Category Cuisine

Middle Eastern in Mississauga: Syrian Cuisine at Roman Zaman

Finally, a middle eastern restaurant in Mississauga that matches the quality of middle eastern food we are accustomed to eating in our favourite Montreal restaurants. It’s been a long time coming, baby! Roman Zaman serves delicious Syrian food, in a pleasant atmosphere, with lovely staff. If you like middle eastern, I urge you to try Syrian cuisine: a more refined approach to an already delicious and healthy way of cooking.

When they serve the tea like this you know you are in for an experience #damascenetea #syriancuisine

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Spice up Your Holiday Potluck: Mississauga’s White Gold

Spice up your holiday potluck party with exotic and inexpensive finger food that will please the palates of adventurous eaters and vegetarians. Easy peasy; no cooking required. Pick up an assortment of restaurant-quality, sweet and savory, vegetarian Indian baking from Mississauga’s White Gold Food.

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Dhokla is a moist, savory cake made from chickpea flour and yogurt – a healthy dose of fibre and protein. The regular “non-spicy” version has a garnish of tempered black mustard seeds, sesame seeds, hot green chiles, and fresh coriander leaves: gentle heat and fresh green flavour against the mellow nuttiness of the chickpeas and tang of the yogurt, all in one deeply satisfying bite. The “spicy” version is made with ginger and green chiles and is dusted with chile powder – take a walk on the wild side, this baby is hot. Serve with very spicy, hot green chutney (coriander, green chiles, and yogurt) but lovely just solo.

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Of course, samosas are always a big hit at a party and White Gold’s samosas are delicious. Choose regular; the spice level is just enough to give a golden warmth. Apparently, the spicy version is not for the faint of heart. Serve with tangy-sweet tamarind chutney….mmm!

pakora

I’ve never been a pakora fan (those often greasy, tasteless globs of fried batter with a hint of vegetables). But White Gold has awoken the inner pakora lover in me. Their pakoras are not greasy and are packed with a flavourful combination of potatoes, onion, spinach, carrots, eggplant, and cauliflower in chickpea batter, fried to perfection.

Some Indian desserts are almost sickly sweet but there are a few that I like in small doses and White Gold makes them mouth-watering.

dessert

Burfi means fudge. I adore White Gold’s mango burfi (middle right): tangy, pure mango pulp balances the rich sweetness of the fudgy evaporated milk. Anjeer burfi (top) is made with figs and almonds while Khajoor burfi (bottom) is made with dates and almonds. Elaichi peda (middle left) is like a cross between shortbread and fudge: sweetened evaporated milk dumplings made with the very best cardamom.

Owned and operated by a local family who use only top quality ingredients and prepare their authentic products with the utmost care. White Gold supplies their quality baking to restaurants and markets but thankfully, they have a storefront take-out counter, filled with all sorts of goodies, open to the general public. Google maps has pinned the address incorrectly on Laird. It is at the back of 3176 Ridgeway in unit #48.

At this time of year, I love seeing the Diwali lights and fireworks across our city. Happy Diwali!

White Gold Food
3176 Ridgeway Drive,
Unit 48, Mississauga,
ON L5L 5S6
Telephone: 906-607-6776

 

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Staycation: Summer in the City

Olive loves traveling around the GTA west, unearthing fine global flavours, and sharing her finds with you. Being the #snaphappy girl that she is, Olive loves the instantaneous power of instagram. But those of you who aren’t on instagram are missing out, so here’s a snapshot of her finds from this past week.

As much as she cherishes the time she is lucky enough to spend with family in Muskoka and Montreal, a staycation in the city is pretty nice too.  These boots are made for walking, so that’s just what Olive did this week…from one end of the GTA west to the other.

Georgetown Farmers’ Market with one of my besties on Saturday morning. Read why I love Georgetown Farmers’ Market here: http://olivetoeat.com/2014/07/georgetown-farmers-market-olive-it/

Thiessen Farms #georgetownfarmersmarket #olivetoeat #unearthingglobalflavours #gtawest #iloveartichokes

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And then Jerkfest in Etobicoke with our families Saturday night. What a great night that was!

#isthislovethatimfeeling

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And a celebration lunch at Jamie’s Italian at Square One with my husband and son. How do you celebrate summer?

Guess where I am? #Sauga #jamielove

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Sharing the Love: Saucy in Streetsville’s Small Plates

How did date night with hubby turn into such a bountiful feast? #hungerpains #hubbylove #saucylove. Saucy, you make the best appetizers! It’s hard to choose from the many delicious options, so we ordered a few (a lot) to share and called it dinner. Thank goodness I did most of the talking while hubby did most of the eating. Each bite was worth every calorie.

