Monthly Archives: December 2017

Totally biased product review by me — Kitchen On Sixth

Kitchen On Sixth 1

Here we are … and there’s a graffiti Twitter bird too

Dreaded tackling the last-minute (like me!) Christmas shoppers today so just had to have a British-style brunch to set me up for the parking battles ahead. And what better place than the New Toronto location of Kitchen On Sixth?

I normally wait a few days before posting my totally biased product reviews, but this one has to go up NOW and you’ll find out why at the end*.

Kitchen On Sixth 2

Half or full, Canadian or lighter?

Here’s a snippet of the menu above. Usually I’m all over the full English breakfast, but because I can buy British-style beans quite easily now, it’s not quite the hook it used to be on menus. But I was dying for some black pudding and thus formed another plan …

Kitchen On Sixth 3

Like mushrooms, red wine, garlic, cheese, runny egg and black pudding? There may just be a dish for you

After starting off with a nice strong cup of English tea — with a little saucer for the tea bag, nice touch — I opted for the Posh Mushrooms: Sautéed mushrooms in red wine and garlic, toasted rosemary focaccia, topped with aged and welsh cheddar, a sunny egg and a side of mixed greens … and extra black pudding. Sorted.

I’d had a similar dish at Spitfire Kitchen in the past, but thought it could have been improved upon slightly. This version at Kitchen On Sixth demonstrated that the mushrooms should be a little smaller and a little crispier, and went really well with the cheese and runny egg.

The black pudding was one of the best I’ve had and also available for purchase frozen. They are also in the process of ramping up their general store.

My Canadian brunch companions both went for the French Toast, and said it was delicious. It was huge though, literally bricks of toast, and one portion could definitely be shared between two. A side of chips rounded off the meal and they were good too.

So, all things considered, we give this place a Brits in Toronto 4/5 stars.

*Bonus points. They just got their booze licence about a week ago so are open TONIGHT for a Christmas Eve bash “until late” and, as you know, it’s hard to find Brit place open late in this hood on Christmas Eve with draft Guinness on tap. Say Brits in Toronto sent you.

Cheers … and a Merry Christmas to all our readers and thanks for your feedback and social media love this year.

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Let’s all help fellow Brit Mustafa find a job!

Mustafa Khan

Need IT support, welding or finance help? Look no further

It’s Christmas time and what better way to celebrate the holiday spirit than by helping a fellow Brit new to Toronto find a job.

Here’s Mustafa from London, UK and he’s looking for a position in IT support, welding (finished certification November 2017) or in the finance sector.

“I have a dynamic approach to new challenges and problem solving skills. I persevere under pressure and am not deterred by challenging tasks. I have always made a conscious effort to ensure that all targets and expectations were met to the best of my ability. I am very hard working and organised, having the ability to efficiently prioritise my work load.

“Throughout my working career I have remained professional and adhered to confidentiality based on the task at hand. At every stage of my working life to-date, I have worked with the customers (internal and external) face to face and via the telephone on a day-to-day basis and used my multilingual ability to communicate with customers to maintain business relation with them in better way possible, which allowed me to portray my outgoing, yet professional personality, further developing my leadership and communication skills.

“If you are looking for an optimistic, promising and dynamic addition to your organisation, I can offer the skills, accompanied by an unwavering work ethic. I am a very versatile worker and as a committed and passionate individual I have endeavoured to exceed the expectations of my supervisors and peers.”

So, please give the gift of employment this Christmas season and contact Mustafa via e-mail at mustafa_55 AT hotmail DOT COM if you can help!

Totally biased product review by me — Curry Twist

Curry Twist

If you like your curry delivered in a little bucket, then you’re in luck!

I really, REALLY wanted to like Curry Twist.

The website looks appealing … the reviews are glowing … even bloody Susur Lee has eaten there it seems! And it’s a rare totally biased product review by me where I’ve gone, not liked it — and gone back to give it a second chance.

That second chance was last night. And, to be finally honest with myself, I just don’t like it. That happens sometimes.

I went for the Lamb Twist Masala = “Tender, boneless spring lamb rubbed with garlic and spices before being simmered in a spicy tomato-based sauce seasoned with fresh herbs.” How can that not be delish?

It came in a little bucket that — first world problem — made it hard to pour on the peas pilau rice. The curry itself wasn’t spicy enough and, to be fair, I did ask for “medium spice” so that was probably my fault. I’d recommend going hotter or vindaloo level.

The lamb was a little chewy for me. I tend to eat most meat medium rare though so, again, not my preference. (You can tell I’m trying to give Curry Twist the benefit of the doubt here.)

I also ordered a spicy mixed pickle as a side but the pot was really small compared to other curry houses I’ve been to. Bit disappointing.

