The Four-Hour Fondue Experience

{ Spinach Artichoke Cheese Fondue }

I was quite excited to learn that The Melting Pot is opening an location in the uptown area so close to where I live. I brought my family there on Father’s day, thinking they would appreciate and enjoy some new dining experience. However, as soon as we started ordering our food, we realize it was not as glamourous as it might seem. As a family of four, we are quite different in taste so we were all going to order our own cheese fondue but disappointed to find out that we can only order ONE type to share among the four of us in the same little pot. The price on the menu, however is per person. We all feel that it is a bit of a ripped off that our own portion is now being split into 1/4 portion for the same price  (It’s $46 per person or $92 per couple, I actually don’t get why they put $92 per couple when it’s not a deal to get a couple portion) Anyway, so at last, we settled on the Spinach Artichoke Cheese Fondue. For some reason, it took about 45 minutes to arrive. The good thing about this is though, you get to see how the fondue is being made, what kind of ingredients you put in. I was actually thinking to myself, maybe I can make this at home. The fondue is pretty rich in taste and the spinach flavour actually blended perfectly with the Butterkase cheese. This appetizer comes with artisan bread, veggies and some apples. However, the fondue itself is definitely not enough to share for the four of us. We have leftover condiments and no cheese left.  Our server was quite understandable and gave us more cheese after I pointed out the price and portion per person argument. But it took another 45 minutes for our cheese refill to arrive. At this point, we knew this would be a long dinner… It was another 45 minutes or so for our main course to arrive. We seriously had no idea why the courses take this long to arrive when they don’t even need to be cooked! It was a little bit past 10 for our Main course to arrive (the second being the salad) when our reservation was at 7:30 pm. Our server was entertaining most of the time to keep us from waiting our meal but that didn’t really help kill time.

{ Angus sirloin, BBQ pork tenderloin, white shrimp, chicken breast,
teriyaki-marinated sirloin }
Our main courses, again were being shared on the same plate, even though we ordered an individual fondue feast. There were 3 entree cooking styles that we could choose from but still, we are only allowed to pick ONE. So we ordered the Burgundy wine cooking style. The taste of our feast was alright, nothing memorable and worth noting. The only part I like about the main course is the different sauce they provide for the different meat. Without that, I don’t think there was any flavour to the meat. My dad actually thinks that he rather have Chinese Hot Pot All You Can Eat for half the price less because it definitely reminds him of it. But then, it’s for the experience, right? I tried convincing myself and my family but the wait for our food was just too long… I don’t know why we are paying this value for a waiting experience. This time though, we asked our server to get our last course ready as we were rushing to get our main course finish so we can hurry up and finish up with the dessert and go home.

At 11-ish, our Chocolate fondue arrived. We ordered the Yin & Yang fondue which is half dark and half white chocolate. The condiments for the dessert include fresh strawberries, bananas, cheesecake, pineapples, marshmallows, pound cake and brownies. The white chocolate is a bit too sweet but it compliments well with the dark chocolate; way better than the fondue I tried at Moroco, if I need to compare… So our whole Melting Pot experience lasted 4 hours and it was the longest dinner we have had. My mom even claimed that it was even longer than having a dinner at a wedding banquet! It’s true.

{ Yin & Yang Chocolate Fondue }

The verdict? I will probably come back for the dessert only, the selections on the dessert menu are really worth anticipating, but the food and the whole experience probably not worth so much. In the end, we all agreed that this is more a couple kind of dining place than a family get-together type of dining. My word of advice is that if you have 4 or more people going, I strongly recommend you to sit separately into twos. After all, you are paying for the same but you get to eat less if you sit altogether.

Wine Box = Jewelry Box {Tutorial}

I found a defective wine box sitting in my basement so I decided to make use of it and turn it into a jewelry box for my jewelries. An environmentally friendly tutorial.

