[Winterlicious] Nota Bene

Restaurant: Nota Bene
Location: 180 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3X3
Price Range: $$$
Overall: 1.5/5
Note: This review is only for Winterlicious 2015 Dinner, it does not reflect the normal service. In addition, part of this review is written by my friend who accompanied me to the dinner.

Winterlicious have been running for a few years now, and apparently every year it gets worse because the food is mass-produced, meaning less effort is put into the quality.  With that said, I don’t mind trying out Winterlicious restaurants, and decide whether to return later for normal service (for special occasions of course) :). This year I tried three Winterlicious restaurants, with Nota Bene being the first one. For dinner, Nota Bene offered a 3 course prix fixe menu at $45, while the lunch costed $28.

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Inside Nota Bene

Sorry if I couldn’t take a better picture of the interior, I get quite nervous when I take pictures inside a fine dining restaurant lol. The restaurant is spacious and very modern looking.

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[Dessert] Duo Pâtisserie & Café

Restaurant: Duo Pâtisserie & Café
Location: 4, 230 Commerce Valley Drive East, Markham, ON L3T 7Y3
Price Range: $$
Overall: 4/5

Duo Pâtisserie & Café

Duo Pâtisserie & Café

As you can see it was snowing that day, yet I still stood outside to take this pic for you guys, LOVE ME.

From the outside Duo looks quite plain, I wish they had some decorations or design to give the place a bit more of a Pâtisserie feel. However, since they’re located in a plaza, I guess they couldn’t do something different with the exterior.

Inside Duo

Inside Duo

I’m really sorry if I got any of you guys in this shot! This place was packed during my stay (which is a good thing!) so it was extremely hard to take a picture. This place is very clean and modern looking. Unfortunately seating was a bit tight, I wish they would take a table out to give the place a bit more space, but then the place is quite small in the first place. At most it can seat around 15 customers.

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[Japanese] Donburi

Restaurant: Donburi
Location: 505 York Regional Rd 7 #93, Thornhill, ON L3T 7T1
Price Range: $$
Overall: 3/5

Donburi is a Japanese restaurant located in the same plaza (Commerce Gate) with Sweet Note Desserts (review here). I have been here twice and the quality is the same. During both visits, the service was good and the servers frequently check up on us to make sure everything was okay.

Donburi

Donburi

Inside Donburi

Inside Donburi

As you can see, Donburi is a bright and neat restaurant. They had the new series of Pokemon on the TV, so I pretty much kept starring at that lol. I wish they had the original series or Sailor Moon on though :( the new series is just..not quite the same.

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[Dessert] Sweet Note Desserts

Restaurant: Sweet Note Desserts 
Location: 505 Highway 7, Markham, ON L3T 7V6
Price Range: $
Overall: 4/5

Sweet Note Desserts

Sweet Note Desserts

Occasionally I would go to Markham or Richmond Hill to have dinner or dessert, as the food prices in these areas are generally cheaper. I don’t know why I love that area so much, it’s to the point I have considered moving there before with my SO, but then I realized every restaurant are so far apart that you would need a car to get around. Whereas in downtown Toronto, most places are within walking distance so getting a car is a waste of money. Beside, driving isn’t my forte so I don’t think I would move anytime soon, unless I get a chauffeur LOL jk. Anyways…back to food review :p.

Inside Sweet Note Desserts

As you can see, Sweet Note Desserts is a small but cozy cafe. In addition to desserts, they also serve variety of coffees and teas. The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable as well. This was my first time visiting, she patiently explained the menu and gave us a heads up about how long each item would take to make, which was great!

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[Ramen] Hokkaido Santouka Ramen

Restaurant: Hokkaido Santouka Ramen
Location: 91 Dundas Street East, Toronto, ON M5B 1E1
Price Range: $$
Overall: 4.5/5

From 2012 – 2013, Toronto was suddenly hit with a ramen craze and there were one or two ramen restaurants popping up every month. Luckily I am a huge fan of ramen and I have tried most of them. Albeit there are some new restaurants over the years but I got tired of ramen after a while, hence I didn’t bother trying unless something new was being offered..

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

On a chilly winter night, I revisited Hokkaido Ramen Santouka – an international ramen chain – with a good friend (who whole heartedly support my blogging life <3). Since the restaurant is located near Ryerson University and Eaton Centre (tourist alerts!), I strongly recommend you to come early as there can be a long line up. Although I was lucky enough to get a table within 10 minutes, but if your party haven’t arrived yet, they will not seat you. Also, the restaurant does not take reservation so if you decide to come with a large group of people, it will be extremely hard to get seats.

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Inside Santouka

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