My Omakase Moriawase Experience in Toronto

Something I’ve been working on as part of my slow living ideals is slowing down my meals and being more mindful of the overall eating experience. So this year, I decided to bring my mom to an upscale Japanese restaurant in Toronto to celebrate her birthday and early Mother’s Day. Seafood is one of our favourite foods of all time, and if you’re like us, I would totally recommend this experience to you!

Moriawase (盛り合わせ) translated directly from Japanese, means an assorted platter of sushi or sashimi. Per the restaurant’s description, this platter would feature items recommended by the chef, or whatever fish is fresh that day. I’m sure a lot of restaurants in Toronto offer the omakase experience as well, but I chose this restaurant because a lot of my friends recommended it and I read somewhere that a lot of their ingredients are imported from Japan. Details at the end of the post.

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The first thing we actually ordered was the o-toro, which is a highly-prized fatty underbelly meat of the bluefin tuna. This was ordered separately… but it was toro so we just couldn’t help it! From the picture, you can see the even fat distribution, which is what contributes to the buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture and the iconic umami taste. It’s so soft it even looks like it’s falling apart!

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Our omakase moriawase experience started with a miso soup and an appetizer. The soup was a really good combination of the salty and savoury taste of miso with a fresh and sweet note of clams. The appetizer is a salad of avocado (mashed into something like guacamole) mixed with bamboo shoot.

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Our sashimi platter came first, which included akami tuna, o-toro tuna, amberjack, uni, octopus, yellowtail, and scallop.

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The toro was the best!

My favourite was obviously the o-toro, but I also loved the uni and the scallop. The uni was rich and creamy, very sweet and a little bit nutty. The scallop was delicately smooth and sweet. The akami tuna (the regular, red one) had a milder taste and a rougher texture, but was still good. The amberjack had a good firm texture to it with a note of sweetness. The yellowtail was light and meaty with a hint of salt. The octopus was also meaty, bordering on a rubbery texture, and had a hint of salt water.

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On our nigiri platter, we had akami tuna, salmon, salmon harasu, kurodai, amberjack, yellowtail, crab, and amaebi.

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My favourite was the amaebi due to its sweet and fresh taste, and it also had a meaty texture. Salmon harasu is the salmon version of the toro from tuna, and it had a very buttery and a strong salmon taste. I also really liked the kurodai, which was very fleshy. The crab was also really good, which was fresh and had a salt water taste – I was also happy to see real crab instead of the imitation crab that I usually get at more affordable places.

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No meal is complete without dessert

We finished our experience with the sake cheesecake, which we really enjoyed. This was also ordered separately, but it was a good dessert to end our meal with. It had a rich and creamy texture, with  a surprisingly strong sake taste that went really well with the cream cheese taste. It was also garnished with sake jello, and a bunch of berries. As a seldom drinker liked that, even though the sake taste was strong, it didn’t have that dry taste and the berries really spiced it up.

Location: Yuzu No Hana 
236 Adelaide Street W
Toronto
ON M5H 1W7

I would say this experience was an extremely enjoyable. I was able to try a lot of good quality fish, some of which I’ve never even tried before. This omakase moriawase really sets the bar high for my future sushi meals though!

Apart from the good food, I was also glad that we were able to take 2 hours out of our busy schedules to have some mother-and-daughter bonding time. How often do we actually focus on the taste and quality of our food? Have meaningful conversations with our family? Sometimes we just need to slow down enough to enjoy our life.

Who would you bring to enjoy this gastronomic experience with you?

What to do in Toronto: Soar High

Do you get excited at the idea of free falling? You’re not alone, humans have always been interested in flying. Like how Daedalus and Icarus strapped wings to themselves and took off, or how the Wright brothers built a plane. Do you ever wonder why humans have always been so interested in flying?

For many, flying has also been an epitome of freedom. So, being the curious adventurer that I am, I’ve always wanted to try it at least once. I may not have enough money to spare for an actual skydiving experience, yet, but I got a pretty close alternative.

And if you’re searching for exciting things to do in Toronto, like me, you should definitely check this place out.

