Mind-Blowing Dessert at Millie Patisserie

Millie PatisserieLocation: 12 Oxley Street, Toronto
Websitehttp://milliedesserts.com/

I just had a slice of the mille crepe cake from Millie Patisserie, and it was so incredibly delicious that I’m pretty sure I can never eat dessert again.  I mean, what’s the point?  It’s all garbage to me now.  Mille crepe cake 4 eva.

In case you’re not familiar with a mille crepe cake, it’s a magical creation in which crepes and custardy cream are layered on top of each other until you wind up with something that looks like a cake.

Millie Patisserie

The version they’re serving at Millie Patisserie is next level.  It’s insanely good.

On this particular visit, they had four varieties: vanilla bean, tiramisu, earl gray, and matcha.  I went with vanilla bean, and holy crap it was amazing.

The custard between the crepe layers was crazy delicious.  It was rich and creamy, with an intense custardy flavour and the perfect amount of vanilla.  Just give me a spoon and a bucket of this stuff and I’ll eat it until I literally explode.

Millie Patisserie

The tender crepes are just as good, with a very light chewiness that compliments the custard perfectly.  The proportion of both is just right; it’s the perfect balance of creaminess and substance and amazingness.  It was easily one of the best desserts I’ve had in ages.

It’s not cheap, however.  One slice comes up to a bit over ten bucks with tax, which is so much that I almost left the store without ordering anything.  But man, it is absolutely, positively worth it.  Aside from the fact that it’s ridiculously delicious, the quality of ingredients they’re working with is obviously high, and I have to imagine that making one of these things is quite labour intensive.  There are so many layers and they’re all so perfect.

Satisfying Noodle Soup at GB Hand-Pulled Noodles

GB Hand-Pulled NoodlesLocation: 66 Edward Street, Toronto
Website: None

I’ve mentioned before that chewy hand-pulled noodles are basically the best thing ever.  That continues to be true.  That’ll be true forever.  Hundreds of years from now, when the robots complete their bloody uprising and have wiped out the human race, it’ll continue to be true.  Even robots will enjoy hand-pulled noodles.  Because they’re the best.

And if you’re craving hand-pulled noodles and don’t feel like venturing out into the ‘burbs, you could certainly do worse than GB Hand-Pulled Noodles.

GB Hand-Pulled Noodles

They have a few things on the menu, though the main attraction here is the noodle soup.  You can choose your noodle thickness from seven (!) different options, which range from “super thin” to “extremely wide.”  I went with narrow thick, which is right in the middle.

The soup itself is fine, though it is a bit one-note salty (no one around me finished their broth, nor did I).  The prodigious amount of tasty chili oil that they serve it with certainly helps, but it’s clear that the soup is more of a vehicle for the noodles than something anyone would particularly enjoy on its own.

GB Hand-Pulled Noodles

Aside from the noodles, the other highlight is the thinly-sliced beef, which is tender and flavourful.  The beef at noodle joints like this tends to be hit-and-miss, so I appreciated the level of quality here.

But of course, the reason you’re here is those noodles, which get expertly pulled in full view of the dining room.

GB Hand-Pulled Noodles

The narrow thick noodles that I picked basically look like a particularly weighty spaghetti.  They were chewy, toothsome, and outstanding.  Even by the standards of hand-pulled noodles, these were particularly firm and substantial; I was on the fence about them at first, but they quickly won me over.

Japanese Domination Continues at Koi Koi Sake Bar

Koi Koi Sake BarLocation: 170 Baldwin Street, Toronto
Websitehttps://www.koikoibar.com/

Joining places like Little Pebbles, Sakoshi Mart, and Millie Creperie, the Japanese domination of this stretch of Kensington Market continues with Koi Koi Sake Bar, which features a tasty selection of Japanese eats.  I, for one, welcome our new Japanese overlords.

I tried a few things.  First up was a nice little snack that every table gets by default.  I meant to ask what these were and completely forgot, but they were crunchy, savoury, and a little bit sweet.

