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Toronto’s “Best”: Sushi Marché

Seeing as I’m a foodie living in a city with 10,000 restaurants, I try to make a point of eating at one new place every week. I budget for one restaurant outing a week, but depending on the calibre of the restaurant even that can get expensive!

I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by top-notch restaurants here in the East end of Toronto. Some of the city’s best are just a hop, skip and perhaps a roll away.

Including Sushi Marché.

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Sushi Marche is a take-out sushi spot located on Queen St E. It consistently gets stellar revues across the board. The head chef having even worked under Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

You’d think I’d have been all over this place as soon as I landed here. I love sushi. But Sushi Marché is expensive. Especially for a take-out joint. Despite the rave revues and famous chef, I could just never bring myself to pay 30 bucks for a teeny serving of fish and rice, no matter how good. Y’all know I’m a cheapskate!

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Thankfully, the whole online “group coupon” thing is big in Toronto right now. Everyday, I get a dozen e-mails to my inbox offering half price for haircuts, manicures, exercise classes and of course restaurants. So when $15 for $30 worth of Sushi Marché popped up, I jumped on the chance!

I waited until Sunday evening to order my sushi feast. After a long weekend of working at the running store and an empty fridge at home, it was the perfect opportunity. I had to call an hour ahead because it usually takes 40-60 minutes to prepare. You can tell they put special care and attention into their food!

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I started with red tuna + salmon sashimi. I loooove sashimi for its rich taste and thick texture. But both kind fell a little flat to me. The tuna tasted bland.

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Next up was the eel/avocado inside-out roll with eel, avocado, cucumber, fish roe and spicy sauce. I ordered this because I am always getting recommendations to try the eel. Unfortunately the pieces of eel were a little too small to get the full flavour.

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Finally, the roll that gets the most rave reviews, kamikaze roll with tuna, tempura flakes, cucumber, fish roe and spicy sauce. Now this was amazing. The tempura flakes and spicy sauce had me salivating as I ate it. That is, until I got that inevitable citrus bite. Sushi Marché is known for using citrus in their rice, something that isn’t very traditional. I thought this meant “citrus scented.” Apparently it means “random hunks of citrus that make you pucker.” Totally ruined what could have been a stellar roll for me.

Verdict? Happy I finally got to try the famed Sushi Marché. Even happier I didn’t pay the full thirty bucks for this. Especially since I was still hungry enough to eat an apple after.

For me, sushi will always be something that is about the dining experience. Not about taking it home in a plastic bag to eat off my coffee table. The best sushi I’ve ever had was actually in Moncton, New Brunswick. Sharing a boat on my birthday with my mother as we bonded over magnificent food together.

I guess it’s not so much the chef, hype or jacked up prices. But rather the company you keep.

Mom, we are totally hitting up Pink Sushi again when I’m home :)

 

Question of the Day: What has been your biggest dining disappointment?

Interviewee

I spent a lot of time on the streetcar today.

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One thing I love about Toronto is that at any time of the day I can step onto the street and be whisked off in a matter of minutes. No need to ever check a schedule. The downside of course is that Toronto is a huge city, so getting around still takes time. And I had a lot of places to go today.

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Remember when I worked an 8-5 office job and complained about cold breakfasts? HA! That seems like a different time in a different world. These days I’m looking for anything but an 8-to-5er in a chair and all about the cold breakfasts. It’s hot in the mornings!

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I know this looks messy and gross, so you know it was delicious ;)

  • 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 scoop (30g) unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1 tbsp mixed berry jam
  • cinnamon
  • fresh strawberries + blackberries
  • 1 tbsp crunchy almond butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp dry rolled oats

Bam. One of those bowls where I throw things in as I go and the result is nothing short of amazing. As a side note, I still don’t like overnight oats (it’s cold mush! plain and simple!!), but I am loving dry oatmeal sprinkled on yogurt. Go figure!

