Review: Johnny’s Shawarma – Halal Food

Restaurant Address: 1904 Kennedy Rd, Scarborough, ON M1P 2L9

Living in Toronto, you tend to see a lot of places offering shawarma. With that in mind, I went to visit Johnny’s Shawarma thinking how good can shawarma get? In the past, I’ve had horrible shawarma plates and decent ones, but never a one that was higher than average until Johnny’s. The restaurant is quite small, and it is squeezed inside a plaza right beside Dairy Queens. Most people in the neighborhood tend to drop by and leave to eat at home, but there is definitely enough seating in the restaurant if you do choose to stay and have a meal. I went all in and ordered the shawarma plate with a mix of beef and chicken.

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The plate came with hummus and pita on the side. The meat was juicy and tender, and the side salads were delicious as well. This place felt really homey and the food was well balanced. The plate had just enough where I felt full, and the side salads were super fresh. The sauce on the meat elevated the taste of the whole plate.

Overall, the food was delicious, and there is something about the food that makes you feel addicted to the taste. Lets just say, if a friend dragged me back here for a quick meal, I definitely would not mind!

Restaurant Atmosphere: + + + + +

Portion size: Small – Normal – Fit for 2
Price: $5~$14
Taste: + + + + +
Indoor Seating: Yes
Overall: + + + + +

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Review: Sizzling Skillet – Halal Food

Restaurant Location: 2201 Ellesmere Rd, Scarborough, ON M1G 3M6

I was craving some hearty food and decided to go try the Sizzling Skillet restaurant in Scarborough. Their menu was decent and provided many different options, where each dish sounded super filling. I was debating between two items on their menu, but at the end of the day, I chose to order the Philly steak sandwich with a side of Cesar salad.

The place is a bit hard to find since it’s in a nook beside a plaza, but its not too difficult to the point where you’ll miss it. The interior of the restaurant is quite plain, clean and very spacious. There was a lot of indoor seating and lighting. In terms of the food, the filling of the sandwich and the salad was really tasty, the buns were just meh. It took me a while to eat everything but it did its job. It certainly had me feeling very full.

After my meal, the chef deliberately went to every table to ask how the food was, which I thought was very humble and nice of them to do. Their character and action has elevated my opinion of the restaurant for sure!

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Overall, I think this is a great place to go if you are a halal meat eater wanting to try something new. A cool add on item they have on their menu is a ‘macon’, aka beef bacon. If you do decide to visit the restaurant one day, give it a try while you are there!

Restaurant Atmosphere: + + + + +

Portion size: Small – Normal – Fit for 2
Price: $7~$15
Taste: + + + + +
Indoor Seating: Yes

Overall: + + + + +

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Review: MABU Generation – Taiwanese Food

Restaurant Location: 3235 Hwy 7 #23, Markham, ON L3R 3P9

Friday is the best day of the week; can we all agree on that? My friend and I decided to celebrate the end of the week with the usual get-together. We stumbled upon MABU Generation and noticed that there were a lot of people inside waiting for a seat, so we looked at each other and said why not. The wait was around one hour and it was a spur of the moment thing, so we both decided to wait in line.

It gave us more time to look at the menu and catch up. Since it was extra chilly that day, we both decided to order the house special hot pot with everything included. After the long wait, we finally made it inside and were totally excited about the personal hot pot meal (tip: book a reservation beforehand).

Hot pot is the perfect meal on a chilly day. The selected items of your choice boils in a soup base, all you have to do is take it out – dip it into the desired sauce and eat it! The ones we had included a little bit of everything. There was a lot of seating within the restaurant, with a bar in the back. The décor gave an overall hipster vibe to the place.

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The personal hot pot was around $16 dollars. If you are not a big fan of spice, just let them know to lower the spice level. The broth base is quite spicy if you are not a regular spicy food eater. For dessert, my friend decided to order grilled Japanese rice cakes. That was pretty delicious as well since we rarely see a restaurant having this served as a dish.

If you are still hungry and yearning for dessert that isn’t as pricey, head out to the place right beside it called sugar marmalade. They only take cash but it is a great place to chill with your friends.

Restaurant Atmosphere: + + + + +

Portion size: Small – Normal – Fit for 2
Price: $15 ~ $30
Taste: + + + + +
Indoor Seating: Yes
Overall: + + + + +

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Review: Cafe de Paris – Dessert

Restaurant Location: 4186 Finch Ave E #31, Scarborough, ON M1S 3V1

I’ve been seeing mango volcanoes on my Instagram feed for the past month. Yes, I call them mango volcanoes cause they really are volcanoes. I thought the only place they sold it was in Korea but boy, was I wrong! I found a shop that recently opened in Scarborough. Good old Scarborough never lets me down.

