Two sisters just blogging about their passion: halal food!


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Haze Lounge – May 2016

Haze Lounge seems to be a popular place to chill in the Mississauga area. We heard good things about their food for awhile now, so we decided to check it out for lunch recently. What held us back from visiting this restaurant was the fact that it is primarily a shisha lounge, and hence, we were a bit uncomfortable of how the ambiance would be.

The restaurant has a nice patio, which we would have preferred but the day we visited was a bit chilly. Inside the restaurant, it was a bit dark. While we did like the antique lamps and the the lattice separating the booths, the ambiance really wasn’t for us (even in the afternoon time) and the smell of shisha was everywhere (second hand smoke alert). However, we were there for the food, so we proceeded with ordering our meal.

We started with BBQ chicken wings ($11.50). The chicken wings were exceptional and had the perfect crunch to sauce ratio.

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For the entrees, we ordered the Philly Cheese Steak ($11), Portobello Chicken ($16.50), and the Half Rack of Lamb ($19). The Philly Cheese Steak lacked the wow factor. We wished it had more cheese and more seasoning. There was a generous amount of steak, which we did like. img_6532

The Portobello Chicken was our favourite. It was a juicy piece of chicken on a bed of buttery mashed potatoes, topped with roasted mushrooms and asparagus with a generous serving of sauce. We were in love with this dish and highly recommend it. img_6533

Next up was the Half Rack of Lamb with mashed potatoes and vegetables. There were four lamb chops around a bed of mashed potatoes, and drizzled with gravy. While we enjoyed the mashed potatoes and the gravy, the overall dish did not impress us. img_6534

We were given complimentary dessert (two plates of them) because one of our entrees came a bit late. We appreciated this gesture by the staff. We were presented with Sticky Toffee Date Cake with Ice Cream. My oh my, this cake was a piece of heaven. The date cake was warm and the toffee sauce on top was incredible, and paired with vanilla ice cream, this dessert suddenly turned our lunch into a pleasant experience. img_6535

All the food at Haze Lounge is made from scratch, and there are definitely delicious options on their menu. While we would want to go back for the food, the ambiance of the restaurant is not really for us. Perhaps, opting for the patio in the summer would be a good option for us.

Please note: Haze Lounge is open to Families every day until 6pm. They have a strict 19+ policy after 6pm.

Address:

4230 Sherwoodtowne Blvd

Mississauga, ON, L4Z 2G6

Website:

Hazelounge.ca


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Zem One Revisited- May 2016

You may remember our 2013 post on Zem One. Since our last review, the restaurant has moved to a new location with new management (but the same owner). It is the same great halal Japanese food, but with a new sushi chef on board and everyone we know has been raving about his sushi. We were in for a pleasant surprise.

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Located at 51 Village Centre Place in Mississauga, Zem One is a hidden gem in the Square One area but away from the hustle and bustle. We loved the quaint nature of the location, which had a nice brick patio and water feature.

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The inside of the restaurant had a serene ambiance, which we quite enjoyed. We liked how it was not as crowded and loud as some of the other sushi restaurants. The simple and well maintained decor contributed to the ambiance. It a perfect place for dinner with your special someone.

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Since Zem One is located in an area surrounded by executive buildings, it is quite busy during breakfast and lunch hours. We visited the restaurant for an early dinner and went for the All You Can Eat menu. If you have read our 2013 post, you may remember that we were not huge fans of sushi back then. However, all that has changed in recent years, and we can be found munching on Dynamite Rolls.

We started with Chicken Corn Soup, Hot and Sour Soup, and Tom Yum Soup. The Chicken Corn Soup is our all time favourite, and always lifts our mood. The Hot and Sour Soup had a a generous serving of chicken in it, and we loved the spicy kick it had. The Tom Yum Soup was hot and tangy, just the way we like it. The soup servings for the AYCE menu were generous, and quite filling.

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Next up for appetizers were Shrimp and Sweet Potato Tempura along with Edamame. We love anything deep fried, so tempura is always in our good books. The crunchy panko coated seafood and vegetable tempura, dipped in sweet sauce is a match made in heaven.

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Pad Thai is by far our favourite carbohydrate-laden food. Stir fried rice noodles with shrimp and flavoured with tamarind and fish sauce, this Pad Thai did justice to our taste buds. We would order this again in a heartbeat. IMG_1871

We also tried the Szechuan Shrimp, which had a rich sauce and generous amount of vegetables and shrimp. The chili paste and the use of Sichuan peppers made this dish spicy.

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Next up was the star of the night, sushi! We started with California Roll, Red Tuna Sushi, Salmon Sushi, Shrimp Sushi and Sashimi pieces. We found the seafood to be fresh and flavourful, and the sushi was devoured within minutes.

