Once again, here are Mark, Mat and Ted of Chanoso’s Restaurant/Oishii Sushi Lounge about their 3rd day in Chicago:

First off, yesterday’s blog forgot to mention our late night trip to the Big Star which is owned by the same people as the Publican and Blackbird, a beat up old garage made into a gourmet taco restaurant and bar. Everything is made in house, chips, sauces etc.. Mini taco’s for $3 each, 80 types of bourbon amongst other liquors

What I bring back to Windsor: I think this is the future of gourmet dining. Low overhead, atmosphere created out of sheer coolness and all about the food which is portioned to be affordable. Find out more about Paul Kahan and his partner chef’s because every restaurant they touch is pure gold

Today we were able to get into Kuma’s corner, a Heavy metal burger joint awarded best burger in Chicago and one of the best in the U.S. which we were told was was having a slow day as we only had to wait 55 minutes for a seat vs. the usual 1 1/2  to 2 hours. The portions were absolutely ridiculous with our take home containers holding 75% of the food we ordered and we were still stuffed. Mat ordered the Iron Maiden while I had the Mastedon and we had to split an order of Mac and cheese to try it with prosciutto and mushrooms. Burgers here could be ordered rare, medium rare and medium which is not legal in Ontario so it would be difficult to duplicate.

What I plan to bring back to Windsor: That the busiest places are the ones that give you the best food for your dollar and provide atmosphere that can’t be bought, only created through attention to detail and by giving something of yourself to the restaurant. Plus I have to find out more about the pretzel rolls that the burgers were on as they were delicious.

Later this evening it was off to Takashi, the culmination of my visit and half way point for Tiki.

A recent Windsor ex pat, Gary Brudner contacted us from our facebook posts and joined us for dinner. Gary works for Maneely Steel, One of Barry Zekelman’s  companies. It was great meeting up with him and turns out he only lives 5 minutes from Takashi.

We all ordered Omakase tasting menu, Chef’s choice which normally consists of 8 different tastings. However since we were now a party of 4, Chef Takashi asked permission from us to serve two of us different items during 3 of those tastings allowing us to try 12 entree’s and eventually 4 desserts. Unmatched amount of tastings in my dining experience

The food came fast and furious and there was no way I could write down the full descriptions except the few contained in the menu. See our meal menu at the end of this blog.

What I plan to bring back to Windsor: need to reflect on the trip back about this one

We went for one drink afterwars back at the Violet Hour which and met what we now called “our” Bartender Robby Haynes. If everyone took as much pride in their profession as these bartenders do, there’d be no recession. Robby is in a band and promised us he would come visit when touring this summer.

What I plan to bring back to Windsor: Robby Haynes, if only to be a guest at Chanoso’s/Oishii. Windsor needs his attitude


Arrived and Ignacio gave me 6 chickens to debone. They use Amish Chicken which is all natural, farm raised, they have more flavour and we’re going to look at this when we get back

Started preparing harumaki – Japanese spring rolls, We prepared the filling with chef which felt like a nurse assisting a doctor, we poured all the seasoning ingredients into his hand which he used to measure one at a time. While we made the harumaki, chef explained to me how to make ricotta whose method is similar to making tofu, Thursday I am going to prepare the tofu with him.

Family meal (staff meal) was greens, a vegetable filled spicy broth and skate wing. Sat with Ignacio for the meal who shared a lot of tips for sauces which I was writing down.

We made the harumaki after family meal and my final treat was that Chef told me that I was to “sit with my friends”, I protested saying I was here to be with him but he insisted and I enjoyed the meal.

Chilled Fresh Homemade Tofu
Oba Leaves, Green Onion, Bonito Flakes, Wakame, Umami-Ginger Soy

Yellowtail with ponzu Uzi w truffle oil

Double shrimp- Shrimp winter roll wrapped in rice paper w/ prociutto on one side poached shrimp whose description I can’t remember

Sauteed Main Scallops and Soba Gnocchi
Trumpet Royale, Celery Root-Parmesan Foam

Escargot on a bed of barley and porcini mushroom

Soy-Ginger Carmel Pork Belly
with Pickled Daikon Salad, Steamed Buns

Crispy Veal Sweetbreads

Apple Smoked Bacon with Potato, Haricot Vert

Roasted West Coast Fluke
Butternut Squash Agnolotti, Jerusalem Artichoke Pureé, Braised Savoy Cabbage

Barramundi with herbal sea water and japanese eggplant

Chicken in Clay Pot
Amish Chicken, Shimeji Mushrooms, Eggplant, Haricot Vert, Yuzu Juice

Roasted New York Strip Steak
Roasted Yukon Gold Potato with Bacon and Sour Cream, Glazed Baby Carrots, Aromatic Sauce

Roasted Indiana Duck Breast and Confit of Leg
Compote of Quince, Ginger-Orange Glaze

Soy coconut panna cotta passion fruit syrup and seasonal berries

Milk chocolate sticky cake

Maple bread w.bacon bits

Dark chocolate creme