{ You will need }

  • 7 Screw hooks
  • 1 Old wine box

{ Instructions }

 1. Unscrew one side of the lids, I picked the side for the wine glasses. I saved the lid for my watches.

2. I bought a pack of assortment screw hooks from the dollar store and used the one that fits my jewelries.

3. The wine box usually comes with a styrofoam that holds all the wine accessories.

4. Remove the styrofoam piece and flip to the other side and put it back in.

5. Screw the hooks evenly to the styrofoam.

6. Ta-la! Just put all your jewelries into the different slots.

Put the detached lid aside for your watches. Now you have a recycled jewelry box and a watch tray!

Timex – my new love

My friend, wickyiu works for Timex. He sent me his company website one day and told me I could pick any watch there as my birthday present. My first thought was like… seriously? How am I going to find something I like from Timex??? I was never a fan and had never worn one even when I was in elementary. After quite sometime digging through the website, I actually found something I like. That is the Vintage Original 1960’s collection. I spent a good two days deciding if I should go with the brown leather strap or the white strap and finally I landed on the brown. When it arrived, I was in amazement. Very good quality and very elegant. It comes with a nice gift box and the watch has an indigo light when you press it with the side button. Who knew I could find something so attractive from Timex? Lesson learned, never judge a book by its (name?). It was well liked when I posted the pictures on Facebook. Such a lovely gift.
{Vintage Originals 1960’s from Timex }
{ Classy and elegant }

Easter Getaway to Buffalo

You know it’s time to go somewhere when there’s a long weekend. I haven’t been to anywhere out of town for the last couple months and I feel that a getaway to escape from my daily routines and work stress is much needed. Hopefully something inspiring comes along the way as well…
Thank goodness that I have a wonderful bf who takes me out to Buffalo for a retail therapy. We shopped for a straight 8 hours and came back (in one piece) to Toronto at 2 am in the morning. At the end of our trip, we are pretty much exhausted to the max.
Some of my proud victory items from the trip:
{ From the left: Charlotte Russe and Bebe, all 3 pairs for only $47! Can’t beat that! }
 
{ My new Kate Spade ring and matching earrings from the bf }

MoRoCo – When dream comes to reality

MoRoCo has always been on my top to-try list because I am so attracted by the elegance and their store decor. I definitely have high hopes when I finally come to visit recently. But I must say I am not impressed. From the music choice (they were playing rock music when I was there, totally not the mood) to their service and food, I have nothing positive to give back. I think I’m only impressed with their decor and chinas. Servers are pushy. I have 5 different servers coming to me asking me if I want to order when I just sat down. I ordered a Chocolate Fondue from their menu, because it seems like it’s one of the most popular thing that night. Everyone orders it, it must be good. It’s $26 bucks but at least it can feed two people. There are other options too, but you will soon realize the fondue is the wiser pick because their cake costs $19 a slice!

But again, I am disappointed. Their so-called fondue basically is just chocolate in a cup where you dip fruits and other condiments into. Not even served hot. It is indeed very creamy and rich chocolate but definitely does not meet my bar for fondue and worth for that price. With the fondue, it comes with strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, macarons and pineapples. The bananas are dark and unprofessionally sliced…with the price I’m paying I expect my bananas to be fresh and cut to the same widths. It is quite a disappointment when you see they charge you 18% gratuity and the food is not up to par. Their tea is nice, they are loose leaf teas not tea bags but they charge us a $2.50 for an extra tea cup without even asking us or informing us before. If we knew, we wouldn’t have drink from the extra cup, not that we ordered one in the first place!

 

I’m not sure if I will come back again, if I do, maybe only to purchase a few of their macarons. But with the experience I have, I’m not sure if their macarons deserves its money value. It certainly gives me a feeling that they just want to throw an upscale place in Yorkville only to suck people’s money with lack of thoughts in anything else.

I love their bathroom decor or just the decor in general

My Birthday Gift Card Spending Spree Day Trip

For this year’s birthday, I’ve decided to do something different. Something I’ve been planning since few years ago. That is to go on a GIFT CARD SPENDING SPREE DAY TRIP on my own! It sounds like a really exciting day already, doesn’t it? Apparently I have “collected” a bunch of gift cards from over the years and have not spent any yet. So I think maybe it’s time to do it all in one go and see how that will turn out. I also did some googling and find out that there’s a lot of birthday freebies in Toronto as well. I took a full day planning my entire schedule for my birthday so that I can make the most out of my day without spending a penny.

