Toronto In My Tummy (prices stated are in Canadian dollars and do not include tax yet)

Toronto In My Tummy (prices stated are in Canadian dollars and do not include tax yet)

Check out what I had gobbled up during my long holiday in this beautiful city on the Eastern end of Canada.
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua

Quite possibly the ugliest looking piece of chocolate cake I’d seen in I-can’t-remember-how-long, and laughably small to boot but my oh my, did it taste fabulous!
Indecently decadent, it felt like I was eating a very moist, soft fudge that happened to be baked by someone intent on using up the world’s chocolate supply at one go. I’m not complaining, of course. Have to say, the dribble of maraschino cherry sauce that went over it was a nice touch too.
This is a must-try for all chocoholics (price; $8 before taxes).

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The least showy of the crustacean dishes at our meal, this was no less tasty. Simply steamed with egg white and crumbled bits of salted egg yolk, the naturally sweet flesh of the Alaskan King Crab beamed right through. Lovely!

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Did not manage to have this on my first visit here as I was too full. So I made sure to do that on my second.
Momofuku Milk Bar’s “Cereal Milk Soft Serve” is a highly raved about dessert (it’s even on Netflix’s “Chef’s Table”) and even though the name says it all so I knew exactly what it would taste like, having it for real still put a big smile on my face. It really is the flavour of childhood innocence and happiness rolled into one.
I also appreciate that cereal lines the bottom of the cup and gets plastered on the soft serve too. So there’s always an element of crisp, slightly soggy or otherwise, in every spoonful.

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The Alaskan King Crab which was a gigantic, feisty kicking thing a few minutes prior, arrived transformed into a tall Jenga-like structure of legs, legs, legs.
Showered in a bucketload of fried golden garlic bits, each piece of crab leg had a delicate coating of batter so its resoundingly sweet flesh was sealed within, right up until the moment it was pushed/pulled out to meet the fragrant pungence of the garlic en route to my waiting mouth.
This, and the “lobster tower”, are what you need to order when you pay a visit to the “Fishman Lobster Clubhouse”. They’re in a league of their own and incredibly delicious.

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There is no denying the wow factor of the iconic lobster towers at @fishmanlobsterclubhouse. In terms of the visual impact it has when depending how big your order is, one or two servers carry it to your table, and how good it tastes when you bite into it.
Even chopped up and cooked, the lobster comes across larger than life. Each massive piece of it yields chunky meat that’s so extraordinarily sweet and juicy it leaves you feeling slightly incredulous that it is for real. I say this because I have had certain seafood that does not taste better when bigger. I’m sure a few of you are nodding your head as you read this because you’ve experienced the same. Well, it is not the case here. The gargantuan lobster served to us tonight, cooked Hongkong style, that is dry and with plenty of spicy crunchy garlic, was outstanding in every way.

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If you love French toast, this is a delightful take on the classic with cinnamon raisin waffles dipped in egg wash and fried. A drizzle of maple syrup is really all you need to complement the yumminess.
Every order of waffles at “Starving Artist” comes with fresh salad plus a side of either maple baked beans, potato salad or fruit salad. They are all really decent, so it just depends on what you are in the mood for.

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One of the most popular items here, the ”Waffle Benny” was my pick.
It comprises of poached eggs and caramelised bacon stacked on mini waffles and smothered with hollandaise sauce. I swopped one of the waffles (it’s made with batter) for a potato waffle for $1 more. In case you are wondering, it tasted like mashed potato with a lightly crisped finish. I thought it tasted very good and paired deliciously with all the toppings.

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“Starving Artists” is an established brand of waffles-centric restaurant with five outlets around Toronto. It is especially suitable for families and groups of friends as they offer a wide selection of savoury and sweet creations on their menu, including gluten-free/vegan options. My family and I had breakfast at the one located at Mount Pleasant this morning and enjoyed our meal.
If you like omelettes, the “Hitchhiker” is a good choice. A signature of theirs, it is a hearty combo of two mini waffles, a cheese omelette and four pieces of bacon. A salad plus a side of your choice (maple baked beans, potato salad or fruit salad are available) complete the meal.

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We were there about 10 minutes before they opened and there was already a queue of at least twenty people in front of their door. Understandable because the food served at “Famiglia Baldassarre” is undeniably fresh and delicious.
There is a certain purity in what they do as things are kept simple with a very compact but ever-changing menu. On any one day that you are there for lunch, you are likely to find two kinds of pastas and a few appetisers up on the boards for selection. Of course we had to order both pastas - the Spagettoni Aglio E Olio ($12) and the Ziti La Genovaise ($14). Very enjoyable both but the latter was my preferred. The long tubes of pasta were perfectly al dente and I thought the slow-braised sauce of beef and onions it was cooked in, sublime.
Indoor seating is limited to 10 people at any one time, so do aim to arrive really early if you wish to avoid waiting. This is to ensure you get included in the first round of seating that begins at 12noon. Alternatively, get your food as takeaway and sit at the tables outside to enjoy it with a side of fresh air.

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Voted as one of Toronto’s “Top 25 Sandwiches” by @torontolife, the Roast Beef at @donnas.to is a confident little number with a chirpy personality.
Departing from the norm, it’s a Portuguese roll, lightly crisped on the outside but soft within, that’s tasked with holding everything together. The layers of roast beef tucked in there is wonderfully soft and moist from being marinated in beef fat and honey. Cosying up to the meat are parsnips with the lightest crunch, fresh watercress and a generous helping of golden-brown fried shallots. A dash of saucy heat from the horseradish sauce spices things up Goldilocks-right.

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After being silent the entire journey to @fiveguys which was where we had planned to have dinner, our Uber driver surprised us by pointing to an old, one-storey building as we were alighting, and said, “That’s the best place for fish and chips in town”. Me being me, immediately decided we had to give @oldeyorke a try.
I don’t know if it was the best given that we had not had the same dish on this trip to compare it with but we agreed the Halibut we ordered here was very good indeed. We had picked it based on our server’s recommendation and found its dense meatiness firm and clean tasting which we enjoyed. The battered coating was not the super thin kind but regardless, it married well with the fish as it was really crunchy and remarkably free of oiliness. Although it came with a faultless tartare sauce, I preferred to spam my Halibut and chips (fat, chunky fries) with malt vinegar. The accompanying cole slaw was decent as well.

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These were the other appetisers we couldn’t resist getting too. Tissue-thin, the large slices of 16-months-aged Parma ham were velvety-soft, and had a lovely sweet and mild flavour. They were easy to savour as opposed to the kind I’ve come across with meat fibre that refuses to tear even under brute force.
Tender with a delicate snap to the bite, the succulent asparagus were prepared simply with olive oil. Spring seemed to burst forth in every bite of them.
I recommend you add these to share if you spot them on the ever-changing menu at @famiglia_baldassarre.

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