Zomato Meetup at Bairrada Churrasqueira

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Yesterday, Zomato invited me to a meetup at Bairrada Churrasqueira near College & Dufferin.

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I had passed by it many times but did’t realize that there was a huge beautiful patio out back.

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There was even a nice waterfall area for photos.

 

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As we waited for everyone to arrive, we were treated to sangria and roast suckling pig that you could see spinning out back. The crispy skin was the best part. Little did we know, there was plenty to eat throughout the night.

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I gorged on this delicious Queijo Frescowhich is a light and fluffy Portugese cheese. It is very mild which is why it pairs well with olives, red peppers or the addictive hot sauce (which I ate with almost all the dishes).

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Lula Grelhadas (grilled Calimari) was fresh and had a beautiful touch of olive oil.

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The Chouriço à Bombeiro (flaming sausage) were served in adorable pig bowls. The flames made the outside of the sausage nice and crispy.

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To balance out the meat we had Tomate e Pepino (tomato and cucumber salad).

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and a side of rice!

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Now back to the meat. From this point on in the meal, we were given individual plates. It started with two Gambas à la Plancha, tiger shrimp grilled in Heineken with a lemon and butter sauce underneath.

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The strangest dish of the night was probably the Sardinhas, grilled sea-salted sardines. Our server Jerry showed me how to fillet them. I did a really terrible job but I managed to not eat too many bones and found the fish to be quite delicious! Sardines aren’t always everyone’s favourite but Bairrada did a good job infusing flavour and cutting away the fishiness.

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At this point in the meal, I was so full but out came their famous Frango no Churrasco, the BBQ chicken! It was moist and tender. The potatoes were perfectly salted and I enjoyed the pieces of pickled cauliflower I found on my plate.

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That was followed by Bife à Casa, an aged house steak with a fried egg and chip fries. Apparently this was 1/4 of the portion you get normally! What the hell! It was like a meal in itself. The gravy was to die for and the chips I just couldn’t stop eating (until they were gone).

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Before dessert, the owners came out and treated us to some Rainha Santa port wine. It had a lovely sweetness that reminded me of Japanese plum wine.

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The best part of the meal was saved for last. For dessert we were served Nata Do Ceu. It was a heavenly mix of whipped vanilla cream, cookie crumble, egg, cinnamon and magic. It was like eating a cloud. I would come back for this dessert alone!

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We were also given a parting gift of a custard tart.

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I had a lovely time last night at Bairrada with the other bloggers and the Zomato team! The restaurant is a walking distance away from my apartment so I will definitely be back soon.

This meal was courtesy of Bairrada. 

 

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Anniversary Dinner at R&D

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For our anniversary dinner, we visited R&D, a restaurant opened by Masterchef winner Eric Chong and judge Alvin Leung. It took over the location of the former pizza joint, Strada 241. The restaurant does a twist of traditional Asian mixed with Canadian dishes in a tapas style.

DSCF2371The Chili Crab Bibimbap ($18) was delicious and spiced by the kimchi. Our waiter mixed all the ingredients together for us (after I took this photo).

DSCF2368This Red Star Punch ($12) was sweet and refreshing. It contained oolong infused gin, hawthorn, mandarin, lemon and Shanghai rhubarb bitters.

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These spicey sichuan lamb Little Dragon Buns ($6) were perfectly cooked with flavourful soup inside each dumpling.
DSCF2373The sichuan hollandaise on these scallops and chinese greens ($23) was to die for. This was probably my favourite out of all the dishes. We wanted to lick the plate.

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Shrimp Toast ($12) was a flavourful bite of prawn, black truffle, cauliflower, preserved duck egg and english mustard.

DSCF2374Lastly, the Octopus ($14) was deliciously chargrilled and served with octopus crisps, a vegetable chimichuri and pureed eggplant that tasted exactly like the traditional eggplant and beef hot bowls you can order at Chinese restaurants. It was interesting that it was used as a sauce in this context.

