Ristorante Italiano Buon Giorno, Calgary

Located on 17th Ave/9st, this is a family run business that existed for over 20 years.

After its rennovation and change of owners, we decided to go. 


  • Calamari – these breaded squids were tasty, but not crunchy, and was served with a tomato basil sauce.
  • Bococinni salad – I was craving for a real Italian salad. I love the combination of tomatoes, cheese and basil. The tomatoes weren’t sweet as the ones in Italy, but still had a crunch. Cheese was good. This was topped up with a basalmic vinegar sauce.  I felt that this was too aciditc for my liking


  • Veal tortellini in a creamy pesto sauce: portion was huge! So creamy and pasta was fresh.
  • Seafood risotto: cooked with a saffron tomato based sauce. Tasted great except that it was more of a paella consistency. I’m used to the rice being “a la dente” in the risotto, but this was very well cooked

Desserts? We skipped this since we were too full.

Ambiance was very comforting; a family resto vibe.

Service was excellent!!! We were served by Jeremy- a very witty, down to earth person.


Spud Groceries, Calgary

I remember a time when I used to do online groceries in the U.K while I was a student; it was very convenient since I initially didn’t have a car. Now having moved to a new city in Canada, I felt a need to look for an online grocer (since we don’t have a car as of yet). I didn’t see many choices of online grocers here in Calgary; only spud (local organic groceries). I wasn’t tempted to try it out because I assumed that it’d be pricey.  However, I was delighted to receive a coupon from them during the lilac festival: $30 off!!

So I ordered away. I was impressed with the online ordering system: very easy to navigate. Products displayed all the nutritional information in details. Moreover, there were discounted items!

I decided to order the harvest box at 33% discount. It’s already mentioned what and how many items would be in the box. I also ordered a cinnamon roll (from which they collected at a different bakery).  A bottle of salad dressing reduced to $4. And finally some grass-fed beef burgers at a reduced price.

The day of delivery depends on your postcode/area. And they give a range of time in advance. Initially I was told that my items would be delivered sometime between 3pm to 6pm. However the time range kept changing that day; and eventually I was told that it’d be delivered between 8pm and 10pm. It ended up coming at around 9pm.  By the way, delivery is free for all.

All the items were well packeted. Frozen items were in foiled envelopes.

We were charged for each of the boxes at $5 each, but we’d get them refunded once they’re picked up and returned back to their warehouse.

I was impressed with the quality of the food. Yes they’re organic, but these were kept and transported in good condition.

Personally, I feel very strongly for locally grown food, food baked/made with real ingredients and a sustainable company. I don’t buy organic unless the item is in the “dirty dozen” list.

The receipt was very detailed and showed how many miles each product has travelled from.

Given the fact that spud.ca is a sustainable company and really help local farmers, it’s really the highlight for me.  With food so tasty, good for you and discounted, I’m sure that I’ll order from here whenever I run out of food!

Real Treat Cookies

Real Treat is a relatively new business, based in Cochrane, Alberta.  I had the pleasure to meet the president, Jacqueline Day at a pop-up shop at Holt Renfrew.

These cookies are made only from real and organic ingredients such as butter, eggs, sugar and flour.

My hubby isn’t a big fan of dark chocolate, but these cookies weren’t bitter. They were made from with candied lemon peel, which made them sweeter. Surprisingly though, they weren’t too chocolatey (due to the lemon peel).

The salted caramel shorties with fennel were unique. The caramel had a subtle flavour and fennel was just right. 

If you love cookies and are open to unusual flavours, then these are worth a try! There are 2 other flavours. Easiest way to order is through spud.ca.

Cannoli, Sauce Italian Market, Calgary

I was pleasantly surprised to see flavored cannoli at this Italian market (located in the SW area of Calgary).

Flavours included: peanut butter, cookies and cream, skor, pistachio etc.

These had a huge American twist. The shells were tasty and crunchy but unfortunately the fillings disappointed me. Cannoli’s are normally filled with a light ricotta cheese filling but these had a heavier sweetened cream filling. Since I was disappointed with the quality of the cream, I was not impressed with the cannoli’s here. The side flavours however (e.g. Raspberry and white chocolate) made it appealing.

I personally prefer simple, authentic items rather than fancier versions. So for this reason, I wouldn’t be tempted to buy these again. However, it’s certainly worth the try, but don’t expect these to be anywhere good as the ones as in Italy.

Iftar at Nilu’s Kitchen, Calgary

Nilu’s Kitchen (Bangladeshi cuisine) has always impressed me by their tasty (yet non-greasy) food and excellent service.

