#food, boyfriend, yyc

We did it! It’s been a year!

I’m not a relationship person and I am 100% being honest. I’ve been in a few relationships in the past; a couple sort-of-serious, most of them… not so much. Which was fine. I grew to be independent and someone who knew how to be happy on her own. When I wasn’t single, that’s when I learned all the terrible traits about me when I’m in a relationship. Sometimes I am jealous, sometimes I am clingy, sometimes I am just too much. It never ended well – for me.

Much to my surprise, the person who I wasn’t even looking for was so close and I was just waiting for my chance to be swept off my feet. It is so cheesy, but it is so true. My person made me realize that I didn’t need to be jealous, it’s okay to be clingy and that I am never too much. It’s been a hard journey to get to our year, and things may not always be good, and we are still working on it everyday, but I am still so proud of us.

So as this is the first anniversary I’ve ever celebrated in life, ever, I was really excited to reach this milestone. I told Shahn I wanted to do something nice and he did not disappoint… He planned out a perfect date day and I was so impressed.

IMG_6521To start off, I had no idea what was going on the entire day. I got dressed and brought a pair of just-in-case booties if I needed to dress up. We were driving for awhile so I figured we were going out of Calgary. My guess was Banff, but instead we took an exit to Canmore… Turns out Shahn booked us a helicopter tour! Although it was short and sweet, I really enjoyed the thrill of being up there and seeing another perspective of mountains that is so familiar to people who live in our city. That day, I didn’t mind the butterflies so much.

After taking our photos, we headed back to Calgary for dinner. Of course, I wasn’t counting on everything to be planned so I still had to pick where. I’ve always wanted to try Brasserie Kensington for dinner and it turned out to be perfect as it was near our night-time activity.

IMG_6529

The food there was amazing! I asked for a few suggestions from our server and he was more than helpful, we got Chicken Skin as an appetizer and I went off! It reminded me of Filipino street food, perfectly crispy and so bad for you. For my main, I ended up trying the Bromme Lake Duck Breast. The serving looked quite small, but it was actually very filling. Shahn had the Beef Brisket Burger – also amazing. He mentioned it was on his top five (burgers) and I had no doubts when I tried it. I would also recommend the parm fries, but that’s a biased opinion since I love anything with truffle in it. For dessert, we got their feature which was a Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownie. It was great but I found it super rich and it was hard for us to finish one serving of it.

After dinner, his last surprise was Paint Night! It was something we’ve always wanted to go to but never had the chance. Finally, we got to show each other our skills or lack thereof in my part. I could see how it gets pretty frustrating but it was also really fun! Shahn’s was really good and in the end we decided to exchange paintings as a remembrance of our one year.

IMG_6544

An unexpected day turned out to be a perfect date day, and I was also so happy that Shahn finally planned something! Our date was a great celebration of our growth as a couple, and I look really forward to our future and many more adventures together!

KD

boyfriend, Food, yyc

My Sushi Place: Sushi Toki

Everyone has their go-to sushi place and I finally got to visit mine after a long hiatus! I haven’t been here since I left for my exchange more than a year ago, and walking in to familiar faces who greeted me with smiles and long-time-no-see’s was awesome!

IMG_6295Sushi Toki is a family owned business tucked away in a little street mall on Memorial Drive. It’s a little spot that serves fresh sushi and their rolls are amazing! There are so many great menu items at Toki and I always have so much trouble giving in to my hungry eyes. I want to get everything. 

During this visit, the boyfriend and I opted for the Beef Tataki as our appetizer. I love their Tataki here because it’s so full of flavor and texture. If you aren’t a fan of just lightly seared beef, there are other appies that are just as great too… I’m also a big fan of their Calamari Salad and Takoyaki to list a couple.

After we finished our appetizer, we were served the most appetizing looking plate of rolls. We chose three different rolls: Lion Roll, Spider Roll and Body Roll. I also had to get my favorite, which for some reason only Sushi Toki seem to do so well, my double seared Salmon Sashimi with spicy mayo. Shahn likes to make fun of me for my requests, but I swear, double seared really does make a difference. Trust.

IMG_6294

The Lion Roll is both of our favorites. It has creme cheese and crab meat topped with seared salmon and tempura crumbs. Their Spider Roll is also amazing, I already love soft shelled crab in the first place, but they topped this off with avocado, mayo and unagi sauce. It’s so creamy and delicious. Lastly. the Body Roll isn’t something I usually get but and I would describe it as a Dynamite Roll and California Roll combined. A little plain for me but it was good anyways!

Sadly, we didn’t have any room for dessert but I would suggest their Deep Fried Banana with Ice Cream! Sushi Toki still remains my #1 sushi spot in Calgary and not a lot of places have come close. The service and food makes this place a great place overall. I’m forever grateful that I came across their Instagram page once upon a time and that their photos matched the food they served in real life!

