Toronto Ethnic, on a student budget (Long Report)
I wanted to give you guys the run-down on my visit to your lovely city. :)
Got into my hostel Saturday evening, where I was unable to get internet access and thus couldn't find directions to Buk Chang To Fu, where I planned to have dinner. Instead, I went to Tokyo Grill and had ramen, which was quite tasty, but also very different than most ramen I've had -- the broth was vegetable based, and the whole dish tasted very clean. Afterwards, I walked from Yonge on Bloor all the way west to Korea Town, where I found the tofu house I was looking for, but was too full to get it. Instead, I opted for a "snack" of Korean fried chicken at Ajuker chicken -- really tasty. I liked the chicken without the sauce, and just a dip of salt and pepper.
Sunday morning, I walked all around China town and had a ridiculously large brunch at Chinese Traditional Buns, with their spicy tofu curds soup, "Dogs won't touch it" buns, and clear broth beef noodle soup. The tofu curds soup was the best part -- I just thought the buns had too much bun to filling ratio, and the beef noodle soup reminded me of pho, but had a much lighter flavor. In the evening, I went to the South Asian Festival, which was AWESOME. I just found the stands with the longest lines, and asked the Indian people standing in line what they were standing in line for. This netted me an *amazing* Aloo Tikky -- a fried potato patty with some kind of red and green sauce, also with chickpeas on top. So tasty, savoury, spicy, a little sweet and sour with quite a crunch. This was my favorite thing -- for $1.50! I also got a chicken curry (lines were really long!), and grilled corn on the cob rubbed with lemon and some combination of red indian spices... mmm... I was really tempted to get the fresh-pressed sugar-cane juice, but I just couldn't do it for $5/cup when I was getting them for $.15/cup in Vietnam.
So many restaurants were closed on Monday! I ended up going to Ethiopian House, which was very yummy. I should have gotten the kitfo, but everything else was super tasty, and the server was really friendly. For dinner, I splurged -- Japango, with the tuna tartar appetizer (quite a large tower of chopped tuna mixed with sesame seeds/oil, green onion, topped with two-colored tobiko and a quail egg, with some kind of vinegary sauce around the outside), chirashi sushi, and an extra order of ocean trout nigiri because I couldn't help myself. I think my favorites were the ocean trout (basically a wild salmon), and the tuna tartare certainly gave me ideas for making at home... :)
Then for good measure, I went for a late night "snack" to Ka Chi on Bloor for pork bone soup. MMMMMMMMM... so good, so good. Exactly what I loved about my mom's pork bone soups... melting, lovely flavored meat on bones, and such a rich, savory soup.
Tuesday, I left, but I *HAD* to wait until I could get a bowl of pho (went to some place on Spadina...), and gotten two Vietnamese sandwiches from Nguyen Houng to take on the road with me!
There were many more places I wanted to try -- particularly the roti suggestions I had gotten, but I just didn't have enough stomach space. Thanks, chowhounders, for all the suggestions -- I had a great trip!