Kibo Sushi House (Toronto) for delivery


Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

As the pandemic hit, dining inside restaurants was not an option, but our household continued to order delivery even during the first weeks of the quarantine. One thing we did stop ordering was raw foods: we’re not a household that purchases salad, but it did mean our sushi consumption grinded to a halt. This change wasn’t based on medical opinion, more so paranoia, and it wasn’t until two months after the lock-down that we finally ordered from Kibo Sushi House.

Even then, I cautiously ordered the maki set B ($14.95) where the uncooked ingredient was limited to the salmon in the spicy salmon roll. In hindsight, there was so much tempura bits incorporated into the roll – on top and mixed with the salmon – that I had little to worry about with the raw fish. Tempura bits are such an oily condiment that can ruin the maki; after wiping off the bits on top, the roll tasted better.

The dynamite roll was delicious incorporating a warm tempura shrimp, julienned cucumbers for crunch, avocado, and surimi. Given the rice wasn’t too thick, all the ingredients really shone through creating a flavourful bite and the maki is large (10 pieces instead of the typical eight). Compared to everything else, this was the tastiest bite of the evening.

Kibo’s maki sets also arrive with soup and salad, fairly standard versions of the sides. Instead of diving into the soup, I should have taken the time to reheat it as lukewarm and grainy miso isn’t the tastiest thing. At least the soup was flavourful and bits of fried dough were added in lieu of tofu - you won’t get away from fried carbs at Kibo Sushi House!

I was expecting the ebi siu mai ($6.95) to be a har gow shrimp filling in a siu mai wonton wrapper. Instead, the wrapper was filled with shrimp paste incorporating a lot of flour, so you’re met with a mushy bite. I even pan fried them the next day to give it a crust and only marginally improved the starter.

Having waited two months to have sushi, we realized that it is something that tastes best fresh from the chef’s hands. So, we may hold out on ordering again until we can get it from one of the tried-and-true establishments. 

Overall mark - 6 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: Multiple locations
 Delivery: Uber, Doordash, Skip the Dishes
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 SkipTheDishes: click link to get $5 off a $15 order
 DoorDash: click link to get $20 off

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 order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Patty Queen (Toronto) for delivery


One positive thing coming out of COVID are the budding new businesses springing up across Toronto. Search on Instagram and you’ll find at least a dozen local chefs who are creating delicious eats and delivering them across the city.

When Patty Queen came across my feed, the photo of the yellow pastry made me stop. It’s something I ate a lot of in high school – a cheap lunch from the cafeteria and my parents always had a box of frozen Patty King around in case I was hungry before dinner. After high school, it’s something I ate less of: after a night out, at a TTC station, when the food cravings were too strong; or most recently with co-workers as we sampled the three options around the Yonge and Dundas neighbourhood.

As I’ve grown, my palette has become fussier: I want something with a flaky crust, something that’s flavourful, and a filling with discernable ingredients and not merely a brown paste. Those three things seem difficult to find unless I was willing to travel to the city’s outskirts and wait in line for the greats like Randy’s.

The founders of Patty Queen seemed to be facing the same dilemma – where could they easily get a freshly made Jamaican patty to feed their love of Caribbean cuisine?  After one owner lost her job, she decided they would start making it for the masses. After all, they already served them to friends with great fanfare.

Their spin is to use quality organic ingredients, ensure the patties are made-to-order, and deliver them fresh to customers (every Wednesday and Saturday). Their motto: Always fresh; never frozen.

After getting them delivered to my doorstep on the weekend, my husband and I immediately heated two of the Man Down or vegetarian patties to try ($28 for a dozen; $18 for six). Since they were fresh, a quick 8-minutes in the toaster oven yielded hot fragrant patties. We marvelled how the crust was flakey, crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside.

And the vegetable medley (carrots, peas, onions, and potatoes) sat in a thick peppery sauce – not like the flavourless versions I’ve had at work. I only wish there were more of it in the patty as I found the first couple of bites along the curved sealed end sometimes lacks filling… perhaps due to the patties being stood up in the box when packaged.

That evening we tucked into the Pon de Replay or mild beef patties ($25 for a dozen; $16 for six) and it too had the coveted flakey crust. While the filling looked like a uniform paste, upon biting into it, we tasted the meaty bits and the beef flavour was much stronger. Imagine this to be the Black Angus of the patty world.

The mild patties were a manageable level of spice with a restrained heat that tickles the tongue. For future orders, I think I can move up to the Sasha Fierce (spicy beef patties) instead. After all, having supported Ree Ree for my first order, I’ll get a touch of Queen Bey next time.