KD

Food, yyc

Big Tastin’ on Stephen Ave

For my second and final reservation for Calgary’s Big Taste Festival, my friends and I headed down to Cucina Market Bistro located on Stephen Ave. Our first impression was that the atmosphere was really nice, and we also loved their open kitchen concept. The service wasn’t overly impressive, but it was nice of them to accommodate us when we were a bit late for our reservation. Now to get down on the yummy details!

Course 1: As per usual, we made sure we got each of the menu items that were offered. For appetizers, we had a choice of Chorizo Arancini or Butternut Squash Bisque. I personally love arancini (deep fried risotto balls), and Cucina’s was not a disappointment. The arancini was really simple and did not have too much flavor, but the aioli and parmesan definitely made up for it! The bisque was also tasty, but I couldn’t taste much of the squash. It just tasted like coconut curry – which I personally loved because it reminded me of Malaysia.

Course 2: For the main course, there was a choice of Chicken Pesto Penne and Braised Pork Belly. First off, the serving size was a lot bigger than Model Milk’s. BUT, I also could not find it on their regular menu which leads me to believe these were just dishes made for Big Taste (thoughts?!). The Penne was flavorful and really creamy – we concluded it would be something we could have again if we were craving a creamy penne. I chose the Braised Pork Belly, but it’s probably something I wouldn’t order again. The pork belly was cooked really well, the skin was crispy while the meat was tender. It was also plated with polenta with mushrooms and tomato ragu. Everything on the plate went really well together, except the taste closely reminded me of a Filipino dish called Menudo!

Course 3: Finally, for the best part of any meal, the dessert! This time we had a choice of Moelleux au Chocolat and Tiramisu. I had the Chocolat which was also gluten free, the manager ran our desserts and noted I should have a bite of the cake, creme fraiche and raspberry coulis together. I did, and it was delicious! Usually, I’m not a fan of raspberry coulis on my cakes because a lot of places overdo it and it takes away from the cake. But for this, it was such a perfect balance. The Tiramisu is also a recipe from the owners great grandmother! I was too focused on my dessert to have a few more bites of Tiramisu, but it was great!

Overall, I came in with no expectations for Cucina and it turned out to be really enjoyable. The proportions were really reasonable for Big Taste, as well as how much it would normally cost on their menu. The food was tasty, and I would definitely want to come back to try other items on their regular menu as well!

KD

boyfriend, Food, yyc

My Favorite Time of the Year

…. the Big Taste!

For Calgary’s biggest foodie festival this year, the boyfriend and I decided to go to Model Milk. The last time I went to Model Milk was years ago for a friend’s birthday, and while I don’t remember much about the food, I do remember that it was a little too expensive for my then 18-years-old self. Which is probably the reason I haven’t gone back since, ha! But what’s a better excuse to visit fancy restaurants that you probably won’t go to other than the Big Taste?! I love this event cause if you have time and don’t want to spend too much for a 3 course meal (like me), then it’s perfect!

This was the 3-course meal that was offered at Model Milk for $35/person. We both got different items when we could to make sure we could try as much as we can.

His: Calamari, Braised Wagyu Beef Cheek and Model Milk Cream Puff

I had a few bites of both the Calamari and the Wagyu Beef Cheek, and they were delicious. The Calamari was a little spicy and even had edamame and croutons which gave it a lot of texture as well. The Wagyu Beef Cheek was probably my favorite and I kept asking Shahn to give me bites of his food, hehe. It was so tender that it quite literally melted in my mouth. The only downside is that the portion was a little small.

Mine: Wagyu Beef Tartare, Model Milk Fried Chicken and Model Milk Cream Puff

Sadly, my meal was not as impressive as his. I really loved the simple taste of the Beef Tartare – it was so soft and melted in mouth, but almost felt like I was eating raw meat (haha!)… It was good nonetheless and I have no complaints. My disappointment was towards my main dish. I got the Fried Chicken and other than being cooked to perfection, it was nothing special. I got one big piece of drumstick and the breading had a strong vinegary taste. It was also insane to me it was regularly $58 for a sharing plate! Totally not worth it, in my opinion.

For Dessert, they only offered one menu item which was the Model Milk Cream Puff. We were both really impressed and enjoyed every bite. It had white chocolate and hazelnuts, the perfect dessert combination!

Other than the Fried Chicken, I enjoyed our dinner at Model Milk but I’m not sure if I could justify coming back again. Sadly, the Big Taste is only on for a week but I do get to try another restaurant on the weekend with my girlfriend’s so I’m v excited for that!

 KD

Food, friends, yyc

Galentines Day

img_5557 Every year on Valentines Day, without fail, single or taken, a couple friends and I have always seen or done something together… This year for our tradition, Rox and I decided to grab some brunch! After driving up to a closed Monki, we decided on checking out Over Easy Breakfast‘s new location in downtown which was super new and modern. They had plenty of seats and lots of cool decor.

They have a huge menu and after navigating through, I decided on the Canadian Lobster & Shrimp Crepe. Rox had the Water Fowl Benny and we shared the Sweet Dreams Are Made of These stuffed French Toast.


MAINS: As good as the Canadian Lobster & Shrimp Crepe was, it was something I quickly I got sick of. I think the taste was just a little too overpowering for me, but I did add bacon (server’s suggestion) which balanced the taste a bit. Rox let me try her Water Fowl benny with peking duck, mushrooms and truffle. It was actually so yummy and something I’d definitely recommend to a benny lover or an OEB first timer. I would probably get it next time I go, honestly. It was good.

DESSERT: We also got a dish to share/ dessert which was the Sweet Dreams Are Made of These. It was a French Toast stuffed with cheesecake (!!!). It had a Baileys creme that had a lemony taste. If you know me, you know how much I love and worship cheesecake which was probably why I loved this dish. The combination of the creme, cheesecake and French toast was perfect and I’m drooling thinking about having it again.

After brunch, we spent a couple hours running errands and dropping off little V-Day gifts to our girls who couldn’t make it. Honestly, I don’t know why I stopped going to OEB for brunch, but I’m actually dying to go back for their french toast! 10/10 would recommend.

KD

boyfriend, Food, yyc

As Seen On Worth It

My boyfriend has this ongoing joke (with himself) that I only ever want to eat “downtown food” when picking out restaurants for us to go to. Which is so not true – err, at least much as I deny it. But to only further prove his point, he’s been wanting to take me to this pizza place he went to where he says the pizza is good, cheap, and you can get whatever you want on it.

We never went.

Until I saw said pizza place on BuzzFeed’s Youtube Series called Worth It. I’m obsessed. I’m also convinced that I am the perfect person to host the series and should be hired effective immediately. On their $5 Pizza Vs. $135 Pizza Episode, Blaze Pizza was featured as their lowest priced point restaurant – so of course I wanted to try it now (ha).

So on a random Saturday night, the boyfriend finally got to choose where to take me for dinner. Since Worth It is filmed in the States, the prices were around $7 more than the prices seen on the show (+ exchange rates, lame) – but it was still fairly cheap. I believe a custom pizza only cost around CAD $13 and you can get whatever you want on it!

I ended up getting one of their Signature Pizza’s called White Top. It had white cream sauce with mozzarella, applewood bacon, chopped garlic, oregano, and arugula. I also added ham and mushrooms on it as well.

It’s a thin crust pizza and what’s awesome is that they cook it in a fire oven. I didn’t realize that you could get more sauce on top, otherwise I would have gotten a drizzle of olive oil over it. Mine was a little on the dry side, but I also like my pizza really saucy.

img_5495

The boyfriend got a white cream sauce, mozzarella, goat cheese, olives, extra extra mushroom, onions, spinach, and chicken pizza with a drizzle of olive oil. The olives in his pizza really made it tasty.

Overall, Blaze Pizza was indeed Worth It! The price was super cheap for what you get and I didn’t even finish mine to be honest. I’m not so desperate to go back, but if you are around the area and want something cheap – it is definitely a place to keep in mind.

KD

Food, friends, yyc

Birthday (extra)vaganza

For this weekend’s activities, my friend’s and I celebrated our beloved JK’s birthday! We like to call it a birthday extravaganza with an emphasis on the extra.

We had dinner at 10 Foot Henry after a night out at Bespoke. JK picked the restaurant so for some extra effect, we brought the gigantic “23” balloons to the restaurant as a surprise. We thought it was hilarious, the birthday girl was more so embarrassed but I’m pretty sure she loved it. Before going there, I’ve heard good things about the restaurant but mostly that they had sharing plates and a lot of vegetable dishes. Our server explained that to us when we got there too, so JK and I ended up picking the dishes we wanted to try.

For 4 people, we were recommended 5-6 dishes to share. For vegetable dishes, we picked: (Kale) Caesar Salad, Roasted Carrots, Roasted Potatoes and Gai Lan. We also got the Hanger Steak and the Buccatini for our main dishes.

Just like the reviews said, our favorites were hands down the vegetable dishes. The Caesar Salad was super creamy and cheesy, the carrots – delicious, and the potatoes were perfectly crisp and tasty.

As for the mains, the Hanger Steak came medium rare but was only average in taste. The Bucattini was also good but a little too dry for myself and had a lot of parmesan so it was very salty.

Overall, i really liked 10 Foot Henry and would love to go back there again. We also asked our server on how the restaurant got its name and it turned out to be an interesting story with a long Calgary-related history.

Sadly, at the end of the night we weren’t allowed to bring out the cake we got to surprise the birthday girl. We ended up surprising her with it at home though.

img_5410

The cake was from Yann Haute Pattisserie and it was so good!

KD