The Keys to My Heart: Salmon Sashimi Salad Rolls, Spicy Tuna Salad Rolls & Scallop Nuggets at Sushi Garden!

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A realization just dawned on me: I’ve eaten sushi 3 times this week.  THREE TIMES!  Once for lunch and twice for dinner.  I haven’t done that in ages.  Eating sushi 3 times within a week that is.  And funny enough I didn’t even plan on having sushi this week – it just happened.  My mum bought some giant sumomaki rolls with crispy tempura, shrimp, lettuce, avocado and red fish roe for dinner on Tuesday, then I spontaneously decided to have some for dinner when I was out on Friday because the salmon lovers sushi box was beckoning me, and then yesterday my best friend and I ditched our soup-and-sandwich lunch plans in favour of bento boxes and yummy rolls with spicy mayo sauce.

It’s been a wonderfully delicious sushi week.

I haven’t posted about my sushi noshing adventures in what feels like forever but trust me when I say that I sushi and I are as tight as ever.  I’ve started an “I Love Sushi” photo gallery on Ate by Ate’s Facebook page, I have some new posts in the works with brand spankin’ new photos, and today, Ate by Ate is back to its sushi-loving ways with a post about one of my all-time FAVOURITE sushi menu items in the city – salmon sashimi salad rolls from Sushi Garden at Yonge & Wellesley!

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You know something’s captured your heart when you feel compelled to order it every single time you make a return visit to a place.  This is a HUGE deal for me because everyone knows how anal I am about trying something new and not ordering “repeats” if I can help it; after all, if I always ordered the same thing, how on earth would I ever have new content to post about and photograph?  Even if I do order something I’ve eaten before, I always feel like I should order a little something extra on the side, just to make the visit worthwhile in the context of the blog.

Yes, I’m anal and nuts.  But I know y’all love me anyway despite my quirks!

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The salmon sashimi salad rolls from Sushi Garden at Yonge & Wellesley get to me every single time though.  I love them THAT much and they are THAT amazing and yummy.  And they’re pretty darn exclusive!  They’re only available at 2 out of the 3 Sushi Garden locations in the city (the Yonge & Wellesley location and the one by Yonge & St. Clair, not at the Yonge & Eglinton one) and I have yet to see the same thing at any other sushi place.  And if you can believe it, the very first time I had this was back in 2009.  Yes, nearly 4 years ago!  I just never posted about them because I didn’t have a good photo of them.  That and there was another time where I didn’t get a photo of them, period.  I know, foreshame.  Good things come with time though so they’re here now ready to make a big sushi splash!

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These salad rolls, or salmon sashimi with vegetables as they’re referred to in the menu (4 for $6.99, 6 for $8.99) are comprised of thick, delicious, velvety soft slices of salmon sashimi wrapped around julienned cucumber, fish roe, and giant chunks of creamy avocado.  I could eat these endlessly, they are SO good!  They’re super thick and they truly don’t skimp on the salmon sashimi.  I love them not only because they’re delicious but also because they’re a nice change from the maki rolls with rice.  They have such a fresh, bright taste to them and they’re a little less heavy in comparison to other menu items (like rice and noodles and such), so they’re a great dish to pair with an appetizer or another set of rolls.  Because truthfully, salmon, tuna, and butter fish are my favourites so if there’s any menu item that will give me a generous helping of either of those 3 (or all 3), I’m all over it like peanut butter on jelly.  It’s the reason why I love sushi pizzas so much!

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During this particular visit to Sushi Garden, I paired my salmon sashimi salad rolls with spicy tuna salad rolls (4 for $5.99) and shared the scallop nuggets appetizer with spicy sauce with my sweetheart.  The spicy tuna salad rolls are rice and nori rolls filled with tuna, avocado, and spicy mayo but the difference is, all the rolls are wrapped with another layer of thinly sliced cucumber, making these rolls another great fresh and bright tasting alternative.

