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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EarthFresh Organic Potatoes: Roasted Potatoes Recipe

We were asked to try out EarthFresh’s Organic Potatoes in a recipe, so we went to our favourite potato recipe that we always make for parties.

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EarthFresh’s Organic Red Baby Potatoes came in a light blocking bag to protect the potatoes from greening. Grown to strict organic standards, these potatoes are grown using environmentally friendly farming methods to preserve the long-term health of our ecosystem. IMG_5704

We washed and scrubbed the potatoes. Isn’t that brush the cutest? IMG_5705

Once the potatoes were nice and clean, it was time to cut them up. We cut them into fours to make them bite size. IMG_5707

Next we spread the potatoes on a foil tray. IMG_5708

They were brushed with olive oil. We used about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. IMG_5710

We seasoned the potatoes with 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp red pepper and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper.  IMG_5711

Potatoes ready to go in the oven!IMG_5713

We baked them at 400 F for 40 minutes. We garnished it with cilantro. IMG_5718

The potatoes had a creamy texture and the seasoning added a South Asian flare to them. IMG_5719

EarthFresh’s potatoes can be used in a loads of recipes, from breakfast, lunch and dinner. Potatoes are a versatile ingredient and fit into a healthy diet when consumed in moderation.

 


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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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Chinese Wok

Chinese Wok

It’s (literally) freezing cold (-30C with wind chill factor) outside these days and we were thinking of take-out dinner options. We recalled Chinese Wok, a take-out Chinese food restaurant that opened up not too long ago. We haven’t come across many Hakka Chinese restaurants that are take-out only, so we were a little skeptical.

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First impression: a good inviting establishment with a modern touch (nice & clean). We liked that the kitchen was visible. The establishment had a steady stream of customers, which is always nice to see.

Moving on, we found that the menu to be quite expansive and interesting; it included unique offerings such as pizzas, wraps & bowls (Hakka Chinese style of course). We only had to wait about 10 minutes or so, which wasn’t bad at all.

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We decided to stick to the traditional choices: veg fried rice, chilli chicken, manchurian beef and hakka chicken chow mein ($38.42).

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We are happy to share that we enjoyed our meal. Veg fried rice and chicken chow mein were unanimous winners. One of us enjoyed chilli chicken more, whilst the other one enjoyed manchurian beef more. We have only tried a small selection of their vast menu, but are looking forward to going back for more (menu items)! The food is certainly sit-down restaurant taste & quality, which is encouraging. Since this take-out restaurant is in our neighbourhood, we see ourselves ordering take-out food from here than from Eddie’s or Asian Wok.

We do feel that for the portion sizes, it’s a little pricey. Lastly, there’s a certificate indicating their meat is from Amir Quality Meats.

Chinese Wok is located at 3050 Artesian Drive, Unit #9 (Mississauga) and can be reached at: (905) 608-9999.


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Big Smoke Burger (Square One)

Big Smoke Burger (Square One Mall)

Not too long ago we heard about Big Smoke Burger and our immediate reaction was: omg not another burger place!
Anyway, given how much we enjoy trying out new places, we thought why not give it a try, especially since it was highly recommended by a friend. We ordered Crazy Burger (requested halal beef patty) ($14.95 with onion rings and pop) and Spicy Burger (requested halal beef patty) ($14.72). Upon seeing the total ($29.67), we were skeptical and were waiting impatiently for our order to be prepared and for us to dig in.

Big Smoke Burger (Square One Mall)

To our surprise, the fresh beef patty (non-processed) lived up to our expectations and we loved the toppings on both the burgers. Actually one of us loved the Crazy Burger (alapeno havarti, coleslaw, chipotle mayo, bbq sauce, hot peppers & lettuce), whilst the other one thought Spicy Burger (caramelized onions, spicy chipotle mayo, tomato & lettuce) was better.

We thought the fries were quiet good. They were very similar to New York Fries in taste. The onion rings were good as well; just that we personally find it difficult to finish an entire order of onion rings.

We visited Big Smoke Burger’s Square One (Mississauga) location. The sign clearly indicates that you have to ask for halal beef and/or chicken. We wanted to try out their poutine, but we were informed that the gravy on poutine is not halal. We were very thankful for their honesty.

We can’t wait to go back and try other burgers on the menu!

Big Smoke Burger is located in Square One Mall’s food court. For more information, please visit: http://www.bigsmokeburger.com


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Pizza Shab

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We learnt about Pizza Shab (North York) and have been long wanting to visit it. We happened to be in North York sometime ago and got hungry. The first place we thought of and ended up eating at was Pizza Shab!

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Though Pizza Shab is primarily a take-out, there are a couple tables, so we decided to dine-in.

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We ordered half Supreme Chicken and half Supreme Beef. We absolutely loved the pizza! It felt very nice and light. We loved the herbs & spices used and the smokey meat taste. It was a good change from the traditional halal pizzas most of us end up eating. In our humble opinion, if you happen to be in town, Pizza Shab is worth a visit. They have an expansive menu; however, we only had limited appetite and didn’t wanna have leftovers. We can’t wait to go back for more pizza and other items on the menu.

For more information, please visit their website at http://www.pizzashab.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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Momofuku Milk Bar

Momofuku Milk Bar is located on the second floor of Momofuku Noodle Bar beside Shangri-La Hotel in downtown Toronto. The Milk Bar is tiny. To give you guys an idea of how small it is, it can be best described as a walk-in fridge. A maximum of 5-6 people can fit in there at one time. You grab a basket outside the Milk Bar, pick your goodies, and go downstairs to pay for them.

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We tried the Compost Cookie, B’day Truffles and the Crack Pie. photo 3

The Compost Cookie had interesting ingredients such as pretzels, potato chips and coffee beans along with the regular ingredients such as oats, butterscotch and chocolate chips. One of us liked the cookie and the other one not so much. The cookie had a strong coffee flavour, which masked everything else.
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The B’day Truffles had rainbow cake, white chocolate and sprinkles. They were scrumptious and melted in our mouths. They are very similar to cookie dough based desserts.

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The Crack Pie was the most amazing treat ever! It is a toasted oat crust with butter filling. It sounds very simple and it is indeed simple, but the taste is out of this world. It is very sweet, so it may not be liked by everyone but it is definitely worth a try.

If you happen to be in the downtown Toronto area, drop by the Momofuku Milk Bar and give yourself a treat!

Address:

2nd Floor
190 University Avenue
Toronto, ONM5H 0A3


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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.