Cafe Crepe on Queen St, Toronto was highly recommended to me by my sister and it appears very popular amongst the locals. I love crepes because you can eat them with something sweet or savoury but also because they are like pancakes but ultra thin and light but with a hint of sweetness and buttery flavour.
Other than their specialty crepes, they also serve Breakfast Baguettes which are basically baguettes with egg, tomato, lettuce, basil and bacon with tomato sauce as a side. It’s quite lovely, with the lightness of the egg and overall feels fresh for breakfast that doesn’t bog you down.
The Europa Ham and Egg crepes are on the salty side but light and delightful. I love the thinness of the crepes, just a bit crisp and although the filling isn’t as generous as I would like, I still found it satisfactory.
I love spinach and feta so I had to order the Spinach and Feta cheese crepe, again the crepes are just perfection. Not too floury or buttery and thin enough. The saltiness of the melting feta balances against the fresh spinach. Again, it’s not a heavy breakfast but it does fill you up.
Cafe Crepe isn’t the most generous with their dishes but they are incredibly tasty and that’s why people keep coming back. If you want fantastic crepes, of the savoury or sweet kind, this is the place because they have so many varieties to choose from.
246 Queen St W
Toronto ON M5V2Z5
Shophouse Kitchen in QV, Melbourne is one of the many new Hong Kong restaurants that have been popping up around Melbourne in recent times. What makes Hong Kong cuisine stand apart from either Taiwanese or Chinese dishes is their fusion of Western and Eastern such as eating a pork cutlet with rice or spaghetti but Hong Kong cuisine of course still retains the Chinese influence and has many Chinese dishes without Western influences.
This dish is not one of those distinctly Chinese dishes, instead this dish is called a Baked Chicken Chop on Rice. This dish is basically Fried Rice topped with a cheese and tomato sauce bake with a Crumbed Chicken Chop. You can also order this with a creamy sauce, akin to that of a Alfredo sauce or creamy garlic sauce. You can instantly tell this is Hong Kong style food, and the fusion here actually works well. The Fried Rice flavour is quite muted, which allows the flavour from the tomato sauce and cheese to come through. The generous serving of chicken is crisp and moist which is the centrepiece of the dish. Overall, I liked it but I didn’t love it.
Here we have the Grilled Chicken Chop Rice Set served with blanched bok choy, a fried egg and white rice dressed with soy sauce. I found the grilled chicken here to be overcooked, and over charred which is unfortunate. The lack of sauce also is a disappointment as with dry meat, almost dry veggies and egg lacking in any sauce as well, it makes for a poor dish as a whole with nothing to gel everything together.
The Fried Chicken Chop Fried Rice dish is as the name suggests, Crispy fried chicken with veggies and served with Fried Rice. Again the Fried Rice lacks flavour and here would be a downside to the dish as there is nothing that really defines the fried rice here with steamed white rice. On the plus side, the crispy chicken was moist and yet extra crispy with plenty of seasoning.
On the dessert side of things, I was intrigued by the Signature Durian Tofu Pudding but was sorely disappointed by the end result. You can instantly tell from the first mouthful that the durian here is just flavouring and not real/pureed durian to provide the flavour. The durian extract or flavouring here was used sparingly and it’s almost just a pudding with a hint of durian.
Although the impression you may have here is that the dishes aren’t fantastic, I would say it’s only the Western/fusion style dishes that come up a bit short as they are not either exceptional Western dishes nor are they tasty Chinese dishes. On the other hand, the more Chinese styled dishes such as their BBQ Pork and Fried Wonton (Dry La Mian Noodles) or their Asian Roast on Rice are tasty without question and would actually come back for.
Shop 29, 210 Lonsdale St
Melbourne VIC 03000
Inside QV Square
Mamasita’s popularity never seems to die down. Almost every night, you will find a line forming down the stairs and out into Collins Street, Melbourne. What Mamasita specialise in is Mexican cuisine and catered towards a younger demographic as you will find in the restaurant it feels more like a bar or pub at night. Once you try Mamasita, you’ll understand why people keep coming back for more.
We ordered the Camarones gigantes al ajillo, which is basically their grilled prawns placed on a toasted garlic and green almond sauce with garnish. The prawns here are cooked to perfection, still soft inside and crisp outside, and not too dry. The thickened sauce adds to the complexity of the prawns. Probably my only con for the dish is the prawns size which are to be honest small for the price you pay ($28) and you only receive 5 or 6 prawns which seems more like an entree than a “Comida para la familia” (Larger sharing plates)
The Pancita de cerdo ($25) was probably my favourite of the night. Basically it’s Guajillo braised pork belly with habanero cream, fried parsley & dressed with lime juice. The pork belly was amazing, succulent and tender. How it should be. Complementing the dish with the preserved onions, sauce and slightly crunchy parsley it certainly is a delight to eat. I’d also say this was much more satisfying than the prawns.
You can’t go to a Mexican restaurant and not order either a taco or quesadilla. Here is their “de Cordero” ($16), inside the quesadilla is braised lamb with queso criollo (cheese) and with a mint & jalapeño herb sauce and served with a slice of lemon. The lamb here is tender even in its shredded form but I found the flavour from the lamb to be a bit lacking. The herb sauce which was similar to a pesto added much needed flavour to the dish.
As a side salad, we ordered Ensalada de quinoa ($10) aka Quinoa salad was a pleasant salad. The quinoa still had bite to it, and with the addition of fresh spinach, corn, coriander made this a winner.
Atmosphere wise, I’m not fond of restaurants where you have to shout to talk with the person next to you and this is the case here. The other downside is the dim lighting that is prevalent in many restaurants in Melbourne.
Other than that, I found the food on the balance of things to be delicious but for the price paid to be slightly over priced and especially so for the grilled prawns mentioned earlier. I can see the attraction to this place but it definitely isn’t my idea of a good evening. Would I come back? I might …but not anytime soon.
Level 1, 11 Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000
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