Drums N Flats (Toronto) for delivery


Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

There’s no shortage of pubs in the Yonge Lawrence neighbourhood and almost all of their menus offer chicken wings. But the pub that is most dedicated to the dish is Drums & Flats: showcasing it in their name and dedicating a quarter of their menu, including the option to have just the drums (the meaty “lollipop” third of the wing) or the flats (the middle portion).

For this order, one of their signature sauces was beckoning me – The Island Hot Hot Hot ($14.99). I imagined the heat of scotch bonnet peppers combined with sweet pineapples, maybe something like a jerk marinade. The three “hots” should have been a tip that there would likely be less fruit and more spice in the sauce. Three layers to be exact - buffalo, hot sauce, and chili flakes (?) - and not a tinge of anything tropical anywhere.

One bite into the bright red wing and the tingling heat began. The cooling carrot stick was not enough, but a dip into the lovely buttermilk dill sauce helped a bit. Nonetheless, after two wings, even that couldn’t calm the fire, only a big glass of almond milk could help me get through a few more of the flats.

Unable to get through the rest of the spicy wings, I saved them for the next day to build into another meal. After reheating them in the toasted oven and dunking them into a bowl of non-spicy instant noodles, the chillies combined into the broth creating a great bowl of spicy chicken wing ramen.

I should have stuck with our typical dish: the double-dipped hot and honey ($15.99), which takes the deep-fried wings and tosses it in the fiery sweet sauce and then grills them on the barbeque to caramelize that layer before tossing them in sauce again. While we kept it to a single flavour, normally you can combine two sauces to really develop something to your liking. Being cooked twice creates a smokier and stickier wing, but I find also makes them a little drier.

For those who don’t eat meat, Drums & Flats even has veggie wings ($12.99) using battered and deep-fried chunks of broccoli and cauliflower that are tossed in your choice of seasoning. Wanting to keep the crispiness in the coating, a lemon and pepper dry rub seemed to be a good choice and gave the dish enough flavour without rendering the batter to a paste.

While an inclusive idea, the dish is also extremely oily - the amount of grease that’s released after squeezing a piece in a paper towel is scary. The batter is too thick, more like fish and chips than tempura, which causes it to soak up so much oil.

The great things about wings is it works well for delivery arriving fairly hot and the veggie wings still surprisingly crispy. Plus, all inhibitions go out the window, you can really get in there and get messy in the safety of your own home. Take it from me, aside from the buttermilk dill sauce, you need a lot of napkins to go with chicken wings.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1980 Avenue Road
 Delivery: Uber, Doordash, Skip the Dishes
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 SkipTheDishes: click link to get $5 off a $15 order
 DoorDash: click link to get $20 off

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



Thairoom Grande (Toronto) for delivery


Note: Prices in post are based on their regular menu and may be higher when using delivery services


The rally cry to support local small businesses seemed to spring up immediately after the quarantine was announced. I’ve championed the cause, ordering from my favourites in North York that provide delivery services. With all the great establishments in the neighbourhood, we’ve generally supported restaurants that are close to home, but one night, the craving for Thai food was just too strong, and that’s how I stumbled across Thairoomgrande on Ubereats.

Their Thai shrimp rolls ($8) are a hefty size, stuffed with shredded vegetables and peppery glass noodles with whole shrimps on the ends. Despite waiting around at the restaurant and a long detour while Ubering, they remained surprisingly crispy and was the promise of good food to come.

For the most part, Thairoomgrande’s fried dishes deliver well. They smartly served the house made Thai sauce on the side so the Grands chicken wings ($11) also remained fairly crunchy. The plump wings were cooked to juicy perfection and well-seasoned so they could be eaten plain or dunked into the thinned sweet and spicy sauce.

Before biting into a dish with three chilies on the menu, make sure there’s a cold drink by your side… the restaurant does not shy away from spice! The chicken devil ($15) incorporated the typical dried red chilis stir-fried with the fowl, but the sweet and savoury sauce also gets a dose chili oil that soaks into the breaded chicken for a devilish bite. In this case, the sauce mixed with the coating isn’t the greatest choice as the breading becomes mushy when being delivered.

Their curry pad Thai ($15 with chicken) isn’t the typical plain noodles tossed with curry powder for colour. Thairoomgrande must use curry paste and powder as the rice noodles are well-coated making for flavourful bites. I wish we had ordered this dish in the same sitting as the vegetable green curry ($15) as the two should pair well together: the noodles were a little dry and needed more salt while the green curry was heavy on coconut milk and light on spice; yet, a drizzle of the green curry on the pad Thai could be a stellar combination.

