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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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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Hwy 55- Oakville

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We had been wanting to try Hwy 55 for quite some time but always backed out for one reason or another. So this past Ramadan, we decided to visit this diner for their Islamic Relief fundraising event. The restaurant was packed with people, with people lined up outside of the doors! Luckily for us, we had made reservations and got seats.

Since we were all fasting, we decided to go all out with the order. We ordered the John Boy and Billy BBQ Bacon (halal beef strips) Burger, fries, gravy fries and onion rings. The wait for the food was quite long, but it was due to the crazy rush that day. Let us tell you, the food was definitely worth the wait!

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The John Boy and Billy BBQ Bacon (halal beef strips) Burger had a burger patty topped with an onion ring (yum!) along with mustard, chill, halal beef strips aka bacon, cheese and their special sauce. It was a solid burger and we thoroughly enjoyed it. IMG_8801

The Gravy Fries was also one of our favourites. Finger licking good gravy was smothered on top of crispy fries and it made for the perfect combination.

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This diner, with its old school style and decor, is worth a visit. We can’t wait to visit again, except that we probably should be fasting to justify the high fat, high calorie meal.

Address:

548 Trafalgar Road

Oakville, ON L6J 3J2

Phone:

905-337-3434

Website:

 http://hwy55burgers.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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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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Brunch at Spice Shack

This restaurant has closed down as of March 14, 2015

Breakfast is our favourite meal of the day. So any chance that we get to make this meal grand and fancy, we jump to it. Upon learning that Spice Shack has introduced a brunch menu, we knew we had to try it. Currently, the brunch starts at 11am but the staff told us that they may start it earlier, which is great because we like to eat our breakfast early! We ordered the Nutella Banana Crepes and the Eggs Benedict. We thought the crepes would be overly sweet but to our surprise, the sweetness was not overwhelming at all. We highly recommend trying this item.   photo 1   The Eggs Benedict were delicious as well. We asked them to remove bacon because one of us does not like it too much. The eggs were perfectly poached and seasoned well. The spicy, South Asian style side of potatoes brought in the fusion element that we like so much at Spice Shack. Yum yum yum!photo 2 Happy brunching! Address: 308 Painted Post Drive Scarborough, ON. M1G 2M3 Phone:  647 748 0786 Website:  http://www.spiceshack.ca


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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