Sunday, 22 February 2015

Chinese New Year dinner 2015

Hello my Lovelies, last Thursday was Chinese New Year, 2015 Edition. I had a great home-cooked meal  on Saturday with my fiancé's lovely family. I wanted to share my photos with you! Enjoy!

(Disclaimer: My fiancé's mom cooked everything. I only helped out with wrapping the spring rolls. I take no credit for these delicious dishes.)

Keep in touch with me by finding me on Instagram (@Simply.Gluttonous) and Twitter (@SGluttonous). Thanks a bunches my Lovelies!

Until next time,


Pre-dinner Snacks
The red bean flavoured Kit Kat is surprisingly good. It's now my favourite Kit Kat variety!

Fried Garlic Shrimp
Crispy fried shrimp topped with tons of fragrant fried garlic pieces.

Roast Pork 
This is one of my favourite things on the face of earth. Sweet fatty pork belly with a super crispy skin... Need I say more?

Homemade Pork & Shrimp Spring Rolls
I helped out with wrapping these spring rolls! I imagined I was making mini burritos and I wrapped them nice and tight. The fillings consists of carrot, cabbage, vermicelli, pork and shrimp. These homemade spring rolls were so addictive, much better than their restaurant counterparts (except at Pai, I love Pai's spring rolls).

White Chopped Chicken
I don't know how, but the meat is never dry, always moist and juicy. 

Chinese Broccoli

Seafood pot
Tofu, smoked Chinese ham, abalone, scallop... and more.

Tong Yuan (Chinese glutinous rice balls)
Glutinous rice wrapped around black sesame filling, cooked in a sweet ginger broth.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Desmond & Beatrice

Hello my lovelies, it's almost Valentine's Day. If you happen to find yourself in need of some Valentine's Day dining suggestions, please check out my recommendations! And please find me on Twitter (@SGluttonous) and Instagram (@simply.gluttonous). I would love to connect! Thanks a bunches love! :)

Desmond & Beatrice is on my Valentine's Day recommendation list this year. Located in Riverdale, Desmond & Beatrice serves up quality baked goodies such as cupcakes and cookies. The interior is bright, with a simple, clean and modern decor.

Desmond & Beatrice interior

They don't just sell cookies. They sell decked out butt kicking cookies. My favourite is their Cookie and Cream cookie, filled with chunks of white and dark chocolate and Orea pieces. Isn't this pure genius? I also tried their chocolate chip cookie and peanut butter pretzel chocolate cookie, both are solid.

Left to right: chocolate chip, ginger, peanut butter pretzel chocolate, cowboy, cookie and cream, brownie

I love their raspberry cupcake, which is bursting with real fruit flavours. I'd love to try more!


The baked goodies are innovative and bold in flavour, not to mention great in quality. Come here and satisfy that sweet tooth!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! :)

Until next time,


Desmond & Beatrice: Bakeshop and Cupcakery on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Valentine's Day Recommendations

Valentine's Day is coming up and I'm dishing out my recommendations on restaurants and places that satisfies the sweet tooth. 

Splurge with a nice dinner:


Nestled in the Entertainment District of Toronto, Byblos serves up Eastern Mediterranean influenced sharing plates & cocktails, with a chic and contemporary spin. Interesting flavours combined with beautiful presentation, what's not to love?


Jabistro is hands down my favourite Japanese restaurant in Toronto. The review I wrote on Jabistro last year reads like a love letter. Jabistro serves up fresh sashimi, sushi and innovative small plates, with attentive service and an emphasis on great presentation.

Ciao Wine Bar

Ciao Wine Bar is located in Yorkville, and it's one of my go-to restaurants for Italian fares. The portion size is generous and the food is always tasty. I like to start with their Italian mojito or a glass of wine. Food favourites include grilled whole calamari, bruschetta and pizza. I'm always too full to order dessert here, so if you do get dessert, let me know how they are.

Pick up something sweet for your sweetheart:


BiteBar serves up bite-size delectables such as cupcakes and macarons. Look at the dozen miniature cupcakes I picked up. They are not only adorable, they are incredibly yummy, not to mention pretty novel. A dozen of these definitely beats a box of chocolate in my book.

Desmond & Beatrice

Desmond & Beatrice serve up high quality sweets such as cupcakes and cookies. My favourite here include their raspberry cupcake and cookie n' cream cookie. I know, a cookie n' cream flavoured cookie, crazy... or genius?

Just a quick note, do not buy these cupcakes the day before and store them in the fridge! They frosting with harden and the cupcake will dry out. I would recommend gifting them on the same day.

Lindt Boutique

Lindt is a well-known chocolate brand, and it's sold in almost every grocery store. They also have boutique stores. I like their boutique store in the Financial District, as they offer a large variety of chocolate products and offer a pretty great hot chocolate. For Valentine's Day, they are selling hand crafted chocolate covered strawberries, in addition to a varieties of boxed chocolates.

Anyway, that's all from me! I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day with your sweetie!

Find me on Twitter (@SGluttonous) and Instagram (@simply.gluttonous)! Thanks a bunches my lovelies. Speak to y'all soon.