For a restrained heat, the basil shrimp ($17) is a terrific choice. There’s chili oil used in the savoury sauce, but since the shrimp aren’t coated it isn’t overpowering – if anything the spiciest item in the dish is the broccoli. I’d would like more basil with the shrimp - you really need to look for the herb, there’s not enough of it that it completely permeates the dish.

Oh, but the item that impressed us the most (we ordered it again on another occasion) was the Grand seafood fried rice ($15). I haven’t been able to pinpoint what flavours the rice - my closest guess would be a cross between tom yum and something like shrimp paste.  Whatever the ingredients, the rice is spicy with elements of bright herbs and an umami finish. Absolutely delicious. Like most of their dishes, you can choose from a selection of proteins, but we’ve stuck with seafood as the shrimp, calamari rings, and imitation crab sticks goes so well with the rice.

I must admit, with all the disposable containers being used for delivery and takeout, I’ve been experiencing environmental anxiety lately – there’s so much plastic and waste! Thairoomgrande helps reduce the guilt a bit as most of their dishes arrive in biodegradable paper containers (only the saucier ones are served in dreaded black plastic). The containers are more costly, but with eateries solely doing take out and delivery, I’m glad restaurants like Thairoomgrande are trying to reduce the long-term effects of the “new normal”. Our Earth and future thanks you. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 861 York Mills Road
 Delivery: self-delivery, Uber, Doordash, Skip the Dishes
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 SkipTheDishes: click link to get $5 off a $15 order
 DoorDash: click link to get $20 off

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



Rap's Jamaican Restaurant (Toronto) for delivery


Note: Prices in post are based on Uber menu prices and may differ when using other delivery services or purchasing directly from the restaurant


I’ve driven by Rap’s Jamaican Restaurant on a handful of occasions and from a distance see the smoke rising from a large black steel-drum grill. The intoxicating scent of barbequed meat fills the street and despite it being 10pm it’s still busy and bustling. “Do we want to stop and try whatever’s cooking?” I ask. But we’re always driving home after a big meal and having a fourth meal of the day, at 11pm, isn’t in the cards.

Rap’s is in the Eglinton West district or “Little Jamaica”, a neighbourhood that’s teeming with activity into the wee hours of the morning. In fact, under normal conditions, they usually don’t even start serving “dinner” until 8pm in the evening, a time when my hungry stomach is already sedated. The restaurant is surrounded by similar establishments, but Rap’s bright signage catches the eye.

Under the “new normal” food is available earlier in the day and it’s offered through delivery services. There’s a strong charbroil aroma that escapes the jerk chicken ($14.99 for a ‘big’ meal or $12 for a sizeable box of just chicken), even after being delivered. That charbroil flavour stays as you bite into the meat – the other occasion I’ve had something similar was a kebab at Shombal North. While Raps is not quite as strong, it is a taste that makes the jerk chicken different. It’s a flavour that takes some getting used to: I enjoy the extra depth in flavour but found it overwhelms the jerk seasoning.

The chicken itself? Oh, wow is it tender! The skin rendered of all it’s fat so that it just sits on the meat as an extra layer of flavour. In future visits, I’d opt for the spicy sauce as the regular one is too tame even for me. And since the rice and peas (red kidney beans) is fairly neutral, you need something flavourful to go with it.

Such as the oxtail ($14.99 for a ‘big’ meal) where the gravy mixes into the rice so well. The oxtail is equally tender, falling off the bone and the cartilage soft like jelly. The meal is a good option, aside from the rice there’s a vinegary coleslaw that has a hint of sweetness. The salad is tarte and refreshing, helping to tame the heaviness of the meal.

During our Friday evening order, Uber only had the ‘big’ size available (other options include the ‘regular’ and the even more sizable ‘massive’) – maybe to keep operations easier to manage. Even if you’re hungry, there’s more than enough for another meal. Whether it’s the third or fourth for the day.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1541 Eglinton Avenue West
 Delivery: Uber, Doordash, Skip the Dishes
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 SkipTheDishes: click link to get $5 off a $15 order
 DoorDash: click link to get $20 off

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:





Lovely Pao (Toronto) for takeout


Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

Being a food blogger, it’s no surprise I ate out quite a bit before the quarantine started. Since the lockdown, things have changed…most days, I’m preparing all three meals at home. Lunch has been the most haphazard meal - on good days there’s leftovers from the night before, but often, it’s canned soup, a toasted bagel, or a lettuce salad with a slice of bread. In between all the meetings for the day, getting a tasty bite is difficult when there’s no food court and Ritual in my basement.

