Friday, May 29, 2009

Rant: La Favourita, Far From It- May 15th

If you've been following our blog for about a month, you'd probably know that I had the best pizza in my life not long ago. I went to a Torontonian-favourite pizzeria named Pizzeria Libretto (you can read about the post here.) I was hoping that I would find something similar to that in Ottawa...

...On some random night in February I went through a wood oven pizza obsession, not that I've tasted it before. I searched in blogs and search engines to find some awesome authentic Neapolitan pizza porn. While searching for a favourite pizzeria in Toronto, I paused to think if there was a place that served authentic Neapolitan pizza, or at least good thin crust pizzas cooked in a wood burning oven.

I paused my Toronto search and started looking for a place in Ottawa. I came up with a couple of places but none of them stood out to me. I contacted the gentlemen at Pizza Ottawa to see if they came across a place that served wood oven baked pizzas, and they kindly adviced me that they reviewed a place called Forno Antico a while back (click here to read their review) and that it was by no means the best place for pizza.

Fast forward a couple of months later, after my palate altering experience at Libretto...

Some friends and I have been talking about getting together during the summer, and I suggested we go have some pizza. Since I had Forno Antico in my mind, I recommended that we go there and try it out one night. But while planning this outing, I read that Forno Antico wasn't worth it and that I should venture out to Gatineau for some better pizza. I started reading similar comments like that in a handful of restaurant review sites and then saw a picture that someone uploaded of their square pizza. The picture put me off the restaurant, so I started looking for other pizza places. In the end, the restaurant called La Favourita (located in Little Italy) was my decision.

At first, we sat outside in their little patio (which was in front of their entrance) and snacked on the rolls they gave us while waiting for another friend. The warm weather started to cool off, so we moved inside the restaurant. The "romantically lit" restaurant looked pretty cute and comfortable. The lighting kind of bugged me though, cause you don't need a dimly lit restaurant to be a good restaurant.

Anywho, we decided to order our own personal pizzas and then share; Margherita, Polio, Bella, and a La Favourita Special.

The 'Margherita' pizza was very dissapointing. When it arrived, I felt insulted. < rant >

How can you call that a Margherita pizza? How? First off, there's too much cheese. Secondly, where's the fresh basil leaf/leaves? That's right, now I'm a pizza snob! It tasted like a plain cheese pizza. The sauce was boring and didn't even taste like much; the mozzerella cheese, it tasted like any other block of processed mozzerella. I was not happy with what I was served. Can you tell?

Moving on. According to my friend, the pizza Polio was alright. I didn't want to call it the Polio pizza, cause it sounds like the pizza has polio. Yikes! It had marinated chicken, sun-dried tomato, black olives and feta cheese.

I was told the Bella pizza was bland. Now that I think about the toppings (pesto sauce, chicken breast, brie cheese and almonds), it makes sense that it fell flat in the tasty category. In terms of flavour, nothing is really carrying that pizza.
The last pizza that was ordered was La Favourita Special. What I think they meant was that it was a typical Ottawa pizza that was loaded with toppings. This one had pepperoni, mushrooms, bacon, ham, green peppers, olives and anchovies. My friend had actually asked that they leave the anchovies off, but I guess our waiter or the pizziaolo wasn't paying attention. My poor friend struggled to eat half of it, as it was loaded with concentrated sodium bits of protein. The only pictures I took of that pizza was extremely blurry. < / rant >

There was a glimmer of hope, though. After some of us had our pizzas wrapped up and ready to go, we looked at their dessert menu and agreed upon splitting a serving of tiramisu. I had taken a photo of it, but it looked like one of the ugly child of the family, of tiramisus, out there. The tiramisu, that was unappealing to the eye, was actually very tasty. This teaches you that you really can't judge something by it's looks. I'm still not uploading the picture of it though.

None of us were impressed by the pizzas, but we were all wanting more of the tiramisu. I feel terrible about the whole experience, because not only did I choose the place, but I kept on gushing about how awesome the pizza I had in Toronto was. I really, really tried to like this place but it just didn't happen. My expectations were too high and ridiculous. I couldn't get Libretto out of my mind and had unfairly compared La Favourita to, what I believe, the best pizza place in Ontario.

