I was in New York last year and made the usual UNIQLO run.
A friend describes UNIQLO as a Japanese version of The Gap with better clothes. Everything is super cheap and decent quality. I usually stick to the basics and gifts for family. The stores are elusive in North America. As far as I know there are only currently two in New York City.
There are UNIQLO coming to Toronto rumours.
On this trip I bought something called HEATTECH™. Fancy name. It’s supposed to keep you extra warm.
Back in Toronto I read the package and learned that it had whey protein in the ingredients. I guess if you get really cold you can eat the shirt to warm up.
Long story short I gave it away because wearing it would just remind me of my mistake. You can read more about this technology in their press release.
I think the Rza said it best on the intro to the Genius’ Labels:
That you know you gotta read the label
You gotta read the label
If you don’t read the Label you might get poisoned
Here is the latest Dim Sum menu I have for Graceful Vegetarian Restaurant. It changes from time to time but not usually by much. Here’ a post with pictures of some of my favourite dishes. Most of the items on the menu are vegan but it never hurst to ask if you’re not sure. If you give off a vegan vibe they might ask you if you order something with eggs.
Graceful Vegetarian Restaurant is my favourite restaurant.
I’ve been eating there for years. The food is always perfect, the atmosphere is nice and the service is great. Living in Toronto you get accustomed to good Chinese food (Indian as well, saving that for other posts).
I’ve also been fortunate enough to try other vegetarian Chinese restaurants in other cities and finding vegetarian Dim Sum isn’t that common. Toronto has other Vegetarian Dim Sum restaurants as well but they don’t come close.
Dim Sum is served every day from 10:30am to 4pm. Parking can get pretty crazy on the weekends since it’s right behind Pacific Mall. Try to go during the mall’s off hours. Either way it’s worth it.
Here are some of my favourite dim sum dishes.
I had a chance to go back to Kingyo. In my previous Kingyo post I mentioned the Kyoto Style Shojin dish that was sold out on our first visit. This time it was available so we ordered it.
It came out in two boxes of little bowls with different vegetables served cold. Very simple and good. I don’t exactly remember what everything was but the pictures should be enough to figure it out.
Kingyo is an Izakaya restaurant in Cabbagetown. It’s also the Toronto location of a Vancouver restaurant. This makes it part of two trends that I was previously unaware of.
Le Commensal is now a regular restaurant.
Mr. Tremblay, President and CEO, is correct that this will upset people. It’s disappointing. I was not aware that the other branches of Le Commensal were no longer vegetarian as of October of 2012.
I cannot lie. I probably wouldn’t have noticed if it wasn’t for the directory update. It’s been a while since I visited Le Commensal. I wouldn’t take that to mean anything since the last time I walked by it seemed busy.
The vegan options in downtown Toronto have expanded while Le Commensal has stayed the same. Their menu hasn’t changed significantly in 10+ years.
They, along with other older vegetarian restaurants, seem stuck in hippy-er times when most vegetarians wore Patchouli and Birkenstocks. And talked to crystal rocks.
Today’s vegetarian wants excitement when dining out. We want the beauty of a well-presented balsamic-reduction drizzled plate. Or a deep fried piece of mock meat with fat sauce. Boiled seaweed and baked tofu is home cooking. It’s basically communism to suggest that restaurant meals be equal to home-cooked meals for vegetarians. We have celebrity chefs too, ya know.
And the price tag is hard to ignore for cafeteria food. Even hospitals are moving away from that.
Businesses understand that the vegan market is a captive one. Simply adding one item to a menu with the word vegan on it will bring out vegans. And that’s great. However, I’m not sure how many vegans actually still eat at Le Commensal. It seems like a gateway restaurant. When was the last time you heard someone say “Commensal is the best!”
It’s a compromise restaurant, isn’t it? You’re downtown and there aren’t that many other options. But downtown has changed. We’ve got a Vegan Restaurant in the Eaton Centre. And many ethnic and fast food restaurants with vegan options in the area.
They boast in their press release that the chickens they serve are family-farm raised (whatever they think that proves). And that their marine animals aren’t on any endangered lists. They are obviously not writing that for the hardcores who are already critical of their inclusion of dairy in their menu. Ingredients that are completely unnecessary with today’s vegan recipe technology.
Vegan restaurants like Ottawa’s Zen Kitchen seem to easily attract non-vegans. The last time I was there the table next to me was going on about the joy of eating Foie Gras. No one at that table was vegan. So why the move in the opposite direction?
Anyways, why even bother. I’d probably just go to Chipotles for cafeteria-style eating when I’m in the area. This post is mostly an excuse to vent.
Simon’s Wok has been an east end staple for a long time. It’s a small communist looking space on the edge of Chinatown East (Or China 2, whatever).
They serve Vegetarian Chinese food which is sometimes greasy and sometimes westernized. Simon Wok’s huge menu is the size of a typical Chinese restaurant. It can be daunting to try to choose items. It can also be hit or miss. The misses are sometimes probably too Chinese for a wstern palate, like the oddly smokey flavoured Special Plume Juice (served hot or cold, I tried it cold). Some of the other misses are probably just not what I was expecting. Or they were just ok.
Here are some of my favourite dishes.