Kanpai! TFC…..Thats Taiwanese Fried Chicken

The best Fried Chicken, I’ve ever tasted.img_7671

 

Located on Parliament and Carlton, Kanpai is the only Taiwanese fried chicken place in the city. Every day every table in the place is occupied. It’s a casual setting that attracts families early in the evening but you can also take advantage of the late night kitchen and unique bar program.

We went on Saturday and we certainly weren’t disappointed. The menu is rich with old-school rap references, and contains a collection of small plates primarily priced between $4 and $8 that are influenced by Japanese, Korean, Dutch, and even Hakka cuisines.  We tried a wide selection of their dishes, alongside the chicken obviously.   The Taiwanese fried chicken,  TFC, is crispy skinned poultry which is seriously moist. You can have it by the bucket ($19) or as a three piece order ($8). It comes topped with chilli peppers, cilantro, and scallions alongside a little pot of sweet chilli-spiked sauce. The sides we had (with the promise to share) were so good that we reluctantly passed the around. I had the “Ain’t nothing but a green bean baby” and they were soooo good!

Dinner and drinks for 2 was around $60
Beers are $6 and only $4 a Jameson, sure I thought Gavin was gona stay the night!

Thanks to Gavin, Grainne, Babs and Kyle for the pics

If you do pop in let us know what you think. S xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tunnel of lights……..

Always on the look out for new things to do, I saw a post on a Toronto Blog talking about about a Tunnel of Lights just 2 hours outside of Toronto. So in the car we hopped and headed to Bingemans in Kitchener to see their event called the Gift of Lights .

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The event will run from November 18, 2016 to January 1, 2017. It is the largest drive-thru holiday light display in Southwestern Ontario and it features a gorgeous light tunnel to several lit-up holiday statues. The entire path runs 2 km long. Word to the wise, the tunnel is not 2Km long, but there is lights along the entire route.

For more information, check out their website here

I probably wouldn’t encourage the two hour drive, but the money does got to charity and it’s certainly something different!

If you do head down, enjoy the lights….S xx

Belfast Love: a proper pub on King West

 After hearing so much about Belfast Love, I decided to head down and see what all the fuss was about. Now before I continue, Belfast love is NOT an Irish bar, nor does it claim to be! It does however have subtle nods to Ireland with the Four leaf clover sign, the awesome walls of Waterford crystal and an extensive Irish whiskey selection.

The first thing that I noted was the atmosphere, the place was buzzing and the patio was packed (despite the lack of sunshine). Inside the decor is really cool, think neon “loo” signs, dark lighting, naked lady wall paper and crystal so much crystal! Belfast Love is a proper high end pub. I especially love that there’s lots of different seating sections and a pool table, this place really uses the space well. The only draw back for me was the acoustics, I found it really difficult to hear the people at my table, but the place was packed so am I just nit picking?!
Now down to the reason I was there…food and drinks. The drinks list is varied, with a big focus on whiskey, with an option to buy a barrel to be enjoyed any time you stop in, nice touch Belfast Love!

The food is not your average pub fare but is still unpretentious. We got a wide variety of the dishes, pizza, poutine, burgers and the chicken and waffles! All of which had a little something unique to this pub, for example, the chicken and waffles were fab but then paired with a sauce of bourbon and maple syrup……amazing! My poutine was not the regular old fries and cheese curds much to the disappointment of the Montrealer among us, but to me it was like a cheesy gravy chip from home, with the added bonus of super fresh rotisserie chicken chunks on top. The pizza looked amazing, freshly made with a super thin crust, I will be back for sure the try it!

There are lots of staff floating around the bar. All of whom are very beautiful and actually really sound, Well the two that I interacted with were! Now the smart thing to do would be remember names, which I don’t, but I know both our servers had links to Ireland (Limerick and Ballybunion) and they chatted away, not in a tip hungry way but in a genuine dead on way! Plus we got some of the Belfast Love badges so yay happy campers!
My advice go check out Belfast Love, I’ll be aiming for a spot on the patio for my next visit, I just need the sunshine to come back!

