Showing posts with label family friendly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family friendly. Show all posts

Capra's Kitchen for brunch (Mississauga)


If you’ve ever flipped through Canada’s television networks sometime over the last two decades, you’ve likely seen Chef Massimo Capra cooking or judging something to do with food. Big smile, small glasses, and the signature bushy curly mustache, he has the bubbly and booming personality that’s hard to forget.

To try his creations off screen, viewers used to visit the famed Mistura in Toronto. Then in 2016 he left and went back to his native Mississauga to open Capra's Kitchen, a more casual family-friendly restaurant.

Their weekend brunch menu has so many options that it makes it hard to decide between breakfast and lunch. But something about the eggs Massimo ($16) called to our table; three out of four of us decided it’d be our main and we weren’t disappointed.


A hot skillet arrives containing a fragrant tomato sauce topped with two poached eggs, which were thankfully cooked long enough so the yolk was molten but not too runny. A piece of bread dipped into the egg and then topped with thick tomato sauce and sweet caramelized onions was exactly the start to the day I needed.

The sausage and tomato sauce also works remarkably well. Capra’s coil is nicely roasted, the meat lean but flavourful. A piece speared with some of the breakfast potatoes and, of course, dipped in the low-acid tomato sauce makes for another tasty bite.

While we all barely finished the eggs Massimo, a bressert (brunch dessert) for the table was a must. The ricotta pancakes ($14) were a great choice, three fluffy thick pancakes smothered in a refreshing blueberry sauce, crunchy almonds, and lightly sweetened whipped cream. As if it wasn’t enough, maple syrup arrives on the side so you can really make the dish a dessert.


Mississauga isn’t my neighbourhood, but if it was, Capra’s Kitchen would be the spot I’d visit regularly. Breakfast is an important meal of the day, and when you want it hearty, you’ll want eggs … Massimo style. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Mississauga, Canada
 Address: 1834 Lakeshore Road West

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



Capra's Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Potman Hotpot (Toronto) 锅匠火锅

If you’re lucky enough to live in Toronto, you’re probably experiencing the cold touch from Mother Nature like the rest of the city. Of course, you could complain and hibernate, or rather embrace the Canadian mantra and go out there and have fun! Alas, me and winter activities requiring balance will never align, so I take the opportunity to indulge in hotpot instead.

Potman Hotpot is a new entrant and thanks to a BlogTO video has attracted a host of visitors – arrive before 6pm or make a reservation to avoid standing uncomfortably in their non-existent waiting area. The video showcases the meal to be a feast, which of course is possible, but you’ll pay for it as Potman is not all-you-can-eat.

Take the time to thoroughly go through their two-page menu as there’s a lot to choose from, starting with a choice of nine broths. If you’re indecisive, the split pot allows you to choose two flavours ($5.99 for small or $9.99 for large); financially, the large one doesn’t necessarily save much unless you’re sharing amongst more than two people.

For my first visit, I split the pot between homemade pork bone soup, which surprisingly incorporates a host of Chinese herbs resulting in a smooth creamy finish, and sweet tomato ox bone soup. In the future, I’ll stick with just the tomato broth (by itself $4.99 for small or $8.99 for large) as it adds a lovely flavour to all the ingredients so sauces aren’t even necessarily required.


Nonetheless, each person will be charged $0.49 for condiments, but allows them to mix-and-match from 19 items. Overall, what’s provided is sufficient, but Potman should consider giving the soy sauce in a pourable container (rather than the actual dipping dish) as after a few dunks the broth already starts to dilute everything.


While you can opt for a seafood platter, without a description of what comes with the dish it seemed safer to order the items we enjoy most. The shrimp ($5.99) was relatively good value with six large ones to an order… much better than the jumbo scallop ($2.99), which is essentially one scallop cut in half. Moreover, the small scallop pieces tended to get lost in the broth and became overcooked.


Most diners opted for the meat platter, but being carnivores, we stuck with single orders of the Angus beef ($6.99), pork ($4.99), and ox tongue ($6.99). My first time trying tongue in hotpot, I enjoyed the fattier cut that creates a flavourful bite – perhaps an alternative to the luxurious wagyu that costs $14-$50 a portion.


Where a platter works is for the vegetarian items ($7.49 for choice of 5 items) and the meat balls ($7.99 for a mix of 15) given Potman allows diners to choose what’s included in the mix. For the vegetarian items, you don’t get a lot with the leafy greens since they take up so much space, but for compact ingredients like wintermelon it’s a sizeable portion (these are also great for hotpot since they can be forgotten in the broth without ruining the vegetable’s texture).


