Bannock (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 401 Bay Street
Website: http://www.oliverbonacini.com/Bannock.aspx
Type of Meal: Dinner 



Part of the O&B group of companies, Bannock is made up of two eateries – a casual café where can grab simple dishes to eat in or go and a true sit down restaurant. The menu focuses on Canadian dishes which is really a mix of salads, meat, seafood and starches. This “Canadian” theme continues and is highlighted in the décor with tons of wood everywhere – on the walls, as the furniture and separating everything in between; just be careful what you touch as my friend got a splinter from the ramp while leaving.

When you see duck poutine pizza ($16) on a menu, it's one of those items that sparks intrigue - you want to someone to get it to see it in its glory, but whether you want to get it yourself… the gluttony of it can be overwhelming. As a happy medium, my friend and I decided to share it and that was a smart choice as it’s huge and even after eating a quarter of it, the heaviness begins to sink in.

                                           

The crust is closer to a toasted flatbread (perhaps bannock?) than an airy pizza crust. Of course, a substantial base is required as it’s topped with a fair amount of fries, cheese curds, large pieces of tender duck and smothered with gravy. All in all, it’s decent but I’d prefer to just eat the poutine on its own as the cheese curds don’t soften enough for my liking. As a warning, if you don’t like salty foods, stay away from the duck poutine pizza as it’s very heavy on the sodium.

In my opinion, the better dish of the night was the pork tenderloin special ($19). Cooked sous vide and then broiled so the skin crisps up; the pork was a great combination of tender thoroughly cooked meat, a gelatinous layer of fat and crispy salty crust. Even the sides were a delightful blend of textures and flavours - crispy salty kale, smooth sweet beet purée, soft nutty barley risotto and a sour braised & grilled onion. What a delightful dish that should definitely be added to their regular menu!

                                                          

With its central location, Bannock is a good option for reasonably priced meals for downtown worker bees and tourists alike. But whether you’ll fork over the $6 to get a basket of bread to actually try bannock (a flatbread eaten by Aboriginal Canadians)? I’ll leave that up to you.   

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

Bannock on Urbanspoon


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