Their Iftar special during this Ramadan left us speechless.

For $15, I had

  • Onion bhaji
  • Fried aubergine
  • Jalebi
  • Watermelon
  • Chickpeas (2 different styles)
  • Sweet/spicy sauce 
  • Orange drink
  • Dates

Then shortly after (around 40 minutes later (a good gap)) there was dinner:

  • Fish dall
  • Potato bharta (mash)
  • Chicken korma
  • Beef curry
  • Cucumbers, lime, chilli 
  • Rice
  • Pilau rice

Then lastly, Bangladeshi tea.

Menu changes every day and the host cannot really predict what they will be making for that night. Honestly, this left me a little skeptical before going there, but then I was surprised by the variety of dishes and the quality/taste of all the dishes.

Normally I don’t go for the fried iftar items but these items were at a completely different level. Not only they were tasty, but were not drenched in oil.

Fried Aubergine (Beguni)

My hubby and I kept going back for the chicken korma. Bangladeshi style is cooked with saffron and is different from the typical Indian creamy/sweet/coconut style.

Service was excellent as usual. A nice family running the business. Nilu (the owner’s wife) in charge of the kitchen and her husband as the host. Kids as the assistants.

It’s always a pleasant going back there. Nilu’s Kitchen never fails to surprise me.

Le Quartier Général, Montreal

I came back from my Montreal trip last week and since then it’s been a busy month for me!  However, I thought I better write all about my food slowly, before I totally forget all the details!

This “Quebecois” bistro is situated is a hidden gem in the area of Plateau Mont-Royal!

I have to say that this meal was the highlight of my trip.


For around $45 each, we got a salad or soup, starter, main dish and a dessert.


Salad or Soup: I started off having a salad because the cold tomato soup did not appeal to me. My-oh-my, I thought “If a basic salad can be that fresh and tasty, then how tasty can my main meals and desserts be?” It was a bed of rocket leaves topped up with grated veg such as carrots and had a vinaigrette dressing (which was a bit sweet) and not tangy!  The cold tomato soup on the other hand was just as expected.

We were accompanied by a basket of bread which kept coming and coming – ohhhh I’ve missed the bread in Montreal.

Foie gras: I’ve only had duck foie gras once and this was at a well known food truck and I did not like it.  However this was simply amazing! It didn’t have that strong “foie gras” smell and was very rich. It was worth the extra $9 compared to other starters.

Tuna: medium rare topped up with crispy beets, watercress and a creamy delicious dressing (which I literally licked off the plate!!)

Main dishes:

All the menu items were displayed on the blackboard and were very, VERY well described by the waitress.  Number of items were limited, but this showed the fact that they cooked food using real ingredients and whatever was in the current market/season.  The main dishes on the menu consisted of the following:

  • Quebec Veal
  • Alberta Lamb
  • Boston Cod
  • Marieville Duck
  • Gaspor Pork
  • Standstead Rabbit

So as you see, each item was from a particular province.  Now I’d normally go for the lamb, but coming from Alberta, I really wanted to try something more local! So I opted for the Quebec Veal.  I gotta say that this was the PERFECT meal for me. The veal was on top of mashed potatoes!!!!! And this mashed potato was the tastiest mashed potato that I’ve ever had in my life! – so creamy, buttery and light! This was covered with veal gravy and a side of sautéed cherry tomatoes and bok choy  (ok my mouth is watering right now!)

Hubby had the Marieville Duck (medium cooked breasts) topped over a carrot puree with some veg such as turnips.


I needed something light so I opted for a creme brûlée rather than my typical choice of a chocolate dessert.  This was great as expected – I mean, come-on…how amazing can creme brûlée get? The top was crunchy, but it was a little burnt.  Therefore, I could taste a bit of bitterness.

Hubby had a lemon tart, which I could not comment (since I was enjoying my own dessert).

A friend had chosen the chocolate dessert.  This was quite unusual: it was not a cake, nor a mousse; something in between!  It was not heavy, had a biscuit base and a citrus twist!  If you do not like “too rich chocolate” then this would be great for your tastebuds because the orange does settle down the chocolate!


Hands down, this was one of the best services that I have received.  The waitress had so much patience to explain each and every menu item (even though I requested a second round of explanation). Although the bistro was full, I did not get a hint of her being annoyed by our questions. Bread kept coming and our glasses got filled up with water on a regular basis.   Although the place was full, we could still hear each other (i.e. wasn’t so loud!). Place was comfy, but there were some breeze as the doors were open on both sides.


If you want a good French meal from start to finish, I definitely recommend coming to this place!

