Category Archives: Cuisine (International/Fusion)

Momofuku (Shōtō)


188 University Ave, Toronto, ON
(Richmond St W and University Ave)
Tel: (647) 253-8000
http://momofuku.com/toronto/shoto

Having been to (and had a great experience) at Momofuku in New York, I was excited to be one of the first to try their shōtō (tasting menu) in Toronto. Although, the overall experience was good and they had a couple of really excellent dishes, I didn’t feel it was worth the $150-200 (wine pairing optional) price tag.

When we arrived, the restaurant was packed and a line up was forming outside of Shangri-la for the noodles section. We sat at the bar and watched the chefs (about 5-6 of them) prepare. For such a hip establishment and a younger group of chefs/servers, I was surprised that most of them did not appear passionate in what they were doing .. in fact, they seemed stressed (maybe because they’ve only been opened for a week and were still sorting or organizing themselves out).

The pace at which we were served was well-timed and steady until near the end. The last plate, the dessert, took more than 15 mins (because someone forgot to put the houtenanny into the oven) and on top of that, they made a mistake on our bill that took another half an hour to try to fix and reissue our receipt. Unfortunately, they did not seem apologetic for our time and when they turned us away with “please call us tomorrow to settle this,” it left a disappointing taste in our mouths.

Recommendations
• Egg with dashi, horseradish and ikura
• Spaghetti with nori, sardine and lumpfish
• lobster with tandoor, lemon and fava
• banana with cashew, mint, gula jawa (tasted like “Crunch” candy bar)

Good to Know
• Best seats: Around the chef’s bar (to watch how they prepare and coordinate with one another)
• Service: Overall disappointing (although there were two servers that were great)
• Atmosphere: Trendy (and dark near the bar area, which made taking photos on this post difficult)
• Ideal for: foodies, long dinners and dates
• Attire: Smart casual and business
• Reservations recommended: Yes (weeks in advance)
• Patio recommended: N/A

Momofuku on Urbanspoon

Yours Truly (Carte Blanche Tasting Menu)


229 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON
(Dundas & Ossington)
Tel: (416) 533-2243
http://www.yours-truly.ca

I’ve only tried the Carte Blanche tasting menu, which varies daily depending on what is fresh and in season. The entire dinner lasted four hours and we were served more than 20 courses! By the end of the evening, I was waddling back to the car! The portions ranged from small bites to larger servings and more than half the items on the menu were Asian-inspired. Almost all the dishes were delicious except they spanned them too far apart in serving us and the chairs were not super-comfortable to be sitting for that long.

If you want to give this restaurant a try, I recommend you book ahead and use your AMEX (to receive a complimentary glass of champagne).

Recommendations
• Foie gras (served in a mini coconut cup) with nori (seaweed) wrap
• Fruit meringue
• Smoked carrots
• Bruschetta

Good to Know
• Best seats: No particular preference
• Service: Okay but slow
• Atmosphere: Hip and trendy
• Ideal for: Date, celebration and if you are not rushed to go anywhere afterwards
• Attire: Smart casual and trendy
• Reservations recommended: Yes
• Patio recommended: No

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Yours Truly on Urbanspoon

Fuzion Resto-lounge & Garden


580 Church Street, Toronto, ON M4Y 2E5
(Church St & Wellesley)
T: (416) 944-9888
www.fuzionexperience.com

What a fun night! I went on a Friday night and hung out at the Fuzion Lounge bar for their vocal night and Buddha Bar mixes. Boy, I was blown away with performances. One of the guest musicians, Nancy Silverman, played a chord on the piano and was able to substitute almost any song (requested by the audience) into that chord and it still sounded great!! Amazing!! Best of all … no cover and the food was delicious!!

Just so you know Fuzion is located near the “The Village” and as you may have guessed, most of the men in the room were tremendously good looking … too bad they’re not on my team!!

