Thursday, August 22, 2013

5.158 Done Done

sometext
Don Don Izakaya
130 Dundas St W., Toronto, ON M5G 1C3

A couple weeks ago my sister invited her boyfriend, my other sister, me and the Mister out for a little get-together for drinks. The plans changed a bit so that we ended up having dinner instead, but we did order drinks too (with the exception of me because I forgot my ID at home). She suggested we go eat at Don Don Izakaya, which was a great idea since none of us has ever been.

sometext
To be honest the menu didn't look that promising (especially compared to Guu) even with all the pictures they provided of the food.

Before I go on, I will tell you now that we all agreed Don Don Izakaya gets two thumbs down. The service was so slow and the food portions were ridiculously small- I mean really small (don't be fooled by the angles of my pictures). Everyone literally felt like they were just tasting samples of food and I never once felt the slightest bit satiated (and neither did anyone else). The prices for each dish was not justifiable for what we got. A lot of the prices were unbelievable for something so petite and not that appetizing either. In my opinion, if the food portions are going to be small, the very least I expect is for the food to be mouth-watering to justify forking the money over for it. As you read, just compare the price the food.

sometext
My sister (the one who invited us out) and her boyfriend were running late after being caught in some traffic so my other sister, me, and the Mister ordered drinks and the Takoyaki Pizza ($8.00) and the Salmon and Egg Salad ($6.90) to start. Takoyaki takes a long time to make so that didn't come until much later (too late in my opinion). The Atlantic Salmon and Egg Salad which was supposedly a popular item was not good. The texture was a bit strange and the filling was just too much and not tasteful. Thumbs down.

sometext
When this Steam Shabu-Shabu ($8.20) came out I couldn't believe how bland it looked. And in fact, the looks weren't deceiving at all because it really was bland and boring. There were only a few pieces of meat and the rest was just steamed cabbage aka boring. This was a popular item and I don't even know why. Not worth the money.

sometext
This Deep Fried Pork Belly ($8.00) was also another boring dish. To be honest I don't even really recall what it tasted like because it was not memorable at all. All I know is, it didn't taste great.

sometext
The Ginger Fried Chicken ($8.00) I actually did like (finally!). It was crisp enough and tender, I enjoyed dipping it in the sauces. This was also deemed a popular item.

sometext
I liked this dish too, Hoppeta-Yaki ($8.50). It was quite yummy and I liked everything about it. This was a popular item and I would cast for my vote for that.

sometext
This, Beef Tataki ($5.99), was my favourite dish out of everything we ordered. The only thing was how RIDICULOUSLY small it was. I know the picture makes it seem like it's bigger but just imagine the meat as the size of your thumb. That's how small they were. Thumbs up for quality, thumbs down for quantity.

sometext
This Smoky Hay Salmon ($11.90) was okay. It wasn't amazing or anything which is why I don't think it's worth the price. Plus, there was a lot of onion for some reason... maybe to make the dish seem bigger?

sometext
I was really looking forward to this Takoyaki Pizza ($8.00), the one we ordered in the beginning, since it looked good and was a popular dish. But it seriously was not worth they hype. The taste was okay although not mouth-watering, and the portions were tiny if you're going to share it in a group. The wait was totally not worth it.

sometext
This Jaja-Beef (14.90) was a fun dish because it gets you involved in the cooking process. It was nice but totally not worth the money for what we got. The amount was so little I was baffled at the price.

sometext
These Steamed Mussels with White Wine ($7.50) was something I ordered. I liked it and for once I think the price was alright for this dish.

Overall, my experience with Don Don Izakaya is pure disappointment. The food was not that good, the food portions were unbelievably small, the food is overpriced, and although the staff were nice and friendly, the service was super slow. Our total bill came to $143.83 for 6 people- $87.89 for food; $39.90 for 6 drinks. This is the first and last time I'm visiting Don Don Izakaya. I wouldn't risk another chance when I know Guu is just around the corner. At least at Guu I could justify the price because the food is mouth-watering and I actually got full.

"Speak your mind even if your voice shakes." -Maggie Kuhn

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

5.157 Another Week, Another Day.

The week after we visited the Mesopotamia exhibit at the ROM, the Mister and I decided to visit the museum again to look at their galleries. I haven't been to the ROM's general areas in a long time so I thought it would be nice to refresh my memory.

sometext
Before we went in, we dropped by Starbucks to get a bite to eat.

This location by St. George is so rustic and nice. The best Starbucks layout I've been to so far.

The pictures above are from two different times. My favourite Starbuck items to get are the Vanilla Bean Frappuccino and the Lemon Raspberry Loaf. Also pictured on the left is something from Tim Hortons, my favourite thing to get there is the Fruit Explosion Muffin.

We didn't have enough time to visit everything, but it was nice to briefly to go through some of the galleries. Dinosaur sections are always a favourite of mine.

sometext
Initially we were planning to eat at their cafe place downstairs, but after looking at the food (pictured is the dessert section), we thought it would be best to eat at an actual restaurant with substantial food that would cure our hunger.

Bun Saigon
252 Spadina Ave. Toronto, ON M5T

The Mister wanted to eat Vietnamese food again so we went around Chinatown looking for another Viet restaurant with better food than what we had at Pho Hung. This time I wanted him to try Bun Bo Hue, another favourite dish of mine, and I wanted it to be perfect. We came upon this restaurant, Bun Saigon, and figured it looked good enough on the outside to give it a go.

sometext
Thankfully, the food turned out really good. The avocado milkshake was pretty good too, albeit not as good as the ones made at my favourite pho restaurant, Pho Dau Bo. The Mister also said he likes the avocado milkshakes I make at home better. The service was typical of Viet restaurants, but was better than what we got at Pho Hung. Their service was also fairly quick. We'll definitely be coming back to try their Pho.