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Indoor skydiving is all the rage right now, and I got to try this experience out at iFly Toronto (they have one in Oakville and one in Whitby). Tip: You have to make reservations.

When we arrived, we checked in with the reception, where we confirmed our information, signed a waiver (that we understand all the risks of the activity), and then got weighed. Tip: The weight limit is 230 lbs.

Then, the staff directed up upstairs, where we saw people floating around in the wind tunnel (an instructor and a guest), and the observation deck lined with chairs for visitors to sit in. The staff told us we were group 19, and left us there to wait for our turn.

We watched people take turns going inside and the instructors showing off their skills inside the wind tunnel. We got a little worried because there were no staff in the waiting area and we were worried we missed our group. But about 20 minutes later, the instructor finally came out and called our group.

We were a small group of 7 people, and he led us into a demonstration room where we watched a introductory video. After the video, the instructor returned and reviewed the basic concepts – the hand gestures he will be using to communicate with us in the wind tunnel, and the basic posture and how to get in and out of the tunnel.

After we were adequately prepared, we headed back out to get our suit and equipment on. This basically included a flight suit, a helmet, goggles, and ear plugs. They provided lockers to put our belongings. Tip: Remember to wear athletic clothing and running shoes, as you will be wearing them during the skydiving – don’t wear anything that might fall off your body!

Once we were ready, we lined up to go into the chamber, sitting on the bench inside, waiting for our turn. They offer different packages that includes 2 flights, 4 flights, or more per person. We got the 2 flights option. Each flight is only 1 minute. It may not seem like a lot, but it’s pretty close to the amount of free fall you would get in a real skydiving experience anyways.

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It took some time to get my balance the first time I went in, but I got a hang of it eventually. The key is to stay calm and stay in position even if you are falling. The instructor will help you, just remember to breath..

Though, it may be a better experience for more petite or shorter people like me. I enjoyed my free fall and had lots of fun flying up and down the tunnel. My boyfriend on the other hand is 6’3″ (a whole foot taller than me) and the instructor had a much more difficult time trying to hold on to him. He got a cut on his hand from falling on the metal net at the bottom of the tunnel and was not as thrilled as I was. In the end, we both agreed that it was a unique experience though – definitely not something you can do everyday.

Perhaps, the reason we are so interested is simply because we can’t.

Well, here’s another thing crossed off my bucket list. Follow me for updates on my adventures!

Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.

Singapore Trip Day 5: Sultan Mosque and Haji Lane, Changi Airport

Because for the urban traveler with business and global acumen, Singapore is the place to be.

I can’t believe it’s already the last day of my stay in Singapore! Thankfully, we leave in the evening, so I still had time to explore during the day.

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My first stop is Kampong Glam, which is home to a rich Malay history and culture, and a Muslim community. The region is filled with interesting Arabian restaurants and shops. At the heart of this neighbourhood is the Sultan Mosque. The building is built in an Islamic-Saracenic style by connecting traditional Indian and Islamic ideas.

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The Sultan Mosque also allows visitors during certain times of the day, even providing robes (for people who are under-dressed for the mosque) to enter. The mosque is open from 9:30am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm on Saturdays to Thursdays, and 2:30pm to 4pm on Fridays.
Address: 3 Muscat Street Masjid SultanSingapore 198833

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Then we headed over to Haji Lane, a street filled with boutique shops and cafes that give off a hipster vibe. The street art also makes for a great photo op.

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And then it was time to go. I included Singapore Changi Airport because it was named the world’s best airport, and for good reason. I would definitely recommend to set aside plenty of time to go through the check in (which actually slower than I expected) and visit the attractions inside the airport.

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The attractions include the Kinetic Raindrops installation and Cactus Garden in Terminal 1, the Orchid Garden, Sunflower Garden, and Enchanted Garden in Terminal 2, and the Butterfly Garden in Terminal 3. The terminals are connect by Skytrains, so you can definitely travel within the airport. Check out more attractions on their website! Just be mindful of your boarding gate and time.

