Tag Archives: shrimp

Fried chicken and mushrooms and shrimp… Omai!!!

We’re no strangers to izakayas here on Triple B, and you can find these funky little Japanese joints all over this city! So, we’re hanging out at Omai, this cozy little spot in Baldwin Village, with just a handful of tables and a sushi counter. And while they do serve sushi here, you KNOW I’m heading straight for the fried section of the menu, bro!!!

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We’re starting off with some butternut squash croquettes, coming in hot from the fryer. Now, I’ve had a few croquettes in my time, but these might be the first ones that were stuffed with veggies, son! They also add in some Oka cheese, which makes ‘er nice ‘n creamy…

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Man, I don’t think I’ve had fried shrimp since that one time, at Red Lobster… But there’s nothing wrong with these Panko Fried Shrimp, with a chive donkey sauce and some pickled radishes on the side. I could all-you-can-eat these any day, bro!!!

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Dude, I’m totally trippin’ over these fried oyster mushrooms, son! Warm and delicious, with a shrimp-flavoured donkey sauce — I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event: Japanese style chicken karaage, served at face-melting temperatures, with some gochujang and more donkey sauce on the side — dude, this is body by donkey sauce! I actually had to wait a bit for the chicken to cool down, but the wait was well worth it!!!

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Of course, nothing goes better with Japanese bar food than beer from Godspeed, our local Japanese-inspired craft brewery. This Yuzu Citrus Saison actually tastes more like a wheat beer than a sour, and is super-crushable at a shade over 4%. I definitely pounded more than one of these!!!!

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But even after all that deep-fried deliciousness, you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! The one dessert on the menu at Omai is a Basque Cheesecake, topped with pears, and infused with matcha. Not what I would expect to find at an izakaya…but it was still pretty tasty!

Oodles of octopus @Joso’s

Restaurants are now back to full capacity in Toronto, so we’re hanging out at Joso’s, this legendary local Italian seafood joint at Av & Dav dating back to 1967, son! This place is one of Drake’s favourite restaurants, so you know it’s gotta be good — he’s even got his own special chair upstairs — but we had actually never been here before despite living in Toronto for quite a while. Time to check this one off the bucket list, John Bro-tucci!!!!

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Now, Joso’s doesn’t actually have an appetizer section on its menu, but that doesn’t mean you can’t order some mains as starters — at main course prices, mind you. These Grilled Gamberoni come four to an order, some decent-sized prawns cut in half and served in the shell with lemon, garlic and a bit of butter. Can’t go wrong with any of that, son!

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But one of the main draws at this place, aside from the market-priced whole fish, is this dish — Octopus Schiavona. Schia-what-now? I have eaten octopus more than a few times before, but never served like this, steamed and thinly sliced with olive oil, capers and olives. It’s almost more like octopus poke, but with a prettier presentation. And I can’t really complain about the portion size…

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Now, if I’m eating at an Italian joint, you KNOW I’m gonna be judging them on their tiramisu — and this one totally passed the test! It was super moist, almost creamy even, with a nice dusting of cocoa poweder. Only questionable thing was the whipped cream on the side… I didn’t have to eat it, but I couldn’t just leave it sitting there, y’know?

I’ll be porking my troubles away with this pork chop…

Right now, the Raptors are only allowing 500 fans inside Scotiabank Arena, making it the toughest ticket in town. But it’s much easier to get a seat at Aria Ristorante, this funky Italian joint that’s so close to the arena, you can watch the game on the giant screen in Jurassic Park, son!!!

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The price of admission starts at 25 dollars for Il Frito, a tasty plate of fried calamari and shrimp, served with a smoked tartar sauce. I’m not used to eating shrimp with their heads on, but like John Daly says, just grip it and rip it, bro!!!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. We’re talking 12 ounces of Berkshire pork chop tomahawk, with swiss chard, smoky bacon and sour cherries. Dude, this pork is cooked to perfection, and when you get a little bite of bacon in there, too, that’s the ticket — although it still won’t get you into the game, bro. 😦 😦 😦

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Just as the Raptors are putting a hurtin’ on the Atlanta Hawks, we’re putting the finishing touches on this meal with a real-deal tiramisu, topped with chunks of chocolate, and three fully intact ladyfingers out back. For dessert, it was either this or cannoli — I think I made the right choice. 😛

 

 

 

Welcome to the jungle, we’ve got shrimp and steak…

So we’re hanging out at Selva, this funky new black-light, jungle-themed joint serving up South American/Thai fusion in a basement in the Entertainment District. This place used to be The Fifth Pubhouse, where I once scarfed down a tasty salmon burger…but they’ve got a completely different vibe now.

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They are still serving up some seafood, though. These grilled shrimp are coming in hot, eight to an order with a slightly spicy yellow pepper sauce. These aren’t quite as good as the shrimp at Emeril’s, but still not a bad start.

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Now, when I saw the 7 oz Denver steak on the menu, I thought it might be a little small — but when it got to the table, I’m not sure that’s even 7 ounces bro. Also, most pieces were well past medium rare, even with it coming pre-cut… So yeah, I’m a little disappointed right now.

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Of course, after such a small steak, I definitely still had room for dessert. These banana fritters were more like deep-fried banana slices…but I think I got more pieces here than I did of the steak, so at least there’s that. And hey, the place looks pretty funky, as this toucan can confirm:

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Peruvian pulled beef & grilled shrimp @ Chotto Matte

Happy Day of the Dead, bro! We’re hanging out at Chotto Matte, this funky Peruvian joint in the Financial District, where they’re serving up some scary cocktail and dessert specials for Dia de los muertos. Now, last time I was here, I had the lamb, chicken AND octopus…but the one thing missing was the beef, bro! So when I saw they were serving up a slow-cooked beef short rib, asado de tiro, I was all over that like Machu on Picchu!!!!

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Ain’t got no beef with this beef, bro! Slow-cooked till you can pull it apart with a fork, with a teriyaki au jus and purple mashed potatoes — I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!

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And we’re pairing that with some grilled shrimp — gambas a la parilla, Bobby Bonilla! — they don’t skimp on the shrimp here, bro! These succulent sea creatures are seasoned with cilantro, and served with a mushroom slaw-sa. Plus, you get at least 8 to an order…although I kinda wasn’t counting.

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The only thing I didn’t like about these yuca fries is that they didn’t come at the same time as my meat. Deep-fried, hot and crispy, with a side of Peruvian pepper sauce — I’m pretty sure you could deep-fry a flip-flop, and put it on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!!!

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Now, because this blog isn’t Burgers, Bacon and Yellow Chartreuse Grand Marnier, I did not order one of their fancy Day of the Dead cocktails, which cost anywhere from 18 to 24 dollars. Instead, I went with a freshly poured pint of Burst NEIPA from Great Lakes Brewery. I got a little more hops here than when I drank it from a can the last time — and it’s safe to say Chotto Matte is a lot classier than the last place I had this beer, too…

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But I did still have room for dessert, and here’s where they funk it up, oh, about six of seven notches. This national historic site in Flavourtown is called Machu Picchu Mountain and it’s one of the most elevated desserts I’ve ever had. What we’ve got here is black cherry ice cream inside a ball of caramelized popcorn with a fruity mango coulis poured overtop. Usually, I’m all about chocolate for dessert, but man, that black cherry ice cream was so good, you could mix it with a flip-flop, freeze it into a flip-flop and serve it on a bed of flip-flop…and I’d still eat it off a flip-flop, bro!!!!!!!!!