Tag: Ontario

Happy Canada Day! Top 6 Canadian Foods You Have To Eat!

On this July 1, Canada will celebrate it’s 150th birthday.

For many of you who do not know what our federal holiday is about, it is the day when the provinces and British colonies united under a single Dominion now known as our country called Canada. We have grown as a country with our history with the British and French, and most of all, our native Indian heritage. I remember learning about my country and the pioneers that helped built our lands into the country we are today.  As I’m writing this now, I am truly proud to call myself a Canadian.

I wanted to share with you the type of food that makes us Canadians very unique. Some of you reading this may have tried some of our delicacies. If you ever have the chance to try some things on the list, you can proudly say you have eaten something truly Canadian!

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Photo Credit: Gizmodo

Atlantic Salmon – One of our greatest natural resources is fishing, specifically salmon. Off the Atlantic coast of our eastern provinces, hundreds of ships would set off catching thousands of fresh, wild salmon. Due to increase of consumption, we have had to farm salmon inland to keep up with growing demand.

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Montreal Smoked Meat – From the province of Quebec, this deli meat has gained popularity ever since it was first created in the bustling city of Montreal. It is made by curing and salting a large beef brisket covered with spices, then smoked and steamed until cooked through. It is best eaten with several carved pieces stuffed into a Kaiser bun, a thin layer of mustard and pickle slices for condiments are a definite must to bring out the tanginess of this large sandwich.

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Poutine – Also originated from Quebec, this sloppy dish of carbs is one of few that we are truly proud of and one of my absolute favourites. It consists of french fries topped with cheese curds and loads of gravy. Some eat this as a side dish or as a meal itself. I say let your stomach decide if you want it as a snack or lunch.

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Maple Syrup – What’s the first thing you reach for when eating pancakes? Canadians cannot take full credit for creating maple syrup since it was practiced by the indigenous people of North America (Canada and the USA). However, we can proudly say that the majority of maple syrup is produced mainly from Quebec. The sap from maple trees is slowly extracted then boiled down to its purest syrup form. After a strict filtering process, it produces the sweet taste that runs smooth out of the bottle and onto our plates.

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Photo Credit: Brooker’s Meat

Canadian Peameal Bacon is a special type of lean, cured pork loin that is trimmed of fat. It was once rolled in a mix of ground yellow peas before WWII but cornmeal became the better choice. It is a very different taste than the standard strips of bacon sold in grocery stores. Much like our Montreal Smoked Meat, we like to also cook slices of peameal bacon and make a large sandwich out of it. But if you like your standard plated breakfast meal, simply slice a few pieces and pan fry it. If you can’t get your hands on it, perhaps your local breakfast restaurant might carry these on their menu!

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Ice Wine – Although this dessert wine first originated with the Romans and then with the Germans, Canada has become the largest commercial producer of ice wine today. Depending on the temperatures, ice wine is produced from grapes that are frozen while still attached to the vines. The sugars from grapes do not freeze thus providing a more concentrated and sweeter wine. The Ontario Niagara region is the most common area where ice wine is produced ideally because of the proper freezing temperatures. I don’t usually drink but I cannot help myself to quench my thirst with a glass of ice wine. It is like no other glass of wine you have ever tasted. Sweet and to the point. I would highly recommend all of you to try a small glass with your favourite dessert. It brings out the sweet tooth out of any person.

I hope you all enjoyed reading some of the different types of Canadian foods we love to share with the world. If you have eaten any of the above, I would love to hear your comments.

Heart Sushi – AYCE Sushi and Sashimi

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Heart Sushi
Unit 2, 815 Britannia Road West, Mississauga, Ontario

Want to get your sushi on? If you feel the need to satisfy your appetite for Japanese food then I know the place.

 

In one of the west buildings in Mississauga’s Heartland area is an AYCE (All You Can Eat) restaurant named “Heart Sushi”. They share the building with a few other tenants but if you find the Heart logo you can see they are placed at the very end. Grab a parking spot as quickly as possible because spaces are very limited on the weekends.

 

Like most AYCE sushi places today, their pen and paper ordering system is replaced with the iPad menu. Make your choices from a range of edamame beans to red dragon rolls or Korean kalbi slices to Chinese fried rice.

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Fancy iPad menu. It’s the way to order.