And this concludes my trip to Singapore! I had a great time in Singapore overall, and I hope your trip will be too. Remember to follow me to be updated on my new adventures in the future 🙂

And in case you missed it, check out my full Singapore itinerary:
Singapore Day 1
Singapore Day 2
Singapore Day 3
Singapore Day 4

Singapore Trip Day 4: Haw Par Villa, Vivocity, Singapore River

Because for the urban traveler with business and global acumen, Singapore is the place to be.

On to day four of the trip!

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Today’s first stop is Haw Par Villa, which is a theme park famous for its depictions of Chinese legends and folklore. Previously known as the Tiger Balm Gardens, the park was created by the same founders of the Tiger Balm ointment – the Aw brothers.

 

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Honestly, the park was a bit strange, and the scruffiness of the exhibit only adds to its eerie atmosphere (it was pretty empty when we got there too), but it is definitely unique. The most famous part of the park must be the ‘Ten Courts of Hell“, where you will see graphic (often gruesome) depictions of the myth – parents bringing children to the park must beware.
Address: 262 Pasir Panjang Road Haw Par Villa

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Next, we made a stop at Vivocity, which is the largest shopping mall in Singapore. It is connected to the Harbourfront Centre, which is a shopping mall and a ferry terminal that connects to nearby Indonesian ports.

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Due to its location, you can even see Sentosa Island (you can also get to the island via the ‘Sentosa Island Monorail Express’). The mall itself is big and houses a lot of shops and restaurants – possibly my favourite shopping centre in Singapore!
Address: 1 Harbourfront Walk Vivo CitySingapore 098585

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Then, we headed over to the Asian Civilizations Museum, located by the Singapore River. The museum explores the history of Asia and look at artefacts of Southeast Asian, South Asian, Chinese and West Asian cultures. I found the exhibits very interesting and with a good blend of interactive displays. I spent almost 3 hours at this location – this is possibly my favourite museum of the trip! If you were only able to visit one museum on your trip, I would recommend this one.

The museum is open daily from 10am to 7pm, with closing extended to 9pm on Fridays.
Address: 1 Empress Place Empress Place BuildingSingapore 179555

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Just outside the museum is the Cavenagh Bridge, which is the only suspension bridge and the oldest bridge to exist in its original form.

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The Singapore River makes for a good stroll and a very pretty picture.

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Then, we headed towards the Esplanade Concert Hall, where we got to watch a free choir performance. Remember to check the website for any upcoming events before you get here! Also worth visiting for the architecture.
Address: 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981

And this concludes my fourth day in Singapore! Follow me to be updated on my new adventures!

And in case you missed it, check out my full Singapore itinerary:
Singapore Day 1
Singapore Day 2
Singapore Day 3
Singapore Day 5

Singapore Trip Day 3: Little India and Chinatown

Because for the urban traveler with business and global acumen, Singapore is the place to be.

Moving on, day three of the trip.

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My first stop was the Sri Mariamman Temple. It is Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple built in a South Indian architectural style with a gopuram (tower). Located within Singapore’s Little India, this temple is beautiful and free to visit, just remember to take off your shoes before you enter.
Address: 244 South Bridge Road Sri Mariamman TempleSingapore 058793

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Then, I would recommend visiting the House of Tan Teng Niah, also located inside Little India. This region is definitely one of the most colourful regions in Singapore!
Address: 37 Kerbau Rd, Singapore 219168

Unfortunately, we had missed this because I was travelling with my elderly grandma, who preferred having lunch in Chinatown. I went back to Little India later that night though to get curry for dinner.

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As we strolled through Chinatown, we arrived at the Thian Hock Keng Temple, which is a Hokkien temple that worships the Chinese sea goddess Mazu. This is a UNESCO site, so it is definitely worth a visit!
Address: 158 Telok Ayer Street | ChinatownSingapore 068613

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Minutes away, we arrived at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. This Buddhist temple that worships the Maitreya Buddha, a.k.a. ‘The Compassionate One’ or ‘The Future Buddha’. This temple is also very beautiful and worth a visit.
Address: 288 South Bridge RoadSingapore 058840

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Next stop, the Red Dot Design Museum, a very futuristic art museum. Definitely worth the visit if you like art, I spent an hour here. The museum is open from 10am to 8pm on Mondays to Thursdays, and 10am to 11pm on Fridays to Sundays.
Address: 11 Marina Boulevard, Red Dot Design MuseumSingapore 018940

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Next stop was the Suntec City Mall, where we did some shopping. Unlike the shops on Orchard Road, this mall houses more affordable and cheap brands, which I really liked. It is also where the Fountain of Wealth is, come give it a try for a touch of luck!
Address:  3 Temasek Blvd, Singapore 038983

And this concludes my third day in Singapore! Follow me to be updated on my new adventures!

