MeNu Food Truck ($5)

This is an awesome concept. We love kimchi and who doesn’t like deep-fried-anything?? We admit – this was a little hard to eat because every bite made the kimchi fall apart, but hey… it was good. ; )

Sharetea Bubble Tea - Night It UpL – Fresh lemon green tea with mixed pearls and aiyu jelly
R- Classic milk tea with mixed pearls and herb jelly at Sharetea ($5)

After downing that first bubble tea, this second one was much appreciated as we were all thirsty from over an hour of snacking on different foods. These cups were huge and very worth the $5 that they charged at NIU.

Green tea ice cream cookie sandwich at Sweets and SavouryGreen tea ice cream cookie sandwich at Sweets and Savoury

This food stand was run by food bloggers Feed My Phone and qqfoodjournal. The cookies were baked using Master Chef Canada candidate, Christopher Siu‘s recipe. Our food tour ended well with this dessert. The flavours weren’t too strong so they didn’t overpower each other and the cookies were soft and chewy.

If you missed Night It Up! this year, stay updated by following them on their social media pages! This event takes place annually in July and only lasts three days, so be sure to mark your calendars. Make sure you go on an empty stomach because they have a LOT of food vendors. We look forward to seeing you there next year!

Address: Markham Civic Centre, 101 Town Centre Boulevard, Markham, Ontario, L3R 9W3
Tip: They don’t offer parking to event goers, but you can find free street parking if you’re early. Otherwise, paid parking is available on some side streets.

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