Carmen @c.hien

ISFP Dog stalker 🐕 Cafe dweller☕️ Wannabe baker/cook🍰

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Finally had a chance to try Tokiwa. They’re closed quite early usually as they close once they run out of broth for the day. I was told that usually happens around 3-4pm but could be earlier if it was super busy. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
They have a 10hr pork-based broth and 6hr chicken-based broth. Josh and I both went with the pork one. All their ramen comes with boiled egg, woodear mushroom, microgreens, bean sprouts, fried lotus root, and bok Choi. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Josh got the Goma Goma (sesame, chopped pork, miso and chili), which is supposed to be one of their bestsellers along with the Tokyo Tonkatsu. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I got the Black Garlic. Josh said mine tastes like something burnt LOL! I quite like it actually. Both our ramen broth were light but flavourful.  However, not as rich as I was expecting. Also I was expecting a heavier garlic taste from mine. I really like the unique topping of fried lotus root for the ramen. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Overall I enjoyed it. Much less saltier than the other alternatives in Edmonton. Probably would stop by again when J and I have a free weekday afternoon to go when we’re craving ramen that tastes more pure and less salty.
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Finally had a chance to try Tokiwa. They’re closed quite early usually as they close once they run out of broth for the day. I was told that usually happens around 3-4pm but could be earlier if it was super busy. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ They have a 10hr pork-based broth and 6hr chicken-based broth. Josh and I both went with the pork one. All their ramen comes with boiled egg, woodear mushroom, microgreens, bean sprouts, fried lotus root, and bok Choi. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Josh got the Goma Goma (sesame, chopped pork, miso and chili), which is supposed to be one of their bestsellers along with the Tokyo Tonkatsu. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I got the Black Garlic. Josh said mine tastes like something burnt LOL! I quite like it actually. Both our ramen broth were light but flavourful. However, not as rich as I was expecting. Also I was expecting a heavier garlic taste from mine. I really like the unique topping of fried lotus root for the ramen. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Overall I enjoyed it. Much less saltier than the other alternatives in Edmonton. Probably would stop by again when J and I have a free weekday afternoon to go when we’re craving ramen that tastes more pure and less salty.

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Friends and I decided to go binge on some takoyaki during the holidays. Ikki has $0.50/pc takoyaki on Wednesday. We went during their happy hour (only from 5-6:30) so they had a few other things on special. $1/pc sashimi, $1/skewer yakitori, and $5/3oz sake. It was our first time trying it out with the exception of one friend. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Takoyaki was pretty good but the portions for everything else was tiny. I didn’t take pictures of the sashimi, squid karaage, or the curry doria my friends ordered. I understand it’s only a dollar for the sashimi and skewer, but damnnnn. It was the thinnest sashimi I had ever seen. The skewers were actually half onion with tiny pieces of chicken in between. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
When the squid came out it looked like it was only 3-4pcs. The bowl of curry doria (rice with curry beef and melted cheese on top) had the circumference of probably less than a CD with a depth of maybe half of inch?? I’ve never seen rice bowl dish so tiny. Also I don’t really understand the tiny, thin lemon spices they provide for the skewers and squid. I’m not sure if it’s for aesthetics because it’s actually too tiny to squeeze as it’s paper thin. Even the seasoning and dips were tiny in proportion 🤷🏻‍♀️
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I understand an izakaya is for tapas and beers but the serving sizes were so small. You probably have to spend $50/person to start feeling relatively full. I only recommend this place if you already ate and just want to snack on takoyaki. Spend the money at Dorinku instead if you want to hit up an izakaya. At least I know with the price tag there I always get good food. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Bad luck with the new places we are trying lately 👎🏼😕
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Friends and I decided to go binge on some takoyaki during the holidays. Ikki has $0.50/pc takoyaki on Wednesday. We went during their happy hour (only from 5-6:30) so they had a few other things on special. $1/pc sashimi, $1/skewer yakitori, and $5/3oz sake. It was our first time trying it out with the exception of one friend. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Takoyaki was pretty good but the portions for everything else was tiny. I didn’t take pictures of the sashimi, squid karaage, or the curry doria my friends ordered. I understand it’s only a dollar for the sashimi and skewer, but damnnnn. It was the thinnest sashimi I had ever seen. The skewers were actually half onion with tiny pieces of chicken in between. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When the squid came out it looked like it was only 3-4pcs. The bowl of curry doria (rice with curry beef and melted cheese on top) had the circumference of probably less than a CD with a depth of maybe half of inch?? I’ve never seen rice bowl dish so tiny. Also I don’t really understand the tiny, thin lemon spices they provide for the skewers and squid. I’m not sure if it’s for aesthetics because it’s actually too tiny to squeeze as it’s paper thin. Even the seasoning and dips were tiny in proportion 🤷🏻‍♀️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I understand an izakaya is for tapas and beers but the serving sizes were so small. You probably have to spend $50/person to start feeling relatively full. I only recommend this place if you already ate and just want to snack on takoyaki. Spend the money at Dorinku instead if you want to hit up an izakaya. At least I know with the price tag there I always get good food. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Bad luck with the new places we are trying lately 👎🏼😕

