Last night we escaped to the Westin Prince Hotel in the middle of nowhere Toronto (the junction of Don Mills and York Mills) for what was going to be an relaxing afternoon around the swimming pool, dinner Philippines-style and a mini-vacation from home on the Canada Day weekend.
While, sadly, Toronto’s wonky weather nuked the pool plans, we still had an enjoyable night away. The Prince has lovely gardens and gives you a sense that you’re not at all in Toronto … till you look out your window mind you! The hotel is looking a little tired but is in the midst of a multimillion dollar renovation that will be completed next Spring. It still retains its zen charm and its famous japanese restaurant, Katsura, is still doing business.
We dined at Casa Manila, a Philippines restaurant right across the street from the hotel. This was the first time I’ve been in an exclusively Philippines-style restaurant in Toronto, which is odd as there are many, many Philippinos in the city. We dinned on:
- Lumpiang Shanghai (small spring rolls filled with shrimp and pork);
- Gambas al ajillo (shrimps with garlic and chilies);
- Diang na bangus (milkfish marinated in soy and citrus and panfried);
- Manila curry (a fabulous curry with chicken and vegetables); and,
- Special halo-halo for dessert (a mixture of leche flan, shaved ice, sweetened coconut milk, small mounds of preserved red, white
and green-dyed sweet beans, cubes of plantain, shreds
of baby coconut meat, all crowned with brilliant purple yam ice cream. ).
Filipino cuisine is a marriage of malay, chinese and spanish foods and is rarely spicy.
It was a nice afternoon/evening away complete with the joys of Sunday’s New York Times.
Today, we’re prepping for our O Canada dinner to celebrate Canada Day tomorrow and Blee’s return from a month’s assignment in Dreadmuston (aka, Edmonton).