Sunday, January 17, 2016

Golden Brown

We were so lucky to be invited to a tasting at Golden Brown. I've heard amazing things, but everyone raves about the Korean Fried Chicken - and since I don't eat meat, I wasn't sure how much else there would be for me there. Mr. HitH came along to be my meat eater. There was so much for me to eat, and the food was delicious (and I'm told the meat was as well)!

Golden Brown is located at 28 Barton St. E., just east of James St.  It is very easy to miss, so get out of your car and walk! They offer takeout (there is very minimal bench seating) and delivery across Hamilton by calling 905-529-3811.

First, we need to talk about the space.  The owner, Julia, is not only amazingly talented in the kitchen, but is also an artist. The restaurant has been built using reclaimed wood and is decorated like the sweetest cottage you have ever been in.

Lilac Sugar
The restaurant also has handpainted plates and cards, again designed by Julia

Stuffed Mushrooms and Tea Rice with Marinated Burdock
Stuffed Mushrooms and Tea Rice with Marinated Burdock
These little bites were pieces of savory heaven.  The mushrooms were moist, with the rice the perfect compliment to the meaty saltiness.  The Tea Rice was flavourful on its own, but the marinated burdock root set it off perfectly.

Korean Fried Chicken with pickled radish
The sauce on the Korean Fried Chicken was everything. Literally everything. We begged Julia to start jarring it so we could buy it and bring it home. Sweet, but not too sweet. Spicy, but not too spicy. Julia's son, Jake, a young man who attends university full time while helping out at the restaurant, was so kind that he went and brought me - the sole vegetarian - a container of the sauce so I could dip my food into it and try it.  It was amazing.  Mr. HitH reports that the chicken was crispy, moist and delicious.  We would go back for it anytime.

Fresh Tomato and Bocconcini Salad with Korean Dressing
A nice break from the deliciousness of the fried chicken was this fresh salad. It seemed like a standard Italian type salad, but the Korean dressing made it shine.

Beef Stuffed Mushrooms
The Beef Stuffed mushrooms are also delicious, and far superior to the rice ones, Mr. HitH assures me (but I am sure he is wrong).

Tea rice with burdock and cucumber with Jangajji (pickled eggplant and cabbage)
Pear Kimchi Bites (with The Hungry Gnome's phone in my way)
Pear Kimchi Bites
The pear kimchi is everything. Golden Brown cut this batch especially thick, and it was fantastically delicious.  The refreshing freshness of the pear contrasted perfectly wiht the spice of the kimchi.  It is worth ordering and keeping it in your fridge for a snack.

Pork with Radish Kimchi
The pork was cooked to perfection, moist and soft, and the radish kimchi added the perfect spice to the meat.

Galbi burger bruchetta with Kale Kimchi, Red Pepper Kimchi and Tangerine Kimchi

These burgers were the absolute hit of the night.  The meat was, again, cooked to perfection, bursting with flavour with the ganjang glaze.  When you added in the kimchi, it was amazing.  Everyone had a different favourite kimchi.  The flavour of the kale was the best, in my opinion (it surprised me too!), but Mr. HitH was absolutely in love with the tangerine kimchi - to the point that we ordered an entire container. Now that it is at home, he's putting it on EVERYTHING.

Rice Wrapped Kimchi with Pear
Namul rice ball - rice ball with seasoned cabbage
Korean Arancini, with Bocconcini and Kimchi inside, served with Pickled Onion
My favourite dish of the night were these amazing rice balls, stuffed with cheese and kimchi. The perfectly fried exterior with the kimchi interior were outstanding, but when we added in the pickled onion, it was simply one of the best bites ever. Love.

Not all of these are on the menu currently, but look for their appearance soon.  In the meantime, I want to send out a huge thank you to Tastehamont, who not only invited us to attend the tasting, but also spent the time to help me ensure my captions were correct.  Thank you to Golden Brown for having us.  I can recommend them highly to anyone - including vegetarians.  This is going to be one of our 'go to' restos in Hamilton.
Golden Brown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, January 04, 2016

My favourite pictures of 2015

I love taking pictures, and sometimes I luck out and get a picture that I love.  These are my favourites from 2015.

Wintery branches

Totem Pole at the Royal Ontario Museum
Chickadee at the Royal Botanical Gardens
Art at the Royal Botanical Gardens 
Swimming at Carney's K9 Swim Club
Horses from St. Jacobs Horse Drawn Tours

 St. Jacobs Horse Drawn Tours

Hamilton at night
The Scottish Rite
Waxy Mountain Frog at the Royal Botanical Gardens Frog Exhibit
Chinese Gliding Frog at the Royal Botanical Gardens Frog Exhibit
African Bullfrog at the Royal Botanical Gardens Frog Exhibit
Amazon Milk Frog  at the Royal Botanical Gardens Frog Exhibit
Spring at Christ's Church Cathedral
Redcoats marching downs James St.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The Gage Park Fountain
Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King
The back fields at Pet-D-Gree Pet Care Services
King St. E.
Picnic at Sam Lawrence Park
Ottawa St. Farmers Market
Ottawa St. Farmers Market
Diner en Blanc Toronto

Diner en Blanc Toronto

Diner en Blanc Toronto

King St.
Stella at Mohawk Sports Park
Sunset in Caledonia
Cootes Paradise
Exhibition Place
Exhibition Place
Christmas Cookies

Toronto Christmas Market

Holiday Libations

Games at Ark and Anchor Espresso Bar

Tara's White Chocolate Champagne Cheesecake with Glittered Cherries

Tara's New Year's Eve Cheese Plate

This is the end of our 2015 roundups. We wish you all a 2016 that is full of more joy than you can imagine.  Neil Gaiman says it best.

"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.
So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
Let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we're faking them.
And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it's joy we're looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation.
Be kind to yourself in the year ahead.
Remember to forgive yourself, and to forgive others. It's too easy to be outraged these days, so much harder to change things, to reach out, to understand.
Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin.
Meet new people and talk to them. Make new things and show them to people who might enjoy them.
Hug too much. Smile too much. And, when you can, love."