Last Friday I had impromptu dinner at KajU, the relatively recent addition to what the city, in a marketing attempt, is apparently calling "West Queen West." KajU is on Queen, at Dovercourt and bills itself as nouveau Brazilian, or Brazilian fusion. Most of the menu is less Brazilian rather than more, although there are some Brazilian classics - stews, faijoada (sp? served only on Saturdays though), grilled sardines for appetizer, palm hearts salad etc.
The sardines were well grilled and sizable for an appetizer (4 with a slice of polenta in a tomato reduction). I also had their special wild mushroom puree soup as a starter, and it was disappointing - quite watery and weak, needed either a cream base, or a lot more mushrooms to give it body; a few actual mushrooms as garnish would have been nice.
We also had mixed feelings about the mains. My companion had swordfish on curried basmati and it was delish! The fish juicy and well grilled, the rice fantastic, with sweet curry sauce mixing perfectly with the wilted baby spinach. My main - jumbo shrimp served with risotto, was not executed as well. No problems with the shrimp, the chef obviously knows his or her way with seafood and fish, but the risotto was undercooked to the point where it was work to chew it. The dish was dressed with a kind of sweet and sour tomato reduction, which was nice, and the same wilted baby spinach.
We had no desert, but ended with coffee which was way too weak.
So, the verdict for us was that we liked it enough to try it again for other dishes, but it is not the hit that we were hoping for. As an aside, the service was very friendly, although that did not necessarily translate into attentive. If you're into bonding with your waiters, this is the place to go - I had a great conversation about my sweater and the waitresses' accessories, as a result of which I know where to buy a pair of killer earrings; but at the end of the night we stood in the middle of the place haplessly hoping that someone will get our coats from wherever they were taken, with the person who took them away totally oblivious to the fact that we need something.
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