The TO FOOD FEST returns for the 3rd year to the Chinese Cultural Centre in Scarborough. I hitched a ride with my coffee loving friend out to the food fest on a hot sunday afternoon Unfortunately I had a brunch to go to in the morning so I wasn't hungry enough to sample as much food as I did last year but I took lots of photos for you to see what it was like. Last year I was there before it opened so I didn't have to wait in any lineups. This year we arrived later in the afternoon so there was already loads of people waiting for food. The first thing I got when I got there was a Calamansi ice tea. Calamansi is a lime that they use in the Philippines that is much sweeter than a lime. It was a nice refreshing drink and I needed the hydration.
The first food thing we tried was Liko's Hawaiian skewers of Chicken topped with a piece of pineapple. I have had this before but it was a good deal with 2 skewers for $5. I felt bad for the 2 guys grilling in front of a huge hot grill and standing on a hot cement parking lot on a very sunny and hot day. I was sweating standing in the line getting the blasts of bbq smoke. But the skewers were tender and tasty so it was worth it.
My friend tried the chili chicken rice and said it was very good. She also tried the little pearl truffles but they were $2.75 each and can you believe I wasn't in the mood for chocolate but I was in the mood for Ice Cream so we waited in line for the Ice Volcano Ice Cream. They had an interesting system of taking orders on an ipad first. I had the only flavour they had left at that point and it was the Malted milk flavour. It's fun to watch them make the ice cream using liquid nitrogen in a stand mixer. They sprinkled crushed cereal on top. It was good but there wasn't a lot of flavour. I prefer gelato which is creamy and fresh tasting.
We ran into a few of our blogger friends including @hypebelly @goodfoodtoronto and @feedmyphone who were on hand for the festival and supporting Masterchef Canada Pastry Chef Christopher Siu from DaanGo pastry. He was dishing up his mille crepe matcha cake and also some Macarons. His booth was the first one to sell out. The first time we went by there was a few macarons and just a couple of slices left of the cake and the next circle they were already packing things up. He was a popular guy with all kinds of Masterchef fans taking selfies with him. He never stopped smiling and seemed to love every minute of it.
The trends at the festival seemed to be grilled meat and other things on a stick, fried things and lots of desserts. There were more food trucks there this year which took up more space in the parking lot so there seemed to be less actual vendors. Last year had a bit more variety on the savoury side. I wanted to try a few food truck items like the dumplings and the Argentinian sandwiches and there was some sort of drink in watermelons and pineapples but the line was too long to wait.
My advice, go to this show early and hungry and have lots of cash to get in and out of lines quickly and load up on an interesting variety of food.
The best part of this festival is the FREE Parking. Although when we got there the lot was full but we circled around on the streets and when we came back they opened up the parking lot.
It's also nice that there is an inside portion and the food trucks and bbq's in the parking lot on the outside.
And as festival goers know it's also a good thing when there are actual real washrooms on site if you know what I mean.
I like this festival because it's pretty easy to do because it's contained in a compact area with parking right on site and there is always new or interesting things to try.