To my friends that joined me on this failed culinary adventure: I'm really sorry. I'll make you a promise though, if you come to Toronto, I'll bring you to Pizzeria Libretto!


Thinking back, to my research that led me to picking this restaurant, I should've known that this was not the place I was looking for. There are so many signs that I should've picked up on - most of them can be found at La Favourita's website. Let's see how many strikes against this place that I can find. < rant >
  1. According to the article written on the home page, the restaurant moved to a larger location and then moved back to the small restaurant.
  2. The photo of some of the staff members and some of their dishes (located after the article on the home page) is poorly made.
  3. There are too many stock images used throughout their website.
  4. If you go to the "Main Menu" link on the left side of their site, scroll down to the pizzas and read what's on the 'Margherita' pizza. What's missing? The word 'basil', perhaps? I just assumed that it was on the pizza. Boy was I wrong to do so.
  5. If you go to the "Chef's Special" link on the left side, there's a slideshow. Watch the whole slideshow. Did you see the pizziaolo use a rolling pin to roll out the dough? What? But to be fair, you can't tell if it was used to make a pizza or something else.
That's five strikes, right there. There are more, but that's more than enough to prove my point.

In my mind, La Favourita was trying to serve authentic Neapolitan pizzas, even though they don't claim it anywhere. In my mind, their pizza was going to be similar to Libretto's pizza. In my mind. < / rant >

I'm just starting to hear and understand what I want to. I'm going crazy. It seems as though I despise this place, but I actually don't. I'm just upset at myself for comparing the two. It went downhill from that point.

Their pizza wasn't what I was looking for. Not even close.



La Favourita
356 Preston Street
Ottawa, ON

Rocky Mountain and Fat Tuesdays - May 12th

I read an online article in the Ottawa Citizen that there was going to be a new pizza place in Ottawa during that week while searching for tasty wood oven pizzas. That new pizzeria was going to be open at the beginning of May. Located in the Byward Market, Lucy and I hoped to see if the place was open after work. The restaurant wasn't hard to find, but when we arrived we saw that they were still making finishing touches. A couple of days later, the new pizzeria called The Grand Pizzeria & Bar had opened. Bah! We were THAT close to having pizza! Here's another article that Ron Eade wrote about the newly opened pizzeria. Notice that he didn't really talk about the food? It's a sign.

Anywho, Lucy wasn't that hungry at the time we met downtown so we just walked around, taking in the sights. We walked around the Byward Market and stopped by Rocky Mountain. Here's a glimpse of the candy store. Look at all of those sugar coated apples!

Peeking inside, where the apples were being freshly made.
Lucy and I couldn't resist but buy some sweets to bring home. That's all you need to know. Hahaa!

After walking a bit longer, we decided we should try a restaurant called Fat Tuesday's, which specializes in New Orleans cuisine. We arrived at the pretty empty restaurant. It was only 6pm after all, on a Tuesday, too. We were seated along the windows on their tall tables and stools. Lucy and I waited. We waited some more. Then we wondered, where's the service? There were some ladies sitting at the bar just chatting away that were dressed up. They're definitely part of their staff, I concluded as we watched them chat with, what looked like, their manager. We were getting fed up for being ignored and not even two minutes before I was about to suggest we go somewhere else, our waitress showed up and gave us menus.

Lucy and I ordered some iced tea to drink and looked over the menu. While we were deciding what we wanted, our waitress came twice to check up on us. When we knew what we wanted, we looked for her, but she was no where to be found. Then while I was looking another direction, she popped up. We gave our orders and waited some more. I noticed that other people were given some dinner rolls and butter while they waited for their orders to come. Our waitress dissapeared on us. Again.

To kill some time, I gave Lucy a lesson on how to use direct sunlight to make pictures look better.