That bowl had me bursting at the seams with fullness by the time I went off to job interview #1 at a *ahem* “very popular coffee chain.” One that I have 5 years experience working at!! It’s my back-up, and something I really love to do. Making lattes and chatting with regulars all day is a blast. I really liked the manager and store location, I think it could be a great source of income for me while I get this personal training thing off the ground :)

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I also got lost for the first time since arriving in the city. Okay, I actually showed up to the wrong place, when it was really 10 minutes down the road. Not a good way to start off an interview!! I knew ahead of time I’d be tight on time for lunch, so I’d pre-made a tuna sandwich to eat at home between appointments.

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With mass amounts of carrots + salsa! Better than carrots + hummus, or carrots + ranch, or any other combo. All in my humble opinion of course ;)

Then it was off to interview #2 for the day!! This interview is the reason why I held off on accepting the job offer at the other gym right away, and I learned today it was the right choice. I am in love with this new gym and feel like it really suits my goals for personal training. Please cross all your body parts that I get hired!!

After more running around and several subway and streetcars later, I ended up at a place called Kyoto House for sushi.

Kyoto House Japanese Restaurant
Source

Okay. So funny story.

Last Thursday, I’m in this corner convenience store downtown picking up diet coke that I may or may not have mixed with whiskey. But that’s neither here nor there. The real point is that while in the store, I ran into someone I knew! From New Brunswick!! Toronto is almost 1500 km away and home to 2.5 million people. It’s not like I was expecting to just casually run into someone I know from New Brunswick in a random convenience store downtown.

Anyways, clearly, a dinner was in order.

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Both of us New Brunswickers have been told that we need to experience sushi in Toronto. He was staying near Kyoto House on Dundas, which I’d been told had good sushi at a good price.

They actually offer an all-you-can eat deal, but we weren’t really feeling it. I opted for the Special Sashimi: Tuna, Salmon, Surf Clam, White Tuna.

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Yeah, I legitimately love the “raw fish.” It’s got such a sweet flavour!

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Loved the thick-sliced sashimi!! Oddly, my favourite part was the pickled ginger, and I don’t typically like fresh ginger.

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Scott went for the Sushi Special which conveniently arrived on a boat. I hate to say this, but even the rolls tasted better than the ones I tried in NB. And the miso soup was honestly the best I’ve ever had. I don’t care if that makes me a Toronto snob now… good food is good food.

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The sake was totally Scott’s idea.

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But when in a sushi house in Toronto, right?

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The best part though are the pieces of fruit you get at the end of the meal.

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It was super fun catching up with a friend from home. Now I want all my friends from back home to come visit so I can take them out to eat in Toronto. Kapeesh??

 

Question of the Day: Sushi. Yay? Nay? What’s your favourite thing to get? So far I love salmon and tuna sashimi… but I’m always looking for new things to try!

Beets, Birthdays and Boats

Thank you for all the birthday wishes!! Y’all are too sweet. I’m kinda in that part of my 20s now where they all blend together. Won’t have another exciting birthday till I’m 30 ;)

Started the day off wonderfully – I slept for almost nine hours!!! Insane, most nights I’m lucky if I get seven.

I brought a packet of multigrain instant oats with me to my mom’s. Mixed it in with some of Mark’s vanilla protein powder and topped with banana+PB.

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Check out Mark’s bowl! I had a little breakfast envy :P

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I believe he said it was Kashi Honey Almond Flax, yogurt, berries, banana and cinnamon. All mixed up into a yog mess of course ;)

After some caffeine and digestion, it was time for the gym! Went to the co-ed Nubody’s downtown as they have a better weights section than the women-only gym. Why do they do that?? Women need good weights too!!

Elliptical 

Minutes Level Effort
0-3 10 low
3-5 11 low
5-6 15 high
6-8 12 low
8-9 16 high
9-11 13 low
11-12 17 high
12-14 14 medium
14-15 16 high
15-17 14 medium
17-18 17 high
18-20 14 medium

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
One-arm dumbbell snatch  20 lbs 8 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Assisted pull-up  75 lbs 8 3
Incline push-up bw 12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Single-leg romanian deadlift w/ row 20 lbs 6 ea leg 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Cable horizontal woodchop  35 lbs 8 3
Plank bw 60 sec 3


Treadmill

Minutes MPH
0-1 3.0
1-3 3.5
3-4 8.0
4-6 3.5
6-7 8.5
7-9 3.5
9-10 9.0
10-12 3.5
12-13 9.5
13-15 3.5

 

For some reason, I just could not get my heart pumping and my muscles didn’t feel that exhausted. I think I was partially half-assing it, and part had way more energy than I’m used to from the sleep.

