Tag Archives: octopus

Curryish in a hurryish on Queen West!

Now, we’re no strangers to Indian food on Triple B. Curry, biryani, samosas… I could eat that any day of the week! And there are plenty of great Indian joints all over this city — but this new place on Queen St, just a couple blocks west of Bathurst, is really funking it up a notch. This is Curryish Tavern:

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We’re starting off with some cheese curd samosa turnovers. You KNOW they had me at cheese curds, bro! And these definitely ain’t your average samosas — the pastry is more like an apple pie, and the filling reminds me of empanadas. The only thing is, I didn’t really taste the cheese curds, bro…

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Now, I gotta say, octopus curry is definitely not something you see every day! But the sea monster is nice ‘n tender, with a bit of tangy tamarind in the sauce. And you KNOW we gotta eat it Indian style with some garlic butter roti, bro!!!!

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Not only is the food super-funky, but their craft beer selection is pretty legit, too. They might only have two beers on tap, but one of them happens to be Les quatre surfeurs de l’Apocalypso, a hoppy wheat-beer-meets-IPA from Quebec’s Le Trou du Diable brewery. Dude, can I get like four more of these to go????

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Instead, we’re switching it up with a Burdock Lime Gose. This honestly feels like I’m drinking lemonade, bro…

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And for dessert, we’ve got this Afterglow Singapore Sling from Rorschach’s Tiki Sour series. Despite all the different fruits they pack in here, it’s still got the maltiness of a beer.

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Speaking of dessert, we pretty much had to go with the Screech Rum Soaked Stuffed Gulab Jamun. Now, I was expecting gulab jamun to look a little more like this — what we got instead was kinda like a booze-soaked tres leches cake. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!!!!!

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Slamming seven Spanish tapas @ Bar Chica

Now, we don’t always eat tapas on Triple B. I mean, why settle for a buncha small plates when you can have one really, really big plate, bro? But we’re hanging out at Bar Chica, this new funky tapas place on Portland, just south of King West, so we can’t just order one thing, or two things, or three things…we’re polishing off seven different tapas, son — and I’ll probably still have room for dessert. 😉

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Now, you don’t ride for free at this bread rodeo, but this toasted sourdough with tomato butter might actually be worth paying for, bro!

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Their vieras crudas (raw scallops) is a playful, mysterious little dish. For one thing, there’s a lot more melon than there is fish — the scallops are hidden at the bottom, so you gotta go diving for em. But hey, at least I ate a green thing today…

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Up next, we’ve got some culinary classic rock en español in Flavourtown, with these jamón croquetas. Only these aren’t your everyday croquettes, bro. Instead of putting the ham inside, it’s stuffed with cheese and truffles, and then there’s a slice of jamón on top…so it’s almost better if you don’t use a fork and knife, to get everything in one bite.

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Up next is another Spanish classic, patatas bravas. But unlike Bar Isabel, which gives you a whole plate of po-ta-toes, at Chica you only get two, and they’re done up all millefeuille style, so you can’t really eat a steak with these, bro…

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Speaking of steak, they do have ribeye on the menu, with blistered shishitos and plenty of Bearnaise on the side. You get maybe six pre-cut pieces of steak to an order — so maybe like eight ounces — but after all this other stuff, that’s OK with me.

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The next two dishes came out at the same time, which I think might be against the law in Tapastown. But anyways, on the left you’ve got grilled octopus with eggs (an off-menu, limited-time special) and on the right, smoked corn topped with corn foam. Man, I didn’t even know that corn foam was a thing. It tastes very…foamy?

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But after all that commotion back there, we’ve still got room for dessert. This ying yang pie is actually two tartas in one — on the left, a chocolate tart with hazelnut spread and brown butter ice cream, and on the right, apple tart with almond ice cream and caramel sauce. Dude, this dessert is as Spanish as tarta de manzana, hermana!!!!

These tiny octopus tacos are packing some really big flavours…

You know me, this is body by tacos, bro! You could put pretty much anything in a taco (except maybe chapulines) and I’d eat it — so when I heard that DaiLo, this funky Asian fusion joint in Little Italy, was serving up crispy octopus tacos, I was all over that like Ringo, bro!!!!

