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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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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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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East Meats West Review

We had some of the most delicious sandwiches ever at East Meats West in Mississauga. Check out our review on Halal Foodie.

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Click here to read the full review.


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Roasted Beets with Mint Yogurt Sauce

One of us sisters does food demonstrations at a local community centre for a group of women in a fitness program. We focus on healthy, easy to make recipes. Recently, we made Roasted Beets with Mint Yogurt Sauce from Martha Stewart’s recipe. It turned out delicious and the ladies in the group loved it.

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Here is the recipe from Martha’s Stewart’s website:

Ingredients: 

  • 1 bunch medium beets or 3 bunches baby beets (about 1 1/2 pounds total), scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, toss beets with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover dish tightly with foil and roast until tender when pierced with a knife, 45 to 60 minutes, depending on size. When cool enough to handle, rub beets with a paper towel to remove skins.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, mint, cumin, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Spoon yogurt sauce over beets and serve.

We roasted the beets differently than in the original recipe. Since it was our first time cooking beets we googled a few more recipes to see how others roast them. So for step 1, we washed and scrubbed the beet roots. Then we wrapped each beet root individually with foil. We placed all the individually foil wrapped beet roots on a baking sheet and baked them at 425 F for 45 minutes. We then took the them out of the oven, unwrapped them and THEN peeled the beet roots and chopped them.

Many ladies in the group mentioned that they boil beet roots, but it gets messy because beet roots leave a lot of colour. We found that wrapping them in foil was relatively mess-free.

The mint yogurt sauce is what makes the roasted beets comes to life. Honestly, the sauce is everything. You can have these roasted beets as a side, as mixed into a bigger salad, or tossed with almost anything you like.


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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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RaviSoups (Adelaide Location)

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It is officially soup season here in Canada. The best way to get through the frigid temperatures of January is by having a hot, hearty bowl of soup. A bowl of soup just makes us feel good all over. One of our favourite soups kitchens in Toronto is RaviSoups (Adelaide location). We had been notified by friends that this location serves halal meat and we were also told this by the staff at RaviSoups.

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The Adelaide location of RaviSoups has rustic decor. The unique wooden table makes for a great background for those soup photos you will want to instagram!

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Pictured above is the Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Tiger Shrimp, served with a cheese biscuit and red pepper dipping sauce. The roasted red pepper soup had a hint of sweetness but overall had a savoury flavour and aroma. The soup was topped with fried onions and cilantro. The soup had a grainy texture to it, which we actually kind of enjoyed.

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The Chicken Hot Pot Broth soup tasted just as good as it looked. The soup had coconut milk, lemongrass, kaffir lime, fresh noodles, bok choy, edamame, mango, pineapple, crispy shallots and fresh herbs. The fragrant lemongrass and kaffir lime gave the soup a Thai flavour, which was really delicious! There was a generous portion of chicken, bok choy and noodles in the soup to make it super filling. The fresh cilantro was  the cherry on top! The mango and pineapple chunks were surprisingly good additions to the soup.

We have also tried the Porcini Mushroom Wild Rice Bisque and Oven Roasted Veggie wrap in the past and both items were delicious. The Oven Roasted Veggie wrap is one of our favourite items on their menu.

Just to reiterate, the halal meat is at the Adelaide location of RaviSoups. They have three other locations in downtown Toronto and we are not sure if those locations serve halal meat as well. Your best bet is to call before you go.

Address: 

22 Adelaide St W.,
Toronto, ON M5V 1R1

Phone:

(647)435-8365

Website: 

http://ravisoup.com/index.php