Another Tasty Meal at Manpuku

ManpukuLocation105 McCaul Street, Toronto
Websitehttp://www.manpuku.ca/

I’ve already talked about Manpuku, so I’ll keep this brief.  I went back and tried the shigure don, and just like the udon I tried on my last visit, it was absolutely delicious and delightfully cheap.

The shigure don consisted of a heaping pile of tasty, well-marinated beef and onions atop  a generous portion of rice.  The beef looks a bit dry in the picture, but it was actually super tender, and surprisingly packed with flavour.  And the soft, tasty onions compliment the beef perfectly.

Manpuku

It cost $6.49.  I mean, come on, Manpuku — now you’re making all the other restaurants look bad.  I’ve frequently paid three or four times as much money for meals that weren’t half as good as what they’re serving here.

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.

Average Meatball Sandwich at Little DaiLo

Little DaiLoLocation: 111 Richmond Street West, Toronto (in the Assembly Chef’s Hall)
Websitehttps://chefs-hall.squarespace.com/

Little DaiLo in the Assembly Chef’s Hall currently has a garlic sambal meatball sandwich on their menu.  I just tried it; it was a meatball sandwich.  The End.

I should write a few more words, I suppose.  But there’s not all that much to say about it — despite the presence of napa slaw and garlic sambal, it’s a super run-of-the-mill meatball sandwich.  It’s perfectly tasty, but there isn’t anything about it that stands out.

Well, that’s not strictly true: though it doesn’t add all that much flavour, the sambal has a pleasant kick that makes the sandwich a bit more fiery than the norm.

Little DaiLo

The other thing that should set it apart is the napa slaw, but aside from a mild crunch, you can’t even tell it’s there.

Other than that, the beef meatballs and the sauce were standard-issue (though the meatballs in a meatball sandwich can sometimes be a bit mushy and these had a nice texture, so I appreciated that).  The sandwich is ostensibly Asian-inspired, but it tastes like what you’ll find at any number of Italian sandwich joints around town.  It’s good, but nothing about it stands out.

My only real issue here is with the bread.  It was cold and clammy.  I wish it had been even lightly toasted (or at least warmed up somehow), but it was otherwise fine.

Chewy, Hand-Pulled Noodles at Sun’s Kitchen

Sun's KitchenLocation: 4300 Steeles Avenue East, Markham (inside Pacific Mall)
Website: None

There are few things that are more satisfying than a really good bowl of chewy, hand-made noodles.  And Sun’s Kitchen in the Pacific Mall definitely knows how to do it.

If you come at the right time, you can see the noodle maker doing his thing; he pulls the dough again and again and again until a thick piece becomes a handful of noodles, almost as if by magic.  It’s the work of a man who has clearly spent years mastering his craft, and it’s a sight that’s as hypnotic as it is impressive.

Sun's Kitchen

I’ve been here at least a dozen times, and I order the same thing every time: noodles with spicy pork.  I’m occasionally tempted to order something else, but the spicy pork is so damn good, and I don’t come here enough to mess around.

It’s an exceptionally simple dish; it’s just spicy ground pork, a whole bunch of noodles, and some sliced cucumber to cut the richness and the heat of the pork.

It’s outstanding.  The pork is salty, spicy, and intense.  It’s the perfect foil for the amazingly chewy noodles.

It comes with a cup of sweet, citrusy soy milk.  I didn’t like it at first, but now I can’t get enough.  It also comes with a bowl of bland soup that I’m not crazy about.  I keep meaning to tell them to hold the soup, but I always forget.

Tasty Vegan Treats at Nanashake

NanashakeLocation: 4750 Yonge Street, North York (in the Emerald Park food court)
Websitehttp://www.nanashake.com/

I recently blogged about the tasty Chinese crepes at the Emerald Park food court.  Also at that food court?  Nanashake, which serves vegan, banana-based soft serve and shakes.

I almost got the soft serve (because I have a very hard time saying no to soft serve of any kind), but then I remembered that “shake” is right there in the name of the restaurant, so I got one of those instead.

Nanashake

They have a few different flavours — strawberry, pistachio, date, etc. — but the guy behind the counter said chocolate was the most popular, so that’s what I went with.

It was quite refreshing.  It tasted more like a smoothie than a milkshake (it is vegan and made predominantly with bananas, after all), but whatever it is, it’s good.  The banana/chocolate flavour was satisfying, and its level of sweetness was much more subtle than a typical milkshake.  It probably won’t satisfy an all-out dessert craving, but it’s a refreshing and tasty beverage that I’d happily drink again.

Nanashake

Plus, it is (presumably) healthy; something that’s good for you and actually tastes really good is always nice.