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Now, I don’t just have big hands — these tacos were pretty tiny! I ate ’em in two bites each…but they were some of the best four bites of food I’ve had this year. Not only is there crispy octopus in here, but it’s paired with braised pork belly, for a bit of sticky sweetness. Plus there’s a couple crunchy onions, a sambal donkey sauce, and then — get this — the shell is not a tortilla, it’s made of jicama! Let’s just say I liked this dish a lot better than the time I had jicama pretending to be a fish burger

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But four bites and 19 bucks later, you KNOW I’m still hungry like the wolf, bro!!! So it’s time for this funky cross between French and Korean — Smoked Duck Bokkeum. Now, bokkeum is like a Korean stir-fry, usually made with pork, squid or even octopus (I had to look that up). But I don’t think it normally looks like this — I mean, the only rice on this worn-out plank of wood is sprinkled on top for decoration. What you’ve got here instead is duck breast and purple potato salad, along with a few pickled veggies:

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Still, I gotta say, that duck was super-tasty, melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the purple taters added a nice touch. Hey, it’s no Pekin Duck for one… but it’s gotta be the second-best duck dish I’ve had since the pandemic started!!!!

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Now, when I’m at a funky joint like this, I gotta go with the funkiest beer on tap — which would happen to be a Blood Orange Shapeshifter sour IPA from Halo Brewery. If not for the fizzy head, I wouldn’t even know this was a beer — it tastes just like an Italian soda or orange Jarritos. Which didn’t stop me from pounding 3-4 of these…

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Octo burger & lasagna sticks from Mission Lasagna

You know me, this is body by Italian food, bro! So when I heard about Mission Lasagna, this funky joint in Little Italy, serving up eight different kinds of lasagnas, along with other pastas, burgers and more, I totally had to check it out. Only I didn’t actually order a lasagna — unless you count these lasagna sticks:

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These crispy flavour nuggets are served cold, like a cracker, with three dipping sauces — pesto, marinara and donkey sauce. Dude, you could put all three of those on the same flip-flop, and it would still taste good! But you KNOW that’s just a light snack in Flavourtown, bro!!!

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Now, I’m no stranger to eating octopus, but this is the first time I’ve ever had it on a bun, son! This Octo Burger is nice ‘n chewy, lightly breaded on a bed of rapini and ricotta — kinda like the Crimson and Clover of Little Italy, Tommy Bro-ndell!!!

 

PATIO LIT EATS: Peruvian lamb, sea and air combo!!!

Now, I’m not drunk or anything, but this one time, after band camp, I went to McDonald’s and ordered a Land, Sea and Air Burger. It was not very good. But on the other hand, if you combine lamb, sea and air, that would probably be pretty tasty!

So, we’re hanging out at Chotto Matte, this funky Japanese/Peruvian fusion joint at Bay and Front. These guys are serving up all kinds of Peruvian style barbecue, and they’re all small plates, so I figured I could eat at least three of them…

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We’re starting off with lamb, which was probably the star of the show. These smoked lamb chops were marinated in a spicy BBQ sauce and grilled to perfection, son!

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From the sea, we’ve got grilled octopus on a bed of purple potatoes with splashes of yuzu/blueberry sauce, for that extra burst of purple. This was another well-cooked dish, with a texture more like steak or chicken than the rubbery chewiness you’d expect from octopus.

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And then from the air, there’s this pollo picante — some nice chunks of chicken served up skewer style with a little green onions on top. Nothing wrong with that at all!

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Now, since I’m eating octopus, I gotta go for an Octopus Wants to Fight, this hoppy, juicy IPA from Great Lakes Brewery. That’ll take some of the heat off those lamb chops, son!

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After all that eating back there, you’re probably wondering, “Did he still have room for dessert?” Well, I wasn’t gonna order it, but when they told me about the Peruvian chocolate crema, I had to check it out!!!

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Dude, this has got to be the best dessert I’ve had all month! It’s kinda like a chocolate mousse, but made with rum — and you can really taste the rum, bro! Then they top it with honeycomb, chocolate sauce and these crunchy little dulce de leche bites — man, I could slam, like, three of these!!!

4 crazy rich sandwiches (+squid on a stick!) @ Waterfront Night Market

Dude, you KNOW I’ve got a smile on my face, cuz I’m taking my fat ass to Ontario Place! Last weekend, the happiest place in Ontario played host to the Waterfront Night Market, a culinary pan-Asian invasion of epic proportions! Now, since both Burgermania and the Mac ‘n Cheese Fest moved off the island, I haven’t had much reason to come here, but when I heard about some of the stuff they were serving up, I knew I had to check it out!!!

