Vegan adventure at Mythology Toronto!

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I’ve been incorporating a lot of plant based meals into my diet lately, from tempeh, tofu, beans, and even Beyond Meat. I love that there are so many options now, and it seems like more people are willing to try these yummy plant proteins! Personally, I love that I get my protein fix, and also don’t feel too heavy after eating a meal. Which is why I was so excited when I got invited to Mythology (formerly Mythology Diner) on Queen West, a Vegan spot from the team behind Vegandale.

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First impressions of the renovated space is that it’s modern, but also really cozy and intimate. I liked the little accents of gold all around the place, to the cool looking menu that reminded me of Alice in Wonderland! My sister and I both started with the Acai cocktail, which was so delish! I love any sour drink, and this was really well made, with Cachaca, lime, cane sugar and acai juice. I would definitely order this again!

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To start we had my favourite dish of the evening: Calamari with king oyster mushroom, garlic cornmeal crust, tartar sauce and lemon. This was surprisingly really amazing! They really got the juicy texture down, and there was a nice crunch to it too. I also wondered how they were able to create circular calamari-like shapes from the mushroom. WOW! So good and I would highly recommend this.

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We also tried the Charcuterie Board, featuring pickled local vegetables, carrot gravlax, mushroom pate, crostini, berry compote, Dijon, lemon ash cashew goat cheese, cornichon and candied pecan. This dish had very interesting flavours. I really enjoyed trying out everything on the board, and combining each of the pate/cheeses onto the crostini. To me the standout was the cashew goat cheese!

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I had the Mushroom Ravioli, which had handmade ravioli, mushroom duxelle, porcini cream sauce, wild mushroom, green pea, hazelnut crumb, baby greens, garlic chips, truffle lemon vinaigrette and porcini dust. I really enjoyed the strong mushroom flavours and the incorporation of the greens into the dish – I like that it’s a really light option compared to usual heavy ravioli dishes I have had in the past.

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My sister had the Coq Au Vin, with braised seitan chicken, garlic confit mash, pastrami carrots, rapini, and prune demi glace. Although she wasn’t too big of a fan of the texture, she liked the flavours of the dish!

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For sides, we had Panisse, a fried chickpea flour cake, topped with cultured parmesan and aioli. This was really yummy and had a great texture that reminded me of yucca fries. We also had their super fresh House Salad, with a light tahini dressing.

Unfortunately I was too full to try any dessert, but we thoroughly enjoyed the meal! Everything tasted so fresh, and all dishes were so beautifully presented! Mythology is now open for dinner, so make sure you drop by for their delish Vegan dishes!

Mythology
1265 Queen St W,
Toronto, ON M6K 1L5

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Celebrating National Chicken Wing Weekend with 7-Eleven Canada!

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Ah wings, one of my all-time favourite things to eat during the summer! There’s just something about enjoying some delicious, tasty wings with a cold drink while you sit out in the scorching sun. Thankfully, I’ve got a 7-Eleven near me, which is really convenient because I really love their super juicy and flavourful wings! 7-Eleven will be celebrating #NationalWingWeekend from Saturday, July 27 to Monday, July 29, and ahead of this deliciously mouthwatering weekend, they are asking fans to decide: What type of chicken wings are superior? Naked Pub Style Wings or Dressed Wings?

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Cast your vote at https://7-eleven.ca/nationalwingweekend/ from now to Monday, July 29 because:

    • Voters will be automatically entered for a chance to win free wing delivery to the value of $25, delivered to you! Winners who don’t fall in a delivery area will receive a $25 7-Eleven gift card.
    • If you’re having trouble deciding, you can get 10 Naked Pub Style or Dressed Wings for $9 at your neighbourhood 7-Eleven or get them delivered straight to your door. Find out more about delivery at https://7-eleven.ca/delivery/
    • Those of you who are 7Rewards members can get 1000 7Rewards Bonus Points when you purchase 10 wings for $9 from Saturday, July 27 to Monday, July 29

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I had a chance to try a bunch of the wing flavours, from the Honey Garlic to the Buffalo Hot Wings – wow, they were all so delicious, and I especially enjoyed the crunchiness of the dressed wings.

Fun fact: Did you know that 7-Eleven Canada’s chickens are raised by Canadian Farmers without any added steroids or hormones?! They are fried fresh in select stores and hot from the oven in minutes in others.