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Obviously we couldn’t resist dessert. Plus it’s a celebration. I ordered the Crispy smoked milk ($8), which came with marshmallows and a lemon ricotta icecream that was to die for. The fried milk was sweet with a surprise of smoke, a flavour which the ricotta and marshmallows nicely cleansed.

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Nash ordered the Banana Split ($8) which was no regular banana split. The fruit was fried and served with 3 delicious icecreams: raspberry, peanut butter and malt. I couldn’t decide which dessert was better.

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We both enjoyed our dinner at R&D a lot and can’t wait until our next food adventure together.

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Terre Bleu Lavender Farm

IMG_0045Yesterday, my parents and I visited Terre Bleu Lavender farm near Milton. Unfortunately, a cold winter and late frost in May has stunted their growth so they weren’t as long and purple as they could have been.

IMG_0023What did grow was still a beautiful purple and spelt wonderful and relaxing. I took a tour of the facility and learnt a great deal about the healing properties of lavender.

IMG_9975The place has only been open to public for the past 2 years. A beautiful wooden shop acts as the main entrance.

IMG_9978There were a few different types of lavender for different uses, cooking, oil production etc. It takes many rows of lavender in order to create a few millilitres of oil, which explains why pure oil is so expensive!

IMG_0107They also had their own bee hives, which were seeing a decrease in bees due to spraying of pesticides. Terre bleu produces it’s own pure lavender honey.

DSCF2244After the tour ended, we had some lavender ice cream from the shop. It was delicious!

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IMG_0015Teddy loved the smell of the fields.

Here are some more random photos and selfies.

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Eating my WayHome

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Who needs a food truck festival when music festivals have just as many? WayHome festival last weekend was no exception. I ate my fill of street food. In addition, Drake Hotel also had an area set up with different vendors in the VIP section with all sorts of different items. I ate my fill of things just from this section alone.

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First were these fried fish and shrimp with tartar sauce. They were generously seasoned.

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I refreshed myself with a raspberry icecream sandwich. It was like a smoothie in between two cookies.

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This shrimp salad was a refreshing snack. I also had a watermelon feta salad that was lovely (but I wolfed it down before I took a photo of it).

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Lastly they had fresh raw oyster with various dipping sauces. On the final day they had 3 for the price of the previous days so I sort of went crazy and had 12. I had never tried raw oysters before but they went down so well with their sauces (named after headlining bands of the day). Sam Smith was a sweet pomegranate sauce.

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The Vitamin Water sponsored section had “clouds” that you could taste in many different flavours.

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Afterwards, you were rewarded with some Vitamin Water icecream which was a bit odd.

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I love Buster’s Sea Cove’s  truck and I always get something every time I see it. I opted for their lobster roll which had generous chunks of lobster.

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I also couldn’t resist their keylime pie in an adorable jar!

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Hank Daddy’s BBQ served up this beautiful pulled pork parfait. Don’t worry there wasn’t any ice cream in it, just mashed potatoes, BBQ sauce, pulled pork and beans!

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Umami Bites filled my belly with these Pork Belly Wonton Tacos.

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Lastly, I had these delicious ribs from a place I can’t seem to remember the name to, which is sad because I’d love to eat these ribs again in their brick and mortar restaurant which they mentioned was on the Danforth! If you happen to know, you’d make me the happiest person.

Update: I found out through the app that it was Uncle Smoke BBQ who bring St. Louis style BBQ to their delicious meat.

I realized that I forgot to post the food of Field Trip and Bestival this year so those will be coming soon in a round-up post. Eat with you again soon!

Happy Kitchen: Cake Edition

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I bought another one of those weird Japanese candy kit things! This time I made a miniature cake.

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Inside there were a bunch of coloured powders and candy to decorate the cake with.

Watch me make it here:

So I ended up with this…..

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Does it look exactly like the one on the box? To be fair, it is all the same once it is eaten. It did indeed taste like cake and icing.