What is it: Coconut Water Drinks

Disclaimer: Products reviewed below were provided complimentary by Buddha Brands Co. All opinions expressed below are wholly mine and not indicative of the opinions or positions held by Buddha Brands Co.

The Basics:
Thirsty Buddha Coconut Water comes in 520ml cans, is all natural and Non-GMO Project certified. Varieties include coconut water with and without pulp, coconut with mango and the newest offering Coconut Water with Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera is a common addition to drinks in Asia (ie. Bubble Teas), is high in antioxidants and can help with digestion. Thirsty Buddha Coconut Water with Aloe Vera can be found at Whole Foods and London Drugs in Ontario.

Thirsty Buddha Coconut Water with Aloe Review

My Experience:
90% of the time, when I’m thirsty my go-to drink is water. The other 10% belongs to Coke Zero. The only time I’ve drank coconut water was on a beach in Bali from a coconut and enjoyed the mild, salty flavour. I found Thirsty Buddha’s coconut tasted very similar, without any added flavours or colouring. I had chilled my can of Thirsty Buddha to enjoy after a gym workout and it was refreshing. Shaken well, each sip a few chunks of aloe vera, which added a sweetness to the drink.

Thirsty Buddha Coconut Water with Aloe Review

What I liked:
Only 100 calories per can with no added sugar
A good source of electrolytes and I prefered the natural flavour to the artificial taste of sports drink
Comparably priced ($2.50 regular at London Drugs) to other brands
A reliable source of Aloe Vera, I used to drink Aloe Vera drinks from Asian grocery stores regularly, but have stopped due to stories about fake aloe vera being used.

What could use work:
Honestly, I didn’t have any points for this section. The product is solid, honestly labeled and a great drink.

TL;DR: All natural coconut water that’s well-priced, refreshing, and with a hint of sweetness from the added aloe vera.

Thirsty Buddha Coconut Water with Aloe Review


Vacation Break! Paris Italy & Amsterdam

If you follow me Instagram, you would’ve seen all the home made pasta The Hubby and I have been churning out every week. This was all practice for the real thing!

We’re going to Italy!

To be more precise, we’ll be in Paris, Naples, Rome, Venice, Cinq Terres, Florence and Amsterdam.

This will be my third time to Paris, second time to Amsterdam and first time to Italy. So far, we’ve planned to eat plenty of macarons, Nutella crepes, foie gras, gelato, pizza, pasta and seafood. Those are just snacks throughout the day. I was also able to make a lunch reservation at newly 3 Michelin star minted restaurant, Le Cinq in Paris. My dream restaurant for this trip was Osteria Francesca, but unfortunately I missed the reservation window. *Fingers still Crossed* for the wait list.

While on vacation, blog posts have been pre-written and queued to publish.

If you’d like to tag along with my travels, follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat! All under the handle xiaoEats.



Bali – 3 Day Itinerary

For our honeymoon, The Hubby and I spent 5 nights in Bali. However since we arrived in the evening on the first day and spent our last day lounging around the resort, we truly only spent 3 days exploring the island. Our itinerary was tight, and we did end up cutting a few activities (no underwater scooter). Since we were in Bali for only a short time, I decided to stay at one resort and hire a driver, rather than moving from city to city. We chose to base ourselves in Nusa Dua, where many of Bali’s luxury resorts are located, because we wanted to spoil ourselves and enjoy the stunning white sand beach.
Bali – 3 Day Itinerary


  • – Tackle one area of the island at a time. Traffic in Bali was awful, at one point we even decided to hop out of the car and walk to dinner, rather than crawl along on the road.
  • – Prioritize, what’s more important? Catching the sunset at Tanah Lot? Or Avoiding crowds? In general, I prefer to avoid crowds.
  • – Money exchanges were literally every few steps, and each offered a different rate, which fluctuated daily, sometimes hourly. We exchanged USD to the amount of IDR we needed for 2 days at a time. With the ease of money exchanges (many open at 8am and close around 6pm) and the fact that IDR is difficult to exchange back into other currencies, I wouldn’t worry about having IDR before landing at Denpasar and exchange only the amount needed for a few days at a time.
  • – The monkeys in Ubud are fearless. I would not recommend a visit for anyone who’s not comfortable with the thought of having monkeys randomly jump on you without consent.
  • – Hire a private driver, the cost is fairly low (~$50 USD/day) relative to the convenience.
  • – Bargain. I am not good at haggling and don’t think I made a single purchase that was well-priced. I think I got better by the end of the trip, but I’m sure I still overpaid for every souvenir.
  • – Take advantage of the fresh tropical fruits. Mangosteen every day!
  • – Massages are incredibly well priced. We really enjoyed the service and treatment at Bodyworks

Day 1 – Ubud

Explore the green rice paddies in Ubud. At the very touristy area, as we hiked through the paddies, there were people collecting “donations” to maintenance. However, as you wander, you may run into the toll booths multiple times and the villagers may be pushy and aggressive with their collection efforts. After that, we stopped by a cafe close by that served Luwak coffee and walked us through the process. We drove into the city for lunch at Naughty Nuri’s and to visit the Monkey sanctuary before heading back to relax at the resort.

