Thursday, 26 December 2013

My Three New Restaurant Finds - Khao San Road, The Grove and Patria

I recently discovered three nice restaurants that are worth mentioning here on my blog.

First is Khao San Road, which is a  fusion Thai restaurant located in the Entertainment District.  They don't take reservations, but turnaround is pretty fast.  We ordered the squash fritters, Penang curry with beef, Bangkok-style pad thai and khao soi (egg noodles in a curry soup).  Everything was very good, but the dishes are small, so you need to order pretty much one dish per person plus appies.

Exploring the US Capital - Weekend in Washington DC

I finally found myself some time to write a blog post today.  Ever since we returned from our honeymoon, I've been busy studying for the PMP exam.  Luckily that's all over and I passed, so I'm now officially PMP certified!

2hung and I went on a trip to Washington DC back in September literally the weekend before the government shutdown, so we were able to visit the many Smithsonian museums and enjoy the city.  DC was a pretty fun weekend visit for us.  There were lots of places to see and lots of great restaurants.  The weather was quite nice so at first we set out on foot and thought we could just walk or take the transit everywhere, but soon we realized that the city was way too big and even getting from museum to museum was quite tiring, so we made use of their bike rental system called Capital Bikeshare.  It was quite convenient and wasn't very expensive.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Chocolate Making Workshop at Chocolate Tales

I was recently invited to a free chocolate making workshop run by Chocolate Tales Inc., which is a company that provides entertaining chocolate making events for all kinds of occasions whether it be personal or corporate related.  I was pretty excited about the event and the host Cocoa Kelly did not disappoint.  She was very knowledgeable about the history of chocolate, how to temper the chocolate, and showed us a few different ways to decorate with chocolate.  The workshop involved a lot of hands-on work and of course some tastings and chocolates to bring home as well.  The event took place at the Miele showroom in Vaughan, so it gave me an opportunity to check out the showroom as well.

Friday, 4 October 2013

July 4th Long Weekend 2013 in NYC

I don't think there's a better place to spend July 4th long weekend than in NYC.  I can never get bored of a weekend filled with eating and shopping with good friends.  We started the day off on the wrong foot by forgetting my laptop at home, so we had to drive all the way back home to get it after we had reached the airport.  This caused us to miss our flight by minutes.  I can't believe they didn't wait for me even though I'm Super Elite!  Good thing there are many flights from Toronto to La Guardia so we were put onto the next flight out.

We had missed our reservation for Minetta Tavern (I have been wanting to try their black label burger for so long!), so we went to have pizza at Joe's instead.  After pizza, we headed to Soho to try our luck at scoring a cronut at Dominique Ansel's bakery.  Of course, we were out of luck, but I did get to try a few other things: DKA (Dominique's Kouign Amann), chocolate eclair and freshly baked madeleines.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Birthday Celebration at Buca

This was our first time celebrating 2hung's bday as husband and wife.  It was hard to think of a restaurant to go to and we finally picked Buca.  Our friend Letty had been raving about this restaurant, so we had pretty high expectations.  We were late for our reservation by more than 15 minutes, so they had given our table away.  The restaurant wasn't super busy considering it was only 6pm, so they let us sit out in the patio area.  Despite the little mishap with the reservation, our waiter was quite good and very knowledgeable about the menu.  We ordered two starters, some bread knots and two pastas for our main along with dessert.  The food was amazing.  The pasta was al dente.  We were very impressed with the gnudi pasta which was made with pureed scallops and ricotta.  The dessert was divine as well.  The bread knots were definitely a good recommendation from the waiter.  We will definitely be back to this restaurant.  I find it a little difficult to get a reservation though, so remember to book ahead and don't mind the snobby host.

Wine and Dine at Niagara-On-The-Lake

Over the summer I took my parents to Niagara-On-The-Lake for a sparkling wine brunch at Peller Estates and a short wine tour at the Chateaux des Charmes winery because there was a coupon available on Living Social.
I don't think I've ever been disappointed by the restaurant at Peller Estates.  They always serve up a nice meal.  We were really full after our three course meals along with amuse bouche and pallet cleansers.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Attending My First Ever Destination Wedding - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 2013 (Honeymoon Part 2)

I'm trying hard to catch up on all my blog posts.  After our West Coast tour of Canada, we left immediately the next morning to attend the destination wedding of our good friends Yvonne and Henry in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  This was my first time attending a destination wedding, and it's part 2 of our honeymoon.  There were so many people attending the wedding, kids, adults and seniors.  I think we took up 1/3 of the plane!

We stayed at the Barcelo Bavaro Beach resort which had an adult section and a kid section.  The resort was huge with a golf course, water park, shopping, tons of restaurants, the whole nine yards.  The kid section seemed to be the more updated side and had more amenities than the adult section.

Road Trip to the Canadian West Coast - Banff, Jasper and Vancouver, 2013 (Honeymoon Part 1)

After the wedding, we went on a road trip with my parents and my eldest brother Sam to the Canadian West Coast.  We flew over to Calgary and then did a road trip from Calgary to Banff to Jasper and then onwards to Vancouver.  It has been a long time since I've gone on a trip with my dad and big bro, so it was very nice to have spent some bonding time with them.