Doesn't my glass of iced tea look good? It's missing one thing though; real drops of water (from the condensation) or fake ones (made from a trade secret, and by 'trade' I mean the photography trade, muhahaa!).
It seemed like we were forgotten again, when our dishes arrived. I had ordered the Jambalaya Pasta. My linguine pasta was supposed to be served with a "spicy Creole sauce" with shrimp, chicken and andouille sausage. Does this look spicy to you? Does it even look flavourful?

Yeah no. I was kidding myself when I told Lucy that the pasta was plain. I mean, it was alright when I had it with some shrimp, sausage or chicken, but only cause of the protein. The sauce; it was a plain cream sauce. It wasn't spicy at all (the sausage had heat, but not the sauce). False advertisement!

Lucy had the Shrimp Creole. I stole a bit and concluded that the sauce had more flavour than mine had - definitely a better choice than mine.
I couldn't bring myself to finish my pasta with flavourless cream sauce and Lucy was too full to finish hers, so we got them packed up.

We had to have dessert, cause my main was so dissapointing. There were a couple of choices, but the one that caught our attention was their caramel chocolate cake (something like that). It was like a Turtle in a cake form - without all the sugar. It was delicious! The cake wasn't too sweet like other chocolate cakes tend to be. The caramel added a delicate sweetness to the fudgy cake. Lucy figured it was a flourless cake, as it wasn't cakey. The cake was dense and luscious. The caramel sauce was sticky without being messy. We should've definitely ordered one to go.

When we were finished with our dessert and wanted to pay our bill and leave, our waitress was no where to be found. We weren't surprised. To be fair though, she was helping serve a large party in the back of the restaurant, but come on. Couldn't we just get another waitress who only worked at the front of the restaurant?

To sum up dinner: we'd return to Fat Tuesday's only for their heavenly cake. The service was horrible on a quiet night and our waitress seemed to dissapear whenever we needed her.



Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
55 Byward Market Square
Ottawa, ON

Fat Tuesday's
62 York Street
Ottawa, ON

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Snack Post! – April 2009

In an effort to get through my April photos, I’m going to combine a bunch of short ones to make a snack post. I’ll see how I like this new plan. If it looks good, I’ll do this to try to keep current.

~ * ~

McDamn-I’m-Fat – April 15, 2009

McDonald’s is, and always will be, one of my favourite places to eat. I know the food sucks, but there are so many great memories attached to the place that I just can’t let it go. I tried quitting this year, knowing how bad the food was. It only lasted a month.


I love my BigMac with extra pickles. Soft and squishy. Yummmmmmmmmmm.... I really enjoyed it this time because they stacked my burger with pickles.

Check it out:


Look at that layer of pickles! Oh yeah….


Jimmy got his regular order. Double quarter pounder with cheese and extra slivered onions. He liked it. ‘Nuff said.



To round out our meal, we also bought some McNuggets with Sweet and Sour Sauce. I could definitely live off the Sweet and Sour Sauce. I guess it’s supposed to resemble plum sauce, but I could care less. I just need that sweet, tangy sauce in my life. It’s been my favourite dipping sauce since childhood.

~ * ~

Marinated Duck Wings – April 20, 2009

After gorging ourselves at Mr. Sun’s Dumpling House, Jimmy and I went to T&T to pick up some Chinese groceries. We walked through the prepared foods section and came across a small package of duck wings.


Duck wings are another one of those snacks that brings me back to my childhood. I used to eat them by the pound. In fact, my grandpa still buys them for me occasionally when I come back to Ottawa. They’re kinda pricey, but I love them to death.

These ones were dry and tasteless. However, this was the first time in over a year that I had the opportunity to eat duck wings, so I inhaled them.

Finger-lickin’ goooooood!

~ * ~

Pillsbury Blueberry Turnovers – April 24, 2009

The fact that I was pretty much raised in a kitchen meant that I have a highly developed sense of snobbery for pre-made baked goodies. This applies to cake mixes and especially anything from Pillsbury.

