Two sisters just blogging about their passion: halal food!


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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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Chicken Quesadilla

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As some of you may know one of us sisters does food demonstrations at a local community centre and this is one of the recipes we made awhile back that the participants loved. We got this recipe from a newsletter by the Dietitians of Canada. Each serving has 35 g of protein. We used a bit of mayonnaise (shhh…) for when we made it just because we don’t like a dry tortilla. It you do use it, try to get the fat-free kind and use it sparingly.

This recipe is quick to put together and we can assure you and your kids will enjoy it. We are not even fans of spinach, but in this recipe we loved it.

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Prep time: 8 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

8 small whole-wheat flour tortillas

6 oz (175 g) Brie cheese, thinly sliced (we used mozzarella cheese)

2 cups (500 mL) shredded cooked chicken (can substitute mashed chickpeas if preferred)

1 cup (250 mL) shredded baby spinach

1 sweet pepper, sliced into thin strips

1 apple, thinly sliced

Olive oil for cooking

Directions:

1) (Shh..Spread fat-free mayo sparingly on each tortilla). If you can skip it, then great.

2) Divide the cheese into eight portions. Place on portion of cheese on half of each tortilla. Top with chicken, spinach, pepper, apple and another cheese portion.

2) Fold uncovered half of tortilla over filling and press gently to seal.

3) Place a skillet over medium heat and add a little olive oil. Place one tortilla at a time in the pan and cook for 2 minutes until browned. Flip and cook the other side for 2 additional minutes.

Bon appétit!


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Watan Kabob

Check our review of Watan Kabob on Halal Foodie.

“The Chaplee Kabob dinner plate ($11.99) consisted of two large spicy beef kabobs on a bed of seasoned rice and accompanied by a fresh, colourful salad of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. Made of minced beef marinated in ground spices, the Chaplee Kabobs were moist and bursting with flavour. Red spices that were mixed into the ground beef glittered, and made for an interesting visual.” image3

Click here to read the full review.


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Saffron Foods

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Excited by the idea of the first authentic Hyderabadi restaurant in the GTA, we were uber excited to visit Saffron Foods when it first opened up a few months ago. We have a few Hyderabadi friends and we always enjoy eating food at their homes. Some of our favourites are Khatti Daal, Red Chicken and Double Ka Meetha.

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The interior of the restaurant had an old world feel to it. Ethnic wall hangings, pictures of historic buildings and historic looking decor pieces. We looked at the menu and were eager to find our favourite items on there. The menu was modest and, unfortunately, had none of the items we were looking forward to. To us, the menu seemed to mostly have the usual Indian dishes: butter chicken, palak paneer, chicken tikka. That didn’t seem too Hyderabadi to us, but maybe these dishes had a Hyderabadi touch to it?

Trying really hard to pick Hyderabadi items, we decided to order Yoga Chicken (never heard of it before) and Chicken Dum Ki Biryani, along with Garlic Naan. The Biryani came with Bagharey Baigan and Raita.

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The Chicken Dum Ki Biryani was very mild in terms of both flavour and spice level. The raita complimented it well. We really enjoyed the Bagharey Baigan though! The Yoga Chicken was the best item we tried. It had the Hyderabadi flavours we were familiar with. It had that certain “bhagar” that we know is done to many of the dishes with karri patta, turmeric, zeera and coriander seeds. This dish really satisfied our Hyderabadi food craving.

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Overall, we enjoyed our dining experience at Saffron Foods. We do wish that the menu would offer more Hyderabadi dishes.

Address:

1710 Lakeshore Blvd
Mississauga, Ontario

Phone: 

(905) 822-2222

Website:

http://www.saffronfoods.ca


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Naan & Kabob 2.0

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Our favourite Afghan restaurant, Naan & Kabob, has opened a second location in Mississauga. We were ecstatic when we found out and were delighted with the spacious new restaurant.
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The decor was kept consistent with the Scarborough location but it was kicked up a notch. We really like the fresh look.