So, when I was invited by Lovely Pao to get six of their sio paos, little did I know I’d have lunches for the next three days – it could have been six, but I’m nice and shared with the hubby.

Sio pao translates from Tagalog as “hot bun” and are essentially big fluffy baos filled with a sweet and savoury filling made with pork ($12.75 for 6 buns) or chicken ($14 for 6 buns). Both have the meat cut in large chunks and are tender and flavourful thanks to the asado glaze. The sauce isn’t as sweet as what’s found in Chinese barbeque pork buns, but it also doesn’t need to be as flavourful as the bread, despite the bun’s size, is also thinner – especially the bottom, it almost melts into the sauce.

Slice into them and you’ll see there’s also half a hard-boiled egg in the middle. This isn’t traditional, rather a twist Lovely Pao made to their recipe. In fact, the business started off as a way to make ends meet, when the owner was unemployed and facing financial difficulties. She made the buns in her kitchen, selling them to friends and family, and worked at perfecting the recipe. Instead of making them too runny, she offered a thicker sauce on the side for people to add themselves.

As the business gained popularity, two stores eventually opened in North York and Guelph. And Lovely Pao even supplies some Filipino supermarkets around the city, for those who can’t get to their bakery.

If you do make it out, the store also sells other Filipino food items: bowls of noodles – mami and lomi, fried rice, the icy halo halo, and tons of other snacks and desserts. Even so, the sio pao are still their most popular item that can be enjoyed as a meal, snack, or to satisfy a late-night craving.

If you’re like me, a quick zip in the microwave with a damp paper towel on top, makes for an easy lunch! I do wish Lovely Pao would add a vegetarian option to the line-up, given I’m usually a flexitarian and refrain from eating meat on Monday to Thursdays. I’d imagine the same sauce with seitan would be delicious and possibly create a whole new market for these massive fluffy paos. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10 
Disclaimer: The buns were complimentary. Rest assured, as noted in my mission statement, I will always provide an honest opinion.


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 756 Wilson Avenue
 Delivery: Uber
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 


Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:

  • Bake Code
  • Kin Kin Bakery

Dim Sum Queen (Toronto) for delivery and takeout



Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

Coming from a Cantonese Chinese background, my brunches were less about eggs benny and pancakes and more about steamed dumplings and pan-fried delights. Being able to have dim sum was something I took for granted, just a lunch we’d have as a family every other weekend. It wasn’t until the quarantine hit that I realized how much I would miss these small bites. So much so, that one Saturday, I placed a huge order at Dim Sum Queen and delivered care packages to family members.

A groan of delight must have escaped when I bit into my favourite dish, the siu mai (pork dumplings). They were a little wet from sitting in a steamy closed container, but once the condensation evaporated, they’re not that far off from what you’d get at a restaurant. Both the pork ($5.30 for 4 pieces) and chicken shitake ($5.30 for 4 pieces) versions are delicious, a nice meaty consistency but not overly dense.

The shrimp and snow pea leaves dumpling ($5.30 for 3 pieces) doesn’t travel as well since the wrappers get soft and sticky. Order the pan-fried shrimp and chive cakes ($5.30 for 3 pieces) instead, the thin wonton wrappers don’t mind a steam and the filling is just as good – plump pieces of shrimp studded with bits of leafy vegetables.

Of all the dishes, I would have thought the steamed sticky rice with meat in lotus leaf ($5.30 for 2 pieces) would be best for takeout - the wrapper helps keep in the heat and they are steamed for so long anyways that another 15 minutes wouldn’t make a huge difference. Alas, Dim Sum Queen’s has so much rice and so little filling that it’s a bland forgettable dish.

Their steamed BBQ pork rice rolls ($5.30 for 3 pieces) are thicker than what I’ve had at the restaurant, nonetheless, they’re a still decent and the restaurant smartly sends the soy sauce separately so it doesn’t get too soggy.

One of my favourite items from Dim Sum Queen is their sesame seed and lotus paste balls ($4.50 for 3 pieces) – when they are freshly fried these sweet spheres are A-MAZING! Understandably, takeout doesn’t do it justice (maybe if they were shipped in paper bags instead of Styrofoam it’d allow it to breath better), but still fairly decent and the just-sweet-enough lotus paste was as tasty as ever.

Despite the restaurant’s name, their non-dim sum items are good as well. While the sweet and sour pork ($14) and General Tao chicken ($14) look identical, the sauces do differ: the pork using the typical sweet and sour combination but ends with a gingery finish while the chicken savoury and sweet. They’d be even better if the batter weren’t quite as thick and the General Tao given a spicier finish.