 

Obviously, I went to check this place out. There was a huge line when I was there and I noticed a lot of seating in the store. Since I am an visual artist, I did not really appreciate the poorly done mural but that aside, it was a cool shop.

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I got the Mango Bon Bon since I love mangoes.

To be honest, it was a bit expensive for what it is (mango slush, whipped cream, mango slices). Therefore, I recommend it once – but I would not go there again.

Restaurant Atmosphere: + + + + +

Portion size: Small – Normal – Fit for 2
Price: $7~$15
Taste: + + + + +
Indoor Seating: Yes
Overall: + + + + +

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Review: QQ Thai Ice Cream – Dessert

Restaurant Location: 3278 Midland Ave, Scarborough, ON M1V 4A1

I’ve recently been spotting some videos on my Facebook feed about ice cream rolls. It was fun to watch but most of them were taped in Thailand at night markets so I thought I would never get a chance to try it, but Toronto always surprises me. I didn’t know that this trend of rolled ice cream would arrive in Toronto so fast, but in a blink of an eye, stores were being set up to serve this concoction.

I ended up heading to QQ Thai Ice Cream during the weekend and decided to get a matcha and latte mix. The place doesn’t advertise mixing the flavours but you can just ask them and they will do it for you. After, you can choose three different toppings to decorate it. In terms of seating, there is around 5 seats near the window and that’s about it.

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I thought it would taste the same as an ice cream pint but it didn’t. It tasted more rubbery than I expected since it was rolled up. It was more chewy than regular ice cream but smoother in texture. I would recommend it only once – it’s not something I would go back for to eat again.

Restaurant Atmosphere: + + + + +

Portion size: Small – Normal – Fit for 2
Price: $4~$6
Taste: + + + + +
Indoor Seating: Yes
Overall: + + + + +

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Review: Seven Lives – Baja Style Tacos

Restaurant Location: 69 Kensington Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2K2

I had the urge to walk around the city that day, so I did. I wanted to try Seven Lives for a long time since I’ve always noticed a line up at their door, so I made up my mind to go that day. Even though I went around an awkward time which was around 3 p.m., there was still a line up. It wasn’t super duper long, but it took a ton of time. The decor was awesome but the place seemed super small. Literally, it was worse than getting on the transit system during rush hour. But, hey! I finally reached the podium to order my tacos. They were $4 dollars a piece, and it’s cash-only (which is sort of inconvenient) but who am I to complain?

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Maybe it was social media, or maybe it was other food blogs raving about this place that got my hopes up. But honestly, the taco was alright. There was nowhere to sit, so don’t bring a bunch of friends there expecting to have a place to sit. It’s more of a grab and go place anyways. The tacos unfortunately was not mind-bogglingly spectacular to the point where I would be happy to wait in line for 30 minutes. It was a good night, but the tacos were allllright.

Restaurant Atmosphere: + + + + +

Portion size: Small – Normal – Fit for 2
Price: $4~$12
Taste: + + + + +
Indoor Seating: Yes
Overall: + + + + +

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Review: Ital Vital Restaurant – Vegan West Indian Food

Restaurant Location: 741 Pharmacy Ave, Scarborough, ON M1L 3J4

I was not in the mood for a meaty meal that night, and even though I lived in Scarborough for most of my life, I never came across this restaurant. Do you guys remember the saying, curiosity killed the cat – well- curiosity tends to make me eat more food. Curious me decided to visit the restaurant as soon as possible. The selection was super simple; you get two choices – small combo or large combo (I went for the large). It was around $13 dollars and the container was filled to the brim. Mind I say that everything it serves is vegan!! The food is fresh and has a West Indian flare.

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The place is quite small with no fancy decor, it’s a small restaurant – most people get the food to go and simply eat at home. The place is quite small with a few seats so I don’t recommend eating there if you are particularly picky about your environment.

This place is definitely worth a visit when you are in the mood for a filling, good-feeling type of meal. Needless to say, I would definitely come here again!

Restaurant Atmosphere: + + + + +

Portion size: Small – Normal – Fit for 2 (if you decide on the large box)
Price: $10~$13
Taste: + + + + +
Indoor Seating: Yes
Overall: + + + + +

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