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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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.


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Chicken in Mushroom Cream Sauce by Ikhlas Hussain

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Our favourite blogger, Ikhlas Hussain of the Whimsical Whims of Ikhlas Hussain, is our go-to person for easy, delicious recipes. We have tried countless recipes from her blog, both sweet and savoury, and have always been pleased with the results. The best thing is that her recipes call for ingredients you normally have at home. You may remember our Chicken Pot Pie post, which was also a recipe by Ikhlas.

We recently tried her recipe for Chicken in Mushroom Cream Sauce and it turned out incredible! Our favourite part was the sauce. It was so good that next time we may just skip the chicken altogether and just make the sauce and toss it with pasta. Yum!

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Chicken in Mushroom Cream Sauce

Yield: 2-4 servings

Ingredients

For the chicken
    • 2 lbs boneless chicken, cut into small chunks
    • 3 tbsp lemon juice
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp crushed chili peppers
    • 1 cup flour
    • Oil
For the sauce
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • mushrooms, sliced

Instructions

  1. Marinate the chicken with lemon juice, salt, and crushed chili peppers. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Lightly toss chicken chunks in flour until completely coated. Heat oil in a medium skillet and cook chicken chunks until golden and crispy on each side, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Once butter is light brown in colour, add flour and whisk well. Add chicken broth and mushrooms. Let cook for a few minutes and then add milk, salt, and pepper and turn down heat. Add cheese and mix well.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a flat baking dish, add cooked chicken and pour sauce on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and hot. Serve warm over rice or pasta.

Recipe by Ikhlas Hussain


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Anatolian’s Turkish Restaurant

Read our review of Anatolian’s Turkish Restaurant in Thorncliffe.

“Chicken Sauteed ($15.99) was an aromatic dish that had chicken breast, onion, green and red peppers, tomatoes and garlic, all sautéed in butter. The best part was that it comes sizzling to the table! It was served with white rice. If you do not like being too adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, then chicken sautéed is a safe dish to order. Although all the ingredients seemed basic, the way they were combined and cooked made this dish a family pleaser.”

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Click here for the full review.


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Burrito Planet

On a rainy, stormy weekday night in downtown Toronto, we stumbled upon Burrito Planet located on 181 College Street. It is located conveniently on the UofT St. George campus and if you are a student there, you have probably visited Burrito Planet more than once.

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We really liked the simple menu: Burritos and Sides. The last thing we want at a takeout place is an enormous and confusing menu. This place was perfect for a quick bite. The burritos come in chicken, steak, lamb or veggie and can be regular or large in size. They also have specialty burritos such as the Beef Bolognese, Tiger Shrimp, Atlantic salmon, and Planet Hybrid. We decided to get the regular size Chicken Burrito ($6.95). Although we wanted to try the Planet Hybrid, which has beef, chicken and shrimp, we were too burnt out that day to be in the mood for experimenting.

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We really liked the neat and clean service and prep area. If you know us you know that cleanliness makes us uber happy. We also found the customer service to be friendly and helpful. These two things helped us forget about our wet shoes and wet hijabs from the rain.

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Customers have the choice of white or whole wheat tortilla. Rice and a beans are spread on the tortilla. Next, customers get to pick their toppings (all of which looked super fresh). We got all the toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, corn, cheese, jalapeños and sour cream. The spice level of the burritos range from mild, medium or hot.

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Next the freshly grilled chicken was added. Here is a picture of our chicken burrito before it was rolled up and grilled.

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Here is a picture of how the burrito looked while we munched on it. Sorry for the horrible pictures but we were so hungry that we pretty much inhaled the food. We absolutely loved the smoky flavour of the chicken and wished there was more of it in each bite. The vegetables were crisp and overall the burrito was filling. We had picked medium for the spice level but next time we would go for hot to satisfy our South Asian taste buds.

Should you check out Burrito Planet? Most definitely! The burritos are great bang for the buck and we found the food to be flavourful and filling.

Visit their Twitter account for more pictures: https://twitter.com/burritoplanet


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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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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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Authentic Asia – Thai Green Curry & Shrimp Wonton Soup

We are always looking to try new, halal food products. When we were the Halal Food Festival a few weeks ago, we got to sample delicious food from many vendors we had never heard of before. The one that stood out was CP’s Authentic Asia who introduced us to their frozen entrées. On the day of the Halal Food Festival, we had a few bites of their Thai Green Curry and Chicken Pad Thai and were amazed at the quality and taste of the food. We were told that these can be found in the freezer aisle of almost all big grocery stores.

Not surprisingly, we were craving their food just a few days after and began our search in the freezer aisles at our favourite grocery stores. We were unable to find it at Sobeys but found it easily at Loblaws. We were tempted to try their entire selection of products but forced ourselves not to get carried away. We bought the Thai Green Curry Chicken with Jasmine Rice ($3.99) and Shrimp Wonton Soup ($2.50). The halal symbol can be found on the boxes but you may need to check all 6 sides of the box to locate it.

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We tried the Thai Green Curry Chicken with Jasmine Rice first. In just 5-6 minutes in the microwave, the entrée was ready to eat. The green curry was bursting with Thai flavours of coconut milk, basil and lemon grass. It was absolutely delicious and went really well with the rice. We did find the curry to be a bit on the salty side and the rice wasn’t as fluffy and light as we we would have liked. However, for a frozen dinner this was pretty darn good.
photo 2-13The Shrimp Wonton Soup was ready in 3 minutes in the microwave. Don’t be fooled by the picture, the wontons were huge! Although there were only five wontons in the total, they were filling. The soup was well seasoned and the wontons were scrumptious. Although both products were great, we enjoyed the Shrimp Wonton Soup more.

We look forward to trying more of Authentic Asia’s products, inshallah.

 


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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