IMG_1593 copy_edited-2

But then a funny thing happened. My aunt bought some Pillsbury blueberry turnovers after picking me up from Chinese school. We had a fun afternoon of unrolling, filling, and sealing the turnovers. Before I realized what was happening, I had started to change my mind about Pillsbury. She even let me decorate the turnovers myself. I drew some pretty pictures (which melted into a pool of icing) and ate it all up. Oh, they were so delicious!

I was craving some baked goodies, but was too busy to bake anything from scratch. I ended up buying a package of blueberry turnovers to bake.

IMG_1582 copy_edited-2

I made them for breakfast the next day. Baking and decorating food is a great way to start your morning. I was so giddy that I drew smiley faces on them.

Just look at those goofy smiles!

~ * ~

Well, that was a relatively painless post. I think I’ll start doing these short blurb posts more often to get through my backlog.

At this rate, I’ll be caught up by July!

Lone Star Not as Lovely as It Used to Be – April 11, 2009

After experiencing so-so service and tasteless, overcooked steak the last time we went to Lone Star, Jimmy and I decided we would stop going there for steak. This didn’t stop us from wondering if our last experience was a fluke. Months later, when we were sick of our usual places, we walked down to Ontario Street to give Lone Star a last chance.


The server brought us some chips and salsa the moment we were seated. The chips were still warm from the heated drawer, and the salsa was nice and cold. I like Lonestar’s salsa because it’s not overspiced. It tastes clean and slightly tangy.


Jimmy ordered his usual: New York Striploin, cooked medium, with a Caesar salad on the side. I don`t remember what he said about the steak, so that probably means it was just meh.

Lone Star used to give you two sides, but the new menu only allows you to choose one. By default, the steaks come with sautéed vegetables and onion rings. He said the steak was decent, definitely better than last time. Apparently the sautéed vegetables were bland and not as delicious as he remembered them to be. I don’t think he ate his onion rings because I vaguely recall snacking on more than one onion ring.


He also ordered a skillet of sautéed mushrooms on the side (extra). The skillet was tiny compared to the size it used to be, but at least it was bigger than the tiny cup of mushrooms they served us last time. These were also tasteless and boring. Normally they’re chock full of flavour and peppery kick.


I ordered the steak and rib combo which was an eight ounce top sirloin and a half rack of ribs. This was also served with my choice of side (loaded baked potato), sautéed vegetables, and an onion ring. The ribs were fantastic this time, slathered in their regular barbecue sauce. Sweet and full of kick. They were also cooked properly, so there was still some chew. The steak was good, but not as good as I had hoped. It was a little bland.

I don’t think we’ll be going back anytime soon. The food was meh, and the bill was large—even without liquor. The service this time was fantastic, but it’s not good enough to make me want to return. Too bad, I really used to like Lone Star.

~ * ~

Lone Star Texas Grill
251 Ontario Street (Princess and Ontario)
Kingston, ON
(613) 548-8888

Perogies and Fudge - May 9th

We had a bag of frozen perogies in the freezer and someone decided to bring it out for dinner that day. Now since you can't eat perogies without any fixings, bacon was and onions were needed.

Lucy took care of caramelizing the onions and bacon. She cooked some onions and then cooked the bacon seperately. Most of the bacon fat was poored into our bacon fat jar, in which we use it later to fry up eggs or anything else that needed a bacon-y taste, while a bit of the it was saved for the perogies. Who needs vegetable oil or even canola oil when you have bacon fat?

While Lucy was doing that, Richard was browning the perogies on the griddle - using the reserved bacon fat, of course.

When everything was ready to eat, the sour cream was brought out of the fridge. We gorged ourselves silly.

Andrew, who has always played with his food, decided to stuff his perogies with the sour cream, bacon and onions. Looks like a clam, don'nit? (- said with Paula Deen's accent)

Here's the destruction. Notice Richard's bowl of congee behind the sour cream? lol

After the fattening dinner, we craved something sweet. Since I had to go to the bank anyway, we dropped by McD's for a hot fudge sundae with peanuts. Take a look at how much fudge the person gave me. There was barely any ice cream... bah! There was no way I was going to finish all that fudge. When I was finished eating all of the ice cream, there was over a heaping spoonful of fudge that was sitting at the bottom of the cup. Gross! I have to Andrew.