Day 2 – Ubud

Spend the day with one of the many cooking classes in Ubud. The day starts early with a tour of the morning market, before turning hands-on. After preparing a traditional Balinese meal, classes will end around 2pm, the perfect time to head to a massage. Both the cooking class and massage should be booked at least one day ahead of time. Originally, I had planned for dinner at Locavore, but they were all booked a day ahead. I would recommend making reservations at least one or two weeks ahead of time. If you have a chance, I would also recommend picking up some fresh fruit to enjoy throughout the week.

Day 3 – Seminyak

Start with a visit to Tanah Lot early to avoid the crowds. Grab a lunch of Babi Guling on the way to a beach club, Ku de Ta or Potato Head to spend the afternoon people watching and enjoy the sunset. Both clubs have direct access to the beach, loungers and DJs. We sipped on cocktails until the evening set in. For dinner I would recommend trying Mama San or Sardine.  

Day 4 – Nusa Dua (Optional)

Relax at your resort, stroll on the beach and take a dip in the pool. We spent the day lounging and snacking on fresh fruit and chocolates. While the ocean was too choppy for us to venture into, I enjoyed my beach time sipping on coconut water and reading.

 Day 1 UbudDay 2 UbudDay 3 Seminyak
MorningRice Paddies TourSidestop for Luwak coffeeCooking Class, Morning Market TourTanah Lot
LunchNaughty Nuri’s WarungCooking ClassWarung Babi Guling Pak Malen
AfternoonUbud Monkey SanctuaryMassage at BodyworksKu de Ta or Potato Head Beach Club
DinnerBoneka at the St. RegisLocavoreSardine or Mama San

Bali – 3 Day ItineraryBali – 3 Day ItineraryBali – 3 Day ItineraryBali – 3 Day Itinerary


My backlog of posts built spanned several months and I’ve just finished blogging about 2015, which is why I’m only now compiling my Best Eats of last year. For me, 2015 was full of food and travel. I was lucky enough to go on an epic 5 week vacation through Asia and am still working on blog posts from the trip! I also hopped down to the states to visit family and attended a wedding in Vancouver.

Oh and I got married.

Between the traveling, wedding planning, wedding attending, I still managed to sink my teeth into some great food in Toronto. The theme of the year seemed to be cheap eats and celebration.

01. Antler Kitchen & Bar

Rating/Price: 5.0 $$$
Why? A menu full of game, unique flavours and cooking techniques
Must Order: Braised rabbit papperdelle, deer chop
Good For? Small groups, date night, cocktails, carnivores

02. Yunaghi

Rating/Price: 5.0 $$$$
Why? Stunning set menu, Japanese flavours with French influence
Must Order: Set menu
Good For? Special occasions, birthdays, celebrations, anniversaries, dates

03. Magic Noodle

Rating/Price: 4.5 $
Why? Consistent qualities, authentic flavours
Must Order: Red braised pork with hand-pulled noodles
Good For? Groups, quick meal, noodle lover, cheapeats

04. Bar Raval

Rating/Price: 5.0 $$$
Why? Super hip, amazing tapas, the place to be
Must Order: Canned seafood
Good For? Snacks, date night, late night, drinks, lunch

05. Jim Chai Kee Noodle

Rating/Price: 5.0 $
Why? Best shrimp wontons ever, under $10
Must Order: Rice noodles with Shrimp Wontons
Good For? Quick meals, small groups, cheapeats

06. Kwan Dim Sum

Rating/Price: 5.0 $$
Why? Elevating dim sum
Must Order: Rice roll with tofu and pea sprouts
Good For? Groups, midtown dinners, special occasions

07. One2 Snacks

Rating/Price: 4.5 $
Why? Authentic flavours, there's a line for a reason
Must Order: Laksa, Nasi Lemak
Good For? Take-out, solo meals, cheapeats

08. Uncle Tetsu Cheesecake

Rating/Price: 4.5 $
Why? Fell in love with a whole new type of dessert
Must Order: Classic cheesecake, angel hat cake
Good For? Take-out, people who like light desserts

09. The Good Son

Rating/Price: 5.0 $$$
Why? Brilliant drinks, comfort food
Must Order: Charcuterie, seasonal cocktails
Good For? Special occasions, big groups

Honorable Mentions:
Ramen Isshin – 4.5 $
Miku – 4.0 $$$$
Phoenix Restaurant – 4.5 $
Carmen’s Steakhouse – 4.0 $$$$
Woodlot – 4.0 $$$
Yu Garden – 4.0 $

Did I miss your favourite restaurant? Let me know in the comments.

Last Updated: 02/22/2015