Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Toronto Night of Food!

I am staying with my friend Fiona for my first couple of days in the city. She lives in Kensington Market which is a neighbourhood after my own heart because it is here that I first discovered second hand clothing, incense, and black and white striped stockings. I was a very happy fourteen year old when all that happened. My mom was somewhat mortified.

When we decided to go out for dinner Fiona started listing off possibilities. There were burritos, sushi, Asian fusion, sandwiches, veggie burgers, and basically anything else one might think of eating. We wandered a bit and then settled on King's Cafe, an Asian restaurant with lots of seitan and tofu on the menu.

We ordered three dishes, starting with these nuggets which Fiona said reminded her of the chicken-nugget-eating days of her youth.

vegan nuggets

I was also a chicken-nugget eater when I was a kid and I have to concur with Fiona. These were really good in the same kind of greasy, chewy way that I remember chicken nuggets being. I could have eaten a bunch more of them, but we had another appetizer to try. This one was a plate of assorted seitan pieces cooked different ways. Aside from the one that Fiona described as tasting like "licking the sidewalk in Chinatown" they were all very delicious.

assorted seitan

For our main dish we ordered tofu prepared in a way I'd never tried it before. It was sliced thin, layered with nori, and then fried and served with bok choy. I really liked this dish. It wasn't greasy, but the texture of the fried tofu was excellent.

tofu and bok choy

After dinner we walked to an ice cream shop named after my mother's favourite movie where Fiona remembered them having some dairy-free choices. Indeed they did! Dairy free mango, raspberry, or lemon sherbet.

dairy free sherbet

I went for the mango, which was not a hard decision at all. Fiona, with the full range of ice cream flavours at her disposal, ordered one scoop of dulce de leche and one of some kind of berry cheesecake. All that despite me standing behind her emphatically whispering, "Get Nutella! Get NUTELLA!"

Despite my chocolate hazelnut desires, I was very happy with my mango sherbet. It wasn't overly sweet, and it didn't make me feel all sugar-drunk afterwards. It was just a refreshing way to end the night.

mango sherbet + waffle cone + shoes



Lana said...

I am so jealous of the dairy-free ice cream shop! Have you seen dairy-free options in Ottawa... other than the grocery store. Sometimes I'd like a little break from doing homemade. : )

Anonymous said...

Update more! Update more! I am loving this.:-)

ciaochow said...

That food looks delicious! Glad to see you're having a good time.

Lana - you can get dairy-free options at the gelato place on Elgin almost all the time. Well, any time we've been there they have had more than a couple to choose from. Please let me know if you find others though, that place is pricey!

Asteroidea Press said...

There's a gelato place on Preston that usually has 2 or 3 non-dairy options - just north of Preston Hardware on the same side of the street. It's got a maroon awning and you have to walk up 5 or 6 steps.

I think it's around the same price as Pure on Elgin.

Jacqueline said...

Love the sorbet shot. Is sherbet the same as sorbet? It looks like sorbet. I would have ordered the same, but teamed it with dark chocolate ice cream. Mmmmmmmmm :p

Jennifer (It Ain't Meat, Babe) said...

I like the place on Preston in Ottawa. But I do wish we could get non-dairy creamy flavours like chocolate. Or Nutella.

And yes, Jacqueline, I think the two words are interchangeable. Yum!

XUP said...

King's Cafe has the biggest selection of faux meat products I've ever seen in one place at one time. I tried taking home a package of the bacon last time I was in Toronto, but I ended up having to carry it around town all day and then home on the train all evening and it didn't taste so good anymore. It's always good at Sadie's Diner though.

Pearl said...

That looks well-presented.

Been to Sadie's diner. It was filling.

Hadn't heard of King's Cafe.

You didn't end up making it back to Fressen too?

Lauren said...

dairy free ice cream + mango = jealous!
om nom nom!
those nuggets look eerily similar to actual nuggets though. not sure if i'd be able to stomach that!

Selene said...

yum yum yum love LOVE king's cafe. Love their kung pao soy chicken and enoki mushroom balls and hot n sour soup!!!

Aron said...

Those look really good!

Anonymous said...

Love this post, it reminds me of my trips to toronto. You hit the nail on the head with Fressen. My only time there it was okay but not worth the $115 price tag. I work at another location of King's Cafe called Zen Gardens. Food is always tasty there.

Anonymous said...

Hate to be a buzz kill but it is physically impossible to have a "Dairy Free" Ice Cream or sherbet. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE. These items have a standard and if they are not followed within the US then they cannot be called Ice Cream or Sherbet...however they can be called Frozen Dessert, Water Ice, sorbet or gelato...These names have no standards and can be used to call items which fall short of the standards set by the US. All Ice Cream can be called a gelato if you would like but not all gelato can be called Ice Cream.

~Food Scientist

Jennifer said...

Good thing Toronto is in Canada.