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Our absolute favourite is the Spicy Dynamite Roll, which has shrimp tempura, cucumber, crab and avocado, topped with spicy mayo. The combination of the spicy sauce with the crunchy shrimp and cool cucumber is what elevates the Dynamite Roll. We highly recommend this dish.

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The Torched Mississauga Paradise was the best sushi we had that night. It had spicy salmon, avocado, cucumber, crab, cream cheese topped with spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce. The use of the blow torch allowed the spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce to melt right into the sushi, and created a heavenly roll. IMG_1883

Check out the video we made of how this roll was made.

And because we can never get enough of sushi, we ordered sushi to-go. Pictured below is the Rainbow Roll, which had cucumber, avocado and crab, topped with tuna, salmon, butterfish and shrimp. We enjoyed this thoroughly for lunch the next day.

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We also ordered the Crunch Roll, which had cucumber, avocado, crab, shrimp tempura and topped with tempura flakes. This, again, was munched away the next day. IMG_1887

Given our sweet tooth, we couldn’t leave without dessert (although we were already in food coma). We ordered Coconut and Mango Ice Cream. These were the classics we love and provided a sweet ending. IMG_1895

The Tempura Cheesecake was hands down the best dessert ever! We are HUGE cheesecake fans, so imagine our delight when we had this deep fried cheesecake. It was everything our sweet tooth could have asked for and more. It was creamy cheesecake, dipped in batter and coated with tempura, and fried to perfection . We can’t even begin to describe the epic-ness of this cheesecake. A definite must try if you visit Zem One. IMG_1896

Zem One is one of the few Japanese restaurants in the GTA offering halal food, so kudos to them for this. The friendly service, freshly prepared food, and the cozy atmosphere allowed us to wholly enjoy our dinner at Zem One. Do we recommend this restaurant? Yes (and please take us with you)!

Address: 

51 Village Centre Place

Mississauga, ON, L4Z 1V9

Phone: 

(905) 712-1615


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Bismillah Sweets (BM Sweets)

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If you know us, you know that we are die hard mithai fans. Ever since we moved to the west end of the city, we have been on the lookout for a good mithai shop.

We heard of BM Sweets through a relative and they were raving about their sweets. Since BM Sweets doesn’t have a website, Facebook group or any sort of presence online, it was a bit of challenge to find. But we did find it eventually in the Heartland area of Mississauga.

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It’s a small takeout shop with friendly customer service. On our first visit, we got a small box of assorted mithai. The mithai at BM Sweets is pretty darn good. We particularly enjoyed the barfi and the gulab jamuns. On a subsequent visit, we tried their jalebi and also found that to be delicious.

Whenever we go with our little one, they have always given us a free piece of mithai. Someone sure knows how to win our hearts.

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Our family enjoys their samosas a lot. We tried the chicken and veggie samosas that came with free chutney (yes, free). Our favourite are the chicken samosas. Being South Asians, we have a never ending love affair with samosas and chutney.

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So the next time you’re in the mood for mithai or need to take mithai to that someone special’s house or you’re obliged to be fed mithai for your special occasion, we recommend giving BM Sweets a try.

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Address: 

812 Britannia Road West

Unit 103

Mississauga, ON

L5V 2W1

Phone: 

905-821-8321


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Black Ox Bistro

We made the much awaited trip to Scarborough recently to finally try Black Ox Bistro. We went around lunch time and found the restaurant to surprisingly quiet. We were greeted by a very enthusiastic (yet professional) server who escorted us to table. He raved about the ribs, the stuffed chicken and the chicken fettuccine. By the way he described the dishes we were super excited. He definitely knew how do his job well.

For our little one, we ordered the Chicken Nuggets ($7) with fries that came with ketchup and plum sauce. These weren’t your run-of-the-mill breaded nuggets. These were batter dipped and fried. We thought the nuggets could have used a bit of extra seasoning. They did taste good with the plum sauce, however. The portion size was appropriate for our toddler.

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Our favourite thing at Black Ox Bistro was definitely their drinks. We tried the Pina Colada and the Mango Lychee drinks. Both were bursting with flavour and were blended to perfection. We highly recommend trying items from their drinks menu.

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The first entrée we tried was the Roasted Vegetable Stuffed Chicken Breast ($19). The chicken was stuffed with fire-roasted vegetables, goat cheese and thyme/rosemary sauce. It came with two sides, so we got mashed potatoes and fries. Unfortunately, this was our least favourite dish. It was definitely edible but just wasn’t for us. We did enjoy the fries though.