Overall mark - 9 out of 10
How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 How to Purchase: email pattyqueenalwaysfresh@gmail.com

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 order again
  • - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!

Is That It? I Want More!

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Scotthill Caribbean Cuisine (Toronto) for delivery


Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

The Friday dinner began on a low note, with one of the longest delivery times despite the restaurant being a 5-minute drive from our place. Luckily, having endured a couple of system crash leading to cancelled order experiences the weeks before, we knew to put in our Uber request early – 5:20pm by the time to final confirmation button was pressed. Hence, when the order was delayed two times (at the restaurant’s request), everything still arrived by 6:40pm (compared to the original latest delivery time of 6pm).

As an aside: A big thank you to Muhammet of Uber Eats, the third driver to visit the restaurant, who contacted us to let us know why other drivers were leaving and proceeded to wait another 5-minutes for the order to finish.

Was the meal a particularly complicated order? I didn’t think so. Two entrees of jerk chicken and oxtail, an extra side of jerk chicken, and roti shells.

Maybe it was the plain roti ($4.75) that led to the delay. Since Scotthill Caribbean Cuisine offers these as a main, I would have thought they could be prepared easily. In retrospect, they were dry and mealy and was only edible after dipping them into the thick complimentary vegetable stew. So, if the roti is what’s holding up the kitchen, I suggest dropping it as a side to simplify operations.

Scotthill’s jerk chicken ($15 for the meal and $8 for an extra leg) doesn’t hit you with a punch of flavour. It’s definitely not bland. Rather, instead of just relying on heat, the seasoning tastes of a complex mixture of spices - the allspice and nutmeg (?) creates a subtle earthy finish that also has a fragrant element.

While the restaurant does provide hot sauce on the side (and boy does this have heat), I wish it was built into the marinade to begin with so that it combines with the other spices and into the chicken better … perhaps I should have painted the hot sauce onto the chicken instead of drizzling it on top?

The oxtail ($22) is meaty and deliciously braised in a savoury gravy. Scotthill adds diced peppers into the sauce that gives an extra boost of flavour to the already tasty rice and peas. Oh, and the plantains… the caramelization is amazing and so sweet and soft that it could be dessert. Forget the roti, get plantain!

For my first taste, I decided to stick with the staples, but will need to return to try their king fish – a dish other reviewers rave about. Although, I sense this is something that tastes better at the restaurant and will not fare well waiting around in a take-out container when things get backed up and delayed. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1943 Avenue Road
 Delivery: Uber and Doordash
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 DoorDash: click link to get $20 off

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 order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



Hong Shing (Toronto) for delivery


Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices (before 20% discount) and may be higher when using third party delivery services

There are a lot of great restaurants in North York/Midtown. Even so, sometimes I miss the options from downtown. With the dazzling array of choices and most offering delivery, eating diversely is not a problem for those south of Bloor.

Given the density of the downtown core, it’s no surprise that the delivery radius cuts off homes north of Yorkville. Sometimes, the area may expand to Eglinton, but the outer Toronto regions are deserted. Hence, Hong Shing’s pop-up deliveries to the outskirts of Toronto and beyond (Mississauga, Brampton) are such a blessing. The cities vary by day (check their website or Instagram), but place you order by 4pm and you’ll receive free delivery and they even honour the 20% online discount. 

What really captured my attention was the promise of fresh lobsters for the weekend. Between that and Chinese barbeque – two things I don’t make at home – I had a two-month long craving that yearned to be satisfied. So, dinner plans were changed and that evening we were having Chinese!

The pièce de résistance was of course the lobster e-fu noodles ($35). How they managed to jam so much food into a single container is staggering – even after eating two portions each there was still plenty of leftovers.

Despite travelling all the way from downtown to North York, the lobster remained surprisingly hot and not overcooked. Perhaps the flour coating the crustacean was a bit gluier than normal (note to chef: maybe only dust lightly?) but was still very satisfying. Even the e-fu noodles held-up nicely and didn’t become soggy, likely the better delivery option compared to chow mein.

Families regularly get Chinese barbeque to go, so it wasn’t a surprise that the roast pork ($15) and duck ($15 for half) delivered well. Without the diluted hoisin sauce, the pork just wasn’t the same, but the skin still crispy despite it being a rather lean cut. Meanwhile, the duck could have done without the liberal ladle of sauce into the container - that extra moisture rendered the skin soggy and made it so salty that adding any plum sauce would be overpowering.

