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Trattoria Timone – Winston Churchill Cineplex

We bought the Cineplex Summer Escape tickets last year, which only work between the months of June and September. We were almost going to miss the expiry, but finally ended up squeezing in a day to go watch Mission Impossible: Fallout.

But first, dinner.

Ever since The Black Tree in Burlington closed and announced their change in business model to make frozen gnocchi, I have had a gnocchi craving.

The Winston Churchill Cineplex plaza had TWO places that made gnocchis, so the choice was between Scaddabush and Trattoria Timone.

I still disdain the abuse of the word trattoria, which romantically describes a place less formal than a ristorante in Italy, the sad North American reality is that overpriced fine dining experience take on this descriptor.  That being said, Timone looked a bit more legit compared to the chain nature of Scaddabush.

The environment is pretty nice. Ambient noise is low, even with the TV on the wall advertising East Side Mario’s.

First up: stale bread and unsalted whipped butter. These are more like tasteless dinner rolls. Not impressed.

For appetizer, we picked the Arancini. I thought it was once again tasteless. With or without the tomato sauce, the arancini have weak herb tastes, no salt, no umami. Serena thought it was good enough when paired with the tomato sauce.

I’m sure it took a lot of effort to make it, but it’s just lacking too much flavour. But that’s nothing compared to the next dish…

The linguine had no salt or flavour. Even after adding scoops of parmigianno, it still had no taste.

This is for Serena, by the way, who likes her food less salty. But this just didn’t seem to have any at all. Eventually we packed most of it up and added salt ourselves at home.

My gnocchi turned out much better. The $22 GNOCCHI GORGONZOLA E PROSCIUTTO House made potato gnocchi, crispy prosciutto, ream, fresh peas, walnuts, herbs, butternut squash.

The prosciutto added nice little kicks to umami, and the gnocchi was chewy enough to give a great texture. I thought this was quite wonderful, and would love to go back for more.

For dessert, we chose the Sticky Toffee Pudding. In contrast to previous dishes, this was OVERLY-SWEET. I had one bite and couldn’t handle another piece. The ice cream was okay, but with ice crystals inside, so who knows how long it’s been in the freezer.

Overall, I think there were a lot of misses.

The Gnocchi was exactly what I had hoped for, but everything else either had weird recipes or the chef forgot to add salt.

Yunshang Rice Noodle – Downtown Toronto

Yunshang Rice Noodle in Chinatown.

Would we come back? Food: yes. Bubble tea: no.

Should you try? Yes.

Located on Dundas near Spadina, Yunshang specializes in that funky kind of spicy broth where you dump your toppings and noodles into. Serena really likes rice noodles to start with, and especially like these super-salty broths.

We weren’t that hungry but craved for some bubble tea, and this place has a partnership with Presotea. We went with the basic $6.99 Large Panda Pearls Milk Tea. The tea was NOT the same as Presotea.

They didn’t ask us how much sugar and made it really sweet, but the biggest problem was how watered-down it tasted. We asked them to remake it with less sugar and more tea, which they did, but the milk tea flavour was still very diluted with water.

As for the food, we ordered the $2.99 House Special Teppanyaki Squid Skewer.

The flavour was quite nice, and despite being frozen, the texture and freshness was fine. Especially at that price, we enjoyed it.

Up next was Serena’s noodles. $11.99 Yunshang Rice Noodles with Fresh Sliced Tilapia and Chinese Sauerkraut. The tilapia was quite fresh, and tasted better than the other whole tilapia we had the other day. I thought the flavour was quite good, and not as salty as some other places.

I had the $5.99 Oyster and Egg Pancake. Abundance of oysters inside! In contrast to the T&T Night Market food stall, this had loaded amounts of oysters packed in, and the flavour was nice and strong. I was very impressed by this, and didn’t expect to!

Overall, it was quite enjoyable. Definitely a place we might come back to.

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