Top left clockwise:

Braised Beef Poutine: chunks of gooey Quebec cheese curds and tender braised beef in a rich jus over Yukon frites

Pernod Prawns: so decadent and my all time fave. I have raved about before here http://olivetoeat.com/2014/10/brilliant-flavour-streetsvilles-saucy/

Caesar Salad: fresh garlic dressing over crisp romaine. Garnished with big chunks of warm bacon, crunchy croutons, and shaved parmesan

Mussels: poached in a garlic, white wine, and tomato broth and served with grilled bread to mop it all up

Spiducci: skewers of tiny cubes of succulent lamb marinated in Indian tandoori spices and grilled to perfection. Served with mint coriander sauce.

Saucy in Streetsville111 Queen St. S
Streetsville, ON
L5M 1K7
905-542-9600

 

 

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Postcard from Montreal: Restaurant Damas

Need ideas for a trip to Montreal this summer? Feasting at Van Horne Avenue’s Damas is like a magical night in a sultan’s tent. You’ll be charmed by this Syrian restaurant’s opulent but modern décor, attentive staff, and lively ambiance but it’s the food that will blow your mind. Damas serves the best middle eastern food that we have ever tasted – and that’s coming from my husband’s family (who have Syrian roots and have eaten middle eastern across the globe).

You come to Damas to eat, so come hungry. Order the tasting menu, a traditional Syrian mezze of small plates; Damas makes it an outstanding gastronomical experience. The chef will surprise you with his choice of course after course of little works of art: refined, traditional recipes with creative touches that will leave you swooning.  Here are a few instagram photos of the tasting menu we enjoyed recently with our brother and sister-in-law. Sorry the photos don’t do the food justice – I was too busy enjoying the food and conversation to focus.

Cold mezzes started with fattouch salad, finely chopped so that every bite was a medley of flavour: romaine lettuce, radish, tomato, cucumber, sweet pepper, and mint, topped with grilled pita and crimson pomegranate seeds, in traditional lemon vinaigrette spiked with Aleppo pepper and sumac. Isn’t beet mutabbal (a puree of roasted beets and nutty tahina paste) so pretty? Mouhammara is seductive dip of roasted sweet red peppers, nuts, tomato, lemon, pomegranate molasses, and Aleppo pepper. I have a recipe for mouhammara on my blog but I wish I knew how Damas makes theirs divine. The hummus is silky smooth and dead-on delicious, the best hummus I have ever tasted. With house-baked pita, served warm and puffy. I should note that this photo shows the portions I put on my plate and not how the chef plated them.

The Arabs have an even better version of steak tartar, called kibbé nayyé: finely minced, top-quality raw beef with bulgur and seven spices. Damas stuffs theirs with mouhammara, mint, and pine nuts, and garnishes with shaved onions and house-made chili puree. A real delicacy.

Kibbeh nayeh… phenomenal

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But we are just getting started. Next in line are succulent proteins grilled over an open charcoal fire.

#youcametodamasyouareheretoeat #syriancuisine #montreal #chargrilled #tastingmenu

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I’ve never been a fan of octopus but Damas chargrills it and serves it with a chickpea salad. My son will be happy to know I now love octopus.

Grilled octopus salad with cilantro puree

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Chargrilled sea bass on a pool of tarator (a sauce made from ground sesame paste, garlic, lemon, and cumin) is already my favourite fish meal but Damas blows it out of the water. Tarator sauce is easy to make at home and pairs especially well with grilled fish but also chicken or beef. I have a recipe for it on my blog (my husband’s family calls it tahina).

The totally unexpected fillet mignon of veal was fabulous: deglazed with lemon, garlic, and Aleppo pepper. Served with confit tomatoes and tiny cubes of crisp potatoes.

Filet mignon of veal. Fabulous

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Lamb chops were dusted with seven spices and chargrilled to sheer perfection, as soft as butter. Served on a drizzle of baba ghannouj (smoky, grilled eggplant mashed with ground sesame paste, lemon, and garlic).

Dessert is not included in the tasting menu but don’t miss the orange blossom baklava ice cream: rich vanilla ice cream perfumed with orange blossom water and spiked with chunks of sticky sweet baklava….heavenly.  And the fresh mint tea is so fresh and minty.

Mint tea how it is mint to be

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Gorgeous glass lanterns are strung across the ceilings. Click the link to the Damas website to see photos of their beautiful interior.

Beautiful ambiance

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There is an outdoor terrace, two rooms, and a bar beside the charcoal grill (which is entertaining in cooler weather but a bit too toasty in the summer). Make reservations well in advance; this place has earned its popularity. The tasting menu is available for entire table only. It’s expensive but so worth it. Make Damas your special night out.

Restaurant Damas
1201 Ave. Van Horne
Montreal, QC   H2V 1K4

Telephone: 514-439-5435
http://www.restaurant-damas.com/

 

 

 

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