For a restaurant to be rated by one of Canada's major publication as ' 2012 New Restaurant of the Year ' plus ' One of Canada's Top 50 Best Restaurants ', the food from its kitchen, IMO, must be pretty spectacular to warrant such an accolade!
Curious to find out for ourselves, fellow chowhounder 'skylineR33' and I decided to join up downtown and give this new star a try. The result was IMHO, a solid Michelin star caliber meal that was near perfection and begs the patron for an early re-visit!
After reading from one of many rave reviews that the Chef offers a multi-course tasting menu, our party of 4 decided to give our culinary fate to the hands of the British chef. ' English Omakase ' here we come!!!
Our 7 course tasting menu consisted of the following:
- London cure Salmon, Beetroot, Kohirabi, Apple
- Shrimps on Toast, Pickled Cucumber, Marie Rose
- Seared Scallops, Confit Chicken, Sunchoke, Cider Vinegar
- Parsley Root Soup, Snails, Bacon, Fried Bread
- Beef two ways ( Seared Onglet and Braised Short Ribs ), Carrots, Horseradish, Barley
- Lamb two ways ( Roasted loin and Braised Lamb Tongue ), Brussels Sprouts, Potato Cake,
Huckleberry, Bread Sauce
- Lemon and Huckleberry Eton Mess!
First off, plate presentation of all dishes were artfully conceived and beautifully presented. The chef definitely understood the meaning that we all ' Eat with our Eyes'!!
As for the food. Both seafood and meat dishes were perfectly cooked. Every dishes were composed with a multitude of ingredients each contributing to various taste, flavor and textural profile/sensation. The Chef managed to bring together harmoniously, various sweet, tangy, salty and savory taste components and combined them with chewy, crispy, crunchy textural components and form a super sensation oral experience!! A great example was the ultra creamy and smooth Parsley Root Soup augmented with crispy snails, crunchy and chewy sweet Maple Bacon bits and crunchy fried bread! Wow!! So Good!
The only slight mishap was the addition of some rock salt to the London Cured Salmon which rendered the dish a little bit over-salty. A miniscule misstep that can be easily corrected
All in all, most dishes of this meal surpasses both visually and taste, the Michelin 3* Tasting Menu I had at New York's Jean Georges a few weeks ago! Creativity and taste wise, some dishes can easily rub shoulders with a few similar dishes I had at Michelin star establishments across the border and across the ocean!! A true testament of the chef's skill and culinary vision!
A groovy meal and great company!! What an evening!!
I cannot wait to pay this gem of a restaurant an early return visit!!