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We have heard people raving about the ribs from Black Ox Bistro for quite some time now so decided to take the plunge (we say that because we rarely order beef) and ordered the half rack Classic Beef Short Ribs ($22). The ribs were smothered with Korean Bulgogi BBQ sauce. We believe the sauce served on the side was a different kind but we don’t know the name. For sides, again we got fries and mashed potatoes. The ribs were tender and juicy and the sauce was the definitely the saviour. While we thought the ribs were good, we didn’t understand the hype around it.

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For dessert we ordered the Lemon Zest Cheesecake ($7) with dulche de leche sauce. Dulche de leche is one of our favourite dessert sauces so when we read that we imagined a slice of cheesecake covered with the sauce. It was actually just a drizzle. The first bite was quite lemony but the flavour grew on us after a few more bites.

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We have to say that the service was commendable and the professionalism was impressive (given that no other halal restaurant has professional servers). However, when it came to the food we were a bit underwhelmed. It is possible that we didn’t make very good choices for the entrées. Have you visited Black Ox Bistro? What did you think of their food?

Address: 

1780 Markham Road

Toronto, ON

Phone:

416-297-5777

Website: 

http://www.blackoxbistro.com/


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Second Grill

Second Grill

Long before gourmet burger restaurants dominated the scene in GTA, Second Grill in Mississauga was amongst the very few places (in Mississauga at least) that most burger enthusiasts used to visit. It used to be known as ‘Hot-in-Roll’ before it went a management & name change. Second Grill has recently had a management change. The establishment has some seating; however, we personally feel it’s better suited for take-out.

This past Ramadan when most restaurants would be closed post-taraweh hours, we ended up visiting Second Grill a number of times. We enjoyed the food and reminisced of old times. Our favourites have been

  • Spicy Beef Burger with Cheese (yes, it’s processed beef patty, but still yummy!)
  • Zinger Burger
  • Poutine (they are generous with the gravy, so we usually ask them not to add too much)
  • Philly Cheese Steak (it’s been a hit & miss, but worth the attempt; when it turns out good, it’s quite good)
  • Sehri breakfast – which may also be weekend breakfast (halwa, cholay/chanay, shami kabab, omelet)

Hope you get to try their food and enjoy it (and reminisce of old times) as much as we have been. We have been placing take-out orders post-Ramadan and will continue to do so.

Second Grill is located at 5980 Churchill Meadows Blvd., Unit 8, Mississauga. Their phone number is 905-369-0061.


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T-Buds


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One of our absolute favourite spots in Toronto is the T-Buds tea lounge in the uptown part of the city. We have visited this crêperie numerous times and our experience has always been delightful. 

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We have tried a variety of items from their menu over the years and every item is delicious and so thoughtfully assembled that it warms the heart. IMG_5551
We love their high-tea offering and find the scones and sandwiches to be heavenly. 

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We find T-Buds to be one of the most unique restaurants in the halal food community in Toronto. Many Muslims are aware of this cozy tea lounge, but many are not. We highly recommend you check this place out with your girlfriends and if you are guy, treat that special lady in your life to a nice afternoon brunch.
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For this post we thought we’d let the pictures do the talking.
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Address: 3343 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4N 2M4

Phone: (647) 352-3624


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Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake

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After months and months, we finally decided to wait in line at Uncle Tetsu’s for their famous Japanese cheesecake. Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake is the latest craze in downtown Toronto and it is located just minutes from Ryerson University on Bay and Dundas. There is always, and we mean always, a long line up outside the shop. Typical wait time is about 1.5-2 hours. We were lucky to get our goodies in about 45 minutes.

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When we were finally inside the store, we looked around in amazement. There were numerous staff members working diligently at producing the desserts. The staff and the service definitely lived up to the gold standard of the Japanese work ethic that most of us are aware of.

Currently, the Toronto location only sells the plain cheesecake ($10 including tax) and the Madelines (4 for $7). The Madelines are basically vanilla/honey cupcakes without frosting. They are buttery, soft and have a hint of honey flavour. These were good but not outstanding. We thought they were a bit overpriced.

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The main attraction, the cheesecake, can be eaten warm (i.e. fresh out of the oven) or cold. When we tried it warm it was spongy and had mousse-like texture, that was not really to our liking. A bit disappointed, we put the cake in the fridge and tried it again after a few hours. The texture was more firm and at this point, it was very light and fluffy and we enjoyed it this time around. It is not comparable to the regular cheesecake you may be used to. It is not as sweet, or as rich as the New York style cheesecake.

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So was it worth the wait? We think so. It is something that we think people should try at least once.

Have you tried Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecake yet? If so, let us know if you liked it or not.


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Fresh East by Paramount

Did you read our review of Fresh East on Halal Foodie? If not, go check it out. We loved, loved, loved the breakfast sandwich. Mmm…

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Click here to read the review.