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The water bottles were super cool. We first thought they were for decor only but were told they were actual water pitchers.

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The section at the back of the restaurant was beautiful. The mural was a great touch and brought in Afghan culture to the restaurant. photo 3

Compared to the Scarborough location, the new restaurant has A LOT of seating, which was fantastic. photo 1

We ordered our favourite Bolanee, which was scrumptious. It is basically a pan fried bread stuffed with potatoes. 
photo 5We also tried the Waziri Kabob Plate with rice and naan. It has one skewer of chicken kabob and one skewer of shish kabob. The kabobs were juicy and full of flavour. We highly recommend trying this dish.

Address:

30 Bristol Rd E, Misssissauga

Website: 

http://www.nandk.ca

 


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Paramount Butcher Shop – Fine Halal Meats

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Summer is almost here in Toronto and we are sure you are ready to fire up your BBQ. The one place you need to check out this BBQ season is the Paramount Butcher Shop. Not only is this a gorgeous shop, it has a wide selection of meat and related products.
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Shiny displays, excellent customer service, free coffee and best of all, 100% halal and hand-slaughtered. This shop really is any North American Muslim’s dream come true. 
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They have marinated chicken, beef, lamb of various cuts.  Although these were all raw, the displays were drool worthy!
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We regularly buy shish tawouk, chicken shawarma, and kabobs from here. 
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They also have a wide selection of deli meats. 
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The beef counter. We were amazed at the selection and various cuts of meats that were available.
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Be sure to check out this wonderful store this summer and let us know what you tried!

Address:

4646 Heritage Hill Boulevard

Mississauga, ON

L5R 1N4

Phone: 905-890-1700

Website: http://paramountbutchershop.com/

 


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Intense Poutine Craving

 

We had the biggest poutine craving a few weeks ago. What triggered our craving were our blog stats, which kept showing people searching for “halal poutine Toronto”. The problem was, we didn’t know where to go. We wanted GOOD poutine; a poutine that would be worth the calories. For someone living in the east end of Toronto, we were surprised that we had such a hard time finding a place. Our options were:

– Crown Pizza

– Affy’s

– Flavour’s Cafe

– Big Moe’s

All three options were a bit of a drive so decided against them. That is where our list ended.  We were certain that there must be more places to grab poutine at but nothing was coming to mind!

After a lot of thought we remembered that Sizzling Skillet has decent poutine. Since we live a few minutes away, we hoped this place would satisfy our craving.
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One word for the poutine: awesome! It doesn’t get any better than waffles fries smothered in gravy and cheese. They sprinkle red pepper on top which really elevates this french fry dish.

So the next time you are in the east end and are craving poutine, visit Sizzling Skillet.

Address: 

2290 Markham Rd

Toronto, ON M1B 2W4

Phone: 

(416) 321-9991

Website:

https://www.facebook.com/sizzlingskillet


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Marrakech Restaurant

Check out our review of Marrakech Restaurant on Halal Foodie.

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Click here to read the article. 

 


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Fry Haus

Halal German Food? We don’t think we have ever seen those three words together. So when we found out that Fry Haus serves halal meat, we ran (literally) to check it out. Newly opened on the intersection of Gerrard and Parliament in downtown Toronto, Fry Haus is serving up German fast food.

The first thing we noticed was how tiny this take-out joint was. There were a few seats inside to wait while you order but no seating otherwise. The next thing we noticed was the menu, which was rather confusing. Our eyes couldn’t settle on any particular item on the menu boards because of the German names and terminology that was used.

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After taking a good 10-15 minutes, we decided to order the Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich and Fries with 5 Pepper Ranch Dip. We had really wanted to order one of specialty french fry dishes but were too overwhelmed to decide on which one to get. So we stuck to getting regular fries instead.