Recommendations
• Crispy Potato, Goat Cheese and Short Rib Croquette Kobe “Wrap
• Grilled Marquez Sausage, Smoked Eggplant Hummus, Za’atar
• Fusion Frites
• Cocktail – Raspberry Cipriani 

Good to Know
• Best seats: The nook for two on the 2nd floor in the lounge area (lots of privacy here)
• Service: Very friendly & nice
• Atmosphere: Modern, contemporary, artsy
• Ideal for: Drinks, date, GNO, music lovers
• Attire: Trendy, casual, smart casual,
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: Yes; beautiful garden patio on the 2nd floor

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Fuzion on Urbanspoon

Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver Restaurant


300-999 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC, V6C 3B5
(604) 662-8111
www.panpacific.com

Located on the second floor of Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver, this restaurant is ideal for a business event/function. The food was delicious and service was great!

Recommendations
• Ravioli

Good to Know
• Best seats: No preference
• Service: Professional
• Atmosphere: Conservative
• Ideal for: Business, formal, date
• Attire: Business, smart casual, semi formal
• Reservations recommended: Yes
• Patio recommended: No

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Coast Restaurant (& O Lounge)


1054 Alberni St, Vancouver, BC, V6E 1A3 
(604) 685-5010
www.coastrestaurant.ca

As soon as I walked into Coast, I was pleasantly surprised to see a large circular raw bar packed with ice and fresh seafood.

The evening did not start off very well with an hour wait even though we had reservations. We even arrived early to check out O Lounge. We were further disappointed that the cocktails were just okay.

Our luck changed after we were seated. The food was delicious and the seafood platter had a theatrical show-stopping presentation.

Recommendations
• Signature Chilled Platter – with lobster, jumbo prawn, king crab, mussels, oysters, sushi roll and sashimi
• Sable fish
• Sushi – tuna (white)
• Dessert – honey comb nibs

Good to Know
• Best seats: Tables on the second floor that over look the restaurant and raw bar
• Service: Excellent and very helpful
• Atmosphere: Very nice; artsy; contemporary and comfortable.
• Ideal for: Business, romantic date, celebrations
• Attire: Casual, business, trendy, smart casual
• Reservations recommended: Yes
• Patio recommended: N/A

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Coast Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Spice Route Asian Bistro & Bar


499 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K4
(Spadina & King)
T: (416) 849-1808
www.spiceroute.ca

A great choice if you’re looking for an evening of drinks, dinner and socializing. I recommend coming on Thursday night if you haven’t already. Dine on the second floor so you can watch people pour into the bar area located right in the centre of the restaurant. You’ll be amazed to see how quickly the traffic flows in and fills the space. If you want to be part of the action, don’t be shy … grab your drink after dinner and head right to the bar or patio and join the crowd.

Recommendations
• Cocktails – Lychee Sakatini (usually comes with 2-3 peel lychees) or Red Dragon (served with berries)
• Buddha vegetable feast stir fry
• Spiced chicken + Peking duck lettuce wraps
• Kobe carpaccio 
• Viet rack of lamb
• Clay pot tiger prawn
• Miso glazed black cod

Good to Know
• Best seats: I prefer seating on the second floor (to watch the action going on around the bar area). If you are with a large group, they have a room right under the DJ booth that is very cozy and relaxing. There is also a private party room available.
• Service: Generally friendly and nice
• Atmosphere: Mystic, Asian, zen-like decor from Buddha heads to real photos of different places in Asia
• Ideal for: Date, casual, mix & mingling, business
• Attire: Business, smart casual, trendy
• Reservations recommended: Yes
• Patio recommended: Yes. They have the cabins open in the summer which is a great place to hang and sip on cocktails/beer.
• Also check out: the Koi fish pond on the patio; the washrooms with floor-to-ceiling glass windows facing out to a garden (don’t worry, this area is restricted so you won’t see people walking by while using the facilities); Brent House across the street if you want to party/dance.

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Spice Route on Urbanspoon

The Chefs’ House Restaurant (George Brown)


215 King Street East Toronto, ON M5A 3W8
(Jarvis & King)
T: (416) 415-2260
www.thechefshouse.com

Here’s a unique dining experience that combines the latest culinary skills with education. The Chefs’ House is part of George Brown College and is fully open to the public. This restaurant gives students in training an opportunity to practise – hosting, cooking, baking, and serving – in a real-world environment (while under supervision).

If you want a preview of what you’ll be in for, walk by and peek inside the restaurant to see the culinary students at the front prepare and cook in their large open kitchen. There are only two menus: lunch and dinner set menus (which changes often depending on their course program and what is in season).