One of the things that I also love is that you can get their wings day and night 24/7! They have so many delicious flavours to choose from, like Naked Pub Style wings, Honey Garlic, Hot Sauce or Spicy Thai.

What are you waiting for? Make sure to cast your vote and visit your neighbourhood 7-Eleven during #NationalWingWeekend for some amazing wings! Voting closes Monday, July 29th #Ad

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A day on the Asparabus!

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Every day I am constantly so amazed at the beauty of this wonderful, strange and magnificent world that we live in. I always make it a point to look out from my 19th floor condo balcony, where I can gaze for a long time at the vast sky, with clouds that seem to endlessly stretch across it, and to the buildings and houses below me and beyond. It makes me feel so small… such a tiny part of this massive world! And it also reminds me of how everything – how life – has it’s rhythm: the cycle of seasons, of change, arriving, departing, coming to life and fading away. And still, the world keeps turning.

It’s spring, which means it’s asparagus season – the first crop of the spring harvest! I’ve always loved asparagus, which is slightly bitter, sweet and very earthy compared to broccoli. Such a unique and delicious flavour! I was lucky enough to be invited by The Foodies Group and Asparagus Farmers of Ontario to join a full day tour on the Asparabus, an initiative that aims to help raise awareness on supporting local farmers. I try to buy local as much as possible, and as a home cook, I love how you really can taste the freshness of the product, not to mention feel good about supporting Canada!

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First stop was the Welsh Brothers Farm, where I got to see first-hand how asparagus is harvested on their field, which was around 6 years old. I found out that the spears grew directly up from the ground (they thrive in sandy soil), and they are harvested by hand with a chef’s knife. This labour intensive process is the reason why asparagus is a bit more expensive than other vegetables. I even got to break off a spear and try it right on the field, so delicious and fresh!

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Inside the production facility, each asparagus spear is sorted by the workers, with the help of a camera that determines the color, thickness, and is then divided into different spear sizes. I was told that the thickest size is great for the BBQ, so definitely pick those up instead of the thinner ones (which are better for salads)!

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We visited the Bonnieheath Estate Lavender & Winery next, a beautiful and lush property full of trees and a huge vineyard. This is where we had an outstanding, delicious farm to table lunch featuring local asparagus, prepared by Chef Tracy Winkworth from the Liaison College Southcoast Chef School.

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The feast was all a blur (I was in heaven) – and I was so impressed at how Chef Tracy integrated asparagus into dishes in really unique ways from risotto, to chimichurri, pesto and even guacamole. She also made some BBQ ribs, with strawberry as an ingredient in the BBQ sauce… WOW!

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I am so grateful to have met such passionate farmers – how lucky they must feel to be eating such a fresh vegetable right from the field! I was able to try some asparagus from their farm which I cooked at home, and it was so flavourful, tender and extremely juicy! You should definitely buy local and support Ontario asparagus farmers any chance you can get!

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My new favourite: STK Toronto

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Ahh…! Spring has finally arrived here in Toronto, and we’ve thankfully gotten over the cold, harsh winter. The blinding sun’s out most days, the grass a vibrant green, beautifully dotted with yellow flowers (weeds?), and the sky a light blue, making me feel so alive! It’s in these quiet moments that I always remember to be grateful, to hold on to these moments of happiness, and to make sure that I spread only good, positive vibes to everyone around me.

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It was a beautiful partly cloudy day last Wednesday too, despite getting caught in a torrential downpour of rain in Yorkville. I was very lucky to be invited to dine at STK with my sister, and we both had such a wonderful dinner – one that I kept thinking about a few days later. I loved so many things about my experience, from the trendy and warm ambiance, to the excellent dishes and the amazing service. If you’ve been following my blog, I am first and foremost a steak person, and I was blown away by the 18 oz Dry Aged Striploin (!!), which was the highlight of the meal – but we’ll get to that later.

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Our dinner started off with a few drinks, and I got the Paloma Escobar (sour drinks are my ultimate favourite), which was a lovely, refreshing tart cocktail mix of white tequila, lime and grapefuit that would be a perfect drink to have this summer! We were also served a mini loaf of bread freshly baked in house, delicious pieces of soft, buttery goodness!

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We had a few starters – all of them were tasty, and you could definitely notice that all the ingredients they used were fresh and very high quality. The Tuna Tartare featured hass avocado, soy honey emulsion and topped with taro chips. Loved the presentation! The taro chips had a nice crunch that provided really good texture to the sauce and tuna.