Nonetheless, both went quite nicely with the yang chow fried rice ($12), a sizeable portion incorporating shrimp, large cubes of BBQ pork and enough scallions to add a freshness to the rice.

The mixed vegetable chow mein ($10) is also a great choice, they serve the sauce on the side so the noodles remain very crispy and crunchy. They also don’t skimp on the vegetables, the container held big chunks of broccoli, snow peas, cabbage, and carrots, amongst other greens.

Honestly, dim sum tastes SO much better when it’s fresh; not all dishes lend itself to delivery. So, since the restaurant offers dim sum all the time, if you want to miss their busy lunch rush, a dinner of noodles, rice, vegetables, and select dim sum may be the smarter choice. 


Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10*
Higher marks for their noodle, rice, and other dishes than the dim sum


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3241 Yonge Street
 Delivery: Uber, Skip the Dishes
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 SkipTheDishes: click link to get $5 off a $15 order
 

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:






Francobollo (Toronto) for delivery


Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

I admire how well Toronto restaurants are pivoting during this time of adversity. For some establishments, like Francobollo, the shifts push them further, quickly morphing from a place that was dine-in only to providing delivery and curb-side pick-up. How does a fine dining restaurant change its operations and offerings?

Dishes like their burrata ($22) are ideal dine-out options. The creamy cheese tastes great at room temperature and as it oozes into the accompanying produce, it’s something you’d likely combine anyways. The food quality doesn’t deteriorate: the tomatoes are surprisingly flavourful for late winter (this order originally happened in late March) and the arugula bright and fresh. Francobollo even thinks to send warmed baguette slices that are a must with the starter.

Others do not fair as well. One of my favourite dishes is the decadent gnocchi ‘Terra’ style ($27), the combination of crisped gnocchi with sweet grilled corn, roasted peppers, onions, and peas, in a roasted garlic truffle sauce is absolutely intoxicating.

What makes it particularly amazing is the crust on the pan-fried gnocchi that gives way to its soft centre. Once that sits in sauce in a closed container, the crust vanishes and the pasta turns soft – still good, but that lovely contrast disappears. I’ve even tried re-heating it in a pan the next day, willing the crust to form, but couldn’t re-create the experience.

Of the pasta dishes, the tomato-based sauces seem to work best. After a quick nuke in the microwave to get it hot, the short rib tagliatelle ($24) was remarkably similar to how it normally tastes in the restaurant. Perhaps the portion was bigger, chocked full of short ribs and ribbons of pasta with enough for another meal.

Meanwhile, the creamy rosé sauce in the lobster pappardelle ($29) turns a bit gluey and if you add water to it starts to dilute the existing flavours. At least the dish incorporated large chunks of wonderfully cooked lobster. Based on their latest offerings in late May, it appears the chef realized this and has taken the pappardelle off the menu.

In fact, they now adjust their menu weekly, offering seasonal options and a 3-course Sunday’licious prix-fixe ranging from $45 (for vegan) to $55 (for meat). They’re even expanding into vegan dishes such as panko-crusted lentil cake and cashew-based cheesecake, things I haven’t seen in past visits. Keep up this gusto, the move towards plant-based mains is a great one to help expand the customer base!

What hasn’t changed is their hospitality, such as the little touches like including grated parmesan in the order to sprinkle to your heart’s content.

Pan-fried gnocchi, until we meet again.


Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1959 Avenue Road
 Delivery: store delivery, Uber Eats, Doordash
Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 DoorDash: click link to get $20 off

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:





Toshi Ryoriten (Richmond Hill)


Do you remember your last meal at a restaurant before being quarantined? Mine was an exquisitely long two-hour omakase affair ($90 a person for the Toshi course) in celebration of my father’s birthday. Over a bottle of chilled light sake, we sampled, drank, and conversed … beside each other. All while we dined in front of a chef who handled the ingredients without a mask or gloves. Wow, how things can change in a blink of an eye.


Toshi Ryoriten isn’t afraid to start boldly: right out of the gate we’re served a sashimi of two tunas and shima aji (?). Usually, there’s a build up of dishes until the tunas are presented - I didn’t mind this procession, having a rich taste of fish within the first bites. They were all a great temperature and thickness, the way you want sashimi to be. I just wish someone described the dish to us, instead of just having the sushi chef drop it down and walk away.


