Thursday, 13 November 2014

Donburi :: Quick Dinner





Quick Complaint Anecdote: Usually service at Donburi is polite and prompt but today it wasn't. I've visited Donburi frequently and at least visit a couple times a month since February of this year. Hence, I've seen and met majority of the younger waitresses and the owner's sister, Irene. Today it was an older woman, perhaps the owner's mother? I've seen her before once last month and she's not as friendly as the rest and slightly rude last time too. I ordered a tuna tataki don last time and it didn't come with the sauce. When I asked for the sauce she did this tired sigh of annoyance and stomped off to get it. Today service was slow and once again rude. I don't have anything against this waitress, but given the contrast between the other waitresses whom all are friendly, prompt, and professional at Donburi, I'm not impressed with the level of service I have with this particular waitress. The service I receive from this waitress is something I would expect at a cheap fast food Chinese snack stall/trolley on the side of Ladies' Street in Hong Kong. Will come back in future since I've gone so many times before without issues but my parents and I were definitely very unimpressed today. Surprisingly both my parents said the waitress was rude and they normally aren't fickle about such things. Firstly, waitress kept bugging us to order when we haven't decided and my mother (which the table we were seated at was clearly had 3 table settings) hadn't even arrived. Two, waitress also kept trying to make me order their special of the day opposed to the little skewers I had. I wasn't very hungry - otherwise I would have ordered it (spicy salmon don, my regular is the tuna tataki don). Three, the credit card machine wasn't working and the waitress rudely said - machine is broken and walked away. Four, was given wrong bill. Waitress stood and waited and watched until we finished paying the bill. Bill was $37. Didn't seem right so we inspected it. It was wrong. Waitress's face looked super impatient that she wasn't getting paid and watched us as we still looked over the bill. Finally we told her the bill was wrong and pointed at the dishes on the table. Clearly the same items were not ordered. Waitress obliged and gave us correct bill by rudely half -throwing, half-placing bill on table. Five, when given the correct bill she stood there again waiting to be paid and watching us fumble for cash since the machine wasn't working. Bill was $30. $32 was put down. We were looking for more loose change for to bump up our total to $34 and the waitress just stood there with a face that said 'that's it?'. I find it very uncomfortable when a waitress stands and waits/watches for payment. Most places I know usually look away or come back. Also, even if the tip is low, majority of the time the waitresses don't materialize their opinions on their face. Six, vicinity machine broken too. Waitress just said machine is broken, with no apology or attempt to say that I can redeem my points later if I kept the receipt or something. Verdict: Wow. Appalled and unimpressed with service today.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

My Wonderful Kitchen :: Toast Box Dinner






T-Rex Zone :: Cheapest Lunch Deal in Yorkville

I saw T-Rex open maybe a couple of months ago, briefly walked by it to investigate, but didn't have any interest in it - perhaps to the simplicity of this salad bar (which is very ironic considering that the T-Rex was a carnivore!). It wasn't until I ran into the Cumberland Terrace Food Court grabbing some food for my manager and I had a deep craving for a salad bar lunch that I remembered T-Rex and went back to try it out. I'm super glad I did!

Lily, who works there everyday with presumably her family, kindly explained to me the simple pricing of her restaurant.

One regular tub is $3.99 + tax. One large tub is $5.99 + tax. The tubs can be filled with what ever your heart fancies that's available for you at the salad bar with no worries of how much the tub weighs. You just pay for the tub and you fill it. If you want a drink add $1 + tax. It's not a self-serve salad bar, thus Lily helps you put together your lunch. It's also great cause T-Rex Zone takes credit cards so you don't have to carry a full purse/wallet with you from the office.

How awesome is that? Considering I work in Yorkville, one of - if not the most - expensive neighbourhoods in Downtown Toronto, finding lunch around work is terribly expensive. The closest 'healthy' fast food nearby is Aroma, Freshii, and Picnic where lunches run you at around $7-10+tax. 

So thanks to T-Rex, I've been eating lunch for $4.51 everyday. That's arguably cheaper than bringing frozen tv dinners to work everyday! I have no idea how T-Rex makes it's money and maintains its Yorkville rent for $4.51 a tub, so I'm not surprised if T-Rex raises it's prices a little - but even a slight price increase is still very much cheaper than everywhere else in the vicinity. I'm also astounded that it's not busy at all! I've also told all my coworkers and they are surprised! I feel the lack of a crowd is a lack of exposure and that it's not visible from the street. They don't have an Urbanspoon profile (yet ;D just submitted an 'add restaurant' request) and one review on Yelp from a user named Bernie.


So this is one of my lunches from T-Rex Zone shortly after I discovered it. 

Now, considering that it's $3.99 - one can be skeptical about the taste and quality of the food. For the skeptics out there, I'm pretty satisfied about the freshness and the taste of T-Rex Zone's salad bar. The vegetables are fresh and I normally only see a small quantity on the salad bar at a time making me believe that T-Rex brings out food at small quantities at a time to maintain freshness. Majority of the salad bar options are vegetarian, though I have seen chicken slices, tuna, bacon bits, hard boiled eggs, and diced ham. I would be really happy if they introduced tofu as a protein though!

First you get a choice of a bed of romaine, kale, or a mixture of both (though on some days only romaine was available). Then you just tell Lily everything you want to try out and she puts a spoonful in your bin. If you are particularly excited about something, maybe tell her to add two spoonfuls.


Here's a size comparison size shot beside my large Second Cup drink. That's the regular $3.99 tub. I've gotten way less for more from other salad bars such as Freshii and Aroma.

On this particular day I got the following combination (off the top of my head):
  • romaine
  • boiled egg
  • humus
  • corn
  • green beans
  • kale super salad mixture
  • nut mixture
  • croutons
  • tomato, cucumber, and red onion mixure
  • potato salad
  • macaroni salad
  • beets
  • honey dijon dressing

I'm a creature of habit so my salad lunches don't really change day to day but here's what's in the above tub:
  • kale (wasn't available when I got the above tub)
  • boiled egg
  • humus
  • corn
  • avocado (wasn't available last time either)
  • cucumber slices
  • beans
  • chick peas & kidney beans (first time trying this today - liked it!)
  • nut mixture
  • croutons
  • tomato, cucumber, and red onion mixure
  • potato salad
  • macaroni salad
  • beets
  • honey dijon dressing

Update (Nov 13, 2014)
Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger Root ($2.99 + tax)

It was a particularly cold day today, so I tried T-Rex's soup for the first time today. I was also feel like I was getting sick so I was in need of something to warm me up. The soup of the day was the Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger Root. I love Butternut Squash Soup and the Ginger Root was a welcomed Asian twist. The added Ginger Root really helped me feel like I was fighting off my upcoming cold and felt a lot better. I would definitely get it again without question.

Update (Nov 14, 2014)



  • romaine
  • kale
  • kale super salad
  • macaroni salad
  • potato salad
  • diced ham
  • nuts & berry combo
  • beets
  • cucumber
  • broccoli
  • eggs
  • corn
  • green peas
  • tuna
  • chicken slices
  • feta
  • humus
  • avocado
  • parmasean
  • honey dijon
  • croutons
Bottom line: Probably one of the cheapest and healthiest lunch deal you can find in Yorkville. The ingredients are fresh and tasty too! The $3.99 tub is more than enough to fill me up too.

If you do happen to stop by T-Rex, tell Lily that Sam said hi! She's pretty good with names since she remembered mine just after one visit and only asking about my name once!

T-Rex Zone
Unit F02B - 2 Bloor Street West
(in Cumberland Terrace across from Manchuwok)
T-Rex Zone on Urbanspoon