Sunday, 18 January 2015


First post in 2015! I bring you Byblos (@ByblosToronto), an restaurant I visited in 2014 and really enjoyed. Byblos is brought to us by Charles Khabouth and Hanif Harji of Weslodge and Patria, with Stuart Cameron (@chef_stucameron) as the executive chef. Nestled in the Entertainment district of Toronto, Byblos serves up Eastern Mediterranean influenced cuisine & cocktails, with a chic and contemporary spin. 

Byblos interior

Byblos has an inventive cocktail menu, with genuinely unique and well-crafted cocktails. I had the Gulab, consisting of rose-infused vodka, pomegranate reduction, fresh citrus and cardamom. The cardamom flavour really stood out and the rose flavour was subtle. My friends had the Outlander and Ten Suns. The presentation of these cocktails are gorgeous, aren't they?

rose-infused smirnoff vodka, house pomegranate reduction, fresh lemon, cardamom

Bombay Sapphire, tamarind syrup, fresh lemon, lavender bitters

The Ten Suns
green tea-infused vodka, lemongrass/ginger/honey syrup, yuzu juice, cardamom

Byblos offers up small sharing plates. I have become increasingly fond of tapas style dining, sharing lots of small plates with a group of friends and trying a little bit, or a lot of, everything. It makes the meal more intimate and dynamic, not to mention it opens people to try things that they normally would not. We ordered 10 dishes and shared them. We started with their Organic House Labneh, a thick yogurt topped with honey and olive oil, served with hot Barbari bread, garnished with cayenne and fennel. This dish was simple, yet satisfying. The Barbari bread was grilled prior to serving, arriving at our table piping hot, slightly charred and fragrant. 

Organic House Labneh
fennel, honey, olive oil, Barbari bread

We tried their Crispy Eggplant next, consisted of fried eggplant pieces covered in Tahini aioli and Bayildi sauce. It comes with basturma, a type of cured beef, which we got on the side because I don't eat beef. These were crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside, with a hint of coolness from the Tahini and a hint of spices from the Bayildi sauce. This dish might draw its influence from Imam Bayildi, a Turkish dish consisting of braised stuffed eggplants. It's certainly a beautiful interpretation of the tradition dish.

Crispy Eggplant
Tahini aioli, Bayildi sauce, basturma

basturma on the side...

You'd be surprised that 9 out of 10 dishes we ordered were vegetarian, because of various dietary restrictions and preferences at the table. However, we had an amazing dining experience, I assure you! The only non-vegetarian dish we ordered was their Spanish Octopus, consisting of grilled octopus served atop Turkish salad and garnished with pomegranate.

Spanish Octopus
Turkish spoon salad, pomegranate

Their Fig Salad was well received at the table. The salad was made up of slivers of ripe sweet fig, greens, pistachios for crunch and Ackawi cheese for richness. I don't typically eat cheese, but I managed to try a few bites without the cheese crumbles and it was quite good. This dish, surprisingly, reminded me of my childhood in China, picking ripe figs straight off the tree and stuffing my face with them. 

Fig Salad
orange blossom honey vinegar, Ackawi cheese, kholrabi, pistachio

We had some more Barbari bread with a piping hot tomato based sauce, drizzled with yogurt. The sauce was savoury, sweet and lightly spiced. I don't recall the name of this dish, but it was polished up by my table within a matter of minutes.

Barbari bread & tomato sauce

I have to confess, I have never been to a Turkish restaurant, mainly because I don't know of any located in Toronto. Seeing Turkish Manti Dumplings on the menu, I had to order it. It was filled with smokey eggplant and topped with a sweet yogurt sauce. I quite enjoyed the dumplings themselves, but I found the sauce to be too creamy and sweet for my liking. 

Turkish Manti Dumplings
smokey eggplant, yogurt sauce, molasses

Our friendly server recommended their Sweet Jeweled Basmati Rice. It was perhaps the most beautifully presented rice dish I have ever had, and I grew up in China, where rice is a staple and consumed in numerous ways. The rice gets its colour and fragrance from the saffron and it's laced with berries, pomegranates and nuts. I found this rice dish to be more on the sweet side than the savoury side, which should not come as a surprise given the fact that the word 'sweet' is in its name. I think next time I would try their more savoury rice dishes because I think it would pair better with the other small plates we ordered.

Sweet Jeweled Basmati Rice
carrot, saffron, barberries, almonds

Byblos The last couple of small plates we ordered were the Seared Cauliflower and Roasted Carrots. Both dishes had a similar preparation, consisting of caramelized vegetable covered in a creamy dressing. This was quite good, even though it consisted of few ingredients. This goes to show that food doesn't need to be complicated to be delicious. If I can eat dishes like this everyday, I might turn into a vegetarian.

Seared Cauliflower
duck fat, Tahini sauce, sesame, coriander

Roasted Carrots
Halloumi, Tahini, yogurt

We ended our meal with their dessert item of the day, a fried dumpling covered in strawberry sauce. I'm not a fan of fried desserts and wished that they had a little bit more variety in their dessert selection that day.