Holidays were a rather stressful time for most of my friends and I this year so I decided to bring them to a place that none of us has gone to before to try something new. Salz serves Bavarian sausages and beer. They’re owned by the same owner as Elm Cafe, District Coffee, etc. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The two main choices are either a brat in a bun (with chips and pickles) or brat on a plate with choice of salad and side and served with pickles and mustard. I picked brat on a plate with Spicy Hungarian brat, German Potato, and Cheesy Spatzle. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The sausage was pretty good although it could be spicier for me. I tried a bit of the Classic (garlic and black pepper) and Kasekrainer (Gouda) and I think I actually prefer the classic one. It was flavourful and stood out well amongst the sides that came along with the meal. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The sides didn’t stand out much for me. The potatoes were a tad underdone so they had a crunch. Perhaps it’s supposed to be that way but I didn’t enjoy it. The seasoning on it makes it taste a little sour. Not bad but didn’t do much for me. The cheesy spatzle tasted like an overdone mac and cheese. The pasta was mushy; paired with the cheese it made an unappetizing texture. Because the food was served on top of paper (not parchment paper?) it was breaking the paper down as we were eating. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We ordered half pints of beer that was part of the featured rotating draught on tap. Forgot what I ordered now to be honest LOL. But both on tap were light German style beers. Affordable for $3. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Overall it was a bit of a let down. $15 for brat on a plate. Portions aren’t enough to be full after. Sausages were tasty but sides were a let down so it wasn’t worth the price. Perhaps if they just did sausages separately and beer specials I’d go back lol.
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Holidays were a rather stressful time for most of my friends and I this year so I decided to bring them to a place that none of us has gone to before to try something new. Salz serves Bavarian sausages and beer. They’re owned by the same owner as Elm Cafe, District Coffee, etc. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The two main choices are either a brat in a bun (with chips and pickles) or brat on a plate with choice of salad and side and served with pickles and mustard. I picked brat on a plate with Spicy Hungarian brat, German Potato, and Cheesy Spatzle. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The sausage was pretty good although it could be spicier for me. I tried a bit of the Classic (garlic and black pepper) and Kasekrainer (Gouda) and I think I actually prefer the classic one. It was flavourful and stood out well amongst the sides that came along with the meal. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The sides didn’t stand out much for me. The potatoes were a tad underdone so they had a crunch. Perhaps it’s supposed to be that way but I didn’t enjoy it. The seasoning on it makes it taste a little sour. Not bad but didn’t do much for me. The cheesy spatzle tasted like an overdone mac and cheese. The pasta was mushy; paired with the cheese it made an unappetizing texture. Because the food was served on top of paper (not parchment paper?) it was breaking the paper down as we were eating. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We ordered half pints of beer that was part of the featured rotating draught on tap. Forgot what I ordered now to be honest LOL. But both on tap were light German style beers. Affordable for $3. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Overall it was a bit of a let down. $15 for brat on a plate. Portions aren’t enough to be full after. Sausages were tasty but sides were a let down so it wasn’t worth the price. Perhaps if they just did sausages separately and beer specials I’d go back lol.

Bf’s Christmas party for work was also a nice weekend holiday for us ☺️
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Bf’s Christmas party for work was also a nice weekend holiday for us ☺️

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Went to dinner for friend’s birthday and tried out Have Mercy. We ordered the Gull Valley Fried Green Tomatoes and the Sweet Corn Hush Puppies for appetizers. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The fried green tomatoes have a tomato andouille sausage gravy and housemade buttermilk dill ranch. The hush puppies came with a buttermilk dill ranch also. Doesn’t list it on the menu but it also came with what seemed like a spicy honey sauce. I feel like there was probably some sort of alcohol (maybe whisky? Rum? ) mixed in too?
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My favorite was the fried green tomatoes. It didn’t taste super greasy and the dill brought a brightness to the dish. The green tomatoes were slightly sweet mixed with the saltiness of the gravy 🤤🤤. The hush puppies were good too with the sweet corn, but personally I ❤️ the tomatoes. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
My main was the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. Which had a toasted hazeldean bun and spicy sugar slaw with a side of garlic thyme fries. Burger was quite good! The BBQ sauce they had was nice. Portion isn’t huge but I think it’s good enough for me. The fries were fried perfectly but I couldn’t taste the seasoning on it too well. Perhaps a bit more garlic/thyme would help. I was actually debating on ordering their Fried Chicken and Donut but decided against it because I wasn’t sure about how big the portion was. But our friend ordered it and it seemed to be a good portion (unless you have a giant appetite). He said the chicken was really good and it was nice and tender too 👌🏼!
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Sunday’s special included their pitchers so we ordered a pitcher of their Sweet Tea which has Southern Comfort and Evan Williams White Label Bourbon. This was delicious. Might be nice if it had a little bit more alcohol in it 😉. Everyone enjoyed it though. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
One last note, service was great! It wasn’t super busy when we went as it was still early in the evening but there were other tables there too. Our server was attentive enough that we didn’t feel like he was intrusive or *non-existent* (which happens often with bigger groups). He was happy to answer q’s. He noticed it’s a bday dinner and gave her a little treat.
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Went to dinner for friend’s birthday and tried out Have Mercy. We ordered the Gull Valley Fried Green Tomatoes and the Sweet Corn Hush Puppies for appetizers. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The fried green tomatoes have a tomato andouille sausage gravy and housemade buttermilk dill ranch. The hush puppies came with a buttermilk dill ranch also. Doesn’t list it on the menu but it also came with what seemed like a spicy honey sauce. I feel like there was probably some sort of alcohol (maybe whisky? Rum? ) mixed in too? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My favorite was the fried green tomatoes. It didn’t taste super greasy and the dill brought a brightness to the dish. The green tomatoes were slightly sweet mixed with the saltiness of the gravy 🤤🤤. The hush puppies were good too with the sweet corn, but personally I ❤️ the tomatoes. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My main was the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. Which had a toasted hazeldean bun and spicy sugar slaw with a side of garlic thyme fries. Burger was quite good! The BBQ sauce they had was nice. Portion isn’t huge but I think it’s good enough for me. The fries were fried perfectly but I couldn’t taste the seasoning on it too well. Perhaps a bit more garlic/thyme would help. I was actually debating on ordering their Fried Chicken and Donut but decided against it because I wasn’t sure about how big the portion was. But our friend ordered it and it seemed to be a good portion (unless you have a giant appetite). He said the chicken was really good and it was nice and tender too 👌🏼! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Sunday’s special included their pitchers so we ordered a pitcher of their Sweet Tea which has Southern Comfort and Evan Williams White Label Bourbon. This was delicious. Might be nice if it had a little bit more alcohol in it 😉. Everyone enjoyed it though. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ One last note, service was great! It wasn’t super busy when we went as it was still early in the evening but there were other tables there too. Our server was attentive enough that we didn’t feel like he was intrusive or *non-existent* (which happens often with bigger groups). He was happy to answer q’s. He noticed it’s a bday dinner and gave her a little treat.

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Birthdays, for me, usually aren’t a great time. Whether it was report card time when I was young, to midterm season when I’m older, or even just the typical November snowstorm, it wasn’t a time for people to celebrate with me. Most people flake out on me even up to the very day that we are supposed to go out. So this year I am especially thankful for my boyfriend. Him and our friend put in time to organize a surprise dinner for me ☺️..
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We went to Meat for dinner. Most people at the table have already been before but it was my first time there so I let them take the lead on ordering for the night. Apparently the fried chicken there is dry and doesn’t stand out so we decided to forego the chicken. Instead we got the special of the night - porchetta. Along with that we got brisket, pulled pork, and the sausage links. Everything tasted great! The porchetta was so tender, the skin though was a tad too crispy but I would still recommend ordering it! The brisket was also tender and flavourful. Some places make their brisket a bit dry, not Meat though! Their links were spicy but not overwhelming for those that were more sensitive to spiciness and was another favourite at the table.
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Everyone that had gone to Meat before were also excited about the garlic fries. In fact, we got two large orders haha! You could definitely taste the garlic and I could see why everyone loved it so much.
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For those who want something with light alcohol I got the ginger beer which was delicious, like an adult ginger ale hahaha. My friend ordered the strawberry lime cider. They loved it, tastes just like strawberries. We also tried out a blackberry currant sour ale. I liked it because it was bright, like the other drinks we ordered, which helps when you’re eating a ton of meat. However, people that are sensitive to sour tastes might not like it. I love sour stuff so it was a nice balance between the sweetness of the fruit and the sourness. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I didn’t order dessert since I was full but my friends ordered the pecan pie. I had a bite and... I wish I had ordered it now LOL. 
Thanks again to everyone that came out and made me night special 😍😘
  • Comments 2

Birthdays, for me, usually aren’t a great time. Whether it was report card time when I was young, to midterm season when I’m older, or even just the typical November snowstorm, it wasn’t a time for people to celebrate with me. Most people flake out on me even up to the very day that we are supposed to go out. So this year I am especially thankful for my boyfriend. Him and our friend put in time to organize a surprise dinner for me ☺️.. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We went to Meat for dinner. Most people at the table have already been before but it was my first time there so I let them take the lead on ordering for the night. Apparently the fried chicken there is dry and doesn’t stand out so we decided to forego the chicken. Instead we got the special of the night - porchetta. Along with that we got brisket, pulled pork, and the sausage links. Everything tasted great! The porchetta was so tender, the skin though was a tad too crispy but I would still recommend ordering it! The brisket was also tender and flavourful. Some places make their brisket a bit dry, not Meat though! Their links were spicy but not overwhelming for those that were more sensitive to spiciness and was another favourite at the table. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Everyone that had gone to Meat before were also excited about the garlic fries. In fact, we got two large orders haha! You could definitely taste the garlic and I could see why everyone loved it so much. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ For those who want something with light alcohol I got the ginger beer which was delicious, like an adult ginger ale hahaha. My friend ordered the strawberry lime cider. They loved it, tastes just like strawberries. We also tried out a blackberry currant sour ale. I liked it because it was bright, like the other drinks we ordered, which helps when you’re eating a ton of meat. However, people that are sensitive to sour tastes might not like it. I love sour stuff so it was a nice balance between the sweetness of the fruit and the sourness. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I didn’t order dessert since I was full but my friends ordered the pecan pie. I had a bite and... I wish I had ordered it now LOL. Thanks again to everyone that came out and made me night special 😍😘

Friend took me out for birthday brunch. Tried out The Local Omnivore for the first time. We got the Brunch Pirate Poutine with two fried eggs, citrus hollandaise, pirate spiced fries, cheese curds, and vegetarian gravy. We also got the Broke Back Breakfast.
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The poutine was so good! The citrus really helped to make the dish more lighter. Especially because there was a lot of protein and carbs in the things we ordered.
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We picked the curry sausage for the Broke Back Breakfast. The restaurant smokes their own meat so it had 4 different meats along with bacon. It also had fried eggs, refried beans, fried, and rye. The curry sausage was really good. It was spiced quite nicely.
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Definitely not a brunch I’d have everyday but a nice treat.
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Friend took me out for birthday brunch. Tried out The Local Omnivore for the first time. We got the Brunch Pirate Poutine with two fried eggs, citrus hollandaise, pirate spiced fries, cheese curds, and vegetarian gravy. We also got the Broke Back Breakfast. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The poutine was so good! The citrus really helped to make the dish more lighter. Especially because there was a lot of protein and carbs in the things we ordered. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We picked the curry sausage for the Broke Back Breakfast. The restaurant smokes their own meat so it had 4 different meats along with bacon. It also had fried eggs, refried beans, fried, and rye. The curry sausage was really good. It was spiced quite nicely. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Definitely not a brunch I’d have everyday but a nice treat.

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J and I were rather addicted to shaved ice but we also wanted to try a new place. We checked out Zen Q which also serves other Asian desserts and food. They have a version of shaved ice they call “creamy frappe”. For bingsoo they have shaved milk with toppings in the flavour you choose. For ZenQ’s creamy frappe the milk itself is already flavoured. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We got the green tea one which came with small sago balls, red bean, and green tea ice cream. We added on the Q ball mix which is mochi in a few flavours (sweet potato, taro, green tea). Overall it was quite enjoyable. The green tea ice cream actually tastes like a deep green tea flavour which you can tell by the darker colour. The smaller size of sago balls provides a nice texture and added a slight sweetness. The Q ball mochis though were kind of disappointing as an extra addon. The flavour was very light so it didn’t taste like much when you’re having the shaved ice and ice cream with it. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We also ordered the salty chicken. I love Taiwanese fried chicken pieces and this one didn’t disappoint. The spices they roll the chicken in is salty and garlicky. Delicious. Would recommend trying that chicken out if you usually like the Taiwanese version too.
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J and I were rather addicted to shaved ice but we also wanted to try a new place. We checked out Zen Q which also serves other Asian desserts and food. They have a version of shaved ice they call “creamy frappe”. For bingsoo they have shaved milk with toppings in the flavour you choose. For ZenQ’s creamy frappe the milk itself is already flavoured. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We got the green tea one which came with small sago balls, red bean, and green tea ice cream. We added on the Q ball mix which is mochi in a few flavours (sweet potato, taro, green tea). Overall it was quite enjoyable. The green tea ice cream actually tastes like a deep green tea flavour which you can tell by the darker colour. The smaller size of sago balls provides a nice texture and added a slight sweetness. The Q ball mochis though were kind of disappointing as an extra addon. The flavour was very light so it didn’t taste like much when you’re having the shaved ice and ice cream with it. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We also ordered the salty chicken. I love Taiwanese fried chicken pieces and this one didn’t disappoint. The spices they roll the chicken in is salty and garlicky. Delicious. Would recommend trying that chicken out if you usually like the Taiwanese version too.

When your boyfriend looks at the pup more adoringly than how he looks at you 😂😂
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When your boyfriend looks at the pup more adoringly than how he looks at you 😂😂

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