This past weekend I went to Toronto Food Fest 2014. I have a feeling that food festivals are taking place every weekend – gonna get fattttt. There were so many weddings for me in 2014 that I haven’t been mingling with the new food stands/restaurants. TO Food Fest takes place in Scarborough where the Chinese Cultural Centre is located. This event is in its third year and surprisingly they are asking for an admission fee of $2 or donation of a non-perishable food item. I’m a little shocked because most food festivals are free and even Toronto’s biggest Chinese night market did not ask for an admission fee. I’m all in for donations but let’s pray that they don’t increase the cost in future years.
The event starts at 1pm for the general public and for media, we get an early entrance at 12pm. Unfortunately I was late because Markham Road is a clusterfuck; they are probably going to be under construction for the next 10 years lols. There is actually a lot of parking spaces but maybe cause I was there at 1pm. I was quite impressed that they had a water station this year (funded by the city?) so for a hot sunny day, everyone will stay hydrated. It’s kind of the same as it was 2 years ago where major booths are indoors and new ones are situated outside (I think I made that up). What I really like about this event is that all the vendors are patient and nice. They are so enthusiastic about their food and will spend the time to explain how their business came about and why they wanna make food. In most food festivals, staff at the booth are so preoccupied with making food that they forget about one major point: customer service. I like that TO Food Fest is a smaller event because it feels friendlier and interactions are more personal. This time I brought my photographer along so that we showcase the event in full colours. I only tried 3 different booths and let me share my experience with you all.
Ice Volcano – Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream ($5)
At $5 you can taste this beautiful and innovative ice cream. This team prides itself in making ice cream using liquid nitrogen…and the site proudly claims that this is safe. Liquid nitrogen is extremely cold and freezes everything upon contact, thus the mixture that is formed usually does not contain any ice crystals. The result is an ice cream that is flawlessly smooth. The team also adds something special, they will place dry ice in water then a scoop of your unique ice cream at the very top. What you end up with is fog/smoke coming out at the bottom (second reaction is to keep the ice cream cold) for visual effect. You are basically paying for the experience. So you ask about the ice cream itself? I had Taro, and yes it was smooth 85% of the time lol.
Mon K Patisserie – Cream Puff ($3)
This is really funny but if you don’t put “.ca” and just put “.com” you are led to a porno site instead (funny fact). I really love Japanese-based bakeries because it’s rare to find and honestly they offer treats that are reminiscent of those featured in J-Doramas lol (duh). Anyhow, I tried their popular selection – cream puff. For those who don’t know what it is, the outer core of this baby is hard and crunchy whereas the inner area is filled with yummy mango-tasting cream (I don’t know what they make it with but in Beard Papa they have their mango original). The ladies here are really nice and an actual store exists on the east side of town/Toronto. The unfortunate thing is they don’t open on Sundays and Mondays.
Gushi – Gushi Chicken Skewer ($5)
As a former designer I have to add in my 2 cents. Please do not put a YouTube video on your main page and the music should not be automatically set to play lols. Moving on…this is one of 2 to 3 booths that consistently had huge lines. The other one was selling grilled squid which smelled amazing but meh, couldn’t wait in line all day. Anyhow Gushi from what I know seems to be a street food type of vendor. Market 707 houses over 10 different “restaurants” where everyone is separated in their own shipping containers. I actually haven’t even heard about this place until I looked up Gushi Chicken. Anyhow the fried chicken (3) are placed in one skewer with three different dipping sauces as your coating selection. We chose spicy mayo and let’s be honest, it’s not really THAT spicy lol. The skin is honestly quite crisp and makes me think about those Korean fried chicken wings I had a while back. Overall it tastes pretty good but I would have preferred a stronger flavour.
I think food events are great because you get to see what is trending in the market. This is my personal opinion but I would have prefer if food vendors can lower their prices. I’m not sure how much a booth rental costs and all the other stuff but man, inflation is affecting everything lols. Back in the days ice cream was less than a dollar at Mc Donald’s…but liquid nitrogen ice cream..woot LOL. But don’t mind me I’m cheap. Like I previously said this is a great event because it’s small and another thing is you can actually walk. I mean how many of you have gone to Night It Up and struggled just to stay in line? I will come back next year for sure and out of the three places I’ve tried, I have to say that Mon K will be on my list for an additional visit. Big shout out to TO Food Fest for granting me and my photographer media passes. Enjoy the photos below – you will be amazed at the quantity lol.
I forgot to mention my new twitter: https://twitter.com/thesfarm