ask Coral about
japanese food • viewpoints • comfort food • dive bars • nightclubs • fine dining
What do you do and why do you do it?
I am the Programs Manager at CIE, managing everything related to the Onward and Masa programs. I love my job! Aside from the amazing people I work with and awesome perks (they flew me to New York for a week on my third week of the job), I love my job and do it because it makes me proud to know that I am making a difference in other people's lives and connecting them to their roots.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
Hmm.. tough to think of at the moment thankfully, but I would probably most likely: Man on the Moon - Kid Cudi, Paradise - Coldplay, Irreplaceable - Beyoncé, or something else by Beyoncé that really let's me feel like I'm good enough and on top of the world to turn my mood around.
What are the best TV shows of all time?
Wish I watched more TV as I'm more of a movie junkie, but I love Friends (<333), Prison Break, RuPaul's Drag Race, and Fauda. I often love watching shows that are comedies and ones that involve action, but are more unpredictable.
Name some spots in Toronto that are good for a Tinder date.
I don't have Tinder, but if I was to go on a date with my boyfriend I would go to High Park for the cherry blossom trees as they are so beautiful and it's a nice place to relax and chat, Scarbrough Bluffs for some gorgeous pictures and some fun in the sun, Ripley's Aquarium (get a nice picture in front of the Jellyfish), Uncle Tetsu's for some damn good cheesecake, a rooftop bar such as Lavelle or Thompson to chat over drinks with a view, Sweet Jesus, La Carnita, the Toronto Islands for the great views or if you're really adventurous, the C.N. Tower Walk!
Who’s your hero and where in Toronto would you take them out for a serious hang?
I know it's a typical and corny answer, but definitely my mom. She's my best friend and my wonder woman, (Wow corny again woops!). Hmm... maybe to the Toronto Islands so we can have some peace and quiet and talk about everything. I would probably take her for a nice lunch or dinner at a cute, hidden gem restaurant or maybe a place like Joey's.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
I kind of shop all over and whenever I find something I like, I buy it aha. However, lately I have been shopping at Dynamite, the Gap, and Zara as I love the cute finds at amazing prices. I like shopping at American Eagle for their comfy jeans and cute tops. I think I might start looking at Oak + Fort as they have cute chic and classy clothes - love the neutrals! I also have a huge problem sticking to black all the time (it's the best!).
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Only the sketchy one's really, but I love to explore too much so I will probably end up everywhere. I find many places interesting - the new, the old, the fixed, the broken, the pretty and the average.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
I'm a big foodie and I love to explore - I love creative eats and finding hidden gems or even well-known places I have not been able to experience yet. However, between being a full time student, working two jobs and trying to run my own things, it can be tough to do either of those. I hope to take time this summer to experience more restaurants and food spots with unique finds and delciious food, as well as explore more areas of Toronto I have not had the chance to yet.
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Toronto and where did you get it?
Wow, that's really hard to answer.... I really can't even say because there are so many great eats in Toronto. Possibly Junked Food Co. is a good place to start. Let your imagination go wild there - you can have a deep dish mac n' cheese pizza, a donut filled with cookie dough, peanut butter, chocolate, and oreos, etc.
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Toronto that you particularly like?
Escobar Toronto. Hands down. It's a hidden bar in the core of downtown. You do have to go through an alley to get there, but you'll be glad you did. The spot is really nice and great for a fun night out! Make sure to take a picture in the bathroom and under the "Pablo loves you" sign!
What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Toronto? How much did it cost and what did you get there?
Well, I really need to start eating more at expensive restaurants and stay at expensive hotels as I don't really do that in TO. Probably the most expensive restaurant I've been to is The 36O at the C.N. Tower for my boyfriend's birthday. I got him a 3 course meal so he could have dessert for his birthday and I got myself a two course meal. I had a soup and roasted chicken with vegetables. The portions were small, the food wasn't the best, and the bill came to $150 (I know there are more expensive places and I've been in other cities, just not in Toronto). This was lunch time, not even dinner, which makes it worse aha.
What restaurant in Toronto looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
I can't seem to think of one to be honest. Sometimes the best hidden gems are the ones that look like crap, but have amazing food, but seems like I have to explore some more for that. Will keep you updated!
Where can you get the best cocktail in Toronto? Which one do you like?
I must say, I'm much more of a tequila shots kinda girl who drinks cocktails during dinners to not seem crazy or who only drinks cocktails for my own joy on vacation near the beach. I'm also really sensitive to the taste of alcohol so I'm very picky with cocktails. However, one cocktail that's my go-to which I actually really enjoy is beached (I hope I got that right) at Jack Astor's. It's a pretty blue cocktail that is just sweet enough where it doesn't taste like you're just drinking sugar and you can hardly taste the alcohol, which might be a little dangerous considering I can drink many of those haha.
Where would you take your partner in Toronto if you wanted to really pamper them?
If I really wanted to pamper my boyfriend, I would take him to Thompson Hotel. I would get a luxurious room where he can relax, have dinner at the Colette Grand, maybe treat him to the spa and then go up to the rooftop lounge and pool where we can look at the beautiful views. But hey I'm not that nice !
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
Ketchup chips (no idea why Americans don't have them), timbits - get the sour cream glazed, poutine, Jos Louis which is a red velvet cake with frosting coated in chocolate, and BeaverTails. Definitely try them all, especially the BeaverTails as there are so many different kinds!
What’s the one place you think is overrated in Toronto?
The C.N. Tower definitely. People just seem to make it more than it is and some think it's the only thing to do in Toronto, which sucks cause this city has so so much to offer.
What’s the one place you think is underrated in Toronto?
Black Market which is a thrift shop in the heart of downtown. You can always spot cool finds there from clothing to accessories to games and so much more!
What are the Toronto spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
The must-see, well-known spots in Toronto for a first time visitor not to miss are the C.N. Tower, Ripley's Aquarium, Harbourfront, AGO, the ROM, Nathan Phillips Square (get the picture by the sign) and Rogers Centre. During the summer, the CNE is a must.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Toronto. How do you spend it?
I would get together with my closest friends and explore. For breakfast I would go to a delicious restaurant I've never been to before, then I would go to Harbourfront. For lunch I would try a cool place, preferably a hidden gem with phenomenal food which I'll be dreaming about for days. Then, I would probably go for a bike ride in the city and maybe take a picture at the Toronto sign, which I still have not done. I'll stop at Adrenaline or Kensignton Market to finally get the cartilage and mid piercing I've wanted. After that, I'll indulge at Sweet Jesus, start the night at Thompson or Lavelle and then head to one of the clubs.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
Miami, Florida or Eilat in Israel. I'm often very busy and when I go to different cities I'm out exploring, walking around from morning to night so I don't often relax. I love being in hot places with beaches, but still having the ability to do some fun activities, which is why Eilat and Miami are perfect for me. When I went to Miami, I had time to relax by the beach and pool in the heat, but also got to explore different restaurants, spots and activities such as the "Thriller" boat and Dolphin mall. In Eilat, I also relaxed by the pool and beach, but went to Coral World (yes, I'm famous) and atving in the desert !