Eat: Kasa Moto

It’s very rare that I find myself in Yorkville, much less eat in the neighbourhood. It’s a ritzy neighbourhood that in some cases, you may be paying ritzy prices and feel a little dissatisfied. Mind you, this can happen at any pricey restaurant in any area; everyone’s experience is different.

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When I think of brunch, I don’t think of going to Yorkville but here I am, at Kasa Moto, a contemporary Japanese restaurant… for brunch. I secretly think it’s a little absurd, but I’m keeping an open mind.

Kasa Moto is owned by The Chase Hospitality Group, whose restaurant roster includes Little Fin, Collette Grand Café and the pricey The Chase. Essentially, they have a reputation to uphold.

IMG_4691.jpgThe Kinoko Salad ($13) – wild mushrooms, soy butter and enoki tempura. We got this thinking that our brunch won’t be very substantial. Surprisingly, this is pretty good. Mushrooms are sponges — they absorb flavours and this was very flavourful.

The Breakfast Bento ($19) comes with fried rice with eggs and salmon, glazed pork belly and yam tempura.

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The fancy green salad that came with the bento.

IMG_4696.jpgSalmon Tataki on Toast ($18) – avocado, wasabi cream and poached egg on seeded sourdough.

IMG_4697.jpgSweet Potato and Pork Belly Hash ($12) – roasted sweet potato, crispy pork belly and garlic tentsuyu. It was good, albeit oily and the pieces of pork belly were on the dry side.

IMG_4698.jpgBreakfast Kamameshi ($14) – brown rice and quinoa, condensed milk, maple syrup, granola and fresh fruit. It’s very interesting, think of it as a sweet equivalent of fried rice (except this is not fried). It was brought out on the table and the server would mix the granola, fruit, syrup and condensed milk in front of you.

Ok, the brunch was good, but nothing really special for a premium price and the presentation. Most of the dishes on the menu are sharable with the exception of the bento. When you think about it, the hash, kamameshi and the bento can be made at home.

Edit: It’s been awhile since Jeff and I went out for brunch. Since we had a gift card that we wanted to use up, we decided to go to Kasa Moto as remembered that Kasa Moto had somewhat decent brunch when we tried two years ago.

Turns out, they no longer have their brunch menu, but no big deal as this gives us a chance to try the regular menu. Between the two of us, we can’t order very much though so we tried to order what we thought are filling dishes.

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Matcha Soba ($16) – shiitake mushrooms, carrots, purple onion, tamari peanut dressing
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Karaage ($16) – chicken sweet ginger sake and wasabi sour cream
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Wagyu Fried Rice ($18) – soy butter, crispy shallots & chives

The Matcha Soba was good and light. The Karaage wasn’t anything special, but the wasabi gave it a nice little kick. The Wagyu Fried Rice however was a disappointment. It was too salty and there was a pool of melted butter on the bottom. Generally, butter is good, but to see the rice drown in it was off-putting.

In the end, we felt underwhelmed with our meal and likely won’t revisit Kasa Moto.

Kasa Moto
115 Yorkville Ave.
Toronto, ON
M5R 1B9

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Eat: Burgers n’ Fries Forever

Burgers and fries go together like two peas in a pod. So do best friends.

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Burgers n’ Fries Forever is a fast casual burger joint based in Ottawa. They opened their first Toronto location along the Ossington strip.

The shop offer customizable burger using halal meat. Vegan and gluten-free options are available. If customizing is too much of a work, the selection of burger options are worth a look at .

Jeff and I stopped by one weekend while visiting his parents. The interior of BFF is white painted bricks, white tiles, light wood finishes. I would think it’s a coffee shop at first.

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The KBBQ ($9) – Bulgogi smashed patty, sesame seeds, fried egg, oi muchim, and kimchi mayo.

Both of us decided to do a combo with includes fries and a pop, A combo is at least $10 depending on which burger you order. If you’re hungry, go for a combo. If you’re too hungry, just a burger may suffice. You do get a lot fries.

When it comes to burgers, I like mine simple. Above is  The Original ($6.50) with red onion, tomato, lettuce, and BFF sauce.

Overall, decent burgers that fills the void for those who adhere to dietary laws.

Burgers n’ Fries Forever
182 Ossington Ave
Toronto, ON
M6J 2Z7

Eat: Cuppa Tea

As of recent, there have been many chains and brands from Asia opening locations in Toronto. One of them is Cuppa Tea, a Hong Kong style cafe located on Carlton, near the Yonge and College corner.

Cuppa Tea is the first Canadian and North American location of the HK cafe chain, Kwong Fong Yuen.

I miss Hong Kong and the cafes there. Cuppa Tea kind of brings back those memories for me without the hustle and bustle and communal seating. Jeff and I visited it prior to our Sunday grocery shopping as it is close to the grocery store we go to.

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We got the Signature Milk Tea ($4.99 each), which comes in hot or cold. We got it in cold, which comes in a glass bottle. Apparently, each batch of milk tea is brewed for 45 minutes and made fresh throughout the day. You may be able to watch it being filtered through a silk stocking (how it’s traditionally made). Unfortunately, you are not able to customize your evaporated milk and sugar levels. We do like the milk tea a lot.

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We also got the Pineapple Butter Bun ($3.99), Curry Fish Balls ($4.99) and the Classic Egg Waffle ($4.59).

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The egg waffle is freshly made to order. They are fluffy, but I wish they were a tad bit crispier.

The pineapple bun is already pre-made. I’m not sure if they bake it in-house, but they put it in the toaster oven to warm it up and then cut an opening to insert a slab of butter.

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The curry fish balls were alright but personally, nothing beats getting it at a street corner in HK.

As much as I would like to frequent Cuppa Tea for its milk tea, everything here is expensive! With Chinatown a short distance away, the prices Cuppa Tea charges is exorbitant, thus I cannot justify revisiting. Plus, they open at 12pm which is way too late for a HK cafe.

Cuppa Tea
20 Carlton St.
Toronto, ON
M5B 2H5