Koi Koi Sake Bar

Next up was the katsu sando, which is a fried pork sandwich topped with a generous amount of mayo and tangy tonkatsu sauce, with some romaine lettuce for added crunch and freshness.  It’s a solid sandwich, though the pork was overcooked (I had a hard time even biting through it in parts).

Koi Koi Sake Bar

The miso nasu followed, which is a dish consisting of grilled, miso-glazed eggplant.  It feels like it’s missing something (a crunchy counterpoint to the soft eggplant, perhaps?), but it’s enjoyable enough; it basically tastes like they distilled the flavour of miso soup into a glaze and then brushed it onto an eggplant.

Koi Koi Sake Bar

The last dish was the bacon fried rice, which food writer David Ort called “possibly the best fried rice [he’s] ever had.” This is mostly what made me want to come here.

Koi Koi Sake Bar

I’m not sure if it’s the best I’ve ever had, but it was definitely top-shelf fried rice, with a nice meatiness from the generous bacon and a satisfying level of crispiness from the fried garlic slices.  The creamy mayo on top was a nice touch.

Decent Fried Chicken at Love Chix

Love ChixLocation: 111 Richmond Street West, Toronto (in the Assembly Chef’s Hall)
Websitehttp://www.lovechix.ca/

I got nervous when, after I ordered my chicken sandwich from Love Chix, they opened a drawer filled with pre-cooked chicken pieces and then dunked one in the fryer to reheat it.

Thankfully, it certainly could have been worse, but the chicken was dry and overcooked, and it’s easy enough to see why.  This might have been less of an issue if they started with dark meat, which has a bit more leeway during the cooking process before it dries out.  But it was white meat, and “moist” was not a word in its vocabulary.

Love Chix

The sandwich was otherwise quite tasty.  It’s tossed in a honey hot sauce and topped with buttermilk ranch, coleslaw, and arugula.  The honey flavour was quite pronounced, but there was enough of a spicy kick and a vinegary bite to balance out the sweetness.  The creamy ranch and the peppery arugula helped to round things out.  It was actually quite tasty.

And while the crunch factor wasn’t quite as pronounced as it could have been, it was certainly satisfying.

I just wish the meat itself weren’t so dry.  I certainly understand why they serve their chicken this way; people might get impatient to wait the almost ten minutes it would take to fry a piece of chicken from scratch.  But I wish they’d give you a choice.

The Reuben at Maker Pizza

Maker PizzaLocation: 59 Cameron Street, Toronto
Websitehttp://www.makerpizza.com/

A Reuben pizza is one of those things that’s simultaneously ridiculous and oddly compelling.  It probably shouldn’t work, and yet… as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to eat it.

Here’s how Maker’s menu describes it: “Montreal smoked meat, mustard béchamel, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, everything bagel crust.”

It sounds absurd (and amazing).  It looks absurd (and amazing).

Alas, it’s just absurd — it’s not particularly amazing.

Maker Pizza

I will say that the (non-absurd) pizza at Maker is some of the best in the city.  Even in this particular pie, that’s fairly apparent; the crust is outstanding.  It has an amazing flavour, a good amount of char, and an absolutely irresistible crispy/chewy/bready texture.  I was afraid that the everything bagel elements would overwhelm the crust, but they actually work quite well.

The crust also manages to not completely collapse under the deluge of meat, sauerkraut, cheese, and sauce, and it manages to do that without feeling overly substantial.  That’s no small feat; certainly, it’s a testament to how good the crust is here.

Maker Pizza

And while the Reuben elements are all tasty (the thinly-sliced smoked meat is a little bit tough, but the Reuben flavours are otherwise perfect: it’s meaty, cheesy, salty, sweet, and vinegary, with everything balanced really well), it never quite coheres as a pizza.

It just feels like too much stuff.  It needed more bread to balance out the voluminous ingredients, like… oh, I don’t know, a sandwich??  It probably would have worked better as a calzone, but then that wouldn’t have been nearly as Instagrammable, which I imagine is half of the point of this thing.

And that’s the problem — even though all of the elements are really good, it’s a food mashup that never should have been mashed up.  It’s a gimmick.  I would have rather eaten a Reuben sandwich or a regular pizza.  This takes two great things and makes both of them less great by combining them.