Gift cards, gift certificates and coupons!

Let the spending spree begin!

Starbuck's Gift Card!

10:00 A.M - Breakfast at Starbucks, Main street

My big breakfast: Tuna melt Panini, Fruit salad and Skinny Iced Mocha with Whipped Cream. (and no, I don't eat breakfast like this on a regular basis)

12:00 P.M: Full Body Massage Therapy (Oh yes, that was relaxing!)

Tim Horton's Gift Cards!

1:45 P.M: Lunch at Tim Horton's

My relatively small lunch after a big breakfast.

Tasty House Stamp Card!

2:15 P.M: Afternoon Bubble Tea, Market Village, with my 10-year-old stamp card. Time to redeem.

My favourite drink, Mango slush with tapioca. Glad my stamp card is still valid after 10+ years...

It's been awhile ❤

Sephora Gift Card!

3:00 P.M Sephora! at Yorkdale Shopping Centre

Got a Marc Jacobs perfume ring with the gift card. What a win ♥

Can't wait to wear it~

Marc Jacobs Daisy Perfume Ring

My Marc Jacobs perfume ring

I love statement rings like these

Holt Renfrew gift cards!

4:00 P.M: Holt Renfrew!— at Yorkdale Shopping Centre

Kate Spade - New Bond Street Florence Marc by Marc Jacobs - Classic Q Francesca Tote

I had a very difficult time deciding which bag I should go for. I spent more hours than I should at Holt and I must say I underestimated my decision-making ability. But at last, I’ve decided to go for a more versatile and durable bag.

with winning Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Francesca Tote!

The winning bag is Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Francesca Tote!

7:00 P.M Apple Store! @ Fairview Shopping Centre.

iMac 27 inch

iMac! You're finally mine!

8:00 P.M Meeting up with family for birthday dinner at Raa Japanese Cuisine

Yummy sushis

and also fresh oysters, just to name a few of what we ordered...

10:00 P.M - Meeting up with boyfriend to enjoy the rest of the night at Sen5es Restaurant & Bar

pistachio crumble crunch

Mango Lime cheesecake

This birthday spending spree day trip is quite a hectic but enjoyable experience. I realize trying to spend all my gift cards and get all the birthday freebies in one day is quite ambitious and difficult. I think I have too much fun that I extend the day trip till the next day, claiming my birthday freebies at Menchi’s. I have to say, I am quite spoiled on my birthday this year.

Menchi's card!

Next Day at 2:00 P.M - Redeeming my birthday freebies at Menchi's!

Menchi's

My Menchi's with waffle all free!

I know not everyone is able to collect that many gift cards and spend them at all like the way I did. But don’t worry, there are a lot of birthday freebies offered everywhere in Toronto.

Here’s a list of freebies that I was trying to accomplish:

  1. Starbucks (gift card) √
  2. Tim Horton’s (gift card) √
  3. Full Body Massage (gift card) √
  4. Facial (gift card)
  5. Spa (gift card)
  6. One-person Karaoke (gift coupon)
  7. Bubble Tea (stamp card) √
  8. Sephora (gift card) √
  9. Forever 21 (gift card)
  10. Holt Renfrew (gift card) √
  11. Apple Store (gift card) √
  12. Menchi’s (stamp card) √
Other Birthday Freebies offered throughout Toronto:
  • What a Bagel (Free dozen bagels on your birthday!)
  • Menchi’s (Free $5 coupon on your birthday when you register online) √
  • Sephora (Free gift on your birthday!) √
  • Dry Cleaning (Free drying cleaning service from Parker Dry Cleaning)
  • Ontario Place (Free Toronto Star Play all day pass, including IMAX® 3D Cinesphere)
  • Boston Pizza (Free starter and a coupon for free gourmet pasta on your birthday from signing up to the newsletter)
  • Hotel Gelato (Free gelato from Hotel Gelato on your birthday from signing up newsletter)
  • Dlish (Free cupcake on your birthday)
  • Medieval Times (Free admission with another purchased admission)
  • Starbucks (Free drink if you register a card online)
  • Casey’s (Free meal with a paying friend)

What a happy Birthday!