What I like about this place is the sushi and sashimi are fresh. For lunchtime sushi, they don’t stuff each piece with a fistful of rice. The same can be said for all of their maki rolls. At dinner, the thickness of each sashimi is cut just right. The best part is the presentation. When your appetizers arrive one dish at a time, you can’t wait to sink your teeth into some sashimi. But when it arrives in an illuminated bowl of ice with some fancy decor, it totally makes the experience so much more enjoyable. I used think “meh, just feed me the sashimi on a plate and serve it to me as quickly as I order it” but my outlook changed when you see all your sashimi light up! And when you sink your teeth into a cold fresh piece of fish doused with soy sauce and wasabi? Whoa!!! You cannot help but order more!

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Various sashimi of salmon, white tuna, octopus, and clam on an illuminated bowl of ice.

Like many other asian restaurants, there are some minor downsides. Sitting down in the booth seats often leaves feeling the impact of the person moving around behind you. Some of the Chinese dishes are a little bland. Besides, why would I stuff myself with rice or noodles when I’m there to eat sushi??? For the most part your dishes come quickly, but even the iPad system might leave one or two items lagging behind.

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Appetizer Seaweed
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Korean Kalbi
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Shrimp Tempura – lightly battered
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Red Dragon Roll – Bits of cucumber, avocado, some shrimp topped with salmon

There are a few unexpected dishes I particularly like. Available during lunch and dinner, order up the Tom Yum soup. It has a piece of simulated crab, slices of mushroom and one shrimp swimming in a slightly tangy soup base with a small garnish. No coconut milk, so it will never taste like the original in Thailand. White tuna for sushi or sashimi melts in your mouth and tastes far better than other types of fish. Available for dinner only, you must try the chopped spicy salmon sashimi on top of a Pringle chip! I ordered it thinking how crazy it was to eat but surprisingly it was really good! Just think, fish and chips right?

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Tom Yum Soup
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White Tuna Sushi
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Clam and Salmon Sushi

I’ve eaten at several sushi restaurants but this one surpasses a lot of them. Some have their own unique features, much like Heart Sushi, that makes them different from other places like their service or their decor. 

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Cleanse your palette with a scoop or two of red bean ice cream

So after eating here, I have a pretty good idea how to satisfy my cravings. Stay tuned for my next blog about the DO’s and DON’Ts on eating at AYCE sushi restaurants.

Dynasty BBQ Restaurant

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Dynasty BBQ Restaurant
1550 S Gateway Road
Mississauga, ON

Dixie Park Mall is a building full of Asian (mainly Chinese) office tenants just 1 block north of Dixie Road and Eastgate Parkway in Mississauga. Tucked away in the corner of the main floor is a food court lined with asian food vendors who serve Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Chinese food.

One of those food vendors is a place I usually order from called Dynasty BBQ Restaurant. They sell mainly Chinese food but have recently added on a couple of items on their menu to attract the Filipino market. Like many of the other food vendors, their menu consists of either a list of food with prices on a large poster board or pictures with a small description and price that is hung or taped all around the face of the unit. Many stores like these are the style in Toronto Chinatown or even back in mainland China and Hong Kong.

I have tried other food vendors in this food court but my wife and I always gravitate towards Dynasty. They are the only restaurant that sells BBQ, displaying several pieces roasted duck and pork on meat hooks in a huge showcase. Their specialty is the BBQ but they also sell the usual rice or noodle topping dishes with a variety of veggies, meats and seafood served on a cast iron grill.

While waiting in line, make your order and make it quick or else you will upset the people behind you. If you have ever ordered a pizza in Manhattan but haven’t figured out which one you want by the time they ask for your order then you know what I mean. The owner, a very short Chinese lady, is very fun to talk to but keep in mind of the queue and the orders she needs to fill.

I always get the roasted pork and soya chicken on rice while my wife orders up the roasted duck and soya chicken on rice (sorry no picture yet for this!). Get a drink combo 2 for $1.50 and the total bill comes out to just over $15.50. Can you believe that? $15.50 for two people!!! In most shopping mall food courts in Canada, you are looking to pay way over $20.00 for two.

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These combinations come with a side serving of veggies, soup, and a teaspoon of ginger and scallion mixture. Before the veggies used to be a couple of large pieces of bok choy but recently it’s been switched to broccoli. It’s a large portion of food for great value. The taste is probably as good as you can get close to real Cantonese style bbq food.

Sometimes we get our food fast depending on the line up but more often now the service is slower only because we can’t get there before the crowd. But you will not be disappointed with their selection. Parking can get just as crazy but they do have enough spaces for the lunch crowd. It all depends how far you want to walk to satisfy your hunger. By the way, Dynasty BBQ is closed on Tuesdays. They need a day off too!