For the meat balls there’s a choice of handmade or regular – I went with the regular machine-produced version and they were still very good. The cheese ball was our hands down favourite, very unique and I loved how after biting through the springy crust there’s a creamy molten cheese centre that’s enhanced with a sweet corn flavour. Their shrimp ball is also different holding shrimp roe in the centre – just be careful biting into it given the juices are hot and will squirt out.


Another one of my go-to ingredients is the fish tofu ($2.99), at Potman theirs is smooth while incorporating a rich fish flavour. The fish noodles ($1.49) isn’t the squeeze from a bag version, but rather comparable to wonton noodles with a chewier finish. While still tasty, the fish flavour is mild and somewhat lost if you add broth. Personally, I enjoyed the udon ($1.49), especially with the piece of ox tail accompanying the tomato soup base, it cooks relatively quickly without becoming mushy and goes so well with the tomato broth. On the other hand, the Korean rice cake ($1.49) breaks apart too easily and gets mushy in a matter of minutes.


While ordering a feast can get expensive - our indulgence costed $50 a person including taxes and gratuities (although to be fair we over ordered) - not being all-you-can-eat means staff have more time for service. Our food came out very quick (even add-ons) and our pots were constantly refilled to avoid it drying out. The service was excellent compared to other hotpot establishments. Moreover, there isn’t the pressure to stuff yourself silly, although with all the choices, that can still be difficult. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 633 Silverstar Boulevard

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!
Other Gastro World posts similar to this:

 Potman Hotpot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beaumont Kitchen (Toronto)


Having been a Toronto resident for over 30 years, I rarely venture west of Avenue road. When I do, it's usually for a wedding or meeting up with friends in Port Credit, but rarely does it entail going to a mall. Beaumont Kitchen, a new entrant to the Oliver & Bonacini empire, has given me a reason to visit Sherway Gardens, which is a lot nicer than I’ve been led to believe.

Connected to Saks Fifth Avenue, like their sister restaurant Lena with the Saks downtown, Beaumont Kitchen is more down-to-earth and family friendly. During a weekend visit for their Summerlicious lunch ($23), the tables generally held three generations, all sitting together breaking bread ... it’s sort of refreshing that there wasn’t a suit or hipster in sight. Their menu is modeled like an O&B Café – no real ethnicity’s cuisine being featured, but rather popular “safe” options that diverse tables can choose from.

With so much raspberry dressing on the 100km beet salad, it was too tart. Luckily, the roasted beets’ sweetness help to cut down on the acidity, so after cutting the cubes into even smaller pieces and ensuring there was a bit of beet with each bite of overdressed spinach, the salad was decent.


Most of the table agreed the chicken piccatta was one of the better mains. Despite being a thick piece of chicken breast that was thoroughly cooked, it was still moist. The capers weren’t overpowering, adding a light saltiness to the dish and when combined with butter a great topping for the smashed potatoes, which sucked in all the juices. Even the crispy grilled broccolini were delicious, a healthier  balance to the dish.


Served really hot, you have to contain your excitement when the pudding chômeur arrives or risk burning your tongue. The rum caramel sauce is light on the rum (for those sharing with children) and isn’t too sweet so nicely balances the dense fudgy cake.


Who knows, after the lunch at Beaumont Kitchen, maybe I’ll go to Sherway Gardens more often; when the traffic is moving, it doesn’t take that much longer to drive there than Yorkdale or Fairview and parking is a whole lot easier to find. Summerlicious can be a beautiful thing, it encourages people to go out and try new restaurants. For me, it encouraged me to venture west out of my comfort zone. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10
Is Summerlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Summerlicious - $23
Regular menu - $37 - salad ($12), chicken picatta ($17) and dessert ($8)
Savings - $14 or 38%
None of Summerlicious items are part of their regular menu, estimates are based on spinach salad, chicken breast sandwich, and carrot cake
How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 25 The West Mall

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Beaumont Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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The Big Feastival is taking over Ontario this weekend!

All pictures in this post are from past UK events courtesy of Faulhaber Communications
People in the UK know how to party. For the last six years, Jamie Oliver has been connecting foodies and their families for a weekend of music, family friendly entertainment, and of course tons of food. Given his love for our country, in 2017, he's bringing the Big Feastival to Ontario as Canadians gather at the Burl's Creek Event Grounds to partake in what our UK counterparts have enjoyed so long.

There's an array of musical acts from the family friend Fred Penner and Splash 'n' Boots, to musical groups like Weezer or the Strombellas. I can imagine it already... sipping on a frozen cocktail or chilled wine while dancing up a storm with my friends.


