Yay! Thank you so much. You are very sweet :) And thank you for brightening my day!
Preparing for a trip to the City of Lights in 5 days. This means trying all sort of Parisian delights in Toronto so I can compare them to the real deal. In the last few weeks I’ve consumed an obscene amount of croissants, macarons, pain au chocolat, truffles, and oh, more macarons. Now I think I’m finally ready to move on and obsess about other things such as how to dress fashion-forward yet comfortable, heels or no heels, backpack or fancy satchel, and trying to pack everything in only a carry-on luggage. These are only a few on my to-do list. Everything is still in my head and haven’t made it to the “Action” phase. Hmmm…maybe I need to add that to my list.
In the picture: Giant pistachio macaron stuffed with fresh raspberries and pistachio paste and a selection of truffles from Thobor’s Boulangerie Patisserie (627 Mt. Pleasant Rd., Toronto). They were all mighty delicious!
Give me something deep-fried, slather with thick sauce, balance out with something healthy and all is good in the world (Yeuh Tung Chinese Restaurant, 126 Elizabeth St., Toronto). This kinda sums up how I want my food at every single meal. Gross, right? But this is why I had the side order of greens.
Filipino chicken noodle soup best on a rainy day. When it’s cold and dreary outside and the ground is wet from the rain, it never fails to make me feel all melancholy and sentimental. One of my outlets is trying to recreate childhood foods exactly how I remember eating them way back when. This soup (called Sotanghon soup in Filipino) was particularly hard to recreate as it’s tied to a particular painful memory.
A long, long time ago in the Philippines (I must’ve been 6 years old), our nanny took my brother and I to the wet market for her usual market run. We were walking along when we passed by a store with a crate of newly hatched chicks. They were the cutest, yellowest little things I had ever seen. So, we brought two of them home, named them, played with them, loved them and watched them grow into proud chickens. It was at this stage that someone in our household decided they would be delicious in a meal.
(Warning, what you’re about to read next is kind of grotesque.)
I guess I didn’t put up too much of a fight. I stayed outside, out of curiosity, to watch our nanny clumsily chop the head off the chicken, then it ran quietly but furiously all over the backyard squirting blood from its neck until it keeled over (I remember thinking that if it still had its head on, it probably would’ve screamed). It was at this stage that I finally understood what just happened. Our beloved chicken is gone.
Later on that evening, we sat around the dinner table with a beautiful bowl of Sotanghon soup. I watched everyone as they ate, chatted and laughed as if the chicken they were eating was just any other chicken. Perplexed and hungry, I put a piece in my mouth, chewed it with a heavy heart and swallowed. It was like a lump of charcoal in my throat, with feathers and its sharp talons trying to scratch its way back out. As it reached my stomach, I felt it running around like it did in our backyard. Then there was quiet.
I don’t remember if I took another bite after that. Thinking about this now, I’m pretty sure that Sotanghon soup was just as good as any other. But I find it amazing how it all played out in my head at 6 years old and how I still remember every detail some 3 decades later. Thank goodness that experience didn’t scar me for life. Or did it?
All shades of brown
defiant and purposeful
unafraid of what is still to come
yet welcoming in its demeanor
like a life well lived.
Irresistible pad thai on my way to the market (Sukhothai, 52 Wellington St. E., Toronto). I had planned an entire shopping trip at St. Lawrence Market and a lunch stop at Buster’s Sea Cove for some fish and chips. Eager to sample all the delicious food waiting for me, I hopped on the subway, sat next to a man who desperately needed a bath, and got off at Union Station. I started on my short walk when I suddenly passed by a nondescript restaurant sign that I recognized, Sukhothai. At first, I walked pass it deciding I had all this pent up excitement for St. Lawrence Market and that I should stick to the original plan. I took no more than 5 steps when I did a U-wee (how do you even spell this word??!) and thought, “I might never pass here again!” Seriously dumb to me now that I think about it…I live in the city and pass by this every single time I go to the market!
So as I walked in the restaurant, it was nothing that I expected. It felt cavernous and was so far from feeling like a little bit of Thailand. Nevertheless, I sat down by the window and ordered the special Sukhothai pad thai. It was piping hot when it came to my table and could smell a pungent, sour-sweet aroma. Right away I knew it was going to be perfect. I took a few pictures and ate it as I watched people pass by, maybe on their way to the market.
In a few months, this view will no longer exist. Thanks to the condo that is getting built. I am very sad.
All I can think of is “BAM!” (Rock Lobster Food Co., 110 Ossington Ave., Toronto). Isn’t this the perfect Ceasar? And the perfect Friday night after-work, melt-all-your-day’s-absolutely-horrid problems away? The world became a better place after this.
Food this good should be a crime (Hawker Bar, 164 Ossington Ave., Toronto). Hmmm…where to start? The chicken wings in a sweet chili soy sauce? The smooth and creamy coconut curry soup? Or the noodles with chicken and tiger prawns with a spicy curry sauce? Everything was drive-me-crazy, out-of-this-world delicious but the real standout were the chicken wings. Tangy, sticky sweet and salty, all perfectly balanced, crispy, not too greasy but tender and juicy inside. It was a fine mess. The last time I had chicken wings this good was at Pok Pok’s in Portland, OR. Needless to say, I’m a very happy camper now that I don’t have to go all the way to the West Coast for chicken wings.