After the gym, I met up with my dad for a noon-hour brunch (yes, I get that’s technically lunch). We were both craving eggs and fresh fruit, so Cora’s was the natural choice.

I ordered Peggy’s Poached.

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One poached egg, one piece of toast, cottage cheese, mixed fruit.

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Not shown is how I massacred that egg on the toast, and poured the cottage cheese all over the fruit. It was delicious!

And a steamy Americano to go with.

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My dad got eggs benedict with ham.

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Totally hit the spot!

After br/lunch, I went shopping with my mom and nana. Some bee-day purchases included a nice purse to hold my DSLR, bread pan, measuring spoons and a vegetable peeler. Tomorrow I’ll be conquering the Running Room!

Dinner was yet another amazing meal – my mother and I went to a local sushi place called Pink Sushi.

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I love celebrating my birthday with my mom. I kinda feel like it’s just as much her day as mine. I mean, she actually did all the work ;)

We wanted a little bit of everything, so ordered the sushi & sashimi combination boat. 

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It started with some miso soup that I didn’t eat. I don’t really care for miso – too salty!

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And then our boat of sushi arrived.

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I totally failed at capturing its sheer magnificence on film. It was a thing of beauty!

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Every birthday should involve a boat of food ;)

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It really did have a little bit of everything, but I think my favourites were the rolls with teriyaki sauce, and the plain pieces of salmon.

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My mom and I were in food heaven the whole time. It was amazing. We totally killed that boat.

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Until next year my friend…

And what’s a birthday without cake!?

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Cake I made myself of course – that’s half the fun!

After much debate, I decided on red velvet cake as I’d never had it before. But my mom isn’t the biggest fan of food dye (she was a microbiologist, so with good reason). We tracked down a decent looking recipe that uses beets for the red colouring. So I basically made a beet cake for my birthday :P

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Yes, one is now “over the hill” after the age of 24. And yes, I’m “still cookin’” ;)

Low Fat Red Velvet Cake (Chocolate Beet Cake)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup  1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1-1/3 cups non-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup egg substitute 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups beets, peeled and shredded 4 large beets, cooked and mashed

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flours, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk in buttermilk. Beat in butter, egg substitute and vanilla. Add beets. Pour in prepared cake pan. Bake 45 minutes. Cool, then frost with low fat cream cheese frosting.

Low Fat Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz. Neufchatel cheese 250g light cream cheese
  • 12 oz. 20ish oz fat-free frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), thawed
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Using an electric mixer, beat Neufchatel cheese until smooth. Stir in thawed whipped topping and powdered sugar.

I then decorated it expertly…

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Then cut myself a giant piece. It’s my birthday – I’m allowed a giant piece of cake!!

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It’s reddish, perhaps a nice mahogany? It’s a wonderfully dense and moist cake. You can almost taste the beets, but I think it gives it a really nice earthy sweetness. And the cream cheese frosting is of course to die for. 

Now I’m just relaxing with the fam. I bought some nail polish today (which I haven’t owned since the age of 13) so I’m thinking of giving myself a manicure. I wouldn’t want anything more on the day of my birth than to relax and be with the people I love!!

 

Oh! And check out my horoscope that was in today’s paper:

In the year ahead, there are indications that you could become involved in an endeavour that would yield a second source of income, which could grow into something bigger. But you’ll have to be extremely patient.

 

How cool is that!? I’m hoping it’s PT or blog related – or both! :D

 

Question of the Day: What’s your zodiac sign? Do you believe in that stuff? I’m an Aquarius and I totally do. Yes, horoscopes are generalized, but I like to believe there’s some mysterious meaning behind it all ;)

Hope you’re having a great weekend too!!

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