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Markham

Restaurant Reviews

Tapagria Restaurant Review

1 December 2015

We recently partnered with Tapagria to host a fun night of food tasting for our bloggers friends. The night came with a lot of appetizers, different entrées (including a couple of brunch items), and lots of hand-crafted sangrias. Tapagria is the only restaurant in Markham right now that serves Spanish tapas. Not only is the food delicious, but you have to check out their interior too. The restaurant is designed with a lot of attention to detail and just about every corner is “Insta-worthy”. 😉

We tried so many flavours of their hand-crafted sangrias we can’t remember all of the flavours… Some of the ones we remember are lychee-lime, peach, raspberry, guava, fig, and strawberry. All were amazing, but if we had to choose one: the strawberry!

One of the manyapps we tried was the White Anchovie Pinxto above. Our two favourites (not pictured) pinxtos were the Angus Tartare and the Foie Gras. These dishes definitely opened up our appetites and we were ready for more food.

If you’re feeling for more seafood, we’d recommend these steamed mussels. They have a bit of a kick to them thanks to the chilli peppers, but nothing we can’t handle. 😛 This small dish was the perfect way to start off our round of main dishes.

The Pecado Frito (literally “fried fish”) above was perfectly fried, seasoned, and prepared. Although the potatoes and veggies paired nicely with the fish, but we thought there were a little too salty.

And now onto the most popular mains of the night! The following three were hits among the bloggers – with many of us rushing to claim every last bite.

Above is one of the two paellas that Tapagria serves. The Paella De Tapagria is made of bomba rice, shrimp, chorizo, hen, mussels, jamón, octopus, and peas – a terrific combo packed full of flavour and served at the perfect temperature.

It’s safe to say that the Chuleton Asado (“grilled steak”) – the 32oz roasted ribeye – was the most popular dish of the night. Every time we look at this picture, we get hungry. LOOK AT THAT STEAK! The level of doneness, juiciness, and tenderness…everything about it was good. Like with the fish above, we thought the veggies were overly salty. When we go back for this, we’ll definitely ask for less salt.

And finally… the secret itemthat’s not listed on their menu: the Tapagria Mega Dessert Platter. Get this platter of all of their dessert options to share with your group. From back to front, we have the Crema Catalina, Chocolate Cake, Churros with three dipping sauces, and Spanish Toast. Customers are known to order multiple Spanish Toasts in one sitting – they’re that good. And again, this platter was devoured almost as quickly as the steak was.

If you go to Tapagria with a bunch of your friends and/or family, we recommend that you order a variety of dishes to try and share. It’s a great environment for dining, socializing, and drinking with your loved ones. Explore the #TapagriaRestaurant hashtag on Instagram to see more pics!

Address: 230 Commerce Valley Drive East – Unit 2, Markham, Ontario  L3T 7Y3
Phone Number: (905) 771-8868

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Restaurant Reviews

Little Bangkok Thai Cuisine Review

10 November 2015

We used to drive past Little Bangkok Thai Cuisine all the time, but never ventured into that little plaza. Authentic Thai food is hard to find in Markham, so when we were invited to try some of their dishes out, we were excited! This family-owned restaurant takes pride in their hand-picked ingredients. They believe in serving quality Thai food to give their customers a taste of Thailand in the comfort of their restaurant on Main Street Markham.

This was our first dine-in experience at a true Thai restaurant since our earlier experiences all took place at “fast food style” restaurants. Here’s a look at some of the dishes we had:

Appetizer Assortments – A combination of Thai appetizers served for two (2 Chicken Satay, 2 Thai Spring Rolls, 2 Fresh Spring Rolls, 2 Shrimp Rolls, Deep Fried Taro and Mango Salad) ($12.99)

Since it was our first time, this appetizer plate was a great introduction to Thai cuisine. The mix of nutty, sweet, and spicy played very well on our palates. The Mango Salad in particular was our favourite.

Spicy basil mussels, dry curry salmon, and pineapple fried rice - Little Bangkok Thai Cuisine

Top: Spicy Basil Mussels – Stir-fried fresh mussels with onion, chilies, sweet pepper and Thai basil leaves ($12.99)
Middle: Dry Salmon Curry – Salmon fish, lime leaves and fresh Thai basil leaves cooked in thick red curry paste and coconut cream ($14.99)
Bottom: Fried Rice with Pineapple – Thai style fried rice with tiger prawns, chicken, fresh pineapple, cashew nuts, and egg ($12.99)

We love seafood so we had to try the mussels and salmon. The mussels tasted as expected and were really good (and spicy!). The Dry Salmon Curry was true to its name, but it wasn’t our favourite. The pineapple fried rice however, was surprisingly filling given how small it looks in the photo above. They definitely packed a lot of rice in that little dome.