The Chinese barbeque did work well as leftovers for the following days. Using the popular “KFC rice cooker” recipe as inspiration, the roast pork went into the rice cooker with 2-cups of rice, a teaspoon of bouillon, and a tablespoon of soy sauce to be transformed into a fragrant sticky rice and tenderized the lean meat. And after re-heating the duck in the toaster oven, it was combined with chewy noodles and broth for a tasty dinner.

Dishes that didn’t fair well for the drive were the honey spicy crispy beef ($14) and the deep-fried spicy squid ($14). Once they lost their heat it became dry and powdery and even re-eating them in the toaster oven only marginally improved the dishes. At least the spicy honey sauce on the beef was well flavoured; the spicy squid, on the other hand, needed a lot more seasoning.

It’s surprising that the squid wasn’t spicier considering Hong Shing’s hot and sour soup ($7 for a medium; equivalent of two bowls) was a flavour bomb! Whether it’s the sting of the vinegar or the kick of chili flakes, this was a great rendition of the soup incorporating plenty of tofu, vegetable slivers, and bamboo shoots.

Stir fried snow pea leaves ($14) is another quarantine craving of mine. The leafy vegetable is impossible to source through supermarket delivery and curb-side pickup, so I was elated when a packed container arrived. The neutral vegetable was an ideal pairing with the other heavier dishes.

Hong Shing’s online ordering system allows customers to choose whether they need cutlery, an option I hope all restaurants implement. Yet, whoever is packing the order doesn’t seem to care as our arrived with plastic cutlery and extra sauces anyways. For someone who is trying to reduce waste when dining under the “new normal” conditions, I really really would have preferred not to receive something that could be saved from the landfill.

We all need to do our part during this epidemic. Customers should support small businesses to ensure they continue and survive. Restaurants, please also consider your footprint on the environment and reduce unnecessary waste and packaging whenever possible. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 195 Dundas Street West
 Delivery: self-delivery, Uber, Skip the Dishes
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 SkipTheDishes: click link to get $5 off a $15 order
 

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 order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 - wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Drums N Flats (Toronto) for delivery


Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

There’s no shortage of pubs in the Yonge Lawrence neighbourhood and almost all of their menus offer chicken wings. But the pub that is most dedicated to the dish is Drums & Flats: showcasing it in their name and dedicating a quarter of their menu, including the option to have just the drums (the meaty “lollipop” third of the wing) or the flats (the middle portion).

For this order, one of their signature sauces was beckoning me – The Island Hot Hot Hot ($14.99). I imagined the heat of scotch bonnet peppers combined with sweet pineapples, maybe something like a jerk marinade. The three “hots” should have been a tip that there would likely be less fruit and more spice in the sauce. Three layers to be exact - buffalo, hot sauce, and chili flakes (?) - and not a tinge of anything tropical anywhere.

One bite into the bright red wing and the tingling heat began. The cooling carrot stick was not enough, but a dip into the lovely buttermilk dill sauce helped a bit. Nonetheless, after two wings, even that couldn’t calm the fire, only a big glass of almond milk could help me get through a few more of the flats.

Unable to get through the rest of the spicy wings, I saved them for the next day to build into another meal. After reheating them in the toasted oven and dunking them into a bowl of non-spicy instant noodles, the chillies combined into the broth creating a great bowl of spicy chicken wing ramen.

I should have stuck with our typical dish: the double-dipped hot and honey ($15.99), which takes the deep-fried wings and tosses it in the fiery sweet sauce and then grills them on the barbeque to caramelize that layer before tossing them in sauce again. While we kept it to a single flavour, normally you can combine two sauces to really develop something to your liking. Being cooked twice creates a smokier and stickier wing, but I find also makes them a little drier.

For those who don’t eat meat, Drums & Flats even has veggie wings ($12.99) using battered and deep-fried chunks of broccoli and cauliflower that are tossed in your choice of seasoning. Wanting to keep the crispiness in the coating, a lemon and pepper dry rub seemed to be a good choice and gave the dish enough flavour without rendering the batter to a paste.

While an inclusive idea, the dish is also extremely oily - the amount of grease that’s released after squeezing a piece in a paper towel is scary. The batter is too thick, more like fish and chips than tempura, which causes it to soak up so much oil.