And the scallop nuggets!  If you love seafood, and especially scallops, you will LOVE this appetizer!  The scallop nuggets (5 for $3.99) are breaded and crispy on the outside and meaty and juicy on the inside.  They’re like scallop coins or medallions sitting daintily on a bed of lettuce with a generous portion of spicy mayo sauce.  And I do mean SPICY!  I find that many the spicy mayo at different sushi places have varying degrees of heat but let me tell you, this one is HOT!  It’s delicious but boy does this sauce ever clear up your sinuses and make your eyes water!  It is definitely not for the faint of heart but perfect for those who love heat.

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Even though I had this meal in the dead of winter, the colours and flavours scream spring and freshness so let’s hope our spring season starts sooner rather than later!  I’m working on some new sushi things for the spring and summer so enjoy this sushi comeback and indulge your cravings by checking out the gallery on Ate by Ate’s Facebook page!

*****

Sushi Garden serves 3 locations in Toronto:

  1. 1560 Yonge Street, at the corner of Yonge & Heath Street (in Delisle Court), closest major intersection being Yonge & St. Clair.
  2. 30 Eglinton Ave. West between Yonge Street and Duplex Ave.
  3. 3 Wellesley Street West. at the corner of Yonge & Wellesley

The Keys to My Heart: The Grilled Halibut Melt at Jakes Pub & Grille on Main Street Unionville!

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I knew it was too good to be true.  The weather, that is.  I was loving the chillier mornings and the moderately warm, sunny days last week.  Then the weather decided to pull a fast one on me and scorch my little tooshie again, all the while gloating as I cowered under the sun in my bucket hat, whimpered in the heat, and cursed the buses that didn’t have air conditioning.  So, I did what any disenchanted girl would do: in defiance of the nasty weather, I hightailed it over to my favourite local pub for a patio lunch, noshed on my favourite dish, sat under a nice, shaded wooden awning, watched people happily sling back a few beers at neighbouring tables, and walked away with a happy belly full of yummy food.  I had myself one of the best lunches this summer and kicked the sweaty, icky, yucky feeling to the curb.  Eating at one of my favourite spots in one of my fvaourite neighbourhoods in my neck of the woods always does the trick.  Welcome to Jakes on Main Street Unionville! 

Jakes is a very classic type of pub establishment with a casual and relaxed atmosphere that’s family-friendly and always hopping with regulars who come out for beers, families who come out with their kids for some good old fashioned kiddie food (you wouldn’t believe how many kids and baby strollers that were there during the hour I was there!), and groups of friends sharing giant plates of food and having a great time.  It’s such a popular, well-loved spot and the crowds show it.  The patio is constantly packed, there’s always a consistent stream of people filling up the tables when they’ve been vacated, and it doesn’t matter what part of the day it is; Jakes is definitely the place to be if you’re around Main Street Unionville.

Jakes and I go way back.  Probably not as far back as many of the locals here who’ve lived in Markham all their life, but far back enough; my first look was back in high school and my first visit was before I even started grad school!  It’s my favourite spot on Main Street and my favourite classic pub in Markham.  I know that aside from the beer, pubs aren’t necessarily known for their haute cuisine.  There are some pub spots in the city that I’ve been to that are totally top-notch with delicious food, but if we’re playing a game of word association here, we know that most people would associate pub fare and bar grub with things like wings, calamari, and nachos and unless they’re spectacular, they’re forgettable to most people. 

At Jakes?  Call it pub fare, call it bar grub, call it whatever you want because the food here is REALLY, REALLY good!  You must be thinking, “how good can it be?”.  Trust me, their menu selection and portions speak for themselves.  We’re talking 6 types of poutine (butter chicken, pulled pork, and steak and mushroom just to name a few!), 21 different sandwiches, burgers, and wraps (beef dip, smoked salmon club, California club with guac and mango salsa, fish tacos, and more!), pub appetizers (deep fried pickles, crab cakes, coconut shrimp, and bacon wrapped scallops among others), and plenty of mains and entrees including baked chicken, pub pie, goat cheese quesadilla, and spicy chicken and seafood.

Prices are typical of a sit-down pub ($7-$20) and their menu is the same for both lunch and dinner, so you enjoy the goodness during the day or well into the evening.  It’s been so long since I’ve been here and while I was sitting at my table waiting for my food to come, I saw countless dishes being brought out to other patrons and I was reminded of how great their food was and how much I dearly missed what I had ordered since it had been so long since my last visit.

