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When we visited Korea Town, I was amazed at how expansive it was and compared to our China Town in Melbourne, which is our largest Asian inner-city district, I loved walking down the streets of this bustling community, but I digress. My sister and her partner recommended we try this place out, and it seemed to be a local favourite. What Buk Chang Dong is known for is their Korean Tofu stews, served with a complimentary assortment of Korean pickled dishes and what seems like an unlimited supply of this Korean mixed grain rice that has this purple tinge to go with the stews.

While Buk Chang Dong primarily serves stews (soups), they also offer Stone Pot Bibimbap, Bukbegi Bulgogi and Broiled BBQ (Beef) among their wide selection of stews such as Beef, Seafood, and Kimchi stews. Not only this but you can select your preferred spiciness from the weakest “white” to the the extra spicy. I’ve always liked a spicy meter for restaurants just suited for your own liking.

We ordered the Broiled BBQ (Beef) which they certainly know how to do it well, steaming hot and marinated well. How a sizzling hot plate should be.

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Their sides also come with eggs to crack into your soup once it arrives, this is so the eggs aren’t already cooked once they arrive on your table because the soups are definitely hot to the touch.

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The Seafood Soon Tofu + Dolsotbab which contains oysters, prawns and mussels and pretty much all their soup dishes are absolutely delicious. Spicy, rich in flavour from the ingredients used to the stock all add to the depth of flavours and having this with the “purple rice” is just the best thing on a cold day.

Impressions

Buk Chang Dong excel in their stews and it’s evident why this place is a favourite amongst the locals. Why, I’d even make a special trip to Korea Town if I was in Toronto just to have another meal. If only I could find a place that does it so well in Melbourne.

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu on Urbanspoon

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu
691 Bloor St W
Toronto ON M6G

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I had never been to an IHOP before (aka International House of Pancakes) which primarily serves breakfast dishes and it’s quite a large chain in America so presumably they would have decent food, right? Well lets take a look as we dined at their Niagara Falls location (Ontario, Canada side FYI).

I love Belgian Waffles, and if they are done right it’s down right amazing. I love waffles that are crispy on the outside but ever so soft and light inside, and just with a bit of butter or cream to give it a bit of richness. Wonderful just fresh. IHOP’s waffles were a bit of a disappointment, luke warm and just bland. The Belgian Waffle Combo comes with your choice of two eggs, and either bacon strips or pork sausages. Being the indecisive one, I ordered one pork sausage and one bacon strip and just topped with whipped butter and icing sugar but you can choose strawberry toppings, blueberry or cinnamon apple compote too.

The scrambled eggs were incredibly bland, it didn’t even taste like eggs to be quite honest. I never knew eggs could be done so wrong but there you go. The bacon strip was dry and hard, so noticeable over-fried. The pork sausage also lacked in flavour but not as disastrous as the eggs of bacon. For the price you’re paying too, I wouldn’t recommend it.

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IHOP’s Strawberry Banana Pancakes looked great! The pancakes were fluffy although a bit bland which I guess the strawberries, whipped cream and bananas are for. Overall, nothing to run home about or Tweet about.

Impressions

For a place that supposedly is known for their breakfast foods, it isn’t very good at all. I’d probably have a more enjoyable meal by buying a Sausage and Egg McMuffin and with money in the pocket.

IHOP Restaurants on Urbanspoon

IHOP Niagara Falls

6455 Fallsview Blvd
Niagara Falls ON L2G3V9

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We came across Baguette & Cie along our way back to the hotel on our last day in Quebec City. It was absolutely freezing that day, wind chill and even flurries. As we were a little bit famished we saw this cozy looking bakery, what actually attracted us to this place other than it being conveniently just minutes away from our hotel was that it sold hot soup. Soup on a blistering cold day is all you would ever want and is it ever so satisfying.

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Their Clam Chowder is creamy and yet still smooth to the taste and has a lovely aroma to it. Flavour-wise it’s delicate balance of ingredients makes it the perfect winters meal. The only thing I guess I would have liked is if the bread was toasted/warmed just a tad.

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If you’re looking for something a bit lighter, the Vegetable Soup also has amazing flavours. The chunky vegetables make it a pretty satisfying meal or snack (if you prefer).

