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Guest Blogger Restaurant Reviews

Best Japanese AYCE Restaurant in Markham

6 October 2015

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 at 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.

Written by guest blogger, Feed My Phone.

Guest Blogger Restaurant Reviews

Best Hong Kong Milk Tea in Richmond Hill and Markham

27 September 2015

Hong Kong-Style Milk Tea. What’s not to love about it? Its richness from freshly brewed black tea, filtered many times right in front of your eyes, before being gently combined with creamy evaporated milk for that extra smooth touch. Served hot or cold, the taste is just incredible.

With many HK-style diners, bakeries, and restaurants here in York Region, there are so many places that offer this nice ice cold or steaming cup of HK-style milk tea. Here are my top 5 go-to spots in York Region when I’m craving this beloved beverage!

So Good Restaurant – 10 West Pearce Street, Richmond Hill, Ontario

Hai Tang Bakery – 7220 Kennedy Rd, Markham, Ontario

Marathon Cafe – 55 East Beaver Creek Rd #25, Richmond Hill, Ontario

Ocean Seafood Restaurant – 328 Highway 7 E Richmond Hill, Ontario

New City Restaurant – 8392 Kennedy Rd, Unionville, Ontario

Where’s your favourite place to get some good HK milk tea? Please share with us below!

Images
Top: 
Iced Hong Kong milk tea and iced lemon tea
Bottom: Hot Hong Kong milk tea

Written by guest blogger, Tiffanyeats_.

Guest Blogger

Macaroni & Ham in Soup — Memories of Mac ‘n’ Chinese Breakfasts

21 September 2015

Ahh…comfort food. Maybe it’s the sound of bacon sizzling that wakes you up in the morning. Maybe it’s leftover pizza at midnight. Or maybe it’s just that grilled cheese sandwich you had for breakfast…and lunch…and dinner. No matter where we are or what it is to us, certain things that we eat give us that warm and fuzzy feeling, one that tells the stories of home, a good day, or a full stomach.

I’m pretty Canadian through and through. And you really can’t be without having gone through dozens of those blue boxes in your kitchen pantries while growing up. Which ones, you ask? Kraft Dinner, of course. KD for the typical Canadian child after school is the equivalent to instant noodles and ramen for those of us blessed with Asian cuisine.

But Marco Polo didn’t bring back pasta from China to Europe just for scrumptious Italian meals that have spiralled into a cheesy quick fix for hungry adolescent teens (at least, I hope he didn’t). And neither has the humble macaroni been one where Mac ‘n’ Cheese is the only sure fire way for macaroni to be eaten. I know growing up that my first taste of the rainbow-shaped pasta wasn’t for afternoon meals or even dinner. I had it for breakfast.

Whoa, hold on for a sec. Breakfast?

As a Chinese-Canadian, I can vouch that Chinese people take the “Breakfast should be the largest meal of the day” idea very seriously. Please refer to dimsum if you’re curious to know why.

My section on Markham Food will be dedicated to relaying everyday comfort food that a lot of us from the East side (of the world) grew up loving and finding, well, comfort in. Like I said, comfort food is anything that brings back good memories or lets you settle down with a warm and hearty stomach at the end of the meal. I wanted to start with something simple. Something that gave me that same fuzziness. It may have been the fried rice I was eating, but I knew what I wanted my blog posts to talk about. The classic Combo A at your local Chinese cafes (aka cha chan tangs; read my next blog post!): Macaroni and Ham in Soup.

I mean, what can be more comforting in the morning, when you’re eating breakfast at home or at a local cafe, and be served a heaping bowl of macaroni in soup. With ham. And a piece of buttered toast/egg sandwich. Downed with a cup of hot milk tea? Want to be fancier? Try asking for the ham to be shredded first. Want to be less opulent? Remove those peas, carrots, and corn that’s usually sprinkled on top for “aesthetics” purposes.

I know a lot of people can agree on this, and it may surprise them, because it’s so simple. It may not be something you may miss immediately after weeks away from home, but it’s something that we do go back to time and time again. For me, it has become a large part of my life, because it reminds me of my earliest memories growing up.

My memory of macaroni and ham goes back to preschool when my dad and I would go to a local restaurant for breakfast after dropping my mom off at work. It would be the only thing we order. I would try really hard to finish all the macaroni, but I always ate too much of the ham and ending up pushing the bowl to my dad to finish. And in he’ll come to finish the meal, breaded butter and all. Hope you liked that walk down memory lane.

Mac n’ Cheese is pretty good, sometimes. But, Macaroni and Ham ain’t bad either.

Written by guest blogger, Jenkxtaposition.

Guest Blogger Restaurant Reviews

5 Noodle Spots to Avoid in Markham

15 September 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


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!

Written by guest blogger, Blunt Food Review.