My favourite thing to have at Jakes: the halibut melt!  One of my ultimate not-healthy, comfort food weaknesses is fish and chips and Jakes halibut melt ($11.99) is a delicious, crispy, melt-in-your-mouth battered halibut fish sandwiched between caramelized onions, melted mozzarella cheese, and grilled bread, served with tangy tarter sauce (I LOVE TARTAR SAUCE!) and either fries, caesar salad, or green salad with your choice of salad dressing.  I LOVE fish sandwiches, tacos, and burritos and given how I’ve blogged about the haddock fish burritos and shrimp burritos and quesadillas from Burrito Boyz and the fish tacos from Wish Cafe, I figured it was time to post another one on seafood sandwiches, pub style!     

The sandwich is so, so good because the grilled bread is able to hold up to the melted cheese and caramelized onions and give the crunchy halibut fish the support it needs to stay crispy with every bite – no one wants a limp and soggy sandwich!  The battered halibut on the inside is moist and flaky and perfectly golden on the outside with a scrumptious buttery warmth to it.  I think one of the things I love most about fish and chips is the difference in textures (moist on the inside, crunchy on the outside) and this sandwich is so full of crunch and flavour and the melted mozzarella just adds that extra butteriness to the whole sandwich. 

And the tartar sauce!  It is so much fun dipping this sandwich into the tartar sauce and having that creamy tangy just whack a few good ones out of the park in your mouth.  After awhile though, it gets a little hard trying to dip the sandwich in so I just dip my fork into the sauce and slather it on.  And while the salad is just a side to the star of the show, it’s worth noting that the green house salad is great with it baby greens, refreshing cucumber, shredded carrots, and sliced bell peppers.  There’s a ton of different dressing options and I chose a honey mustard to go with mine this time around.

Jakes has made changes and additions to their menu over the years and I’m looking forward to coming back more often for some casual pub fare and really good food in fab neighbourhood.  After living in Markham for 14 years now, it’s a neighbourhood pub that definitely feels like home.

*****

Jakes Pub & Grille is located at 202 Main Street Unionville in Markham just south of Carlton Rd. on the popular Main Street shopping and dining strip.  They’re open 7 days a week for both lunch and dinner with a big patio out front.

Salmon Sashimi, Crispy Rice, & Special Mayo Sauces – Let’s Talk Sushi Pizza!

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A photo tribute to one of my all-time favourite sushi dishes, the salmon sushi pizza!  Even though Sushi Time is more expensive than other spots in the city by about 25 to 50 cents ($7.25), it’s always one of my go-to dishes whenever I come.  I’ve had their salmon sushi pizza three times already!  Which is saying a lot considering I hate and try to avoid ordering the same thing over and over again at places I love and go back to.  The blog would be one huge snooze fest if I did that! 

Their sushi pizza gets to me every time though.  With its breaded, crispy rice (the sushi “pizza” is cut into 6 pieces), mayo sauce, and super thick slices of salmon sashimi with sesame seeds and green onions sprinkled on top, it is so, so good and one of the meals that truly inspired me to scrapbook my food photos and photograph food seriously.  It played a big part in my very first sushi experience in the city downtown and I’ll forever remember it as the moment my eyes and tastebuds were opened to so much more.

If you can believe it, the very first time I had sushi pizza was at an all-you-can-eat buffet in Scarborough about 5 years ago!  Up until that point I had no idea such a thing existed and my mum and I were so ecstatic when we found this adorable and delicious sushi concoction!  I’ve tried many different sushi pizzas over the years, both at AYCE spots and regular ones and the one at Sushi Time on Queen West still remains my favourite.        

All sushi pizzas have different toppings and different ways of utilizing and displaying them on the crispy rice pizza base, but they always have tobiko and special mayo sauce of some sort, sprinkled and drizzled on top.  Some places will chop and dice the salmon sashimi and mix it with some spicy sauce to form a salmon salad while others will include diced veggies or use different kinds types of sauces like thousand island style dressing, barbeque, or sweet teriyaki.  They come in a a variety of different kinds with salmon, tuna, BBQ eel, and eggplant being the most common.  I’ve only ever had salmon sushi pizza, so I’m dying to try tuna and eggplant the most. 

