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Initially I wanted to try Shizuku Ramen on Victoria Street, Richmond which is just next door. However, my poor eyesight lead me to Two Hands Bar which interestingly also serves Japanese cuisine. Their menu is a mixture of Western and Asian, also offering a breakfast menu for locals and workers in the area, burgers and also even Korean  but in addition as the name suggests it’s a bar as well.

Their lunch menu comes with complimentary soft drink or seaweed soup. One of their menu items is their Teriyaki Chicken with rice. The chicken is tender and marinated nicely, and comes with potato salad and interestingly dressed shredded carrots. The seaweed soup has a lovely seaweed flavour that isn’t too bold, but I found it just a tad oily.

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Another lunch item is their Deep Fried Chicken (Karage), the chicken is tender and crispy but requires the combination of mayo to accompany it to bring it all together. Otherwise, it’s particularly dry on its own with rice. As with the Teriyaki Chicken, it comes with the potato salad and carrots. Overall, it’s a decent deal with a drink.

Impressions

Two Hands Bar doesn’t set the bar high with its food, however,it is quite decent. I haven’t yet tried their burgers, but will definitely try them sometime in the future just to see how they taste like.

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Two Hands Bar
311A Victoria Street
Abbotsford VIC 3067

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Ending my Toronto series with Ki Modern Japanese and Bar located on Brookfield Place Bay Street, in the Toronto CBD. Ki meshes the Western culture with Japanese cuisine in which you end up with dishes such as burgers but with a slight twist or sushi with spicy tomato salsa or mango.

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For those looking for a more traditional Japanese meal, at Ki they do offer a variety of freshly made nigiri, sashimi and maki sushi rolls. As a modern Japanese restaurant, they also serve slightly different sushi rolls, some with bacon or sweet potato which make for interesting combinations and especially on your palette.

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Impressions

Overall, the food quality here is fantastic. The sushi, tempura sushi and even the burgers are all delicious. However, I found the dishes leaning more towards Western style to have very minimal Japanese influences as such it would appear like eating it in any other upmarket cafe or the like.

Ki do Japanese well, although it comes at a price because the dishes here aren’t exactly cheap.

Ki Modern Japanese and Bar on Urbanspoon

Ki
181 Bay St
Toronto ON M5J2S1

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Third Wave Cafe in Prahran is the sister cafe to their first cafe/restaurant in Port Melbourne. The Port Melbourne location specialises in American BBQ, and that also carries over to the Prahran restaurant. Third Wave Cafe Prahran mostly does breakfast/brunch/lunch but from Thursday to Saturday they do open their doors for dinner. The chef is Ryo Kitahara who is the protégé of Iron Chef Sakai, which I must admit is pretty special. I was a big fan of the Iron Chef series.

Their location might be easy to miss if you don’t know where you’re going, Google Maps took me into the other direction! It’s located across from a gym (could be an after gym workout meal), on the side of the Woolies and close by to the Prahran Market on Cato Street.

I was invited here by Third Wave Cafe to try their menu and I thank them for the opportunity.

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It isn’t your typically cafe in the sense that it lacks outdoor dining but it’s such a pleasant atmosphere it isn’t missed at all. They have a bar stools area as well as your standard dining setting with plenty of lighting.

Their menu is diverse and you may find it difficult to finally decide on what to order. Having gone for brunch/lunch we ordered a couple of different dishes to try.

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Third Wave’s Pulled Pork Slider with fries tastes as good as it looks. The burger itself contains the pulled pork, with pickled cucumber and fresh coleslaw and their own BBQ sauce. The just cooked pork is seasoned well (and not too salty), adding a bit of the spicy BBQ sauce it complements the slider well. The cold coleslaw in a burger is something I’ve often not tried but here it makes for an interesting combination and certainly feels fresh. The coleslaw itself is light and not too rich in its use of mayonnaise.  The fries are also light and crispy, and not heavy in its use of oil. A very pleasant surprise on how well everything was cooked, without feeling guilty over eating a burger with fries.

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One of Third Wave’s specials is their Texan Fry Up and just maybe one of my favourite dishes ever, really no joke. The slow cooked smoked brisket is the highlight of this dish. It is just simply cooked to perfection. The smokey brisket practically teleports you to an American Steakhouse. It’s most definitely the best meat I’ve ever tasted. Tender and flavourful.

The mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes all complement the star of the dish and with a small amount of the spicy BBQ sauce it is just simply delicious. The poached egg oozes yolk although the outer most part of the yolk is hard boiled.  Overall, it really makes me want to try their dinner menu because this dish is cooked so well here.

On a side note: this dish was oddly on the breakfast page of their menu under specials, but it seems more like a lunch item to me.

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Their Spicy Ratatouille Baked Eggs also looks as good as it tastes. I’ve actually only recently tried a similar dish at Red Cup Cafe in Box Hill, both are similar in the ingredients they use and both I say are more than satisfying. 

The Spanish Chorizos add the spiciness to the dish, and with the addition of zucchini, eggplant, red peppers, tomatoes and of course eggs topped with Asiago cheese is another winner. Served with toasted Ciabatta bread it is one of those feel good warm dishes that I can see myself eating on a cold morning. The saltiness of the dish comes from the chorizo’s and it could be too much for some but eating this injunction with the crunchy bread and baked vegetables I couldn’t be happier with the meal.