And in case you missed it, check out my full Singapore itinerary:
Singapore Day 1
Singapore Day 2
Singapore Day 4
Singapore Day 5

Singapore Trip: Day 2 – Museums and Orchard Road

Because for the urban traveler with business and global acumen, Singapore is the place to be.

On the second day of my trip, I got to use my 3-day museum pass which I previously had bought online. It gives me access to 8 different museums within a 3 day period. The pass that I got gave me access to 8 museums in Singapore, including the Peranakan Museum, Singapore Philatelic Museum, National Singapore History Museum, Singapore Art Museum, SAM at 8Q, Red Dot Design Museum, and Reflections at Bukit Chandu.

Tip: If you love visiting museums like I do, I would definitely recommend getting a pass like this. While the museums are definitely worth the full admission fee due to Singapore’s rich culture and history, no one can argue against a discount.

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My first stop is the Peranakan Museum, which explores the culture of Peranakan communities in Southeast Asia. I found this museum very educational, and would recommend spending 2 hours here. It opens from 10am to 7pm, and they provide guided tours in the afternoon.
Address: 39 Armenian Street Peranakan MuseumSingapore 179941

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Singapore’s art scene

Next stop, the Singapore Philatelic Museum, which showcases the history of stamps and a huge collection of stamps.

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Look over there!

Trust me, it may not sound interesting at first, but it was surprisingly interactive and educational. This museum is especially good for children. The museum opens from 9:30am to 7pm, I would recommend staying an hour or so here, I spent a little over an hour. 
Address: 23B Coleman Street Singapore Philatelic MuseumSingapore 179807

About an hour later, as we walked away from the museum, we came across this interesting red and white Edwardian building.

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Turns out, it was the Vanguard Building, which took over the old MPH Building (a bookstore). Stop by if you’re interested in its history or architecture!
Address: 71 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178895

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It is only about a minute away from Singapore’s Central Fire Station in a similar red and white structure. It is the oldest existing fire station in Singapore.
Address: 62 Hill St, Singapore 179367

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Then, we walked over to Fort Canning Park, which was basically across the street. This park is a historical landmark that has witnessed many history events and periods of Singapore. It goes back to when the Malays ruled, where historical artefacts of Malay monarchs from the 14th century have been uncovered. It is also the site where the British army settled during wartime.

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After enjoying the serene trails in the park, I headed towards the National Singapore History Museum which was conveniently right behind the park. This is Singapore’s oldest museum, and is definitely worth a visit. I spent approximately 3.5 hours here! They are open daily from 10am to 7pm.
Address: 93 Stamford Road National Museum of SingaporeSingapore 178897

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As I headed back towards my hotel, I also stopped by SAM at 8Q, which is an extension of the Singapore Art Museum. As you can see, the building is colourful and contemporary! I would recommend this museum to those that enjoy art museums, I spent an hour here. This museum opens from 10am to 7pm Mondays to Thursdays, and 10am to 9pm on Fridays.
Address: 8 Queen Street, Singapore 188535

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After spending most of the day in museums, I felt like I needed to relax from the information overload. So, we walked down Orchard Rd, did some shopping and then more sightseeing at Raffles City and Raffles Hotel.
Address: 1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673

And this concludes my second day in Singapore! Follow me to be updated on my new adventures!
And in case you missed it, check out my full Singapore itinerary:
Singapore Day 1
Singapore Day 3
Singapore Day 4
Singapore Day 5

 

Singapore Trip: Day 1 – Waterloo St and Marina Bay Sands

Because for the urban traveler with business and global acumen, Singapore is the place to be.