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Chicken Schnitzel is basically pounded chicken that is battered and deep fried. For the Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich, we got to pick our toppings and sauces. We got onions, pickles and some special kind of special coleslaw, along with the Haus Burger Sauce and the 5 Pepper Ranch Sauce. Again, there were so many different sauce options that we just randomly picked a few.

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And voila! This is what our sandwich looked like. photo 4

Although it looked mouth watering good, we honestly thought that it would be on the bland side. We are relieved to say that we were wrong. The sandwich was SO good…like SOO good! Sorry for the lack of adjectives but that’s the best way to describe it. This was one good deep fried piece of chicken and went so well with the sandwich and toppings. The chicken was crispy and tender and om nom nom delicious! The sandwich was quite big considering it was only $5. We highly recommend trying this.
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We had heard a lot of their fries. Even the regular fries are supposedly special because they are double fried and what not. However, we thought the fries were pretty standard. They were comparable to fries at other fast food joints. We dipped our fries in the 5 Pepper Ranch Dip, which made the fries more enjoyable. Again, we regret not ordering their speciality french fry dishes. We ran into to some friends who ordered the Currywurst mit Fritten, which had fries, sausage and curry gravy and they were raving about it. They also tried the burger and said it was one of the best burgers they have ever tried.

Do we recommend you try Fry Haus? Most definitely! Their food is best enjoyed fresh so try to eat it right away. We did bring one sandwich home and by the time it got home, the chicken was no longer crispy. So try and find a spot nearby to sit and munch of the delicious food.

Address:

296 Gerrard St E

Toronto, ON

M5A 2G5

Phone: (416) 901-3100


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Spice Shack

This restaurant has closed down as of March 14, 2015
photo 2 Newly opened and newly relocated, Spice Shack is a Pakistani fusion-ish restaurant in Scarborough. Since we had been hearing a lot of good things about this place, we decided to visit it for lunch on a Saturday. Walking up to the restaurant and seeing the entrance, a good first impression was made. Inside, the restaurant was warm, spacious, had ample seating and a had ethnic, yet a modern vibe. photo 1 Shortly after being seated by a very nice hostess, we were served complimentary Namak Paray with Hummus Dip for appetizer. We found the namak paray to be an interesting take on the traditional nachos & dip. We could taste the freshness very well and the hummus dip had a slight kick to it. It got us excited about the main course.

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Namak Paray with Hummus

For lunch one of us ordered the New York Strip Loin Steak (10 oz) ($21.99) and the other ordered Butter Chicken ($8.99) with Naan ($1.25). Butter Chicken was cooked very well. We could taste the spices very well and found it to be nice. It was slightly on the milder side, which we didn’t mind too much. Naan was baked fresh; we liked the the thin layer of butter on it.

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Butter Chicken with Naan

We were skeptical about New York Strip Loin Steak (medium done), but it caught us by surprise. It was seared very well and cooked to perfection! Importantly, the fusion sauce (South Asian + Western) was amazing! Though the sauce was primarily desi, it complimented the steak amazingly. For sides, we got cream of mushroom soup and fries. We loved the fresh cut fries (served with spicy mayo dip). With regards to the Cream of Mushroom soup, let us tell you, it wasn’t your ordinary cream of mushroom soup. It was delicious, especially because it had a kick to it and had a different texture than the canned version; the subtle desi taste made it all the more enjoyable. The steamed vegetables were great as well!

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Cream of Mushroom Soup

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New York Strip Loin Steak

We were served complimentary salted lussi, which we enjoyed.

Lastly, we were fortunate enough to receive complimentary desserts (one each!). We got gulab jaman and ras malai. Both were perfect and spot on!

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Gulab Jaman

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Ras Malai

Overall, it was a great dining experience with exceptional customer service. We look forward to visiting again soon, inshallah! Address: 308 Painted Post Drive Toronto, Ontario M1G 2M3 Phone number:  (647) 748-0786 Website: http://spiceshack.ca