So, all in all, I’m giving Curry Twist a Brits in Toronto 2/5 stars.

Addition: Probably not their fault and I am in the minority according to other reviews. I think the problem is that I REALLY miss the bright red neon-glow British curries back home. The ones here are probably more authentic and properly made … but they’re not to my liking as much as the Brit ones. That’s why this slot is always called totally biased product review by me — because it’s only my opinion.

So, my search for a “real” British curry soldiers on.

And, no word of a lie, after living in Toronto since 2000 I’ve NEVER been to try the curries in Little India. I intend to remedy that in 2018, so if you have any favourite places to recommend for a British-style curry, post them below or send a tweet. Cheers.

Totally biased product review by me — Black Cow Cheddar

Black Cow Cheddar

Looks like a hockey puck but it’s not, so don’t be fooled

We first heard about Black Cow Cheddar at the British Beverage Showcase in the summer. Luckily able to try the recently imported Black Cow Vodka (made with milk!) with some cheese, the product of choice was … of course, ha! … the accompanying Black Cow Cheddar.

As you can see from the stylishly shot, balancing-on-the-plastic-towel-rail-in-the-bathroom photo above, the cheese looks like a hockey puck. It is extremely hefty in the hand and could also be used as a door stop or paperweight for the cheese lover in your life.

But that’s not its purpose. Obvs.

The only place we’ve found this product so far is at Pusateri’s — they bigged it up via Twitter a while back — but we’re sure it’s more widely available. Bit pricier than your average cheddar but you get what you pay for.

It’s not a crumbly cheddar this one. It holds its shape when you cut a wedge off. It’s also not a sharp cheddar. It has a sweeter taste that really lingers after the first bite.

Has the “OMG” factor if you’re trying it for the first time. Not sure it would suit a Ploughman’s lunch, but definitely holds its own in the taste factor.

To sum up, this is currently our favourite cheddar cheese and we give it a Brits in Toronto 5/5 stars.

Successful Brits in Toronto: Ruby Sohi

Ruby Sohi

Ruby has yet to discover a good chippie and pub in Toronto … leave your suggestions in the comments

We got so caught up in the excitement of the World Cup draw today — England face Belgium, Panama and Tunisia (not bad!) — that we forgot there was a Successful Brit in Toronto just sitting there in our in-box waiting to be unveiled.

So, here we go. The World Cup is one of the biggest events in the word, and the beautiful coincidence is that Ruby Sohi works as the Chief Event Organiser at Royal Blue Events Management, which has no connection whatsoever to the World Cup but we’re sure their events are top notch too.

Here’s Ruby’s route to Toronto …

What made you decide to choose Toronto as a city of choice? Did you plan a permanent move, or wanted to “try it for a while and see how it goes” and it turned out to be longer than planned?

My husband has always loved Canada and actually spent some time in Toronto as a child. He introduced the idea of emigrating shortly after we got married in London. I had visited Toronto a couple of times before but never really considered such a big step. After a few more visits we decided to make the move shortly after our first son was born.

Eight years on, we love Toronto and are so happy to call it home!

What steps did you take to land your first Toronto job? Did the infamous “Canadian experience” hinder you in any way?

As we prepared to emigrate, I decided to use this opportunity as a spring board to set up a business and work for myself. I had always dreamed of running my own business doing what I enjoy most. I prepared for the launch of a boutique event planning agency; Royal Blue Events Management whilst still in London.

Within three months of landing, I was out networking and building this new brand. It was certainly a challenging time, being a new immigrant on top of launching a business with the hopes of establishing a new network of friends, colleagues and clients. Within six months, I was fortunate enough to have secured my first client!

Today, I have executed all kinds of events including festivals, conferences and galas in and around Toronto, Kingston, London, Waterloo, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver.

What’s the best/worst aspects of living in Toronto?

In addition to the beautiful parks and awesome city events, the best aspect of living in Toronto is the diverse mix of people. Toronto is a cosmopolitan city and everyone has been so welcoming, I love the inclusivity within this community.

As for the worst, I have to say the cold winters. They definitely take some getting used to. That said, the summers usually make up for the bad winters.

Do you make an effort to connect with other Brits in the city, or just meet them when chance allows it? Any recommended pubs/eateries/other places for homesick Brits to meet each other and network?

I don’t make any special effort to seek them out but it’s always great when you detect an accent and end up having a great conversation with a fellow Brit!

I am yet to discover a good chippie and pub, although the local British shop usually fuels my craving for Robinsons Blackcurrant Squash and Quavers!

Open question/comment: feel free to write anything here/advice/tips on a Brit living in, or moving to, Toronto.

Moving to Toronto was a big (and brave) step, but its safe to say it was definitely a step in the right direction.

Thanks Ruby! If anyone wants to connect, here’s her LinkedIn profile.