Ramadan Eating Plan

Long days = Planning is essential

Here in the west of Canada, the sun sets at around 10pm and that means around 18 hours of fasting! In the past, Ramadan had always been quite tough to the point where I had no energy after Iftar to pray or do anything.  However, last Ramadan, it was the best (in terms of energy levels) despite the 18 hours of fasting and a hectic work schedule.  We admit, every year we are always confused what to eat during this sacred month and yet we don’t find the ideal way to keep our energy levels high!  This is why I am eager to share with you my plan.

Background on Ramadan

RamadanToday is day 1 of Ramadan.  For those who don’t know, Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims as the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said that this is the month where the gates of heaven are open and the gates of hell are closed.  Also, Muslims believe that this the month where the holy Quran was revealed to us.  During this month, every day from dawn till sunset, Muslims fast for a spiritual discipline.  It’s also a time of celebration and joy because everyone comes together to pray, eat etc.  Then there is Eid (the day after the last day of Ramadan) where all Muslims celebrate (to Muslims,  Eid day is big  just like how Christmas is to Christians).

Since there are over a billion people across the world who experience the same hunger, thirst etc, Ramadan feels extremely special.  It reminds us what it feels to be hungry and thirsty and have compassion for the poor.  This is obligatory for all muslims, but those who are sick, pregnant or breastfeed can postpone it until later/or feed the poor.

In our culture (Bangladeshi), women spend hours in the kitchen cooking Iftar (the meal when we break our fast) that mostly consists of fried foods such as poori, spring rolls and aloo chop.  However, this leaves us extremely sluggish and unproductive afterwards, which actually defeats its purpose of Ramadan!

Some Rules

  1. Do not drink juice to break your fast as this causes weight gain
  2. Aim to drink 2 glasses of water at Suhoor and 2 glasses of water at Iftar
  3. Choose food with high water content (cucumbers, tomatoes, smoothies etc rather than bread)
  4. Avoid eating all fried foods
  5. Avoid having caffeine (tea and coffee)
  6. Don’t overeat at Iftar (break fast with dates and water)
  7. Don’t miss Suhoor (it’s the most important meal of the day!)

My Daily Plan


Proper rest/sleep and diet are vital for a productive ramadan month.  Last year, I followed this plan:

Iftar (the meal where you break the fast at sunset) ex: 10pm – Break with dates and yogurt (as below), then pray (Maghrib)

10:30pm – Dinner (see below)

11:30pm – Have fruit and pray (Isha)

12:30am – Sleep

3:15am – wake up to eat pre-dawn meal (Suhoor)

4am – Pray (Fajr) and read Quran

4:30am – Sleep

7:30am – Wake up for work and leave

Lunch time – 30 minutes nap

6pm – Nap until 9:15pm

9:15pm – Prepare Iftar and dinner

Since Iftar is so late, it’s important to get some sleep after work and a nap at work if possible.

Nutrition Plan

Ram food

This is the meal plan that I prefer follow.


  • Dates/fruit
  • Yogurt
  • Water

Dinner (30-60 mins after Iftar):

  • Protein (chicken, fish, beef, eggs, vegetarian sources)
  • Complex carbs (ex: brown rice, potatoes, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread)
  • Vegetables (fibre is needed to prevent constipation and stomach issues)
  • Dairy (milk, yogurt or cheese)
  • Healthy fat (needed for hormone production and brain activities).  Ex: avocado, coconut oil, egg yolks, omega 3 fatty acid from salmon fish

Snack (60 mins before sleep):

  • Fruit to facilitate digestion

Suhoor (pre-dawn meal):

  • Fibre
  • Complex carbs
  • Protein
  • Examples include overnight oats with chia seeds and fruits, haleem, banana and date smoothie made with greek yogurt and oats



Focus of the month should be doing good deeds (e.g. praying and making duas).  You will not gain weight if you follow a healthy eating schedule (yes people normally gain weight due to slower metabolism from not eating and having a very poor diet).  Many people worry of losing their muscle mass; but this is not true because we break our fast within the same day so our bodies don’t go to the extreme where it uses muscles to burn as fuel.  It is better to avoid an intense cardio workout in order to maintain your muscle mass.  If you want to train and retain your muscles, train 1.5 hours after dinner (ideally before Tarawih prayer).

Remember, Ramadan is a not a temporary change in our lifestyle; it’s a time to implement healthy lifestyle habits.  Without proper nutrition and planning, fatigue and tiredness would not go away.

For all you Muslims, I hope that you all will have a very productive Ramadan (InshAllah)!