We spent one night in the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.  They put us up in the Honeymoon Suite all the way up at the very top of the hotel.  We had to climb an extra set of stairs to get to our room and inside our room, there were more stairs!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Loving my tieks!

Saw someone wearing these amazing portable flats the other day so I went online to check and saw the rave reviews. I decided to get myself a pair as well and ordered the cobalt blue tieks. They arrived within a few days in this great packaging along with a carrying pouch and a foldable/reversible/shrinkable tote for you heels in case your feet start to hurt. I'm going to test them out tomorrow!

*Update* - After a full day's wear, my tieks proved to be very comfy.  No cuts or blisters and the padding is surprisingly good for a pair of flats!  Uh oh, that means I may be tempted to buy more in tieks in their vast array of colours and patterns...this could be dangerous...

Friday, 6 September 2013

When Miss Bling became Mrs. Cung

I've been pretty busy and haven't been blogging in a while.  Once of the reasons is because I was busy getting married on May 11, 2013!  I wanted to write this post to thank all of the friends and family who came out to celebrate our special day and all of the wonderful vendors that helped make it happen.  Here are some highlights from the day.

Our ceremony was held at 5pm in the afternoon before the reception, so it wasn't a very early start for the girls.  The hair and makeup took place at around 9:30am.  Thanks to all my bridesmaids and girl friends who showed up to give 2hung and the guys a hard time!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Girls in NYC 2013

My wonderful maid of honour and bridesmaids helped me plan my bachelorette trip and there's no better destination, nowhere more fitting than a trip to NYC.  I'm so glad that all three of them flew down and we spent all weekend doing some of the things that I love best: eat, drink and shop!

First it was a trip to Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets, in the snow!  I don't think I've ever seen Woodbury this dead, but the snow is not an obstacle for hard-core shoppers like me and my girls.
I think on this trip, every girl spent more than they had anticipated due to my influence - I apologize to the husbands.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Kingyo Izakaya, what a waste of my time!

Last month, we visited Kingyo Izakaya which recently opened up in Cabbage Town.  When we were in Vancouver last October, Sato san from Octopus Garden had recommended that we give Kingyo a try when they open up in Toronto, but boy were we disappointed!
First of all, we waited nearly an hour for a table.  Even those with reservations were kept waiting when clearly tables were available, but the hostess just wouldn't seat us.
Then, after we got a seat, our food took over an hour to come.  We actually had to complain to the waitress before they brought us our food.  The prices were definitely high for the quality and quantity of food that you are getting.  We also had bones in our sashimi!  Bones!  What a waste of our time and such a disappointing meal.  Never again will we set foot in Kingyo.

Kingyo Izakaya on Urbanspoon

Winter in Winnipeg 2013

It was a long, cold and snowy winter in Winnipeg.  With the temperature dipping down to below -40 degrees Celsius, it was some of the coldest weather that I've ever experienced in my 20+ years in Canada.  It was cold enough for snow sculptures and skating along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Birthday Dinners 2013

Another birthday means I am getting another year older.  This year, I celebrated with my dear friends at three different restaurants.
We had heard a lot about Yours Truly and finally got a chance to try out their prix fixe menu.  We were presented with a menu of 8 ingredients to choose from.  $55 gets you 4 courses.  Between all of us, we were able to try all the dishes.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Holiday Meals 2012

Over the holidays, we visited quite a few new restaurants in the GTA.  Here are the ones we went to.
Ursa was listed as Canada's 3rd best new restaurant according to enRoute Magazine.  We wanted to order the duck egg appetizer but they didn't have it, so we just go the beet salad with chicken liver.  The dish was just ok.  It was definitely not the best beet salad I've had and I thought it could've used more liver pate.  For mains, we got a halibut with sea urchin foam sauce and a beef tenderloin.  The fish and meat tasted pretty good, but the veggies were really bitter, and the portions were way too small.  We were left still unsatisfied after our meal, so we ended up having to go grab a bowl of ramen!

So, we ended up going to the new Santouka Ramen and had ourselves a trusty bowl of chashu ramen!

The County General was another restaurant that I had been wanting to try ever since I walked by it back in the summer.  This is a cute little restaurant and they had a pretty cool bar with different kinds of bourbons and rums.  We ordered the chicken thigh sandwich and the Croque Madame.  They were both very tasty.  The only complaint was that the fries and ketchup were a bit too salty, but I would definitely return to this one.

Ursa on Urbanspoon Santouka Ramen on Urbanspoon The County General on Urbanspoon

Wedding Shopping in Hong Kong and a Side Trip to Macau

Spent part of November and December 2012 in Hong Kong doing a lot of wedding shopping.  I managed to get a Chinese dress in Shenzhen and an evening gown in Prince Edward.  I also got my wedding invitations printed and bought a whole bunch of little things needed for the wedding.  Of course, I always save time for good food and also took a side trip to Macau.  Speaking of weddings, look at this teddy bear themed wedding that I ran into at the Intercontinental Hotel during my trip.

Here are some highlights of the food I had in Hong Kong.