I felt so bloated after that, it wasn't even funny. I think that was one of the healthiest meal we've had in a long time. Hahaaa! (That was a joke, now laugh with me).


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Summer Rolls - May 8th

Time for me to catch up on some entries...


We had our grandparents and my uncle over on Friday for dinner. What was on the menu? Summer rolls (aka guong)!! If you want to make some at home, refer to this post: How to make summer rolls.

The other protein, if you even want to call it that, was nem nuong. It's pretty much mystery meat with msg, red food colouring and pepper corns. Here's a plate of nem nuong with a plate of cucumbers and a tray of beansprouts and mixed lettuce leaves.

My mom's spring rolls and a jar of nuoc cham.

Not sure how the summer rolls were, since I ate some leftover pho that I made earlier for lunch. Heh. My mom's spring rolls were awesome, though. I can attest to that.

You should all have some of my mom's spring rolls! Nom nom nom!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

The (Almost) Perfect Cookie – April 10, 2009

I am extremely particular about what my favourite cookie tastes like. I think it has something to do with the fact that I can’t bake cookies to save my life.

Anyway, my favourite cookie is a soft, chewy chocolate chip cookie straight out of the oven. Regular milk chocolate chip cookies with a tall glass of icy milk are perfect for snacking.


If I’m eating cookies as a dessert, I prefer white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Of course, they have to be warm and chewy, and served with a glass of milk. These cookies are sweeter than normal chocolate chip cookies, but they also have an unexpected crunch. The soft, just-cooked cookie dough gives way to the pockets of melted white chocolate and the chunks of nuts.

These cookies are from Gord’s at Queen’s University. Soft and positively sinful. They’re not the PERFECT cookie, but they’re pretty damn close. My only problem with these cookies is that they contain granulated white sugar. I prefer cookies made with only brown sugar because the texture isn’t as granular when you bite into them.

Still, they’re better than what I can bake, so I shouldn’t really be complaining. I would totally sell my soul to be able to bake soft cookies from scratch. Any takers?

The Tragic Incident with Dumplings – April 6, 2009

Before I left Kingston for the summer, I wanted to make sure that Jimmy had some pre-prepared (this word looks funny) frozen foods to sustain him for four months. I decided I would make a batch of dumplings for supper, and then make another batch to flash freeze.

I made a full cookie sheet of dumplings. They were my own army of dumplings. I remembered the picture I took of the canned lychee in my fridge and had the great idea to use the fridge to light the pictures.



I didn’t clear out the fridge before placing the cookie sheet in, so it was balancing on some jars and condiment bottles. I held the end of the tray with one hand and took the picture in the other hand. All was going well, and I remember thinking that this precarious position could be a bad idea. Just as I thought that, Jimmy asked me a question from the other room, my concentration wavered, and the cookie sheet crashed to the ground.


I don’t have to explain how heartbroken I was when I saw the fruits of my labour squished and deformed on the ground.

But don’t they look great? I’ve only made jiaozi about half a dozen times, so I’m quite proud of how they turned out.


This was what I was able to save.

Luckily, I had planned on making two batches of dumplings, so I had enough filling and wrappers left to make the second batch for dinner.

The second batch wasn’t as pretty because I rushed to fold them (we were both starving at that point). There aren’t any pictures of those.

There’s no recipe for this one. I just wanted to share this story of epic stupidity and sadness. Next time I’ll get someone to help me with my photos. Why is it that I only learn lessons the hard way?

A Typical Cafeteria Bagel from Gord’s – April 5, 2009

Christine and I once tried out a bagel place in Ottawa (now closed) that was pure nirvana. The store specialized in Montréal-style bagels which, according to Wikipedia, are chewier and sweeter than New York-style bagels. I couldn’t eat other bagels after that. It’s like trying to eat Wonder Bread after having some of the best bread from a real boulangerie. They all tasted too fluffy and processed. Most importantly, they were missing that sweet smokiness that only comes from being baked in a wood-fired oven.

Before having my first REAL Montréal-style bagel, I would judge something like this by the quality of the toppings. Now, I consider the bagel first because a good-tasting bagel starts with a good bagel. It’s not rocket science, but I somehow managed to miss this important lesson.


I judged this smoked salmon bagel from Gord’s Café (on the Queen’s University campus) pretty harshly. There was no chewiness or give to it at all. It was bland and soft, neither savoury nor sweet. Even the fact that it was an “everything” bagel didn’t give it much flavour. This deeply saddened me.

Unfortunately, the toppings were lame, too. The smoked salmon didn’t really taste smoked. It was a textural contrast to the rest of the bagel, not much else. There weren’t enough red onions, and the onions were chopped up, instead of left in thin slices and slivers. The briny, bitter capers (which are actually my favourite part of a smoked salmon bagel) were completely overwhelmed by the huge schmear of cream cheese. In fact, the cream cheese was just about the only thing I liked about it.

For a quick snack, it was okay, but it’s pricey. Skip this and stick to the smoothies at Gord’s.

~ * ~

Inside Gordon-Brockington Hall
Queen’s University
Kingston, ON

An Unexpected Surprise at Brew Pub – April 5, 2009

*I keep typing “beef” instead of “beer.” I actually toyed with the idea of sticking with the original spelling to make a funny post, but then I realized that it wasn’t actually THAT funny. Fail.


The Kingston Brewing Company, or Brew Pub for short or Kingston Brewery if you don’t actually know its name, constantly surprises me with the quality of their food and drinks. It’s a pub decorated in typical pub stylings, serving typical pub food (at least, on paper), and entertaining typical pub guests (locals and students).

It started in my second year of university when a bunch of friends introduced me to the place, claiming that they had the best beer EVER. Skeptical and already pleasantly buzzed, I called them on it, and we headed over for a few pitchers. Wow, I was totally blown away. It was sweet and smooth and had a pleasantly rich aftertaste.

And then I got wasted and almost killed myself tripping down the stairs to the bathroom. It seems that I drank it a little too fast and had a little too much to drink beforehand. Who knew that the beer would almost be as strong as a mixed drink? Ah, good times.

To get back to my point, since that first night drinking Dragon’s Breath Real Ale, it has become one of my absolute favourite beers. I didn’t love beer, but I started to learn to appreciate it like I appreciate wine.


Jimmy and I walked over to Brew Pub for lunch, just wanting a pint and some nibbles. Jimmy had the Dragon’s Breath Real Ale, and I had a glass of water.


Always curious about what the chef feels like preparing, I ordered the special of the day—Neptune pasta (I think). It was a cream-based sauce with shrimp and lobster, served on fettuccine. It also came with a Caesar salad on the side.

I started eating the salad first. It was sprinkled with fake bacon bits, which turned me off right away. The romaine was soggy because each leaf was smothered in dressing. The croutons were good, but they were far too salty as an accompaniment to the overdressed salad. I didn’t like the salad at all. I finished the salad when it dawned on me that these would be the only vegetables in my lunch.

My first reaction to the pasta was, whoa, that’s a whooooooole lotta butter. Look how glossy that sauce is! I was definitely not disappointed. It’s really all about the sauce. The sauce was buttery and rich and filled with chunks of lobster and shrimp. They didn’t skimp on the seafood at all. I was especially impressed with the lobster. I’m assuming it was first poached in butter because its sweetness enveloped my mouth with every bite. I had never tasted lobster that tasted as sweet as everyone described it as. It tasted good, but this brought lobster to a whole new level. Just wow.

On the other hand, the fettuccine was horrendously overcooked, and didn’t have any bite to them at all. Oh well, the quality of the sauce was enough for me to eat the entire dish. I had to enlist Jimmy’s help in finishing the last few bites—which he gladly accepted—because the butter weighed heavily on my stomach.


Jimmy wasn’t sure about what he wanted to eat for lunch. Actually he wanted to have their nachos (deeeeeeeeeelish!), but I knew that he’d want a real meal after devouring them. He hummed and hawed and finally decided the Italian sausage was a safe bet. This was served with a side of fries and a small cup of coleslaw. I don’t remember what he dressed it with, but he said it was decent. I was too busy making orgasmic sounds over my pasta.

I was surprised that the pasta was so delicious. Of course, it’s not authentic Italian food, but food INSPIRED by Italian culinary traditions can still be delicious. Since we loved the pasta so much, Jimmy asked our server for another of order for takeout. We snacked on it again that night. I gently reheated it in a pan with a little bit of milk (to avoid burning that glorious sauce).

If you ever go to the Kingston Brewing Company, make sure to try their microbrews and specials. I can’t vouch for the specials, but the beer is spectacular.

But what the hell do I know about beer?

~ * ~

The Kingston Brewing Company
34 Clarence Street (between Ontario and King)
Kingston, ON
(613) 542-4978

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cambodiana’s Second Chance – April 4, 2009

Little Saigon, while cheap and reliable, does not produce the most exciting food. Jimmy and I had gotten sick of eating the same old stuff, so we gave Cambodiana another try. We tried this restaurant a few years ago, but then forgot about it.

Cambodiana focuses more on Cambodian-Thai food, which is closer to what I eat at home. The flavours and textures were definitely more familiar to me than Little Saigon’s food.

We first ordered a fried fish cake appetizer. This was the most expensive appetizer on the menu, but I was craving some REAL home food. It is made by mixing minced fish meat with minced herbs and spices (lime leaf, curry paste). The meat is then shaped into pucks and fried until golden. Because it’s a fairly greasy and heavy dish, it is normally served with pickled vegetables (cabbage, carrots, and cucumbers) to cut the grease. I meant to take pictures, but these fish cakes tasted so much like my mum’s that I gobbled them up before I knew what I was doing. My bad….


I can’t remember what Jimmy ate, but it looks like it could be either green curry chicken or salaw kako. I think it was green curry chicken because I recall him ordering the kako another time.


I ordered a vermicelli bowl (bun) with grilled pork, grilled shrimp, and spring rolls. The spring rolls were okay. Not spectacular, but not inedible. Same goes for the grilled pork. The shrimp, on the other hand, were juicy and perfectly grilled. It was also seasoned properly, so the spices drew out the sweetness of the shrimp. Ahhh, I hadn’t eaten such succulent shrimp in a long time.

Jimmy wasn’t sure if his dish would fill him, so he ordered the special of the day—some sort of sour soup with coconut milk.

This meal came to $36-ish, which shocked Jimmy. He was used to paying with a $20 bill at Little Saigon. We rarely ordered this many dishes from Little Saigon. Though Cambodiana is pricier, the food tastes a lot better. It became our new favourite place.

~ * ~

161 Brock Street (Brock and Montreal, by the bus shelters)
Kingston, ON
(613) 531-0888
*Cash or debit only*

Monday, May 11, 2009

Little Saigon’s Little Lunch – April 2, 2009

From mid-March to the end of April, Jimmy and I were crazy busy. We ended up eating take out more than we normally do. The next couple of posts won’t be particularly exciting because we started getting into a rut. Also, these posts will be shorter because frankly, I’ve already forgotten the details.

Jimmy brought home some Little Saigon for lunch one day. This is what we normally order.


Pork spring rolls with fish sauce. These are wrapped in rice paper and fried to a crisp.


Tom yum goong for Jimmy. He likes Little Saigon’s version because they don’t add coconut milk. I think he only really likes it for the bundles of enokitake in the soup. This is served with a small bowl of steamed rice.


When I don’t feel like eating anything in particular, I get the pad thai with no shrimp. I just don’t like the shrimp from Little Saigon because they don’t taste fresh. And yes, I am aware that this pad thai has been doctored for non-Asian taste buds.

I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll say it again: Little Saigon doesn’t have the most authentic food, but it is dirt cheap. This comes to $18 for two people, before taxes.