If you love sushi pizza as much as I do, feel free to share your favourites around the city!   For those of you looking for a fabulous deal and bang for your buck, you absolutely have to try the salmon and crab sushi pizza from Big Sushi in the Annex!  The next time I go I promise to get more and better photos, but in a nutshell, theirs is truly a meal-size dish ($7.50) and the salmon sashimi, shredded crab meat, and avocado slices are loaded on making it almost more like a pie than a little sushi pizza! 

And if you’re having sushi pizza from Ginza, be sure to order it without the diced red onion.  The diced red and green bell peppers delight me, but the red onion takes away from the pizza and it’s much better off without it.  My dear friend Aamer swears by the sushi pizza at Sushi Sky and I am mega curious about the tuna pizza at Yonge Sushi just south of York Mills on Yonge Street, so we’ll see how those ones measure up!  In the meantime, if you enjoy sushi but have never tried sushi pizza before, you should.  It it one of the funnest, most enjoyable things to eat, ever.

*****

Sushi Time is located at 325 Queen St. West near the corner of John St. and Queen West.  Situated between University and Spadina Ave., Sushi Time is on the south side of Queen and are open for business at 12pm, 7 days a week.  You can view their menu in PDF form at their temporary website HERE.

The Keys To My Heart: The Green Tea Cheesecake at Sushi Time and The Sushi Bar Dessert Mission!

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Introducing one of my favourite, FAVOURITE desserts in the city: the green tea cheesecake from Sushi Time on Queen St. West!  That’s right, folks.  This cheesecake is not from a bakery, patisserie, or cake boutique.  It’s from a sushi bar.  And it is one of the most delightful things that has ever done the sexy rumba with my tastebuds.  As I am writing this, I feel kind of giddy and silly because I feel like one of the Food Network stars on an episode of Best Thing I Ever Ate, divulging about one of my favourite foods and where everyone can get it! 

If you’re a Food Network lover like I am, you know how fantastical this show is and how it makes you so ridiculously hungry while you’re watching it.  I’ve had to walk out of the room on several occasions because I was watching the show before dinner and it made my stomach rumble and my mouth salivate.  It’s that bad.  I love the show so much because every episode is devoted to a fun theme: best thing I ever ate spicy, crunchy, fruity, sweet, chocolatey, grilled, meaty, and so on and so forth.  I guess if I had to inject this post into a specific themed episode, I’d call the episode, “best thing I ever ate – green tea desserts”!  Or maybe just desserts or food made from tea if green tea desserts is too specific a theme.  But there it is.  My little Food Network daydream.

I’ve mentioned this dessert on the blog before (in this post), but I haven’t done a photo spotlight or posted any photos of it because, well, the first and only photo I had at the time stunk.  I’m serious!  You can actually see a little bit of it in the scrapbook layout I posted in the link up top.  I know my photography over the last two years has improved, but I’m not about to boast about my earlier efforts because in the beginning, I couldn’t take a picture worth a penny.  Not everything I do now is the greatest either, but some of the photos I took when I first started out were just plain awful.  So here are photos of my beloved dessert that are actually worth posting!

At $3.99, this green tea cheesecake is one of the reasons why I will always come back to Sushi Time.  Sushi Time is by no means the least expensive sushi bar in town.  It’s not the most expensive either, but let’s just say there are other places in the city that offer more budget-friendly options.  Despite this, the green tea cheesecake has me coming back time and time again and it delivers its knockout, heavenly, delicious punch each and every time.

As opposed to some cheesecakes that are a little more on the crumbly side, this one is one of the softest, creamiest cheesecakes you’ll ever enjoy.  It has the fabulous graham cracker bottom that everyone loves so much and two different green tea layers that differ slightly in consistency and flavour.  The middle layer is darker green in colour, a little thicker in consistency, and a little more concentrated in green tea flavour.  The top layer is lighter in colour and also lighter in texture.  It’s so fluffy and soft and smooth. 