Thai Iced Tea - Little Bangkok Thai Cuisine

Thai Iced Tea

Can you believe that this was our first time trying Thai Iced Tea? That first sip had us like WOW! We’re big fans of Hong Kong-style milk tea and thought this would taste the same, but the flavour is very distinct. Needless to say, this is going on our list of drinks to order at Thai restaurants.

We hope you’re craving Thai food now because we certainly are. You can find this hidden gem near the GO station on Main Street Markham. They’re located in a little plaza, so there is plenty of free parking.

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Guest Blogger Restaurant Reviews

5 Top Dishes in Richmond Hill & Markham

10 November 2015

The York Region is home to many amazing dishes! When the Markham Food team asked me to write an article featuring my favourite dishes in Richmond Hill & Markham, I happily agreed.

Here are my five top dishes in Markham and Richmond Hill to get your appetite going:

Smash Benedict at Smash Kitchen (Unionville, Markham)
2 poached eggs, pulled pork, gravy, 4 cheese blend, English muffin, sm’hash browns

The brunch of champions! The combination of the ingredients was perfect.

Popcorn Chicken at Mama Bear Taiwanese Cuisine

Popcorn Chicken at Mama Bear Taiwanese Cuisine (Richmond Hill)

Mama Bear is one of my favourite places for popcorn chicken. Crispy, juicy and tender. It wasn’t salty and it has distinct taste of herbs that differentiate it from other popcorn chicken I’ve tried.

Honey Garlic Oysters at Fishman Wharf Seafood

Honey Garlic Oysters at Fishman Wharf Seafood (Markham)

Huge oysters in honey garlic! A friend said to go with the Salted Egg Yolk version for next time.

Green Tea Wizard (Green Tea Snow Ice) at Cha Me. Cha

Green Tea Wizard (Green Tea Snow Ice) at Cha Me. Cha (Unionville, Markham)
With Grass Jelly, Red Bean, Tapioca, Condensed Milk

Green tea lovers will rejoice with this popular shaved ice dessert at Cha Me. Cha.

Deep Fried King Oyster Mushroom – ZenQ

Deep Fried King Oyster Mushroom – ZenQ (Unionville, Markham)

Best fried mushroom I’ve had. Mushroom is juicy and tasty, and not overly salty nor oily.

I hope this post inspired you to try some of my favourite dishes in Markham and Richmond Hill! Let me know if you have any questions.

Written by guest blogger, The Travelling Foodie.

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Guest Blogger Restaurant Reviews

Top 5 Sushi Spots for Maki Rolls in Richmond Hill and Markham

28 October 2015

Maki rolls no longer only refer to the simple California rolls or cucumber rolls that people used to eat.  Many Japanese restaurants in the Greater Toronto Area now offer special maki rolls that show them off under a more creative light. Here, I’ve compiled my top 5 favourite Japanese restaurants for maki rolls in York Region.

5) Hana-bi Sushi

Hana-Bi Sushi is a Korean-owned Japanese restaurant located at First Markham Place. To be honest, their food is good, but not to-die-for. What keeps me coming back is the consistency of their food quality, reasonable prices, good customer service, and location, which is close to where I live. I wouldn’t recommend someone to drive far to get here, but if you are in the area and are craving maki rolls, I’d recommend Hana-Bi. My favourite maki roll there is the Tataki Roll. Their udon is great as well!

4) Gal’s Sushi

I love specialty maki rolls, but they are not the cheapest thing to eat. On days where my maki roll cravings kick in (while on a tight budget), I go to Gal’s Sushi for their Lunch Special Rolls Box. For $9.99, it comes with a combination of California roll, spicy salmon roll, crab salad roll, and deep fried roll. Their specialty rolls such as the Shrimp Caterpillar Roll and Cloud Roll are also very good.

3) Akane Sushi

Akane Sushi is a Japanese restaurant located near Highway 7 and Bayview Avenue. They’re always busy so I suggest coming early if you have a large group. Their prices are affordable and food quality is good. My top recommendation is their love boat (which includes a variety of sashimi such as salmon, tuna, uni, scallop, and shrimp) and their Akane Roll combo. Their Blue Mountain roll is also amazing!

2) Osaka Sushi

Toronto Roll - Osaka Sushi

Toronto Roll

Osaka Sushi is one of my favourite sushi restaurants. Some restaurants only have good maki rolls and average food, or vice versa. Osaka Sushi is not one of those. Pretty much everything I’ve tried there is great. My top recommendation is their Toronto Roll and Amazing Spider Roll. In case maki rolls don’t fill you up, their spicy beef ramen is delicious. They also make custom rolls!

1) MI-NE Sushi

Orangeville roll, Tuna Love Roll, Golden Dragon Roll, assorted nigiri sushi, California Roll and Spicy Salmon Roll

MI-NE is my no doubt my favourite place to go for special maki rolls. Pretty much all the maki rolls I’ve tried here are delicious. My absolute favourite is their Orangeville Roll. For vegeterias, their yam rolls are great as well. Tip: Their specialty rolls are gigantic so don’t order too much! To get the best value, visit them during lunch time when they offer Maki Roll Set Lunches. The sashimi here is average, so skip that and only order the rolls.

Written by guest blogger, Spoil That Belly.

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Events

Instameet with Me.N.U Food Truck and Feed My Phone

25 October 2015

With over 100 people in attendance at on October 4, this was the biggest food event that the Markham Food team has organized so far! We co-hosted and co-organized this event with Patrick from Feed My Phone to give back to the amazing food community on Instagram and beyond. The crew at Me.n.u Food Truck made this special event happen thanks to their donation of a venue and delicious food. We had 10 sponsors who generously donated their products for our giveaways at the event, so everyone who was still present by the end of the event was able to bring at least one thing home.

One of the food highlights from this event was the “Decorate Your Own Me.N.U Rice Ball” station. Attendees were able to choose from various sauces and toppings to build their own unique (and delicious) rice ball.

… and above is our finished rice ball! Check out this pic to see some of the other results from this station. Besides the rice balls, Me.n.u also served kimchi poutine (below) and Nutella green tea crème brûlée (this was too good and we forgot to snap a pic before eating it, but here’s a close-up by one of our followers).

Special thanks to Daniel from Love Gelato for providing everyone with dessert! Even on a chilly afternoon, our attendees eagerly lined up to get a taste of the gelato. The flavours provided were coffee, hazelnut, pistachio, fig, mango, pear, and lemon. We highly recommend that you guys visit Love Gelato at their store at 75 Main St. North to try even more of their gelato, food, and coffee.

And of course, the event would not have been possible without the food and venue provided by Me.n.u Food Truck. Check out their website to see where they’ll be next!

Thank you to the following prize sponsors (in alpha-order): 0n_the_bright_sideBake CodeBunny BummChatime CanadaDim Sum CityDonburiDuo PatisserieInspire RestaurantSweven Media, and Wooffles & Cream.

Here are more blog posts covering the event written by our fellow foodie friends:

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Guest Blogger Restaurant Reviews

5 Best Taiwanese Restaurants in Markham

16 October 2015

Whenever I want to have Taiwanese food, I’ll stay in the uptown area. There are a lot of Taiwanese restaurants to pick from, but among all, the following five are my favourite and each of them has something that I like in particular.

Mama Bear Taiwanese Cuisine

Sticky Rice - Mama Bear Taiwanese Cuisine

Mama Bear is famous for their stinky tofu, but my favourite dish there is the sticky rice. The taste and texture are both great.  Since sticky rice is quite filling, I usually share it with friends so we can try more dishes.

Ten Ren’s Tea

Minced Pork Rice - Ten Ren

I think the Ten Ren at Hwy 7 & Times Ave. serves the best bubble tea in town. The tea they use is really different from other bubble tea shops.  And among all savoury dishes, I like their Taiwanese sausage & minced pork rice the most. They use a lot of ingredients in this dish, making it very colourful.  For some people, one order of this is enough for two meals or people!

Hua Lien Tai Ping Siang

There’s always lineup at Tai Ping Siang during lunch time. They have my favourite Taiwanese bento set in town.  Their popcorn chicken is irresistible and I love that they have a lot of side dish choices.  And again, their portions are quite big too, so it’s good enough for two meals when I’m not in my super hungry mode.

Green Grotto

Marinated Platter - Green Grotto

Though they don’t make the best drinks, I sometimes go to Green Grotto with friends because they have a lot of magazines.  Green Grotto is a great place to hang out and chat with your friends. Most Taiwanese snacks are deep-fried, so sometimes we’ll have the “marinated platter”, which has beef tripe, dried tofu, and egg.  Compared to other tapas there, it’s really a healthier option.

Papa Chang’s

Papa Chang's

I’m happy that they opened a new location at Pacific Mall because it’s way more convenient for me to enjoy their bentos now! I think their food quality is above average and consistent. There is no particular dish that I really love, but I find that my friends and I always order the same deep fried shrimp when we eat there.  They use breadcrumb batter instead of tempura batter, so it’s not the type of thick batter with tiny shrimps. I also like the sauce they use – it’s the highlight of this dish!

Written by guest blogger, Jacqueline Food Journey.

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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.

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