Where I hit a predicament is what to eat... wow there's a TON to choose from. Some are perennial favourites like Caplansky, Eva's Original Chimneys, and Buster's Sea Cove. Then there are many that I've never had the pleasure to try but sound enticing: Hawley Crescent, Wafel Bar, and Tori's Bake Shop, I'm coming for you!

At some point, the Cheese Cave will be a welcomed respite from the sun as the Cheese Boutique, ACE Bakery and Adamo Estate Winery come up with a great tasting. Hopefully, I'll even learn a thing or two from Chef Rob Gentile and Alexandra Feswick at their Cooking School. Having attended one of Vikram Vij's event and seen Dan the Prescott at the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference, I know already they curated a great line-up of individuals to learn from.

Who knows, if I've had enough to drink, maybe I'll partake in a yoga class, listen to Victor Barry tell a story, or snap a selfie with Paw Patrol. The sky is the limit!

Tickets range from $45 - $145 for a single day pass, depending on your age and whether you want access to the coveted VIP tent. Those with children 12 and under, they go for free! With so much to do, you could go the entire weekend ($85-$255) and if you want to stay over camping and really party into the night, a weekend with camping combination are selling for $100-$295.


I'm excited to be going with a group of girl friends - not glamping for the entire weekend, but rather making a day trip out of it from Toronto on the Saturday. Having never experienced it before, I'm excited for, as one friend describes it, Coachella for foodies!

Although I'll likely leave my flower crown and fringe at home, the iPhone and appetite will be coming with me. Follow me on Instagram or Twitter on August 19th to get a glimpse of the day with me. Or come back later to read all about the day - love, food, and peace!

If you want to join in for the day of fun, you can head to their website to purchase tickets

How To Find Them
 Dates: August 18 - 20
 Address: Burl's Creek - 240 Line 8 S (Oro-Medonte,  Ontario)

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog


Dickens Cafe 迪更斯 (Richmond Hill)


While the name Dicken’s Café may paint a picture of a quaint idyllic eatery with Victorian tables and a library across one wall, the real restaurant, located in a non-descript Chinese mall, reads differently. In fairness, it’s hard for anywhere to be idyllic when during the first thirty minutes of the meal you’re serenaded by a choir of crying babies that sing at a constant falsetto. Luckily, once 8:00pm hit and the performance ended, the atmosphere calmed down and improved.

With various dinner specials, you’ll leave holding your stomach for under $30 as the meals arrive with soup, dessert, and coffee or tea. Some even include an extra course: your choice of a sizeable salad or baked escargot. Having snuck a bite of my friend’s escargot, you’ll barely noticeable the lima bean sized snails. Rather, the most prevalent flavours stem from the extremely garlicky mashed potatoes on the bottom. As for the salad… well, it’s salad.


Dicken’s does borscht well, incorporating large chunks of carrots and cabbage in a beefy tomato base. It has that light hint of spiciness in the background that seems synonymous with the Chinese version of the typical East European soup; the heat goes well with the toasted sweet dinner rolls.


From afar, the pan fried ox tongue ($20.99) looks gorgeous, but the cow’s noticeable taste buds on the sizeable slices of tongue made me a little queasy. After getting over it and trying a bite, it admittedly tastes like really tender brisket but denser and gamier - I still prefer this cut done thinner or chopped and incorporated into a taco. Perhaps the baked linguine with shredded ox tongue, ham and chicken ($19.99) would have been a better option, which mixes slivers of the ingredient amongst tons of other proteins.


I’ll just stick with the braised ox tail in wine sauce ($20.99), where there’s sizeable chunks of fall-off-the-bone tender meat, which still have plenty of the soft chewy collagen bits I love. The sauce of the hearty stew is well flavoured and there’s certainly enough of it to spoon over the large mound of rice.


Too full to even try a bite, I was nonetheless impressed with the size of their chicken steak and pork chop in onion sauce ($20.99). Trust me, you won’t leave hungry.


The dessert for the evening was a tiny sliver of strawberry mousse cake – about a quarter of a normal piece. Truth be told, we were already stuffed (some with doggy bags in tow) so we really didn’t need more than the three bites. And there’s only so much I can take of the fake Neapolitan ice cream strawberry flavour.


Although Dickens isn’t exactly a serene and picturesque restaurant, for a Hong Kong café, they have decent service and make an effort with their presentation. Overall, the food is prepared well – incorporating enough flavours and the accompanying vegetables and starches not overcooked. With their reasonable pricing and large portions, Dickens will attract many families. Take it from me, if you’d rather skip the opera portion of the evening, plan accordingly with a later reservation.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 9425 Leslie Street


Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Dickens Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato