Thursday, January 31, 2013

» photo diary: January edition

{ kng-xo }

{ reunited with my XL Timmies coffee! Xo }

{ learning how to make layers in a drink slash how to pour a good glass of champagne hahah }

{Booster Juice always helps me through my early mornings at work}

{the famous "Very Very Mango Drink" at Go4Tea }

{probably the cutest little bunny I will ever play with}

{ and probably the most ghetto Starbucks entrance I'll ever see }

{ my new coffee station at home :) }

{ favorite cookies of January: Maple Cream }

{ birthday drink from Starbucks! Hehe }

{ favorite tiramisu cake for my birthday }

{ favorite purchases this month! bordeaux, no more film, trombone, set in stones }


Wednesday, January 30, 2013 / Toronto, ON, Canada

» Jump

Last Friday, L and I decided to head over to Jump for my birthday :)
It was perfect because Winterlicious had just started too!

My choices:
Wild & Tame Mushroom Soup
no less than six kinds of mushrooms (no butter or cream)

Broiled Atlantic Salmon Filet
mulled red cabbage, ginger and fennel salad

Toffee Bread Pudding
vanilla crème Anglaise and cranberry preserve

L's choices:
Peekytoe Crab Cake
celeriac, citrus and dill pickle tartar sauce

Simmered Short Rib Ragu & Yukon Potato Gnocchi
pine nut pesto and Pecorino

Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta
cinnamon Chantilly

L didn't particularly like her main dish but she loved her appetizer and dessert! For me, I loved all three courses of my meals. The mushroom soup was amazing because they added a bit of truffle oil (enough so I could taste it) and that really made the soup good! For the main dish, I love salmon regardless so it's hard to say if it was actually good or not hahah but it was definitely made really well. It wasn't dry at all! And for the dessert, I thought it'd be a pudding but it was more like a moist cake. It was really good though!! The 2 sauces mixed with the pudding was absolutely delicious.

If you're debating on where to go, I'd definitely recommend to go to Jump. :)
Jump on Urbanspoon


Sunday, January 27, 2013 / Toronto, ON, Canada

» Post-work biers @ Bier Markt

After 2 years of talking about how we wanted to both work downtown and grab drinks after work, V and I finally had a chance to do it :)
Shopping, food, alcohol, and good company. What else could I have asked for?
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So we headed over to Bier Markt near Union Station for some biers!! (We walked through the PATH without getting lost! *pats myself on the back*)
After going to BeerBistro and not getting a beer, I obviously had to get one here. Although I absolutely do not like beer, I don't mind fruity beers. I was really tempted to get Fruli (a strawberry flavored beer) to be on the safe side, but I ended up trying a random one that was called Lindemans Pecheresse Lambic Ale. It was a Belgium beer with a hint of peach flavoring.
It was actually really good. It tasted like sparking wine! :) yums
For an appetizer, we ordered a Smoked Meat Poutine to share.
The fries were really good, but the meat on top of the poutine was even better. It smelled like bacon (love) and tasted like the pork from a porketta sandwich in Italy. To say the least, we devoured that in probably 10 minutes.
I ordered the Smoked Chicken Flatbread and V ordered the Smoked Meat Flatbread.
The food was rather disappointing, to say the least. I thought that the flatbread was in the oven for a bit too long so it was too hard and crunchy. The chicken on mine was really dry, and also the coleslaw on V's was an awkward mix of tastes with the smoked meat. We both didn't even finish our meals (and that barely happens) so that must mean something haha. I guess we'll only be heading to Bier Markt for beers from now on :)
Bier Markt - Esplanade on Urbanspoon

Even though it was a Wednesday when we went, it felt like a Friday.. It was sad to think that I'd have to head home and then wake up to go to work the next morning. What a long week, but cheers to an amazing catch-up night :)


Friday, January 25, 2013 / Toronto, ON, Canada

» PATH Adventures: iQ Foods

I absolutely love the fact that I can walk around downtown underground and avoid the cold weather outside. I haven't really ventured off into the PATH yet (even though I did make a list of places/food joints I'd like to try in the PATH before my term is over hehe).

First adventure: iQ Foods Inc.
My friend that worked downtown last term highly suggested me to try this place out, so why not?
iQ Foods' description on their website about the food they serve: "The kind that makes you feel like climbing Kilimanjaro. We make almost everything we serve in house, from scratch. Only whole grains. Only lean proteins. Only good fats. No refined carbs. No bad fats. No fried anything."
This is definitely my kind of working lunch! (It'd be perfect with a side of Booster Juice..)
I went with S and T, and all three of us got the "Lima" hot box - best choice ever!!

The LIMA included: Roasted Chicken, Aged White Cheddar, Avocado, Corn, Black Beans, Grape Tomatoes, Cilantro, Lime Wedge, Hot Sauce, and Brown Rice/Quinoa

If you know me, it'd be easy to guess that I was mainly excited for the corn and avocado in this combo.. Hahah definitely devoured it until I realized there was hot sauce in it. KILL ME NOW haha my throat was burning, but it was so good that I actually finished it regardless of the spicyness(what?!?!)

I highly recommend you to try this if you work/live downtown!
You can see what boxes they offer right now here: CLICK
Although their menu is really limited, sometimes less is more ;)

I can't wait to go again when I have time to take a long lunch! (you'll need it because the lines are long and it'll be impossible to find a spot to sit in the food court hahah)
iQ Food Co. on Urbanspoon


Tuesday, January 22, 2013 / Toronto, ON, Canada

» Beer Bistro without the beer

Today was the first big snowstorm that I've been in for 2013! It was incredible. I personally loveee snow. But only when I'm inside looking out hahaha.
I am super thankful that my office is located in the PATH so that I technically will never have to step foot outside!! So perfect, especially for days like today.

However, sacrifices needed to be made if I wanted to go to Beer Bistro for lunch.
Walking through the slush to get to lunch today was a mission and a half. Good thing it was literally right across the street from my building, so I was even able to wait inside Starbucks until the light was green LOL talk about being lazy... :P
Good thing my friend made reservations the day before! We got there at 12pm and once it hit 12:10pm, it was completely packed.
It was actually a lot nicer inside than I imagined it to be.
They had a bar area, and also a dining area. Their food menu was limited, but their beer menu was overwhelming haha.
I ordered the Drunken Mushroom Pizza, that had mushrooms, goat cheese, and tomatoes. Unbelievable combo!
My friend ordered the Beer Bistro Burger and he also decided to get a 'side' of Belgium Frites. We ended up sharing, and still having leftovers. Either we don't eat a lot (which I highly doubt) or their portions are actually not bad :)

Busy days at work always transform into the best days when I get to see a familiar face :)


Sunday, January 20, 2013 / Toronto, ON, Canada

» GNO: Far Niente & Bymark Lounge

After a busy week at work, what better way to wind down than to go out with some of my favorites? After finally figuring out a time that works for all of us, we officially went out for a Microsoft girls dinner and drinks date :)

We went to Far Niente for dinner. Since I arrived fashionably late, I thought that it would be really packed but it was actually so empty. I think there were only two tables the whole time we were there. Weird for being so centre of the financial district!
Grilled Shrimp with spicy tomato avocado cocktail sauce
I ordered a side of poutine, and it was too salty and the cheese was not good :(
But we got drinks, so cheers! :)
After that, we decided to continue the night and head to Bymark in the TD Centre. The dining area looked cute, although super dark. Food looked good though, so maybe I'll try going there for winterlicious this year :)
The bar area also had a very nice atmosphere. Although it was filled with old business men, they quickly evacuated once we arrived :P
Here is the drink menu. Try to guess what we ordered :)
2 Lipsticks, 2 Wild Blossoms, and 1 Avocado Margarita
Who in the world ordered an avocado margarita? Obviously me.. Hahah, this was me trying to be adventurous for the night (lol) and it was surprisingly amazing!! I definitely would order it again :) especially with the sea salt on the rim of the cup... Perfecto :)
Thanks for welcoming me homeee!! Xo
And that was my night :) 
It was an amazing Friday with some of my favorite people!!! Can't believe it took this long to find a time to meet up since we all parted ways at Microsoft a year ago :( even though it's been an entire year, it was like we never left each other hehe. I'm starting to realize that that is becoming one of my favorite feelings. It's all about the little things. :)
Cheers to a great year ahead, XO!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 / Markham, ON, Canada

» three simple rules

1 : If you don't go after you want, you'll never have it.
2 : If you don't ask, the answer will always be no.
3 : If you don't step forward, you will always be in the same spot.

Just a little reminder for myself :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2013 / Toronto, ON, Canada

» Reunions & Bellini Tuesdays

Being gone for four months doesn't seem like a long time but it was long enough to say "I miss you" to certain individuals.
Since I've been back in Toronto, I have been constantly meeting up with people that I've missed over the past four months.

Today, I got a chance to see two of my favorites :)
That's one of my favorite things about working Downtown Toronto. I just have an endless supply of people to eat lunch with or just head down to the PATH for a coffee break!

Although I was really busy with work today (complete opposite of yesterday), I still made time to go down for a Starbucks break with an old friend :)

After work, I headed to Earls Kitchen & Bar for their Bellini and BRO-lini Tuesdays (haha, got to make it appeal to everyone, right?). It was just down the street from my office, so it was perfect!

We weren't too hungry, so we just got their Spinach Dip to share.
Spinach Dip and a Peach Bellini
Excuse me for my poor picture quality.. My Blackberry camera is horrendous.

Catching up over drinks and food? Definitely my ideal way to wind down after a busy day at work :)


Thursday, January 03, 2013 / Toronto, ON, Canada

» ki (n.) - pure; undiluted; raw

Today for lunch, I ventured off to a Japanese restaurant in Brookfield Place (again) called ki modern japanese + bar.

I adored the restaurant and lounge setting, as it was very modern and business-y, which makes sense since it is in the heart of Toronto's financial district.

I ordered the free-range teriyaki chicken with burdock, potato, and asparagus.
Picture from @ kiJapanese - but mine looked exactly like this
It was delicious! The chicken was moist and not too dry, and the teriyaki sauce wasn't too sweet for my taste.

My coworkers ordered a tuna platter, spicy tuna roll (yellowfin tuna, scallions, sriracha mayo), and the spicy salmon roll (Atlantic salmon, asparagus, endive, spicy raspberry sauce, ao noriko). Whatever that entailed, it looked and sounds amazing.

P.S., I am slowly learning that my paycheque will probably not support my eating habits that I've developed so

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Updated post on my travel blog :: Marrakesh Day 2
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