Impressions

Baguette & Cie not only serve soup but of course bread as well and in addition they offer muffins and pastries, hot drinks, sandwiches and desserts plus their apparently renowned chilli! I’d definitely recommend stopping by.

Baguette and Cie on Urbanspoon

Baguette & Cie
217 rue Saint-Paul
Quebec QC G1K9K9

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Café Buade was our first meal in Quebec City, after arriving by train from Montreal. Already lunch time, the Old Quebec City was packed full of people and tourists (like me!), we finally found a restaurant that looked quaint and food that was reasonably priced.

Service here was great actually, and even though they do speak in French initially (of course), they do respond in English without much hesitation. Probably because it’s a tourist hotspot, but it puts us at ease nonetheless.

The food here has a mix of Italian, French and your burgers, steaks and grills.

We ordered one of their grills, which comes with coleslaw, fries and topped with a BBQ gravy and peas. The gravy was quite bland on first impressions, and it was in dire need of pepper. The fries were also a tad on the dry side of things, although super crispy as you can see. Overall, I found it to be a very average dish.

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Their Salmon salad is quite fresh , with their salmon, capers and onions with a dressing. Not particularly my type of dish but it’s not bad if you like salmon and capers.

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Their Hamburger steak, served with sautéed onions,  vegetables and your choice of a side and sauce (I chose mash and gravy) was a decent meal. Hamburger patty moist but the mash potato was lacking in pepper, creaminess and smoothness you would often find in a good mash. It doesn’t leave a lasting impression but it does fill you up.

Impressions

Overall, our dining experience at Café Buade can be summed up with just a few words. Very average. From our meals, I couldn’t think of any highlights or anything that stood out in anyway, other than that you’d get a decent feed here. If you’re here for a limited time, like we were, I’d probably suggest finding another restaurant to dine at.

Café Buade on Urbanspoon

Café Buade (Menu)
31 Rue Buade
Quebec City QC G1R

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Toronto has exceptional Thai food. I’m not sure why as seemingly they are a fair distance away from Thailand and seemingly there isn’t a significant community of sorts but alas somehow Thai cuisine thrives here. Salad King is situated not far from the Ryerson University, which results in the restaurant filling up quickly during peak times.

What is also interesting, that I’ve never seen in any restaurant before (other than a Nando’s) is a Spicy Scale as shown below. My sister having dined here before, recommended 3-5 Chilis, and even those were quite spicy so I’m not entirely sure how 20 Chilis tasted like. Maybe like a fireball in your mouth and stomach?spicyscale

 

Salad King’s Phud Thai (or Pad Thai) is light and fresh in flavour, fragrant and overall a very delicious dish with the spiciness adding a nice touch. It’s not the best Pad Thai I’ve ever eaten but definitely above average.

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The Bangkok Stir Fry is unfamiliar to be but I loved the peanuts added on top with the rice vermicelli (clear noodles) which are property my favourite styled stir fried noodles if done right. Tasty dish.

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The Rainbow Chicken is another interesting Thai dish, with eggplant, capsicums and the combination of basil, lemon grass and chilli sauce makes quite a great dish with some white rice. Cheap and tasty.

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The Green Mango Salad with mango strips, tomato, lettuce and dressed with chopped peanuts and a Thai dressing (made from fish sauce, lime juice, peanuts and sugar) is refreshing but not particularly my favourite kind of salad.

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Salad King’s Tom Yum is another winner, with the perfect combination of sweet and sour and of course spice and really just want you need on a cold day (which was nearly everyday in Toronto).

Impressions

Cheap and tasty Thai food is what I’d describe Salad King in a few words. If I were to compare Salad King to Khao San Road, tastewise Khao San Road comes out on top, the dishes there just blew me away. Although in terms of price, you may prefer Salad King over Khao San Road but flavour cannot be denied in my humble opinion. However, both are probably for different occasions and settings so in someways aren’t very comparable. Salad King definitely earns its title as Toronto’s favourite Thai.

 

Salad King on Urbanspoon

Salad King
340 Yonge St
Toronto ON M5G1H1

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