Thanks Barbara for the pics. If any of you head down to Belfast Love, let us know your thoughts. S xx

Life after, death by suicide.

I met Aine in my second year of university, and I knew her for a few short years before her death in 2012. I remember her now and explain how our brief friendship and her passing has had a huge impact on me.

  
 
Upon meeting Aine I was struck by her quirky style, her infectious laugh and her cracking sense of humour! I have our first meeting, planted firmly in my mind. Typical of exam season in Manchester, it was sunny out and we spent the day having chatting and enjoying the sun. Over time I got to know her and She was the life and soul of many a night out , singing Karoke, dressing up and dragging us to see random bands in Manchester.

What strikes me most of my memories of Aine is her  beautiful smile! I knew Aine was experiencing a harrowing depression, which we didn’t really talk about, but she didn’t seem sick she was always in the moment with a smile. I spent time with her through some dark moments, never aware of the pain that her smile was masking.

When Aine passed, I just felt really sad. Not for me but sad for her family whom she talked about always and had photos of everywhere. I felt sad for all those who knew her and loved her. I removed myself from the grief, thinking it wasn’t fair to mourne someone you only knew for a short time.

As time as passed I realized the profound effect her passing had on me. As corny as it sounds I think of her most days, every time I see a green banana, or a really comfy reading chair or hear a song from uni. The moment catches me and I’ll find myself smiling at the memory of her.

Her death also taught me, how well hidden depression is, it affects so many of us directly or indirectly. I had a small idea of what Aine was feeling, but my understanding of her illness was limited. I now know how important it is to have the difficult conversations, conversations I should of had with Aine.

The work of Pieta house is so vitally important in taking the stigma out of talking about mental illness. Darkness into light, is an opportunity to show support to those battling depression,it shows that’s it’s ok to open up and talk and most importantly it shows that it’s ok not to be ok. I am so proud to be involved with The Darkness into Light walk Toronto, I’ll be walking May 7th for Aine and all those suffering in silence.

If you would like to get involved you can register here .

Sabai Sabai – pronounced Sab (as in the Sabbath) and ai (as in a Donegal one screaming AYE at ya!)

Sabai-Sabai-Kitchen-and-BarSabai Sabai is an amazing Thai spot located near Church and Dundas, just a few minutes’ walk from Dundas station so it’s dead handy to get to.  The exterior is very unassuming but once inside it’s a cool and relaxed atmosphere – we arrived around 5.30-ish on a weekday and there were a few spare tables, but by the time we left, the place was wedged so I’d recommend booking a table if you want to get a seat.

The evening menu consists of an array of tapas styled Thai dishes! Initially when I heard tapas I had an image of tiny wee dishes of this and that, and me leaving the place just as hungry as when I went in… How wrong was I?!

Our server recommended 2-3 dishes per person, trust her on this one.  Remember tapas are for sharing so don’t all get the same thing!  Be adventurous and try something you never normally would.  I went with a large group so was able to sample quite a bit of the menu and found all of the food to be amazing.

sabai-sabai-toronto I’d highly recommend the Northern Thai curry fish custard (pictured) for those that like fish and the khao sol if you’re not a fan of hot curries.  For the vegetarian or vegans among you, you’ll be happy to hear they have quite a nice selection of vegan dishes.        If you’ve room left after that or have more of a sweeter tooth check out the desserts, they change weekly so ask your server about them – sticky rice and mango doesn’t sound overly impressive but trust me when I say it tastes like the nicest rice pudding you’ve yet to have!

One final thing to note about this place is the cocktails – Treat yo’self to a pitcher! They all taste amazing, you definitely won’t regret it!

