brunch brunch brunch brunch brunch brunch brunch brunch

GUEST: Can you give me a couple of suggestions for a brunch place within walking distance?
CONCIERGE: Absolutely. This is a list of restaurants in walking distance and these (circles 4) offer brunch.
GUEST: No, no. Some places actually serve brunch.
CONCIERGE: Right. The ones I circled offer brunch.
(Guest’s husband walks up.)
GUEST’S HUSBAND: What’s this?
GUEST: Restaurants.
GUEST’S HUSBAND: But we want brunch.
CONCIERGE: The ones I circled offer brunch.
GUEST: Which do you like for brunch?
CONCIERGE: For brunch I go to [name redacted.]
GUEST: Are they actually a brunch place or just serve brunch?
GUEST’S HUSBAND: Brunch brunch brunch brunchy brunch?
GUEST: Brunch brunch brunch brunch brunch?
(Concierge envisions guest turning into a extra large bloody mary and her husband into huevo rancheros. He is happy and surrounded by friends.)

Review: Origin North Restaurant, Bayview Village Mall, Toronto

Origin North - a new restaurant at Sheppard and Bayview.

A sunny and pleasant Friday evening in Toronto - perfect to go check out the newly opened Origin North Restaurant in the parking lot area of the Bayview Village Mall at Bayview & Sheppard. For the car-phobic city crowd, the restaurant is right next to an entrance to the ‘Bayview’ subway station.

I have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Origin North for some time. The Bayview Village mall was desperately in need of a new casual yet upscale restaurant (ever since the Oliver & Bonacini inside the mall wrecked itself menu-wise post-renovation. I will deal with that sorry state of affairs in another future blog). Anyway, the scene is ripe for a new casual restaurant with good food, and fortunately we have the new Origin North that has come to the rescue.

Joining me in this review is my friend Natalie who also was keen to try Origin North. It just opened this week, so people are rushing here to give it a try. I noticed at least two other food bloggers photographing their meals, so the word is getting out. We opted to sit on the west patio (there are two patios - one west and one south facing) to enjoy the sun.

Deviled eggs

For a snack starter we opted for the chilled deviled eggs with smoked bacon and herbs. The restaurant does not give out bread rolls, so a starter nibbler plate is a nice idea. The deviled eggs proved popular as I saw 6 orders of it pass by my table heading to various other patrons. Three eggs come in an order. This is a photo I took of one of the eggs. Very nice to awaken the palate.

Chinois Duck

For my hot appetizer I ordered the Chinois Duck (a variation of Peking Duck) which had duck meat in a flour tortilla with cucumber, hoisin sauce, sriracha and sour cream. I liked it (my being a big Peking Duck fan) and Natalie had one of my wraps and said it was good too. This appetizer is a good size and could be a main course as well - I have a big appetite so I ordered it as a first course.

Miso Black Cod with bok choy and ginger sauce

For her main course Natalie ordered the Miso Black Cod with bok choy and ginger sauce. Our waiter recommended this as his favourite main course, and it did not disappoint. Cooked perfectly, and very tasty. My being a food critic, Natalie generously offered me a piece of the black cod to try. I will order it as a main the next time I come here.

Sweet Pea Risotto with Mascarpone and Mint.

For my main course I had the sweet pea risotto with mascarpone and mint. It was satisfying, but I preferred the miso black cod. If one is in the mood for a risotto it is quite nice, but after tasting the black cod I was hooked on that. No, I did not take more of the cod then my allotted piece as I wanted Natalie to enjoy her choice haha.

Here you can see our patio table with the duck, risotto, and black cod dishes on the table. The giant key chain to the left is Natalie’s.

A view of the patio looking to the south.

The table next to ours ordered the 'Ocean Tour’ - a chilled platter of shrimp, King Crab legs and scallops served in ice. Here it is being delivered by a waiter.

So, on to dessert…

Tapioca and Coconut Pudding with Banana.

I ordered the tapioca and coconut pudding with glazed banana and mango ice with freezed dried fruit. It hit the spot - very light and flavourful, and not a glub-glub heavy tapioca pudding at all. What did Natalie get? Here it is:

Warm Cinnamon Doughnut with Walnut Caramel.

Natalie opted for the warm cinnamon doughnut with walnut caramel and creme fraiche ice cream. I was allowed a taste of this, and it was very decadent, though I think I liked my banana and tapioca dessert better. The real star of the desserts here, for Natalie and I both, was this though:

Creme Soda Float.

There is something special about getting a classic ice cream soda. The hostess passed by to ask how we enjoyed ourselves at Origin North, and said the ice cream soda is meant to take guests back to their childhood memories. I think it did that - I remember being nine years old and my brother and I getting cherry ice cream sodas given to us by our parents. The Marcel Proust special of the Origin North dessert menu. Perfect to wash down the pudding. Natalie asked for an extra straw and we shared this between us with our two straws. She agreed it was a really great ice cream soda.

Natalie’s observation she wanted me to include in my review is that the male waiters look like attractive fashion models. I will add, a a man, that the female waitresses were also attractive and so didn’t let the guys steal the show haha. One blonde waitress reminded me of a girl I knew in high school named Stephanie who everyone at the time thought was the most attractive girl in the school. I think she got married and opened some sort of canoeing business in the wilds of northern Ontario, which wasn’t what I thought she’d end up doing, but the world is full of surprises, which is what makes it so interesting.

So, I liked Origin North. I will be back here for sure. A very nice casual eatery in a location that needed a restaurant such as this. I will recommend it to my friends, and look forward to seeing how it progresses. I wish them well and every success!

My Rating: 3 Stars (Very Good)

Homemade Dragon and Dinosaur Eggs!

So I thought I’d share the little edible craft I did yesterday for me and my lil bro.

If you know how to boil an egg, this will be very easy!

First Step, get yourself some eggs my friend!

Step Two, I suggest you google how to boil them if you don’t already know how. (Cooking is not my territory..)

This works on Soft Boiled Eggs and Hard Boiled Eggs

Step Three, once the egg whites are thoroughly cooked and the egg is cooled down, crack the shells with a spoon but Do Not Peel.

Step Quatre, Food Coloring! Place the left over hot water in a ceramic cup or bowl and put a few drops of coloring in there. If you’re in a hurry like I was, you can put the coloring directly on the egg and rub it in circular motions with your finger to get it in the cracks.

(They come out more vibrant this way but so does your finger

Step Five, after letting them absorb the coloring for about two hours (one hour if you were impatient and used your now neon finger.)

Peel off a bit of the shell to make sure the coloring has bled through the egg’s membrane. If it has, feel free to start peeling!

(I learned a niffy spoon trick for easy peeling from this video here~

Número 6, your huevos should be looking pretty badass right now.

Now you can always just stop here and start making up stories of how you, the great adventurer, came upon these glorious eggs and stole ‘em or whatever. OR OR OR you can put various seasonings and herbs on them to get a great earthy look and taste :)