When you run your fork through the cheesecake, it doesn’t catch.  It glides straight through and it is truly one of the best light-yet-decadent desserts around.  The cheesecake is finished off with a dollop of green tea jelly on top and a dusting of green tea powder.  The great thing about it is that it simaltaneously gives you both the richness of tradtional cheesecake and the herbal, slightly bitter flavour of green tea without being overwhleming on either front.  It isn’t so rich that it gives you that tingle in your throat and it isn’t so herbal that it takes away from the dessert being an actual sweet ending to a meal.

To my knowledge, Sushi Time is the only sushi place that offers this kind of dessert and on top of its uniqueness and deliciousness, it compels you to shell out the extra several bucks for it.  I love mango, red bean, and green tea ice cream as much as the next person, but those are desserts that you can have at a number of places so I always want to find and try the ones that nobody else serves or the ones that are a little more unique.  Off the top of my head, I know Ginza has a variety of new desserts on their new menu that I’m dying to try and the rest I’ll just have to find out about as I go along!  I’m definitely on a mission to find the best desserts at sushi places around the city and I’m so glad I found out and had this cheesecake for the first time three and a half years ago.        

*****

Sushi Time is located at 325 Queen St. West near the corner of John St. and Queen West.  Situated between University and Spadina Ave., Sushi Time is on the south side of Queen and are open for business at 12pm, 7 days a week.  You can view their menu in PDF form at their temporary website HERE.

The Oreo Anniversary Series – The Cookies n’ Cream “Ice Cream Sandwich” Macaron from Petit Thuet

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“Hello, my name is Cookies n’ Cream macaron and I will be your new favourite sweet confection.  I hail from Petit Thuet and I guarantee that I will be one of the loveliest things sandwiched between two meringue shells you’ll ever lay your eyes and teeth on.”  Well, now that the macaron diva has introduced herself to everyone, I’ll take it from here.  The Oreo Anniversary Series continues on, folks, with a Cookies n’ Cream macaron.  Yes, a MACARON!  We’re accustomed to seeing Oreo cupcakes, Oreo cheesecakes, and Oreo cakes in general, but Oreo cookies n’ cream macarons?!  When I found out about these during my visit to Petit Thuet on Macaron Day last month, my initial mental reaction was, “are you serious??  Oh my god, cookies n’ cream macarons!”  If you love Oreos as well as cookies n’ cream ice cream and chocolates, you need this macaron in your life.  I knew I did.  Which was why I succumbed to temptation, went back, and basked in the joy of my reunion with the delightful confection.  

Even though I didn’t specifically include the “Keys to my Heart” series in the post title, this post is going straight into the vault for being one of the most delicious macarons in the city.  There is so much to love about this macaron: the thickness, the sturdiness (the ability of a macaron to hold its shape when being handled and being eaten), the texture, and the flavour.  It had body and substance, it didn’t fall apart and disintegrate into my hands while I was eating it, the filling didn’t squish out and play a game of slip n’ slide on me, and it hit the nail on the head in its resemblance to an Oreo ice cream sandwich.

 This Cookies n’ Cream macaron from Petit Thuet ($2.20) is EXACTLY like an Oreo and/or cookies n’ cream ice cream sandwich!  It’s like an ice cream sandwich mini-me disguised in classy, delicate macaron attire.  I couldn’t believe how delicious it was and how the flavour and texture were both executed so well.  Case in point: you know how the ice cream filling in an ice cream sandwich has that amazing thick but creamy quality to it that makes every bite SO good?  That split second where your teeth bite into it and glide through the cold ice cream in one smooth motion?  This macaron has that quality and it actually makes you believe you’re sinking your teeth into a cold, creamy, cookie sandwich dessert because the filling is that incredible.  It’s crazy, but it’s true!  Not only is it delicious but apparently, it also has magical powers!  Furthermore, it stays true to its Cookies n’ Cream name while at the same time staying true to its macaron-ness.  You can taste the Oreo crumb and cookie crumbles studded in the creamy macaron filling and the sweet almond flavour in the shells as it melts in your mouth.

