Tag Archives: Oakville

Hiking in Bronte in the Spring

After my recent icy and treacherous Spring hike, I decided to join an easier hike closer to the city by the Lake Ontario. We met at Corontation Park in Oakville and hike east towards Bronte.

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Our path followed the shore of Lake Ontario, passed through a quiet residential street and we went along Bronte Harbourfront. There are always interesting sightings on our hike, and for this morning,  two waterbirds have built their nest within the docking area.

After hiking along Lakeshore Road westbound, we turned north into Shell Park. It was still early spring and the flower beds were still bare. However, we saw a gorgeous sea of blue and it turned out the psilias were already in bloom!

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We got excited again when we spotted budding trilliums.

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The meandering trails in Shell Park took us through some plots leased out by the City to residents who wanted to grow their own vegetable gardens, and we saw some people already out to prepare the ground. There was an unusual object that we did not know what it was used for except that it had something to do with the pipeline for the gas to be sent to the Petro Canada Plant further down. We were essentially walking over the pipeline.

We made a turn towards Bronte Creek. The water level was high. When the Bronte Harbour came in sight again, it was almost close to returning to Coroation Park.  After all, It was an easy hike of 14 Km over flat terrain.

Ristorante Julia: Dining “LataLiano”

My friends who lived in Oakville, Ontario recommended me to take my out-of-town friends to dine at Julia. The moment I opened the website of the restaurant, I was attracted to the Latin music in the background. “Latialiano”–this was how the website described the type of cuisine. We decided to give this “sensuous and savory Traditional Italian cuisine with exotic and fiery New Latin cuisine” a try.

The restaurant had a warm ambience, but the decor was neither Italian nor Latin, albeit Latin music was playing in the background.

(Source: torontorestaurants.com)

We ordered four different starters to sample. The Crab and Salmon Cakes came with a very generous helping of salad.

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The Crab Dip was delicious with the corn tortilla, yucca chips and grilled flour tortilla.

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The mussels chimichurri was aromatic and could easily be shared by two.

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So was the Latin skillet shrimp which has a tasty sauce with lime, garlic and oregano.

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For entree, two of us opted for the braised ribs, which was tender and tasty.

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The sweet potato crusted salmon for the two fish lovers was nicely presented and seared just right.

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We were quite full by the end of the meal and decided not to have desserts. Service was attentive and friendly. For the price, we had very generous helpings. The food was very good, although we felt that we were unable to pinpoint exactly what was meant by Latin-Italiano cuisine and the description of the food being ‘sensuous’ in the website was missing in the tasting.

Ristorante Julia, 312 Lakeshore Road East, Oakvile, Ontario.

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Coriander Green: Curry in Downtown Oakville

Every time as I step out of my car after parking it near Church and Allan in Oakville in the evening,  I can smell the enticing aroma of curry coming from the kitchen of an Indian restaurant, the Coriander Green. I have promised myself that I must try this place some time.

My husband and I are quite adventurous when it comes to food. Our philosophy is that if the place is good, we shall go back and even if it is not good, it is always a useful thing to know.

We found an occasion to dine at Coriander Green. It was a small restaurant with a narrow entrance, but then opened up to a larger dining area. Soft Indian music was playing. I thought the lighting was a little dim when I entered, but I soon adjusted and this did not affect my dining experience.

For starter we had a vegetable pakora. These were battered balls of onions, potatoes, cauliflower and spinach, served hot and freshly deep fried. The bite was crispy on the out side and medium soft inside–just right! I love the taramind sauce which was a little sweet and spicy and it complemented the pakora perfectly.

We ordered three dishes and wanted to try something mild, moderate and hot. Our intention was to taste the authentic “hotness or spiciness” of the dishes, but we made the mistake of confirming with the waitress that the dishes were the way they usually do it. She immediately responded by saying that they could make it milder or hotter to our liking. (I am of the opinion that when a restaurant adjusts the the taste of their dishes to suit the requirement or expectation of their patrons, the original taste of the dishes is often compromised. I am also saying this from personal experience with Thai food and Chinese food.) I wondered if seeking her reassurance that we wanted their authentic taste had worked.

We ended up with vindalu lamb, the coriandar green special byartha and palak chicken. We were told that along the scale of spiciness, they were hot, moderate and mild (as shown below).

We had three very colourful dishes in front of us. I liked spinach and the palak chicken was tasty and the spinach sauce was delicious. The vegetable curry was spicy and delightful, I rated it the best of the three.  We found the vindalu lamb too hot–as accustomed to hot food as we were– and as a result, the heat had taken over the spicy and tangy taste of the sauce. (That’s why I questioned whether my discussion with the waitress that it was a hot dish had channeled to to the kitchen an order that we wanted it very hot.)

We ordered three kinds of bread–plain naan, roti and paratha to go with the curry. The naan was the best complement to the curry that evening for its softness and plainness. Somehow the roti and paratha were over greasy and overdone. We were lucky not to have ordered buttered naan.

Besides ice cream, yet not the Indian ice cream (kulfi) that I loved, there were only a couple of offerings on the dessert menu: gulabjamun and rasmali. We ordered rasmali. It was flavorful and aromatic. Two piece of cottage cheese cake with an interesting texture were dipped in a milky sauce (and my wild guess was a mixture of condensed milk, evaporated milk and rose water). This balanced and rounded off the spicy taste of the food served earlier extremely well.

Chef Harminder came out to greet his guests. It was nice that we were able to offer him our compliments personally, hence making our dining experience more meaningful. We’ll come back another time.

Coriander Green is situated at 342 Church Street, Oakville, ON.                                           http://www.chefharminder.com

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