Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lashes: Voluminous Million Lashes by L'Oreal

a million lashes
:Standard at $9:

So diva
Voluminous is a standard - a clutch product at least one of your friends swears by, akin to Maybelline's Great Lash.  And now they have a shiny new one to tempt the masses with...Voluminous Million.  L'Oreal named it on the basis that this formula creates lashes that look "a million times multiplied....". 

I'll start with the good.  I love L'Oreal's 20 year anniversary ad campaign - Insert pick of me throwing up a 'V'.  Unfortunately, I don't like this mascara. 

But kudos on the packaging and the clean-sweep no clump system:

But mascara wise.  One coat was not enough for my wimpy Asian lashes, and two coats got a little clumpy but they looked good:

Until after 5 minutes, they dropped.  Flat is a voluminous fail.

Skip it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Toronto: Khao San Road

aroi mak mak  
:Entertainment District:

Did I say it right?  Anyway, it’s been a while since I posted, and no I haven’t stopped eating or shopping…I’ve just been in the midst of big changes. Now that I’ve weathered them all, with grace and poise of course, I’m back. And what did I learn amidst all the chaos? Well, two things, the first being that your truest friends – near or far – step up to calmly guide you through, while others...well they can sit the f*ck back down. The second, and more important lesson, is that food is the currency of life. It says everything from ‘thank you’ to ‘miss you’.  I said a big thank you to a few friends with a koreatown feast.  Then I had a farewell dinner with my budgie, Cracker, at Khao San Road...

Tom YUM Kung
Now that my rant is over, follow me to Khao San Road at Adelaide and Peter. I met up with Cracker for dinner to catch up.  She's the one who told me it had opened.  When I arrived...I was a bit surprised.  It’s nothing like its sister, SukhoThai, in that it’s nice. No seriously – they’re like pomegranates and bananas.

Simple + Tasteful
And very busy...
I was surprised to read the ‘so-so’ reviews because I loved it. Yes, I was overwhelmed by intense hunger and almost jumped the waitress when she brought our dishes over, but I’ve had 24 hours to think about it, and I still really liked it. Service was slow, but it was really busy – 30 minute wait busy. Cracker and I waited patiently for our table, and we, just like the party to our left, were happy we did and really enjoyed our meal.

We started with Tom Yum Kung and since they were “out of shrimp chips” so we had squash ones.

We also had the Sam Roas (their house special Pad Thai) with shrimp. Spicy and yummy, but my favourite was the Gaeng Graree, yellow curry with beef. It’s amazing how so few ingredients can generate such big bold flavours.  I liked it…a lot…. It’s relative too considering I don’t like Thai food. I would go back for the soup and yellow curry.

Yellow curry says 'I love you', go tell someone today.
I think SukhoThai may take a back seat to Khao San Road.  While both are equally delicious food, location runs this town.

Update: August 2011

Khao San Road on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 4, 2011

Montreal: tuckshop

a bright spot in nowhereville
:St. Henri on Notre-Dame:

Catch of the Day special...omg sauce...see it?  Ridiculous.

What exactly is a tuckshop? I frankly didn’t know. I can admit when I don’t know something. You simply live, Google, and learn. So after consulting Wiki, I discovered a tuckshop is “a small, food-selling retailer…”. Such a simple concept but one that has made for a very buzzworthy restaurant. I had to sit on the idea of trekking to nowhereville, but ultimately decided that if the Gazette and the Mirror both gave it glowing reviews, little nobody me ought to.

With its rustic finishes and modern lighting, it feels more like a bistro you might find on King West in Toronto. I was particularly fond of the life-size chalkboard menu and the glass jars encasing sand and tea lights. It’s always about the details. And, unlike most open kitchen layouts, the restaurant didn’t smell – which is a deal breaker for me, because the last thing I want is to go out to eat and leave with a little eau des boeuf et poisson.
The gossip about tuckshop all hit the same notes: 
  • The first is that it’s in an area where one might not find fine dining. No problem, we live in the age of automobiles.
  • Second, the service is often slow. Service is also slow at Tim Horton’s and all they do is pour.
  • Third, and most important, the food is fantastic. Even when seated to capacity, they serve delicious food. While not everything on the menu was novel and exciting, there were little things that made the dishes stand out. 
  • And lastly, the sign outside needs to go. I concur, it’s ugly and doesn’t do the interior justice.

The starter of roasted beets, arugula and goat cheese is a classic combination. Tuckshop’s take on this common dish is to make a puree-like vinaigrette of goat cheese. The other starter I had was seared tuna over a bed of fennel and blood oranges. While seared tuna is ever present in so many restaurants, Tuckshop’s masterpiece is quiet – no funky loud sauce or fancy accompaniments, just fresh tuna with a lovely crust and a tiny dollop of olive tapenade.

The mains were just as delicious. The daily fish was a tile fish with calamari sitting in a bed of omg sauce. (Sidebar: omg sauce is sauce so good you want to bathe in it). The lamb shank was fall off the bone tender and rich. It all sounds pretty fantastique, non? Oui. Si, réservez une table maintenant.

Make that trip to nowhereville.

Tuck Shop on Urbanspoon