Can you imagine how incredible these macarons would be in a bowl of Oreo ice cream?  With crushed Oreo cookies?  Oh, oh, or on an ice cream cupcake?!  Or on an ice cream flavoured theme cake or cupcake?  The macaron is wonderful on its own but thinking of other dessert spin-offs is really fun!  I don’t know if any other patisserie has a Cookies n’ Cream macaron, but for the time being Petit Thuet is the place to get your sweet fix.       

*****

Petite Thuet serves 3 locations in downtown/midtown Toronto:

  1. 1162 Yonge St. (between Summerhill and Rosedale subway stations, on the west side of Yonge St.)
  2. 1 King St. West (at the corner of Yonge and King St.)
  3. 244 King St. East (between Sherbourne and Princess St.)

The Keys to My Heart: Beautiful Summer Days and Fresh & Flaky Fish n’ Chips at King’s Table in the Beaches

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It feels like eons since I last talked about my favourite foods and where to get them!  I guess it makes sense though because favourites are difficult to narrow down and it takes time to try out different variations of the same dish.  I may have nailed down my favourite spicy salmon sushi rolls and my favourite cookie dessert, but I have a long way to go before I figure out my be-all and end-all for every other food category!  Not to mention there’s always a chance that your favourite now may not be your favourite years later.  There’s always the possibility that your current faves will get replaced by even more amazing eats in the future, but for the time being, I have a gut feeling that the handful of favourites I’ve selected are here to stay on my list.   

Fish n’ chips is a treat to me.  It’s that one guilty pleasure, comfort food type of indulgence that I go for once a year.  And I love it.  I would take fish n’ chips over a burger any day.  And lucky for me, I’ve found my holy grail fish n’ chips!  One food category down, a gazillion more to go 😀  King’s Table, located on Queen St. East in the Beaches, is by far my favourite place to go for fresh, flaky, buttery fish n’ chips.  I went here for the first time last summer and I instantly knew this place was a keeper in my book.

There are so many things I love about King’s Table.  I love that it’s a beautiful, intimate place (with a romantic-looking little patio out back!) that evokes that light, breezy feeling of summer happiness and comfort.  Whenever I think of fish n’ chips, I think, “Mmm, yummy.  Greasy spoons!”  We’re talking fish n’ chips here, not rainbow trout or lobster or other seafood delicacies.  We’re talking your good old fashioned fish n’ chips with plenty of haddock, halibut, and cod with starchy, potato-y, delicious fries.  When I think of fish n’ chips, I envision tiny diner style places with a lot of take-out and paper bag sacks.  Although King’s Table could be considered a neighbourhood diner, it has that inviting atmosphere that draws you in to sit and stay and have a good meal.  I love the rich yellow colour of the walls and napkins, the red curtains by the front window, the cute fish memorabilia hanging (and painted!) on the walls, and the peacefulness inside the restaurant.  When I eat here I feel relaxed, like I can take my time to enjoy my meal without being rushed.  It’s a lovely fish n’ chips diner that has amazing food to boot.

Prices for meals depend on the type of fish and their sizes.  Halibut is the more expensive option while haddock and cod are the lesser expensive ones.  If you order a meal like mine (one piece of 4oz. haddock with chips), it’ll run you $8.65.  I’m more than satisfied with this, but if you have a heartier appetite, your meal will probably run closer to $12-$15.  They have fish n’ chips meals, fish n’ chips with salad meals (which are the meals that are closer to the $12-$15 range), and fish only meals.  As well, they have large portions of panfried fish and salmon fillet meals (around 70z. and 8oz.) that are more expensive if you feel like you want to splurge.   

King’s Table fills that fish n’ chips love of mine with some amazing haddock and chips.  I plan on trying other dishes from their menu (such as their shrimp, their clam chowder, their mushrooms with garlic and chive sauce, and maybe even a dessert), but I have to tell you, I’d be a happy camper for life if I came back here and ate nothing else but the haddock and chips I love so much.  And that’s saying a lot coming from me, Little Miss I-always-want-to-order-and-try-something-different-each-time-I-go-out-to-eat!  The haddock is buttery, flaky, crispy, crunchy, and everything you could want in a piece of battered fish.  It’s not greasy or oil-laden in the least.