Recommendations
• Dinner – more relaxing and enjoyable

Good to Know
• Best seats: I prefer seating near the back, away from the buzz and noise at the front kitchen. A private function room, which seats up to 16 people, is available and located on the lower floor of the restaurant.
• Service: Good overall (Students may be nervous but they are very attentive and work hard to provide professional service.)
• Atmosphere: 3,200 square foot heritage brownstone; contemporary
• Ideal for: Date, casual, those seeking a different culinary dining experience
• Attire: Casual, business, smart casual
• Reservations recommended: Yes
• Patio recommended: N/A
• Hours of operation: Monday to Friday only

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The Chefs' House on Urbanspoon

The Spoke Club Restaurant


600 King St. W., Toronto, ON M5V 1M3
(Bathurst & King)
T: (416) 368-8448

The Spoke Club is an exclusive private member club for people in media and arts. This is a great place to mix and mingle with creative and talented artsy folks.

The Club has three floors. The lower floor is usually used for events. Main floor is the main dining room and bar for meetings and gatherings. The rooftop patio is large and great place to hangout in the summer for drinks.

I recommend ordering drinks/cocktails at the main (level) bar. (I find they have a bigger selection than at the patio bar).

Recommendations
• Prix fixe menu – two course ($25) or three course ($35)
• Fresh Berry and Cocoa Martini

Good to Know
• Best seats: Anywhere in the main dining room
• Service: Good
• Atmosphere: Main floor is contemporary and trendy; Patio is spacious and great for holding events and private functions.
• Ideal for: Mix & mingling, events/functions, birthday celebrations, after work drinks
• Attire: Casual, business, trendy, smart casual
• Reservations recommended: Members only
• Patio recommended: Yes
• Getting there: When you get to 600 King St, get on the elevators and press 3. This will lead you to the club’s reception area.

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Frank Restaurant (at the AGO)


317 Dundas St W Toronto, ON M5T 1G4
(University Ave & Dundas St W)
(416) 979-6688
www.ago.net/frank

A very hip and stylish restaurant. Just dining there made me feel creative and artistic.

I booked and made reservations under my name. After we were seated, the waiter and maitre d’ came over (at different times) to welcome us, both addressing me by my first name. Although this was a small gesture, it was a nice personalized (and smart) touch.

Frank offers three main menus (which changes daily): brunch (on weekends), lunch and dinner (from Tues to Sats).

Frank supports local producers and wine makers. Their wine list consists of Ontario wines (exclusively) and menu is based on seasonal ingredients supplied from local farmers.

Recommendations
• Pork or lamb
• Grilled calamari
• Muddled strawberry martini

Good to Know
• Best seats: I prefer the sofa booths facing the front of the restaurant.
• Service: Great
• Atmosphere: Frank Gehry-designed, artsy, chic, casual, spacious, high ceilings, the art deco wall behind the bar, stacked with bottles of wine  and lit from the back
• Ideal for: Date, gallery-goers, business
• Attire: Business, smart casual, trendy, dressy
• Reservations recommended: Yes
• Patio recommended: N/A

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FRANK on Urbanspoon

Brassaii


461 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K7
(Spadina & King)
T: (416) 598-4730
www.brassaii.com

Brassaii is one of the trendy bars/restaurants on the King St West strip. It’s a fun place to hang out whether you are bar hopping, grabbing drinks before dinner, gathering for an after-work drink, or just having brunch.

Recommendations
• Cocktails (Yes, even if you’re doing brunch, try one!)
• Brunch
• Desserts

Good to Know
• Best seats: The circular lounge sofas at the front of the restaurant. It’s spacious and comfy. Plus, I enjoy people-watching to see who walks in, what they’re wearing, etc. This is especially fun on a Thursday or Friday evening.
• Service: Good
• Atmosphere: Modern, contemporary, large restaurant (one of the rooms turn into a club/dance area on the weekends), big space, high ceilings, loft-like
• Ideal for: GNO, birthday celebration, after-work drinks, date
• Attire: Smart casual, business, trendy
• Reservations recommended: Yes
• Patio recommended: Yes (it’s in the Courtyard at the front of the restaurant)
• Getting there: They are located at the back of an alley; look past the gates (please see photo)

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Brassaii- Cafe- Restaurant- Lounge on Urbanspoon