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From my understanding, their hot drinks come with this bite sized mini meringue that has this surprising ginger and possibly cinnamon flavour. Eating this with your coffee, you may even find yourself thinking you just ordered a Chai Latte. Their Latte is light and not too intense. I usually prefer much richer, fuller coffee with not too much foam on top. This isn’t the case here but it is in no way bad, just a decent cup of coffee.

Impressions

Third Wave Cafe definitely impresses with their selection of dishes and the quality of the dishes as well. I really cannot recommend enough the Texan Fry Up and to a lesser extent their Spicy Ratatouille Baked Eggs and with Third Wave Cafe’s Sweets, Paninis, Russian Menu. I don’t think you’ll be bored by the menu anytime soon. Whenever I go back to Prahran, a visit to Third Wave Cafe is on order.

Third Wave on Urbanspoon

Third Wave Cafe – Prahran (Menu)

30 Cato St
Prahran VIC 3181

Opening Hours (Correct as at 15 November 2013)
Monday to Wednesday – 8am to 3pm
Thursday to Saturday – 8am to Late
Sunday – 8am to 4pm

T: 03 9510 2991
M: 04 1255 0854

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Le Chic Shack in Old Quebec is one of those trendy Burger joints aka gourmet fast food. In the old part of Quebec City, I found it pretty difficult to find a reasonable priced meal for dinner. That and it was too bloody freezing to take more than half an hour to look around at whats good. We eventually stumbled upon le Chic Shack and after checking out the menu it seemed like a decent place to dine in. Like a Fast Food eatery, you order at the register. Menu is painted on the walls, along with menus at the tables and at the register. We weren’t particular hungry so opted for smaller, lighter options.

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As you can see they add stickers to their dishes, this particular burger at le Chic Shack is called the La Chic Poulette, which includes Grilled chicken breast, cheddar, arugula, red onion, tomato, pickles, remoulade and brioche bun. The bun here is a tad well done, but crunchy it is. The chicken is well cooked, not tough like some grilled chicken can be and the dressing is much needed otherwise it’d be a big too dry for my liking. Overall, it’s a great little burger but definitely on the pricier side of things at $11.

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Pardon my memory but I believe this was the Le Shack aka Beef, Gruyère cheese, Red-ale braised beef, tomato, pickles, red onion and horseradish aioli with their brioche bun. The cheesy goodness on the beef is mouth watering. I love it. A typical burger but made to near perfection. $11

You can order chips as a side, $4 for small or $6 for large with a choice of normal or sweet potatoes. I’m not a big fan of sweet potato fries because they are commonly too soft and not crunchy enough for me to consider them chips, so it’s more than likely I’ll order normal potato fries. The fries here are salted well, not too much. Some places will over season chips with their salt and it’s a majorly off putting. The chips here are nice and crunchy, and just the right size. I love crispy chips and here they are done reasonably well.

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Being Quebec, I couldn’t not order their poutine. What they call La Fumee is basically their thick cut chips mashed slightly (crispy still) accompanied by smoked meat, chic sauce, cheese curds, swiss cheese, pickled onions and fresh herbs. Their sauce is this kinda sweet, mayonnaise like sauce. I loved their chunky bit crispy chips and eating them with the smokey tender meat and stringy cheese it just works well together. Looking at it, you may think for $11 + tax, it isn’t worth it but I can say it is very satisfying because of all that starch, carbs and protein. Adding just a little bit of tabasco, as you do, is all that is needed to liven up what is already a great meal.

Impressions

I liked Le Chic Shack for what it is, serving burgers with interesting ingredients and some sourced locally and of course, great tasting! I do recommend it, probably more so for lunch. I prefer their poutines to their burgers but that’s just a personal preference because I love me some chips (Potato head)

Le Chic Shack on Urbanspoon

Le Chic Shack
15 Rue Du Fort
Quebec QC G1R3Z8

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 I heard about Three Bags Full from a colleague and since it was near where we worked we decided to give it a try. I’m not big on brunch, it’s basically just breakfast late or lunch early and none of those sounds overly enticing to me. Cafe food on the other hand is something I’m quite fond of, it’s not too expensive nor heavy but just enough to satisfy the stomach.

Three Bags Full is quite a large place, I was really surprised at how large the space was and it was very busy. I guess people in Richmond really like their brunch and coffee.

I ordered one of their specials which was a Beef Burger with tasty cheese, onions, tomatoes, pickles with wedges and tomato relish.

It is similar to the Steak Sandwich on the menu but you get a couple of wedges too. As a burger, I did really enjoy it apart from the pickled red onions. I found these to be too sour for my liking. The beef was cooked just right, still a bit red inside so definitely not overcooked and the cheese lent itself. What I mean by that is, sometimes cheese can be almost tasteless and I find that most with hard cheeses. There is very little fragrance around them, but this had a good cheese taste so I’m happy about that.

I had to eat the burger using a knife and fork (shock and horror) because it was too large to eat by hands. The aioli they dress the salad with gave it a nice mayonnaise like taste to it and overall I couldn’t be happier.

The wedges with the tomato relish was decent enough, I found they weren’t overly crispy but I did prefer them to be a tad more crisp. The tomato relish on the other hand I have no real opinion on, it was slightly sour but I felt lacked the tomato flavour. It was neither here no there.

Impressions

You can see why people come to dine here. For people just wanting to relax, chill and drink a cup of coffee this is the place. However, if you want some satisfying meals, Three Bags Full, luckily does that too.

Three Bags Full on Urbanspoon

Three Bags Full

60 Nicholson St
Abbotsford VIC 3067

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