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Here’s the link… http://www.sabaisabaito.ca/

Enjoy S Mc xx 

Darkness into Light

dilEach May, thousands of people at locations across Ireland and in the last couple of years across the world, gather to walk or run a 5km route together as dawn breaks. This event is organised by Pieta House and is their largest fundraising and awareness event known as Darkness into Light.  

Darkness into Light represents hope and solidarity, it is symbolic of the work of Pieta House – bringing people from darkness into the light.To date over 80,000 people have taken part in DIL and this year Pieta House in partnership with Young Ones, are taking this special event to Canada with walks in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. Which gives us expats the opportunity to get involved. This event is more than a fundraising activity, and in the light of it spreading across the globe they are inviting us to join as a community to come together and walk from Darkness into Light.

The Toronto Walk will take place on Saturday May 7th at 5.00 a.m. You can view The route here.

Who are Pieta House?                                                                                                                                                             Pieta House, is a suicide and self-harm crisis centre, recognised in Ireland to be one of the most important charities in the country. The Pieta House centres – of which there are 9 in Ireland, provide crisis intervention and counselling, free of charge to those who need it most. Pieta house has helped 14,000 people since its inception in 2006 and the demand is still growing.

Pieta House now has a staff of 170 and continues to grow. In 2014 Pieta House took steps to develop the charity into an international organisation. The charity’s vision is growing and helping more and more people each year, a huge task, which is almost entirely achieved through fundraising and generous donations.

Who are Young Ones?

Young Ones is a Canadian based charitable organization that works to break down the economic and social barriers faced by youth experiencing mental health challenges. Their mission is to assist youth in realizing better mental health through the provision of support, treatment and education from a harm reduction perspective. In partnership with our team of mental health professionals, we provide timely access to treatment and support for youth ages 13 to 24, who are in financial need and struggling with mental health challenges, addictions or concurrent disorders. We are dedicated to raising awareness around mental health challenges and offer anti-stigma education programs facilitated by consumer-survivors.

You can register here

If your still not inspired to get involved, watch this video

So Get involved, CraicTo will be there and would love a few more walking buddies 🙂

Thanks for the info Diane. S xx

This must be the place!

George Street Diner

George Street Diner

So I finally made it to George St Diner. I had been meaning to go here since I saw it in the film “The F word” staring Daniel Radcliffe (which was filmed in Toronto for those of you who didn’t know).

We arrived on a chilly Saturday morning and with most breakfast places in the city (Canadians love Breakfast?!) there was a bit of a wait but not too long. Many people like us, where there because they wanted to see it for themselves after seeing the film.george street dinner

We decided to sit at the counter which after the diner booth style seats was our second choice. We were greeted by a nice guy who was also serving us, and it was like intuition as if he knew we were Irish he asked us did we want tea? Now that’s a first! He let us look over the menu while he got our teas – and it was Barry’s Irish Tea no less, could this place get any better? We were presented with mammoth size mugs of Barry’s tea much to my delight!

I hadn’t realized that this place is known to serve a great Irish breakfast until we got there, however instead of the Irish breakfast we decided on the special Huevos Rancheros. While we waited for our food we enjoyed the laid back atmosphere, they had some easy listening Motown music playing and we checked out the movie memorabilia on the wall, and this rather funky retro plug-in – Holy Mary night-light ( now I think I REALLY need one of these). When our food arrived we were not disappointed it was the best Huevos Rancheros I’ve had, it was amazing. We also ordered a side of soda bread and it was the best soda bread I’ve had outside of Ireland. It is close second to my Grandad’s soda bread; he’s a champion bread maker. They make their own soda bread in house but you can also buy the bread mix and make it at home it’s Farrelly’s Irish brown Soda bread mix – apparently “Easy as sin to make”, we are available to test it out if you need us!

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros….I’m hungry just thinking of this.

I am already looking forward to going back to try the Irish breakfast although it will be tough not to order the Huevos again, it really was sooo good.

This place is a real gem, go check it out for yourself. 

 

129 George St, TO

 

B x