The great things about wings is it works well for delivery arriving fairly hot and the veggie wings still surprisingly crispy. Plus, all inhibitions go out the window, you can really get in there and get messy in the safety of your own home. Take it from me, aside from the buttermilk dill sauce, you need a lot of napkins to go with chicken wings.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1980 Avenue Road
 Delivery: Uber, Doordash, Skip the Dishes
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 SkipTheDishes: click link to get $5 off a $15 order
 DoorDash: click link to get $20 off

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 order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



Thairoom Grande (Toronto) for delivery


Note: Prices in post are based on their regular menu and may be higher when using delivery services


The rally cry to support local small businesses seemed to spring up immediately after the quarantine was announced. I’ve championed the cause, ordering from my favourites in North York that provide delivery services. With all the great establishments in the neighbourhood, we’ve generally supported restaurants that are close to home, but one night, the craving for Thai food was just too strong, and that’s how I stumbled across Thairoomgrande on Ubereats.

Their Thai shrimp rolls ($8) are a hefty size, stuffed with shredded vegetables and peppery glass noodles with whole shrimps on the ends. Despite waiting around at the restaurant and a long detour while Ubering, they remained surprisingly crispy and was the promise of good food to come.

For the most part, Thairoomgrande’s fried dishes deliver well. They smartly served the house made Thai sauce on the side so the Grands chicken wings ($11) also remained fairly crunchy. The plump wings were cooked to juicy perfection and well-seasoned so they could be eaten plain or dunked into the thinned sweet and spicy sauce.

Before biting into a dish with three chilies on the menu, make sure there’s a cold drink by your side… the restaurant does not shy away from spice! The chicken devil ($15) incorporated the typical dried red chilis stir-fried with the fowl, but the sweet and savoury sauce also gets a dose chili oil that soaks into the breaded chicken for a devilish bite. In this case, the sauce mixed with the coating isn’t the greatest choice as the breading becomes mushy when being delivered.

Their curry pad Thai ($15 with chicken) isn’t the typical plain noodles tossed with curry powder for colour. Thairoomgrande must use curry paste and powder as the rice noodles are well-coated making for flavourful bites. I wish we had ordered this dish in the same sitting as the vegetable green curry ($15) as the two should pair well together: the noodles were a little dry and needed more salt while the green curry was heavy on coconut milk and light on spice; yet, a drizzle of the green curry on the pad Thai could be a stellar combination.

For a restrained heat, the basil shrimp ($17) is a terrific choice. There’s chili oil used in the savoury sauce, but since the shrimp aren’t coated it isn’t overpowering – if anything the spiciest item in the dish is the broccoli. I’d would like more basil with the shrimp - you really need to look for the herb, there’s not enough of it that it completely permeates the dish.

Oh, but the item that impressed us the most (we ordered it again on another occasion) was the Grand seafood fried rice ($15). I haven’t been able to pinpoint what flavours the rice - my closest guess would be a cross between tom yum and something like shrimp paste.  Whatever the ingredients, the rice is spicy with elements of bright herbs and an umami finish. Absolutely delicious. Like most of their dishes, you can choose from a selection of proteins, but we’ve stuck with seafood as the shrimp, calamari rings, and imitation crab sticks goes so well with the rice.

I must admit, with all the disposable containers being used for delivery and takeout, I’ve been experiencing environmental anxiety lately – there’s so much plastic and waste! Thairoomgrande helps reduce the guilt a bit as most of their dishes arrive in biodegradable paper containers (only the saucier ones are served in dreaded black plastic). The containers are more costly, but with eateries solely doing take out and delivery, I’m glad restaurants like Thairoomgrande are trying to reduce the long-term effects of the “new normal”. Our Earth and future thanks you. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 861 York Mills Road
 Delivery: self-delivery, Uber, Doordash, Skip the Dishes
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 SkipTheDishes: click link to get $5 off a $15 order
 DoorDash: click link to get $20 off

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 order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



Rap's Jamaican Restaurant (Toronto) for delivery


Note: Prices in post are based on Uber menu prices and may differ when using other delivery services or purchasing directly from the restaurant


I’ve driven by Rap’s Jamaican Restaurant on a handful of occasions and from a distance see the smoke rising from a large black steel-drum grill. The intoxicating scent of barbequed meat fills the street and despite it being 10pm it’s still busy and bustling. “Do we want to stop and try whatever’s cooking?” I ask. But we’re always driving home after a big meal and having a fourth meal of the day, at 11pm, isn’t in the cards.