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Now, I don’t always go out looking for bacon, but it always seems to find me. This sweet, sweet bacon slider from the Filipino bros at Tocino Boys is served on a milk bun with mustard, mayo, garlic butter…and no veggies whatsoever, just the way I like it!!!

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Yeah, it comes on a bun, but this ain’t no hot dog, bro! This bulgogi beef buldog is topped with cabbage, onions, scallions — and for two dollars more I added kim chi and torched cheese… Dude, this is body by torched cheese!!!!!

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This next dish definitely kicks the funkaliciousness up a notch! This Filipino soul food classic from my kamayan kingdom Platito combines plump ‘n juicy fried chicken with a super savoury ube waffle for this crazy take on chicken ‘n waffles — and the best part is, you can eat it with your hands!

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Now, those sandwiches were all magically delicious, but I swear the longest lines at the whole damn festival were for grilled octopus on a stick! Dude, I would eat anything you gotta bite off a big piece of wood, and when they brush it with chili sauce and add some peanuts for garnish, I totally don’t regret not getting the lamb sticks instead…

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Now, the one thing that was pretty messed about this fest is you gotta pay 20 bucks just to enter the beer garden. So, instead I’m slurping down some grapefruit green tea — don’t knock it till you try it, bro!!!

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We’ve also got some Thai iced tea, served in a plastic bag full of ice…cuz that’s even more unfriendly to the environment??

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But even after that decadent meat extravaganza, you KNOW I’ve still got room for dessert, bro! This Hong Kong bubble waffle joint had the longest lines for anything NOT served on a stick, and this s’mores ice cream waffle sandwich was so tasty, even the Tyrannosaurus Rex wants it!!!!

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Just another righteous feast in the Flavourzoac era, dino bro!!!

SUMMERLICIOUS 2019: Real-deal lamb dinner @ Volos

So, Summerlicious ends on Sunday, and we’re going out in style at this fancy Greek joint, Estiatorio Volos, just a Rob Ford backpedal away from City Hall. Now, you KNOW I love lamb, bro, so when I saw they had lamb shank, I was all over that like a Fun Guy on the Greek Freak!!! But Greece is also known for seafood, so we’re starting off with some grilled octopus:

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This crunchy creature of the sea is the one that I want, do-do-do! (Wait, wrong Grease…) Nice, lemony chew to the octopus, with a bit of bite from the black olives, a couple pieces of red pepper and some arugula. Hey, if you put arugula underneath an octopus, I guess I’ll eat it…

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But now it’s time for the main event. Dude, this was probably the most tender lamb I’ve ever had — it falls off the bone, pulls apart with a fork AND melts in your mouth, bro! You’ve got a nice bed of mashed potatoes, some braised greens, and then these crispy leeks on top…man, I could eat that for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!!!

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For dessert, we’ve got an Ouzo chocolate mousse, with strawberries, blueberries and Ouzo-infused Chantilly cream. Now, this little mousse scoop was quite tasty, but after that massive chocolate cake at Piano Piano, it felt like I was ordering off the kid’s menu!

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Washed it all down with a Volkan Blonde, this Greek wheat beer that they’ve got on tap. I guess they’re not pros at pouring beer, cuz that’s a whole lotta head for such a small glass, bro!!!

Holy octopus balls, Batman!

Lately, Dundas Street has been turning Japanese. You’ve got ramen, izakaya, curry, sushi burritos, green tea ice cream…oh, and that overhyped cheesecake. Now, I loves me some sushi, and just about anything katsu, but when it comes to takoyaki, I’m all like that sounds wacky—until I put these balls in my mouth, bro:

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I know what you’re thinking—tacowhatty? This Japanese snacky is made from wheat flour, cooked in a pan, and stuffed with some good old Doc Oc; diced, minced octopi. You know this is heading straight down my piehole, so let’s break it down. You’ve got a buncha nice, hot balls, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, with a good chew from our octofarian friends. Topped with spicy mayo and a sesame vinaigrette, green onions and Japanese chilis, all on a bed of purple rice, purple rice. I only want to see you lapping up some purple rice…

Now, this dish gets an F for funkaliciousness. And that’s the same grade I got in Home Ec, son!