KING CRAB OYSTER BAR, KITCHENER WATERLOO

We had our eyes on the groupon for this restaurant for a while, after looking at the menu and only really wanting the hot crab dip.

Hot/warm cheesy dips always pull me in - it's something ridiculously easy to make, but so decadent and rich that I don't have the guts to not make a large portion at home and eat it all in one sitting (hence baked bries are only concentrated towards the holiday season so I only get fat off bries once a year).
Warm bread with olive oil, balsamic, sun dried tomato

Originally we were to order a bunch of appetizers so we can try more dishes without filling up on the heavy carbs from entrees (potatoes, pasta, rice).

But there wasn't a great choice of apps (they're highlights are the seafood entrees and shucked or grilled oysters, which we didn't order).


Artichoke and crab dip with an unnecessary layer of breadcrumbs on top. Micro-greens were also unnecessary. The baguette was over-toasted, and too hard, considering the thickness of each slice (too thick!). If each slice was thinner then it would be okay. Or keep it the same thickness and toast it 30s less. Would've also been better if this bread wasn't so similar to the bread from the bread basket. Bad

And we ended up with a lobster + mac and cheese



Lobster was saved by garlic butter, which stayed warm and melted over a tea light. They didn't pre-crack the claw (which is usually hammered for diners to easily pull out the meat in one fell swoop). Lobster was just boiled and cut in half. Nothing not doable at home. Veggies were blanched and only tasted good when dipped in the garlic butter or mac and cheese sauce (then again, everything tastes good in mac and cheese sauce or butter). Bad



The breadcrumbs make an appearance again, on the truffled mac and cheese. They used penne, so there was a nice layer of sauce coating the outside, and a pocket of sauce stored inside. Very convinced that the truffle is coming from truffled cheese. But who knows, I didn't bother asking either. Only dish on which I didn't get let down. Okay

King Crab Oyster Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Small-sized restaurant with a door that lets the cold draft in unless you sit in the farthest corner opposite to the entrance.


Tables for 2 are conservatively sized (unless you can ask to sit at a 4-seat table), and dress code is casual. 

It's an open concept kitchen so you get to see the chefs in action. You also get to see the wait staff lined up against the kitchen counter every 5 minutes or so to wait on the dishes.

As it is a seafood restaurant perhaps you say that I should give it a shot and go back for their oysters and fish. But for the price they serve everything at, it isn't worth it unless the meal was 50% off'd with the groupon.



P/S

Perhaps my most prominent eating habit is the necessity to have dessert after a savoury meal. So after breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I need to end it off with something on the sweeter side.

Usually this means I cut a fresh fruit (there was a time when oranges were so on sale and so in season that I had 2-3 oranges a day for over a week). But in Waterloo, we live a dangerously close proximity to McDonald's = dangerously accessible after-meal soft-serve

And after having soft serve too often, I would like to declare my hypothesis:

The male workers serve more soft serve than the female workers

At least at this location. Proof:

The height of the ice cream above the cone spanned my outstretched hand, from pinky to thumb.

Dear readers, what is your eating habit?

Read more...

BOSTON PIZZA, TORONTO

Are you ever so concentrated on something that all your surroundings are muted and all bodily needs (actually I'm just referring to the need to eat and the need to take a break) are shut off?

The other day I ended up coding for 6 hours straight for an assignment and feelings of being tired and hungry did not register at all during that time (if only I could be this hard working all the time).


It's time to eat. After I took all the pictures, boys were getting impatient, sitting restlessly, and only passive aggressively rushed my photo-taking ritual

Another day, we were enjoying the auto show so much that feeling hungry and tired did not cross our minds at all.
Charge your Porsche, change your phone!

But when we finally saw sofas (and a phone charging station!) our legs gave out, and the hunger kicked in.

I don't even like pizza, but I had a three slices (one of each), and even a half of a fourth!

Actually, we ordered two pizzas and a flatbread:

And some beer
Canadian was ordered. Cause we're Canadian.

Chicken ranch flatbread
Buffalo chicken, purple onions/shallots, ranch on some, no ranch on some. Was not very flatbread-like, but more like a thinner crust pizza. The four edge/corner pieces had 1/3 toppings 2/3 crust. Was so hungry I didn't even care though. Bad

Thin crust szechuan chicken
Very appealing to the asians in our table (4/4 of us were asian) cause of the familiar sriracha and sesame taste. But green onions were cut too large, there was too much of it, and made your breath smell too green onion-y. Chicken was bland cause it was breast that tasted like it wasn't marinated prior. Bad

Steak, onion rings, fries
Heavy, rich pizza because of the thick crust (okay, not thick but regular thickness), steak, curly fries, onion rings, several cheeses, sauce. Maybe better on a thinner crust so its less of a mouthful. Okay

Boston Pizza on Urbanspoon

Waitresses were attentive, but that was maybe because the place wasn't that full (Thursday night)
Would I go to Boston Pizza again? Probably not. 
"Maybe another location?" Nope, not even another location. Was never a pizza fan, and although I did eat more than I thought I would, that would have had to be due to my neglected hunger.


P/S

It's rare I stay in Waterloo on weekends because there's one important reason I go back home on the weekends:
To do a closet rotation.


What, there's new another bubble tea place in Mississauga?

Perhaps this is unknown to some people (my roommate(s) thought it was absurd), but how else will I be able to go through a season's of clothes without having to move my entire wardrobe?

And so the best way I decided was to periodically (weekly, biweekly) bring back all my clothes from Waterloo and bring in a set of clothes that I haven't brought in to Waterloo.

There it is - my random P/S of the post.
Continuing on with the bubble tea place:

That gives you menus disguised as magazines?

I ordered a warm Hokkaido milk tea. Apparently it comes with no sugar added (you're supposed to add it yourself). Which was weird because when I drank it, friend and I both thought it was sweet.

Yes, it is very much so a magazine

Proof that the menu is more magazine than menu.

Dear readers, what is your favourite menu to flip through?

Read more...

RECIPE: CHESTNUT MANGO MOUSSE

I did not make this cake with the intent of posting it up as a recipe on my blog so those who have nothing better to do for a good 6+ hours of a day and want to make some chestnut mango mousse can do so while enjoying the following step by step pictures. (I made it to satisfy my cake-making withdrawal symptoms. You know, shaky hands, inclination towards the kitchenaid mixer...)


Of course nothing will work out as planned - like how I've always wanted to blog about my pork ribs (yeah, I call them my pork ribs because they're pretty yummy), taking pictures all throughout the process, but always forgetting to take a picture of the final completed dish. So that never made it out (yet).

For this cake I took pictures of the process and what seems to be like 100+ pictures of the final product. "So the recipe will be posted, right?" Nope, because I have no clue what recipe I used (just poured and weighed stuff at the top of my head)

But later decided I could do an impromptu pouring/weighing of ingredients here as well. And so that is how the recipe for mousse ensues:

Ingredients for the sponge cake base

***

Ingredients

A
1/4 cold water
1.5 tbsp gelatin
(x 2)

B
4 yolks
1/2 cup sugar

C
3 cups milk
1 tbsp rum
2 tsp vanilla extract

D
400g chestnut puree (unsweetened), room temperature
1/4 cup sugar, to taste

E
4 ripe ataulfo mangoes, pureed, room temperature
sugar, to taste

F
400 ml whipping cream, whipped

G
Sponge cake layer (as base of mousse)

***

Method

Before:
Trim cake to be slightly smaller than cake ring (cake pan with no bottom) so cake doesn't show on the outside
Room temperature chestnut and mango so the gelatin doesn't firm up immediately


I
In two small bowls of 1/4 c cold water each, sprinkle the 1.5 tbsp gelatin over top