Singapore is one of the most urbanized country in Asia, so no doubt, I knew I had to visit it one day. Singapore is a sovereign city-state located in Southeast Asia, south of Malaysia. Due to its dense population with over 5.6 million people, Singapore is also very culturally diverse, with many practicing different religions (such as Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism, Hinduism, etc.). While their national language is Malay, the country’s four official languages English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. Singapore uses the Singapore dollar (SGD) as currency.

Continue reading to see some tips and how I spent my first day (and the rest of my trip) as a first time traveller to Singapore!

We flew into Singapore’s Changi Airport mid-day, so we really only had half a day to explore. After we checked in to our hotel to freshen up and leave our luggage in the room, we headed off to our first spot!

Tip: Consider getting an EZ-link tourist pass that lets you travel unlimited for a specific period of time. Then, you won’t have to worry about insufficient funds, especially when you’re not good with directions (like me!).

Since it was our first time in Singapore, we decided to join the Singapore Foot Prints tour which is led by student volunteers. The tour is approximately 2.5 hours long and is a great way to get an overview of the city and communicate with locals. Best of all, it’s free! We met our tour guides (2 young ladies studying hospitality in university) in front of the subway station, and we started our tour of the Bras Basah and Bugis precinct.

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First stop is the cute building that is the Jacob Ballas Centre and The Jewish Welfare Board, which provides support for Jewish people who travel or live in Singapore. First look at the multicultural population in Singapore.
Address: 24-26 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187950

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Next stop is the Singapore Art Museum, housed inside a beautiful building that used to be a school. Open from 10am to 7pm.
Address: 71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189555

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Next stop, is St Joseph’s Church, with a Gothic Revival architecture and latin cross. It is a Roman Catholic church built by the Portuguese Mission.
Address: 143 Victoria Street, St. Joseph’s ChurchSingapore 188020

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We continue to walk down Waterloo St, which is a long street in the heart of Singapore and passes many attractions and landmarks – great for first time travellers! We passed by the Fortune Centre, which is a commercial building. Nothing special there, but houses many eateries inside and in nearby buildings.

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We reached the Sri Krishnan Temple, South Indian Hindu temple worshipping the Hindu deity Sri Krishna.

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Due to Singapore’s multiculturalism and the temple’s proximity to another Chinese temple, many Chinese devotees come to worship at this temple as well.
Address: 152 Waterloo Street, Krishnan TempleSingapore 187961

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A minute away is the Kuan Yin Thong Hood Cho Temple, a Chinese temple that worships the Goddess of Mercy. The temple is usually busy and crowded with many devotees offering joss sticks and praying.
Address: 178 Waterloo Street Kwan Im TempleSingapore 187964

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Afterwards, we head towards the Bugis Street market, the biggest market in Singapore where people come to bargain for the cheapest souvenirs, accessories, clothes, electronics, housewares and cosmetics. Although very crowded, the market also offers lots of food options. You’re bound to find something here!
Address: 4 New Bugis StSingapore 188868, Singapore

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We had dinner and did some shopping after our tour ended, and decided to spend the rest of the night at Marina Bay Sands, where we saw the iconic hotel (the one that looks like ‘pi’). The building that looks like a flower beside the hotel is the ArtScience Museum.

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We walked around the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, and had some more late night food. The complex was filled with high end stores, and was beautiful and air-conditioned.
Address: 10 Bayfront Avenue Marina Bay SandsSingapore 018972

We stayed for the Spectra Light and Water show, just outside the shopping complex along the promenade. The show explored the multicultural side of Singapore and beautifully complemented Singapore’s skyline. Best of all, the show is free. I enjoyed it and would definitely recommend this 15 minute show to anyone visiting Singapore for the first time.
The show times are 8pm and 9 pm everyday, and an additional show at 10pm on Friday and Saturdays. 

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And this concludes my first day in Singapore! Follow me to be updated on my new adventures!

And in case you missed it, check out my full Singapore itinerary:
Singapore Day 2
Singapore Day 3
Singapore Day 4
Singapore Day 5