Rap’s is in the Eglinton West district or “Little Jamaica”, a neighbourhood that’s teeming with activity into the wee hours of the morning. In fact, under normal conditions, they usually don’t even start serving “dinner” until 8pm in the evening, a time when my hungry stomach is already sedated. The restaurant is surrounded by similar establishments, but Rap’s bright signage catches the eye.

Under the “new normal” food is available earlier in the day and it’s offered through delivery services. There’s a strong charbroil aroma that escapes the jerk chicken ($14.99 for a ‘big’ meal or $12 for a sizeable box of just chicken), even after being delivered. That charbroil flavour stays as you bite into the meat – the other occasion I’ve had something similar was a kebab at Shombal North. While Raps is not quite as strong, it is a taste that makes the jerk chicken different. It’s a flavour that takes some getting used to: I enjoy the extra depth in flavour but found it overwhelms the jerk seasoning.

The chicken itself? Oh, wow is it tender! The skin rendered of all it’s fat so that it just sits on the meat as an extra layer of flavour. In future visits, I’d opt for the spicy sauce as the regular one is too tame even for me. And since the rice and peas (red kidney beans) is fairly neutral, you need something flavourful to go with it.

Such as the oxtail ($14.99 for a ‘big’ meal) where the gravy mixes into the rice so well. The oxtail is equally tender, falling off the bone and the cartilage soft like jelly. The meal is a good option, aside from the rice there’s a vinegary coleslaw that has a hint of sweetness. The salad is tarte and refreshing, helping to tame the heaviness of the meal.

During our Friday evening order, Uber only had the ‘big’ size available (other options include the ‘regular’ and the even more sizable ‘massive’) – maybe to keep operations easier to manage. Even if you’re hungry, there’s more than enough for another meal. Whether it’s the third or fourth for the day.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1541 Eglinton Avenue West
 Delivery: Uber, Doordash, Skip the Dishes
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 SkipTheDishes: click link to get $5 off a $15 order
 DoorDash: click link to get $20 off

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 order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:





Lovely Pao (Toronto) for takeout


Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

Being a food blogger, it’s no surprise I ate out quite a bit before the quarantine started. Since the lockdown, things have changed…most days, I’m preparing all three meals at home. Lunch has been the most haphazard meal - on good days there’s leftovers from the night before, but often, it’s canned soup, a toasted bagel, or a lettuce salad with a slice of bread. In between all the meetings for the day, getting a tasty bite is difficult when there’s no food court and Ritual in my basement.

So, when I was invited by Lovely Pao to get six of their sio paos, little did I know I’d have lunches for the next three days – it could have been six, but I’m nice and shared with the hubby.

Sio pao translates from Tagalog as “hot bun” and are essentially big fluffy baos filled with a sweet and savoury filling made with pork ($12.75 for 6 buns) or chicken ($14 for 6 buns). Both have the meat cut in large chunks and are tender and flavourful thanks to the asado glaze. The sauce isn’t as sweet as what’s found in Chinese barbeque pork buns, but it also doesn’t need to be as flavourful as the bread, despite the bun’s size, is also thinner – especially the bottom, it almost melts into the sauce.

Slice into them and you’ll see there’s also half a hard-boiled egg in the middle. This isn’t traditional, rather a twist Lovely Pao made to their recipe. In fact, the business started off as a way to make ends meet, when the owner was unemployed and facing financial difficulties. She made the buns in her kitchen, selling them to friends and family, and worked at perfecting the recipe. Instead of making them too runny, she offered a thicker sauce on the side for people to add themselves.

As the business gained popularity, two stores eventually opened in North York and Guelph. And Lovely Pao even supplies some Filipino supermarkets around the city, for those who can’t get to their bakery.

If you do make it out, the store also sells other Filipino food items: bowls of noodles – mami and lomi, fried rice, the icy halo halo, and tons of other snacks and desserts. Even so, the sio pao are still their most popular item that can be enjoyed as a meal, snack, or to satisfy a late-night craving.

If you’re like me, a quick zip in the microwave with a damp paper towel on top, makes for an easy lunch! I do wish Lovely Pao would add a vegetarian option to the line-up, given I’m usually a flexitarian and refrain from eating meat on Monday to Thursdays. I’d imagine the same sauce with seitan would be delicious and possibly create a whole new market for these massive fluffy paos. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10 
Disclaimer: The buns were complimentary. Rest assured, as noted in my mission statement, I will always provide an honest opinion.


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 756 Wilson Avenue
 Delivery: Uber
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 


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 order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:

  • Bake Code
  • Kin Kin Bakery