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The Crispy Calamari & Shrimp featured blistered shishito peppers and was served on a chili remoulade sauce. Lightly breaded and fried, this was a nice light dish that didn’t leave me feeling heavy compared to the usual deep fried dishes I’ve had in the past. I liked that the seafood was fresh, and that the sauce was creamy with a slight kick to it.

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I also really enjoyed the Local Heirloom Tomatoes, featuring burrata cheese, Panzanella sauce and tomatoes that were sweet and very juicy. This was a very rich dish because of the creaminess of the burrata and the sauce. Yum!

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And now my favourite, the 18 oz Dry Aged Striploin! At this point I was in heaven – the steak was juicy and a perfectly cooked rare, with the dry aging of it giving it a nice umami flavour (salty, savoury richness). What a beautiful, tender cut of meat, which went perfectly with our sides, Mac & Cheese and Parmesan Truffle Fries. Both sides were very flavorful and delicious, I would definitely order them again.

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Finally, dessert! I wasn’t sure how they were going to top the entire meal, but wow. Dessert was SO amazing. It was hard to choose what I liked the most between the Orange Dream Cheesecake and the Sticky Toffee Pudding, since they were both great, but I liked the Sticky Toffee Pudding more. There’s just something about a nice warm dessert with lots of caramel sauce that makes me feel warm inside. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of it because it was too dark – you’ll just have to order it!!

STK is definitely now on my top list of must eat places in Toronto, and I 100% recommend it as a perfect spot for a date.

STK Toronto
153 Yorkville Ave,
Toronto, ON M5R 1C4

Insane seafood bridge at Yunshang Rice Noodle

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I always love trying out new cuisines, flavours, and food! I find it so fun and feels like a mini adventure to see how other cultures prepare food (and to taste it of course!). A small part of me always feels like I’m taking a little trip overseas when I try anything new. This is why I was so excited when I got invited to taste a few dishes from Yunshang Rice Noodle, opening tomorrow (March 15) in North York!

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A bit of backstory – they are the largest Chinese rice noodle chain in North America, serving up Yunnan cuisine (which I have never tried before). They do have a few locations in Toronto, but this is their first North York location. When I spoke to the manager, he mentioned that they make it a point to source fresh and natural ingredients. They use a lot of bones as well to make the broth really tasty – like pork, ham, chicken, and beef. And guess what, the bones are boiled for more than twelve hours, and made everyday with no MSG or other artificial flavours! This made me so excited to try the dishes, and they didn’t disappoint!

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Up first was a jaw dropping, Instagram worthy dish – their exclusive “Yunshang Bridge Rice Noodle”, made specifically for this location and only available for two weeks. There is so much served here, from Canadian Atlantic lobster tail, oyster, sea scallop, beef slices, and sooo much more. At first glance you may be overwhelmed with so much food, but it’s really simple! The idea / cooking technique for this and the other rice noodle soups is that boiling soup will be served to you in a super hot stone bowl, and then you would drop these ingredients in, basically cooking them. Here, I tried the tomato sauce, which had more of a sweet and slightly tart taste.

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Here’s some more deets on what this comes with: Canadian Atlantic lobster tail, fresh French Kiss oyster (sourced from Diana’s Seafood), sea scallop, shrimps and crab sticks. It also comes with other ingredients like beef slices, fish cakes, ham, enokitake, Chinese lettuce, and egg tofu.

Hot deal: For their grand opening tomorrow (March 15) to March 16, the first 100 people will get this bridge for free, starting 6pm each day! No purchase required, first come first serve, and the giveaway is only available at the North York location.

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I was also able to try two yummy sides, fried Chicken Wings and Popcorn Chicken (yes I love everything fried) – both so delicious, flavourful and juicy. You really can’t go wrong with these. I loved the spices that were used to flavor both dishes, although if you had to ask me I preferred the Chicken Wings more. It was just so juicy!

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I also got to try their Oriental Rice Noodle with Curry Coconut Sauce. I really enjoyed this broth over the Tomato sauce version. To me, this reminded me more of a Malaysian Laksa and I liked how the meat tasted with this type of flavour profile over the tomato broth. It also came with ten little sides that you would drop into the soup to cook as well.

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Definitely give them a try for a unique and delicious experience.

One last tip: they give free refills for the rice noodles!

Yunshang Rice Noodle
Unit 5 – 5285 Yonge St.
North York
http://www.yunshang.ca