And that’s always good in my books.

~ * ~

Little Saigon
284 Princess Street (near Princess and Clergy)
Kingston, ON
(613) 536-5774

Pizza and Noodles - April 26th, 2009

Ello, ello! Man, I haven't published anything in a while. I've just been resting up, but I'll be starting to sift through my older pics later this week. Onto my post...

The weather called for a sunny and warm day, on April 26th. My friend and I had already planned to go out on a shooting adventure regardless of the weather. It so happend that the weather was going to be nice. The plan for the day was to walk around and shoot, try and locate a restaurant, then eat an early dinner before doing a bit more photographing.

I was looking for a restaurant called Sushi Island on College Street, cause that was the location of a dinner party later that week. My friend, Jackie, and I walked down College Street after getting off from the street car (that came from Spadina Station). As we were walking, we noticed that there were a lot of smaller businesses located on College. From little restaurants, to photography studios, to coffee shops, to clothing stores, to bookstores. The only names that we recognized were Starbucks and Shopppers Drugmart. lol. In a way, it reminded me of Westboro in Ottawa, except better cause Little Italy was near College.

We walked for a good 10 mins before we started getting hunrgy. We still had no sightings of Sushi Island. We walked another block before deciding what we wanted. I was craving Librettos pizza still and it didn't help that we walked past a couple of pizza places already. So that was it. We were going to have pizza, but where? We didn't really see any pizza places as we kept on walking, so we just dropped in Cafe Diplomatico on the corner of College and Clinton Street. Jackie and I sat outside, since it was so sunny out. We shared a medium pizza, since she had been craving a pizza with bacon ever since our little adventure to Librettos, where they didn't use Canadian bacon. She was quite disappointed that she couldn't add bacon to her pizza at Libretto.

We both had overpriced glasses of Coke to drink. When the drinks arrived, we were kinda shocked because the glasses were small. I asked if we had free refills but the lady said no. Wow. Shitty. (Just wanted to let you guys know.)

The thin bacon pizza arrived. It looked decent. Nothing to rave about. It would satisfy both of our cravings.As you can see, the pizza was served on a thin metal pizza pan. As we ate on the patio, the pizza cool really quickly.But when the pizza just arrived, the cheese was still oozy. The pizza was standard fare; the sauce was alright, the bacon was bacon, and the cheese was fine. It was a decent bar pizza. It was a great snack.

After we had our snack, we paid the bill, crossed the road and spent an hour or so in the bookstore before heading back towards Chinatown.

On our way back to Spadina, we took our time shooting some frames and taking in the sites. These moose were located beside the firehouse.

Here's the church across the street. I over sharpened this a bit too much, but other than that, I like this picture.

Playing with depth of view.
Since it was my last weekend in Toronto, I had to have my noodles. To the Gourmet House of blah blah blah restaurant! Jackie had never had either of these dishes so I was naturally excited to see her reaction. If she hated it, then we'd just order stuff she'd like and I'd just have the two dishes all to myself (bwahahaaa!).
Since we already had a snack/late lunch a couple of hours before this, we didn't have enough stomach space to come close to finishing these two dishes. We got them wrapped up and enjoyed them later.
I had to get home earlier, as I had an exam the following day. Jackie and I headed home after dinner. It was too dark to take any pictures, since neither of us brought our tripods.

While we waited for another train to arrive (everyone had to get off the train at Royal York or Old Mill station for some reason), we took a walk upstairs to see if there was anything interesting. There wasn't much. By the time we started to head back down to hop on the sub, we heard it leaving. Bored and kind of energetic, we weaved in and out of some pillars and then did some pacing at the Royal York stop (or was it Old Mill?). So if you did happen to see the two girls weaving and pacing at the station; that would be us. Heh.

Oh, last thing. I wanted to give a shout out to one of the guys that shared our table at the House of Gourmet. Hope you like the blog! ^__^.


Cafe Diplomatico
594 College Street
Toronto, ON

House of Gourmet
484 Dundas St W
Toronto, ON


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