Another day we went and ate at Pizza Pizza before we headed out to the mall.
I'm always eating fatty food (which explains my weight gain *cries*) but have never tried onion rings at Pizza Pizza. It was pretty good. The Mister got a Deluxe pizza slice and I also got a couple Hot Apple Pies because I haven't eaten it in so long. I remember seeing them in my high school cafeteria, which I only visited once or twice in all my four years, but I was too cheap to splurge on them. I've only eaten a handful of them in my life but they're so good I see myself eating a lot more in the future... I think it'll be a staple like my Vanilla Bean Frappuccino LOL. This is bad. Why do I love fatty foods so much?!?!

"Heaven on earth is a choice you must make, not a place you must find." - Wayne W. Dyer

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

5.156 Virtual Freedom

Hellooo! I'm backk! And on a way better internet plan than what we had with Rogers. We decided to switch to TekSavvy after hearing great things about it and seeing the ads in the subway system. The speed is faster and what's great is our plan is only $40 for 300GBs a month plus from 2am-8am it's unlimited! We had to pay roughly $65- close to $70 (total rip-off!) for only 60GBs/month when we were with Rogers. Anybody who watches videos, games, and frequently downloads knows that 60GBs is not going to get you far- especially if there's more than one person using it. My siblings and I have been going on a frenzy. Seriously, if you're on a sucky plan (especially with Rogers or Bell), you have got to make the switch. My internet experience has never been better. Love it!

I have so much to update you guys on but I don't even know where to start. Some of the things I want to share I haven't even taken pictures of. I've been too go-happy with my new internet freedom LOL.

sometext
So I guess I'll start with how the Mister and I went to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) to attend the Mesopotamia exhibit. We learned some pretty cool things about that civilization. This was the first time I honestly did not miss a thing at a museum exhibit. We literally went to every artifact and read every single little description. It's the best way to really get your moneys worth and actually learn something since every small thing contributes to the bigger picture.

sometext
At the end of the exhibit, they always have a smaller version of their gift store to tempt you to buy something. I wanted to get something related to Mesopotamia, but I didn't see anything. Still, I wanted to get something anyway as a souvenir to remember the day. I ended up with this little Egyptian dish that seemed close enough to the artifacts that I saw in the exhibit. It turned out quite handy as I use it to store jewelry that I take off at the end of the day.

And to backtrack, before we went to the ROM, we actually went to China Town first to eat some pho at Pho Hung.
sometext
Pho Hung
350 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2G4

Taken from the site: "Nguyen Dac Thoi brought his family and talent over to Canada in 1980. With the help of his family and hard work, he was able to open the first Phở Hưng Restaurant at 374 Spadina Avenue in 1985. Though that location is no more, it lays the foundation for the present."

sometext
The Mister has never tried pho before but he ended up really liking it! My favourite pho dish is the Pho Tai Bo Vien which is basically rare beef and beef balls, so I ordered that for both of us. I also turned the Mister into an avocado shake fan after making it for him one time so we got that too.

sometext
We had flan for dessert.

To be honest, the pho we had was good but it wasn't great- not as great as the pho at my all time favourite pho restaurant, Pho Dau Bau. I found that the ratio of the soup base seemed far greater than the food itself. I had ordered the large bowl for us both, so perhaps the medium bowl would have had a better ratio. The avocado shake was horrible though. It tasted really watered down and bland. The flan wasn't that great either, I found it only okay. The service was typical of a Vietnamese restaurant- which basically means they serve you but don't go out of their way to provide great service like other restaurants do. I might come back, but I would be hesitant to order the avocado shake again.

The day after the Mister and I visited Lakeshore for a nice evening stroll.
sometext
sometext
sometext
sometext
It was so peaceful and serene. It was very relaxing, especially for the Mister. Evening walks would definitely be something I would love to do in the future when I get my own house.

sometext
My family celebrated my younger sister's birthday by eating out at Dixie Park food court. It's a small oriental mall that houses a really yummy food court that's ideal for quick bites. My family's favourite food court vendor is Sea Star. It doesn't sound as good as the other vendors, but they basically make the same foods, but better.

sometext
Best Chinese food is located right here at Sea Star, seriously. Isn't it always the sketchy places where you find the best food? The sweet and sour pork has and will always be my favourite.

Our other favourite food vendor is this Bubble Tea store called Short Stop. Best bubble tea I've tried. Don't get fooled by the other bubble tea store that sells the drink for cheaper because it does not compare.

sometext
What initially was suppose to be a simple ice coffee treat for my sister and I, turned into a full fledged meal LOL. We couldn't help ourselves after seeing their huge advertisement hanging on the window beside us of their new vamped up Quarter Pounder (my sister's fave). Why are we so weak??

"Don't count the days, make the days count." -Mohammed Ali

Saturday, August 10, 2013

5.155 A Rough Patch

I'm currently using my sister's phone's hotspot to update you guys on what's been happening. We found a better internet plan that costs less but gives way more than our old internet plan. A couple days ago our old internet plan finally ran its course, but we've had some trouble getting the new modem to connect us to the world wide web. We'll have to call in a technician who will have to come and check out what's wrong.

On the homefront, there have been some trouble brewing at home as of late. Sometimes I wish I was more anonymous so that I could rant or have the option to express how I feel about everything that happens in my life. I love my blog so creating another space to express my thoughts really isn't on my radar. But I suppose blogging about the more happier things in my life is better than focusing on the negatives. Yet at the same time I want to acknowledge that I am going through a rough patch so that I can remember where I was and where I got myself to be.

One day Nat your life will be so different and more happier than you ever thought it could be.

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." - Randy Pausch