Dinner then switches to hot eats, a cube of tofu incorporating seaweed and slivers of crunchy lotus root. Fresh from the fryer, it’s hot and the tofu’s edges are remarkably crispy against the silken centre and the thickened sauce adds flavours without making it soggy. If they made this into a tofu steak, I could eat this instead of sirloin any day.


Clean and crisp uni (sea urchin) and ikura (salmon fish roe) generously tops a sphere of warm rice and makes for a big flavourful bite that’s creamy and leaves an oceany umami essence to the tongue.


The grilled yellowtail looked better than it tasted; sadly, the lean fish was overcooked. And after the amazing egg tofu, the crispy rice “biscuit” was surprisingly dull and bland. The best part of the dish was the blanched spinach, at least it’s cold and refreshing. 


After all the starters, the nigiri experience begins – eleven pieces of bite-sized sushi made at a well-scheduled pace. With about 3-5 minutes between each piece, it’s enough time to admire (and photograph) and converse, without feeling like an overdrawn affair. 

The medai (seabream) was a nice start. Meaty but light, the fish reset the palette for the rest of the meal.
Toshi’s ika (squid) was a tad dry from the blowtorch, so it ended up being sticky as I chewed the sushi. While not necessarily terrible, it’s also texture that’s rather unexpected. Perhaps it just needed a stronger glaze on top, the quick brush of soy sauce was not nearly enough. 


The kanpachi (amber jack) was incredibly good. I just couldn’t make out what the black bits were on top – it’s salty but doesn’t have that crunchiness of volcano salt. Once again, a bit more direction and conversation from the chef would be nice.  


I love when raw salmon is warmed. At Toshi, the salmon is seared slightly developing a mild smokiness and the heat melts the fat. The akaebi (sweet shrimp) was a nice follower, but like the ika could use a bit more seasoning.


While the shima aji (skipper jack) looked like a lot of the earlier white fishes, the texture is surprisingly “crispy” for a fish and a nice contrast against the other softer consistencies. 


Hopefully, you’re not a light eater, as Toshi saves the most decadent pieces to end. Of course, there’s the otoro (fatty tuna), the fish world’s equivalent of high fat butter, with its flavourful oil that oozes and coats the tongue. 


After a sip of sake, a liberally toasted hotate (scallop) adds a lovely sweet contrast. This followed by an even sweeter unagi (sea eel), which like some of the torched counterparts was a bit overdone. 


I hate that I really enjoyed the foie gras - it’s not an ingredient I support for ethical reasons. Scoring the fatty duck liver helps create these grooves that holds onto the oils; and for once the long lick from the blowtorch really helps to add a lovely smokiness without overcooking the ingredient. If you think otoro is rich, this piece brings it to a whole other level. 


To end, you’re offered a hand roll or maki. I end traditionally with the hand-held form that incorporates bits of tuna and green onion. The seaweed needs to be toasted more as it was a bit chewy to get through. In hindsight, the maki form may be a better choice. 


The best decision was to add on a chawanmushi ($9.50) and suggest it be served right after the nigri procession. While it doesn’t have that intoxicating aroma that escapes as the lid is lifted, the egg custard is piping hot and a lovely silky consistency. Other ingredients make their way into the steamed egg: mushroom and spinach stems on top and hearty cubes of shrimp and chicken on the bottom. 


As part of the regular Toshi course menu, the small bowl of soba with dashi broth ends the savoury items. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of tempura bits in soup, but these were added at the last minute, so it doesn’t arrive as a soggy mess. And mixed with the green scallions, everything works, down to the last hot drop.


Instead of the typical ice cream, Toshi serves tofu cheesecake for dessert. It’s surprisingly creamy and dense for tofu but lacks any discernable flavour. At least the whipped cream imparted some sweetness.


If you’ll be seated at the sushi bar, make sure to request to be sat on the right-hand side of the bar. Relegated to the left corner, we were essentially ignored by the chef who only speaks to the four people directly in front of him. 


And while it’s nice to see the chefs’ technique, Toshi ruins the experience by leaving a huge platter of fish to be broken down right by the sink on the left. Halfway through the meal, it’s finally put away, but makes for an unpleasant backdrop for those who have it in their eyeline. In terms of the environment and the chefs’ hospitality, this was one of the worst omakase experiences I’ve had.

Still, looking back on the dinner, I’ll only have fond memories. Dinner at Toshi Ryoriten was an unhurried relaxing public affair I can’t wait to eventually enjoy again. As a last pre-COVID meal, this was a great ending.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Richmond Hill, Canada
 Address: 1380 Major Mackenzie Drive East

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System
  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - 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!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this: