Birthday Food

This year my wonderful adoring boyfriend made sure I had the best birthday ever so after spending the morning getting a relaxing and heavenly couple’s massage, our bodies were ready to eat a mountain of vegan food and make googly eyes at each other for the rest of the day.

Tbh these aren’t my best photos but I still wanted to share a few quick snapshots and remember this day forever so here we go:

Mr. Spoon brought me to Ramen Isshin for some vegan ramen for lunch! After the life-changingly good ramen we had in San Fran, we wanted to see if we could recreate that magic here in T.O.

So he told me to order whatever ramen I thought looked the most delicious, AND whatever ramen I thought looked the second most delicious and make both of them vegan and he would eat whichever one I liked less, so I could try TWO ramens and eat my favourite one! That’s real love, people!!!!

I ordered the Shoyu ramen for myself with egg-free vegan noodles and we both added corn and bean sprouts.

Vegetarian Shoyu Ramen – Isshin Shoyu nori, bamboo shoots, sauteed shiitake mushrooms, button mushrooms. wood ear mushrooms, green onions & thin wavy noodles

For Mr. Spoon I ordered the Red Miso ramen.

Vegetarian Red Miso Ramen – Isshin Red Miso blend, bamboo shoots, wok fried ground tofu, green onions, wood ear mushrooms & thick twisty noodles

His was a little spicier and had less mushrooms. We both agreed more mushrooms = better in most cases. But luckily it turned out that we each preferred our own ramen over the other’s so I was happy about that.

Also the service was FANTASTIC here, everyone was SUPER nice and polite and we felt really welcomed. I definitely want to come back!

Overall I wouldn’t say it beat the ramen we had in San Francisco’s Japantown but it was still a darn amazing lunch! I was so surprised when Mr. Spoon told me we would get the spend the WHOLE ENTIRE DAY just being together as the two of us and that we were going to share a bunch of tasty vegan food and do a bunch of fun things together that he’d planned out weeks ago I couldn’t ask for a better present!

After lunch we visited the ROM to see the wildlife photography exhibit and went home for a little break until we were hungry again for dinner. Mr. Spoon had made a reservation at Planta, chef David Lee’s new fancy vegan restaurant in Yorkville! So funny because literally just days before this I was mentioning how I wanted to go, but he ALREADY KNEW and had booked a table like a month ago!

To start we shared some kimchi-stuffed dumplings that were served with hot sesame oil. These were sooooo good. They came out super crispy and piping hot. I could’ve eaten way more of these little guys, they were super addictive and had a great savoury flavour.

Next up we (okay, I) wanted to split the veggie burger. I read a rave review about how great the burger here is, how the chef flew down to NYC to try the Impossible Burger and decided to perfect his own recipe to give it a great taste and even better texture. I know every vegetarian and vegan has probably had a lackluster, disappointing veggie burger in their life from some non-vegan restaurant where it’s their only option. This is not that. This is an amazing veggie burger that every other crappy veggie burger aspires to be like. It DID have a great texture, was loaded with the perfect toppings and there was even “mushroom bacon” on top, which okay, to me and Mr. Spoon, really tasted more like smoked mushrooms which we LIKE, but not much like bacon (which I’m fine without anyway).

The lighting was pretty low in this place and I was ready to get eating so like I said, not my greatest photos of all time but I hope you can at least get an idea of how tasty and meaty this thing looked. And that’s not even getting started on the FRIES, people….. They were fan-freaking-tastic! I originally had meant to ask to substitute the “spiced fries” that come with the burger for some truffle fries (because… birthday… treat yo self, right?) but I’m glad that I forgot to ask because the spiced fries were CRAZY good! They were gone at the speed of light, I’m telling you. Plus that means we get to come back some time soon and try the truffle fries on another occasion so, win-win.

Mr. Spoon definitely agreed the veggie burger was a hit! And of course, he liked the fries as much as I did, too. I’m so glad I ordered the burger and I will definitely be wanting to eat it again (although I wanted to try all kinds of other things on the menu too! too many tough decisions!)

I also thought we should split an order of the truffle macaroni and “cheese”. It’s hard to go wrong with truffles, right? Right.

I mean, okay, so this macaroni won’t really be going down in the memory banks for all time (it was nowhere near as good as the burger) but it wasn’t bad either. If anything I think it needed a bit more salt (I say this as a salt addict) which was nowhere to be found on the table. The cheese sauce I thought was kind of.. only okay. A little grainy in texture and maybe not as rich and fatty as I was expecting. And as far as I could tell the truffle-ness wasn’t super infused into the sauce, it was just kind of sprinkled on top so getting a bite of truffle was good but it didn’t overpower me with the truffle-y goodness which is usually what I go for.

Overall it didn’t blow me away but don’t worry, none of it went to waste. Down the hatch and onto dessert!

Since we had a bottle of prosecco with our dinner the server asked us what we were celebrating. When she found out it was my birthday they brought this cute little candle in my dessert. How sweet.

This was the “Chocolate Terrarium” with all kinds of good stuff in there. I can’t even remember what it was, I think like bits of sponge toffee, pomegranate, raspberry and maybe two kinds of chocolate. Like a fancy mousse with lots of toppings on it.

It was good, slightly bitter because of the dark chocolate in it. I used to tend to go for sweeter, milk-chocolate so this would not usually for me but I liked it.

The other dessert I wanted to try was the lime cheesecake with pistachio and raspberry sorbet. Yum! I had a huge mega-sized piece of vegan chocolate chip cheesecake with Mr. Spoon at Whole Foods a few weeks ago and it made me realize I actually like vegan cheesecake a LOT better than the real thing. I just don’t like the taste of real cream cheese mixed with sugar and never really have – not on carrot cake, or as any kind of icing or in a cheesecake. Which is maybe kind of weird because I always liked real cream cheese on my bagels (now I like vegan cashew-based cream cheese the best, yum ). But now I’ve discovered vegan cheese cake and I think I’m hooked. They’re just so light and fluffy and you don’t feel so disgusting after like I used to feel after eating dairy. I think even non-vegans should try vegan cheesecake and see how delicious it is!

Of course as far as I know there’s no vegan Uncle Tetsu’s cheesecake (YET!), that’s another story, but this will definitely help your cravings if you’re a fan of desserts or cheese.

We ended the night with shots of Limoncello. Cheers!

Ramen Isshin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Planta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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