II
Beat B
Heat C on stovetop until steaming, pour slowly into B, mixing well
Return to heat, stirring on medium-low until thick (runny pudding consistency)
Remove from heat

III
Combine D
Add half of II to D, mix
Microwave 1 bowl from I, mix into III


V
Fold half of F into III, pour on top of sponge cake base
Chill ~30 minutes in fridge (slightly set)


VI
Add blobs of chestnut puree on top of slightly set chestnut mousse




VII
Repeat III with mango and remaining bowl of gelatin
Add remaining F, fold
Pour on top of VI
Chill minimum 3 hours in fridge


IIX
Use hair dryer or torch to slightly warm sides of cake ring so the metal ring can slide off easily

IX
Decorate, serve




P/S

My girlfriends have been raving about Chatime and bubble tea (I am very inclined to believe that I have mentioned this before...), and I finally got to have some (with those girlfriends of course).

Tasting chestnut puree * butter = taking me to heaven and back

So now I understand why they always hype it up. And have it so often (or so it seems). 
Because it is delicious. 

Afternoon cakes + cocktails

Dear readers, next post is pizza!

Read more...

RECIPE: JAPANESE CHEESECAKE


Cupcakes were all the rage at one point, and at that point I didn't like them very much. I liked (and still like) a good layered cake - to - cream ratio that is not very well represented in a cupcake.



They say the real way to eat a cupcake by cutting the lower layer off and sandwiching the cream with the upper half . But in realistic situations, you eat a cupcake not sitting down, with a plate, a knife (serrated one too), and a fork (optional of course), but standing up, trying to speak to the few people gathered around you, who are also fidgeting with unwrapping the wrapper and not make a mess of cream on their face.



But these cupcakes are slightly different: no, they don't have cream on top, and no, they are not baked in the paper pleated cupcake cups, but the sturdy cups coated with a wax lining on the inside.

What does this mean?

It means you can scoop it out with a spoon. Like eating from JELL-O pudding cups, but cake on the inside.

With wild blueberry sauce

In this cake, cheesecake, the Japanese one, which is not rich and dense, but light and fluffy.
(from Christine's Recipes, who provides no-fail recipes)

***

Ingredients

A.
250 g cream cheese
250 ml milk
60 g butter

B.
6 yolks

C.
60 g flour
20 g corn starch

D.
6 whites

E.
130 g sugar

***

Method

I.
Melt A over low heat, mix

II.
Add B, mix

III.
Add C, mix

IV.
Beat D until soft peaks, medium speed

V.
Add E gradually, beating high speed
Until soft glossy peaks

VI.
Fold V into III in three additions

VII.
Bake 150C
Small cupcakes: 30 minutes
2 Rectangle: 50-60 minutes
2 Round: 50-60 minutes

IIX.
Let cool with over door open 10 minutes
Remove from pan
Cool completely
Chill in fridge 3 hours

***

You want to bake this on a low heat so the cake does not rise rapidly (causing cracks when it cools). Lower your temperature if you see this happening.

If the top gets too brown put a sheet of aluminum foil on top so it doesn't brown anymore.

Instead of placing in a waterbath (and having to wrap the pan in aluminum foil), put several ramekins of hot water in the oven right when you turn the oven on so its nice and humid in the oven before the cake goes in.

Chilled and not chilled makes a difference here - just like any other cheesecake.

Sweet cake

On a side note, Happy Belated Chinese New Years!

Radish cake


P/S

I'll be doing my co-op term in California this summer, in the Bay Area.
Where there will be lots of seafood (right?)
And lots of fruits (right?)

Or that just might be one of my many assumptions of California.

Oh yes, this weekend I finally tried Chatime (milk tea) and Baileys. apparently this has been a common practice for a long time because it is really delicious, and it is.


Green tea mousse, vanilla mousse, Baileys. Baileys is also good on any other sweet dessert or drink.

The Kalbi ribs from Spring Rolls in Toronto

Dear readers, have you started planning for your summer yet?

Read more...

Back to TOP