Overall, we had a delicious meal that was beautifully presented, and I have to say I'm quite happy with it. However, I did find this restaurant to be on the pricier side, so maybe it would be more of a 'special-occasion-restaurant' for me. 

Please let me know what you think about Byblos! Find me on Twitter (@SGluttonous) and Instagram (@simply.gluttonous)! Thanks a bunches my lovelies. Speak to y'all soon. 

Until next time,


Byblos on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 11 January 2015

January 2015 - Update

Happy New Year my lovelies! Apologies for being away for so long, I just haven't had the time/motivation to sit my butt down and write a post. I will try harder in the new year to blog regularly.

I have quite a few tasty restaurant reviews lined up:
- Byblos (Eastern Mediterranean)
- Dailao (Asian fares)
- Milagros (Mexican)
- Trattoria Nervosa (Italian)

Also, I will write a blog post to give you my Valentine's Day restaurant suggestions.

In the meantime, you can find me on Twitter (@SGluttonous) and Instagram (@Simply.Gluttonous). I Instagram almost daily! Also, subscribe by email to never miss a post. ;)

Hope you have been well. Can't wait to get back to blogging!

Speak to you soon,


Sunday, 21 December 2014

St. Andrew Poultry

I was invited to St. Andrew Poultry for a foodie tasting and I'm excited to share my experience with you, starting with that photo of the golden fried chicken above.

This meal was complimentary, but the opinions are my own.

Let's start with a brief introduction, shall we? To those who are familiar with Kensington Market, they would know St. Andrew Poultry (@standrewpoultry) as a butcher shop, and a Kensington Market institution that's been in business since 1962. In 2012, Dr. Jerry Jesin, purchased the shop from his father. The shop has gotten a top to bottom renovation this past summer and it has become a gourmet food store and a foodie bar in addition to a butcher shop. The chef behind the food, Chef Bernadette Calpito (@ChefCalpito), is also no stranger to the Toronto food scene, having been the executive chef at King East's Kultura. 

St. Andrew's Poultry now has a foodie bar, a prepared food section, a bakery section, a butchery and a grocery shelf. The foodie bar serves up hot prepared food such as BBQ chicken, pork ribs, an interesting take on the traditional shawarma, and my favourite, the fried chicken. The prepared food section has offerings such as salads and home made dressings, packed in cute glass mason jars, as well as marinated, ready-to-bake offerings like cornish game hens. The bakery has house-made baked goods like cookies and tarts and the grocery shelf is in the back is stocked with items such as grains (they have my favourite brand of organic quinoa) and oils. You can get everything you need to prepare a gourmet three-course dinner all in one place.

St. Andrew Poultry's offerings
clockwise: shawarma station, prepared foods, butcher section, marinated ready-to-bake offerings

Now onto the delicious food I got to try. Chef B started our evening with items from their catering menu, a cold sandwich with grilled chicken and avocado and a hot sandwich with baked chicken that you'd swear tasted like fried chicken. If you know me, you know that I have an obsession with sandwiches, probably stemming from my love for bread. The cold sandwich made with seasoned grilled chicken, coleslaw and avocado on French baguette, was thoroughly enjoyable. It definitely hit the spot and it was nothing like the typical catering fares like sliced deli sandwiches. It was so good, I ate two sandwiches, which really was a disservice to myself, as I was too full to eat other items later. But good food is good food, and it's meant to be eaten, with gluttony. 

Next up, Chef B brought out these beautiful canapés. I didn't try them personally because it had cheddar cheese in it and I don't typically eat strong cheeses, nor do I eat very much dairy in general. The canapé was beautifully presented and it was well received by the other foodies.

The highlight of the evening was Chef B's amazing fried chicken. It was... I guess everything you wanted fried chicken to be? Looking at the photo below, you are probably imagining crunching into a piece of this fried chicken, the perfectly seasoned and crunchy exterior and the incredibly juicy interior... Your imagination would not be far off. They were as good as you had imagined. 

We weren't allowed to leave without having tried their signature shawarma, chicken or lamb, served with all the trimmings and topped with their vanilla bourbon fries. Yes, vanilla bourbon. You'd think the vanilla would add a strange flavour to these fries, but these were savoury and interesting. I can't say that I'm a shawarma connoisseur, nor can I even say I have had shawarma more than 5 times in my life, but I thought this shawarma tasty and interestng.

Do you love my selfie with Chef B? ;)

Lastly, I wanted to thank the awesome folks at St. Andrew Poultry for treating us to a wonderful evening and sharing their story. 

If you are in Kensington Market, definitely come and check them out, have a piece of fried chicken and some vanilla bourbon fries!

Keep up with my foodie adventure by following me on Twitter (@SGluttonous) and Instagram (@Simply.Gluttonous). Follow by email to never miss a post! Thanks a bunches.

Until next time,


*This meal was complimentary. All information provided in this blog is for entertainment purposes only and they are my own opinion. *

St. Andrew Poultry on Urbanspoon
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