And their fries!  I know fries aren’t the star of the show but if you’re eating fish n’ chips, I think it’s necessary for the “chips” part of the meal to own it.  To me, even though you’re paying the bulk of your meal toward the fish, it ruins the meal if the fries are nasty.  Their fries are soft without being soggy and I dunk them (as well as my crispy, flaky haddock) in their seafood tartar sauce and it is heaven.  I know a lot of people like to eat their food “naked”, but I am not one of them.  I adore sauce.  So much so that I took my boyfriend’s sauce and ate that too.  He doesn’t use sauce so I offered my eating services to prevent waste.  And no one likes to see awesome sauce go to waste, right? 😉

*****

King’s Table is located at 2248 Queen St. East between Beech and Willow Ave. in the Beaches neighbourhood.  They are open for business from 12pm-10pm and I am pretty sure these hours are for every day of the week, but I will double check to make sure.  King’s Table also offers take-out.

The Keys to My Heart – Prepare to Drool: The Famous Vegan Chocolate Chip Creamie From Bunner’s Bake Shop

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My heart is doing pirouettes as I write this.  Just look at this beautiful masterpiece that I have put before us.  I know your mouth is gaping open at the sight of it.  If it’s not, then it must be swallowing saliva because this vegan dessert is a thing of beauty.  This is the famous chocolate chip creamie sandwich from Bunner’s Bake Shop, located in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood on Dundas St. West.  I am not exaggerating when I say that this cookie sandwich is so effing delicious it makes me want to bus, sub, and run over to the west end bake shop EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this is quite possibly my most favourite dessert EVER.  I know, the unthinkable has happened: my favourite sweets are on the verge of being dethroned.  It stomps over ice cream.  It squeezes past cake.  And cupcakes?  Oh, my beloved cupcakes.  It pains me to say this, but you are no longer my one and only.  You must now share the spotlight – and my heart – with the amazing creamie sandwich.

The chocolate chip creamie is not your ordinary cream-filled cookie sandwich.  And the chocolate chip cookies and vanilla frosting are not your ordinary cookies and frosting.  This creamie is mondo big and is literally pillow soft, light-as-air, melt-in-your-mouth delightfulness.  The chocolate chip cookies look, feel, and taste like a fusion of soft chocolate chip cookies with gingerbread, molasses, cookie dough, and graham cracker crumble all mixed together.

The texture of these cookies is amazing because in appearance they remind you of the delicious crystal-like grittiness of gingerbread and molasses cookies, but in taste they are smooth, soft, and rich.  Chewy isn’t even the right word, because they’re not.  They are simply SO SOFT.  They pull apart amazingly.  You can either stuff your face and chomp on this thing in its entirety, or you can revel in its texture like me and break the creamie apart in half (or in thirds or quarters, whatever floats your boat).  You can literally SEE the richness and softness of the frosting and cookies as you gently break it in half.

Like I mentioned before in my Bunner’s post during Veggielicious, their frosting is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted.  The vanilla frosting is simaltaneously airy and thick, and so full of full-bodied vanilla flavour.  So to all cream-filled cookie sandwiches in the world: my apologies, but you’ve been served.

Ashley from Bunner’s was really nice in taking the time to answer my questions about what makes the creamie vegan, specifically.  Instead of butter, the cookies are made with coconut oil and a number of vegetable fats, organic sugar, and premium vanilla are used to whip up the delicious frosting.  The creamie comes in two forms: chocolate chip (what you see here) and the double chocolate chip (what you see in the first photo here) and are $4.25 each.  Although my boyfriend has had the double chocolate chip one twice, I’ve only ever eaten the chocolate chip creamie myself.  When I get around to eating the double chocolate one I promise you there will be mouth-watering photos here too 😉  In the meantime…wipe the drool off from your chin and grab yourself one of these!

*****

Bunner’s Bake Shop is a vegan, gluten-free bakery that also offers a number of soy-free options.  They are committed to using fair trade, organic, and local ingredients as often as possible in their baked goods.  They are located in The Junction at 3054 Dundas Street West, 3 blocks from the intersection of Keele and Dundas West.  Bunner’s is just west of High Park Ave.  They are open from Monday to Saturday from 10am-7pm, and 12pm-5pm on Sundays.